Thursday, October 16, 2008

Warhammer in Decline?

Warhammer launched well. 750,000 people well. However, since that fateful announcement, various numbers have started to trickle in showing WAR may not be doing so well keeping those 750,000 logged in.

First off, Blizzard is spouting off:
While a number of World of Warcraft users dropped the widely popular MMO to play EA's recently released Warhammer Online, more than half of those gamers have already returned to Blizzard's market-leader.
Hmmmm... the market-leader downplaying the success of a competitor. Maybe we'll just throw this away.

Next, the ever-faithful Xfire provides a nice history track that shows WAR total play times declining among Xfire users. While not hard evidence that WAR may be in decline, Xfire declines were an early indicator during Age of Conan's post-launch collapse. However, some people will always try and use Xfire stats to make some noise.
The decline continues. Whether people like it or not. You can make unfounded claims all you want that Xfire is not representative but until someone cab provide empirical evidence Xfire isn't representative you're just waving your fanboi pom poms in the air.

I want WAR to succeed and I am worried about the trend line that continues its steady decline.

What is it going to take to turn this thing around?

- Scenarios have effectively destroyed open world RvR.
- The "magnet" abilities are destroying what RvR is happening.
- What meager open world RvR manages to survive the anemic number of open RvR players and magnet idiocy ends up being not worth it due to the inferior rewards for such activities.

WARHAMMER IS DYING A SLOW DEATH BECAUSE THE CENTRAL ACTIVITY AROUND WHICH WAR HAS BEEN DESIGNED, I.E. "WAR", IS NOT HAPPENING!
My take?

WAR is in decline. Why? Because it is not the game MANY players expected, on both sides of the fence. WAR is a good game, just not the best game in any category. WAR is destined for a core audience that enjoys the Realm vs Realm. No one will be sticking around for the other parts (partly because everyone is in Scenarios and therefore nothing else gets touched, but thats for another blog post).
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