I have noticed a trend in the MMO market/community lately. It happened only a few days ago. Before you read on, can you guess what it is?
There are a LOT of people returning to play World of WarCraft. There must be an expansion launching soon. Oh would you look at that, there is an expansion launching in a matter of days. Have you noticed how the really popular MMO streaming personalities have all switched back to WoW? Noticed your guild numbers down, or a few less people in WvW? I have.
It’s crazy that people who swear they will never return to WoW, who even insult it, go back. Why? What is Blizzard putting in the punch to get people to leave a game that just launched 3 weeks ago — a game way more unique than any themepark launched in the last 7 years.
Not that any of the above is a bad thing, mind you. I have absolutely nothing against anyone for playing a game they enjoy, but I won’t be returning. I know what it’s like to be among those that do, though.
Despite what anyone says, I don’t believe it’s the content, polish, PvP, gear treadmills, or any game-related reason that causes someone to go back. WoW has become so integrated into our culture as MMO gamers that it now has this primal, instinctual affect on people capable of luring them in. I hope no one takes offense to this, but it’s like moths to a flame. Does the moth really know it’s flying into fire or does it instinctively recognize the light and, due to its nature, set a course towards the light?
Update: After reading through the comments, I like the idea most of you had better. WoW is the security blanket, the comforter, and (most important of all) something stable or reliable in their gaming lives. I wrote about this back in 2010, but forgot all about it until you guys brought it up. Good thoughts!