Bloody Hell

By Alec Meer on January 10th, 2011 at 7:43 pm.

It feels lovely, getting to say stuff like “Recettear has sold 100,000 copies” and “Amnesia has sold 200,000 copies.” Those figures mean that small groups of people’s lives have changed, improved, had nice sofas and bigger TVs added to them. Truly, it warms the cockles of EARTH_MAMMAL_HUMAN_ORGAN_HEART.

Then Blizzard announce that they’ve sold 4.7 million copies of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm and you just think “God, that’s a lot of goblins.”

Reverse engineer the maths and it’s clear that, despite that enormous number, probably not very many people’s lives have changed, improved, had nice sofas and bigger TVs added to them. Blizzard employs, apparently, some 2,700 employees, so they’re spreading the cash a whole lot thinner – but clearly, you’ve got to spend money to make money. The sheer size of the Warcraft enterprise is just insane, and surely unprecedented in the history of games.

Of course, 4.7 million pales in significant to the widely-reported 12 million WoW subscribers figures. Bear in mind, though, China doesn’t have Cataclysm yet, and by all accounts that contributes somewhere in the region of six million subscribers. Also, 4.7 million Cata sales is purely within the first month – there’ll be many more still over time, I don’t doubt. That said, given Cata sold 3.3 million its first 24 hours, that’s only 1.4 million over the following 29 days, so clearly things are tailing off.

And the money! If we ad-hoc average the price of a copy of Cata to £25, that means Blizzard’s brought in revenue of £117.5 million. Man a-live.

Of course, to run Cata you also need WoW core, The Burning Crusade and Wrath of The Lich King. Times at least 4.7 million people, and probably a whole lot more. Do the maths if you like, but I can tell you now that the answer is “all the money in the world.”

The truly fascinating thing for me is just how much WoW bucks every other game ever’s trend. There’s simply no sign of anything like decline or obsolescence in sight. I’m almost at the point where I imagine WoW not ever really closing down, and I’m quite sure that whatever Blizzard’s other MMO is (“Titan” is apparently its title), it’s not going to compete with WoW in any way, shape of form. Their first MMO will remain their deathless god-king.

I’m frightened.

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96 Comments »

  1. Freud says:

    Good on them. They produce a game a lot of people enjoy and spend a lot of money on.

    Just imagine how many millions who have played the game for a while and got bored. We are probably more than 12 million strong.

  2. Vinraith says:

    I can only regard with utter fascination the unstoppable juggernaut that is WoW. It’s a hell of a piece of psychological engineering, isn’t it? I wonder to what degree that was accidental and to what degree they knew they were making digital crack unlike any other digital crack before. I also can’t help but wonder what renders some of us utterly immune to the effects, I could barely play the trial for two hours before I got unspeakably bored. It’s not as though I’m generally immune to such things, either, my many hundreds of hours in Morrowind and Guild Wars will attest to that.

  3. Lewie Procter says:

    Were WOW subscribers a religion, it’d be 13th biggest, closely behind Judaism.

  4. Dreamhacker says:

    If we start counting the (price-per-unit-sold*units-sold)/number-of-employees, does that mean the indie devs make more money than the Acti-Blizzard devs?

    Would be kind of hilarious and/or tragic if that turned out the small time guys actually makes more…

    • Xercies says:

      No because they get money before it ships for making it and get a bonus for how many it sold I’m guessing, so Blizzard employees get to buy diamond studded swimming pools.

    • Dreamhacker says:

      Diamond studded swimming pools, you say? Is that why we’ve had news of Blizzard employees defecting en masse to NCsoft (and then coming back again)?

    • thebigJ_A says:

      Most of the people at Blizzard get a salary, plus bonuses. That huge amount of money goes to shareholders (is ActiBlizzard public?) and the corporate suits.

      Frictional games (who made Amnesia) is like four dudes in Spain. They almost went bankrupt during development, and if it hadn’t sold, the company likely would’ve closed. But since it was so successful A.) they get to keep making games (and I will keep gladly paying them for them) and B.) all that money goes back into the company. The company being like four dudes, even after financing their next project I wouldn’t doubt they made more than the average Blizzard employee by a good margin.

    • Subject 706 says:

      Frictional are four guys in Helsingborg, Sweden actually.

