Editorial by Coyote, Ten Ton Hammer’s Resident Humorist
Let’s face facts: in all measures of success href="http://wow.tentonhammer.com/" target="_blank"> style="font-style: italic;">World of Warcraft
is really a great game. It has everything a successful MMOG needs in
order to claw its way to the top and stay there. Action, adventure,
little tater tot headed gnome freaks, and most important of
…it has the numbers.
everyone has played WoW at least once.
It doesn’t matter if you like the game or not –
hell at this point it doesn’t even matter if style="font-weight: bold;">you play,
because everyone else and their brother does. The support of the masses
has made Blizzard a profit of countless millions, so it’s
basically futile to resist because eventually you style="font-weight: bold;">will end up playing.
And even if you somehow remain immune to the zombifying mind control
rays that enslave most of the gaming player base, chances are
you’re just going to end up munched to death by hoards of
pasty white geeks screaming “WOOT!”
The players and profits commanded by Blizzard are the bars that all
competing MMOG’s set for themselves, and whether they admit
it or not they want a piece of that Warcraft magic. Behind locked doors
they analyze, strategize, and dissect what it is that makes the game
great and try to emulate that greatness without being overly obvious. style="font-style: italic;">World of Warcraft
is the biggest, meanest, most successful MMOG to date, and because so
many loom in their shadow we always seem to forget one tiny little
They weren’t always the undisputed heavy weight champion.
and the original href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/38"
held the throne that Blizzard now dominates, and each has arguably worn
the crown that now rests on Warcraft’s misshapen little
cartoon head. We seem to forget that no empire truly lasts forever and
that no matter how successful, enjoyable, or down right perfect an MMOG
may seem, it will eventually fall given enough time.
will come a day when WoW is eventually dethroned.
Players are an easy distracted bunch and every game designer out there
is lining up to be that next Giant Killer. The problem however is:
No one seems capable of doing it.
New MMOG’s are released and celebrate a premature victory
simply because they had a successful launch. They suck up those who
would stray away from their norm out of curiosity and grab them with
greedy fingers, raising them high as proof of their success. Yet those
chickens are always counted too soon and eventually they begin to
hemorrhage players like blood from a sucking chest wound. Those players
then find themselves dripping back to whatever game that they had
originally called home, leaving yet another quasi-successful yet
less-than-memorable MMOG to clog up the market.
But, rest assured, it will eventually happen.
There will come a day when World
of Warcraft is dethroned and the masses will flock to
another game with the same rabid fanaticism and undying devotion that
they had once vowed to Blizzard with unwavering heart. Nothing lasts
forever, but - in saying that - are we nearing the end? Am I predicting
the fall of the World of Warcraft and condemning it to obscurity?
Not in the least.
People love their little inbred noggin'd gnomes. They grow attached to
their world and no matter the temptations, most will be reluctant to
leave it. Truly great MMOG’s never seem to really die. Even
at its peak EverQuest
only had a fraction of Warcraft’s numbers yet it is still
running strong with expansions, a dedicated following, and continued
profitability after ten long years of play time. And as we move further
into the digital age the longevity of games will only get longer. If
you take this badly scratched equation and apply it to all that is
Warcraft the game could very well go on forever.
without being the king, WoW will continue to generate revenue into the
Not with the player base that it currently enjoys mind you, but with
that dedicated following of players that games like style="font-style: italic;">EverQuest seem to
inspire. A loyal few who keep the game above the red line of loss so
that no matter how badly it shrinks, it is still making money. And
given enough time, a virtual world could gradually become something of
a real world. Who is to say what a virtual society will evolve into
given the time and technology? Who is to say that the game does
eventually have to end? That we cannot truly play forever?
Warcraft has long since proved its staying power. Like a monkey hopped
up on Viagra, WoW just keeps humping away from atop its throne and
hucking all the rocks in the world at its bumpy little melon
isn’t going to stop its thrashings until it eventually tires
Yet its longevity isn’t guaranteed, and how long it stays in
any light (least of all the spotlight) is going to depend on how true
to itself it can remain. For the moment it tries to change and alter
itself to give its fans what they think they want in a new MMOG, it
will gain a sucking chest wound of its very own…
…and then the monkey will probably hump it.
The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed are those of the author
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of
the Ten Ton Hammer network or staff.
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