The past few months have been rough for World of Warcraft players. Blizzard Entertainment is facing a lot of negative backlash due to the recent choices they have made. That includes the early TBC release which no one thought will actually happen at this time. With each new expansion Blizzard appears to move farther away from what made the company feel special.
The Burning Crusade Classic came out on the first of June 2021. The pre-patch was out on May 18th. Blizzard gave players the option to choose to either stay on the Classic era realms or move on to Burning Crusade. That ultimately led to Classic servers being left behind and deserted.
What went wrong?
One of the main issues was the release date. Blizzard announced that TBC Classic would be released on June the 1st. This was actually a leak and no one really thought that it would happen. The expectation was that June 1st will be the date of the pre-patch release. Many were dissatisfied because it didn’t give players enough time to level up to go to the dark portal.
On the other hand, this was also a marketing fail. There was no hype surrounding the release which is absolutely necessary for today’s games. A very short window to build excitement was made. Classic WoW marketing had been done a lot better. They used different influencers audiences to get people to play the game. It ultimately led to more conversations being made which then turned into excitement. These types of games need to have a longer period of time between when they’re announced and when they’re actually released in order to get people anticipating the release date.
Reason for the early release of The Burning Crusade
Speculations are made that Blizzard deliberately dropped TBC this early so that it doesn’t conflict with the 9.1 patch of Shadowlands. With the ongoing drought of content on retail WoW, the subscriptions are getting lower Competitors such as Final Fantasy 14 are catching warcraft players’ attention. It is thought that the patch will drop in July or August. The hopes are on July, because if it was to drop in August that would make 9 months since release with no update.
This is extremely bad and has happened once before with Icecrown Citadel in Wrath of the Lich King. However, people fail to consider the ongoing pandemic. The development team surely had to face many challenges and that is probably the biggest factor in content being delayed. Many also are dissatisfied with the developers taking a tone-deaf approach to criticism directed at certain parts of the game, such as legendaries and PvP.
The only problem isn’t the early release date, but the shortening of the pre-patch. Blizzard is going back on some things which players hoped would be possible such as levelling a character, that is either a draenei or a blood elf, before TBC. Those kinds of players will have to work twice as hard. It’s a big rush where you are frantically trying to get boosts – which leads to Blizzard getting more money. However, before Shadowlands they listened to the feedback and interviewed streamers.
Blizzards steady decline
Most fans will point out that Blizzard has been going down since the merger between Activision and Blizzard Entertainment which occurred in 2008. Activision has a bad reputation for squeezing out money from each franchise they touch. That results in the games dying out. This has been proven to be the case this time. The Dark Portal pass is $39.99. It includes a 58 level character boost with the exception of Draenei and blood elves.
The Burning Crusade Classic Deluxe edition is $69.99 and comes with 30 days of game time, The Dark Portal Pass, Phase-Hunter mount and cosmetic items. The biggest blow to the WoW community was the price of character cloning. To clone your character from Classic to TBC you must pay 35 dollars per character. This has caused outrage with most players who are forced to pay this big of an amount or stay on the dead WoW Classic servers.
Has Blizzard messed up big time finally? With one of the most loyal fanbases, people are finding it hard to justify paying a subscription of 15 dollars a month together with all the new added prices. After dominating the MMORPG genre and even the entire gaming industry for years, World of Warcraft is sadly losing its original charm.