Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Ding! Gratz!

They did it. World of Warcraft has booked more than 1 million paying North American subscribers. Worldwide, that's now 4 million plus for WoW.

In other words, beanbag chairs in the Blizzard offices are now stuffed with cash.

This milestone is exciting chiefly because it expands the market for MMOGs, instead of continuing the pre-WoW trend of dividing the same piece of gamer pie into thinner and thinner slices. World of Warcraft will be a whole new group of people's EverQuest, that first heady massively multiplayer online gaming experience.

Good, because most of us who played EverQuest or UO or Meridian 59 (and, peering back through the mists of time, text MUDs before that) have moved on more and more quickly from each new game. As Damion Schubert writes in a comment to a recent Zen of Design thread:
Most people I know played EQ for 2 years, SWG for 6 months, and WoW for 2 (or some similar pattern). Once you’ve levelled up a character on one game, it’s a lot easier to walk away from a ‘bag of experience’ on another.
It's pretty clear that WoW has the hottest bags at present, but I don't think anyone would disagree that their take on the genre is evolutionary not revolutionary.

1 comment:

Steve Peterson said...

I think Penny Arcade has it right and Blizzard is actually run by Satan (Hail Satan!).

All of their games have been evolutionary, not revolutionary -- moreover, every game they make is in a genre I don't like: RTS, Action RPG, and MMO. Nonetheless, I've enjoyed every game they've made to the point where I finished all their single player games and am working on my 9th month of WoW.