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The Daily Grind: Is it luck?

If you've been paying attention to the MMO blogosphere at all recently, you'll notice there's been some banter back and forth between Syncaine and Tobold in regards to what Syncaine calls "WoW Tourism". If you're not familiar with the concept, the idea is that someone who has only played WoW, and thus has that shiny "first mmo love" with it (as anyone who has played MMOs over the years can attest - the first one that really gets you always has a part of your heart long after you leave) but then proceeds to judge everything else by World of Warcraft. The further away it is, the more it sucks, the more it will fail, etc. This is really telling when they are talking about a game with completely different mechanics like say, EVE Online, which you can't even begin to put into the same general neighborhood if you've ever actually played the two games. But we digress...

In all the bantering back and forth, one thing was stated that's been ringing around in our heads ever since. In his most recent posting, Syncaine ends off with "Perhaps then we can finally stop using 11 million as the size of the MMO genre, and realize WoW (along with being a good game) was a product of market timing and luck." Regardless of your feelings on the recent banter, this is an interesting observation, and one we wanted to ask you about this morning. Do you think that World of Warcraft's 11 million players was just a fluke that no other MMO will ever see again - including Blizzard with their next MMO? Was WoW just a product of right-place, right-time? Or do you think that there really is some type of 'magic formula' as it were; more properly will Blizzard - or anyone else - ever be able to repeat that 11 million players number?

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