Print 116 comment(s) - last by curiousgeorgie.. on Nov 25 at 9:41 PM

Wrath of the Lich King breaks day one sales records

When it comes to the world of video games on the PC, some of the most popular games available are MMORPG titles. These same titles also offer the most profitability for the game studios thanks to monthly subscriptions and intense fan bases for the titles.

Blizzard recently launched the second expansion pack for the wildly popular World of Warcraft MMO called Wrath of the Lich King. Blizzard officially acknowledged this week that Lich King has broken the sales record to become the top selling PC game ever in its first 24 hours of release.

Lich King sold a whopping 2.8 million copies in its first 24 hours of availability. Interestingly, the previous first place for day one sales was the first expansion pack for World of Warcraft called The Burning Crusade.

The subscriber base for World of Warcraft is massive at 11 million players globally making the title the crown jewel in the Blizzard games catalog. Blizzard says that over 15,000 stores opened at midnight globally to participate in the launch of Wrath of the Lich King.

Unlike some popular midnight launch events, there are no reports of anyone being shot waiting to get a copy of the game. However, one boy in Europe did collapse after playing the expansion for 24 hours straight without taking a break or eating. Some UK officials and parents fear that the game is too addictive for young players to handle.

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RE: First
By superkdogg on 11/21/2008 1:30:31 PM , Rating: 5
Obligatory "FU" response.

RE: First
By FaceMaster on 11/21/08, Rating: -1
RE: First
By CZroe on 11/22/2008 11:20:03 AM , Rating: 5
I don't think people realize that you were responding to yourself. Upvoted.

RE: First
By quiksilvr on 11/22/2008 3:54:47 PM , Rating: 5
I steer away from games that charge me just to play the game online. I've already bought the game, bought the console/PC I'm playing it on and paid for the monthly access to internet in general. I DON'T need another monthly bill just to access your precious servers.

If that was the only option available I'd stick with it but with the thousands of games on PC that let you play for free online and and the hundreds of games on PS3 (and I guess Wii) that let you play for free online, I fail to see the reasoning behind consumers that encourage this behavior from game developers.

And because of this, we all know Blizzard is going to have monthly fees for Starcraft 2. "Oh, but this is an MMORPG whereas that is an RTS. They don't need to charge us because they aren't storing as much data." BULLSH*T! They already divided the game into three, do you really think they won't take advantage of consumers' stupidity and slap a monthly fee onto that as well? Hell, I'd do it too if I've convinced 11 million people to do it for WoW.

This is why people boycott things, so that companies can be pushed to either stop doing things or just crash and burn (Circuit City). So I know that this will fall unto deaf ears, but I urge people to do this: if Starcraft 2 will charge you for online play, then boycott it. FORCE Blizzard to realize that enough is enough and stop double, triple, quadruple and fu*ktuple dipping on consumers.

RE: First
By mcturkey on 11/23/08, Rating: 0
RE: First
By jonmcc33 on 11/24/2008 8:22:39 AM , Rating: 3
...paying for the constant updates, maintenance, and new content...blah, blah, blah.

Heard that all before and it only seems to be the MMO junkies that are convinved of it. That stuff is moot. Blizzard is making mass profits off of MMO junkies with that monthly charge. $15 per month? That's $180 per year. Multiply that by the "millions" playing WOW. Sorry, doesn't cost that much for updates and maintenance.

You are filling pockets and need to accept that. Should get outside and see some of that sunlight too.

RE: First
By EODetroit on 11/24/08, Rating: 0
RE: First
By menace on 11/24/2008 1:35:57 PM , Rating: 2
I don't get why mcturkey was voted down as all his points were on the money.

You are filling pockets and need to accept that. Should get outside and see some of that sunlight too.

If you think you can create a MMPORG that is as continually entertaining to play without an online fee or for a more "reasonable" fee and still turn a profit, then go for it. Currently 11 million WoW players do feel the fees are worth the entertainment value. If you don't like paying fees, look elsewhere for your gaming entertainment. What do you want the government to step in and start regulating what they can charge? Or perhaps you think they should fund "twelve step" programs for us MMO addicts? Or establish mandatory per-day play limits so we can "see the sunlight"?

RE: First
By callmeroy on 11/24/2008 3:58:17 PM , Rating: 2
How come of all the topics on games i've ever seen its only a huge deal with the game is WoW that people get their panties in a bunch.

Since when its is "wrong, evil, bad, immoral" for a company to charge for their product --- oh wait don't answer that...I know the mindset -- if you are a small time operation making say $1 million an entire year ...let's not critique that but if you happen to make a hit that is wildly successful so you make droves and droves of money off it -- THEN its open season? This is the same logic why folks ORIGINALLY started hating Microsoft...there's a complex in this world that folks are fine if you do "ok" for yourself but if you do "extremely well" then its not cool -- even if its completely legal and not harming anyone...well except for egos.

