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  Why ‘Rupture’ Should be Worried About Blizzard’s ‘Armory’ [Updated]  
Posted 2007-03-02 by Tony Walsh
World of Warcraft maker Blizzard launched "The Armory" this week, an impressive visual database of every player character in the fictional world of Azeroth. Open to the public, The Armory can be searched by character, guild, or team, resulting in a highly-detailed description of the aforementioned entities.

Ex-Napsterite Shawn Fanning's latest project, dubbed Rupture, is a third-party social network based around World of Warcraft. Currently in closed beta, the free service requires the use of a software add-on that siphons data from players used by the Rupture system, allowing characters and game statistics to be aggregated into a central database. According to the service's FAQs, "Additionally, Rupture provides a gamer-based Instant Messaging and Chat client with several gamer-related features built into it."

Given what Blizzard has shown it can do with data it already collects, I think it would be relatively trivial for the developer to take The Armory into social-networking territory, allowing players to add information to personal profiles, publish buddy-lists, chat, even perform some in-game functions through a web-browser interface. If Blizzard goes this route (and I think it should), Rupture is screwed. Players already spend a lot of time within the official Warcraft community, I don't see why anyone would sign up for a third-party service and use a software add-on if Blizzard provides social networking services even remotely comparable to Rupture's offerings.

Update: Csven of reBang has posted a good counter-point to the above article.
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Comment posted by Jerry Paffendorf
March 3, 2007 @ 4:42 pm
Great back and forth guys. I added my thoughts in a post called Rupture Rapture and the Second Life Spacewalk.
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