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WoW Helping or Hurting the Industry?

Zonk posted about 9 years ago | from the that's-a-lot-of-gorrilla dept.

Role Playing (Games) 692

alstor writes "The New York Times has an interesting story about the success of World of Warcraft, and whether it is hurting or helping the gaming industry; this goes along with an earlier post on an article from CNN. From the Times article: 'WoW is now the 800-pound gorilla in the room. I think it also applies to the single-player games. If some kid is paying $15 a month on top of the initial $50 investment and is devoting so many hours a week to it, are they really going to go out and buy the next Need for Speed or whatever? There is a real fear that this game, with its incredible time investment, will really cut into game-buying across the industry.' What is the Slashdot opinion on World of Warcraft's impact on the gaming industry?"

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Huge market (5, Insightful)

fembots (753724) | about 9 years ago | (#13494175)

I don't believe WoW is the 800-pound gorilla yet, because there are still ways to serve the market.

One request that has often been asked but hardly answered is the free-game-with-subscription model.

While almost all pay-$50-then-$15-monthly gamers may have been attracted to WoW, there must be even more gamers who are only willing to invest in a game which allows them to pay-as-they-play. Is any leading publisher willing to take a risk of no initial income and bank on the monthly subscription?

So I think WoW is in a way helping the industry to identify this subscription-based market, but if the rest of the industry is trying to do the same thing, they are likely to be a distanced also-run.

Re:Huge market (1)

w98 (831730) | about 9 years ago | (#13494333)

Personally, I'd pay a monthly fee for a game that was free to download if it were decent enough.

I recently tried neocron 2 [neocron.com] which was a free download, but after a month of play required you to pay, but I found the game too boring, and not as fun as some of the other fantasy-style genres I've been used to playing like EQ, EQ2, DAOC and WOW. I thought the cyberpunk genre would have interested me but it wasn't nearly as fun as I thought. Maybe it was just that game though.

But fembots has a point - I think if more game companies realized the HUGE monthly profit games like WOW or EQ/EQ2 are bringing in, I think we'd have cheaper games, I dunno. But fembots was also correct: it's a risk.

Re:Huge market (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 9 years ago | (#13494355)

From what I see, subscription is where the real money is. That's why I use Zip.ca (Canadian Netflix). It's a much better deal than Blockbuster. Blockbuster had trouble getting $25 a month off me. Call it a subscription for unlimited movies, and it was easy. Maybe it's not the same, because I get more from Zip.ca then I ever could from blockbuster. The easy returns make it worth it already. But i think that a lot of money could be made of multiplayer games like this. Even give a 2 week trial period. People will get hooked if it's free.

I'd have to say... (1)

!ramirez (106823) | about 9 years ago | (#13494184)

...from my own experience, it would be a gold standard against which other games would be measured, for better or for worse.

Re:I'd have to say... (5, Interesting)

HeLLFiRe1151 (743468) | about 9 years ago | (#13494219)

I'm not going to feel sorry for EA games, anytime soon. Innovate or get out of the way.

Re:I'd have to say... (1)

Yocto Yotta (840665) | about 9 years ago | (#13494369)

Yeah, god damn them for putting out a quality game that people like. Jerks.

If Anything it Helps the Hardware Industry (5, Interesting)

Eyah....TIMMY (642050) | about 9 years ago | (#13494185)

The graphics in WOW are pretty intense and I know many people including myself who bought a new computer just to improve their WOW experience. Also, Blizzard is releasing new content every month or so that requires even more graphics power. So the trend will mostly likely be for subscribers to buy new hardware quite often.

The interesting thing is that WOW supports MAC very well. Granted the graphics I heard are not as good as on a PC (I don't see a difference). I saw people buy MACs because their main game now was on MAC and they didn't see a need anymore to stay on PC.
Playing WOW on a 30 inch Apple wide screen LCD is pretty nice :).

Elnino - Destromath.

Re:If Anything it Helps the Hardware Industry (1, Offtopic)

TiMac (621390) | about 9 years ago | (#13494290)

s/MAC/Mac/g

Re:If Anything it Helps the Hardware Industry (0, Troll)

grasshoppa (657393) | about 9 years ago | (#13494297)

Also, Blizzard is releasing new content every month or so that requires even more graphics power. So the trend will mostly likely be for subscribers to buy new hardware quite often.

Whaaa?

Aside from BWL, what is this new content of which you speak?

Re:If Anything it Helps the Hardware Industry (1)

k_187 (61692) | about 9 years ago | (#13494342)

zul gurub, the new battle ground...

Re:If Anything it Helps the Hardware Industry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13494352)

WoW has intense graphics? Guess you haven't tried other MMORPGs, especially EQ2. The only thing WoW requires is a lot of RAM, especially in areas like IF.

Other than that, WoW is one of the LEAST graphics intense MMORPG out today. And that's what Blizzard originally set out to do. Make it accessible to as many people as possible.

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13494186)

fp

Seriously (3, Insightful)

Motie (466246) | about 9 years ago | (#13494191)

This too will pass.

Re:Seriously (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13494291)

Yeah and one day Counter-Stike will pass... wait...

I'd say... (3, Funny)

MourningBlade (182180) | about 9 years ago | (#13494194)

But I'm too busy playing Capture the Flag in Warsong Gulch.

Death to the Horde!

