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7-04-2009 @ 5:27PM
"And then there are licensing issues -- Blizzard obviously makes money off of selling their expansions and software in stores, and it's not yet clear exactly how that money (or how much of that money) will be made here."That's an easy one, Mike. I could be wrong (which would be nothing new), but I think Blizzard probably makes the vast majority of their profit from their monthly subscription fees (which I still think could and should be reduced, but that is neither here nor there). Sure, they have explosive cashgasms every time they release an expansion, and those usually continue for a month or two after a release, but the reason profit is *sustained* is because players continue to pay fees over an extended period of time, following those releases.In order to access "WoW" in the first place, you have to have an account, so I'm guessing that Blizzard would probably still make a nice chunk of change from having new accounts registered prior to accessing them over the Gaikai service. It's obvious that they would lose some money from users not picking up the physical copies of their expansions, but they could still profit from this.Actually, wouldn't this make the game MORE accessible to folks who own hardware that can stream online video at a smooth FPS count, but who don't have graphics cards that can render DirectX10 (or 9, for that matter)? It seems to me that this service would actually REMOVE some barriers to players who can not access the game due to current hardware restrictions. It would also mean that anyone lucky enough to work somewhere without an overly-restrictive firewall or ridiculous security measures could continue to access their account when they're not at home, further engaging their customers and allowing them to continue growing with the game.
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