Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Left and a bit off center.

Oh man. I always had a sneaking suspicion that the mainstream media did not "get" games...well, more of a strong notion really. We've seen great examples of this lack of understanding due to games being scapegoats over the past couple of years for everything from youth violence to the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa (...ok, I made the last part up...). The latest article that I read that shows how clueless these people are. It's a piece from the BBC technology desk. Here's the beginning of the article:

"With more than eight million subscribers, World of Warcraft dominates the online gaming market but some strong rivals are gearing up to take it on."

Wow, that's quite a bold statement and it's one that we've all debated before...."Who will kill WoW?". Double wow, the BBC is getting into the debate...so they must know something we don't. Who are these "strong rivals" they speak of. Glad you asked...here they are:
  • Age of Conan
  • Lord of the Rings Online.
  • Star Wars Galaxies
...I'll wait while you guys settle down from laughter.

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OK, everyone settled down now? Saaaweeet. Moving on.

Now, I know my readers are intelligent enough to know why that list is full of shit...but hey, I blog and like to talk, so I'm going to go through the exercise anyway.

Age of Conan:

This won't even come close to touching WoW. Actually, Conan will be lucky to know WoW's half cousin's dog's sister's boyfriend on his father's side. One reason...Conan is for adults. It will be rated A, which means Battlenet kiddies need not apply, which means the audience is limited, which means niche market, which means not a snowball's chance in hell of "taking on" WoW...ever. Conan will probably see around 250K users which is around 3% of what WoW has at this point.

Lord of the Rings

This one is tougher to call because, like Brad McQuaid mentioned, it's an x-factor...so I have no idea how or why the BBC is calling this one a contender when the jury will be out for some time to come. It does have the look and smell of an alternative to WoW, but that's all it might turn out to be. I've said it before, LoTRO is a solid offering right out of the gate, but it will be about a year until we know what kind of weight it has to throw at WoW. Right now, I'm hearing that LoTRO has in the neighborhood of 500K+ subscribers....and no, this is based on nothing but what I've heard, so save the emails please. Let's put it at ballpark of 100-500K right now, that only puts LoTRO between 1-6% of WoWs numbers. So, it's still got lots of room to get there but honestly, I don't think it will....nor do I think that is Turbine's intention.

Star Wars Galaxies

Are you out of your frackin mind!?


So there you have it. This BBC piece seems more like an editor going up to a correspondent and saying,

"You know what, those video games seem really hip and in with the youngins...slap me up something for tomorrow would ya?".

"But sir, I know nothing of video games. I usually only write about PDAs".

"Bah! Pick a few from this alphabetized list. Call them. Get some quotes and give it to me in the morning."

"Ummm. OK. Sure."

I'm still of a strong mind that the game that will really challenge WoW won't be known until it's actually challenging WoW. Any predictions on what that game is will usually be full of Murloc dung (...this blog included...). My guess, and strap on your Murloc dung suit, that game will probably be designed by Blizzard.

D out.

6 comments:

wilhelm2451 said...

I find your lack of faith disturbing.

darrenl said...

Hmmm...I suddenly feel a slight choking sensation.

Anonymous said...

It's "Murloc" ;)

darrenl said...

Gawd damnit!

..fixed.

yunk said...

The ability to attract 7 million subscribers is insignificant next to the power of the project managers to muck it up.

Matt said...

PoTBS :)