So Blizzard announced a new web series based off American Choppers, Azeroth Choppers.
A new web series is set to premier tomorrow 4/17 involving Blizzard Entertainment and a very well-known motorcycle designer! Paul Jr, formerly of the hit TLC show “American Choppers,” and Blizzard will have a themed bike build-off. The basic premise of this series pits two teams up against each other in order to create an amazing World of Warcraft themed bike. The winner will be chosen by the WoW community itself in a winner take all-event and be featured as an in-game mount.
Grab a front-row seat for the ultimate road showdown! Legendary custom motorcycle designer Paul Jr. has assembled two handpicked teams of bike experts to bring to life a pair of asphalt-kicking chopper designs inspired by World of Warcraft®’s two warring factions. Joining each crew on their epic quest are members of the World of Warcraft development team, on board to help to infuse the essence of the Horde and the Alliance into each bike. In the end, only one chopper will reign supreme as the undisputed king of Azeroth’s roads in a winner-takes-all showdown voted on by World of Warcraft players around the globe.
Let’s be clear…I love this idea. It takes one series I always tuned in to watch and a game product I love and mashes them together. I will stipulate, I fell off of American Chopper when the power struggle between Paul Jr and Paul Sr began to overtake the bike builds. I tuned in to see great design and fabrication, not emotional fights and a father-son battle royales. To top it off the series teams will be headed up by one of my favorite artists in the world in Samwise Didier and none other than Chris Metzen. Again, a little disclosure…I am not a fan boy of Metzen, but I do have respect and admiration to him as a leading creative force in all things Blizzard. I think his public persona is just a bit over the top in self-love and ego..but yeah, he is personally responsible for so much of Warcraft & Starcraft that I still have to tip my hat to the guy. Any who…this really makes the series more fun to watch in my opinion. We will see a pair of bike fabricators led by each Blizzard persona with Paul Jr as lead judge/host plus getting to see the final results voted on by the WoW Community and added as a mount in-game!! What is not to love?!
Oh, that’s right….outrage. Because people always have to be outraged about something, right? Well what’s the outrage over? The usual stuff, which honestly I won’t get into…feel free to do a Google search on the storied history of complaints regarding Blizzard and their game and story development. You’ll find it. I of course will add my usual counter to the ongoing complaint department, why are you still playing the game? If you don’t like an artist, why buy their work and hang it on your walls? If you don’t like the food/service at a restaurant, why would you keep going back again and again? Additionally, every time a change is made it’s never enough. The wait-staff at Blizzard has re-fired your meal 100 times over and brought you a fresh plate trying to address the last complaint you had and yet you still can’t stand it, you still find fault. At some point someone would tell you the problem is you. Maybe that’s true, maybe it’s not…personally, for me, at some point I would just accept it’s not a fit for me. I’d stop playing, stop buying their products, stop supporting at a game developer that doesn’t suit my needs.
Case in point…we have a Honda Odyssey in our house. We have 3 kids, a dog, I coach multiple soccer teams – we need the space. BMW doesn’t make a mini-van, also I happen to think their vehicles are way over-priced. Does this mean they make bad cars & SUVs, no. I am under the impression that folks that own them swear by them, but the company does not make a vehicle that suits our family, and I am less than enamored with the pricing structure of their product – simply not worth it in my book. So, is the solution my constant derailing of BMW as a worthless and disappointing car manufacturer for not offering vehicles at a lower cost? Do I spend my time decrying them as marginalizing families for not having more family friendly vehicles in their lineup? No. I simply don’t shop for or buy a BMW. Simple as that.
I do not NEED a BMW, I NEED a car. One of the positive aspects of a capitalist society is having multiple alternatives in the marketplace to offer me a choice in my car buying. Same can be said for video games, and the flagship of Blizzard – World of Warcraft. There are other MMOs to play. There are other game developers from which you can purchase products. Also…hint hint…you do not NEED a video game. You want one. You want a game that matches your play style, your personal ideologies, your persona; you want a game that reflects YOU. Funny, so do I…so does everyone. Therein lies the rub, as a developer Blizzard is making a game a world they like. One that they choose to share with us in hopes we will like it too. Granted they look for feedback to sway the needle slightly one way or the other to shape and mold the world in which we play; but how far can you expect them to go? Not very in my experience.
So, outrage over Azeroth Choppers makes no real sense to me. It doesn’t affect or change the game play of World of Warcraft. It’s an ancillary viral marketing campaign. If you don’t like the idea then don’t tune in. If this turns you off from the game, then so be it. I doubt that you were headed down any other path than un-subbing anyway. And please do not espouse to me how this is alienating half the player base. Unless you have actual data that shows this you are grasping at straws at best or worse yet using anecdotal evidence to make your argument (You used a personal experience or an isolated example instead of a sound argument or compelling evidence). Don’t do this. You can use anecdotal evidence to form your own opinion, you can use it to shape your constituency, you can use it to illustrate your opinion or perspective…but it’s not a basis for a logical argument. Just don’t.
I’ll be tuning in tomorrow, and to each episode. I am a motorcycle fan and love the fabrication and design process. I happen to think OCC (by extension Paul Jr.) has made some of the coolest bikes on the planet. I’d love to see one in WoW. That is all this is about. No more no less.
Sometimes a chopper is just a chopper.
Team Horde is led by Warchief Samwise, aka Sam Didier, who’s spent his entire career in the entertainment industry. Sammy’s first job was in cinema . . . as usher at a local movie theater. There he spent countless hours perfecting his art on candy order forms and bathroom check sheets. It was a bold move, but Samwise left behind the spiritually rewarding job of sweeping up filthy movie theaters to join Blizzard Entertainment in 1991 as one of the fledgling company’s first artists. Samwise is also the lead singer of Blizzard’s in-house band, The Artists Formerly Known as Level-90 Elite Tauren Chieftain.
Joining Samwise on Team Horde are Gary Platner and Jason Hutchins.
Gary Platner is a lead environment artist and former stand-up comic (he even got paid once!) who’s been training Krav Maga for about four years. He loves training, sparring, and getting kicked in the head by his fellow students.
Jason is a senior game producer who’s living the dream. He married his high school sweetheart and enjoys the finer things in life: cars, cocktails, guns, motorcycles, and food. Not in that order and never all at once.
For the Horde!
Team Alliance is led by Chris Metzen, Blizzard’s chief storyteller. He’s filled countless roles at the company over the years, seamlessly transitioning from artist to game designer to voice actor and writer. He’s the guy who’s been creating the characters and worlds that millions of gamers have grown to love. When he’s not psyching up a packed BlizzCon® crowd from the main stage in the Anaheim Convention Center, he can often be found reading and writing comics or riding a dirt bike.
Joining Chris on Team Alliance are Terran Gregory and Monte Krol.
Terran Justice Gregory (yes, that’s his real name) is an associate project director, dedicated Gnome enthusiast, and filmmaker who lives and dies for the Alliance. Terran is a huge World of Warcraft lore nerd who was the player behind Kyle’s mage in South Park’s “Make Love, Not Warcraft” episode.
Monte Krol is a lead software engineer who’s even done some writing and voice acting for Warcraft III and World of Warcraft—he’s the voice of the goblin saying “Time is money, friend!” Monte’s also hardcore into 3D printing, recently printing a working six-speed transmission.