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Conspiracy Theory

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Put on your foil hats, kids. Think of me as Mel Gibson, only better-looking.

A couple weeks ago, Blizzard trademarked the term "Cataclysm." Of course, the most likely explanation is this will be the next World of Warcraft expansion.

But why Cataclysm?

The term PROBABLY refers to the Great Sundering, which split ancient Kalimdor in two, creating the two continents WoW players know. However, in my experience, the ACTUAL term "Cataclysm" is never used in the lore. The only source WoW Wiki cites that uses that exact term is the World of Warcraft RPG game. While the RPG lore is canon, that's a long way to go for the title of a major expansion. There are several other terms that would make a better title and are closer to the central lore.

Okay, so WHY Cataclysm?

Here's where things get a little tricky.

The Cataclysm happens to be the term used to describe the central event in the lore of Aion.

What better way to steal the thunder of a serious competitor than to announce your own game, using THEIR word, a month before it comes out?

Wait. A serious competitor? WoW has what? 10, 12 million subscribers?

Not so, friends. Read This article by Tobold. For the "tl;dr" crowd: WoW is TECHNICALLY down to 5 million subscribers.

Last I checked, Aion was sitting pretty at 3.5 million, even before its Western release.

I'd call that serious competition.

Now, a Chinese subscriber, a significant portion of Aion's number and currently NONE of WoW's, is completely different from an American or European subscriber. Tobold explains it much better than I could, so I won't go into the details. However, in this industry, it's all about PERCEPTION. If NCSoft can claim that they have equaled WoW in subscribers, and they possibly could in time, that would be a huge blow to Blizzard. True, WoW may be making more money than Aion with a similar amount of subscribers, but how many members of the press are actually bothered with things like facts?

Fulguralis said...
July 27, 2009 at 10:26 AM  

Ha ha. Fact. So true.

In my life, there is room for both games. I wish they'd play nice ;-).

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