[*] But a salute to the talented Horde on Cenaurion Circle from Art of Battle.

Personally (4, Insightful)

BigDork1001 (683341) | about 9 years ago | (#13494197)

Yes, it probably is. Since I started WoWing I haven't been playing as many other games and definitely not buying any. It doesn't help that there haven't been many games that have been released lately that interest me. Eventually I'll grow tired of WoW and the next new big games that interests me will come along and I'll stop. But until then I won't be spending my money on other games.

Unfair (2, Funny)

buddha42 (539539) | about 9 years ago | (#13494198)

We need an Equalization of Opportunity in Video Games Act.

Meh... (2, Funny)

MrR0p3r (460183) | about 9 years ago | (#13494201)

Can't post...must gain level!

Well (2, Interesting)

PunkOfLinux (870955) | about 9 years ago | (#13494202)

There's always going to be the people NOT playing WoW, and those people are always going to number in the tens of millions. So, no, it's not really going to hurt the industry, unless they become like Hollywood and put out crap.

Low Postcount... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13494203)

Amazing, no comments, I guess everyone is logged onto WoW or something.

If the computer game were a car... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13494214)

Bad for the industry?

Fords and Chevys last longer because Hondas lasted longer first.

You will leave NOTHING to your kids (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13494217)


as everything you have in the future will be rented, paid on a monthly basis by direct bank transfers to the corporation

you will own nothing*

*offer only applicable to those earning less than 5 million dollars per year (offshore accounts only)

Perhaps (0, Redundant)

novalogic (697144) | about 9 years ago | (#13494220)

I've been in game since November on the Bronzebeard server (Aramova). I've had times of burn-out in WoW, as many people have. They are now starting to turn out some good end-game content, but for a very long time there was really little to do but grind the same instances over and over.

Subscriber base is going to die off shortly, and pickup other games, around the Christmas season, but when WoW2 hits, we'll have this all over again, cause Blizzard has done MMO right, and everyone knows it.

WoW at this point is the iPod of MMORPG's, something really amazing is going to be needed to unseat it.

not a problem, as long as the games improve (1)

krelyk (909912) | about 9 years ago | (#13494221)

Even though there have been seemingly thousands of 'Need for Speed (tm)' titles, I always find myself coming back for more. Somehow, they keep adding features and making great improvements to the game engine. Although I'm a car nut and may not 'fit the mold' of your typical WoW player - i myself stear clear of games that require hours of investment, as I have a girlfriend and she would be f*cking pissed... so no WoW for me :(

Not a new phenomenon: I did this with Starcraft... (1)

SauroNlord (707570) | about 9 years ago | (#13494226)

I remember looking so forward to the first Zelda 64 game, but could only stay in the living room for a couple of hours before I went back to my 12hour days of starcraft/broodwar play. I see how WOW's appeal to a wider audience may be behind this.

How many have quit (2, Interesting)

ironwill96 (736883) | about 9 years ago | (#13494228)

I don't think it is an issue because as thousands join, thousands of us quit.

WoW is a boring game when you get to the higher levels, and it is at it's heart just another game of "grind to spend time".

In the short term it might have an effect, but in the long-term it will just be a bump in the road.

Re:How many have quit (1)

deepcameo (840450) | about 9 years ago | (#13494302)

I agree with you, I play guildwars and although I don't pay additional dollars after the initial investment I am getting bored with the game now and will be more then ready for games like Oblivion to come out. Every game eventually dithers out, I mean look at counterstrike players. The content servers for the old releases of that game are even up still because people are still playing the old ones. As time goes on people have cut down and the dedicated servers have been dropping. There are no longer 12,000 servers to connect to. People will move on.

Re:How many have quit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13494326)

During the summer, my girlfriend went home to spend time with family. So me with my vast expanses of time and energy with nothing to do, bought WoW and sat down for a month. I found that even in the earlier levels you were stuck grinding for time, and I didn't a dime over that initial 50 bucks I slammed down. I think why people spend all that time and money on that game is that they spent that initial 50 bucks to get the game, and as I've heard people say, "If I spent this much on it, why not just stick with it for a while.." I'm quite glad that at least one MMO has broken through to the general public, but, like all things, I feel as if this is just "another bump in the road" to quote ironwill..

Re:How many have quit (2, Interesting)

Night Goat (18437) | about 9 years ago | (#13494331)

I hear that. I've got a 49th level paladin who's been spending a LOT of time at the inn lately because I just don't want to kill that much time playing WoW. At this point, with all the grinding I'm doing, I might as well just play Diablo II. In fact, that is what I've been doing! Why split up the loot when I can keep it all for myself? Now if only they'd make a Diablo 3 with graphics as good as WoW.

Re:How many have quit (4, Insightful)

ejito (700826) | about 9 years ago | (#13494365)

WoW appeals more to the noncompetitive gamer as time goes on. I had two level 60s before I quit, and it just wasn't as fun as it was frustrating.

More hardcore gamers crave PVP -- WoW PvP just doesn't cut it (balance issues, group issues, etc). It's obvious that individual skill isn't as important as time sinking, and WoW will never become a competitive game.

The game really does get boring. The game world becomes dull, and more of a drag to cross, rather than an adventure. Spending hours just to do high level instances just isn't fun. I'm just gonna use that gear to beat down other players, but even that part isn't fun.

