Friday, 24 February 2012

World of Warcraft: Is This the End?

In the world of MMORPGs World of Warcraft has stood as the undisputed king for years. Whether or not you enjoy the game is irrelevant, you cannot deny its success. With over ten million subscribers it is simply huge. But is all that gradually changing? In recent years the number of subscribers has begun to drop, despite the game being made available in more regions and, on top of this, the game has been made free to play up until a certain level. Whilst Blizzard remain confident surely they must secretly be worried about the future of the franchise?

Of course there are still ten million subscribers, hardly an unhealthy amount and many of those ten million are die hard fans who are unlikely to go anyway but there is still plenty of room for the numbers to drop. Many thought that Cataclysm was a step in the wrong direction and even more feel that Mists of Pandaren is yet another step in that direction. In normal times they would have been able to get away with it but nowadays the quality and quantity of both subscription based and free to play MMORPGS is increasing rapidly, as is the number of platforms the games are available on. Indeed with the rise of free to play games in terms of quality many have found that it simply makes more financial sense to move to free to play games, and in this recession who can blame them?

With Guild Wars 2 launching this year and looking like it may very well have the potential to outdo World of Warcraft on almost every level can Blizzard hang on without some drastic, desperate actions? If they made World of Warcraft free to play then their business would probably collapse so this is hardly a likely scenario. Surely if they changed things up a bit, released better expansions, improved the graphics, changed the gameplay etc. then the end wouldn't have to be so inevitable? Personally I left the game because I felt that the graphics were dated, Cataclysm wasn't a good enough expansion, there were only five more levels and I felt that there wasn't enough to do once you reached level 85 and quite frankly the combat just started to feel a bit bland.

If more and more people stop playing the occasional free to play game and simply move to them completely and others start playing other MMOs such as Guild Wars 2 and The Old Republic then Blizzard will need to act fast to stop more people from doing this, or else their game might simply die.

6 comments:

  1. For the many world of warcraft fans that are out there it's going to carry on. The millions who play will surely keep on, sure some may go elsewhere, but new fans will keep coming.Reckon Blizzard will keep on top of things, please!

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  2. Sorry if this comes across too harshly, it's not intended to be.
    Your general writing style is okay but the actual content of the post is very lacking and makes it a dull thing to read. In fact it can be summarised as follows:

    Paragraph one: WoW hit a plateau of subscribers a few years back and has been seeing a slow decline.
    Paragraph two: Some people are unhappy with WoW expansions and other business models are gaining popularity.
    Paragraph three: You like what GW2 is promising and think that Blizzard should update, re-haul and just make WoW "better" in order to compete.
    Paragraph four: You don't like WoW any more and assume that everyone else will eventually feel like you.


    You just need to flesh out things a bit more.
    E.g.
    -Why are over 10m people still playing it? Will the decline in subscribers keep going at a steady rate or will it stop?
    -How much of a threat is the free to play model to Blizzard? Is it a separate or partially shared consumer base?
    -More personal opinion, such as why you grew tired of playing and what exactly they could improve (elaborate on "better expansions" and "change the gameplay")

    Like I said, I'm not trying to pick things apart (you seem to post very frequently and enthusiastically which is great compared to most bloggers) I just think your posts need a little more "meat" :)

    As an addendum, I quit WoW half way through Cataclysm due to boredom too. I'm looking forward to GW2 as well, but the closer it gets to release the more sleep I'm losing over whether ArenaNet can pull it off or not!

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  3. Thanks for the feedback, you seem to know your stuff.

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  4. I wonder what would happen if WoW went entirely f2p with a cash shop like most f2p games? hmmm.... -Mazix (EnemyHQ)

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  5. I have played this game for 4years solid from the day it was born. I played it in the pvp content in which I gained the rank 13 - To this day, I regret it - playing 20hours just cos a boy said girls can't pvp.
    The game is way too time comsuming - to get anywhere in the game, you must sell your soul to the devil.

    Whereas SW:TOR, doesn't have that pressure to rush or to give a lot of your spare time. I'm not sure whether it is because it is harder to keep track of players in SW:TOR or because there isn't a real 'ranking' system in SW:TOR - you can't even track of how guilds are doing in SW:TOR, not in the same way as WoW.

    I am hoping future games will take a leaf out of SW:TOR instead of making another WoW, the devil's pet.

    WoW has its run, it was good - perhaps too addicting.

    Diablo 3 will be Blizzard new cashcow once WoW is drained.

    'N'

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  6. Just cannot imagine not playing WoW, I enjoy it.

    So to answer you I hope it isn't the end.

    DJ

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