The Genius of Blizzard
Dechion had a fantastic post today about Blizzard’s strategy with Battlenet. I’m not nearly as eloquent as he is, but I wanted to mention it.
I agree with him completely. Blizzard realizes the value of the social network among WOW players. They also know that WOW will not be around forever.
The reason that WOW continues to be the dominant force in the MMORPG market place is a combination of its existing customer base, and the quality of the game. It might not be the “best” game out there, but it is certainly the most successful. People have a lot invested in their characters and their social network in WOW. To leave would be to throw all that away and start over completely.
Sure, other games can attract WOW players here and there. But to get the entire customer base to get up and switch games? Unlikely.
It’s kind of like back in the day when I was in high school, and everyone had an AOL Instant Messenger account. Other instant message technologies and clients were introduced that were ‘better’, but no one used them. It would require moving the entire social network from one technology to another.
WOW will not die unless Blizzard stops trying. Unless the game gets so much worse than any other MMORPG that no one wants to play it. I highly doubt they’re interested in doing that – until they have something new and better themselves.
So how do they kill their own game and still profit from it? By keeping the social network of the customer base intact.
Battlenet not only allows them to do this, but to expand that social network to all their other franchises. This will vastly increase their sales of those other games.
You may not have thought too much about playing Stracraft II. But if your guildmates are all playing? Chances are you might check it out.