I’m genuinely surprised at the news, though. I assumed that today’s Activision Blizzard was no longer a company that could throw out that much work. Seven years is a very, very, very long time in game development– I can’t even imagine how much money it cost.
So I applaud Blizzard for this. They made a mistake as big as any a video game company can make and they fucking owned it. It’s exceedingly rare for anyone in the video games industry to demonstrate this level of maturity.
It’s funny, just last week I was thinking that with WoW’s subscriber numbers slowly but steadily decreasing over time (or as MMO bloggers put it, “dying”), perhaps this year’s Blizzcon is when we’d finally see just what the fuck Titan was.
I wonder when we’ll find out now.
On a different topic, I mentioned last week the way Blizzard seems to be specifically targeting ex-WoW-players by expiring names– my thesis being that, today, a good name on a good realm is a valuable thing, and that for an ex-player ambivalent towards returning to WoW, preserving your character’s name is in itself a compelling impetus to resubscribe. I compared the tactic to the way some social games will cause you to lose progress if you stop playing for a while.
Today Blizzard announced they will add an interface to the game client to let players recover any of their deleted WoW characters. They have also specifically confirmed that any deleted toon level 50 or above will still be recoverable, forever. (But you better do it soon or you might lose your name!)
Is it a coincidence, or has there been an increase in people requesting character restorations? Perhaps too much for Customer Support to handle it all manually?
This new feature is terrible news for compulsive players who deleted all their WoW toons for the same reason an alcoholic would empty all their liquor bottles down the sink.
Blizzard wants you back, baby! This time it will be different!