Blizzard Demonstrates Customer Service Edge With 10-Year Premium

Steve Anderson : End Game
Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
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Blizzard Demonstrates Customer Service Edge With 10-Year Premium

It's hard to believe that World of Warcraft has only recently cleared the 10 year mark of existence with little in the way of upgrades graphically. A whole generation of consoles has come and gone in that time, and for some, so have a lot of hours playing the same game on a PC. Potentially, even the same game on a succession of different PCs. But the tenth anniversary of World of Warcraft didn't just come and go with moderate fanfare, oh no; Blizzard had a special treat in mind for those who stuck with the company over the long haul in the form of a special Orc statue.

Those eligible for the premium in question will be those who set up an account somewhere between November 23, 2004 and February 11, 2005, and then subsequently remained with the game for the intervening period. The statue itself, meanwhile—an Orc in mid-battle—is said to be a small-scale version of the one found on Blizzard's campus.

Some reports suggest that a continuously-active account may not be a requirement, but may instead be a help. Further reports note that the post in question that revealed the existence of the statue was subsequently taken down, which makes some wonder if this wasn't some kind of trial balloon or the like.

If it does come out according to plan, meanwhile, what will have been accomplished is that Blizzard's about to show us how to do customer service right. Sure, some might think it's a bad idea to ignore the nine year veterans, or even the five year veterans, but for those valiant few who stuck with World of Warcraft since its launch, well, that deserves a little something special, a choice bit of swag that says “you could have left, but you didn't. Thank you.”

Speaking here as someone who did leave—I had a level 42 dwarven hunter named Glongg, who along with his bear, Grylls (and not once did anyone call me on that), roamed the vast fields and plains before I discovered that World of Warcraft was a lot like a part-time job that I had to actually pay to do—I can vouch that it's extremely difficult to keep a subscription going for that long. Using rates from Battle.Net for the United States, the price is $77.94 for six months. That means $155.88 for the year, or just under $1600 for the 10-year period involved. Naturally, there were some price hikes in there; these are just the quick-and-dirty numbers. But you did get 10 years of gaming out of the deal, and throwing in a special bonus certainly can't hurt. The value here is in showing the players that they are valued with a nice limited-edition chunk of swag that may end up on eBay, but given that Blizzard already got 10 years of subscription fees out of the deal, it's a pretty good deal to try and keep those players around another 10 years.

Naturally, only time will tell just how well this works out, and if it even comes to pass. But if it does go through, it's likely to have a significant payoff for those involved.

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