Helping (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13494229)

If its taking customers from other games, it will challenge other game makers to top them.

Now, hopefully this $50.00 initial investment doesnt catch on w/other game manufacturers b/c Im not game for that.

best game ever (1)

redKrane (672370) | about 9 years ago | (#13494231)

As far as I'm concerned, WoW has taken away my urge to play most other games. I still play GTA if I wanna shoot some people, but generally all I play is WoW. Many of my friends are the same way. I'm sure eventually WoW will lose some of its appeal, but until then, you can find me in Azeroth.

bah...Blizzard is doin fine... (1)

jeffybob (870690) | about 9 years ago | (#13494232)

last time i checked, video games were meant to entertain...am i right? so if WoW can draw people to commit time to their game, then someone at Blizzard must be doin a good job... WoW isnt the only "time consuming" game either...any one here seen the average playtime for Final Fantasy X? approx 70 hrs...for full completion that is..

Re:bah...Blizzard is doin fine... (1)

Echnin (607099) | about 9 years ago | (#13494317)

70 hours? That's the average time to get from level 59 to level 60 in WoW. (just a guess though... but don't be surprised)

Re:bah...Blizzard is doin fine... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13494350)

Since when is a 70 hour game time-consuming? Go to 200+ hours and I'll consider it time-consuming.

Industry's already hurting... (2, Interesting)

Khyber (864651) | about 9 years ago | (#13494233)

The game industry is already hurting. There's so much lack of innovation in games due to stupid software patents (camera views, etc.)

As long as this doesn't become the next Evercrack, why should I really care whether or not it's hurting an industry that's hurting itself to begin with? If anything, I'd tend to think Electronic Arts is hurting the industry more because of their exclusive deal with the NFL.

Well...maybe (2, Insightful)

grasshoppa (657393) | about 9 years ago | (#13494236)

Maybe, if the games industry would make games worth playing ( instead of the affore mentioned sequels and the like ), people would buy them.

Just a thought. However, name a game that has the same level of enjoyment as Sam and Max. Or Grim Fandago.

Or wing commander. Xcom.

Just to name a few. Everyone lately seems overly obsessed with graphics, completely ignoring the plot and gameplay in some cases.

Re:Well...maybe (1)

MrAnnoyanceToYou (654053) | about 9 years ago | (#13494371)

Freedom Force Pwnt. I haven't played the second one, but the first one was hilarious and had a pretty good (albeit not very hard or multiplayer-friendly) gameplay.

And as much as everyone hates SOE, I still love SWG.

Dunno about WoW... (4, Insightful)

Bogtha (906264) | about 9 years ago | (#13494237)

...but Blizzard are hurting the industry, by abusing the DMCA to shut down open-source competitors for the "crime" of being compatible with their software. Remember, kids, the interoperability exception of the DMCA doesn't exist if the copyright holder says so. That's a matter of law [businesswire.com] now.

Re:Dunno about WoW... (1)

E-Rock (84950) | about 9 years ago | (#13494380)

When your interoperability disables the copy protection technique, you are breaking the law. I'd like to see the DMCA go away, but as written the outcome was obvious.

Re:Dunno about WoW... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13494389)

Wow! (and I don't mean the game) Thanks for the link!

I think they worry overmuch (1)

HBI (604924) | about 9 years ago | (#13494239)

WOW has a limited lifespan - the next MMORPG that comes out will draw off significant numbers of users.

I already got bored with it, after only about 6 months. The endgame experience once you hit 60 is kind of repetitive with the same old, same old instances, reminds me a lot of Diablo 2 doing Act 5 runs constantly to get drops. After weeks or months of that - *yawn*.

They can release content as fast as they can write it, any kind of new game will trounce their ass in the short term.

What is it doing to child development? (1, Insightful)

amichalo (132545) | about 9 years ago | (#13494241)

Speaking as a kid who grew up playing Nintendo (the original one you had to blow on to make the cartridges work) I say that the amount of time spent playing WoW and PS2 and watching DVDs and so on is going to have a serious impact on child development including aspects of:
- social interaction
- physical activity
- addiction
- valuing human or animal life
- respect for authority / oposite sex / themselves

Just like ice cream and candy, video games should not be something chilren should be allowed to binge their bodies and minds on.

Re:What is it doing to child development? (1)

physik23 (762851) | about 9 years ago | (#13494346)

Oh, you mean like make some people who can actually kick my ass? Or make some more people for me to MPK? ~physik

Re:What is it doing to child development? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13494347)

I don't know... I'm 24 and basically learned to read on a vic20 because we could get cheap computers from hong kong. My other favorite toy was Legos, then I learned to use machining tools and to solder, now I'm a BSEE and program games for fun, and work with solar power.

Whatever happened to Legos or Meccano? I know they're still out there, but I get the idea that most kids don't cry for them: I go into someone's home for an installation and rarely see those toys (and my belief is that people who want solar power are smarter than the median population, certainly they DO have money at this stage of development so it's not a "i can't afford toys for my kids" thing).

Not saying it's a bad thing yet : just saying I don't understand it. Programming is fun, building something with your hands is just as fun but is also tangible....

Re:What is it doing to child development? (1)

cranesan (526741) | about 9 years ago | (#13494382)

Why is respect for authority important?

Industry whiners (1)

Augusto (12068) | about 9 years ago | (#13494242)

It's very simple, if you can't imagine people paying an additional $15 to play your game, guess what, offer a cheaper and better alternative!

