Some game news:
World of Warcraft’s success is well documented, but Blizzard just hit us with a formal announcement of how many subscribers the game actually has. According to Red Herring, it’s a cool 4 million, baby, making WoW the most popular online role-playing game in the world. Some analysts estimate that the cash cow is bringing the company more than $30 million each month just in basic subscription fees – parent company Vivendi reports its revenue up 61 percent from the year before.
The BBC has an interesting article profiling a series of online gaming addicts, building on my post from a few days ago about China’s pending restrictions on consecutive hours of gameplay. It feels like a text version of an AA meeting. The four “addicts” in the article justify their time hidden in their rooms, shut off from the outside world by saying things like “Gaming helps me escape from whatever happens to be bothering me,” and “playing games online means that other people are playing live with you.” As a former WoW player I can relate to these statements, but trying to rationalize your removal from the physical world is just that – rationalization. “Ever since I started playing, my physical condition has deteriorated,” one player says. “I get lots of colds as I don’t really exercise.” Still another has actually realized that there might be things going on in the real world that merit more attention:
“My wife is pregnant and needs a lot of attention. It wouldn’t look good if I put my energy into World of Warcraft.”