Blizzard can’t stop themselves from making everything worse.
World of Warcraft has been bleeding players since the start of the year. Add to that the drama swirling around a big-time streamer and the general toxicity that festers in just about every online gaming community and you have a recipe for bad stuff to happen. Simply put: It’s tough to look at certain corners of WoW and not feel like Community’s Donald Glover carrying pizzas into a room that’s on fire.
Even before Activision Blizzard became the centre of a California lawsuit alleging widespread sexual harassment and discrimination, the active player population of Blizzard’s flagship MMO had been falling year after year. A lot of players have been unhappy with recent expansions, and some have even tried to piggyback general complaints about the state of the game onto larger discussion of what’s wrong with Blizzard’s work culture.
The exodus appeared to fly into overdrive in early July, however, when the massively popular WoW streamer Asmongold decided to start streaming Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn instead. If community frustration over a lacklustre Chains of Domination update and generous free trials for the competing MMO supplied the tinder, Asmongold was the match, and recently he and his fans have been taking direct aim at WoW’s developers.
It began when someone on the Asmongold subreddit posted an image of a WoW developer liking a tweet that suggested Asmongold himself was in part responsible for making the WoW community so “trash.” While some content creators foster a collaborative relationship with the developers who make the game they cover, Asmongold has a reputation for being combative and hyperbolic in his criticism of WoW. The streamer, who regularly tours the r/Asmongold subreddit in his streams, went on to lambast the lone WoW developer for insinuating he was a symbol of what was wrong with the community.