I am sure this image may be familiar to many people, especially those my age that probably spent many an afternoon dropping quarters into machines.
Yeah, I know, I said quarters, for my generation Arcade games cost 25 cents to play. We would line up quarters on the edge of the monitor window. We would happily spend hours here playing our favorite games, dumping untold amounts of cash into them. The owners of the arcade did not care what machines we played, as long as we were in there happily dropping our change into the machines. When they did care, was when a machine broke, and we wandered out to do other things with our allowance.
What if Blizzard no longer cares about trying to cater to everyone in WoW, but instead are taking the step to just make many games in the way they want to see them played. Your Battlenet subscription gets you access to many games, Diablo, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, Starcraft, who know what others may be in development. If someone gets tired or bored with WoW, and picks up Hearthstone, or moves on to HoTS, it is not a loss of revenue for them, at the end of the month they still have your subscription fee, regardless of what games you may be playing. And instead of wasting countless man hours trying to tweak and adjust any one game to satisfy the most people, they can instead focus on making more things to play. As long as we do not leave the Arcade, why should they.
And honestly, it is a brilliant business strategy. Incorporate many different types of games under one banner, one monthly fee. Yes there may be some titles that surge ahead in popularity, but also there is the novelty of going back to play something you stopped playing years ago, just because it is there, and is not costing you any more. Think of it as paying an Arcade $15 to go in, and play what every you want for an entire month. Even if you don’t have an interest in the other games now, perhaps some new machine will get rolled into the store that catches your eye.
I honestly feel today, that they are not so much focusing on what lies ahead 2 years from now or 5, they are planning on 10 maybe even 25 years from now. Building a franchise that is not just one stand out game, but many games.