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2-09-2012 @ 5:10PM
WoW's hemorrhaging of subscriptions has slowed, but not stopped entirely. This, though, is pretty much the final damnation of the Cataclysm xpac. Unless the numbers spike between January and April, Cataclysm will ultimately have done nothing but lose players all throughout its life. 4.3 will have failed in its goal of bringing players back.And honestly, as a Blizzard fan...it's not that surprising. Cataclysm has been an utter mess from day one. A story that alternated between utterly banal and annoyingly obtuse, an introductory raid tier that was ferociously unfriendly to newcomers, broken promises of "less content per patch but more patches overall" a rated BG system left gasping for breath like a fish out of water until same-faction BGs had to be introduced...I could go on like this for awhile, but it's all minutae. Cataclysm might have been incredibly ambitious, but frankly it turned out to be one of the biggest disasters Blizzard's ever produced as a company. I'm not sure anything they've ever released has bombed so badly as Cataclysm did.As I sit here, looking forward to Mists of Pandaria, I'm looking forward to the chance at starting over on a fresh new page, with the hope that the sheer volume of baggage Cataclysm introduced can be overcome. Blizzard's already taken a few steps towards doing so, but they're going to need to take a whole lot more to get there.
2-09-2012 @ 5:15PM
It had VERY LITTLE to do with CATA. As EVE also lost a lot of player activity (see their tracking tools) in 2011;Very little to do with the quality of CATA, but everything to do with the changing "free to play" markets and of course COD ...: fast and furious fun ...
2-09-2012 @ 5:17PM
I get your point. I really do. But I disagree with your rhetoric. "Bomb" is not the correct term to use at all, in any measure of the word. It sold *millions* of copies in it's first month. Even in December of 2011, it was STILL in the top 10 list of best selling games for the month. (To be fair, so was WoW... but still.)It's not as awesome by comparison to other Blizzard games. But I assure you, *any* and *every* other game publisher and/or developer would *love love love* to have a game ship 4 million in it's first month and then continue to sell at LAUNCH PRICE up to a year later and still make the charts. That's astonishing and wondrous.
2-09-2012 @ 5:43PM
@emberdione I understand your thinking, and you have a point: initial sales figures for Cataclysm were spectacular. But paid MMOs (and MMO expansions) aren't just trying to sell you on the 40-60 bucks you paid for the box. They're trying to sell you on a subscription, and Cataclysm's retention numbers are utterly through the basement, the kind of die-off that would have utterly killed a new MMO.Let's be honest with ourselves here: Cataclysm's initial sales didn't happen in a vacuum. The expansion rode the wave of BC and Wrath to get so many copies sold. The true measure of Cataclysm came when subscriptions began to drop -immediately- afterwards. That was a damning indictment: people were incredibly eager for Cataclysm, but once they got a chance to try it out, they left. In droves.
2-09-2012 @ 6:11PM
@Bossy, EVE hemorraged subs because of a few massively idiotic decisions on the part of the developers that completely devastated the player community. The "$60 Monocle" debacle was the most prominent, but certainly not the only one. Cataclysm saw similar results. Cataclysm was launched in the west, and the game lost over half a million subs, six months later Cataclysm was launched in China, and lost 800k subs over there. That tells you something very prominent, when 800k subscribers who had been trapped farming ICC for almost two years quit the game rather than play Cataclysm.
2-09-2012 @ 6:21PM
Ome, you're both right and wrong. A 15% decline in active subs would not kill a new MMO, but in my opinion your original post made some valid points. Cataclysm has had some problems.Also, there are other, even better, words than 'utter(ly)'.
2-09-2012 @ 7:12PM
@Jack MynockPoint. I was speaking from an overall sense: another paid-sub MMO that lost 2 million subscribers in a single year would be dead, or if not dead then teetering on its last leg and screaming bloody murder.But you're right, percentagewise it's not such a gloomy picture and I overstated things a bit.
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