Debunking the myth of Blizzard’s bottomless wallet

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve fallen away from the Customer Service Forum lately. Part of it is because I found other interests to occupy my time while I’m at work (blasphemy!), and part of it is because nothing ever really changes there. The same questions are asked every day and are answered by the same people every day and I began to get, well…bored. I started CC as a place to put the answers to some of the most common questions I’d see every day on the CSF. And while I’ve been focusing on run-of-the-mill huntering as of late, someone on one of the WoW-related LiveJournals I frequent brought up of the most frustrating questions of all.

Our ensuing discussion followed one of two possible courses with the topic, and sadly, it was the most common course (what happened to taking the path less traveled?). For the sake of some sort of anonymity, allow me to paraphrase – and please, for the love of my sanity, view this with some measure of intelligence!

OP:
My children play WoW with me, and I see a lot of nasty chat going on. Don’t the GMs know people are saying that kind of stuff? Why don’t they monitor these discussions?

Me:
It’s not feasible for the GMs to monitor discussions. If there was one GM on each server watching just one channel (for instance, Trade), then Blizzard would need to have over 200 GMs for the sole purpose of keeping that one channel monitored.

OP:
I didn’t say that there’d be a GM on each channel, just each server.

Me:
Even assuming one GM for each server to watch any number of channels, that’s still over 200 employees for just that alone. Assuming California minimum wage ($8/hour according to teh intarwebs) for 24-hour coverage, that comes to $38,000 each day, and over $14 million a year!

OP:
Yeah, that’s a lot of money. But WoW has over 10 million subscribers, they have to be bringing in $15 million in less than three days.

Me:
Yes, WoW has over 10 million accounts…worldwide. In just the US, the version I based the 200 server count from, there’s only around three million. Also take in the cost of base materials for the game (each realm has at least five server clusters – each of the continents and one for instances), plus Blizzard’s employees (general admin, account admin, tech support, even janitorial!), and jsut run-of-the-mill business expenses (taxes, water bill, electric bill, coffee, etc…). There’s a lot more to this than just how much they make overall and if that can all be applied to the one feature you want!

OP:
Yeah, well, I wasn’t telling Blizzard how to spend their money anyway. You took this too far.


…my head hurts from facepalming.

But that last bit, the part about over 10 million accounts? That grates on my nerves every time somebody tosses it about. Yes, there may be 12 million accounts, but the vast majority of them originate from overseas! Assuming that the money from all the WoW branches pools up in California for the North American version users to benefit from is just ignorant.

So. Questions, comments, cries of anguish? Did I go too far? Or perhaps, did I not go far enough? 😀

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One Response to “Debunking the myth of Blizzard’s bottomless wallet”

  1. Matojo Says:

    Oh, I don’t think you went far enough. 😉

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