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Posts with tag digital-distribution

Cryptozoic interviews Micky Neilson, James Waugh

Cryptozoic Entertainment recently began digital distribution of Blizzard's manga titles, as announced last month. This month, the company interviewed two of the big names behind the manga and its development. Micky Neilson, publishing team lead for Blizzard, and James Waugh, senior story developer for Blizzard, should be familiar to those that have read the manga, comics, and various Warcraft stories available. Most recently, they teamed up to write the five-issue comic series Curse of the Worgen, a look into the background and origins of the worgen in Warcraft.

The Q&A itself delves into the behind-the-scenes of manga development; how stories are created and who develops those stories, the purpose of the manga series and how it incorporates into the overall canon lore of World of Warcraft. And for those wondering, the question of whether or not the manga series is official canon is addressed as well.

The only minor disappointment with the interview is that the future of the Blizzard manga titles isn't really addressed. Whether or not any brand new titles will be published in the future wasn't touched upon, leaving the fate of the manga as a solid question mark. Regardless, the sheer enthusiasm of Neilson and Waugh during the interview is a nice reminder that those behind the story really do cherish the properties they're working with. Check out the full interview on Cryptozoic's website.

Filed under: News items, Lore, Interviews

Is there a place for MMO magazines?

In the vein of the World of Warcraft magazine, Massively reports that NCSoft has announced a magazine for the MMORPG Aion. Unlike the quarterly World of Warcraft magazine, the Aion magazine will be digital-only and come out every four weeks, or roughly every month. The Aion magazine also features bonus in-game items for players who pre-order, such as armor dyes and consumables. The magazine announcement actually begs the question about whether there's much sense in publishing magazines for an MMO, a constantly evolving and growing game.

I subscribed to the World of Warcraft magazine mostly out of a love for the print medium, even though I'm well aware that the information published therein could be made obsolete by a single patch or hotfix. Working for WoW.com, I understand the value of online content which can be updated very quickly and frequently. Best of all, most online magazines (as opposed to Aion's digital format) are free. That said, the World of Warcraft magazine looked gorgeous from the previews and from an artistic standpoint, I always believed there was value in a well-made and laid out publication.

I'll have a better idea of what to think when my magazine actually arrives. That's the other thing. Aion's digital-only magazine will presumably be available for download, giving instant gratification. Online magazines are just one web browser away. The World of Warcraft magazine, on the other hand, was due to come out in the 4th quarter last year but encountered a few bumps along the road and was pushed back ever so slightly. When we learned that it finally started shipping early this year, I was pretty stoked to get my hands on one. But it's now March and nothing has arrived in the mail, so that's a big minus for print subscriptions right there. Sure, I live in Asia, but I paid my $69.95 just like everybody else. I'd almost forgotten about it, actually, but Massively's post about Aion's mag reminded me and got me more than a little upset that I haven't gotten my copy two months after folks started getting theirs. Kwurky can only keep me amused for so long, after all.

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Filed under: Blizzard

New tax set to raise costs of digital downloads


The Digital Distribution Tax has been around for a little while now. In fact, seventeen or more states have already adopted it, and more are considering it.

Once upon a time, digitally distributed content, such as downloaded copies of WoW and its expansions, allowed customers to avoid the sales tax that they would pay if they bought a copy from a store.

This proposed tax is poised to increase the costs of downloading music, books, videos, games, and other similar content.

Wisconsin is one of the most recent states to hop on board, adding a 5% tax to digitally distributed goods. One of the opponents, State Rep. Scott Suder, commented, "it's basically taxing students to fill in the Doyle budget shortfall, and I think that's unfair."

This tax will also affect families, and in these economic times, further taxing the people may not be the best way to drum up state funds.

Steve Delbiano from NetChoice, which encompasses Ebay, Aol, Yahoo and many others, points out that this tax is anything but environmentally friendly.

"With global warming and a world that's running out of oil, the last thing governments should do is add taxes on something that uses no oil and produces no carbon. A digital download is the greenest way to buy music, movies, and software, since it requires no driving to the store, no delivery vans, and no plastics or packaging."

The ECA, or Entertainment Consumer's Organization, a voice for the people, is leading a campaign against this tax, rallying in New York, Washington and Mississippi.

China recently chose a similar route. Instead of adding a sales tax, they imposed a 20% income tax upon digitally distributed goods, resulting in sweeping price increases.

Unfortunately, this trend might be here to stay.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items

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