Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Burning Crusade Launch A Farce

Went to HMV this evening with my flatmate so she could buy the new World of Warcraft expansion, Burning Crusade. I went as the launch was at midnight and she was a bit wary about travelling home alone from the centre of town. Needn't have bothered as it turns out.

We got to HMV at 10.30pm, there was a small queue out front, probably a couple of hundred people. But, when we tried to join it, we were ushered round to an alleyway. Where the rest of the queue was. All the way up the side of HMV, to the next road, then, all the way along the road at the back to the next junction. Probably over 1500 people, maybe many more.

So, joined the back of the queue. Which didn't stay the back for much longer, as a lot of people turned up for when the doors were due to open at 11pm. At 11, the queue lurched forward as they were letting in the first lot of people. We moved all the way along the back road to the top of the alleyway. Then, after about 30mins, we'd got down to nearly the bottom of the alleyway.

Then we stopped.

And we never got any closer to the front.

After a while, some employee came round asking if anyone had wristbands as they would be the only people guaranteed to get in and get a copy, and everyone else should just go home. What wristbands? There was no mention on either the HMV site or the WoW Europe site about getting wristbands to guarantee admission. No mention of limited supply of games, either.

HMV and/or Blizzard seemed to have massively underestimated the demand for the game. There weren't enough copies of the game in the store, and the store had reached maximum capacity with an hour to go before they were allowed to sell any of them.

Now, the thing is, Blizzard knows how many people play, as every customer has to pay a subscription. And there's over 9 million people worldwide. From a connection based analysis they should be able to work out how many people play in the UK and roughly how many of them live around London. I'd suspect it would be more than 1500 people, which would suggest that HMV should have had more copies in stock.

The people who are hard-core gamers, the people who Blizzard really rely on for their monthly income, are exactly the sort of people who would have queued for HOURS to get their hands on the game. These are the people who will no doubt be cursing both Blizzard and HMV for a completely wasted evening.



Post a Comment

<< Home

eXTReMe Tracker