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Why WoW and Blizzard are in decline...

#1AranSpellweaverPosted 11/7/2012 2:39:44 PM
Steve Jobs has a theory about “why decline happens” at great companies: “The company does a great job, innovates and becomes a monopoly or close to it in some field, and then the quality of the product becomes less important. The company starts valuing the great salesman, because they’re the ones who can move the needle on revenues.” So salesmen are put in charge, and product engineers and designers feel demoted: Their efforts are no longer at the white-hot center of the company’s daily life. They “turn off.”

The salesmen who led the companies were smart and eloquent, but “they didn’t know anything about the product.” In the end this can doom a great company, because what consumers want is good products.

It’s not just the salesmen. It’s also the accountants and the money men who search the firm high and low to find new and ingenious ways to cut costs or even eliminate paying taxes. The activities of these people further dispirit the creators, the product engineers and designers, and also crimp the firm’s ability to add value to its customers. But because the accountants appear to be adding to the firm’s short-term profitability, as a class they are also celebrated and well-rewarded, even as their activities systematically kill the firm’s future.

In this mode, the firm is basically playing defense. Because it’s easier to milk the cash cow than to add new value, the firm not only stops playing offense: it even forgets how to play offense. The firm starts to die.

If the firm is in a quasi-monopoly position, this mode of running the company can sometimes keep on making money for extended periods of time. But basically, the firm is dying, as it continues to dispirit those doing the work and to frustrate its customers.

It is pretty clear that Blizzard is milking the WOW cash cow. Increases in micro-transactions and paid services while at the same time cutting development costs have really boosted their profits and bottom line. But this will only work in the short to medium term and will come back to hurt them in the long run.

Evidence of cost cutting are obvious in the game. Slow release of patches, lack of new content, recycled content, recycled models, homogenization of classes and simplifying talents/mechanics all reduce development costs. One trick is to increase the grind and the difficulty to artificially slow down progression so as to hide the lack of content (early Cataclysm).

Activision-Blizzard is headed by a guy who doesn't care about "games" and probably doesn't really understand them either. Expansion cycles reduced from 2 years to 1.5 years to get more profits. Battle.net, Real-ID and integration with Facebook - new ways to suck money instead of working on the actual game. Instead of working hard to maintain server population and factional balance, paid server transfers and paid faction transfers were introduced and promoted. Result? Dead factions and dead servers that even LFD and LFR can't solve.

Blizzard has taken it's eyes off the ball in the "quality" of WOW. Recent loss of subscribers are only a harbinger of things to come.
#2XtraTPosted 11/7/2012 2:43:45 PM
http://i.imgur.com/vmhSd.gif
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#3g0tbeef89Posted 11/7/2012 2:48:01 PM
Very true. I love reading insights from great CEOs, very telling and I think it is very relevant here.
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#4ReihPosted 11/7/2012 2:55:01 PM
I like the part where in one paragraph you complain about slow patching and lack of new content and then in the very next paragraph complain about expansions being released sooner.

Blizzard is the villain its players deserve.
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#5Ultimate_ChaosPosted 11/7/2012 3:13:37 PM
Steve Jobs HAD a theory. He's dead.
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#6angrywalrus13Posted 11/7/2012 3:16:16 PM
yeah
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#7g0tbeef89Posted 11/7/2012 3:18:32 PM
Ultimate_Chaos posted...
Steve Jobs HAD a theory. He's dead.


So did Newton. Therefore, gravity is false >.>
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Ignoring all from tote since 2011.
#8Teh_Dr_PhilPosted 11/7/2012 3:19:42 PM
XtraT posted...
http://i.imgur.com/vmhSd.gif


Face/Off was such an entertaining movie.
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Yep.
#9Aposter26Posted 11/7/2012 3:25:42 PM
Ultimate_Chaos posted...
Steve Jobs HAD a theory. He's dead.


This is not very intelligent. Are you saying theories just go away when people die? Or that Jobs died because he had a theory? I honestly don't understand what you mean.
#10PirwzwhomperPosted 11/7/2012 3:26:35 PM
He's correcting your grammatical error in the first sentence, OP.
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