God knows how many hours some of the avid gamers have queued for the 1pm launch party. It wasn’t so much of a party per se and when I was a few blocks away from my destination, minutes before the gate at SAFRA Town Club opened, a random group of lovely ladies right beside me crossing the same street, one of them started, “Look at the queue! Something free is it?” Another one replied, “No idea leh. Maybe free food?” And they continued speculating the obvious. I really wanted to turn around and say, “That is for the launch party of the new World of Warcraft expansion”. But I held my tongue. Because they would have stared at me as though I was from another planet.
Like the way you stare at me now.
Just how big is this online gaming business? It is huge. At minimal, each gamer pays S$20 a month subscription fees to Blizzard, the company that created World of Warcraft. And at this very moment, there are 11 million active subscribers worldwide. That is a S$2.64 billion annual revenue. But that is not all. Whenever they release an expansion pack, assuming that all who are actively playing the game will get one, that is a S$770 million additional revenue within a very short time. World of Warcraft enjoys a commercial success unseen of in its gaming domain, not to forget to mention the growth of player base. On the flip side, it is also featured from time to time in the world news due to its negative social impact. As for me, I joined the game in 2004 and am now a casual player. Cynthia has recently joined me in the worldwide phenomenon too.
So tell me, in the world of massively multi-player online role playing game (MMORPG), which game is king?
- The event organizer needs to get some hot young girls as helpers next year. Though all geeks love Lara Croft, we do prefer real life beings at times.
- Walking up 8 flights of stairs just to get the game is very un-gamer friendly. The (rather plumb) foreigner in front of us was panting hard and complained to me, “We are gamers. We don’t exercise. How can they do this to us?” Uh-huh.
- Maybe it is a little bit of truth that when people see you carrying a huge camera, people immediately think that you are a pro and/or you are from the media. When I talked to the staff, they were very friendly to me. Did you know that estimated market size for the new expansion in Singapore is 30,000?
- When I told my buddy Mark that the queue was too long, he joked that I should tell them that I am an avid blogger and jump the queue. Now, that would draw lots of aggro that is more than I could handle (note: aggro means that if you piss off someone in the game, you will get an attack!). Mark, please come back to the game. We need you!