I've been thinking about the potential of how much Blizzard has fucked up. Not just in terms of ethically, but how much this will affect their design approach (or lack off effecting their design approach) for the next few years.
Blizzard has picked an awful time to make a strong political statement. After years of screwing over their own audience, they had finally made a step in the right direction with WoW Classic.
But WoW Classic will drastically be affected thanks to the recent Hong Kong Controversy. I am not here to argue whether the situation was ethically correct or not, but I will argue that it is the start of the end of WoW classic. Blizzard continues to dig themselves deeper in their trenches in order to appease China.
Although how will this affect WoW classic you may ask? WoW, classic appealed to a niche of players who are deeply engraved into video game culture and maintain strong attention to current events within the gaming community – unlike casual games of the modern age, these players actually pay attention to what companies are doing behind the scenes, and actually care.
We also forget how powerful and influential guilds and communities are within the MMO genre, especially MMORPGs designed in the previous era, which WoW Classic strongly follows. Without dungeon finders, and actual challenge players are more likely to socially interact and their entire experience relies strongly on the community itself. If a small number of players migrate this may not be significant but in smaller servers, a single guild deciding to boycott the game, or even a few selected guild leaders could easily throw a server in disarray.
A small influx of players leaving could easily result in a snowball effect of refugees slowly jumping ship, with the catalyst being the Hong Kong controversy.
However, this is not necessarily a good thing for the consumer. The businessmen at blizzard will probably blame this on wow classic being outdated and not the actual controversy itself, this would be incredibly likely as it would look great in business meetings and reinforce blizzard that their direction in the last few years was, in fact, the correct pathway for the future. Which in turn means that WoW Classic, at no fault of its own will fail to teach blizzard a lesson.
I can't possibly be the only one thinking this. What do you guys think? Will this affect the future of wow classic, will subscription numbers dwindle?
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