As Classic approaches I’ve found it interesting how Blizzard don’t seem to be trying very hard to turn the huge enthusiasm into cold hard cash.
The servers are full to the extent Blizzard are spooling up new ones every day, and the general atmosphere (at least from those not swearing off it entirely) is exactly as Wilhelm put it: all I want to do right now is play Warcraft Classic.
With all this energy, and given Classic is somewhat generously included in an existing Warcraft subscription, you would think that a company as efficient at making money as Blizzard would be doing everything they could to sell stuff.
And yet all I can see that is definitively tied to Classic is the retro t-shirts on the Blizzard merch store. Soft of nice shirts, but there’s only a few.
There was also the 15th Anniversary Collectors Edition, which isn’t strictly Classic but comes pretty close, but it sold out instantly and has never been restocked. Which is annoying for collectors as it was never tagged as ‘Limited’ as far as I know.
The most obvious thing to sell would be a new Classic box which, given the popularity of the 15th box, would be a hit – especially if they ‘threw in’ a mount for the Live game. Warcraft streamers Taliesin & Evitel posted the press kit they received, and it’s exactly the kind of thing Collectors would love:
But while something like a box would have sold like hotcakes before the launch, it’s unlikely to sell after. Perhaps there is a merch onslaught still to come, or maybe they are hedging in case Classic falls flat on its face after the first month (which seems unlikely at the moment).
Obviously Blizzard are counting on new subscriber money, and there’s no doubt there will be a sub spike and potentially some conversion to the live game (we need a better word for that – Blizzard call it ‘Retail’ but that’s too mercenary). But look at that press kit! Let us buy it Blizzard, pretty please?
One good thing about Blizzard ignoring their potential cash cow is that we can reward independent creators like Frenone and Naariel with our patronage instead.