Thursday, July 8, 2010

About Real ID

You know: There are literally thousands of people in this office building - all of them could be .. weird!!
The moment they see you, they could follow you back to your home and then - who knows what!!!
They could make a photo of you and then post it all over the internet. They could make an ugly and silly youtube movie with your face!

Life is full of dangers. Scary!
And yet here you are: Giving all those freaks your business card.

A society where everybody had several separated identities were full of fear. If you like to play WoW stand up for it!

I don't want to live in a world where people try to hide all their potentially negative characteristics out of fear that somebody might find out. Problem is: If you hide, I have to do it, too. But if you stand up for the fact that you once were drunk, I can stand up for it, too.

Sunlight is the best disenfectant. In this case sunlight makes us more bold, more honest and more sympathetic. And it also allows us to be less fearful.

There are some issues, sure. But I welcome the general direction. The complete dispartment of our identity into several layers at a grand societal level was an anomaly introduced with the internet. It is becoming worse the more important the internet becomes.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

World of Warcraft doesn't grow anymore

[This is an answer to Tobolds Numeracy Blog entry.]

Have a look at
This graph can be found on the page.

I did some research to find out more about the last 5 datapoints on the graph.
- The 11 mio one in October 2008 and the following 11.5 mio one from November 2008 come directly from Blizzard press releases.
- The 12 mio one in the beginning of 2009 comes from a Reuters article.
- The 11.6 mio one comes from the Guinness World Record Awards in June 2009.
- The 11.5 mio one from 2010 comes from this Activision Blizzard Q1 2010 Earnings Call Transcript

A shorter version can be found here.

There have been several articles about the last one:
Link 1
Link 2
Link 3
Link 4
Link 5
Link 6

Why do I make such a fuss about it? Well .. this kind of information seems to encourage some heated debates in the community .. So I better give sources as to where I got the info from :)

As to the reasons:
Since June 2009 Blizzard has problems with the Chinese government. My personal guess is that this is the main reason. What is quite strange, however, is the fact that everybody expected a significant drop in subscriber numbers due to the Chinese problems.

In the end, it cannot be ignored that the growth stopped very abruptly in early 2009 after (non-Asian) players had played through Naxxramas.

The managing editor of, Cyberwiz, was kind enough to send me an email with some info

Furthermore, even tho WoW has been down due to some difficulties in China, it was only down for a month and there were people playing in both June and July ( downtime was from June 7 till the end of July ).
But in July it was closed beta ( free to play ), so I agree technically it was incorrect to not show it on the graphs.
I will change my charts on the next update to represent the downtime, to counter the critics.

and some further links:
Link 1
Link 2
Link 3
Link 4