Activision-Blizzard Moves To Recover Lost World of Warcraft Earnings.

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By Jacob Maslow

Activision LogoWorld of Warcraft is the world’s largest, paid subscription, massive multiplayer, online role playing game. It has millions of members and every month these members pay a subscription fee to continue playing the game online. This game has been a tremendous cash cow for Blizzard and its parent company, Activision. As profitable as World of Warcraft is currently, it has definitely seen better days. In previous years, World of Warcraft had close to 15 million members. Its current membership base is nowhere near that.

There is a growing fear among both company’s shareholders, as well as fans of the game, that the popularity of World of Warcraft has been waning through the years. Thankfully, the latest update, Warlords of Draenor has reinvigorated the membership base of World of Warcraft. However, if experience is to be our guide, expect this upsurge in membership to be temporary.

It appears that MMORPG Space could learn a thing or two from Call of Duty and other first person shooter games. There is a reason why those games update yearly. Every year, people always look for the newest model and version of the game and sign up. This puts a tremendous amount of pressure on blizzard as far as content creation cost to update the game annually.

It seems that Blizzard has finally woken up to the fact that it is losing a lot of potential income due to third party gold miners from countries like China and else where. These gold miners would hire people to play World of Warcraft to generate in-game gold, they would then turn around and sell those gold to players who want a quick supply of gold.

Blizzard has launched the “WOW Token System” in a bid to act down on these third party gold mining operations. I believe that this is a brilliant move. This closes an income gap as far as Blizzard’s business model is concerned. If this turns out to be a successful, expect a lot of the third party gold miners to go out of business because Blizzard has successfully turned gold mining into an in-house game.

How do they do it? People interested in getting a lot of gold in World of Warcraft no longer need to buy from third party gold miners, instead they just need to buy a token, a membership token from Blizzard itself. They then put the token in the auction house and players would pay with their spare gold. If this system’s pricing system works out well, this will have the effect of soaking up excess gold and will disincentive people from using third party gold miners because they can have a larger amount of gold by going through Blizzard’s own in-house system. This is definitely a step in the right direction although I am sure that there are going to be some minor tweaks applied to this system.

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