Wednesday, September 07, 2005

WoW's Impact

The NY Times has an article up on the impact of World of WarCraft to the gaming community at large. Here is a quote from the article:

"If you're only playing WOW and you're paying every single month, what does that mean for all of the other Internet games out there that are trying to get your $10 or $12 or $15 a month?" Mr. Green said. "WOW is now the 800-pound gorilla in the room. I think it also applies to the single-player games. If some kid is paying $15 a month on top of the initial $50 investment and is devoting so many hours a week to it, are they really going to go out and buy the next Need for Speed or whatever? There is a real fear that this game, with its incredible time investment, will really cut into game-buying across the industry."

I can tell you this is exactly what has happened to me, but I am not any kid. I have bought zero games for either the computer or Xbox since WoW came out. I would have bought probably 1 a quarter before WoW came out. WoW then is actually saving me money over my normal gaming purchases.

I have bought exactly 3 PSP games this year, Lumines, Ridge Racer, and Coded Arms,  and they have all been disappointments, except maybe Ridge Racer, I would call that acceptable. I got the PSP to play on the train while going to work, but the games are just retreads of existing stuff, nothing with good story. I hold out hope for Madden 2006 when it drops on the 20th.  If I could get an Internet connection to my laptop on the train, I would eBay the PSP and play WoW on the train. It would be tough, you really need a mouse, but I would make due.

I don’t see stopping either. I have only one character, and I have only played for one faction in the game. I have so much I can do with other characters, and I can’t wait to see what comes out next.

For Mac owners, WoW is really the only MMO in town, and as a Mac WoW player, I will continue to reward Blizzard for putting the Mac OS X and Windows on equal footing. Patches come out on the same day and have all the same features. I have to believe this has some affect on the success of the game. Don’t misunderstand, this game would be extremely successful without Mac owners, but since Mac WoW players are a very captive audience, and they have both Mac and PC friends, they lobby to get as many people as they know to keep WoW, their MMO, viable. WoW was the deal maker that allowed me to dump my PC and get a Mac. From the beta, I knew I would be playing this for a long time, so I didn’t need a PC around to play games; WoW is the only one I need.