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Posts with tag popularity

Darkmoon Faire France cancelled

Upper Deck has posted on their site that they have canceled the upcoming Darkmoon Faire event in France for the TCG. They've been having events all over the world of this kind, featuring tournaments, exhibitions, and interaction with the game's officials and designers (I checked out one such event when it was in Chicago last year). And while they had planned to hold a Faire in Paris in 2009, apparently it's not going to happen -- they say there was "complications" with the "venue," and the event has been shut down. They are still trying to come to France, however: they're hoping to hold an event called the Tournois du Voile d'Hiver ("Tournament of Winter's Veil" in English) in Toulouse in November.

And this really does just look like a schedule conflict, as they are still holding events in Amsterdam, Austin, and Vegas later on in 2009, and from what we've seen at various conventions this year, Upper Deck's WoW-related TCG and minis games are bigger than ever (in fact, given what I saw at Gen Con and have heard from various UD employees, it's possible that the WoW games are the company's biggest-selling non-sports product). They're planning to bring the Darkmoon Faire back to Paris next year, and that's probably exactly what they'll do.

Filed under: Events, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, WoW TCG

The Guardian on The Guild

British newspaper The Guardian has a look at our favorite web series, The Guild, and how it has taken the MMO community by storm and vaulted its way up into one of the most popular television series that's not actually on television. There's no question that The Guild's popularity online was fueled by the fact that it follows a group of people who spend most of their time online, and with a built-in audience the size of World of Warcraft's, you might think that all they had to do was get the references right.

But as The Guardian notes, success for The Guild isn't just a matter of hitting a niche audience. Felicia Day and Kim Evey say they spent eight hours a day emailing the show around when it first came out. And while the show is of course sponsored by Microsoft now, the whole first season was powered by hard work and donations. The Guardian attributes The Guild's success to "direct marketing of content to a niche peer group" -- find an audience, and then make sure they know what you're doing.

And of course, as a Guardian commenter notes, it doesn't hurt that the show is funny, and as Felicia told us herself, they've gone out of their way to explain and convey the WoW-related stuff to an audience that might not always play MMOs. The series is attracting a lot of attention these days, not just as an MMO story, but also a how-to guide of how to get a television series off the ground without actually being on broadcast television.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Humor, Fan art

Latest MMO pop report shows a WoW growth spurt

This is old news really: we all know that there are 10 million of us playing Blizzard's MMORPG juggernaut. In MMOGChart's latest report however, there appears to be a little growth spurt in the early part of this year.

This is surprising when we consider the fact that WoW is three years old. In the video and computer game business, three years is considered "old", even for a game that is constantly updated. Other games would usually see a tapering off in terms of population growth at this stage. Not only is market-dominating WoW bucking the trend, it's actually enjoying a surge in its population!

Is this growth spike the result of anticipation for Wrath of the Lich King? Probably so, according to MMOGChart: "There appears to be a slight acceleration of growth a month or two before the release of an expansion, which then continues for approximately 3-6 months afterwards." With the unprecedented size of WoW's playerbase, we can probably expect the hype to be built up a lot sooner than "a month or two".

The report has gone on to break down WoW's existing 10 million subscribers by territory:

  • North America: 2.5 million
  • Europe: 2 million
  • Asia: 5.5 million (primarily China)

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Expansions

Hail to the (Lich) King, baby

Believe it or not, World of Warcraft is the most popular massively multiplayer online roleplaying game in the world! Our super blogger Mike Schramm shared this report over our sister site, Massively. It probably comes as no surprise that WoW is topping the chart. There are more active accounts on WoW than all of the competition combined.

I didn't know there were quite so many MMORPGs active on the gaming market. WoW is unique among this video game genre because of it's continued growth. The player base for other games have leveled or tapered off. I couldn't even guess where the population will top out. With the popularity of the Burning Crusade and anticipation of Wrath of the Lich King, I would not be surprised to see more than fifteen million WoW players.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Ranking, Odds and ends, Blizzard

Player burnout and the next expansion

Hardcore Casual has a post up about his reaction to the news being released about the next expansion. As a player who left WoW, he's not impressed.

Burning Crusade's effect on Blizzard's game was gigantic-- player who'd left came back in droves, and guilds and players who hadn't been playing together for a while all of a sudden found themselves online almost every night. And even out of the game, it had a huge impact-- Wowhead, the argument could be made, rode the wave of Burning Crusade, and it led them to their sale.

So the question now is: will WotLK have the same effect? HC says no-- he says Hero classes as hyped were much cooler than the way Death Knights are being implemented, and that the next 10 levels doesn't appeal to him. They do appeal to his father, he says, and there's no question that lots of players are interested in the next expansion. Who wouldn't want to fight alongside and/or against Arthas? This expansion might get players to connect with this universe in a way they haven't since they played Warcraft III.

Or it might be too late. Even Blizzard realizes the player base is headed for a rough patch-- they've started the Scroll of Resurrection program to bring straying players back with bribes. The game itself is far from over-- there is a significant core audience who still love this game (including myself), and can't wait to see WotLK. But the fact is that WoW may have peaked with BC. Even if there is a nice peak coming again with Wrath of the Lich King, all indications are that it won't be as high as the first expansion went.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

Sex in the Undercity: A guide to finding love in Azeroth

The Valentine's Day event started last week. Love, exciting and new, is in the air in Azeroth, and I sent my undead rogue, Punishment of Thunderhorn, to go looking for love in all the wrong places. He didn't exactly make time with Sylvanas Windrunner (she's such a banshee), but he was able to form a real odd couple.

You can see his journey in the Gallery below, and get a firsthand look at just how love works in Azeroth. The event ends Thursday, so go through the guide below to see the ins and outs of finding your soulmate (or mates, as the case may be), and then get to it! Love is in the air!

Filed under: Undead, Events, Virtual selves, Features, Humor, Guides, NPCs, Galleries

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