Will World of Warcraft's new expansion bring people back? - GameSpot's The LobbyWith the announcement of World of Warcraft's latest expansion pack, Erick and Justin come on to discuss whether Legion can boost WoW's dwindling numbers.
[MUSIC] World of Warcraft came out in 2004. Since then we've had hella bunch of expansions packs for that video game. Burning Crusade. Let's see if we can do them, Eric Tay. Wrath of the Lich King. Wrath of the Lich King. Was that the second one? What do you think, Justin Heywold? That was the second one. Burning Crusade. Burning Crusade. Wrath of the Lich King. Wrath. Cataclysm. I think- Was there something before Cata? Panda, then pandas. No, no, no. Cataclysm had pandas? Then Draenor. Yeah. It's the Panda and Cataclysm that's throwing it off. I'm pretty sure it's Panda then Cata, cuz I didn't play Pandaria, and then I played Cataclysm. I go back and play every one for about two weeks, and then I'm like [UNKNOWN]. And we're gonna do it all over again, because a brand new expansion pack Legion Is coming out next year and not a damn minute to soon it seams with with the, we had a bunch of items at the top of my head I think 10 million people playing. Five to ten. And that the problem they're announcing this at the worst. Possible time, they should have already announced this because now it sounds like, we know it's not, we know they're working on these expansions as soon as one is finished. But it makes it sound like, now that we're down to five million, we need a new expansion. And it makes it more reactionary rather than Like heres a planned thing. So what did they say is in the legend? We got a demon hunter, new class. New artifact weapons. Demon hunter's the new hero class as well so its not like a regular class your going to take, its more like a The one in Wrath. That one was added back in Wrath. Yeah, yeah. I'm trying to think by myself. [LAUGH] And the [UNKNOWN] brought up to 100. Death Night? Death Night, Death Night. There you go. It's brought up from 100 to 110. Mm-hm. And gonna be a bunch of more quests. I interviewed the guy Ash games com. And it sounded like this is almost entirely end game stuff. Like they are concentrating on the end game. Did you go back and play Draenor, because from what I'm hearing from my mates who play WoW the end game in Nash was just- Not long. Yeah. Like not much raiding, lots of just going out and accumulating resources. How did you find it? What, I mean that's it, it made it even more of a mini job where you go in, you check in on your garrison every day. It's fun in that it keeps you coming back but it's also the kind of thing that you can't keep doing, like I just can't invest that much daily time. Like I did enjoy Let's run through it, let's level back up. And that's what Legion's is gonna offer as well, that they're gonna be able to start you off at 100. If you want a new character, cool now I get another character that I can bump up straight to 100, get right into the new content. But is there gonna be stuff to do beyond that? How long is it gonna take, again, to level up to 110? Well, they've a brand new area, the Broken Isles. Seems like they're running out of areas [CROSSTALK]. [LAUGH] They're just going back in time and then they'll just reuse everything. They did that already. Remember? They did that already back in I think that was Lich King, when they went on all the ancient time bending stuff you could do. So what I think they're gonna do eventually is just tie this world into Destiny. [LAUGH] Much like That is not happening. Well Destiny's starved for content and World of Warcraft is starved for micro Johns actions. The Destiny, the story, the lore they'll come together, they're both ActiVision blizzard, those worlds will come together and then you have a first person [INAUDIBLE]. Can't wait to play, yeah, that toys to life ActiVision game coupled with all their properties and Eric Tay, when's the last time you played WOW? I played [INAUDIBLE]. I did a little bit of the raid When it... the very first one. I did a couple bosses. It was kinda like old days again. It's just one of those things of how much time do you want to spend Mm-hm to beat it and get through it? Do you enjoy it? It's still one of those games where you can find a guild or clan to join to do the raids, but it's definitely not as fun when you're not doing it with people you know. Like part of the reason why I love WoW so much or raiding before was because you get on with your eight, ten, friends or whatever it was and then you guys would Kind of have a mini social gathering, but still play the game. So when I was doing the raid with a pickup group or something, it was just really hard to get through it, and I was like, I can't do this. I actually thought even the older LFG stuff was fun, because you had to go meet each other and suss each other out, whereas when they added in the Like just looking for a part, [CROSSTALK] like the wide dungeon thing, and kind of took that social aspect out as well. Yeah, no more direct message of, I'm a warrior, pixie, wearing this. I'm a 35 paladin, but I'm spec'd for the thing you don't need. The thing is though, at the end of the day Even if Wow sales are down to five million, it's gonna spike back up to like seven probably. This is the thing, right? I was talking to the guy's at Game's Com and one of things I was talking about was that peaking and buying because obviously if they reached up to ten million and it dropped down. What they're seeing is, the highs are getting higher but the lows are getting lower and they're getting faster. So the more expansion packs, or the later expansion packs, are having more people but a faster fall off, or at least that's what they were sort of agreeing on. The reason they were saying that is because they have an aging demographic, that they reckon is quicker to drop off and maybe go play something else And then they're getting a lot of those people back. Like people are almost saying oh that's cool. I'll come back when the next expansion pack comes. I feel like what we're seeing, we've never gotten back up to 15 million. Yeah, yeah. Those peaks are still in the middle of the last high range. So that high of over 15 million and then down to 10 million and then back up to 12 million, down to 9 million. And it just keeps. It's slowly arching down. Like, the thing that's going to change that is when it goes free to play. And at this point, it has to be when it's free to play. And not, is it going to go free to play. Do you think it's going to go free to play, because one of the things that I think might happen is