Julietta the Cigar Girl: Would you like to check my figures?
James Bond: Oh, I’m sure they’re perfectly rounded.
5.6 in 6.2 on 8/7
The news that WoW subscribers had dropped down to 5.6 million was a shock to me. I, of course, began to read some of the other bloggers (like the pointy Grumpy Dwarf) to see what their takes were on the latest numbers.
Several bloggers were calling it the death knell of WoW. Others were a bit smug, claiming that they saw it coming all along. And, finally, there was a bit of alarm. Could this be the last expansion?
Call me Mr. Ray of Sunshine. The blogging community can be terribly naive. They see the WoW universe as an on-going episodic experience; one where the designers can paint themselves into a corner and can’t rebound.
The WoW game is more like a franchise, compare it to the James Bond movies.
James Bond movies are not all great, nor is Warlords of Draenor. Even though this expansion we got Timothy Dalton, there is still a ton of great stuff that we love and can enjoy. The next expansion may be the dishy Daniel Craig. One thing for sure, the franchise is strong enough that opening weekend will be strong.
During Mists of Pandaria, the subscriptions had settled to around 7 million. The opening of Warlords saw an enormous spike up to 10 million, crashing servers and catching everyone with surprise. We can look at 5.6 as a 5 million drop or a 2 million drop. It is a drop, for sure. Still, the fans are out there; ready to come and play. This seems obvious to me.
Looking at 5.6 (WoW is still the top dog of MMOs) million can be startling, especially since we have months to go in this expansion. I have to rely on my own experience and know that I’m enjoying my play time.
Frankly, Warlords of Draenor had to do what it did. They had to contrast the cartoony Panda bear experience. They had to reshape our understanding of our dangerous world and it’s legion of enemies.
Will 6.2 be the last patch? They had the announcement for the NEXT expansion at Gamescom yesterday; the traffic almost shut down Bizzard Watch, Wowhead and MMO Champions. The interest was so high that the live stream on YouTube was buffering with 230,000 viewers. I watched it myself and I rarely ride that hype train for anything.
The next expansion is at least six months away if not more. Let’s hope not a year. Let’s hope that the designers, wanting to make faster expansions, have learned how to dole out content liberally.
Understanding that the World of Warcraft is a franchise like James Bond and each expansion stands on it’s own rather than the Hunger Games which has an ending is the key to our enlightenment.
Come on Daniel Craig!