BTW I play the game and I agree some folks play too much and should see the real world more often.....I watch VERY little TV during the week though so my justification is -- some people watch 3 hours or 4 hours of TV on a work night, I play computer games. As for money I justify it as some people spend $5 a day on cigarettes, I spend $12 a MONTH on my hobby.

But let's not talk about that though right? :)

RE: First
By ThePooBurner on 11/25/2008 1:19:28 AM , Rating: 2
One thing you fail to take into account is history. Lets look at some facts that were relevant to the time when the game came out:
1) All MMOs charged 15$/month period.
2) The largest subscriber base ever reached on any MMO was 400,000 subscribers
3) It took 10 years to reach that number.
4) WoW had been in development for around 5 years.

Looking at this information Blizzard decided
1) They should also charge 15$
2) They should plan on having 400K subscribers in around 2 years
3) We have spent a crapload of money on development and servers and BANDWIDTH and want to recoup it while also developing more content, maintaining the servers, and hiring a huge support staff to provide 24/7 support to customers.

When the game came out they had server capacity for 400K people, which they thought would give them plenty of time to expand. They had 250K at the end of the first 24 hours, and 500K by the end of the week and 1 million by the end of the month. The game was wildly more sucessful than anyone could have anticipated. They had to buy more servers, and fast, and hire more support staff fast, and they needed more bandwidth and fast. Getting all of those things, fast, takes a lot of money. For those around at the beginning we all remember the lag and the poor gaming experience that was to be had because the servers could not handle the load at all, the poor response times to problems, and the really long maintenance periods where they had to move their entire infrastructure to a new location that could handle the bandwidth demands. Blizzard also doesn't outsource and does everything in house. This means they also needed more office space. Office space isn't cheap. They have since moved into a much larger location than they used to be.

Also since the game came out they have added even more servers, more locals, more translations, Upgraded the servers to the point where 3 times the previous max load is now considered a light load (that is a very big and costly upgrade), added loads of new content, 2 expansions, as well as started development of 3 new games, hired more and more people, and much much more.

So sure, they may be making a shload of money, but they are also spending a lot of it. Not all of it, that would be stupid to not leave yourself plenty of cash on hand, but still a good chunk of it goes to operating expenses. And they may be making a lot more than they ever thought they would. Does the fact that the product was more sucessful than anticipated (allowing for more freedom to do what they do best, make more games) mean they are obligated to change their profit plan? No. If 11 million people think 15$ (or 13$ if they buy 6 months at a time) a month is worth paying, why should they lower the price? If the product sells extremely well in its current price bracket and continues to set new sales records there is no reason for them to change what so ever. On the contrary they have been enabled to do what they haven't ever before been able to do: making 4 games concurrently. Diablo 3, Starcraft 2, WoW & Co, and the unannounced but confirmed to exist MMO set in a new gaming universe for the company. Previously they had 2 games going at once, max. With the new source of revenue the success WoW has brought they have been enabled to do more of what we want them to. Make good, quality, entertaining games. They still support and make patches for all their other titles still too.

Sure i may be padding the companies pockets, but i do that no matter what product i buy. Also, with them i know for fact that they are going to do with my money what i want them to: Make more games that i love. I can't say the same about many other companies.

What we have here is the laws of economics and capitalism working at their finest. *Everyone* is happy. I get to play great games, the employees of the company get to make great games (which they love to do). It's win win.

RE: First
By elgueroloco on 11/25/2008 10:24:55 AM , Rating: 2
I totally agree. Blizzard puts out a great product, and paying for it enables more great products. I can't even count all the happy hours I've spent playing Blizzard games with friends and family. Blizzard is one company I don't mind giving money to.

As for the value, think about this: A movie ticket is $10.50 where I live. Add popcorn and a drink and it's easily $15.00. An average movie lasts 1.5 hrs. So, going to the movies, you get 1.5 hrs for $15. Playing WoW, you get pretty much as many hours as you want for a whole month for $15. Much better value, IMO.

RE: First
By ThePooBurner on 11/25/2008 2:11:14 PM , Rating: 2
I think the best math I have to support this is the following:
All my characters= ~100 days played time.
(14*15$=210$)/(100*24=2400hrs)= 8.75 cents per hour of entertainment. That isn't counting all the free time i've been given as compensations either. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

RE: First
By Pavelyoung on 11/23/2008 9:53:14 PM , Rating: 1
Can you name one other form of entertainment that you have access to 24x7 for the entire month for only $12 per month?

RE: First
By kristof007 on 11/24/2008 4:13:03 AM , Rating: 2
24x7 minus 4x7-9 hours for maintenance every Tuesday :)

RE: First
By spluurfg on 11/24/2008 9:52:55 AM , Rating: 2
Can you name one other form of entertainment that you have access to 24x7 for the entire month for only $12 per month?

Uh, you mean $12 per month plus the cost of the game, right?

Sure -- any other form of entertainment that doesn't require a monthly subscription. Counterstrike, Battlefield, COD4, half life single player, public television, a board game, solitaire, and so on.

This isn't to suggest that WOW players don't get value for money -- I leave that to others to debate. I'm just saying that it isn't the only form of entertainment with 24/7 access at the same price.

