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MMORPG - our Virtual Worlds are under attack. Log in and fight dammit!

Our genera is under fire by a generation of gamers for whom the term MMORPG represents an extension of Animal Crossing or Battlefield 2. Writers are telling gamers to buy buffs from people who control the need for them. I hope it's just a Secret World ARG

Author: Cyberdeck7

Prove LotRO tripled revenues and I'll record myself dropping $50 in their item shop.

Posted by Cyberdeck7 Friday August 12 2011 at 8:11PM
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OK - and I'm surprised a free blogger had to find this instead of one the journalists. Here are some facts:

Time Warner 2010 Earnings Report: http://phx.corporate-ir.net/External.File?item=UGFyZW50SUQ9Nzk3ODZ8Q2hpbGRJRD0tMXxUeXBlPTM=&t=1

Time Warner had lost $20,000,000 in its Filmed Entertainment division by the end of 2010. This is the sub-division in which their video game business resides. So someone lost money there; here's what the financials say about the other 95% of the "Filmed Entertainment Division"

"In 2010, the Warner Bros. Pictures Group broke the all-time industry worldwide box office record with receipts of $4.814 billion, which surpassed the prior record of $4.010 billion (set by the Studio in 2009). Warner Bros. also established a new industry benchmark for the international box office with a total of $2.93 billion (marking a record third time of crossing the $2 billion threshold) and retained its lead domestically with a box office of $1.884 billion. 2010 also marked the 10th consecutive year Warner Bros. Pictures Group passed the billion dollar mark at both the domestic and international box office."

And No, the purchase of Turbine and Rocksteady get reported elsewhere.

Many of you keep parroting the "LOTRO tripled its revenue since going free to play" line. If you Google for the quote, the ONLY results are from video game sites like this and you'll see it all attributed to the answer the head of Turbine gave on a podcast at Ten Ton Hammer.

Adam Mersky himself makes no mention of the milestone on twitter or any of his social network sites and he retweets every little detail of what Turbine is doing. There's also no collaborating post on any Official LotRO, Warner Bros. Time Warner Inc, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, or Warner Bros. Interactive website.

The only mention of Lord of the Rings Online in any stock holder's report, earnings report, SEC filing or anywhere official at all is:

"In 2010, WBIE continued to expand its games publishing business through acquisitions, including the acquisition of Turbine Inc., the developer of The Lord of the Rings Online"

Now isn't that odd that such a smart purchase that tripled in revenue isn't trumpeted to the investors? That it isn't anywhere where Mersky could be held accountable for the quote, in fact no where official at all? I don't know, maybe Ten Ton Hammer has a bible they have all the MMO marketers swear on as they're entering the studio, but last time I checked people advertising on Podcast interviews don't have to tell the truth. After all, didn't the same dude say they would never sell anything game altering before they went from clothes all the way through potions and on to selling Legendary Weapons in less than a year? So now we know he lies on Podcasts. Period.

The situation we have at all of these MMO sites is some writer reading some other guy's article, maybe 10 ton hammer or something, and just repeating it without doing any research whatsoever. It's not just here - it's all over the net - some guy attributes his facts to Massively who attribute their facts to MMORPG.com and they pass it around and around until it's everywhere, but what it comes down to is some guy answering a question on a gaming site's podcast that makes him look like a business genius who then won't reassociate himself with the quote or brag about the major milestone on the net. It is a giant marketing circle jerk.

There are a few sites that tried to investigate, who could only say 'a line item for the gaming division was 'suspiciously missing' from their earnings report.' At least they found that the triple earning quote was inconclusive.

So here's a challenge - find anything officially owned by Time Warner or Turbine that has any mention of a tripling of the revenue pulled in by LotRO. Anything, as long as it's official. And Official MMO Journalists, especially that grey haired F2P pied piper who apparently can't track spending - I'm looking at you - are you a cut and paste shop or do you research what you're told? I think you should analyse this stuff before encouraging thousands of kids to go spend $5 on copies of buff icons while publishers are tweaking the game so the icons don't last as long.

If anyone finds anything, I'll go drop $50 in the Lotro (maybe Vindictus) Item shop and record the whole thing.