According to Mike Smith, of Yahoo! Games, World of Warcraft may just be the largest corporation on the planet. Many of you, of course, are looking at that statement and quietly laughing to yourself, but does it actually hold any merit? When you look at WoW from afar you’ll notice that it shares very little with corporations. In fact, much of the article seems to point WoW in the direction as being compared to a nation, as opposed to a corporation. So where does this logic come from?
Well, as Mike states, you can actually invest in the game from a character side of things. This basically means that when you create a character on a WoW server you are actually investing time into what could become a potentially profitable margin. Look at it this way: the World of Warcraft is the largest and most successful pay to play MMORPG ever. As such there is a high demand for the game and for the game’s commodities. Even now you can go to any number of websites and buy gold with dollars, euros, or pounds. This means that the WoW gold actually has a worth value amongst regular society. So, when you are out farming for gold in the Burning Steppes you are actually earning, essentially, money. Anything that can be converted into money as as good as money after all.
However, that said, the article faulters on actually convincing me that WoW is more of a corporation than a nation. You see, in WoW, the players are more like citizens. They live in a world and pay a certain amount per month (just like citizens who pay taxes every year). Also like a nation, the WoW community makes and sells things to each other; just like the grocery store down the street, who gets it’s vegetables from farmers a hundred miles away, will sell you those same vegetables. In a corporation, the entire workforce is making/producing items to sell to an outside entity. The World of Warcraft players are not selling anything to people who don’t play. Based on these observations, you’d be hard pressed in convincing anybody that WoW is a corporation…
Regardless of what WoW actually is (corporation, nation, game), the article is still a fascinating read. I urge you to check it out and to comment back here with your own ideas and thoughts on the matter. Is it completely silly to be comparing WoW to any of these extra-bodily organizations? You tell me…
Thanks for reading!
You can check out the full article HERE.
Kind of a silly analogy, in my opinion, especially if you consider that gold cannot be converted to real currency legally. Revenue is accurately portrayed as one of the requirements for a business, but the revenue pulled in by World of Warcraft goes to Blizzard/Activision, which no one doubts is a corporation, not to the game. As for the rest (subscribers = employees, what?), it doesn’t hold water.
The only thing invested by players in the game itself is time, with no empirical value return. Subscription money is not actually an investment in the game, it is a payment to Blizzard for use of its product.