    • bob_d says:

      @Subject 706: Frictional are five guys in Sweden, plus contractors.
      We don’t know how much Amnesia is being sold for, given how many sales it’s been in. They’re getting a maximum of about $15 a copy, and perhaps as little as a couple bucks a copy. Blizzard is getting as much as $50 a copy (direct download sales), and perhaps as little as $25 or $30 for retail sales. So let’s say Blizzard is making about 100 times more money in sales, but they have 4,600 employees, the majority of whom are focused on developing, supporting, or selling WoW, plus offices, and server and advertising costs. Frictional doesn’t advertise and they don’t have an office.
      Of course, Blizzard is making about a billion dollars a year on WoW; the box sale is just icing on the cake, whereas Frictional needs to use the box sales to pay off any remaining costs accrued during development of Amnesia and use the remainder to support themselves for the next three to four years (with perhaps enough money so they wouldn’t have to immediately shut down if the next game isn’t successful). Hopefully Frictional can pay themselves more than the poverty-level wages they’ve been living off of previously.

  5. McDan says:

    I agree, it is quite scary that a game has no forseeable end (not end of the game, the end of it being supported, you know what I mean), maybe this is how skynet spreads so quickly?

  6. patricij says:

    One would think they could afford HTTP downloads for updates with sales like that….oh, a blasphemous thought, I know!

    • Starky says:

      They can and they do, Blizzards torrent updater has many, many seeds provided by blizzard servers – and it has HTTP only mode built in (if there is an issue with the torrent)…

      I’d wager that them using bittorrent has nothing at all to do with saving bandwidth costs (which is an added bonus I bet), and everything to distributing server load across their worldwide network easily.

      Frankly I wish steam would do the same – because when a sale goes on during prime time hours (like say 6pm when the sale changes in the UK) you can’t download anything from the steam servers (you are lucky to get 50 kbps) while, if they used a torrent system like WoW, those half used servers in countries that are still asleep would share the load.

  7. sebmojo says:

    I’ve been playing the trial of Cataclysm (on an account I haven’t played for ages, so it’s sucked me back) and they’ve done a mind boggling amount of work on the game. The entirety of vanilla WoW has been rewritten, basically. And that work is available to anyone who springs for the basic WoW package, without any of the expansions.

    That’s, for want of a better word, generous.

    Also, almost noone seems to have a bad word to say about the new high level zones – so they’ve done good work there too.

    They could have crapped out any amount of shovelware to get the dollars in and didn’t, so they deserve some credit for earning their money the hard way.

  8. Caleb367 says:

    Hmm. Must be the last guy on Earth who still doesn’t give a crap about WoW.
    (Yay for Recettear and yay+fuck you for Amnesia. Seriously. You can’t love something that scares the crap out of you.)

    • Urael says:

      You can if you’re constipated.

    • Raziel_aXd says:

      No crap on WoW here either.
      But Amnesia is probably the best game of 2010. Ok, one of them. It’s still one of the most important achievements of the digital medium.

    • Raziel_aXd says:

      No crap about WoW here either.

    • patricij says:

      I tried the trial…wasn’t really impressed, so I beat it..

    • Teddy Leach says:

      I also give no crap.

    • DevilSShadoW says:

      my no crap giving in regards to wow is still going strong

    • Dozer says:

      What a shame.

    • Brian Rubin says:

      I played WoW for about a year, until I realized, “Hey, I already have a job, one that I don’t have to pay for” and quit. So yeah, don’t give a crap about WoW either, but glad so many folks enjoy it, as long as they enjoy it responsibly. ;)

    • bleeters says:

      ‘People’ in ‘not liking things other people do like’ spectacular. Stop the presses.

    • Loopy says:

      Exactly Bleeters. :)

    • thebigJ_A says:

      Don’t give a crap about WoW, but I DO love Amnesia. BECAUSE it scared the crap out of me. I’ve never had a game do that, ever. Even Penumbra, which I enjoyed a large amount, only ever really creeped me out.

      I love a game that brings on an emotion no other has before, even if that emotion is fear.

