We want them to make money!!!

greed is good

The point is ladies and gentlemen that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right. Greed works. – Gordon Gekko

So I consistently see the whining, complaining, and general kvetching every time Blizzard releases a new pay-for-use feature. Why are people upset by this? More to the point, why are people surprised by this?!

Blizzard is a retail company. They want to make a profit. This is a good thing – a VERY good thing!!! As they increase their market strength and revenue growth, they will in turn put that profitability back into their products. This means more content, expansions, better features, upgraded game engine and design, additional products and services. All good stuff! We the consumer then reap the benefits of their profitability. In essence, we are investing in them and in turn getting a better product back – return on investment is the key to any sustained consumer-provider relationship!

Now the down side to this is when the parent company/provider is merely padding profitability. That is, they decrease overhead and cost to its bare minimums, they push external cost of their products to maximum market tolerance – all in a bid to make as much money as they can. Oil companies do this for example. They will spend as little as possible but have no qualms about jacking the cost of their products up. A barrel of oil begins to trade at a higher rate, so why then does the cost of gasoline go up based off that? The rig that is pumping the oil is already built. The refinery is already built and it isn’t a new method of refining that crude into its various product forms. The truck transporting said petrol to a gas station is no different either beyond the cost of the fuel used to make it go!

A summary annual report on Shell Oil from a few years back (public information folks!) showed they had 36 billion in NET profits. NET – PEOPLE – NET!! Now, based on the amount of barrels of oil used to create petrol for vehicles and based on the average for a gallon of gasoline during that time (about $2.85); if Shell had fixed the price of gas to $1.00 at all their stations….they would have still net cleared over $26 billion. That is right, they made $10 billion in NET profit on the production and sale of gasoline. Now you can say this is investor benefit…more profits means more gains for the investors. Well, as an investor if you told me the company made $26 bil NET…I’m not complaining. Doing everything they can to make $36 bil feels overtly greedy.

It’s not a question of enough, pal. It’s a zero sum game, somebody wins, somebody loses. Money itself isn’t lost or made, it’s simply transferred from one perception to another. – Gordon Gekko

So, where does this leave us with Blizzard as consumers…well, for starters: Welcome to the world of Capitalism! I am not shocked by Shell or Blizzard or any other company trying to make MORE money. They can never have enough profit, you can be sure of that. Does Blizzard nickel and dime us? – perhaps. I would take that over being raked of the coals as other companies do.

Here’s the crux of my point: Blizzard has continued to provide us an upgraded game each expansion pack. More content, more fun, more challenges. The cost for the monthly subscription has not risen by one cent. They are clearly the majority share holder in the market of MMO’s and yet have not strong armed we the addicted little buggers that we are, into shelling out any more money than the bare minimum for our WoW-Crack fix! If you want the additional features such as faction xfers, race changes, specialized mobile apps, etc etc – you pay for them. If you don’t want them, don’t pay for them! That’s a sound business plan for both sides of the fence.

I don’t always love everything Blizz does, but I am on their side fully on this one. I keep paying my 6 month subscription and get all the goodies I NEED in the game. When they take that off the table…then I may change my tune.

What would YOU pay for as a feature? Have they held back on anything you really want?

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