Oh you're right, when I ask my 6 y/o about pandas doing kungfu, he asks me to play WCIII.
Oh wait no, I forgot, its the hugely popular childrens movies. Do you honestly think Blizz introduced this character *now* because it made some half-joking appearence in an add-on for a game thats 10 years old? Or because its a hugely recognizable character from the series of popular childrens movies? Can't blame them, they are in business to make money, and hopefully they'll have kids begging mommy to buy this when they see the fluffy bouncy panda on the store shelf.
And I see you didn't take a stab at the blatant rip-off of the pokeman game.
"Oh you're right, when I ask my 6 y/o about pandas doing kungfu, he asks me to play WCIII."
That's some kind of confused logic you have there... Warcraft III is where Pandarens were introduced. They were (as has been widely known for some time) the race slated to be added to World of Warcraft in the first expansion, but the Draenei were added instead for a variety of reasons (highest on the list, IMHO, was the desire to balance the number of players out; since Alliance vastly out-numbered Horde at the time, and adding another cute race to Alliance would have made it worse).
Does the Kung Fu Panda popularity hurt? Not at all. Obviously, the derivative (and let's face it, the KFP idea is clearly a derivative) work has helped to make the idea more widely popular, and it's only right that Blizzard should capitalize on the popularity of THEIR OWN IDEA.
"Oh wait no, I forgot, its the hugely popular childrens movies. Do you honestly think Blizz introduced this character *now* because it made some half-joking appearence in an add-on for a game thats 10 years old?"
By that logic, they should have (and could have) introduced the race in Cataclysm... not buying it.
"they'll have kids begging mommy to buy this when they see the fluffy bouncy panda on the store shelf."
Sorry to break it to you, but there are an awful lot of adults who will enjoy this expansion. The most popular races in the game are the ones with something fun about them, and that's not just the kids talking.
"And I see you didn't take a stab at the blatant rip-off of the pokeman game."
Actually, I recently read a nice review of the pet battle idea in which the author pointed out that it's actually more derivative of a different game, not Pokemon, which has more of a "a beats b, b beats c, c beats a" sort of model where pet battles is going to be more of a balanced playing field.
Anyway, Blizzard has had tremendous financial success with their non-combat pets (an idea that dates back to the very dawn of adventure video games). It makes perfect sense for them to find ways to incorporate them into game play, so while it certainly can be argued that Pokemon informed this genre, to call any pet-fighting game a Pokemon knockoff is kind of silly.
You all make fine points, none of which change a thing about my original post. The expansion is aimed at a much younger crowd than they have been in the past. Will adult gamers play it? of course some will. Are some disappointed by the direction Blizz is going? Yes, check any WoW forums.
Well if you're going to check the WoW forums, then you should also check the blue post that was made about the Pandarian. It said that they are in no way a joke race and they have had every intention of using them in WoW. You do make good points about smart marketing. If that panda movie is popular then why not capitalize on it. That's smart business and I can't be upset about smart business. Furthermore, I would argue that WoW, from the very beginning was been marketed towards a younger crowd. Not necessarily kids (what with all the alcohol use and all) but a younger crowd none the less. I mean from a singing flower that is available as a companion, to the cartoonish graphics, WoW's teen rating holds up pretty well for this argument I think. The fact still remains through all of this that the xpac isn't out yet, all of us are speculating, and what this xpac will really be like remains to be seen.
I'm still not buying into the core proposition that this expansion is aimed at a "younger" crowd than high-pitched gnomes with pink hair and steampunk gadgets; elves with foot-long floppy ears; goblins that blow everything (including their homes) up; Jamaican themed trolls or anthropomorphic cows. Do kung fu pandas appeal to kids? Sure, but so do the above silly races. There's nothing new in MoP in terms of appealing to kids.
Funny thing is, a lot of young boys especially aren't interested in big fluffy pandas. They want hordes of undead and orcs fighting humans, so there's at least one large demographic of kids that don't actually want to see MoP as-is (I say as-is, since, as I've said before, we haven't actually seen what this expansion is going to be about yet).
"I'm still not buying into the core proposition that this expansion is aimed at a "younger" crowd than high-pitched gnomes with pink hair and steampunk gadgets; elves with foot-long floppy ears; goblins that blow everything (including their homes) up; Jamaican themed trolls or anthropomorphic cows. Do kung fu pandas appeal to kids? Sure, but so do the above silly races. There's nothing new in MoP in terms of appealing to kids."
THIS!!! So true. Everyone forgets these things only to complain about whatever is new.
