For as long as the subscriber figures have been publicly available, there has been countless theories on the reasons behind the changes. Ultimately all of Blizzard's combined efforts affect that number - development, content, support, communication, marketing etc. -, so it's very hard to say "WoW lost X subscribers because exactly A". Anyway, I've taken some time to add more tooltips to chaud's graph - so at least we get some amount of context (click to enlarge):
For reasons mentioned above I won't be able to draw any conclusions, but here are some observations for discussion:
1) Major content releases appear to have little impact on overall subscriber base
2) Localization appears to have a big impact on overall subscriber base
3) The Annual Pass might have had the biggest impact on overall subscriber base of any one initative
(1) Install game.
(2) Create character.
(3) Sit there, appalled, while the beginning RP cutscenes play at like 5 fps.
(4) Finally get to control the character, and discover that's about how fast the graphics work in general.
(5) Log off and never go back.
Seriously though, what are you running on? Ffxiv 1.0 was horrible on most machines, 2.0 is much much easy on the hardware.
- - - Updated - - -
But there must be a reason EA/Activision spend so much on graphic engine development.
My point was graphics matter. There is a reason SE developed FFXIV. They are well aware that FFXI is dated and won't be able to bring in all that many new players, in addition it will get harder and harder to retain subs against newer prettier MMOs.Same goes for FFXIV if we fast forward 10 years and launch it without changing anything. Seriously, what's you're point here?
You can quote as many idioms as you like. Human nature isn't going to change.There's an English idiom that goes: "Don't judge the book by its cover", which seem to fit here nicely.
Not to mention, for a great many people, the graphics factor significantly in their enjoyment of the game.
Besides, upgrading the graphics in a 10 year old game would be risky as hell. Just look at all the people whining every time Blizzard actually did improve things, 'cuz now they can't run the game quite as smoothly. Plus, you risk destroying the look and feel of the game.
If they did a World of Warcraft II - then I'd expect much better graphics - but in a 10 year old game? Come on...
EA has Frostbite. Ubisoft has Snowdrop. All graphical powerhouses that take millions to build.
I'm not asking that Blizzard upgrade WoW's graphics. I just pointing out that it isn't working in it's favour. To be blunt, Blizzard should have had WoW2 in the pipeline by now to "take over".
It doesn't hold true. That's what I'm trying to tell you.Quite right. Still, the idiom holds true. What good is a game, if all it has is pretty graphics? People will flock to it like flies on a turd, but will quickly leave again when they find there's nothing to do. Some sort of trade of is required.
There is a reason people dress well for job interviews. First impressions matter!
Also, you are making the incorrect assumption that "good graphics = bad gameplay".
The number is dropping though.I'm not denying that there aren't many people that value great graphics. However, WoW proves that there are even more who doesn't care (to a certain degree albeit).
I like good graphics just as much as the next guy, I just value good game play higher - especially in MMO's. In let's say an FPS game, it's a completely different story. It's mostly point and shoot, I expect pretty graphics while I run around and shoot, but don't expect tons of game play if I'm honest with you.
WoW2 in the pipeline, maybe - but that's not really the Blizzard way is it.
I have several times judge a person on first impressions, thinking "what an arse!". Then later on realized how wrong I was. First impressions are just that. First impressions. The point of the idiom is that you should not let first impressions decide for you.
That might be the way the world works (sadly) - but it doesn't invalidate the idiom at all.
And that's the point I'm trying to make with that idiom.
The cover on a book might look like crap, and the story might be crap as well - but you won't know until you've read it. Might turn out to be the greatest book of all time - just with a crappy cover.
Like it or not, there's probably a decent portion of the playerbase who play WoW because it's system demands are quite low. I was one of those players until quite recently. A massive overhaul could easily lose those players.
Would an improved graphics engine entice more players than the potential losses? I don't have the answer, nobody here will, but it's something to consider.
Currently at max settings WoW doesn't even come close to stressing out the CPU or GPU.
meanwhile.. I see wildstar in Tera's place next year
the entire MMO genre must re-invent itself. Thanks, Locusts