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World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Case Study

Rob Miller | Friday December 28, 2012

Categories: GCSE, AQA GCSE, Advertising, Marketing, Viral Advertising, Games, Computer Games, Video Games, Timeline, Key Concepts, Audience, Genre, Ideology, Institutions, Ownership, Media Language, Narrative, Representation & Stereotyping, Hot Entries, Other Topics, Iconography, Nostalgia

Production and Distribution

World of Warcraft is an immensely popular, established RPG that was released in 1994. Several game sets and expansions later it has 10 million subscribers with the fourth expansion Mists of Pandaria released on September 25th 2012 (the date was eagerly awaited and much promoted in the same way an Event Movie is marketed). It is the world’s most subscribed MMORPG (see below).

Technically WoW is described as a MMORPG (Massively multiplayer online role playing game) and is only available to play online via subscription on PCs and MACs. As such it is interactive and often is played in groups e.g. 5 person, 10 person etc. dependent on what you are doing within the game - teamwork may be required fighting against enemies or individual crafting may involve a more solitary activity like making weapons. Guilds are much larger groups that allow for broader social interaction where players involve themselves in ‘Raids’ which is basically getting into groups to fight larger bosses / enemies. Social interaction from group play can often lead to meet ups with other players from a range of countries evidencing its global appeal.

To enter the game the player must select a character from a race and a class e.g. a priest, warrior, hunter, monk, death knight, paladin, rogue, shaman, mage, warlock or druid while a character is like an avatar reflecting a number of different creatures from Orcs, Trolls, Humans, Dwarves, Night Elves, Gnomes, Draenai, Worgen and the Undead. A realm or server is also selected (the people you meet will be on this server)and game play can be all about defeating monsters and completing quests or as open player versus player for example – all realms have in game support for the most experienced or novice game player. Narrative complexities of the game and backstories going back 50,000 years dictate that, for example, you can have a Troll who is a shaman but you cannot have an Orc who is a...


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