So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

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Re: So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

Postby PsiVen » Sun Aug 05, 2012 1:28 am

masterpoobaa wrote:Figures are out on mmo-champ.
Last quarter wow lost 1.1mill subs... But I imagine many/most? Are due to D3.


Weren't they saying that D3 isn't even available in China yet? If the vast majority of losses were in the East that implies that D3 barely made a dent. And judging by >10 million D3 sales and only 1.2 million annual passes, most people are fine with buying other games to play without committing to or quitting WoW.

In my experience few people actually unsub right when they quit playing. It takes months to realize you aren't really playing anymore, unless you premeditate with a month-to-month plan and force yourself to quit which is usually not driven by a new game coming out. The majority of losses due to D3 will appear gradually from Jun-Jul-Aug and spike somewhat in Oct for the people with Annual Pass who don't give MoP a chance but stuck with D3 (if they didn't like either they could cancel the Pass and give up the D3 license).

Apparently they attributed their big losses last year to the East as well. The problem is that the two don't necessarily jive -- masses leaving early in Cataclysm suggest they disliked the challenging content, while those leaving during Dragon Soul presumably dislike the lack of it. WoW has a very strange release history in the East. I'm honestly not sure what their expectations are -- my understanding is that certain regions had TBC for a very long time until WotLK was finally released less than a year before Cataclysm's launch. That would produce a very different dynamic for the playerbase, and one that is highly disconnected from Blizzard itself who unfortunately have not conscripted Liberty Prime to deliver their product.


Fivelives wrote:Old game is old. Nothing in WoW is new and shiny anymore - call it the 7 year itch. I imagine that's what they expected, and is probably why they started development on an unannounced MMO a couple of years ago. That belief was reinforced when they opened up the year-long agreement deal.

Any expansion past Cata is probably just cash grabbing via formula anymore, and I'm pretty sure that there's going to be a continued drop-off in subscriber numbers.

My only question is, will the next MMO they put out be World of Warcraft 2? Or will it be based off Starcraft or Diablo instead. I'd bet on Starcraft as a pvp-centric MMO with 3 factions.


I don't expect WoW to decline all that dramatically unless a real newcomer manages to shake up the market in its own right. Titan perhaps, though if they're going in the hinted-rumor direction of a heavily casual/social network deal in an unfamiliar new IP, that will crash and burn. No recent MMO has come even close to convincing WoW players to convert en masse. The polish isn't there, and they're making all the same mistakes Blizzard did in the past PLUS the ones they still make today. I could probably write a book on all the terrible ways that developers have tried to emulate Blizzard and gotten it catastrophically wrong.

Who's to say WoW will ever die in the foreseeable future? They could easily release an expansion that replaced the entire engine and massively restructured in a way indistinguishable from "WoW 2" but without having to worry about splitting the market. Saying that Warcraft is dying could one day be as ridiculous as suggesting that Mario is dying.
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Re: So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

Postby halabar » Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:50 am

Jarvick wrote:And will there be anything that will ever compare to it? My instints tell me no.


Quite likely.

If WoW launched today, it would probably fail. Frankly, I wonder if the whole MMO market would exist with any real success if WoW was never launched.

If any game is going to surpass WoW, it's going to need to develop community, and I don't know if any game will ever be able to create the diverse community that WoW still has. Other games like EVE have a loyal community, but not nearly the diverse one that WoW has.
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Re: So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

Postby Fridmarr » Sun Aug 05, 2012 11:43 am

Oh, I think if SWOTR launched today in a mostly MMOless world (like when wow launched) it'd be just fine. The problem is that the audience is much more mature now having had plenty of experience with WoW. To do well, you not only have to bring new people into the genre, but you also have to pull people away from other MMOs that they may have been entrenched in for the better part of a decade. You can't do that, in my opinion, unless you have a product that is very different and new. It also has to have a level of polish and end game activity that is quite difficult for a new game because of timeline pressures.
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Re: So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

Postby theckhd » Sun Aug 05, 2012 12:49 pm

halabar wrote:If WoW launched today, it would probably fail.

