WoW Insider – the Omega and the Alpha

This sucks.

Sure and nothing lasts forever, but some things should.

WoW Insider as a collective of outspoken positive voices writing about World of Warcraft is absolutely one of those things that should be eternal.

WoW Insider will be shut down by their parent company, along with all of the other websites in the Joystiq network, on Monday or Tuesday or thereabouts, February 2ndish.

It’s one of those weird things, you know? It’s a website devoted to World of Warcraft, but at the same time it’s a business to make money from ad revenue, and someone else gets to pull the plug if they decide it’s not performing well enough… and the parent company gets to decide what ‘well enough’ means.

There are so many websites out there scrambling for advertiser money, doing anything and everything to get a click from someone running a browser without an adblocker on it. Many of them, and I’ll be blunt, suck. Vultures. Clickbait artists.

WoW Insider was and is different. Yes, the writers on the website get paid for their articles. It’s a job. But all you have to do is actually read the articles and you can see the love and the positive spirits that drive those articles.

Yes, it’s a job, in the best sense of that word. As your guidance counselors like to parrot at you, “Find something you love, and then find someone willing to pay you to do it.”

The writers of WoW Insider love the game and love to write about it, and that comes through in everything they write and create. Always has, from the very beginning.

I’m really going to miss WoW Insider, for the wonderful people and the varied points of view, and always for the great writing. It’s easy to single out the Know Your Lore and Tinfoil Hat articles because of how well written and imaginative they are, but all of the articles have served to do something amazing.

WoW Insider has provided a centralized location for everything going on in the WoW community. It is where you could always go to count on finding a discussion you could join about whatever was the latest thing, and a place showcasing everything going on in the community. Fan created WoW movies, comic strips, articles, crafts and even cooking recipes were found and had the spotlight shown on them, and it did a hell of a lot more than make somebody internet famous for an hour.

What WoW Insider always did was show you that you were not alone in loving World of Warcraft. Every time you visited, the main theme was “Hey look at these cool things other people just like you that love the game did, and here we are sharing them with you, isn’t that freaking cool? Check this out, isn’t it cool? Isn’t this game special and awesome and OMG I love this place.”

It’s going to be hard to imagine the World of Warcraft game meaning as much as it does without the usual suspects.

For a very brief time, back when dinosaurs still roamed the earth, I wrote a few articles that WoW Insider posted about the Druid class. Dan O’Halloran gave me a chance oh so long ago, and I will always thank him for that. I got to meet the people behind the writing (virtually, but still) and found that they really were as nice as they seemed. It’s not often you get to say that about people in the public eye, but it’s true. They’re a bunch of great people. I’m not saying they specifically hire nice people to write at WoW Insider, but hey. Maybe they do.

I’m really going to miss you folks. There is going to be a big gaping wound where the heart of the WoW community used to be, and as I said in the beginning of this, it sucks. But what can you do?

Hey. Maybe there IS something you can do!

It’s been whispered by some of the writers that come February 3rd, there just might be something coming that you can throw your support behind.

An attempt, just maybe, to keep the spirit of WoW Insider alive by forming a new name, a new brand, but having (mosty of) the same writers, and maybe they can do this by a show of crowdfunding support.

Our support.

I don’t know any specifics, but the best thing I think we can all hope for is that this isn’t just the end of something great, but the birth of something to come that will grow into something even better.

Would you support it? When you think of the role WoW Insider has played through the years in trumpeting our fandom to the heavens, is it something that you’d be willing to actually drop dime on to help keep it going?

If so… I have some folks I’d suggest you follow on Twitter so you can stay informed of what might come next.

Fare thee well, WoW Insider. I hope the winds carry your sails to new and exciting shores. Damn it, I’m going to miss you.

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8 thoughts on “WoW Insider – the Omega and the Alpha

  1. I have to say I was utterly gobsmacked when I heard the news … in a complete state of disbelief. I’m not one of those who visits anything regularly .. I get sucked in for a while, then something distracts me and I forget, until something drags me back, but WoWInsider ALWAYS had something interesting and useful to say. It was one of those places where I would regularly go back to my guild and say “oooh .. I’ve just discovered this from WoWInsider …” It’s one of those places I just assumed would exist for as long as WoW did.

    The only thing I’m clinging on to, at the moment, are the hints of possibly something new .. but I’m also aware that quite a few WI writers have mentioned stuff like trying to find other employment, etc … we’ll just have to wait with bated breath and fingers crossed. Either that or Blizz will recruit them all to provide a proper interface between them, the game and the players šŸ™‚

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  2. I quit WoW for about 2 years now, and yet I was still reading WoW Insider every week, to keep in touch with the World of Warcraft. Disappointed when I heard they were closing doors. It was my last link to some kind of past era in my life, when I had time to play this amazing game. I miss it. And now they’re closing. Dammit.
    At least BBB is still hanging in there.

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  3. Well, Anne and Alex have both said to follow Alex’s tweets on Tuesday – there is something in the works for sure, just as Sprowt says. I’m hanging on to this hope and I’ll be watching Twitter on Tuesday….

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  4. I read your articles back then, Bear, and it’s what led me to your blog — AND I DON’T PLAY A DRUID! (Not that the blog has been druid centric for a while, but I used to read it even when it was). I even (I think) remember you making it onto the podcast once or twice.

    I really hope they’re able to rise up from the ashes of Wow Insider, cause I seriously can’t imaging not visiting that site a couple of times a day. šŸ˜¦

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    • What’s funny is I came here to say the same thing. WOW Insider is what led me to this blog. Sad to see it go. I haven’t played in over 2 years but still like keeping my finger on the pulse of wow and reading Bearwalls.

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  5. BlizzardWatch hit their base goal of $8,000 per month within 6.25 hours of activating their Patreon page. They currently stand at more than $13,000 per month. From some of the things being said by Alex Ziebart and Matt Rossi on Twitter, that’s more funding than they got from AOL on the old site. Many of the old columns will be coming back as well as weekly podcasts including a lore podcast with Anne Stickney and Matthew Rossi. They will also be covering other Blizzard franchises in the future. So check them out at http://www.blizzardwatch.com and support them at https://www.patreon.com/blizzardwatch

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