An open letter to Blizzard Entertainment
I’m not sure how to start this letter Blizzard, to be honest, I never thought we’d get here. It is with profound sadness, frustration and anger that I find myself writing this letter.
Blizzard, to me, you were the greatest. You gave everything to create a game and a world that was so breathtaking and so deep that I couldn’t help but invest hours, weeks, months, years and decades into you. You created Azeroth, a world in which I have met not only some of my best lifelong friends, but the absolute love of my life.
The community is what made World of Warcraft so great in the beginning. Combined with this inclusive neighbourhood, the game itself was awesome. It was fun, and challenging, and although everything wasn’t perfect (hello Molten Core attunement), I loved it more and more each time I played.
The excitement that surrounded the announcement and then launch of the Burning Crusade elevated you to a status that was usually reserved for some deity somewhere and in my eyes, you could do no wrong. You gave us things we didn’t even dare to consider in our wildest dreams. You innovated, you over achieved, you WOW’d us all. And because of this, almost all of us put on our Blizzard blinders and held fast to that feeling that BC provided.
My blinders stayed on for so long, through weird storylines, and character destruction, lore retcon, system after broken system, I loved you despite the obvious class imbalance that has been unstable since BC, through thrown together expansions that everyone hated (Mists of Pandaria), and looking back now: inexcusable errors.
Right at the moment where I thought I couldn’t take anymore, you’d release the next cinematic, and hats off to those creators because they really encompass the things that made Blizzard a giant; the most incredible cinematic that would give me goosebumps and make me swallow all the awful things I wanted to say about Warcraft. These cinematics gave me hope, and excitement and made the subpar game easier to play because “THIS IS COMING.” The biggest of these was Battle for Azeroth. Coming off the Legion expansion, which was my favourite next to BC, you gave us what we’d all been waiting for, no longer were we going to be fighting weirdos, we were going to battle the Alliance for Azeroth, finally we would face Jaina and Anduin in battle, and we the Horde would prevail!
But you, as usual, you let me down. Instead of battling the alliance and laying siege to Stormwind, we allied with some weird Trolls on a weird island that we’d never heard of. And the alliance ignored these trolls, us for the most part and had their own drama with Jaina’s past in whatever that city was called.
We were supposed to BATTLE FOR AZEROTH. But Azeroth was never at risk in BFA. Yea Nzoth, blah blah. You stopped making compelling stories for us when you let down Thrall, and when you did this back and forth with Sylvanas. You’re telling me Vol’Jin would die that randomly? The WARCHIEF?
But this is how it’s been for years, a decade almost. And yet we still paid our $15 a month, and our $60+ every two years for an expansion, with the desperate hope that you’d figure it out this time. THIS time would be the time that we finally got what we’d been asking for, and you’d finally stop doing whatever dumb shit you thought was a good idea.
But Blizzard, there is something you need to know, we aren’t game designers. We know what we want based on a game that we fell in love with over 15 years ago. We held out hope that you would give us what we needed, so that we didn’t have to want for old ideas and previously played content.
Instead you balked at us, “you think you want Vanilla wow but you don’t” and then out of desperation or maybe money, or maybe somehow someone got through to you and you brought us Classic. It was fun again for a month. For a month we were able to reminisce about the golden days of Warcraft. When the Alliance and the Horde really fought for Azeroth. When times were simpler and better. The numbers for Classic were insane. I finally thought, Blizzard sees us now, they see what we want, and NOW they will be able to create the next expansion to blow our socks off.
But you didn’t. Instead of developing the most kickass expansion, you gave us excuses about Covid, and late deadlines, and expansion release dates pushed back. You had some of the most seasoned WoW players in the Beta crying for changes, making desperate pleas for better content. But you had already turned your back to count your money.
We now find out that instead of pouring over our suggestions, or hiring designers who actually play WoW, you were getting drunk, exploiting your staff, and sexually harassing the women who work with you. Instead of coming up with a better storyline, you got wasted in your Mom’s basement watching Avengers and created the Shadowlands on a napkin that came with your McDonalds.
We believed in you, and you let us down. Again and again, and even now, there is a part of me that wants you to say “I’m sorry” and make amends and dedicate yourself to bringing us the best of you again. But you’ve changed Blizzard. Instead of being the company that has the biggest fan base, you’re the company with the biggest decline. Instead of seeing us, your players, as the people to impress, you just see dollar signs. You’ve gotten so bold as to call our your own fans “don’t you have phones” in response to you wanting to jump on the mobile trend so you can see us more in-game purchases.
Yet, even as I type this, even as I watch some of my favourite WoW content creators quit, as I watch the AWC viewship die, I still haven’t cancelled my sub. There was a point where I had multiple accounts and the cost was more than worth it. I sit here hoping, that maybe, just maybe you might hear us this time.
The problem is though, you’re hearing through your bank account. And any greatness that comes out of this will come tainted and simply too late. You have killed the game that I loved and thus destroyed the community that I loved even more. The patch notes for 9.1.5 sound good, but it feels like a slap in our faces after being told so many times, over an over that these very changes were IMPOSSIBLE. But now that your wallet is threatened, it’s suddenly and magically possible. Whats next? Sylvanas is secretly Auduin’s mother and Jaina did actually run away with Thrall and the last 14 years were just a dream? Probably not, probably another store mount, Blizzard GM’s running boosts and a game that just slowly and completely dies.
And as Salramm the Fleshcrafter said best ‘
You are too late, champion of Lordaeron.
One broken-hearted player