I for one am in the category of people who would like to play some of these games just a bit, and don't have the time to spend so many hours on this. However, if they would drop these montlhly payment schemes or charge a much lower fee, they would attract a lot of people.

Intead of doing that, we get an article saying how this game doesn't let other games compete in the market. Geez!

the next need for speed.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13494243)

i know it's a bit offtopic, but the enxt need for speed... i can't imagine anyone would buy it... since underground the series is completely fucked up... all it has is a big name and a lot of advertising....

whichh probably also leads to the answer, just advertise enough to make people think it's a good game and you'll sell a lot of copies, we all know that's how it works....

Can't post, playing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13494248)

Heh.

Other Games... (1)

Ghostx13 (255828) | about 9 years ago | (#13494251)

What are those? ;-)

Seriously though, I don't really play anything else anymore. I'd really like to buy a PSP, but I know I won't play it enough right now to justify the cost. So in that sense I'd say WoW is hurting the market, but damn, Blizzard has to be doing really nice right about now.

I have not bought (2, Interesting)

Boap (559344) | about 9 years ago | (#13494253)

any single player games in the last three years but instead have bought a copy of almost every MMORPG game that has come out on the market looking for the next UO. For me the game is secondary to interacting with the people online and as such for me this type of game will always have a special place for me.

It has changed how I buy games (5, Interesting)

drmike0099 (625308) | about 9 years ago | (#13494255)

It has definitely chaned how I buy (or rather, don't buy) new games. Basically WoW is so good, and takes up all of my allotted game time, that whenever a new game comes out I have to really look at whether or not I think it's good enough to get me to play that rather than WoW. There haven't been many that I've purchased since WoW came out, and those have left me disappointed, so now I have an XBox and a PS2 sitting there, unused for months.

The social aspect is also a big draw, in that I have quite a few friends who are likewise addicted to WoW, so I can log in and chat with them as well. Single-players or XBox Live games just aren't as good at that aspect.

Not that big of a problem across the industry... (1)

RUFFyamahaRYDER (887557) | about 9 years ago | (#13494256)

I will never play WoW let alone buy it. No, not because I don't like the game or because I don't think it would be fun. It's because I don't have the time to invest in a game of this type. I like playing games where I can start up, play, have fun for a little while, then quit.

I'm sure there are a ton of people out there like me, which means other games still have a good chance.

Zero Cost Game on subscription (1)

Sufood (861621) | about 9 years ago | (#13494259)

The Zero cost game on subscription model suffers from a distribution problem for boxes. The distribution model would have to be by online download only.

But how cool would that be? Make an entertaining Flash Ad with a built in link to sign up right away.

It's not like these games don't require hours of downloads when you first connect anyway.

I'd reply in greater length... (1)

TiMac (621390) | about 9 years ago | (#13494261)

....but I'm about to run to Scholomance. Sorry!

This is news? (0)

Thunderstruck (210399) | about 9 years ago | (#13494263)

Last time I checked, my favorite MUD character had logged almost 2 months of time online over the years. That is months total, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

This investment had no impact on how many games I bought. Is there some difference between my MUD experience and that of WoW?

Change of Business Models (2, Interesting)

cloudkj (685320) | about 9 years ago | (#13494264)

No, I don't think it will cut into the off-the-shelf sales of video games, provided that the many distributors, manufacturers, and game studios start to shift their business models to adapt to the changing times. WoW is just one of many examples that underline the importance of multiplayer capabilities in the next generation of PC and/or console video games.

Personally, I find that a purely single player game highly lacks replayability. Even some of the greatest single player games such as Final Fantasy VII can only go so far in entertainment value. Once you reach that 70, 80 hour mark, it becomes pretty mundane. On the other hand, multiplayer games provide real-time, always-changing, and unpredictable elements of human competition and/or cooperation. This in and of itself adds an invaluable amount of replayability to games. Blizzard is one company that has been able to successfully employ this business model over and over again. Out of the many games that I've played over the years, only a handful of them have high replayability. This means I would actually pick them up today and play them, even though they might be considered "outdated." Among those games are Warcraft II, Starcraft, and Diablo II. Counter-Strike is another example of multiplayer capabilities prolonging the life of a game (and it's really just a mod!).

Give it time (1)

jigjigga (903943) | about 9 years ago | (#13494271)

WoW is successful because it is a "blizzardized" mmorpg. I think many would agree that most people who play WOW wouldn't have played other MMORPGs, but because of the polishing ability that Blizzard has, they have opened it up to more people than even possible for MMORPGs before. Over time, these people will get tired of it as WoW is too simple to keep playing like EQ, EQ2, or even SWG. Given time, the people will grow tired of WoW, even with the expansion packs.

Monthly Bill (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13494281)

I don't want nor need yet another monthly bill. I'll spend my 50 once, and enjoy the game I now OWN, and can play whenever and for however long I want.

In ten years, if I want to boot up and play WoW, I may be SOL, even though I made such a huge investment into the game and the hardware to run it. On the reverse, if I want to play a game like Dungeon Siege or Morrowind 10 years from now, I will be able to play it. (With a bit of luck and some old winXP emulators)

This is not the winning model, but I'm sure it seems nice for blizzard fans now...