    • Thecreeperskg says:

      @thebigJ_A ever played F.E.A.R. ?? :D even better, try playing Undying…
      WoW is no crack/smack/crap digital drug, IMO it’s a waste of time, energy and funds, and it beats the hell out of me WHY did the same people that gave us Diablo and Starcraft would go and create such a piss-poor title. I ‘ve only started playing the game last month and only because I’ve applied for a position with Blizzard – and it was sorta mandatory to have an 85 lvl character. Funny thing though, I only wanted to work on Diablo III…
      Now all the critics that said:
      -The new low level missions have been completely re-done and are not simple “go-fetch-me–a-dozen-of-that” are playing a different game, most likely Oblivion. IT’S ALWAYS “go-get-me-a-dozen-of-this-piece-of-shit-for-my-soup/broth/beer/whateverthefuckever. Honestly, the game sucks major ass…should be renamed “World of Couriers”.
      In 2005 I was offered a position for IGS with Runescape, so I created an account and went to see what’s it all about. After seeing a man kill his umpteenth chicken and cut down the millionth tree JUST to incerease his “chicken killing skill” and “lumberjack skill” I decided not to work there…it’s a silly place.
      WoW is EXACTLY the same, only difference is that it’s not a FLASH applicaton – though the graphics I get on my XPS 1530 are closer to a FLASH app game rather than a proper PC game.
      IF you want digtial smack play CS, if you want the real hardcore stuff, crack+PCP+methamph+blow try playing Civ IV.

  9. crazydane says:

    Impressive, yet I’m worried about trying WoW. The main reason being, that I know hardly anyone who is a casual WoW player, I have exams and I have plenty of fun with other games. So, I wouldn’t dare getting dragged into it, plus subscription fees don’t really appeal to me

    (Yes it can be cheaper just to have one game you play forever – but where’s the fun in that, eh?)

    • ScubaMonster says:

      The problem with MMO’s in general is that they are just very time consuming and they don’t end. I’m not even going to talk about people being addicted or whatnot, that’s not what I’m referring to. To get any sense of worth from a game like WoW, you have to put in a lot of time. Even if you don’t put that time in all at once like a hardcore player, you’re still going to have to devote most of your gaming time to it at least. I’ve found that it’s very hard to keep playing a game like WoW and still have time to play other things. Throw in the monthly subscription and it’s even harder because you have to justify the money you pay.

      I stopped playing for a combination of reasons. I had just played the game for so long that even new content didn’t change the fact it was still the same game for me. And I’m an all around gamer and it was sickening how much stuff I was missing out on because I had to spend my gaming time on WoW. It’s fine to focus hard on games. But when that one game can last years and never end, then it becomes a problem.

  10. Calabi says:

    Well when the time comes, they are numbered and already catalogued and so, easily culled.

  11. Shadram says:

    Considering how improved the entire game is with this expansion (barring Outland, which is still horrible), I’d have to agree that WoW will continue to dominate PC gaming for the forseeable future. Certainly nothing will overtake it in the next decade, assuming Blizz can continue to put out content at this level of quality.

    For those who found WoW boring before, try it again. It’s seriously good at levels 1-60 now. And you don’t even need to buy the expansions to play most of the new stuff, just grab the vanilla version. The only thing you’ll miss out on are the Goblin and Worgen races (although their starting areas are fantastic, some of the best parts of the game). Oh, and Blood Elves and Draenei, but they’re rubbish any way, and their start areas are still “old school” WoW.

  12. geldonyetich says:

    WoW is a phenomenon I largely evaded by virtue of burning out from dozens of EverQuest clones before it. These days, if I ever have raging desire to go out and complete quest after quest in a completely endless endeavor to gain mad xp and lootz, I’ve enough decent-quality Free 2 Play alternatives to make shelling out for yet another box and monthly subscription pointless.

    The keyword here is, “mainstream.” That’s what the overwhelming bulk of these 4.7 million folk are, average Janes and Joes who probably know nothing but WoW. WoW’s success is largely being in the right place, at the right time, with a game that was uncharacteristically not broken (remarkably unusual in the MMORPG genre), and with the brand appeal to keep fishing them in.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      I agree with you about the right place at the right time. Blizzard was already well known as a great PC developer so people were naturally curious to see what they could do with a MMO game. People always say “But Blizzard didn’t do anything original!”. Sure, maybe not on the surface, but when you look at how they made MMO games mainstream by making them casual, they just created a brand new market. Nobody outside of hardcore PC gamers would slog through something like EQ. People accuse WoW of being horribly time consuming, but compared to its predecessors, it’s complete easy mode, which therein lies it’s success. A feat that can’t ever be reproduced again.

    • malkav11 says:

      You have those free2play alternatives, sure. But, with the possible exception of LOTRO (a game whose setting hamstrings it thoroughly and completely in my book), they aren’t WoW. There is a vast gulf in quality of execution and design.

