I am introducing Dailies on this blog. No, I am not talking about daily quests in World of Warcraft. I am talking about daily posts about my personal feelings on whatever is going on in the game industry. Once a week I will have a longer “Discussion” post where I go into more detail and do a little research, but the other days will be Dailies. I am planning that Fridays will be the Discussion day and the rest of the week will be Dailies. I probably will be taking a break on weekends, but there is always the possibility if I am interested on the weekend.
The big deal today is The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim just released. There was a lot of hype for this game the whole year ever since it was announced. While there had been plenty of rumors about Elder Scrolls V development at Bethesda Softworks, they had not publicly said anything one way or another. All of a sudden they announced the game was in development and on track for release by the end of the year. That caught everyone by surprise. Bethesda was quite open about their development of Morrowind and Oblivion. They did regular interviews, showings at E3, and even previews. With Skyrim they seemed to go more the Valve Software route of not revealing anything until the last minute.
The major gaming outlets seem to be pretty happy about the game. Just a quick check of my personal favorite game sites shows a minimum of 8.5 and a maximum of 10.0. So the reviewers love it, but what about the regular players like us? Well, they actually seem to be in agreement with the reviewers for once. Most of discussion in the forums I frequent has been positive with everyone saying they are enjoying the game. I personally have not picked up the game. It is just a habit of mine with Bethesda games to wait until they come out with the Game of the Year edition. I am a sucker for deals. If I know a deal is coming up eventually, I just cannot buy it new. Ever since Morrowind, all of Bethesda’s games have eventually come out in a Game of the Year edition. It just makes sense to me to wait for that.
These days there is also the Steam sale. Usually, within six months you can expect any game to be on sale for a nice, low price. The longer you wait, the better the sale is. This just could not be done before digital distribution. By the time a game would get down to half price or lower it usually wasn’t on store shelves. If you could find a copy, it was used with no manual. Now, there is no more hunting to find your very own new copy. It is always sitting there on Steam’s website ready to buy. You can even predict when sales will occur allowing you to “plan” for sales. Sure, you can plan for Black Friday and Day After Christmas sales, but that is usually the leftovers, not the quality products you wanted. They are just convincing you to buy things you didn’t really want.
The big news on Tuesday actually was that World of Warcraft lost another 1.1 million subscribers since March 2011. Since I didn’t post anything then, I will write about it today. The blogosphere woke up quite a bit with this news as well as the major game websites and game forums. Everyone seems to have their own opinion on why WoW is losing subscribers. I think the game is just getting old myself. Cataclysm didn’t do anything more or less than other expansions. It was par for the course. Many players were on the edge of quitting from boredom. Cataclysm just spurred them into action.
I do find it interesting that this coincides with Skyrim. The Elder Scrolls games have always felt like single player MMOs. You have this really big expansive world, tons of character creation possibilities, RPG mechanics, crafting, and many more MMO mechanics. Could a lot of the WoW players that quit been waiting for Skyrim? I could definitely see some players replacing WoW with Skyrim. I know this is probably not the reason for the losses. If anything, The Old Republic is what WoW players are moving to. Mike Morhaime said it was China that is losing most of the subscribers. If that is true, I wonder what is going on over there for so many obsessed WoW players to quit. Either there is some amazing WoW clone over there or the Chinese government is meddling with things.