Though I haven’t been able to play World of Warcraft in nearly a year, I always get excited when a new release nears. Mists of Pandaria arrives in September, and the official cinematic trailer has arrived that my son and I can’t stop watching.
There’s a new batch of celebrity based World of Warcraft commercials that are currently airing on a television channel near you. This one features Parks and Recreation’s Aubrey Plaza telling you about the time she dumped her boyfriend.
When it comes to MMORPGs, Blizzard’s World of Warcraft is the 800 pound gorilla in the room. Blizzard announced today that the game will now be free to download and play for the first 20 levels of the game.
World of Warcraft players can reach level 85, so the amount of content Blizzard Entertainment is making available for free is actually only a small fraction of the content available in the game. There is also an enormous amount of “end-game” content that is designed for players looking for additional challenges and better rewards once they reach level 85.
There’s still plenty of money to be had for the company once a player decides to move past level 20 as they will still need to buy all three expansion packs. With greater pull from other games, movies, and comic books, this seems like a good move by the company to keep its hold on the online gamer market.
For those who don’t play WoW, does this news make you want to check out the action, or are you too busy with City of Heroes and DCU Online to care?
Instead of standing in line while waiting for the midnight release of the World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, I went the digital download route. I don’t need manuals or DVDs sitting on the floor and taking up space. I know a lot of other players went that route as well, but there were also a fair number of people who went and bought a physical copy. How do we know this? Blizzard announced that it sold 3.3 million copies of WoW in the first 24 hours of release. This surpassed the 2.8 million sold in 24 hours for the WoW: Wrath of the Litch King in 2008.
“We had to bring Azeroth to the brink of destruction in Cataclysm, but the result was our best expansion yet,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We want to thank all of our new, existing, and returning players throughout the world for their incredible enthusiasm and support, and we look forward to hearing what they think about all the new content.”
There are still plenty of copies to sell before Blizzard satisfies all of its subscriber base. Blizzard says it has 12 million players worldwide.
A few weeks ago I reviewed Fable III for the Rootin’ Tootin’ MSP. Not being insecure at all, I posted my intent to review the game on Twitter the day before to see what others had to say about it. Reaction varied, some people hadn’t played it but were looking forward to it, others had given it a spin and were enjoying it, but one comment in particular really surprised me. “cool, just make sure you don’t call it an ‘RPG’.”
If you didn’t see The Red Shirt Guy ask his questions at BlizzCon 2010, then you are missing out on a bit of awkward Q&A history in the making. Blizzard was cool enough to put the kid in the World of Warcraft game itself, and someone else snagged the original footage and Auto-Tuned it up right.
Blizzard has announced that it now has over twelve million subscribers to its World of Warcraft MMORPG game, and if I were a betting man, I’d say that number will climb slightly in December, when the next expansion arrives.
“The support and enthusiasm that gamers across the world continue to show for World of Warcraft reaffirms our belief that it offers one of the best entertainment values available today,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We are as committed as ever to taking the game to new heights, and we look forward to demonstrating that with Cataclysm in December.”
One should note that the total number of players is based on total number of current subscribers, not necessarily the number of people who play on a regular basis.
Here’s yet another documentary focusing on players and their fascination with the game. What I like most about this video is that the creators took the avatars and had them interact in the real world. Better than any Machinima I’ve seen to date.
Wildstorm has announced it will be canceling the World of Warcraft and Starcraft monthly comic books, and replacing them with original graphic novels.
“While WildStorm and Blizzard loved the stories being told in the regular monthly comic-book series, we decided that the graphic novel would be a more suitable medium for the tales we wanted to tell next,” said Hank Kanalz, VP & General Manager of Wildstorm. “The larger format will give our artists and storytellers more room to explore Blizzard’s rich, varied worlds and flesh out the characters that inhabit these places.”
The Warcraft series ended yesterday with the release of the World of Warcraft Special, while Starcraft ends with issue #7, that arrives in January 2010.
This is really interesting news, but one that doesn’t come as a huge surprise.Â From my reading of the first arc, the story didn’t follow the WoW universe too closely, and seem to throw in WoW references, names, and locations to create the ties between the video game and the comic book.Â Going the graphic novel route might bring more readers to each series, as gamers might be more likely to read a larger tome than a series of monthly comics.Â Still, the Wildstorm stories were much better than the manga stuff that came out of Japan.
The geek giving doesn’t have to be for just comic book lovers.Â Gamers also deserve a little something under the tree, and for those who play World of Warcraft, Alliance or Horde tabards might be just the gift.Â Of course you better check and make sure you know which side your WoW gamer is aligned with, or that could lead to a really bad holiday moment.
The $79.99 tabards (chainmail not included) are on pre-order now for a first quarter 2010 release, so while you won’t have the item on the holiday morning, just knowing this piece of ephemera is on the way should have the giddy with glee.
I almost had a geek-gasm when I read the headline that director Sam Raimi will direct the World of Warcraft movie.Â Unfortunately, this will not be an animated feature done by the folks at Blizzard.Â Fortunately, the live action feature film will be directed by Army of Darkness creator Sam Raimi.Â Â Raimi will oversee pre-production, and shoot the film after he finishes work on Spider-Man 4.
The “Warcraft” universe features an epic conflict between the Horde and the Alliance. The game has developed a global following since its launch in 1994 and shows no signs of slowing. Its most recent expansion, “Wrath of the Lich King,” sold more than 2.8 million copies in the first day of release and more than 4 million its first month.
The film is being financed through Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. which were the two companies behind Batman: Dark Knight.Â Â No word on a scheduled release date.
The DC Solicitation for June article posted yesterday didn’t have the pictures for the WoW figures listed. So, for those of you who are dying to see the figures close-up, take the jump.