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Posts with tag customer

Love is in the Air customer support policy

Blizzard has posted a guide to what customer service and support can and cannot do for players during Love is in the Air, the WoW in-game holiday that runs between Feb. 5 through 20. As with most in-game events like this, players will be getting exclusive items, quests, tokens, prizes, and chances on really rare items like mounts from daily bosses. These events are designed to be rare and happen only once a year, and Blizzard stresses (again, by design) that these titles, achievements, and other event goodies need to be acquired during the holiday. Legitimate claims of items lost with logs will be restored as normal, but Blizzard wanted to make sure people knew in advance that item purchases and achievement-related issues during this limited-time event will most likely not be able to be addressed.

Putting out notices like this is definitely a nice move by the community team. Many people have complained in the past of not knowing when a new event was starting in game or that their schedules did not permit them to complete all of the necessary holiday achievements and get all of the accompanying items. For many of those, the bright line rule is that "Blizzard wants these things to be rare," so they are rare by design.

Remember: Get your holiday stuff done ASAP. This is your early notice that things will most likely not be given to you if you miss the event.

The full blue post, after the break.

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Filed under: Events, Cataclysm

Speaking up for what's right

This is a pretty insightful thread, from all sides, on what the forums and customer feedback are really for. Rekker on Detheroc makes a good point, and that is that while people will complain about anything, almost no one speaks up when things are working right. We talked a little bit about this on the podcast this past week: are Blizzard's decisions based on a player base that never seems to be happy, no matter what you throw at them, or on some arbitrary design guidelines that Blizzard has stuck with from the beginning?

Ghostcrawler, as you might expect, says it's a little bit of both. Blizzard doesn't just do what players say -- they consider player feedback and then make decisions from there. But at the same time, they can't ignore what players say, either. GC agrees that the forums are not the best sample of feedback, for the same reasons that Rekker gives: players go there because something is bothering them and they want it changed, not usually because they really love something in the game and want it to stay the same.

Of course, forums are not the only form of feedback from the community, and there are many places Blizzard can get feedback about things in the game that players like (ahem). But just like Blizzard does, whenever you look at the forums, you have to realize that you're looking at just a slice of the feedback. People don't make QQ posts about the stuff they appreciate and like having in the game.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Buffs, Forums

Activision-Blizzard September results reveals box sales paradigm

Activision-Blizzard released September quarter results yesterday. Most of the document is pretty dry and won't mean much to the majority of their devoted fans. They reaffirm the 11 million subscriber base of World of Warcraft and remind us that Guitar Hero's doing pretty well. Yeah, and they have an expansion coming up.

There is an interesting gem, however, to be found in their discussion of Wrath box sales:

"Revenues related to the sale of World of Warcraft boxed software, including the sale of expansion packs and other ancillary revenues will continue to be deferred and recognized ratably over the estimated customer life beginning upon activation of the software and delivery of the services."

That's a pretty packed statement. In summary, it means that the money Blizzard makes from selling the game box isn't immediately counted in their performance metrics at the time of sale. (There's no December "bump" to revenue directly from the 50ish dollars you pay for an expansion.)

Instead, they count the revenue gains throughout your customer lifetime. Doesn't sound like a big deal, does it? Let's talk about why that's such a significant notion.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

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