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November 9, 2009

WOW! They’re done with WOW!

Filed under: Main — Dan Gookin @ 12:01 am

My kids shocked me last week. My sons Jonah and Jeremiah both decided to quit the Massively Multiplayer Online Roll-Playing Game, World of Warcraft. I’m surprised, yet pleased.

It was about two years that they begged me to join the online game, World of Warcraft. I objected. That was because World of Warcraft, which I’ll now abbreviate as WOW because I don’t like typing “World of Warcraft,” is a subscription-based game.

I don’t have a problem buying my kids computer games. They’re very game-literate. They enjoy playing games. But normally you pay for a game only once. Not so with WOW.

So I promised them that they could “buy” WOW as long as they paid for their own subscriptions. That comes in at $15 a month.

For a long time they played and paid. I was content.

They were thrilled with the various upgrade packs that came out. Expansion packs, I believe they’re called. I remember Jeremiah staying up all night when the Wrath of the Lich King came out. He was die hard.

Then the complaining started.

Apparently you can’t really do anything in WOW any more unless you can somehow coordinate 25 or more players to join you. That’s problematic.

It frustrated my boys that they had to sit and wait for people. Worse, they often had to cajole reluctant players to join them. Then, after waiting for The Last Guy to show up, other people would have to leave. My kids were massively multiplayerly frustrated.

WOW is published by Blizzard. I think the folks at Blizzard need to understand that their game model is broken. At my house, at least, there were two willing gamesters who gladly ponied up $15 every month to pay for a game.

My son Jeremiah started when he was 12. $15 a month is $180 a year. That’s a lot for a young guy to fork over, and having such a customer is a thing any business wants. So why has Blizzard blown it by making the game so difficult to play?

The latest rage is Call of Duty. We’ve been playing Call of Duty, World At War (including the Nazi Zombies variation) for a long time now. And we look forward to Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2, which is due out Thursday. So it looks like no one here will be missing WOW any time soon.

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