Friday, May 18, 2007

Hey! If you scroll down there is a post about a giant fire with a picture and everything.
Fire rules!
If you read your way down there, you'll catch this next bit about what is happening on Saturday. It is pretty geeky, though. You've been warned.
On Saturday, Blizzard (my current "dealer" if you will) is set to make an announcement about an upcoming product.
There is much speculation about what the next product could be, but I'm drawing a couple of clues from what I know so far.
First, the announcement is being made in South Korea, where Blizzard (and especially the Real-Time Strategy game StarCraft) is almost a religion.
Seriously, Koreans have leagues and play for money in televised events. In all honesty, it was Korean Zergling rushes that made me drop out of StarCraft as anything but a single player game, if I recall correctly.
How does someone create units that quickly? It's not . . . natural.
Anyway, Blizzard has three major franchises - WarCraft, StarCraft and Diablo.
StarCraft is the only one without a sequel (though it did have a very successful expansion pack).
It could be that sequel that is announced tomorrow.
With WarCraft, there was the original, then a sequel, then an expansion pack, then another sequel, then World of WarCraft (which I may have mentioned a time or two).
They can make the sequel to StarCraft, and sell a billion copies at $40 a piece. In six months, they can release the expansion pack for another $30 and sell another billion of those, getting a nice $70 for (I assume) every man, woman and child on the planet inside of a year.
Not too bad, in my opinion.
However, Blizzard is owned by Vivendi. Both companies know they can sell a game to millions of people for $40 and then get $15 a month from them, forever, like they do with WoW. This turns the first year into over $200 per person and whatever they charge for the expansion pack after that.
Whether they make a non-subscription sequel or not (they did before WoW), Vivendi will push for more subscription-based MMORPG games. And national productivity will again be threatened.
I've got my time off request filled out already except for the date.
I told my friend in HR that I'd be out of the office for the launch of whatever it is and he looked at me with a bewildered kind of expression.
"What makes you think I'll be in the office to care?" he asked.

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