    • geldonyetich says:

      I’d say the difference in quality between World of Warcraft and (say) Runes Of Magic is less a “vast gulf” and more a “minor leap,” once you get cosmetic differences out of the way, but there’s really no accounting for taste. There’s not exactly a whole lot of wiggle room for chasms of difference when the overwhelming majority of the gameplay is grinding monsters for loot in parties, EverQuest style.

    • malkav11 says:

      Have you actually played World of Warcraft in the past, say, two expansions?

      It’s not the game it was in 2004 or 2005, and while there are a lot of games that compare well to or substantially surpass that WoW (and I’ve played most of them), I discovered on my return to the game circa 2008 that Blizzard had already long since left that tier of game design behind.

      Also, WoW has -never- been grinding mobs of monsters for loot, EQ-style. That’s an era of game design that Blizzard ended at launch.

    • geldonyetich says:

      > Have you actually played World of Warcraft in the past, say, two expansions?

      Can’t say that I have. Although I did give the trial a go when Burning Crusade was released, I didn’t get far into it, it seemed to be the same gameplay to me. That they may have completely reinvented themselves in my absence is news to me. Perhaps I’ll give Cataclysm a spin if and when they release a trial.

      > Also, WoW has -never- been grinding mobs of monsters for loot, EQ-style. That’s an era of game design that Blizzard ended at launch.

      I did play it at release, and I suppose it depends on how you define it. The main thing WoW did was have you grind mobs of monsters for loot, EQ-style, while doing quests. But aside from being driven to new locations by your quest lines, it was pretty much just a streamlined EQ with a few Blizzard innovations in the GUI, and that Games Workshop-like appearance.

      It was given to us again, with a public quest addition, when Warhammer Online was released. It was largely treated like any other EQ clone. That’s telling.

    • malkav11 says:

      1) Completely reinvented? No, not really. They’d have to be mad to. But there’s a lot more to questing these days, between vehicles, phasing, and boss encounters, things that collectively make the stories much more engaging and interactive, and offer experiences that frankly I’ve never gotten in any other MMO. I suppose in a pinch I’d still rather a singleplayer RPG, but it’s at least significantly closer than most MMOs. (TOR possibly notwithstanding.) The quest design has also been tightened tremendously, there’s been a lot of UI improvements, it’s much easier to get into dungeon groups and the dungeons themselves are significantly more involved, fight-wise, than the older ones, even if they’re smaller and more to the point.

      2) I not only call that a huge difference, I call it a paradigm shift. Suddenly, I was adventuring, rather than simulating a fantasy farming career.

      Warhammer Online was one of those games that compares favorably to WoW circa my original play experience but pales in comparison to the modern experience, incidentally. (Unless you’re into PvP, which I am decidedly not.)

    • geldonyetich says:

      The main trouble I have is, that after “burning out from dozens of EverQuest clones before it,” I don’t care about all the trappings they put about it – racers, end bosses, phasing, tighter quest balance, whatever.

      As long as the game is based upon that same core EverQuest-style mechanic of targetting something and tapping hotkeys until it’s dead, advancing your experience bar and collecting loot, working as a well-oiled machine in a party or raid – that was EverQuest (arguably Meridian 59).

      Seems that 99% of the time, when I try out a new MMORPG, there it is, again. When you’ve played the game and its deviations for thousands of hours, and it keeps being served back to you reheated when you try to get away from it, how could it not bore you?

      So, in my mind, if I were ever interested in such a thing again, might as well stick with Runes of Magic or something. It’s all the same game, deep down, anyway.

    • malkav11 says:

      If you really don’t see the difference between standing in one place murdering the same enemies over and over again and following storylines, exploring the world, engaging in epic battles and ultimately changing (your version of) the landscape, then yeah, I suppose you may as well.

    • geldonyetich says:

      And my retort would be, if all it takes is a story and movement to overlook you’re playing the same game, more power to you: at least you’re still having fun.

      The imagination can make a dungeon out of a hole in the ground, and Blizzard has successfully engaged yours. For those of us who aren’t so lucky, this is why we’d like to see less of WoW or its imitators.

      In the interest of full disclosure, I’ll say you’re jumping to conclusions to think I’m one of those knuckleheads who sits in one place and pulls the same mob over and over again. However, though I’ve tried a myriad of deviations and side activities, not to mention followed the quests, I’m still bored of that same core mechanic.

