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April 21, 2007

Comments

Chaos

Hi. Love your blog, I've always enjoyed lurking here - but as a point of detail, the Sopranos only has about 13 episodes in a season (13 if season 5; I think the others vary a little). So that's only 3458 minutes, or 2.4 days... you're coming up on the *ten times* mark in WoW! :)

bob

I'd guess that the Sopranos is more profitable as well, and by quite a bit. The audience (including DVDs) for The Sopranos must be at the very least five times higher than the WoW numbers. (I'm being _very_ conservative here, since the audience numbers for the Sopranos on HBO alone is several times higher than the worldwide WoW subscription numbers.) The TV show will also continue to make money long after it ends. Cable channel A&E is spending $2.5 million *per episode* to show *reruns* of the show.

I'm not sure comparing MMOs and TV shows does MMOs any favors... the MMO gives quite a different experience from a TV show, and honestly, a far less rich one on an entertainment level. The statement about "re-treading the same ground over and over again" seems absurd since that's exactly what the (current) model *is* for the MMO.
It would be a more apt to compare WoW to a Vegas casino- the basic reward structure for playing a game like WoW is more or less the same as that of a slot machine. The rest of the game operates in many ways like set dressing for that mechanism. I suppose the TV comparison is more flattering, though...

ariellyn

what will it feel like on t.v can they chat

Godless Heathen

I think you're also forgetting to count time we might call a "secondary entertainment value", which is time spent not playing the game but still involved in activities related to gameplay.

For the Sopranos we say that the average viewer might spend an addtional 4.5 hours/week surfing websites, contributing to discussions, and perhaps writing, reading, or critiquing fan fiction. A small subsection of the fandom also creates music or fan videos from the show, which some other fans might then watch.

The average Warcraft player probably spends twice that amount of time looking up quest information, chatting on boards, speculating on new features or complaining about feature changes, and just swapping stories about play. That's not counting the amount of time creating and consuming user-made video content and fanfiction. Part of that has to do with Warcraft requiring the user to do research outside the game in order to maximize enjoyment, and a lot of that has to do with the sheer number of people available to talk with about Warcraft.

If television were interactive on this level, then it would be like television. It's so much bigger there's really nothing to compare it to except other internet phenomenon. It probably ranks with YouTube for the sheer number of hours of entertainment value.

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