Ignorance is Bliss

Posted by Daeity On Wednesday, March 2, 2011

You gotta love some of the people from MMO-Champion.com. For the most part, it's an awesome community with great users who have a lot of questions or they're just looking for interesting news and information. But unfortunately, there are a few immature trolls and some close-minded individuals.. and it's especially unfortunate when they are moderators.

After all, moderators are the folks with higher authority (and therefore held to a higher standard) and can control all of the information on the forums.

Check out this recent discussion about WoW statistics and figures and where they discuss information from this blog.

Herecius? More like Hilarious.

I absolutely loved this part:

When Blizzard states 'we have 11.5 million active subscriptions,' they are doing so under penalty of law. The statement is made not to us, the players, but to shareholders. If they lie on such statements, it's considered a federal crime.
Oh man.. I died laughing.

There are just so many things wrong here, I don't know where to start.

For one, he's saying that whatever Blizzard says is the absolute truth. When Blizzard says 12 million active subscriber, they indeed have exactly 12 million subscribers. Not 11,999,999 subscribers and not 12,000,001 subscribers.. they have EXACTLY 12 million subscribers.. UNDER PENALTY OF LAW!

Blizzard would never lie about active subscriptions. It's a FEDERAL CRIME after all.

And yes.. as you're aware, like 50% of the blog post (that he supposedly read since it was impossible to miss) was all about Blizzard's Active Subscription definition and how Blizzard has made it clear that "Active Subscriptions" does not mean real players. And yes, Blizzard has created "special definitions" for what a Subscriber is according to Blizzard. And yes, Blizzard has special caveats in their SEC filings and their press releases. According to Hilarious, though, you have to ignore all of those special citations(6), references, and definitions.. because whatever Blizzard writes in black-and-white is, in fact, absolute truth.

They don't use approximations in their numbers either. When Activision Blizzard says "GAAP net revenues increased to $4.45 billion". That's apparently $4.45 billion EXACTLY.. under penalty of law.

When they say "Activision Blizzard was the #1 publisher in North America on the Xbox® 360, PlayStation® 3 and PC collectively for the calendar year.(4)". That means they were the #1 publisher.. whatever that means. And because they said it to their shareholders, that means it's the truth.. under penalty of law. It's not like the statement came from a different group or study or anything.. say for example "(4) According to The NPD Group".

There are no special definitions, rules, caveats, "if's", "and's" or "but's".. when Blizzard states *something*, they are doing so under penalty of law dammit!

This is a perfect example of a market research team's wet dream. Gullibility and naivety under the guise of high idealism.

He's the kind of guy who buys impulse items and always reaches for items on the right and at eye-level in retail chains.

.. the kind of guy who buys 5 copies of Batman Forever on DVD because you can save money by buying in bulk.

.. the kind of guy who buys an expensive toy because there's a giant shiny sign stating that it's been marked down by 50%.

.. the kind of guy who only buys the same brand of beer because TV told him that hundreds of attractive women will have sex with him if he does.

And while he's being manipulated by ad-targeting all day, marketing psychology (and social science and sociology and neuroscience) and other perfectly legal methods of persuasion, at least he can sleep soundly at night wrapped tightly in a self-righteous American flag with a lawbook underneath his pillow and 5 copies of Batman Forever on his bedside table.

Does he truly not know that corporate propaganda, "spin", and marketing speak are common and actually take place in the real world?
EDIT: Especially a blogger that's using extrapolated data from addons
Weird.. I never used any addons at all. I mentioned an addon, but said that the information was unreliable and it was why I never used that information in any of my calculations.

A pretty big warning sign here if you ask me. He has made it very clear that he never actually read the article, however he's making other believe that he did thoroughly read it.. very deceptive and very disappointing for someone in his position on the forums.

