The Unbelievable World of Warcraft, Hero of the Day: The Red Shirt Guy

The Unbelievable World of Warcraft

“The best of all margins – the 25 per cent operating margin business – has the potential as we can see with World of Warcraft to be a 50 per cent operating margin business.”
– Bobby Kotick, Activision CEO, Evil Incarnate

World of Warcraft has recently reached it’s 12 Million subscriber milestone and is stronger than ever. Blizzard has put a stranglehold on the gaming industry, and rules the MMO industry with a monopoly-like iron fist. This year on Pearl Harbor Day World of Warcraft drops its third Expansion pack. Blizzard’s latest expansion Wrath of the Lich King sold 28 Million copies in its first 24 hours of availability, a 16 percent growth over the prior expansion The Burning Crusade making it the fastest selling game of all time. At US$40 per boxed copy, that’s more than $100,000,000 in total sales, not counting the fact that Collector’s edition cost about $60 and I bought two.

Let me show you something nice…

There are roughly 12 million WoW subscribers around world. That’s more than the population of Cuba or New York City. North American and European players produce $800 million per year in revenue, larger than the GDP of Samoa. This figure doesn’t include the other 5.5 million subscribers in Asia who make up 48% of WoW’s players.

Subscribers in America spend an average of 22.7 hours a week playing WoW as opposed to 35 hours at work and 39.25 hours watching TV.

1 in 5 of WoW players are female.

The Players The most popular race are not Night Elves or Taurens but Humans. They make up 19% of all the characters.

Celebrity players include Dave Chapelle, Jenna Jameson, Cameron Diaz, Elijah Wood, Jessica Simpson and Mr. T.

The Game It took only 150 developers to create 30,000 items, 5300 NPCs and 7600 Quests.

The server side of WoW consists of 20,000 computers, 1.3 petabytes of storage, 75,000 CPU cores, 5.5 million lines of code and 2 million words of text.

The server upkeep costs $136,986 per day, the same as purchasing a sparkling new AUDI R8 every single day.

The second expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, sold 1933 copies a minute for a total of 2.8 million by the end of the first day of release, making it the fastest selling PC game of all time.

Players complete 16.6 million quests and participate in 3.5 million auctions each day.


HERO OF THE DAY: The Red Shirt Guy

For the first time ever, Blizzard has shown humility in defeat; and we owe it all to The Red Shirt Guy. He is the nameless hero who watches over the lore of Azeroth; he is the bane of Knaak and Chtris Metzen, a true hero of Warcraft.

As silly as it sounds, when you play a game like World of Warcraft which such a massive cult following; as a player being made into an NPC (Character in the game) is an honor of the highest esteem. The error addressed in the video has been fixed in the Cataclysm BETA and now beside the proud Falstad Wildhammer stands the ever vigilant Wildhammer Fact Checker adorned in his red shirt, always ready to smite down the evil of the creative designers.

Posted in Hero of the Day, World of Warcraft | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Karoshi & Canon, The most dangerous man in the world, Hero of the Day: Tokido

Tech Support is a difficult occupation, dealing with 3 different Operating Systems is a pain; outdated hardware conflicting with newer software. Tech support is all about trial and error, you try a hundred different things till you find the resolution, or even identify the problem.

Which brings me to the next topic, today we had a computer which refused to boot the OS. The problem happened to be rather simple; the BIOS priority was booting USB over Hard-drive. Plugged into the USB was a Canon digital camera and it just so happens that it was trying to boot the microSD card. Anyway, this reminds me of an interesting story about Canon Electronics by Danny Choo last year, and I feel the need to share it.

“The moment when I am happiest is when I can sleep”

– Uchino Kenichi, third-generation Toyota employee, died of Karoshi.

“Karoshi” is a Japanese phrase which means “Death from overwork.”
Since the 80s Karoshi is legally recognized as a cause of death in Japan, roughly 40% of Japanese men aged 30 to 40 work over 60 hours a week. Hard work is the cornerstone of Japan’s economy, and Edward Deming’s miracle in Japan has developed an elite class of managerial laborers, and as cliché as it sounds most salary-men out of a samurai-like pride work hours of unpaid overtime just to secure their employment spot. The unemployment rate in Japan is quite staggering, and in order to maintain work you must be an exceptionally motivated worker. Goro Yoshida named Canon/Kwanon after Bodhisattva Guanyin, a being motivated by great compassion and mercy… Needless to say much like Google in my previous blog; Canon has strayed from it’s roots.

Welcome a modern day sweat shop in a First World country.

Translation: “Lets rush – if we don’t then the company and world will perish.”

Canon Electronics is know for gouging its customers with high prices on everything from cameras to spare lens cases. The immaculate quality of their products makes it all worth while, but their CEO disagrees; in true W. Edwards Deming fashion Hisashi Sakamaki aims to reduce laziness, limit errors, and maximize quality development. However the method he’s chosen maybe considered rather… Obscure…? I’m not entirely sure the father of TQM would agree to Sakamaki’s methods.

Hisashi has written a book called:
(Isu to pasokon o nakuse ba kaisha ha nobiru)
“A company will do well if you get rid of the chairs and computers!”

That’s right; his employees are not allowed to sit and must perform their duties while standing. Now obviously they can’t remove the computers from a business based on technology but they can remove the pasokon: Personal Computer, and his book explains his theory that a standing worker is a more productive worker; additionally the company saves money on chairs. If you figure most office chairs are around $50.00 USD it is a rather sizable savings.