Boredom (2, Insightful)

Odin_Tiger (585113) | about 9 years ago | (#13494282)

People get bored and move on, at least most. A select few will stick to a single game like that and play for huge amounts of time each day every day for years, but for the most part people not only get totally bored and move on to a whole new game entirely after a while, but they get bored on a day-to-day basis and play other games just for variety. It may be an 800lb gorilla right now, but it will grow old and die, or more likely, be unceremoniously butchered by the -next- 800lb gorilla to come along. Aside from that, you also have to recognize that while MMORPGs are growing in popularity, the people that play them still are not such a huge target audience that a game company would go broke simply by failing to market to them altogether.

Who cares? Go outside! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13494286)

Who gives a rat's ass? Western society is entirely too addicted to cheap plastic crap and flashy distractions. Y'all need to get off your collective asses and do something worthwhile.

WoW FTW (2, Insightful)

freakout (600790) | about 9 years ago | (#13494287)

I play WoW about 15 hours a week, Deathwing server FTW. But I still find time to play alot of other XBOX and PC games.

Just another time sink with little to no value (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13494288)

More or less you've played one MMORPG then you have played them all. All they are are a time and money sink. This is what cuts into the industry, Not enought cool stuff in any game out at the moment, and nor with there be I guessing anytime soon.

While WOW was the best offering out there at the moment, after you've played it to 60 in a month, and then turned around and played all the new addon's they blizzard created, it's just the same ole boring game that will continue to suck time and money away from people who like to "grind".

I just let me subscription run out (6 months) and won't be going back anytime soon. The battlegrounds were a nice added feature but with the same "maps" each time it gets utterly boring quick, and still results in a mob running around killing things to get points, until one side can't take it any more and thus loses. The capture the flag battleground are too stale and boring to play any more than a handfull of times so while interesting it's still not any fun for more than an additional month, and the new dungeons or regular dungeons are just sad. You go back and back and back just to grind for the ultra weapons, then when youget em, there is nothing to do. Their professions are a joke and utterly useless.

what is needed are MMORPG's more like the pen and paper RPG's. Until a company creates something along those lines no MMORPG will be anything more than a money and time sink which will eventually "suck the industry" in upon itself

This always gets asked about. (1)

corrosive_nf (744601) | about 9 years ago | (#13494293)

It was asked about Ultima Online, it was asked about Everquest, it was asked about Everquest 2, it was aked about Star Wars Galaxies. There is always going to be a game that will have a large portion of the MMO player. Its just WOW that has captured it.

Social consequences (1)

cwernli (18353) | about 9 years ago | (#13494294)

Might not be the first time that there's a generation clash, but definitely an amusing one - check out postings #3 & #5 to get a good laugh: http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.aspx?fn=w ow-realm-cenarioncircle&t=145812&p=1&tmp=1#post145 812 [worldofwarcraft.com]

Seriously: WoW is currently one of a kind for merging virtual and effective reality; no matter what, this is the stuff the future is made of.

Helping the gaming industry (1)

cranesan (526741) | about 9 years ago | (#13494296)

WoW is helping the gaming industry CONSUMERS. Blizzard is an awesome game company, their games consistently deliver on quality, originality, and run on Mac or PC. If you have one of the non-subscription games you can play for free forever on battlenet. If you have one of their subscription games, like WoW, they are honerable to do things like stop shipping the game when server issues appear, while the resolve them. Compare this to the MMORPGs chummed out by Sony, licensing pop-culture elements and deploying bug-riddled games at increasingly higher monthly fees. When a good company like Blizzard releases a good title and it is a commercial success, it tells the people of the gaming industry that good quality service and high-quality products are important to the consumer.

No time.. (1)

destiney (149922) | about 9 years ago | (#13494298)


What is the Slashdot opinion on World of Warcraft's impact on the gaming industry?

I would write some stuff in response to this question but I don't have time.. my guild is grouping up for another Ragnaros raid attempt.

Comparing WoW players to need for speed players? (1)

Shtonkalot (820394) | about 9 years ago | (#13494299)

Personally I don't play WOW or any other MMORPGs. I have a hard time believing that the majority of my friends who are into racing games or even FPS games are going to jump ship to MMORPGs any time soon. I have no doubt there are people who will play WoW instead of other single player games. I doubt it will affect the many need for speed / colin mcrae rallyers ffrom purchasing the latest installment though. Perhaps the biggest problem is the decline in good quality single player games on PC that aren't just console ports that have been released on XBOX/PS2 6 months earlier that accounts for poor software sales for PC.

no time (2, Interesting)

ktulus cry (607800) | about 9 years ago | (#13494300)

I never got into WoW because I'm cheap, but I got into Guild Wars... and I've passed on buying at least 3 games that I can think of off the top of my head. I'm a college student, and my gaming time availability is rationed carefully. I can only imagine that it's worse for everyone paying the monthly fee for WoW.

Re:no time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13494367)

guild wars ftw! but yeah, i have passed on 1 game since guild wars has come out even though it has no monthly fee. i bought the other game (jade empire) because i thought i would play it whenever i got tired of guild wars. i've played jade for a few hours, but i keep coming back to guild wars.

Where's the linux version (1)

graigsmith (868939) | about 9 years ago | (#13494301)

Someone needs to kick blizzard in the buns and get them to port this to linux.

hmm (1)

hurfy (735314) | about 9 years ago | (#13494303)

True to some extent. But certainly not because of just WoW.

