Blizzard to Lay off 600 Employees…I feel so guilty

I totes feel like a jerk for canceling my WoW subscription, after reading the news that Activision Blizzard Inc. is laying off 600 employees. The layoffs will occur in the Blizzard Entertainment sector, but it is reported that most of the cuts will come from non-game development departments. Sadly, the number of active subscribers to World of Warcraft, Blizz’s cash cow, have dropped since the release of Trion’s Rift last year and EA’s Star Wars: The Old Republic a few months ago.

As an avid WoW player, I’m not surprised by the decline in subscriptions, as the standard of gaming is getting rather steep and gamers want more. After patch 4.3, which was anxiously awaited and was met with a resounding “meh” by players, defecting to greener pastures, such as Rift and SWTOR, wasn’t a far leap. Fans of SWTOR were waiting years for its release, and there was no way Blizz was going to be able to keep  those fans from leaving. Rift is a far superior game play experience for mature WoW players. When I left WoW to play Rift, I found that trade chat isn’t filled with obnoxious teenagers mudslinging and generally showing why it sucks to play with immature teenagers. Yes, I miss the beautiful music and gorgeous artwork in World of Warcraft, but I’m satisfied with what I’ve left behind because of the game play experience I’ve gained. Also, as a loyal Blizzhead and WoW player, canceling Blizzcon 2012 was bad for fan morale, and making me wait until quarter 4 of 2012 to release Mists of Pandaria is just not going to satiate me. There are too many ways I can get my fix now, especially with the news of Free to Play Everquest and DC Universe. Blizz, you became complacent and then figured out you needed to scramble to catch up. I think it’s sad that people have to be laid off, but something had to give and it hasn’t been Blizz giving to their fans.

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