Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Blizzard of Information

World of Raids is still sort of handling the recent Cataclysm deluge of information. Sure, their last post on it was just to organize it, but that could not have been the easiest thing to do.

Larisa at The Pink Pigtail Inn posted her thoughts about Blizzard's handling of the community not too long ago. The consensus was that Blizzard simply does not communicate well with the community, if at all, anymore.

Then suddenly, the NDA on the Cataclysm Alpha is lifted temporarily and a half dozen or so news sites get a glutton's worth of information.

Yeah, thanks for that.

Instead of taking their time and doing one interview at a time so that the information could trickle out over the course of a month or so, Blizzard decided to keep things easy on themselves and in an effort to control the flow of information as best as they could, simply handed out parcels to their "invited" guests. This, of course, led to some sites reporting the same thing. But, every site had something unique. So to get it all, you have to actually follow bread crumbs from one site to the next.

It was maddening trying to track it all down. Insane even.

All because Blizzard is overly paranoid about information.

You see, they have so many people involved, and so many people who want to be involved, that Blizzard has to know who is handing out what information to whom at all times. Any break down in this totalitarian control and who knows what Ghostcrawler might accidentally say about the next Blizzard MMO?

Information is worth so much to Blizzard that they can fill a warehouse with fans and media interests. Last year they sold out of their 100$ tickets in record time. Then, because demand was still not met, they offered the fans a live feed for 40$ and a pet. Who know how much they made off of that...

This year Blizzard increased their price substantially and the tickets were sold in two batches. Each batch sold out within thirty minutes.

Blizzard it trying all it can to limit when and how their information is released to the public. They do not want to release too much freely on the internet because they stand to make so much money off of it in other ventures.

Not only do they have Blizzcon for new information, but now they have the magazine to regurgitate old information. An attempt to put together a record of previously released material and doll it up with original art work. Also, here's a hint: just because there might be an interview with someone different, does not mean they are allowed to tell you anything you do not already know.

We are playing Blizzard's game(s), but Blizzard is most certainly also playing its own game.

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