    • malkav11 says:

      Context is everything. There are very, very few games with gameplay so strong that that alone would be enough to be worth playing them indefinitely. And from what I’ve seen, none of them are in the MMO space. (Some would argue Eve, I suppose. I can’t agree.)

    • geldonyetich says:

      > There are very, very few games with gameplay so strong that that alone would be enough to be worth playing them indefinitely. And from what I’ve seen, none of them are in the MMO space.

      It seems we’re in agreement, after all. Granted, it’s a subscription-based MMORPG’s goal to try to keep you playing forever, so as to keep that steady stream of monthly subscriptions coming in, but there reaches a certain point where the gameplay ceases to be appealing and the grinding begins. A grind is not a pleasant experience.

      This is another reason why Free2Play games have struck my fancy. When you’re not paying by the month, they have a differing agenda than to string you along. You actually have to be having enough fun playing the game, in its core state, to be interested in paying for more. If you’re not, no skin off your nose, stop paying and keep what you paid for.

    • malkav11 says:

      Well, except we aren’t really, because it’s my contention that there are a great many games in the MMO space that provide sufficient context around that core gameplay to be more than worth spending my time with. Unfortunately, substantially more than I have either time or money to actively subscribe to. I’ve tended to settle on WoW because it’s substantially ahead of its competitors in key areas of play. And frankly, most of the free-to-play games I’ve tried are nowhere near the level of even most of the lesser pay MMOs. It’s the pay-MMO-becoming-subscription-free trend that interests me. WoW’s got enough going to keep me subscribing, but a LOTRO, or Champions, or WAR, or Star Trek Online, or DDO, or Fallen Earth that’s free might be able to steal a few of my hours now and then if I didn’t have to pay for a whole month every time.

    • Butler says:

      I think you’re wrong in labelling WoW players largely average Joes and Janes, and foolish to try and suggest many of them have never played other games.

      We’re talking about a subscription MMO. You tell an average Joe or Jane they have to pay 8.99 a month to play a game they’ve already paid for and they’ll scoff, laugh in your face and probably use the word ‘geeks’.

      Almost everyone I know and have ever known through WoW is an ex-[insert game here] player; though, of course, many of them only play wow now.

    • Shadram says:

      “As long as the game is based upon that same core EverQuest-style mechanic of targetting something and tapping hotkeys until it’s dead, advancing your experience bar and collecting loot, working as a well-oiled machine in a party or raid – that was EverQuest (arguably Meridian 59). ”

      It’s also all other RPGs. And FPS games (where your hotkeys are mouse buttons, and loot is enemy weapons). Also RTS games. And most action-adventure type games. And sandbox games, like GTA.

    • DOLBYdigital says:

      I agree with geldon…. for me its the boring combat that prevents me from getting into the game. I personally prefer more action RPGs that force you to actually control your character and not just hit hot key buttons. I don’t agree that other action RPGs, FPS and action/adventure games are that bland since they don’t have auto target and force you to actually move around and fight rather than sit there and hit hot keys. just my opinion :)

    • afarrell says:

      Bah, edit is deleting the html tags. Dolbydigital said:

      I don’t agree that other action RPGs, FPS and action/adventure games are that bland since they don’t have auto target and force you to actually move around and fight rather than sit there and hit hot keys.

      And now I’m saying:

      If you’re intent on grinding, South Park style, picking off single enemies and destroying them, then you miiiight be able to get by sitting still and hitting keys. Moving and targeting are a large part of any other part of the game though – moderately in questing, significantly in dungeons, and absolutely essential in raiding.

  13. Arathain says:

    “The truly fascinating thing for me is just how much WoW bucks every other game ever’s trend.”

    This is really fascinating for me as well. It’s obviously so frustrating for other publishers who see WoW and have executive meetings where they say “We want one of those! Developers, make a thing just like that, so we too may have diamond-studded swimming pools.”, and their effort, which is often quite competently structured and fun to play, if rather derivative, gets a a few hundred thousand at launch and diminishes rapidly from there.

    Whatever factors contributed to WoW’s initial success (which are quite tricky to pin down with any certainty) I think there are two clear lessons. Firstly, momentum is everything, because you need plenty of money to produce new content to retain people, and also because you need enough of a population that your players can more easily recruit their friends- it’s far more attractive to start playing if a bunch of your friends and colleagues are already playing. Secondly, the market can only support one juggernaut title.

  14. JohnnyMaverik says:

    “God, that’s a lot of goblins.”