I actually highly doubt that. WoW is still one of the more accessible MMOs, which is what set it apart from games like Everquest. That, combined with a well-established IP with a devoted following more or less ensured its success, then or now. Don't underestimate the draw the Blizzard name has. There are people (myself included) that have been playing in the Warcraft universe since Ors & Humans. You could say similar things for Starcraft and the original Diablo. Having a pre-existing fan base is huge for a new game.


halabar wrote:Frankly, I wonder if the whole MMO market would exist with any real success if WoW was never launched.

I think it depends on how you define "real success." Keep in mind that games like Everquest and DAoC were wild successes back in the day, and neither of them ever broke 500k subscribers. I think WoW has raised the bar in that respect, in that everyone seems to believe a game needs millions of subscribers to be successful.

I think in a WoW-less world, there would be more MMOs with fewer players each. And probably fewer players overall, as well - WoW's accessibility is a large part of its success, and I suspect that drew a lot more players into MMO gaming than most people realize.
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Re: So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

Postby Koatanga » Sun Aug 05, 2012 1:41 pm

I find it difficult to credit the WoW subscription drop to D3, because I would figure a lot of WoW+D3 players would have opted for the free game on the 1 year WoW committment, which hasn't expired yet if you got in on the first day it was offered.
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Re: So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

Postby bldavis » Sun Aug 05, 2012 2:05 pm

hell i know i played WoW in part due to my experiences in D2
company name has a lot to do with it
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Re: So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

Postby Teranoid » Sun Aug 05, 2012 3:01 pm

Koatanga wrote:I find it difficult to credit the WoW subscription drop to D3, because I would figure a lot of WoW+D3 players would have opted for the free game on the 1 year WoW committment, which hasn't expired yet if you got in on the first day it was offered.


They said only a little over a million got the Annual Pass and D3 sold over 3.5 million copies the first day alone so it's highly likely that it was a large contributor.
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Re: So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

Postby Darielle » Sun Aug 05, 2012 3:01 pm

Pretty much every MMO has dropped the ball in some way or other. Usually it's just plain lack of content. RIFT's probably the closest in terms of getting it right, and the amount of content they're putting out is really good - even Blizzard could probably learn from that.

Saying that Warcraft is dying could one day be as ridiculous as suggesting that Mario is dying.


Hey, man, compared to the original, Mario is dead to me!
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Re: So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

Postby Jarvick » Sun Aug 05, 2012 5:06 pm

Darielle wrote:Pretty much every MMO has dropped the ball in some way or other. Usually it's just plain lack of content. RIFT's probably the closest in terms of getting it right, and the amount of content they're putting out is really good - even Blizzard could probably learn from that.

Saying that Warcraft is dying could one day be as ridiculous as suggesting that Mario is dying.


Hey, man, compared to the original, Mario is dead to me!


I agree with the whole content, needs to be regular but not too rushed, good video, I do not agree with all of it but do agree with the stand out of hard core raiding, should feel like a Epic quest, we dont have it anymore.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rd0-zVIBVo
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Re: So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

Postby masterpoobaa » Sun Aug 05, 2012 7:32 pm

TBH. I approve.
Questing > Dungeons > Heroics > entry level raiding.
its a snozefest now.

Having said that, I also found todays Daily Blink comic amusing.
http://www.thedailyblink.com/2012/08/f2 ... -comments/
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Re: So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

Postby rodos » Mon Aug 06, 2012 12:55 am

Blizzard IP for a new MMO?

I vote for The Lost Vikings.
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Re: So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

Postby degre » Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:07 am

theckhd wrote:
halabar wrote:If WoW launched today, it would probably fail.

I actually highly doubt that. WoW is still one of the more accessible MMOs, which is what set it apart from games like Everquest. That, combined with a well-established IP with a devoted following more or less ensured its success, then or now. Don't underestimate the draw the Blizzard name has. There are people (myself included) that have been playing in the Warcraft universe since Ors & Humans. You could say similar things for Starcraft and the original Diablo. Having a pre-existing fan base is huge for a new game.

