Element of Surprise

The PTR spoiled it for the rest of us. The next Lich King is…

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CRIME: Man ‘Grooms’ Boys To Send Naked Pics

Copenhagen City Court this week charged a 28-year old man for ‘grooming’ underage teens.

(The unnamed pervert) is being prosecuted in Copenhagen City Court for ‘grooming’, where he allegedly used the online computer game ‘World of Warcraft’ to get the 12-16 year-old boys to transmit pictures or film clips to him.

'Run Away, Lil' Girl. Run Away!'

According to the charges, the man had a significant amount of ‘gold’ in the game, which can be used to upgrade a player’s strength or abilities. He allegedly offered the boys gold in exchange for the pictures, which in some instances involved (illicit acts). Read More

The report added, “the man chatted with the boys on World of Warcraft website and also via MSN Messenger, where more private exchanges could take place.”

Don’t Be Zealous!

Here’s something for the archives:

BEIJING — When the online fantasy game “World of Warcraft” was yanked from China last year because of a bureaucratic turf battle, the millions of Chinese players were outraged.

An online chat session to discuss the problem attracted 32,000 indignant gamers. Tens of thousands filed complaints with China’s consumer rights agency – in one day. An Internet addiction expert who defended the shutdown on national television found himself bombarded with angry phone calls and death threats.

But there’s been little evidence of similar popular protest since online giant Google said it might shut down its google.cn search engine and cease operations in China. In fact, many of the country’s 384 million Internet users appear to greet the news with little more a shrug. Read more…

World of Warcraft has integrity as an online game, it’s viable and I doubt its parent company likes playing politics that much!  Google’s  enigmatic exit  is cluttered with the absurd. No wonder the Chinese netizen just shrugged off the news.

The Chinese has misread the game (WoW) and their consumers for something else. By playing the ‘as usual’, the Chinese censors has made a jester of an otherwise reasonable and competent (online) authority. As for the Google farce– perhaps changing your motto to ‘Don’t be Zealous’ would make simpler drawing 338 million* internet users to your massive brand.

World of Warcraft in China. (c) Digitalbattle.com

* An estimated 338 million online users are based in China. 320 million have broadband access.

The People That Loves WoW

USA Today asked some video game insiders to name five favourite games of the ‘decade’. So far, three people interviewed nominated World of Warcraft as the definitive MMORPG of the noughties.

Morgan Webb, co-host of G4 show X-Play:

World of Warcraft (2004). The MMORPG by which all others are judged, World of Warcraft took a niche genre and launched it to center stage with 11 million customers paying Blizzard a monthly fee to enter their world of Orcs, Goblins, and Dragons.

Peter Molyneux, creative director of European studios for Microsoft Game Studios; co-founder of Lionhead Studios:

World of Warcraft (2004). Not so much a game as a lifestyle. When playing WoW, the rest of the world seemed to go dim.

Andy McNamara, editor-in-chief of Game Informer magazine:

World of Warcraft (2004). You never quite know what to expect when you log into Blizzard’s colorful massively multiplayer game, which is why I find the game so engaging. It’s always finding ways to make the game better than it was the year before.

With such flattering remarks, who needs PR grads to market your game. And naturally if you haven’t heard of WoW yet, where have you been in the past five years?

Icecrown Citadel, 25-man Raid

The Waiting Game

Blizzard COO Paul Sams talks about cooking it right during game development. Speaking exclusively for Games Industry, Sams warns of the cumbersome choice between hitting financial targets and sustaining the creativity behind the creation.

“If you’ve been in the games industry for any length of time and you’ve worked for a variety of companies, what you will hear from developers is that they were working on a game that they were so excited and enthusiastic about… and yet, when it got to the point where the company wanted to ship it and the game wasn’t done, that company would oftentimes make the decision to ship it anyway – because they needed to make their quarterly numbers, or whatever.” Read More

Reminds me of the console war during the late 90s. Remember, Dreamcast?

Well, to Sams (and his team@ Blizzard), take your time. We just want to play a good game.