whenever they are ready for that to go free to play is when Blizzard launched their new MMO. I'm not saying that that's not going to be the case but we still, I could see this being Even two years out, three years out. But I think it has to happen eventually, and then that's when they're gonna. Well are they gonna do another, is there room for another World of Warcraft type MMO? Thinking about this expansion and how much time we've invested, how many, how much these subs have gone down. No one's ever been able to replicate what World of Warcraft has done and what that means to us, except maybe in terms of Destiny. Can they even match that again with a massively multiplayer online game? Well, how is WoW still retaining it? Guild Wars came out, and everyone thought, well, you did see that initial... MMO people are so transient. Like, they move from one game to another all the time. We saw people go to Guild Wars And go to Global [UNKNOWN] and come back, we saw people go to Old Republic and come back. Even if their numbers are only around the five, six figure range, that's a lot of people. If you can keep them hooked, and get them new expansion packs, surely they'll want to do it again. It's a huge nostalgia feeling. It's all the time you invested in the characters. It's all of that. It's in your head, like I've spent so much time playing this game Here are all ten of my characters or whatever. I have the few friends that I still play with, yeah let's hop ship and play Guild Wars 2. Or let's hp ship and play Wild Star because everyone's trying to find the Wil Killer. I hate using that term because everyone uses that term. But I always looked at it as WoW will never die until Blizzard decides to kill it off or make a game that kills it off. And so Those games just don't have the hook. Because everyone has this thing where they compare to wow, and when they get to some point in that new game that they try it's like, oh man, but do you know what wow does better than this? And then they start doing that, and that's when the drop off happens, and then they go back to wow. Yeah. And then everyone, like you said, they They'll play, they stop because they get tired of wow or whatever. And then it's like, oh new expansion. I'm all in. Watch. Blizcon is gonna have that same- Yeah, yeah, yeah. effect. It grabs everyone every time. The craziest thing for me was E3, Destiny, Taking King it hooked three or four people in the office back in that I don't even see really playing at all. And they're all like, oh yeah, I'm totally in. Obviously Activision is doing something right with marketing or something. People always have that thing where they want to go back to the character they've made, but that doesn't happen at a lot of other MMOs. You'll max out a character in The Old Republic or any of those games and it doesn't have that same hook. What is the justice, there's something about the world that they've made. Is it something about that. Is it the time? Is it the fact that we've been playing this game for over a decade? What do you think it is about World of Warcraft specifically that gets people coming back? For me that's what it is, it's just that I've played it for so long that I both have memories of having played with my friends. The first MMO that I really got into was Final Fantasy 11. And that never drew me, like that for me and playing with my friends, it was so, so much of a slogin and World of Warcraft came along, and it's like, this is what I wanted, like everyone saying it's for babies but it's fun, it's so accessible and like, all, every, all my other friends are playing it, and like I still have those good memories and I still want to get them back, when there's a new extension that comes out. Even if it doesn't quite capture it, or even if it only captures it for a week or a month. Usually lasts a month- [LAUGH] Six weeks. Yeah? Cuz everyone's like oh yeah, let's get back into it. And then you have your five friends that you kinda play with and you're like all right, sweet. [LAUGH] And then you all level up, you do a couple of dungeons. And then you see one guy stop, then you see the next guy stop, then you see the next guy stop. And then, low and behold, I am the one dude sitting- [LAUGH] In town by myself. Oh yeah, Barnes [UNKNOWN]. [CROSSTALK] [LAUGH] Now I realized why I don't normally agree to this, and I got suckered in by my friends. But it's that mini camaraderie, and the mini fact of, oh yeah When the expansion comes out, you get to experience something slightly new and wow that you didn't get to before, and that's like, but you also get the nostalgia feeling. That's the thing. So you get a little bit of both. I get this thing where I go back, and I almost go back not to even play the new stuff But it's like when I go back and visit my home town and I like just walk into the grounds of my old school, like just to see what they've changed. You know, like oh, I remember- Look around. That's where I did that and that's where I scored that goal and that's where I bought those drugs off that guy. And then oh look, they've painted it! Look at what's different. Look at what's different. Oh look, there's a kid buying drugs over there. [LAUGH] That little nostalgic feeling. Last question for you guys. Justin here will you go back And play. [CROSSTALK] No matter what, I love the limited editions. As embarrassing as that. [CROSSTALK] Oh no. You hog them all. My shelf. I have all of them. My shelf. [CROSSTALK] Got him. They look so good on the shelf. They just look next to my books, I don't mind showing them off. When a girl comes over, Looked on my bookshelves. Was like yeah, look at all the books, and some WoW things. You don't even know the World of Warcraft. Those are classy video games. She's like watch your slash plays. [LAUGH] No one's ever said. Eric [UNKNOWN], will you go back and play Legion? I won't unless it's for work. [LAUGH] You liar. You liar! That's an answer everyone can empathize with. I did make a strong stand at one point. I didn't play Mists of Pandaria. I played a little bit of Cataclysm because my friends really pushed hard. That was great. That was the ultimate [UNKNOWN] back and see how messed up your school is. Because it was just like, oh I'm gonna go to a place I didn't give a **** about when I played the first time. Just as it, oh look it's a thousand needles, it's all flooded and ****. It was great. I hope not. But, we'll see. Alright, let us know what you think about Legion and whether or not you're going to go back and play when it comes out. Sometime next year we'll probably find out at Blizzcon. [BLANK_AUDIO]