This also gives you a really good idea of typical fanboy mind-set in general. He thinks the blog post is trying to attack World of Warcraft or something, so he immediately goes on the defensive, skips reading the article, picks out certain keywords, and then lies to everyone on his forum.
anecdotal evidence
Anecdotal evidence like you know.. Activision Blizzard's SEC filings, Quarterly Results, Fiscal Reports, published articles and interviews with Blizzard, revenue figures, raw server data, official announcements and press releases. You know, hearsay and untrustworthy stuff like that.
and figures that are 'peak number of players' as final numbers.
Once again, pure fiction.

The entire article was all about establishing the most (e.g. a ceiling limit) it could ever be based on official data provided. They were never called final and total numbers, that's just silly. In fact, I'm pretty sure that I said "maximum figure". For example, "That's the absolute most it could ever be". However, that number goes down as you include game sales, paid services, pet sales, etc.
He states that the peak number of players on Chinese servers was around.. 3.2 million? That's not subscriptions, that's people playing at once, and yet, he goes on to treat that as if it accounted for every single Chinese WoW player.
I have no idea what he's trying to say here.. it sounds like he's just repeating back something obvious to create confusion and pretend that it supports his "arguments". There's a difference between "Subscriptions" and real players - some "Subscriptions" don't even have a real player playing the game (for example, active but unused game cards). The entire article is all about trying to figure out player counts which I had thought I made clear.


What's most disappointing about this is that Hilarious is a MMO-Champion MODERATOR with thousands of posts and comments, and yet he used the same old arguments that I've seen hundreds of times on other forums whenever anyone mentions Subscribers vs Players. There was no insight or strong arguments.. the best he had in disproving the information was that the data was from some "addon" and that all of the evidence (from Blizzard and Activision's SEC filings) was untrustworthy.

So far, I'm not impressed. It's quite obvious that he didn't read a thing (just picked out keywords), and then lied to everyone so that they wouldn't talk about it anymore ("Nothing to see here folks, move along"). Does he do this often?

It looks like he's going through the 5 stages of grief too (he's at stage 3 right now):

1. Denial: "It's a federal crime to lie! I'm more apt to believe Blizzard than a blogger who has little to no credibility."
3. Bargaining: "Well.. maybe it's not _exactly_ 12 million. And yeah.. Blizzard can make estimates... Just a sec, let me add a post and make some edits.."
4. Depression: "I feel disillusioned. I need time to think about this.. I won't be making as many posts for a few days."
5. Acceptance: "Oh my God. Truth is all about wording. I see the whole world differently now.. every business with marketing teams do this."

Other than the usual crazy fanboy comment, most MMO-Champion users found the article interesting. It's too bad their moderators can't remain impartial though, but I guess some prefer to abuse their privileges when they hear something they don't like.

Speaking of which, here's some other guy who also had a comment after not reading the post:
It would be nice to know these numbers but arbitrarily saying twenty percent of the accounts are secondary accounts as a fact is ridiculous. since there has been no studies on this and Blizzard has never given out user information. It might be close to that be we can't say its fact.
You won't find that anywhere, because I never actually wrote it.

So, I have to wonder..

Why do all fanboys say the _exact same thing_ every time?

It's like there's a disease, a cosmic joke, or some support group where all of these people (fanboys) get together and plan on what to do or say:

"Hey everybody! Let's NOT read this book, but then claim we actually read the book okay?

Then we'll tell everyone that the book was full of misinformation!

Just make stuff up, and say that the author and their sources were not credible.. even though we don't know who they are! Tee hee. Wouldn't that be hilarious??

If you want to get more people to believe you, just grab some random statements from the book and then just say you know for a fact that they're wrong. "That's not true!" works really well. "I work in this field and this is wrong!" is even better, since more people will believe you.


P.S. If someone asks for evidence, just stop replying. Alternatively, you can say that there WAS a link but it's gone now or you forgot it."

* UPDATE (03/21/2011):

Herecius promised me a 800 word retort, and he was going to post it just as soon as he was done. This was 48 hours ago now, though.. but I'm still waiting for it. I mean, Herecius wouldn't LIE to me now would he?