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Posts with tag reuters

Will the economic downturn hurt WoW?

GamePolitcs had an interesting news brief about Michael Pachter, a financial analyst with Wedbush-Morgan, who contends that MMOs will not be impacted in the current economic downturn because the majority of people who play them are "addicts."

The full interview with Pachter is available from Reuters.

Besides the negative stereotypes and sweeping generalizations that come with statements like "people who play [MMOs] are addicts," Pachter does make a good point. He notes that "Losing their jobs makes them more likely to play because they have more time to play."

I thought about this for a minute. If I were to lose my job here at WoW Insider, I would no doubt start looking for new employment almost immediately. I would scale back my expenses – probably get rid of cable TV (Hulu is my TV now anyways), I'd eat out less, I'd use the library more and Barnes & Noble less, and I would generally be more frugal with my spending.

But I don't think I would cancel my WoW subscription.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Economy

Europe approves of the Activizzard merger

Regardless of whatever you think of the big Activizzard merger and what it might mean for World of Warcraft (I don't believe it'll hurt a thing, but think what you will), it's going to happen. It's literally official now, as European Union officials have finally approved the merger after several weeks of deliberating on the issue.

Approval by the European Commission was necessary because Vivendi (the owner of Blizzard and now the buyer of Activision, if you haven't been keeping up with all this) is a French media company, and therefore subject to EU business laws and antitrust concerns. Officials were mulling over the merger because of fears that Vivendi's ownership of Universal Music Group would give Activision Blizzard an unfair advantage in licensing music for games like Guitar Hero.

They finally decided that it's not a threat to the health of the market, and approved the merger. So there it is. It's done. The government can't save you now; Activision Blizzard is your new master. I tremble in terror before the fictional (yet somehow inevitable) Bard class and its l33t Guitar Hero skillz!

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Obese gamer collapses, dies after "marathon" gaming session

Well here we go again. Reuters is reporting that a Chinese gamer has died after a "marathon," weeklong gaming session. The 26-year-old apparently collapsed on Saturday after he spent the entire week before (he'd been on break because of the Lunar New Year's celebration) playing an unidentified online game. A local teacher says the reason he played games for a full week was that because of the holiday, "there are only two options. TV or computer. What else can I do in the holiday as all markets, KTV and cafeterias are shut down?"

Be prepared, I guess, to hear about this in all future media examinations of whether or not WoW is addictive. I won't argue that this isn't a sad thing to hear-- no matter what the real cause of this poor guy's death, there were serious problems there that should have been fixed a long time ago.

But I will note that the article mentions the 26-year-old weighed 330 lbs. Why doesn't the headline say "Food addict dies"? Also of note, the last line of the article says that China considers 13% of its Internet users under 18 addicted. WoW, according to "experts," is supposed to be 40% addicts, but neither figure, as far as I can see, actually says what they define as "addicts"-- are they setting the bar for "addiction" low or high?

Filed under: Virtual selves, News items

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