    Funniest thing I’ve read all day ^_^

  15. amcg says:

    Dont forget the £8.99 that every 12 Million players pays every Month. Thats £108 Million a month just from subscriptions. Wonder what they do with all that cash?
    It”s a good game I have to admit, I played it from release, until now. I find its gone same old thing for everything. 6 years on… A New WoW is due me thinks.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      Yeah I dont play anymore and I’m not going back. I dont care how awesome the new questing areas are, it’s still the same game at heart. I need a change.

    • Barnaby says:

      Not sure they are done milking this one yet. I wouldn’t anticipate a new WoW for a long while.

    • Shadram says:

      There is a new WoW. Cataclysm is, for all intents and purposes, WoW 2.

      Also, it’s not 12 million subscription fees. I believe the system is different in China, though I can’t remember quite how it works (I think it’s a pay-per-minute type system, but may be wrong). So it’s only (ONLY! haha) 6 million subscribers, and 6 million whatever-they-do-in-chinas.

  16. The Great Wayne says:

    More than the depressing aspect of those numbers, I now want to see the half full glass.

    The fact that WoW is now and forever the bland theme park of all bland theme parks will at one point force other big time publishers to think out of the box – instead of trying to copy it, hoping to be “the wow killer”.

    Big games successfully going F2P, guild wars model as a whole and what guild wars 2 seems to be developping toward, original games like EvE flourishing, etc. all of these have been – to a point – influenced by wow success. Wow hegemony induces changing and evolution in the competition, which is good for the genre.

    • malkav11 says:

      You really think so? There’s been no evidence of it so far. and WoW celebrated its 6th anniversary recently.

    • The Great Wayne says:

      Of course there have been evidences. The fact that wow is still kicking has nothing to do with it. I’ll develop my examples above:

      - Big games like lotro going for F2P. If you can’t take the leader down gameplay and content wise, just think out of the box and kick it in the nuts on the business model topic. Seeing how it all happened, I’m not sure it’d have appeared (for the best or the worst) if WoW hadn’t been in such a dominating position, with no hope to beat it on its ground.

      - EvE Online is an amazing success. Still, it really started to skyrocket around 2006-2007 as far as customers go. If WoW has already started to go down in history at that point, and if there have been one or two “new” theme parks to take its place, would EvE had flourished as much ? Would it have still represented the alternative to the almighty theme parks it is now ?

      I don’t know, but I can’t help myself but think it had an influence.

      - Guild Wars 2, appart from the sucessful business model and gameplay of its former title, shows a real effort in being different, or at least it appears so. It’s still in the theme park genre, maybe even more than GW1, but we can see that a lot of efforts have been injected into the development of original features and several new options on known elements of the genre.

      Once again, I’m convinced that, if WoW hadn’t been such a success, a development team in 2011 could have settled for a far less “original” take on a theme park and got away with it.

    • malkav11 says:

      Eve isn’t a major publishing company taking a risk on something new and innovative and original. Eve is a small indie developer trying something different and achieving some moderate success. The big boys? They’re pretty much making WoW clones and expecting them to achieve WoW’s success level.

  17. fallingmagpie says:

    They’ll be the first with their backs against the wall when the revolution comes.

  18. bleeters says:

    I’m assuming the lopsided bile-to-praise ratio going on here is down to the folk who actually enjoy WoW being too busy, y’know, enjoying WoW.

    *scratch stubble*

    • Loopy says:

      Which is why I only just caught up with this story, because I was… erm…. playing WoW. ;)

    • Arathain says:

      I find the general RPS hostility to WoW a little puzzling, personally. I mean, I don’t, personally like it all that much, but my time with it left me with an impression of a big, beautiful game with lots to do and a great, colourful world to do it all in. It’s totally fine if you don’t happen to like it, but it’s a big, hyper-ambitious, worthy thing that millions happen to like a great deal, and it’s a thing that I’m glad exists (even if I do have reservations about its effects on the market as a whole- that isn’t Blizzard’s fault).

    • Shadram says:

      People only claim to hate WoW if they’re former addicts and have to reassure themselves that, nope, they don’t really need to play, because it’s a bit shit really, isn’t it? Yep, rubbish game. And so on. Or maybe they’re just jealous, and want all the money in the world for themselves.

      I like to consider myself rather discerning when it comes to PC games, having been playing them for the best part of the last 20 years, but I don’t understand the angst towards WoW. I’ll only play something if it’s fun, and stop when it’s not. This certainly means I’ve had long periods of time where I’ve not played WoW, but right now the game is FUN (in caps) whatever you happen to be doing in the game. Unless you’re in Outland, you poor bastard.