This has been true for me for five years now. Since i started Asherons Call (and Motor City online when it existed) i bought 75% fewer games. Just this last year has my purchasing starting going back up somewhat.

But there are still fewer subscription-based MMORPG gamers than not i would think thus limiting the effect a lot. Not to mention it not affecting some genres at all.

Reality (1)

Rac3r5 (804639) | about 9 years ago | (#13494306)

The reality of this is, there are so many other ppl out there who are not playing WoW.

I for one am not playing WoW because I would need to upgrade my comp and then invest a lot of time etc.
So I buy other games that will take me less time to relieve stress.

Just because a bunch of ppl subscribe to X paper, doesn't mean some other ppl don't buy Y paper.

WoW is a massive timesink (1)

Azureflare (645778) | about 9 years ago | (#13494308)

I was playing the high end game in WoW and I really got tired of it. I was spending like 2-3 hours a day during the week and 10-12 hours on weekends (something like 20 hours a week?). Even that was considered light gaming. It was very, very hard to get anything done with a fulltime job. I stopped playing a month ago, and I haven't been back.

Now I'm in school fulltime with a lot going on, and I just can't bring myself to log on. My guild is probably pissed at me, but doing high end instances which take 4 hours a pop is just too much for me.

Am I the only one that got tired of WoW because it started to feel like a job that you didn't get paid for, but were paying for?

I want a game where I can play a few hours a week, and still get something out of it. Things just take too long in the high level game in WoW!

Innovation is the key (1)

Darkn3ss (812009) | about 9 years ago | (#13494310)

The companies that make videogames will now be forced to make better games with a more intense storyline. Give me a good, single-player game any day of the week. MMORPGs aren't any fun, that's why the Nintendo fanboys like myself love the fun, single-player games that are overly original, as well as the 2-4 player games for playing with people you actually know IRL.

BUT! (1)

NickCatal (865805) | about 9 years ago | (#13494311)

How many of those accounts are gold farmers paid $0.05/hour? Or secondary accounts? There are families with 5 copies of the game. Blizzard needs to invest in endgame content QUICKLY before they loose all those subscribers. After you hit 60, the game just sucks. Plus, there is still too much grinding for me.

Good or bad (1)

Approaching.sanity (889047) | about 9 years ago | (#13494315)

It is keeping the really strange people inside.

WoW is probably hurting (1)

pyite69 (463042) | about 9 years ago | (#13494319)

The hard core wow addicts I know have cut their video game spending considerably.

Now they are spending all their disposable income on Doomhammer gold from ebay.

well, they did help the industry in one way (1)

varkman (818678) | about 9 years ago | (#13494320)

they helped open up the market for businesses renting out games :) (if you mod this -1 troll, you're damn right ;) )

No WoW here (1)

nick-less (307628) | about 9 years ago | (#13494323)

I played Diablo and Diablo II, so I got enough of blizzard

fool me once....

From the Inside (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13494325)

If you think WoW is having an effect on the people buying games, you should see the effect it has on the people MAKING them. As a long-time game programmer, i can tell you that almost every single person i've worked with in the past year has been a WoW addict. Artists, coders, managers and testers... I'm convinced that World of Warcraft is nothing more than a conspiracy by Blizzard to destroy the productivity of every other game company on the planet, leading to their total world domination.
 
(And I, for one, welcome our frosty new overlords. ;-D )

My favorite quote (2, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 9 years ago | (#13494329)

From the NYT article (emphasis mine):
"I don't think there are four million people in the world who really want to play online games every month," said Michael Pachter, a research analyst for Wedbush Morgan, a securities firm. "World of Warcraft is such an exception. I frankly think it's the buzz factor, and eventually it will come back to the mean, maybe a million subscribers."
"It may continue to grow in China," Mr. Pachter added, "but not in Europe or the U.S. We don't need the imaginary outlet to feel a sense of accomplishment here. It just doesn't work in the U.S. It just doesn't make any sense."

Um... do I ask 13 year old boys about hedge funds? Who is this guy and why is his laughably out of touch opinion anchoring this article? It's like some talking head in 1890 going "this whole electricity thing is a fad. A few electric lights here, an automatic phonograph there. It will fade after the novelty factor wears off."

Seriously, how out of touch can you be with the growth of online gaming? Someone should show this idiot his quote in 10 years.

WOW (1)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | about 9 years ago | (#13494330)

WOW is the latest fad, nothing more. People will get bored and relise they spent 3-4 times the money of one game on it and yet still have to pay to play it if they want to start up again.

Competitive Market (Test the Capitolism Theory) (1)

c_woolley (905087) | about 9 years ago | (#13494334)

Blizzard is an amazing company and there can be no doubt they have a great product. So, why should we WORRY about what other companies see as competition. This is the time for them to start creating better products. If they cannot compete, they will fail. That is the very basis of a society that is capitolistic. Only the best will survive. Don't get me wrong, I don't feel like ever paying monthly for an MMORPG. I'll stick to my Battlefield 2, which is free. And, although EA is hitting some hard times, I think this game is unbelievable. Why would I want to pay $15/month when I can go out and get a game to play for free? The answer to the problem with WoW is build a better game. If it is free monthly, all the better. If not, just make sure it is better. Force the industry to come out with games that are worth my $50.

