Activision Blizzard lawsuit is another nail in WoW's coffin - Dexerto
World of Warcraft

Activision Blizzard lawsuit is another nail in WoW’s coffin

Published: 28/Jul/2021 12:09

by Lauren Bergin

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In the wake of the state of California filing a lawsuit against gaming behemoths, Activision Blizzard, WoW fans are jumping ship to other popular MMOs such as FFXIV Online and New World.

If you’re a somewhat avid gamer, it’s likely every single one of us have picked up an Activision Blizzard game at some point in our lives. Be it the adorable Crash Bandicoot, or the devilish Diablo, the company are the publishers behind some of the most iconic titles.

So, when the state of California filed a lawsuit against the gaming titans, there was fresh scrutiny on the games it produces too. As players who had sunk hours of their lives into these games, the maltreatment and failure to protect employees on such a scale made many feel guilty for playing their games in the first place.

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For World of Warcraft players specifically, the lawsuit could be the last straw for some. The rod that broke the camel’s back, as it were. Sure, this scandal isn’t the sole reason for WoW’s fall from grace, but it’s definitely another factor, and big one.

Activision Blizzard lawsuit sexual harassment california
Activision Blizzard
Activision Blizzard were accused of fostering a “pervasive prat boy culture” in the workplace.

WoW Shadowlands Chains of Domination was a flop

Before all of the chaos surrounding this investigation broke, WoW was already on a slippery slope into the depths of the Maw.

The highly anticipated expansion to the Shadowlands, Chains of Domination, divided players across Azeroth. Plagued by frustrating lag that rendered the new zone, Korthia, largely unplayable, and accompanied by a cinematic that gave us absolutely no new information about the future of the Shadowlands, some chose this moment to call it quits.

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While some players might immediately claim this is an example of Blizzard not giving a damn, it’s worth looking a little deeper and considering the point of view of the employees involved. Residing in a workplace allegedly fraught with tension, fear, and harassment, it would be almost impossible to create good content, never mind great content.

Chains of Domination wasn’t worth the months of waiting, but the details of the lawsuit perhaps explain why we ended up with a half-baked expansion and some pitifully bad scriptwriting. Not only this, it arrived at literally the worst time possible.

WoW Shadowlands Korthia
Blizzard Entertainment
Lost and forgotten at the heart of the Maw, Korthia’s fate may soon mirror WoW’s.

A brave New World

Enter Amazon Games’ MMO title, New World. A fresh take on the genre, the beta launched on July 20, two days before the Activision Blizzard scandal dropped.

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An immediate hit on Twitch, prominent streamers such as Asmongold and shroud all took to the Island’s dusty plains to uncover its secrets. Breathing new life into a sector that WoW previously dominated, the MMO community are ablaze with hype for this stunning-looking new title.

And it couldn’t have come at a better time. In the wake of Chains of Domination and the lawsuit, New World is poised to become a haven for former WoW players. While Final Fantasy XIV: Online provides the perfect refuge for now, Amazon’s title represents a new start for fans everywhere.

It’s fresh, innovative, and promises everything that WoW used to. And, there’s no irritating subscription fee. Where do I sign up?

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Amazon New World MMORPG Cover Art
Amazon Games
Amazon’s New World represents the next chapter in the MMO story.

Activision Blizzard lawsuit is WoW’s demise

Each of these factors clearly contributed to WoW’s rapid decline, but for many the ongoing lawsuit was curtains for the iconic MMO.

A glance at the “nostalgia” section of the game’s official subreddit shows players revisiting the areas that meant the most to them and hanging up their amor for the last time. Others who have returned to the game have noticed an absence of players, calling it a “dead game.”

For many, the abhorrent treatment of employees was just the straw that broke the camel’s back. Blizzard’s leadership hasn’t listened, hasn’t cared, and now they’ve proven that their morals lie in the gutter.

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I too canceled my subscription, but I couldn’t even face trying to trundle through the lag in Korthia to return to the place that was special to me.

It simply wasn’t worth it.

Blizzard
We’ve probably all seen one of these characters a couple of times in our life.

Should we be boycotting WoW?

I think it’s important, however, that we respect players who continue to take to Azeroth’s plains every day. The developers who underwent all of this pain and trauma still managed to produce amazing products.

Respecting other players’ decisions is important, because while Activision Blizzard may be the publisher, they aren’t the game’s heart and soul.

This ill-treatment is a thread that flows through WoW’s development. It’s responsible for the poor quality of the Chains of Domination, it’s one of the reasons that New World looks so inviting. Like a parasite it has made WoW its host, and it’s ready to take that final bite.

WoW’s future looks bleak, but it still remains one of the staple titles that molded and shaped many of us into who we are today. All of this represents an opportunity to spread our wings and fly, to try something different. Forge on, adventurers, and I’ll see you on the battlefield.