I have continued to collect propaganda from the was that people have linked in local. You can see the last batch I posted here.
I decided that I had best post what I have today, given the uncertain state of the war. TEST got robbed yesterday by a disgruntled director and then later stood down all ops. The changes in Fountain for July have all been TEST losses so far. PNQY-Y and four other systems fell to CFC alarm clock ops last night. And while the new TEST military director has brave words for the alliance, they seem to sum up to “let’s go die hilariously.” So on to the propaganda!
TEST vs. Goons
While I pitch this as TEST vs. Goons, one of the most prolific creators of propaganda during the war has been Marne Deville of Gentleman’s Agreement, an alliance in the CFC. He has also created some of the best and most memorable pieces and his work is well represented in local. You will find some of his work below. Aside from those, which are signed, and one that I recognize from Alizabeth Vea’s forum signature, the authors are unknown. I post them with the usual caveat that if your work is shown and you want it removed, please let me know.
Propaganda after the cut.
Activision-Blizzard announced some preliminary numbers in advance of their quarterly report and investors call. Earnings are up, profits are up, subscribers are down.
On the subscription watch front, it was announced that World of Warcraft dropped from 8.3 to 7.7 million subscribers since their last report, again proving that they work in a completely different scale from other MMOs. How many MMOs even have 600K paying customers? And how many could afford to lose that many?
And while a loss of 600K subscribers is a blow, warnings of ongoing subscriber attrition was brought up previously. And at least 600K is less than the 1.3 million subscribers they shed in the previous quarter.
All of which is a discussion point as those who attempt to track such things make another mark on their charts.
But the reason that there is even a preliminary report is because Activision-Blizzard is buying itself out of Vivendi.
Vivendi has been looking for ways to plunder the cash cow that is Activision-Blizzard in order to stave off its own financial woes. Now it seems that Vivendi will get some money, but will lose control of Activision-Blizzard, its ownership stake dropping from 60% to 12%.
Now, will this change alter anything for Blizzard? Bobby Kotick will still be in charge, and all the more so with an investment group he leads buying into the new situation. But as Activision-Blizzard was the cash cow in Vivendi’s eyes, Blizzard remains such in the Activision-Blizzard family. Blizzard in general, and World of Warcraft in particular, carries the company freight three quarters out of four in every fiscal year. In that fourth quarter a Call of Duty game ships an eclipses Blizzard for a bit. As long as Blizzard keeps to that role, I suspect that they will continue to operate as before. But dropping subscriptions have to be a cause of worry. There may come a point where WoW ceases to be insanely profitable. And with Titan pushed out and nothing else big on the horizon, Blizzard needs to keep Azeroth well populated for a few more years.
While waiting around for somebody to get out the facts on somebody in TEST with sufficient roles to steal 130 billion ISK worth of logistics equipment, I happened on the tale of one Thomas Freyer who is quite upset about something over at EQ2 Wire. It seems that Feldon, that tireless toiler around all things newsworthy in EverQuest II, had the temerity to list information about a character named “Malshandir” on his site.
Thomas Freyer claims to own the trademark on “Malshandir” in the EU and is flipping mad that somebody is using that name for an elf in Norrath.
No, that’s not it.
He’s mad that Sony let somebody name an elf “Malshandir” in their game.
No, still too logical, so that can’t be it.
Thomas Freyer is apparently mad that Feldon has a site that allows you to search on EverQuest II characters using data provided by Sony Online Entertainment, which in turn allows you to discover that some other person playing the game EverQuest II, owned by Sony Online Entertainment, created a character and named it “Thomas Freyer”… I mean “Malshandir.” (This data right here, in fact.)
Feldon’s post on the subject contains all the relevant noxious quotes.
Anyway, this situation hove into view of the all-seeing and/or unblinking eye of Ken at Popehat, who explored the subject until satire happened. Now it is going to be “come at me bro!” and “snort my dark elf taint!” from here on out.
Thanks to the Streisand effect, I suspect that the next time I roll up a new character in an MMO, any MMO, I will find that the name “Malshandir” has been taken. Or so I dearly hope.
Addendum: Silicon Angle has a post up on this as well., and there is a long thread over at Slash Dot.