New life of World Of Warcraft

With the market for MMO games bigger than ever – and World of Warcraftensconced firmly as the market’s current leader, challengers have begunlurking in the fringes in the hopes of getting a piece of that share.But is the MMO market actually an all-or-nothing game? And if not, what’s the impetus that leads a player base to change horses?
Neils Clark addresses this question in his feature, “The Academics Speak: Is There Life After World Of Warcraft?”Those “academics” include Metaversatility’s Aaron Delwiche, who weighsin on the major factors which might prompt a move from one game toanother:
“I think that the whole concept of player types [Richard] Bartlecame up with is crucial to finding out who is likely to migrate andhow. Socializers are definitely likely to go. Achievers might beinclined to move with their group, if they’re in a guild that’s goodand highly organized. They stand a better chance of achieving if theystay with that kind of a guild. I would imagine explorers would be morelikely to go off and explore different worlds on their own. And I guessthe killers just go wherever the killing is.”
MIT’s Henry Jenkins opines on how much attention WoW really deserves:

“WoW deserves attention because it has so captured the imaginationof gamers over the past few years. That said, I don’t think it ishealthy for the field of games studies, which is still emerging, to beso fixated on a single game franchise — no matter what the franchise.A few years ago, it might have been The Sims or GTA, now it’s WoW. Butwe need to spread out a bit more to encompass the full range of gamegenres and we need to be attentive to new, experimental, independent,and emerging work in the game space.”

You can now read the full feature,which includes extensive input on the MMO issue from these academics aswell as Ludium’s Edward Castronova and PhD candidates Jeff McNeill andFlorence Chee — who also each share what game they would bring to adesert island, if they could choose only one.