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WoW: Editorials @ The Escapist

by Inauro, 2006-06-08 04:27:00
The latest issue of The Escapist has a trio of articles examining the rise of Blizzard Entertainment and the impact of World of Warcraft.

Secret Sauce: The Rise of Blizzard by Russ Pitts.
In 1991, the internet didn't exist.

That is to say, it did exist (and had for some time), but to the majority of Americans it might as well have been a huffalump until the creation of the World Wide Web in (approximately) 1992, when the internet would begin to become both widely understood, and easy-to-use (therefore "of interest" to most people).
Exodus by Shannon Drake.
It used to be the stuff of blues legend: Sign a contract at the Crossroads, lose a little bit of your soul, and get wealth and success until Ol' Scratch called in the contract at the end of time. Blizzard Entertainment may not have much in common with a poor man out of Mississippi, but both attained the stature of legend, and both may have lost a little piece of their souls. Blizzard made games so incredibly popular (World of Warcraft, StarCraft, Diablo), their success transformed the company culture and managed to burn out the creative team that made them a household name.
Ripples in the Pond - The Impact of World of Warcraft on the Massive Genre, by Michael Zenke.
Some things take the world by surprise. The popularity of Katamari Damacy came as quite a shock to Namco. Prior to 1997, no one had ever heard of Harry Potter or J.K. Rowling. World of Warcraft (WoW) didn't just catch the world off-guard, it knocked it flat to the canvas. In early 2004, the game's well publicized beta had fans slavering at the mouth. When the game launched in November of that year, retail outlets couldn't stock their shelves quickly enough. Since then, WoW has remained at or near the top of PC game sales in the U.S. and abroad. Today, over six million souls inhabit the fictional realm of Azeroth. Everyone, at least according to Blizzard, is playing World of Warcraft.

Source: The Escapist

Information about


SP/MP: Massive
Setting: Fantasy
Platform: PC
Release: Released