So it’s not long now until the latest “new big thing” in the MMO genre is released. I’m talking about The Elder Scrolls Online, of course. This is it! This is the be-all, end-all best MMO to ever hit the internet! It’s Skyrim but online! It’s Oblivion but online! Yeah, yeah… as much as a fan as I am of the Elder Scrolls games, I’m still a bit nervous when the preview talks about “twitch based combat”…but anyhow….
With beta testing well underway and release date approaching, the endless litany of doom-saying has begun.
“I’m here for now, but once TESO is release I’m leaving.”
“I’m cancelling my sub once TESO is out, Warcraft (or substitute the name of any other MMO of your choice) is going to die.”
“TESO is going to be so amazing, I won’t ever play this game again.”
I’m sorry, but I’ve heard it all before. Anyone remember a little game called The Old Republic? Bioware’s blockbuster from a few years ago that was going to revolutionize MMO gameplay. The big selling point, though for the life of me I still have no idea why, is that it was fully voice acted! Wow! Goodness the amount of people who shouted about how when it was released they were leaving the game we were currently playing (Lord of the Rings Online at that time) and never, EVER (said in voice so annoying even Taylor Swift would be proud) coming back. Anyhow. EA was thrilled when their little baby sold 2 million copies and subscriber numbers peaked at 1.7m, about 22% of what Warcraft has now, before descending mire of Free to Play. But sure as anything, most if not all were logging back in within 6 months. Shiny but not enough substance.
Let’s just take a minute here to talk abut this largest and whitest of elephants in the MMO room. World of Warcraft just posted an increase of 200,000 subscribers in the last quarter of 2013. A game that has 7.6 million subscribers…yes, please take a minute for that to actually sink in…7,600,000 people pay Blizzard money every month to play their game. At an the UK sub rate, that means they get around £68 million every month just from subscriptions on one game! In its lifetime so far over 100 million accounts have been made.
Do you really, REALLY think that anything TESO can do is going to make a dent in that? Do you think pretty much anything in the gaming world can take that down? Not a chance. There isn’t a developer around that has the budget to make a game good enough to challenge it. Warcraft continues to evolve year after year, expansion after expansion. It’s better and more accessible now than it ever has been, yet there is still plenty of rock hard content to keep the L33T teams sweating. The sheer volume of content available in Azeroth is enough to keep you busy for longer than several other MMOs combined.
What will eventually be the death of Warcraft is Warcraft itself if/when Blizz decide the time is right. No one can be sure what they have up their sleeve, but you know what? I trust them. And I for one don’t give a toss if it’s 100% voice acted or not.
Anyone who can get it right and keep it right for so many years is pretty damn amazing. So seriously, if you enjoy gaming and you have never tried Warcraft, stop being stubborn and give it a go. 100 million players can all be wrong, eh?