You could also make a case for Activision being responsible for most of the people who have left WoW since the merger. Activision pushed hard for the RealID thing, which was cut down after the fan backlash was so overwhelming that it started hitting the mainstream media. They've also been motivating a lot of the "make money fast" plans that give the community a sense that Blizzard is trying to re-monetize WoW quickly before it fades.
"You could make a case, and it would be thrown out of court."
Do you have any alternate ideas to offer? Blizzard wasn't milking WoW the way they are now until they became an ATVI company. They weren't trying to build WoW into a social network before ATVI. These things have discouraged a large section of the user base.
Now, to be sure, Cataclysm was a PR misstep (I happen to think it was a good expansion with about 3 small flaws that could have been addressed, but that's just me, and I understand that a lot of people blame Cataclysm for the exodus). But I don't think people leave a game that has remained largely unchanged in terms of its basic value proposition (you level, you gear up, you grind raids) for as many years as WoW has been around, without a sense that the ship is sinking, and the rush to re-monetize provided just that.
Feel free to chime in with an alternate point of view, but I don't think you've made a case, here.
I've found through my 6 years of playing WoW, that pretty much no matter what Blizzard does, or doesn't do, there are going to be people out there that hate it, curse the company for whatever it is they did, and rage quit. Time and time again this has held true. I just roll with the punches and keep playing the game. It is, afterall, only a video game...
I dunno if I would blame Activision so much as I would blame the devs and their too big to fail stance on userbase feedback on certain things. My love affair with WoW ended when Ghostcrawler responded to the outcry about tanks (specifically warriors) and healers getting nerfed in a way that made reg 5 mans a bit of a chore by saying basically 'qq more, l2p. Dungeons are now hard.'
While true, I dunno if a dev should take such a stance. He had made a blue thread, which was later pulled.
"Meh, I hear ya. I'm playing SW:TOR when it comes out, but I'll play MoP too for old times sake. "
I'm going with TOR too. Will prolly check GW2 when it comes out. And bah, I'm not gonna totally abandon all my toons (like, 3-4 85s, and 2 in their 70s) but I don't think I'll try mop (hah, mop) until it drops price...prolly like into patch 5.2 or something.
Actually, according to Blizzard, more people have quit World of Warcraft than are currently playing it by a large margin. Without a steady influx of new players, the game would be essentially dead, which brings up a question: when will they have saturated the market for new MMO players?
Moves like adding pet battles, gear transmogrification and adventure mode (a sort of hybrid of the things Rift has done, for example) are aimed at getting some of those who have left to try the game again.
I'm not being pro or anti-WoW, here. Just trying to be a realist about the audience and the game's future.
"more people have quit World of Warcraft than are currently playing it by a large margin."
I'm just going to say this was most likely not true considering wow has always advertised 11 million user till recently they've been saying 10 mill which is no where near more people lost than are playing
I've played for 6 years and the game is finally getting old. My friends have stopped playing and a big part of the game for me is the social interaction. I have a feeling MoP will keep people's interest for a while, but at the end of the day, you're still a slave to the grind. lol
Activision actually doesn't publish World of Warcraft. Blizzard still publishes all of their games themselves.
Also, Activision and Blizzard didn't merge. Vivendi Universal bought Activision and merged it with Vivendi Games, then renamed it "Activision Blizzard". Vivendi Games was Blizzard's old parent company, dating back to around the release of the original Starcraft.
Blizzard also started doing microtransactions in Burning Crusade and the Vivendi Games / Activision merger happened before Wrath of the Lich King was released. So it's pretty hard to blame everything on Activision.
I would disagree that those are WoW basic values. Thew focus on grinding and rains and PvP is a later development and where i think WoW went wrong. The game ceased being as fun as it was when everything started to get focused on that Cataclysm wasn't so much a misstep, but more of a failure to really bring new content...and new as is not regurgitated content with different labels. The ship has been sinking for quite some time, unfortunately. I have been playing the game since it came out. It still holds the best in Class title in many aspects, but content has been sucking for quite some time and I think that has really drawn people out. SWTOR held a lot of promise, but now that we are all stuck at level 50 with only ginding, raids, and PVP to do...that is suffering the same fate as WoW...
PvP is cheap filler material for devs, why it's so popular with MMOs despite most are playing for PvE content (e.g. dungeon crawling and raiding, let alone tradeskilling). PvP is fine if folks like to engage in it, but it fails miserably when PvE players are forced to PvP (or vice versa with PvP players being forced to raid for a weapon). Blizzard also admitted that arena was a mistake, but the real mistake is the s-e-r-i-o-u-s FoTM class imbalance.
My toon has 5030 resilience as a healer, but one medium geared feral can kill me in less than 40 seconds. Why? The combined +30% damage and healing reduction, all despite being in full CP gear with nearly 50% damage reduction. When you can't reasonably counter damage with the best gear -- and as a healer -- it's broken. In WotLK it was a tad more balanced with healers as there's a chance to kill an attacker if they make a mistake, now all a healer can do is run (pretty hard now with addons that specifically single out healers [something that should be banned, like Blizzard doesn't allow raid markers to mark targets in PvP]).
What's sad about WoW is that it was once a game where you couldn't wait to login and jump into a raid, dungeon or battleground. Now it's dreading to logon to see trolls trolling trade in boredom, and worse, in dungeons trying to wipe the party (had a 3 some try that this morning. They pulled and stayed there dancing. I ran out of the instance, and as I did the mob returned to kill them. I told them don't play games with healers as they'll wipe and left them with the repair bill -- I hope they danced right to the mender, too). Used to be we did 10 and 25man raids that kept folks busy, but with shared raid locks, even that is gone. 25mans are basically dead, and 10mans are basically guild only. The best guild on our server for 3 years and top 300 raid team in WoW literally dissolved in 4.3, too. Does Blizzard think pet battles and Pandas will bring those raiders back? If they do, it doesn't matter what data they have, they lost touch with the actual player community (not fanbois).
I'm trying to figure out exactly what kind of case you would be making? This is a video game... people choose to play it or not play it. That's almost like making a case for television series you buy on DVD and then decide you don't like it. I guess I'm trying to figure out what you mean by making a case and how anyone could be responsible for people who stopped playing a game (or more to the point who would care)? Most of the people I know who quit play, started playing Diablo or Star Wars instead.