      As for the “grind” thing… that’s what, doing the same thing over and over again for a period of time? Surely that’s every mainstream video game ever? FPS games have had you doing the same repetitive tasks for the last 15 years, but nobody’s ever called them a “grind”.

    • sneetch says:

      Shadram speaks the truth! All hail Shadram!

      I’ve been really enjoying WoW recently, if others don’t enjoy it that’s fine but I’m always amazed at how many people feel compelled to post about how little they care about WoW, if you truly don’t care then surely you wouldn’t be posting? In order to post about something you must care about it to a degree at least.

    • pipman3000 says:

      they’re like those people who always bring up how their just too smart for TV while you’re talking about the latest episode of your favourite show.

  19. Wulf says:

    I just hope Guild Wars 2 sells half as much as this, because from all that I’ve seen thus far, it’s the much more deserving game.

    That and it has a beast race that doesn’t make me cringe. Gods I love you, Charr.

    And I still tend to veer toward WULF SMASH whenever I see the worgen, both gentlemanly and womanly worgen alike. Because of course, the first thing you think of when trying to make something not furry is a necessary, realistic counterbalance device, as opposed to make-up and large melons. I hate you, World of Warcraft community, with the passion of a thousand burning stars.

    To sum those up for those that don’t understand: The WoW community believed that awarding the worgen with a tail, which would allow them to move without looking like they were going to topple over at any moment, and inducing painful cringes in anyone who knows the first thing about anatomy, was a greater pro-furry evil to be fought than sexing up the worgen women – furry style.

    *twitches.*

    And this is one of the most important reasons I’ll be plumping for Guild Wars 2 instead. Charr women were actually allowed to retain their dignity and sense of equality (something they had to fight for, earn, and claim as their own thanks to the misogyny of the Flame Legion), all Charr have tails, but no Charr have either make-up or incredibly obvious perk-o-tits. ArenaNet tends to handle the sexual dimorphism of the Charr in a much more clever way than that.

    But mostly, I’m just angry that somehow actually fixing the anatomy of the worgen would somehow have made them more furry than… what the worgen are right now. It’s like the temperate zone trees in Morrowind. You absolutely can’t be an artist, or someone with a sense of anatomy, look at them and realise that there’s just something missing.

    Maybe Bethesda shouldn’t have given their feral deathclaws tails, because that would’ve been too furry as well. *mutters.* And this is why I don’t play World of Warcraft, the community is staffed by idiots to the point where if I actually had to tolerate them for any amount of time, I would likely have an aneurysm due to the pure hatred my mind would need to emanate, but would not be capable of producing.

    There, is that enough bile for you? :P

    In all seriousness, though. The worgen design is completely shit. The Charr design isn’t. Roll on Guild Wars 2.

    • Shadram says:

      I’m rather fond of the female Worgen design, myself. Although seeing as my chosen (oh-so-hilarious) Worgen character names were Scoobidude and ManBearWolf (druid, obviously, and the greatest threat to us all: I’m super serial, etc), I didn’t have much choice but to make them male…

    • bleeters says:

      I say, my original post has re-appeared! How disturbing.

    • bleeters says:

      I hear all those 12 million Warcraft players exist as some kind of collective hive mind, sharing identical opinions and tastes between each player regarding everything. And naturally, not a single one amongst us dislikes the current Worgen design. I also hear that Blizzard makes sweeping design decisions based on reservations over particular sexual fetishes. Certainly no other race in Warcraft has tails, either.

      Stop being ridiculous please.

    • pipman3000 says:

      maybe they dont have tails to set them apart from the other generic fantasy werewolves. ever think of that mr. walls-of-text -about-furries-or-somethin.

      kind of like how their elves are purple and their minotaurs are uhh more bovine-like?

      seriosuly, what is that post about? all i got was “furries, furries, wolves with big tits, guild wars, wolves without big tits, guild wars is better because of tails. PS: I’M A FURRY”

    • bill says:

      but the charr are CATS!!!

    • thebigJ_A says:

      Are you on about the trees in Morrowind again? It was explained to you that there ARE such trees in swamps in various parts of the world last time you brought it up.

      (And your post really does make you sound like a closet furry. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I’m just sayin’.)

    • LD says:

      but what if GW2 is shit?

      what will you do then wulf?

