Keeping the gold mine running

With the infighting, bickering, and massive grinding of AQ behind us, the release of Sunwell Plateau in World of Warcraft seems to have taken Blizzard in a new direction. With a majority of players at 70, the Sunwell is the next big thing. For Blizzard, it is another step towards gaining and retaining their massive player base until the upcoming release of WotLK.

Blizzard has managed to implement a successful marketing strategy geared at generating a quick boost of income while giving the players who remain active more endgame material to conquer. Players are rushing to the Sunwell Plateau in order to participate in a one time only world event. The area is jammed with Horde and Alliance from all guilds on every server. It reminds me of the excitement in Anvilmar during initial days of the game when hundreds of players vied for that one wolf to spawn among a sea of corpses. For Blizzard this has resulted in increased headlines and an increased spotlight as other games announce delays. They have also witnesses the reactivation of dormant accounts and the continued subscription of millions of players who had completed most, if not all, of the end game content. The strategy of releasing free content to players as they await the newest expansion keeps the players happy. The increased attention and revenue generated keeps Blizzard happy. It seems like a win-win situation that other MMOs should model their own content updates after.
This article was originally published on Massively.