You're right of course, there has always been some silliness in the game, but its just...when I think back, the BC trailer had a giant winged demon guy telling us we weren't prepared, wotlk had arthas in his plate armore wielding his wicked sword, cata has a giant armored dragon laying waste to the world....and now we get a fluffy bouncy panda *as the main selling point* of the new expansion. The silliness is just so much more in-your-face this time around maybe, and along with pokemon seems to be the main gist of the expansion.
I honestly doubt that at this point the expansion will change to such a huge degree that panda's and pandaria will no longer play the starring role. We're pretty safe speculating about the whole panda thing. Some features might be dropped (ala Path of the Titans that was dropped from a prior expansion), but Pandaria, we can safely assume, is here to stay.
A LOT of people are forgetting: we haven't seen the trailer for MoP yet! All we've seen is the intro of the new race, class and continent. You're mis-remembering those prior expansions if you think that the trailer came out first.
I understand. Blizzard's marketing can be confusing at times.
There are always at least two videos they release. One is called the "cinematic trailer" and contains high-resolution, custom animation and voice overs. For Vanilla, this was the dwarf with the shotgun video. For TBC, this was the "you are not prepared" video. For Wrath this was the resurrection of Sindragosa by the Lich King. For Cataclysm it was Deathwing over Stormwind. We haven't seen that video yet for MoP. What we've seen is sometimes called the "gameplay" or "machinima" video that gives you a flavor of what to expect, but often contains no or very few plot or story details.
doz70 - I'm 34 years old and just about done with WoW after the incredibly boring Cataclysm. This xpac looks like just the type of thing that could get me to dabble back in WoW again. The Chinese-style environments look fantastic and I love the idea of chi-channeling Pandaran kicking ace w/ kung fu. WoW needs something like this to add a different flavor of spice then the typical 'rawwwr I'm swinging a huge axe or shooting generic fire/ice/arcane magic at people' stuff that's permeated the game thus far.
I'll be picking up Mists of Pandaria Collector's Edition day one. :)
I think Joshua brings up a couple of good points. Let's not forget that video games are a business, and the ultimate goal of any business is to turn a profit. Businesses accomplish this by a couple of different methods, one of which is changing and evolving with the trends of the time. Wither or not MoP is actually marketed towards a younger crowd is irrelevant if it brings additional dollars into the business (Blizzard). From their standpoint (Blizzards) if you are looking for a mature game with an M rating, then go with Diablo 3. If not, if you're looking for a teen rating, stick with WoW. Either way, marketing your products to a wide range of audiences is smart business. I can't be mad at any company for smart business.
MoP is the last thing that would bring me back to WoW. WoW may "need something like this" (who knows for sure anyway?) but I don't. Seeeee? people are different and have different tastes.
For now, I'm still going to buy and play D3 (despite some changes in the gameplay that I don't like) so Blizz isn't all that "bad" of a company, not by a long shot. They are also loyally sticking with the PC as their ONLY platform, the behavior, which in the current times should be especially commended and praised according to the opinion of this PC hardliner [your's truly]. However, what they did with both WoW and the release of SC2 put me off of those two franchises.
I recognize the legitimacy of Blizzard having developed the panada idea before the Jack Black movies. That doesn't make it a good idea, but whoever said its all about the subscribership and the money is right ultimately. They need a new generation hooked because the old burnt out generation is moving on, to whatever, life, another MMO. I'm sure we could argue over another MMO for hours. SWTOR doesn't suck, I won't play it, but whatever, built in audience. I think GW2 looks good. I might try it, probably not. Right now, I'm bumming around F2P lotro with all my old characters. Its depressing because the game is so dead. It's all I have time for. Point is I won't be trying pandaland, but neither do I blame wow or hate on wow. Its a good game and a good company. I just can't do another one.
The real thing tghat is killing WOW in reality is the lack of updated graphics... I mean come on the game is pushing 8 years in age without any significant graphics update to the core game... Bilzzard need to wake up and realize that the game hasn't changed in a way that is going to win back players, because the players that are leaving are running to games like Rift or SWTOR for something new and more visually appeasing. It is time they wake up and realise that WOW is bleeding out, no matter what they do to stop it.
Blizzard is experimenting with DX11 and there have been a huge number of graphic improvements to the game over the years. These graphics are Warcraft. This is what they are supposed to look like there is no major graphics overhaul planned to happen. I cannot stand these people who say WoW needs an updated graphic engine, no it does not! This is the way that warcraft is supposed to look and keeps the same "feel" as playing any and all Warcraft games.