Posted by: seanmalstrom | April 24, 2016

Email: The Blizzard backlash and Nintendo lukewarmness

Master Malstrom,

I’m sure you’ve heard about the massive internet backdraft that happened to Blizzard within the past week regarding the Nostalrius private server, so I’m not going to repeat it all here. YouTubers, bloggers, redditors, streamers and lapsed WoW players are all up in arms. Heck, judging by the sizable response this is probably either the straw that breaks the camel’s back, or a massive heel gambit by Blizzard to market their increasingly irrelevant product (WoW) right before the movie and the expac come out.

But what bugs me is why Nintendo DOESN’T get this sort of reaction from customers. It’s almost as if everyone just ignores the fact that Nintendo is happily screwing themselves and their lapsed customers over and has forgotten that this company from Japan once created a culture shock that impacted the whole world. The closest thing I’ve seen is the Alison Rapp issue–and it frankly doesn’t even come close because that one is a Culture War debate, not an issue of whether or not their products are still up to par.

 

Nintendo is not known for responding to fan feedback. Blizzard, however, has a long history of responding to fan feedback. That is the difference.

I think the ‘Blizzard backlash’ is inflated because of the nature of investing DAYS, not hours, of your life on a private WoW server that is Vanilla hard (who would be so STUPID to do this?) and be ‘shocked’, ‘shocked’, that all that time and effort just disappears. Blizzard is blamed because of the cease and desist. There are cease and desist orders all the time. Nintendo does them too. The big difference is that Vanilla WoW demands total investment of your life (!). Someone presses a few buttons and BAM, all that life energy is gone down the tubes. I believe THAT is what is amplifying this. If it was a private Diablo 1 server, you wouldn’t hear anything.

I want Vanilla Servers as does everyone I’ve talked to (who doesn’t share same gaming interests as I do, they are more ‘mainstream’) does as well. But as they told me, “I’m not stupid to invest the time on an illegal version of the game on a private server where there is no true assurance over my account and character.” I’d have to agree.

Blizzcon will shake out the news over Vanilla servers. Anyone expecting anything this year, especially with the launch of Legion, of Vanilla servers is crazy. We’re going to have to wait.


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