Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Wilting of a Money Tree

Apparently, 10 million subscribers isn't paying the bills for Blizzard. Unable to harvest their current crop of money tree's and hurting for cash since the merger with Activision, it appears that Diablo 3 will be all about the DLC (Down loadable content) using their "Still Free for Now" player matching service, Battle.Net.

"We are looking to monetize Battle.Net so that we get to keep making these games and updating features," said Diablo III director Jay Wilson. "We kind of have to."

Quoting another source close to the decision, "We just can't afford to wax our yachts every day. I've personally had to lay off one of my 20 gardeners working at the 50 acre animal compound in Africa. It's just tragic. This decision to charge for things, that in the past we have provided for free should help ease the pain."

If that news wasn't bad enough,with regret in his voice and tears in his eyes, Blizzard’s Vice President of Game Design Rob Pardo announced that the campaign version of StarCraft 2 will be a trilogy, each part focusing on a separate race. "It's a separate product. Look at the next two as expansion packs, but will have the feel of stand alone products."

Citing a source close to Pardo, "He really wanted to release it as one product so the players could enjoy all the gaming goodness at once, but with the economic crisis, he knew if he was going to afford that trip in to space he had planned for 2010, he would have to pass the cost on to the players."

Continuing with the plan to keep their company a float, World of Warcraft production boss J Allen Brack apparently confirmed at BlizzCon session this weekend that paid character customisation is on the way to World of Warcraft. From this Warcry report:

When asked to expand upon a button found by sifting through the Lich King beta’s data files named “Paid Character Customization,” Brack initially hesitated to give any answer at all. Several questions later, he went back to the matter, saying that he could, in fact, confirm that World of Warcraft would eventually have some form of paid character customization, though they themselves hadn’t yet worked out any details.
With Warhammer's aggressive attack on the MMO market and the lack of good ink to print their own money, Blizzard is heading down skid row. It won't be long before the execs at Blizzard might actually have to cut back on the Hummers and Cesna planes.

And we can't have that.

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