I was thinking this morning driving in. Listening to the reports on the new Mummy movie, and how it is bombing in US markets, thinking about this time last year when the Warcraft movie was not doing well. And how the comments then were that the United States just doesn’t matter. Global markets are where the focus is. And I wondered to myself.
Do they, being Blizzard Corp., really care about the US and European markets any more. Oh, certainly many lay claims to not being the target audience, and I have to think to myself, perhaps none of us are any more. If we are not generating hours per account per game a day towards the Monthly numbers, do they really care about adjusting content or design to suit us? I think not. Unless you have a noticeable following in social media, or a Twitch/YouTube web presence with followers in the thousands, the odds of seeing even acknowledgement of a comment to the @WarcraftDev Twitter account is probably lower than hitting the Powerball lottery for over $400 million dollars. I think, at least to me, that management has an idea of the direction they want to take the company, and your average players, your Mom’s, Dad’s, Grandmothers, and Grandfathers, do not fit into the picture. Oh certainly they will take your money month after month, even let you pay for your subscription with in game currency, but you are not the person they are designing the game for. They want the game to be fast paced, to be something people will pay to watch, will purchase team gear for, buy plushies, T-Shirts, coffee mugs, plastic action figures, and other things from the shop. They are marketing and designing the game(s) now towards a new audience, one that will subscribe to a Blizzard gaming network, to watch competitive playing, and I would hazard a guess that even the folks in Las Vegas may be looking at the potential for betting on matches. I do honestly believe that in the next 10 years the gaming world will look a whole lot different than it does today.
It actually makes me a little sad. That games will be designed and marketed towards competitive playing. Perhaps it was inevitable, that those that grew up in a generation where competing at games like Donkey Kong, Pac Man, etc would still have those memories of being a young kid, wishing they were good enough to play at that level and be a star, to now where they have the resources to make the games that the new generation will play, and be elevated to a level where the Stars of the gaming world look up to them, because they created the game. It is almost like the classic nerd in High School going on to be famous, coming back to their 25 year reunion and having the popular girl, or boy, paying attention to them. Perhaps it is even history repeating itself. I recall those years when video game championships were just becoming a thing. Maybe we have come full circle. I guess I cannot complain too much. There are many games I can play, many that I can do ok playing, not great, not cutting edge, but ones I can just sit and spend my evening doing. The old expression, Git Gud, falls on deaf ears, there was a time long ago when I was, now I am no longer, and while I may look back years ago with rose colored glasses, I recall how many hours were spent staying at that level of skill. And I choose not to any more.