I'm so confident in Blizzard that if they were to tell me now that I can start playing a new game without knowing what it is until I receive the box, I'll give them my money and eagerly wait to discover whatever is that they're shipping.

While people call the fail on SC2 or D3, they've still probably put a few hundreds hour of gameplay in each; it would be heaven if a fail game would still allow to have fun for hundreds of hour, in a market where most campaigns last 5 hours when they're long.
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Re: So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

Postby melisandyr » Mon Aug 06, 2012 5:38 am

I highly doubt that if WoW launched today, it would fail either.

It is fascinating to consider that the two big intellectual properties of the last half century, Star Wars and Lord of the Rings have failed to succeed as MMOs, when warcraft has succeeded.

As a personal reflection, I think this means that it must have strong intellectual property, but more importantly there must also be something about the gameplay that hooks players in to begin, and makes people come back week after week, and keep an active subscription.

These are two different things I think. Blizzard were worried enough about the initial "hook" that they spent the vast majority of their effort in the last expansion's build about refreshing it. This tells us a lot about MMO market forces that we as end-game players probably don't see - and I think I've seen blues allude to it in the past - the number of people that hit level 20 and then quit.

Making people come back week after week? I think appealing to all markets - pvp, individual progression, and raiding. Interesting that in Pandaclysm, there's a focus on strengthening individual progression with reputations - and Blizzard felt worried enough about the lack of join between individual progression and raiding to implement LFR mid product lifecycle.

I think there's also something about being a market leader in this space that means other people struggle to compete. As above, if you can't beat the competition, in both levelling and end game, you won't keep subscribers. I don't think you can be a follower in the MMO market - people just won't part with the subscription money month after month.
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Re: So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

Postby benebarba » Mon Aug 06, 2012 6:00 am

First, I just want to say that it's nice to see a thread like this go on for more than a couple pages without devolving into the old casual/hardcore flamewar.

Second, I'm in the camp of folks who believe that WOW has sort of jumped the shark, and the loss of subs is just the natural slow progression from a very high peak. I think it is about mechanics, social circles and lore:

If I'm not mistaken, Wrath was the last expansion that was tied to the RTS games. MOP certainly is going in a new direction that folks who were really excited about being 'in the world' just may not care about as much. There's mechanics and basic gameplay that simply get boring once you've seen a few different mixes of the same old stuff. And finally, people that continue playing to play with friends they've made - once those start to leave, the other points can quickly lead to someone wondering if continued time and money investment is worth it.


I don't see myself playing any MMO after MOP. But mostly because at this point, I am in the last group.
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Re: So I heard Blizzard is losing customers

Postby halabar » Mon Aug 06, 2012 7:59 am

theckhd wrote:
halabar wrote:If WoW launched today, it would probably fail.

I actually highly doubt that. WoW is still one of the more accessible MMOs, which is what set it apart from games like Everquest. That, combined with a well-established IP with a devoted following more or less ensured its success, then or now. Don't underestimate the draw the Blizzard name has. There are people (myself included) that have been playing in the Warcraft universe since Ors & Humans. You could say similar things for Starcraft and the original Diablo. Having a pre-existing fan base is huge for a new game.


Not sure I agree.. (and yes, I have my original Orcs vs Humans discs as well..)

Consider that you would also have another 5+ years of separation from the WoW IP.

What I'm looking at is what Vanilla WoW was like, and how that would fit in today's social-media-instant-access type of world. I guess it would depend on what other games existed, and what, if anything, built upon what Everquest did. Part of the Everquest/WoW success was the transition from board gamers and the DnD crowd. Not sure the playerbase would be the same for a product launch now.

The funny thing is, Panda is going back to being more of a grindy experience, something Cata didn't have nearly as much of (except for that gawdawful MF zone). But the Panda grind is a casual one.

I wonder how that would play, if WoW was just being introduced?
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