RE: First
By callmeroy on 11/24/2008 4:03:29 PM , Rating: 2
Sure -- any other form of entertainment that doesn't require a monthly subscription. Counterstrike, Battlefield, COD4, half life single player, public television, a board game, solitaire, and so on.

COD4,HL, CS -- excellent games and I play them as well as WoW (though rightnow I'm way into Fallout 3).

But are serious with public televesion, a board game and solitaire?

I think examples in disagreements are good and all but only if its valid. If its an example that under normal circumstances then it doesn't count. For instance I would NEVER play a board game or solitare and public TV is horrible -- so there fore those are all weak and moot examples.

RE: First
By quiksilvr on 11/24/2008 1:21:50 PM , Rating: 2
Uh...YEAH. THOUSANDS of forms of entertainment like I JUST SAID for PC games and HUNDREDS of games for the PS3 and Wii. Oh, and guess what? It's not $12 a month. IT'S FREAKING FREE.

RE: First
By callmeroy on 11/24/2008 4:05:33 PM , Rating: 2
Uh...YEAH. THOUSANDS of forms of entertainment like I JUST SAID for PC games and HUNDREDS of games for the PS3 and Wii. Oh, and guess what? It's not $12 a month. IT'S FREAKING FREE.

Btw two things --- 1 ) Who the hell are you to tell anyone how they spend their money?...which leads to....2) Why do you care?

RE: First
By quiksilvr on 11/24/2008 7:01:27 PM , Rating: 2
1) It's not about the money, it's the principle behind it. You already showed your support for buying the game, the least they can do is give you a free online experience, especially since so many others do it. If you want to be an idiot and spend your money on monthly passes just to play a game then go ahead, but if that leads to future rip offs thanks to it then I'm pretty sure I'm not going to be the only one pissed off about it.

2) I'm tired of companies being extra greedy and ripping off customers. Broadband internet access alone costs $30 a month and most of the time the speeds are too low for gaming. Games are now costing 60 bucks. PC's to run them cost 500 to 1000 dollars. Enough with the damn nickel and diming and let me play my game online for free.

RE: First
By callmeroy on 11/25/2008 10:42:56 AM , Rating: 2
So now I'm an "idiot" for paying $12 a month to play game? And MMO's should be free?

I think you are mixing your personal ideology up with economics. Would I love for WoW to be free to play -- hell yeah I would. Would I pay ANY amount they raise it to play hell NO I wouldn't. Unlike some folks I do have a budget set for myself for recurring monthly gaming expenses (that budget is about $30 a month btw if you are playing the home game and following along...I currently do NOT spend $30 a month, but that is the amount I'd draw the line at.)

Look -- I was just busting your stones because you are obviously very upset over the fact of Blizzard charging for their product and then charging to play it. But I'd trumpet your cause in a heart beat if I thought it would make a difference.

The other thing that we do, I say we because you do it in your arguments, and I've done it in the past - is play the compare game. "Well Guild Wars is free so why can't WoW be free as well!" ....."Don't tell me that it costs X amount of money to pay for bandwidth, I'm buying my bandwidth for Y amount of money!"....Companies exist to turn a profit -- and they all have different expenses to consider. Hands down i can tell you from playing WoW and Guild Wars -- the content in WoW is much more refined (much bigger "play world" as well) and I can bet WoW is a more expensive operation than Guild Wars or many other free to play online games. PLUS -- don't kid yourself , the free to play guys aren't saints.....if they had an enormous subscription base and people constantly signing up to play -- my bet is they would start talking around their board room meetings "so guys...we are getting incredibly popular -- I don't think we can be free to play much longer....".

FPS games are just stupid to mention as an argument to how they can be free to play online so why can't an MMO. Not saying you did or didn't make that assumption (I honestly forget now to be if you did... An MMO is a huge persistent world, taht requires whole server farms to run. An FPS is a friggin server you throw install the game and then configure the network client to offer it up for folks to play on. Its like saying McDonald's gave out free cheeseburgers , so why doesn't a five star restaurant give out free Filet Mignon and Lobster -- the expenses are completely different.

Finally back to me being an idiot for paying $12 a month...I'm a cheap bastard. I penny pinch all the time (especially now with this economy)...don't smoke...don't of the very few "luxuries" I allow myself to enjoy is $12 a month to play a computer game I realy have fun with. I work - my money is earned, so its not like its hand out money I'm spending either. Aside from the game and few DVDs I buy here and there -- I really don't splurg that much on myself. So sorry I don't feel like an idiot at all for spending $12 a month. Why not tell a smoker they are idiots for spending $60 a week?

RE: First
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 11/24/2008 7:47:13 AM , Rating: 1
Players vote with their dollars. You are entitled to your opinion, but you shouldn't prevent other players who see a value in the service from paying for the service. You have voted with your dollars, and they have voted with theirs.

"People Don't Respect Confidentiality in This Industry" -- Sony Computer Entertainment of America President and CEO Jack Tretton

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