In summer 2021, in the middle of the Shadowlands expansion, players left World of Warcraft in droves. This was caused by three factors, which worked together at the worst possible time for Blizzard:
- The content drought. Patch 9.1, Shadowlands’ first content patch, took seven months to come out, during which time there were no content updates at all, and what content it did bring was perceived as boring and drab.
- The lore developments. Shadowlands lore and writing already came under fire before, but for many, the raid ending scene where Sylvanas, the final boss of the raid, suddenly turned against the departing Jailer and joined the good guys was widely seen as a nonsensical and unsatisfying lore development, and was, for them, a turning point that killed their hopes that the story to come would be any better.
- The lawsuit by the state of California against Activision Blizzard, which revealed a lot of dirt about the company’s work atmosphere and history of sexual harassment at the workplace.
Together, these circumstances combined to incite WoW players to leave the game en masse and explore other MMOs, most notably Final Fantasy XIV. I myself was among Argent Dawn roleplayers who jumped to FFXIV; that was how I was first introduced to the game, and got to know the Chaos RP community alongside other Argent Dawn refugees. I ended up making Chaos Archives as a FFXIV counterpart of the Argent Archives website that the Argent Dawn community was used to.