    • afarrell says:

      I don’t think we need to stay up at night wondering about that one, I suspect we will hear pretty quickly.

  20. stahlwerk says:

    According to notches blog cited in the post one above this, minecraft will soon reach 1 million sold. That’s a lot of pigs.

  21. pipman3000 says:

    truly those 4.7 million people must be stupid or something!

  22. bill says:

    This made me realise, I really like my games to have an ending.

    I haven’t played any MMOs, but I do have a lot of long games that i’ve never finished, because I felt like I wasn’t making any progress. If I can finish 3 six hour games, or play 1/3rd of a 60 hour game, the first option is much more rewarding for me. It’s like ticking items off your to-do list. (though that makes it sound like work!).

    In the same way that a giant task can drain your enthusiasm, but splitting it into smaller goals feels more productive. The worst thing a game can do for me is make me feel that i’m not progressing.

    Of course, maybe if I tried it i’d be hooked. If they’ve designed it as cleverly as all that to make people feel like they’re constantly progressing – maybe that’d be enough.
    But I sense not. It’d be like reading the same (possibly great) book for your whole life. No matter how great it was, it’d still be one story. I’d rather read lots of stories in my life.

  23. thebigJ_A says:

    I would far, far rather play Amnesia than WoW any day.

    Haven’t tried Reccettear yet. It was tempting me, being on the front page of Steam for like five bucks during their Xmas sale, but I bought so many other games from that effing thing. So, I didn’t.
    Now it’s back at twenty, and I can’t bring myself to pay that much after seeing how cheap it could be. I’m stuck!

    • Squirrelfanatic says:

      Just wait for the next sale, which will inevitably will come around. Don’t cash out the 20 $ for the game. I bought it this holiday season and am content with what I got for my money’s worth, but the game is rather limited. Once you get the hang of the money making, the whole thing becomes a bit of a grind and the adventuring mode is pretty limited too. As is the story. It was fun nevertheless and I would say the game is recommendable, just not for 20 $.

  24. Stephen Roberts says:

    I just read all of that and now my brain hurts. Things to say:
    Acitvizzard is a shareholdery company. I think they’re a small part of a massive media attack boat, last time I poked around the stock market (otherwise known as the imaginary numbers place that is the foundation to our entire financial infrastructure).

    Polarised viewpoints are really odd. I have played WoW and I don’t now but I can respect both bad and good elements about the game at once. The good things are foundations. Whether it’s talent trees, bag space, quest logs or the mechanics of mounted travel, the foundations of allowing you to play the game are excellent in World of Warcraft. It is fair and completely doesn’t get in the way. There’s also gotta be something said for UI modification. Because that is something I want to do in every game I play and in WoW I could do it to the point where no one else could play WoW on my computer. But I could play it like a dream. It was MY setup. Another positive is that different people can play the game different ways. I’ve known plenty of people to be min-maxers and typically be some of the best players for your raids or arena teams, but I’ve also known players that just like the role-player, chilling out in a fantasy world, chatting to strangers and exploring (fucking useless in a dungeon though, sheesh).

    The bad features of wow are 90 percent of the player base (same with any game), I want to say repetetive gameplay but I guess I mean… forcing a certain set of repeat actions for an eventual gain in your character, a glass ceiling that always moves up, the ‘all or nothing’ nature of being a wow player (it’s WoW or all other games, no exceptions!). The degree of applied psychology used to keep people playing is quite worrying too. I think it does have an ‘ending’ in that you have to set one for yourself. I was a PvPer so my ‘ending’ was a good rating in the arena. Others might be to kill the baddest raid boss (but you’ll have to go back to get the items you want arhglgh).

    Err. I’m stop now. tl;dr = there are bad and good things! Balance!

  25. Araxiel says:

    Wow! 4.7 million copies of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm in the first months…
    …and I couldn’t care less.

    Amnesia has sold 200,000 copies is something really interesting on the other hand. They truly deserve it.

  26. RMPR says:

    I love it that when an article is written about how popular WoW is, the elitists come out from the woodwork, just to let everyone know how much they hate WoW and love “generic indie title”. It’s like clockwork.

    Personally, I never got past my 40 day trial (recruit-a-friend), but I find WoW to be an impressive mix of depth and accessability that no other MMO has even gotten close to. The only misstep Blizzard made is making the starting areas too boring. If it were more exciting, a lot of the people who go into WoW with the “I’m above this game” attitude may have been swayed.

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