Hmm.... (1)

advb89 (841436) | about 9 years ago | (#13494335)

One company overcharging and cheating people out of money causing other companies to lose profits and/or go out of business...

Hmm...

Where Have I seen that [microsoft.com] before????

Wow is not hurting the industry... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13494343)

it is giving the industry more time to polish and refine the turds they are intending to fob off on gamers as the next hit.

Don't know... (1)

The-Bus (138060) | about 9 years ago | (#13494345)

I positively hate when someone passes off anecdotal data as a definite trend, so I want to say right off the bat that I am only talking about my own experiences.

I played UO when it first came out eight years ago, and since then, I have not picked up any of the big MMORPGs. Every single one has raised my interest, and I always wish I could live in some alternate reality where I could spend 4 or 5 hours devoted to this game without it affecting my free time. If that could be done, sign me up.

However, it is an itch that needs to be scratched. The interaction, the big worlds, the sense of accomplishment you receive when you can slay previously tough creatures in two swoops... I simply need to have it. But there's no way I could be good at the game and play 10 hours per week on it. Even that is asking a lot.

So, what happens? I buy (or pick up again) Morrowind. Or I get into YoHoHo Puzzle Pirates for a couple of months. Now the itch is appearing again so I bought Champions of Norrath for the PS2. In a few days/weeks, I'll get tired of it, and I will have only spent under $20 and a couple of hours per week on it (save marathon 4 hour sessions when I can sneak them in). I never need to get the MMORPG because I can satisfy some or most of those needs through other games that don't require such a large investment of time and money.

Who knows if the net effect is good or bad. My guess is that it's good. If Doom/Quake wasn't so addictive, we wouldn't have such a proliferation of First Person Shooters now. For the most part, I think what is good for one game is good for gaming in general.

Man, what? (5, Insightful)

mcc (14761) | about 9 years ago | (#13494349)

It isn't like MMOs didn't exist before this.

It also isn't like Blizzard hasn't ever made a game before that was so absorbing that people just stopped playing anything else.

I don't see any examples of World of Warcraft hurting "the market". What I see in this article is examples of poor game developers, being hurt by capitalism. If Need for Speed is bad enough that spending $12 on WoW makes Need for Speed not worth buying, then the problem here is that need for speed wasn't good enough to be worth $12 to that person. The reason why Matrix Online got "downsized from nine virtual "realms" to three" is because Matrix Online sucks. Notice in the article that NCSoft, who actually makes good games and is competent enough to compete in a fair market, doesn't seem at all worried?

There are a number of developments in video games lately that I would describe as bad for the health of the video game market. World of Warcraft is not one.

apples, oranges and tangerines (1)

Nastjud (899281) | about 9 years ago | (#13494353)

This is under the assumption that all gamers enjoy MMOs as well as FPS and RTS games. This is not the case. The opinion I give is my own as an MMO/FPS addict.

As of late, my obsession if Battlefield 2. I bought battlefield to pull me away from the redundancy of WoW. WoW is an incredibly fun game to play, but when you hit max level, which can be done in just a couple of weeks, you end up doing the same thing every day. My roommate raids Molten Core all day long and I don't know how he does it.

Simply put, WoW can't and isn't fulfilling all gamers' needs. It will need to look out for RFO (Rising Forces Online) in the near future which shows a lot of promise in gameplay and simplicity.

In all actuality, I reactivated both of my Lineage 2 accounts because (to me) WoW wasn't satisfying enough on the PvP side of the game.

For now, strap me in an F-35B and I'll dogfight with anyone in the sky.

A WoW killer will emerge eventually. (4, Insightful)

Maul (83993) | about 9 years ago | (#13494357)

World of Warcraft is simply the most popular MMORPG right now. This same article could have been written about Everquest 1 a few years ago.

EQ arguably sucked even more time than WoW, and other PC games were still sold. There are many gamers who don't like the MMO thing and will continue to buy other games and consoles.

Eventually, someone will make a WoW-killer in the MMORPG arena. It may take a few years, but it'll happen.

WoW is great and all (1)

834r9394557r011 (878286) | about 9 years ago | (#13494360)

But i would rather pop an imaginary cap in some tangos @ss, while running around like a madman with a few squadmembers, than have to spend hundreds of thousands of hours on one particular game. there are too many way to cool gamesout there to only spend time on one. I play WoW, but no nearly as much as I play BF2, and not nearly as much as i'll spend playing the good old Raven Shield. Just as others have stated, each genre has its following. I don't think there will ever be a shortage of people willing to invest their time in other genres than the MMORPGs. Just look at the BF2 servers out there.

Monthly fee? No thanks (0)

_Shorty-dammit (555739) | about 9 years ago | (#13494362)

I will never buy any game that requires me to pay a monthly fee on top of an initial purchase fee. I don't really know if I'll ever play a game that requires a monthly fee, period, even without an initial purchase fee. With no initial purchase fee I might be more persuaded, but it's still unlikely. I don't care how good your game supposedly is, you won't be seeing my money. I've spoken with friends about this in the past, and the vast majority of them feel the same way I do. A monthly fee is bad enough, but also asking for an initial purchase fee, that's just insanity. If I buy a game, I should be able to play it. If I buy a game and can't play it because I can't (say I don't have a CC) pay a monthly fee, wtf sense does that make? You got my $60 or whatever already, but it was for nothing because I can't play the game. Now, if I can pay a monthly fee (say I do have a CC) but I have no idea if the game's going to be any good, well, paying that monthly fee once to see how it is might be a good idea for me. It'll be cheap, and it'll let me decide whether or not I want to continue playing the game. But there's no way in hell I'm going to buy a game for $60 and then pay a $15 fee on top of that just to see if I want to keep paying $15/month. As far as I'm concerned, any company that wants a monthly fee from me to play a game shouldn't be charging me a single cent for the initial purchase. That should be free, since it's useless without paying the monthly fee. If your game is SO good then you should be glad to risk having some people only pay you one monthly fee in hopes of the majority of them sticking around to pay monthly fees on an on-going basis.

