Earlier today, the fine folks from Blizzard’s Diablo III office published a gaming decision that once enacted – set to go in effect on March 18th, 2014 – will finally put a long-discussed, and highly controversial aspect of the game to rest: the gold and real money auction house, which was established this past June, will be shutting its doors and closing its operation for good. Blizzard made their reasoning behind this decision pretty clear, stating “it ultimately undermines Diablo’s core game play: kill monsters to get cool loot.” Hit the link below for more details, more intriguing quotes from the men and women behind the Diablo curtain, as well as our own, in-house, slightly qualified thoughts!
Now I really feel old. Is the original EverQuest really that old? Released in 1999, before Y2K scared the shit out of just about everyone, and just before this guy was even a junior in high school, EverQuest, and MMORPG’s for that matter, has really come a long way. Years later EQ fans were introduced to a bland, but still addicting EverQuest 2, and then of course we all know what happened next: WoW. And in fact, EQ is not quite done as a series, as Sony Online Entertainment has the third main installment in the works, which is tentatively slotted for a late 2013/early 2014 PC release. But let’s get back to the point here which is the original EverQuest, in which killing rats became many young teenager’s first real job, and where you prayed to your favorite deity that your Aunt Nancy didn’t call to interrupt your 14.4 modem’s blazingly fast, AOL connection. Yes, let’s jump back to 1999.
Raise your hand if you had Blizzard’s “World of Warcraft” lasting more than 9 years; I know I never thought it would last this long (that’s what she said). Reaching subscriber highs of more than 12 million paid players in 2010, the world of Azeroth has now dipped back down to the 8 million mark, which has raised concerns in the Blizzard Activision Inc. offices. Activision’s brass commented on those concerns today, commenting also on “challenges in the global economy. For these reasons, we remain cautious. However, our focused and disciplined approach to our business has served us well in the past, and through continued investment and careful management of our costs, we expect to continue delivering shareholder value over the long term as we have for the last 20 years.” Activision also added that the majority of the defections came from the East, rather than the West, signaling that Azeroth is still going strong in American households. Hit the link below for more thoughts on the WoW business model, and the way ahead.