Let us start at the beginning.
A few days ago I read complaints on my Twitter timeline that Korean Warcraft players were going to get a mount that people in other places weren’t. That’s how the thing played out and, sure enough with enough time for these things to get worked on by various marketing departments, everybody yesterday got a chance to buy one. Here we have the blue fox mount, very intentional use from a skin everybody wanted from Legion which could only be obtained via your Class Hall Mission table.
This has no lore basis in anything except an expansion-old obsession. It’s blue. To watch other people posting messages into my feed last night telling me how awesome and beautiful this is has been, I have to say, increasingly amusing. This has to be the most ugly reskin I have seen for quite some time and completely ruins the original aesthetic of the fox it is based upon. My personal reasoning on the release of this item at this point is very simple.
This series of actions is then followed within twenty-four hours by an announcement that Heroes of the Storm’s content is being significantly scaled back, including the removal of the college sponsorship-based Heroes of The Dorm championships. The reason given for for this?
Long term sustainability.
I am not here to tell you how to spend your cash. I cannot also reasonably direct anyone to stop enjoying something they clearly love and appreciate based on business decisions. The whole mantra of ‘let people enjoy what they do’ needs to continue to be sung, for as long as people have the capacity to do so. How that happens is nobody else’s business but yours.
It is more than apparent that decisions are being made for business purposes and not for any other reason. Diablo demonstrates that, the continuing changes to IP structures simply confirm a paradigm shift. This is how a company makes money, based on the realisation that as more people stop being long-term Warcraft subscribers, a shortfall in budgets has to be covered somewhere.
This game was always the cash cow to be milked. However, as other games gain prominence, with other forms of cash grabs more lucrative, it becomes largely academic where the income is taken from. It also becoming increasingly apparent that speaking in opposition of gaming decisions remains a largely thankless and often antagonistic stance. In the last six months, I’ve watched people expected to present common sense counterpoint lose their ability to provide such balance.
This should be the point where I’d provide you with my opinion on how all of this is playing out, but I’m so angry and disillusioned right now not only with Azeroth but those who don’t seem to be able to see what’s been going on around them for years that it seems largely pointless to waste intelligent, reasoned discussion on the subject. Watching people I once respected tear each other apart over pixels isn’t just sad, it’s a fucking waste of everybody’s time.
More significantly however are the people still shoving their virtual ‘gifts’ into Twitter as purchased affirmations of dedication to a company which appears to care little or not at all over the hard work and belief from certain sectors of their player base, many of whom will now be gutted that their game has been remodelled because it’s not making enough cash. I’ve seen enough business speak from this company since Mike Morhaime was replaced to work out that reality.
The last week’s given me a lot to think about, and none of it is good. Most importantly, it is the community itself that’s caused most pause for thought. Time to watch from the sidelines, and then make my decisions based on what everybody else does next.