Tired of standing all day? Want to take it easy? Well to bad! Refer to the first photo, the one of the blue sign on the floor. The translation of that sign is seriously: “Lets rush – if we don’t then the company and world will perish.” the floors in the Canon factory actually have movement sensors in them. The hallways are designed to detect whether employees are walking at least 5 meters for every 3.6 seconds. If you fail to walk at the designated minimum speed limit a siren goes off and you will be reprimanded for it.

“According to his book, employees can concentrate on the meeting at hand without chairs and they have been able to half the number of meetings each year. He also says that by standing at work, the employees develop a closer relationship with each other and that problems are solved much more quicker.”

– Danny Choo
Ben Bernanke: The Most Dangerous Man in the World.

“Those in favor extol the virtues of the magical printing presses as if we all had been given a free cruise on the ship Queen Elizabeth 2. The truth for most of us is closer to 3rd class tickets on the Titanic.”

– Mark Thornton

Everyone owes Ben a little thanks for his role in preventing the possible depression, but he threw a hail Mary pass and got lucky. The world’s most powerful central bank have been destroying the global economy and poisoning America for years. Ben is perhaps one of the most dangerous human beings on the planet, he sits on his lofty chair in the hallowed halls of the fed and is completely content with watching the world burn.

In one of the biggest gambles in financial history, the Fed has decided to buy $600 billion in Treasury. Commodities have increased in price at an alarming rate and without a reliable gold standard the greenback will continue to fall. There is a currency war looming and it’s poised to be the biggest ****storm since Black Wednesday.

China has been printing yuan to buy dollars for the past 15 years, the yuan stays low and helps keep the dollar strong; however by doing this America loses the reliable dollar in favor of the unstable yuan. Japan acts similarly in this regard, when the yen got to powerful this year the Bank of Japan knock it off a bit. Imports become more expensive; thus consumers buy more domestic goods while exports become cheaper; and more goods are sold overseas. However since Japan has a lack of raw resources they can expect commodities to raise in price due to the devaluation.

The problem with this strategy is that since global devaluation is hitting the world hard and high GDP countries are at near-zero interest rates there is a good chance that this effect will snowball and result in a massive currency war. Just because quantitative easing worked in the Depression, doesn’t mean it will work now; just when the economy starts showing a pulse the Fed plans to risk its frail heartbeat by using the shock paddles at max power. President Obama has called for unity and for countries to “be the bigger man,” but it may be too late.

Men are fallible, and just like Sept. 16, 1992 all the power is in the hands of a few men.

“All it proved was that the markets were right and the politicians were wrong.”

– Joe Lewis, Orchestrator of Black Wednesday

“Bernanke is an airline pilot who pulled off a miraculous landing, but didn’t do his preflight checks and doesn’t show any sign of being more careful in the future — thank him if you want, but why would you fly with him again (or the airline that keeps him on)?”

– Simon Johnson


Watch till the end, it’s worth it. 

“During this past weekend’s SoCal regional for Super Street Fighter IV, Tokido, one of the highest ranked Akuma players pulled off the trademark raging demon super to finish off his opponent, winning the round in loser bracket finals. Right as the animation ended, he stepped up to the stage and posed with his character’s winning stance. The light from the camera hit his back with a big “heaven” kanji, just like the in-game character. It was one of these moments where the player became one with their character.”

– Ming
Posted in Hero of the Day, Serious Business | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Google Buzz, Virtual Economy, Hero of the Day: Jared Psigoda

“After privacy violations last year, Google has proposed an $8.5 million settlement for the issues stemming from its social media venture Buzz.”

The Google Buzz lawsuit has finally drawn to an end, the corporation has opted to settle rather then risk a trial. However even though Google is quite clearly in the wrong, they refuse to admit to any wrongdoing. The company has faced many trials this year, with Lars Rasmussen’s departure, the failure of Google Wave, their obvious fault with the insecure implementation of Buzz, being beaten down on the eastern front by Baidu’s crushing defeat of Google China, their blatant attacks on net neutrality with the under the table deals with Verizon, Operation Aurora, the battle with Microsoft, data mining from public WiFi hubs, Street view’s 1984-esque criticism, the brutal assault on Google TV by cable companies (Using Google TV on a system with an AV receiver results in the AV receiver banning the use of every device attached to the system at the time Google TV was activated), and as it stands right now; it looks like Google is about to go 12 rounds with Steve Jobs.

Gee… Eric Schmidt… As much as I hate to agree with that contemptuous dictator Steve Jobs… That whole “don’t be evil thing” sounds like a bunch of bullshit right now.

HERO OF THE DAY: Jared Psigoda

“Twelve hours a night, seven nights a week, with only two or three nights off per month…”

– Anonymous Gold Farmer

Here’s to one of the most hated people in gaming. He’s not nearly as hated as Bobby Kotick of course, but I’m pretty sure there’s many a gamer who wants his head. Jared’s responsible for a lot of the RMT in World of Warcraft, sitting next to him is Markee Dragon one of the first pioneers of Real-Money Trade back in Ultima Online. He’s gotten out of the business, but long live the king. Recently South Korea’s supreme court has ruled that virtual currency is the equivalent of real money, thereby opening Pandora’s Box for RMT (Real Money Trading) as a legitimate business practice.

Professional Chinese Gold Farmer tells all – Exclusive Interview with Jared Psigoda

Don’t look down on the gaming industry.

Posted in Hero of the Day, Serious Business, World of Warcraft | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment