World of Warcraft fans: Wowing us since 2004
Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft towers among the industry, commanding the #1 position in subscription-based MMORPGs at 7.7 million gamers strong.
Despite the recent player subscription drops, the passion of World of Warcraft fans have allowed this game to become one of the most recognizable MMO games in popular culture.
With some of the coolest armor to boot.
Unfortunately, despite the massive appeal and audience, a stigma still exists and is often attached to WoW. The uninformed may think of WoW players (or most gamers, for that matter) as caricatured stereotypes of nerd culture. Even the popular show South Park took jabs at the WoW fan base and video games in general in their 2006 episode "Make Love, Not Warcraft."
Ironic, considering they are creating their own South Park themed video game...
In the face of all the daunting adversity, this diehard fan base has managed to create one of the most popular and recognizable brands in the gaming world. Hell, it might be the game the average person thinks about when they are asked about video games.
Just having a little get together with some friends...
Since 2005, Blizzard has held an event, Blizzcon, that gathers players from around the world to celebrate and enjoy their games. While WoW often shares the spotlight with other Blizzard offerings, such as the Diablo and Starcraft franchises, many who attend agree that WoW is the backbone of the entire event.
To go on a slight tangent, let me faun over the incredible the amount of time, effort, and skill WoW fans put into making some of these costumes. Some individuals sink hundreds of dollars into their costumes, even to the point where they would "often buy paint or sculpting clay instead of food."
Even doing a simple search of "World of Warcraft Cosplay" will give you hundreds of unique costumes, each taking a great deal of time to create. I will admit that the results are skewed towards women in skimpy outfits, but if that does not shatter the unflattering stereotypes of WoW fans I mentioned earlier, I don't know what will.
Go ahead, call her a nerd.
Needless to say, their passion is never more apparent than at Blizzcon. 26,000 attendees come to show their support, and each year WoW dominates the announcements during the event. From Cataclysm to Mists of Pandaria, the major headlines and betas from the event are devoted solely to WoW expansions.
While the entire event is divided up, it is apparent what the fans come to see. Their constant feedback and encouragement help shape the game to what it is today. Their creativity and drive has helped shape one of the most succesful, long-lived games on the market; one that countless other games have emulated with much success.
Hail to the Lich King, baby
With all the competition in the MMORPG market, and especially with the rise of FTP games, WoW fans have kept it the game all others try to usurp.
Even if you try comparing the game to others (which often boils down to apples and oranges), you can see the ridiculously impressive commitment that WoW fans can boast about, that no other can hold a candle to. Players will often create multiple characters, and rank each of them up to the max level cap.
They devote hours to creating their characters, building their Guild's repertoire, and even building real life relationships in ways that few other games can compare to. There are countless stories of couples meeting over WoW, and even marriage proposals happening online.
While it might seem cheesy, it is incredible how a mere game can bring people together who would have never met each other any other way.
WoW fans have found a love in this game. Year after year they continue to set an incredible standard of passion, and unite gamers across the world.