My Boss Plays WoW
World of Warcraft is not successful (defined: 11 million players) because it’s an amazing game. It’s not successful because it’s original or innovative. It’s not successful because it’s cheap or has low system requirements. It’s successful because the Managing Director of my company plays it.
You see, folks, the greatest tick WoW ever pulled was convincing the world it’s not a MMO and that is the secret to it’s success.
My boss has never heard of Everquest, EQ2, AoC or WAR and doesn’t care about hardcore guilds, class balance or being the first person to hit level 80. He plays because he simply enjoys a good computer game. He plays because it’s fun. He even got his son into it so they can play together.
I once asked him how he got into WoW and he told me that he met someone at a wedding who told him about it and recommended he gave it a shot. That doesn’t happen for other MMOs. Other MMOs have hardcore fans trauling forums and hyping up games and moving their entire guild when something new comes out. But they only account for a fraction of the WoW player base and have a lot less influence than they would like to think.
World of Warcraft is successful because the people who play it don’t know about other MMOs and don’t care. They just want to play a computer game and have some fun. Blizzard absolutely nailed it by creating a solid game and pushing it to transcend the traditional, limited MMO market. And that is why the Blizzard Executives can light their cigars with $10 bills.