Re:Monthly fee? No thanks (1)

_Shorty-dammit (555739) | about 9 years ago | (#13494393)

er, but it will still likely be a cold day in hell before I play any game on an on-going basis with a monthly fee involved, even without that initial purchase price. Monthly fees suck.

The gaming industry is not communist!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13494363)

Who cares about the "industry". It's survival of the fittest, and if they make a game that is so good that it takes away from all the other games, then it won, at least until the next big game comes around.

Good for them if they steal all the available money it means they are successful, and hopefully an extinction phase in the gaming industry will produce stronger, more focussed games instead of 1000 different FPS or RTS games.

I work for a video game retailer (5, Interesting)

TekReggard (552826) | about 9 years ago | (#13494374)

From my experience in video game retail, I would say it isn't going to be a direct impact from games like World of Warcraft that adjust the buying habits of consumers. The biggest impact will be stores like GameStop, GameCrazy, EBGames, and some of the older stores from the past that have merged with GameStop over the years. Their Trade-In programs, while convenient, are slowly sapping the libraries from players and into retailers warehouses. For example, I recently shipped nearly sixty copies of GTA: III to a warehouse because of an abundant overstock. Considering the store I work in has only been open less than a year, I was quite surprised to see I had 60 copies of overstock for any game.

Now I know that I'm getting kind of off topic and trade-ins are a completely different tangent, but the trends in buying vs trade-ins are very relevent. Consumers are becoming less and less likely to purchase a NEW game over a Used Game, they are also becoming more and more prone to spending less money out of pocket to pay for something. So I believe we'll see a small impact from subscription games. I mean $15 a month, if someone buys 12 games a year, is only about 3 games per year. Though, as compared, the biggest impact will be from consumers running out of trade in values. It may sound a little far fetched, but I have been seeing a lot more people who are unwilling to pay more than thirty dollars out of their pocket when they have rising gas prices and costs of living to deal with as well. So when someone can trade in three games they already own to pay less than $10 for that spiffy new game they want, they'll do it. The question I pose, though, is what happens when they realize the trade ratio is about 3 to 1, and eventually they either wont have games to trade, or will be stuck paying 30+ dollars per game again.

Not really (1)

bearclaw (217359) | about 9 years ago | (#13494376)

Most of the people I know who play video games (myself included) rarely have the time needed to devote to RPGs. We work. We have social lives and sig-others to worry about. We are more likely to buy games that multiple people can play together on a Friday night before we head out to a bar. Mario Party is great, as is Burnout. Things like that.

Yup... (2, Funny)

WolfTattoo (732427) | about 9 years ago | (#13494378)

I can only speak from my own personal experience...I used to buy at least one game a month. Then I got into Dark Age of Camelot early on in its launch. I didn't buy another game for a year and half after that. I even convinced myself that being completely addicted to DAoC was a good thing--at only $12.95 a month, I was saving a bundle in not having to buy new games. -wolftattoo

I don't understand. (1)

KhaZ (160984) | about 9 years ago | (#13494381)

So, you're telling me that having quality in an industry undermines it?

I suppose it depends on who you're "helping" or "hurting".

Is WoW hurting other game developer's pocket book? I'm certain.

Is this a bad thing? I don't know: all I can say is the only person my heart bleeds for is the indie developer who's trying to break into this market. But for the EA's of the world? Heaven's no!

Lineage?? (1)

FreshFunk510 (526493) | about 9 years ago | (#13494385)

I'm not an MMO geek so if anybody out there has better stats on this feel free to chime in. The article said:

""For many years the gaming industry has been struggling to find a way to get Internet gaming into the mainstream," said Jeff Green, editor in chief of Computer Gaming World, one of the top computer game magazines.These kinds of games have had hundreds of thousands of players, which are not small numbers, but until World of Warcraft came along no one has been able to get the kind of mainstream numbers that everyone has wanted, which is millions of players."


And yet I checked on Wikipedia for Lineage [wikipedia.org] (a game my friend raves about) and it says:

As of 2004, developers consider Lineage to be the most commercially successful MMORPG ever. NCsoft has reported that Lineage has more than four million subscribers, most of them in Korea. To compare, EverQuest (1999) has not even reached 500,000 subscriptions


Could it be that this person is a bit too much US centric? Actually the article did mention that WoW had over 1.5 million subscribers in China. Perhaps this is just an oversight they made.

Doesn't Really Matter (1)

sehlat (180760) | about 9 years ago | (#13494394)

I got so turned off by the customer-hostile DRM in Half-Life2 I haven't bothered to look at a game since. So why should I care if WoW crashed the entire industry?
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