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10:00 PM on 07.27.2013

Cue mass hysteria: WoW loses 600,000 subscribers

I can't help but chuckle when Activision Blizzard releases subscription figures for World of Warcraft, because even when there are significant losses, the number of continuing subscribers remains astronomical. By the end of J...

Fraser Brown



Blizzard talks about World of Warcraft microtransactions photo
Blizzard talks about World of Warcraft microtransactions
by Jordan Devore

When Blizzard said it was exploring potentially adding microtransactions to World of Warcraft in "certain regions," speculation quickly pointed to that being code for "Asia." Good job, everyone who suggested that! After admitting that "we're still pretty early in the exploration process," the company has given more context for the in-game store.

"We think everyone would appreciate the convenience of being able to make such purchases without having to leave the game, and ultimately that's our long-term goal for the system, though there's quite a bit of work involved in retrofitting those existing items into the new system," wrote a Blizzard community manager.

"First, we'll be testing the in-game store with some new kinds of items we're looking into introducing (in Asian regions, at the outset) based on player feedback: specifically, an experience buff to assist with the leveling process, as well as an alternate way to acquire Lesser Charms of Good Fortune. We've had a lot of requests from players in different regions for convenience-oriented items such as these, and as with other new ideas we've introduced as WoW has evolved -- including Pet Store pets, mounts, and more -- your feedback plays a hugely important part in determining what we add to the game."

Experience? Doesn't bother me. Those Lesser Charms of Good Fortune, however, could be an issue for some players who fear the in-game store will lead to an eventual pay-to-win scenario. "Ultimately it's still too early in the process to make any final determinations about our plans," Blizzard continued, "but in the meantime, we hope you'll check out the in-game store once it's implemented on the PTR and let us know what you think."

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3:00 PM on 07.04.2013

Blizzard exploring in-game store for World of Warcraft

A "100% XP Buff" item that references the "5.4 In Game Store" was discovered on the World of Warcraft Public Test Realm, prompting players to ask Blizzard what the deal is on the forums. "We are currently exploring the possib...

Jordan Devore

1:45 PM on 07.01.2013

'I think we killed a genre' with WoW, says Red 5 CEO

In a developer blog posted on MMORPG, Red 5 Studios CEO Mark Kern has taken a look back at World of Warcraft and how, in his opinion, the game's success has led to the genre losing sight of what makes it so compelling. "I thi...

Jordan Devore





3:30 PM on 06.25.2013

World of Warcraft sees a spike in unauthorized logins

Bad news World of Warcraft players -- Blizzard's sent out a PSA that the game is experiencing an unusual rise in unauthorized logins from both the website and mobile app. The good news? Blizzard looks like it's going to ...

Brett Makedonski

10:30 AM on 06.24.2013

UDON to sell SDCC-only Street Fighter, Mega Man books

As it does every year, comic and videogame art book publisher UDON Entertainment will be attending San Diego Comic-Con with a bunch of event-exclusive goodies in tow. Technically, all these books will be available elsewhere i...

Tony Ponce

4:15 PM on 05.08.2013

World of Warcraft drops 1.3 million subscribers

Offering a status update on World of Warcraft during an earnings report, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick revealed that the popular MMORPG lost 1.3 million subscribers during the quarter -- "mainly from the East, but in t...

Jordan Devore

11:30 AM on 03.31.2013

World of Warcraft players really love those achievements

I like to pretend that I'm above achievements and trophies, but that's a bare-faced lie. One minute I might be questioning the point or merit of these virtual marks of honor, but the next I'll be trying to earn them.  At...

Fraser Brown



Journey inspired by World of Warcraft, loneliness  photo
Journey inspired by World of Warcraft, loneliness
by Steven Hansen

thatgamecompany founder Jenova Chen delivered a talk on Journey, right on the heels of a sweep of the Game Developer’s Choice Awards the night prior. Naturally, the room was packed full, and Chen received a lovely standing ovation at the end. Some people in the audience even went misty-eyed as Chen rounded out his presentation with some fan mail from a young girl who wrote about playing Journey with her father before she died of cancer.

When considering the state of online multiplayer games, Chen felt there was something missing. He talked about being busy with school and having no social life, instead turning to gaming as a substitute. While in the throes of World of Warcraft in 2006, before forming thatgamecompany, he noted: “The more I played this game, the more people I encountered, the more I realized I had no connection with any of these people. They just reminded me I’m a lonely person.” Just the humble and sincere delivery of that last line made me want to give Chen a hug. 

Chen found the existent system of multiplayer and connectivity failed his search for emotion and relationship building, often due to design conflicts. Item and armor created visible, often times impenetrable hierarchies. The need for resources, like loot, led to in-fighting and competition rather than cooperative play. “Another thing I got annoyed was that people would always check if you’re a guy or a girl in these online games,” Chen added. “I wanted to see a world where everyone is the same.”

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9:50 AM on 03.22.2013

PAX: Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft card game announced

Blizzard has today lifted the lid on Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, "a fast-paced strategy card game for everyone." You hear that, gay people who want to get married? You too can join in on the fun!  Hearthstone hopes ...

Jim Sterling

8:30 PM on 03.07.2013

Sam Raimi on what went wrong with the Warcraft movie

Years ago, Sam Raimi was set to direct Legendary Pictures' film adaptation of World of Warcraft. He left the project quite some time ago, and more recently, Moon director Duncan Jones signed on to fill the vacancy. Speaking t...

Jordan Devore

1:15 PM on 03.04.2013

World of Warcraft content patch 5.2 will launch tomorrow

World of Warcraft's newest expansion, Mists of Pandaria, is getting a new content patch soon. Although the patch has been delayed a few times, the expectation was that it would launch this week -- specifically, tomorrow -- w...

Chris Carter

2:30 PM on 02.27.2013

Mists of Pandaria Thunder King update gets a fun trailer

Patch 5.2, a major content update for World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, is nearly upon us, and Blizzard has a new trailer to celebrate. Lorewalker Cho lays down some phat poetry to get us in the mood for hot raid content...

Chris Carter

2:00 AM on 02.20.2013

Study: Gamers have more control over their dreams

Why do we dream? Amongst the foggy midst of hearsay, medical expertise, and decades of research, the simple answer is, we have no idea. One thing we can all agree on is that dreams are weird. Why my brain transported me to...

Taylor Stein

9:30 PM on 01.30.2013

New director signs on for Legendary's Warcraft movie

Legendary Pictures' big-screen adaptation of Warcraft has landed a new director, Duncan Jones, according to Hollywood Reporter and later confirmed by Blizzard Entertainment. He's best known for directing Source Code and Moon,...

Jordan Devore





2:30 PM on 12.07.2012

Pachter: Activision should charge for Call of Duty online

Michael "Thigh Majesty" Pachter is a man of business, which doesn't always make him a friend to consumers. His latest suggestion, that Activision should charge a fee for Call of Duty, isn't a new notion, but it never wins him...

Jim Sterling