Saturday, March 03, 2012

WOW past its prime

On Wednesday Blizzard Entertainment announced it was to axe 600 staff worldwide from their Internet game development unit, primarily World of Warcraft. The blinker-wearing idiots that wouldn't admit that WOW was on a never-ending spiralling downfall will hopefully understand the true implications of these job losses, 200 of which will be in their Cork facility.

Blizzard opened its complex in Cork, Ireland as a European customer support centre in '07 and employment soared from an initial projection of just 100 jobs. Supported by the IDA in '09 then-Taoiseach Brian Cowen launched a massive 500 job expansion bringing the total Irish employment to almost 900. Over 12 million people worldwide subscribed to World of Warcraft - their largest game - and the Cork centre was able to provide support, advice and product information in 25 European languages.

Wednesday's news shocked both the Government and the IDA given that the computer games industry is globally enjoying booming sales. Blizzard claims that about 10% of these redundancies will come directly from game development, while the majority of redundancies affecting other areas of the business. "Constant evaluation of teams and processes is necessary for the long-term health of any business," Blizzard chief executive and co-founder Mike Morhaime said.

“Their subscriber base for World of Warcraft is getting smaller, so they are adjusting their cost structure for that decline” said Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia although I do believe some of the blame can be laid squarely at my own feet. Despite enjoying the RTS WarCraft series, I never endorsed World of Warcraft myself, dismissing it as too "gaudy" for a fantasy setting and that its animation was much to "stylised" for my liking, throwing my hat in with Turbine's Dungeons and Dragons Online instead. My non-public shunning of StarCraft 2's piecemeal release and my equally unvoiced declaration that - while I loved the Diablo series - I would not support Diablo 3 as it does not feature a Paladin [or any kind of divine-powered heavily armoured large sword-wielding hero archetype] may also account for Blizzard's decline if someone got wind of it.

Chances are, they'll need to hire again when the mindless sheep flock to this TITAN!


Bruce Russell said...

Paladins are "teh hawtness."

Bruce Russell said...

I remember back when I used to play WoW. Thinking of my time in Azeroth makes me feel like I just drank a pitcher full of a 50/50 rancid milk/rotten herring mix.

Constance said...

oh dear god, how did I miss this one?