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Posts with tag markets

Rent seeking (or lack thereof) in WoW

Elnia continues posting some interesting (and complicated) insight into the World of Warcraft over at the Pink Pigtail Inn. This time, it's about what she calls "rent seeking," which isn't about trying to find the money to pay for your apartment so much as it's about individuals petitioning authorities (the government, or in this case Blizzard) for their own income. The post dabbles with some complicated market theory, but in the end, the conclusion is this: while players have definitely petitioned Blizzard for changes to their own class, they have generally stayed away from asking for more money, or changes to the rules that would grant it to them. In general, players are fine with Blizzard staying hands-off of the various in-game economies running in Azeroth.

As the commenters over there say, there's a good reason for that, and it's because most of the economic play in WoW is completely optional. Aside from repair costs (which can be high for raiders, but for everyone else are fairly inconsequential), you don't really need money at all; given enough time, you can collect whatever you need from somewhere in the world, either by simply collecting ore or herbs, or by running instances and doing quests. But that doesn't mean that the "rent seeking" comparison isn't valid.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Economy, Making money

The future of Activision Blizzard

So now that the news has broken, the CEO has been interviewed, and the dust has settled on this weekend's merger, it's time to ask the big question: Why? Blizzard and Vivendi are on top of the world in terms of their field right now. Why would they combine with Activision, especially if, as they claim, nothing at all is changing? Why go to all the trouble if it'll make no difference in either company's business?

And the answer-- in my analysis-- is, as usual with most mergers: money. The fact is that Activision wants to be the biggest gaming company in the world. They want it all-- consoles, PC games, you name it-- and connecting with Blizzard helps them get a big part of that. World of Warcraft has turned Blizzard from a quality game designer into a videogame powerhouse, and Activision, in reaching for the top, has invited Blizzard on their team.

Blizzard will profit from it as well-- Activision knows how to get games published and marketed (just look at Guitar Hero III, which has done incredibly well for being a game that was not only not made by the original developer, but actually released up against a strong competitor made by the original developer). Blizzard knows how to make great games, and Activision knows how to release them, so both companies obviously think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

But is it?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, News items

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