Sometimes, you just love a game so much that you can’t stop talking about it. You’re hooked and are playing for hours. In your mind, that game is just perfect. There’s nothing wrong about being a huge fan of a video game, but sometimes you just can’t see the game’s flaws. Today we’ll be talking about the biggest fans of video games and how they affect the game’s development, among other things.
World of Warcraft’s loyal fans
There are many instances, especially in World of Warcraft, where fans altered the course of development or pointed out a mistake in-game. For example, the popular Red Shirt Guy (Ian Bates) is a fan of World of Warcraft, and at Blizzcon 2010 at the Lore Panel, he pointed out a lore related mistake. He noticed that an NPC is not where he should be in-game, something which developers and writers did not know. Lo and behold, he was right and the NPC was there the next day. He also got his own in-game NPC named The Fact-Checker, and of course, he has a red shirt.
Back in the day, in the early days of World of Warcraft, you could go to your nearest video game store the night before the new expansion’s release and wait outside just to rush inside at midnight to be one of the first people to gain access to the brand new expansion pack. This is still a thing, of course, but not as much. I personally attended a midnight release once. Got there at about 9 PM and the line was already absolutely HUGE. It went all the way around the corner. That is, to this day, one of the best experiences of my life.
But we’re here to talk about the fans that are first in that line, the ones that get there at 9 AM, not PM.
On the first reveal of Vanilla World of Warcraft, back in 2004, Blizzard Entertainment organized an event where fans would attend and get their WoW copies signed by the development team. Blizzard expected to see maybe 20 or 30 people, but there were hundreds of fans waiting outside for them. They were perched outside the store, and across the street, behind the corner all day long, waiting for them. This just proves how loyal a video game’s fans can be. Imagine sitting outside the store the whole day, just to buy the newest expansion or get your copy signed.
I’ve heard stories about how people made lifelong friends at these events and even made it to WoW’s development teams just because the devs liked them. World of Warcraft streamer and YouTuber Preach talked about how at one of the midnight releases he attended, there was a guy who just couldn’t stop talking about how his guild had beaten a boss on the first try. And there was a group of 20ish people gathered around him, listening to his every word. Now if that’s not what means to be a fan, I don’t know what is.