I’m the winner of a 72 hour ban from the World of Warcraft forums! I guess the truth hurts. Many forum-posters who called Blizzard out on their catering to investors and shareholders have had their posts removed from the Official Forums, as well.
I admit, what I said was scathing. However, I’m not alone in how I feel. Blizzard is gradually becoming less and less the cool game developer I remember from the 90’s and more focused on their bottom line. The trick is, you can have both — you can be highly profitable and still be awesome to your customers — or you can go the route of EA and Activision and slip more and more cash-grabs into your games/services in an attempt to be ultra-profitable.
I remain a fan of the core of Blizzard. My ire is aimed squarely at their parent company, and I (and many others) believe them to be the source of the nibbling little monetizations that keep creeping into my favorite games/franchises. I don’t blame Morhaime or Metzen or anyone in a blue shirt for what’s going on, really. They have bosses they have to answer to. Contrary to what some may claim, Blizzard is not free of their parent company’s rule — if they were, they wouldn’t have to promise “more content!” to patch the leaky dam during their Earnings Calls. A subscriber loss (now roughly 900k) is putting a lot of unfair pressure on the devs, and I wish they didn’t have to work under an unhappy shareholder’s thumb.