A Possible Future Where World of Warcraft is Free

July 1, 2010 -

In a PC Gamer interview Blizzard said that it may, at some point, consider making World of Warcraft free. Blizzard's Tom Chilton said the company is open to considering different subscription models for the MMO based on a number of factors including external or internal competition in the MMO space. This could include the other secret MMO project the company is working on, serious competition from another company or a change in the space itself.

"At some point, it may not make sense for us to have a subscription fee," said lead designer Tom Chilton in a PC Gamer interview. "If another game comes along and blows us away it may not make sense for us to have a subscription fee - or even further down the line, when we have another MMO out."

Blizzard is already experimenting with different subscription models in regions like South Korea, where World of Warcraft takes a back seat to its other game, StarCraft. The company recently announced that WOW subscribers would get StarCraft II for free as long as their WOW accounts remained active. Certainly a smart way to drive WOW subscriptions.

One thing is for certain; if Blizzard ever did decide to use some sort of free to play model it would have a dramatic and profound effect on the entire MMO space. When a game as good as WOW goes free it's tough for competitors with lesser game experiences to expect players to pay a fee.

Source: Gamasutra


Comments

Re: A Possible Future Where World of Warcraft is Free

IF and WHEN it goes free, I will definitely be playing WOW all the time. I just can't see myself paying $15/month, every month or however long to play the game. & in this economy everyone is still hurting. Everyone says we are out of the recession, but we're not. Certainly not me & others around me.

 

 

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Re: A Possible Future Where World of Warcraft is Free

I tried WoW once. After about an hour of idiots, spammers, and language that would get you kicked out of a navy bar. I said 'F*(K IT'. I enjoy DDO and like Turbine's model.

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Re: A Possible Future Where World of Warcraft is Free

I would have tried WoW a long time ago, but for the monthly fee.  Then, I started playing Guild Wars (with no fee) and Star Trek Online (bought a lifetime sub).  Now, even if it did go F2P, I probably wouldn't play it.

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Re: A Possible Future Where World of Warcraft is Free

PUPPIES!

Re: A Possible Future Where World of Warcraft is Free

I hope Blizzard never uses a "Free to Play" model for any of their games.  I see the $15 a month as a small barrier to entry to keep the garbage out.  If the game was "F2P" the amount of spammers would skyrocket, as it would be a "oh I got banned, time to create a new account for FREE".

Re: A Possible Future Where World of Warcraft is Free

The game is already crawling with n00bs, spammers, idiots, channers, and other jackasses from the bottom of the internet septic tank. A montly fee does nothing to keep them out. I wish I could count how often the free trials are abused by spammers.

Re: A Possible Future Where World of Warcraft is Free

 

L. I missed out on playing that game and its just too out dated to start playing now.

i agree i hope it doesn’t go free simply because the level of maintenance and security will drop as blizzard loose a financial interest. I play a lot of online games and love that my fees to towards security, management of the game content and dispute resolution.

Look at other free to play games where the hacking is total out of control and the game becomes no fun to play.

But in saying that I hope it doesn’t become free until there is something else. I wish they would just remake Ultima online

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Re: A Possible Future Where World of Warcraft is Free

Maybe you haven't noticed, but WoW is crawling with griefers and riff-raff.  A monthly fee does nothing to discourage that, and going F2P wouldn't change anything at all.

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With the first link, the chain is forged.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: A Possible Future Where World of Warcraft is Free

I suspect the "F2P" model will probably be closer to the Dungeons & Dragons Online model.  I'm surprised they haven't done so already.

Or, a 2 games for 1 subscription fee model may very well be possible.  View it as getting one free for subscribing to the other if you wish.  It's still the same thing really.  Just certain different restrictions on how to keep both accounts active.

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Re: A Possible Future Where World of Warcraft is Free

I don't see why you would be surprised that they haven't gone free to play already. Why would they go free to play with an option for microtransactions, when they already have both? I mean, millions of people pay the subscription fee and in addition, hundreds of thousands of those more than happily pay 25$ for a reskinned mount and will doubtlessly pay for the next useless thing that comes along. Why would Blizzard possibly want to suddenly make less money by dropping subscription fees unless the game starts hemorrhaging subscribers?

The other option you presented would make a lot more sense, since they claim that the new MMO will be different enough from WoW that many people would subscribe to both simultaneously, so giving people a package deal with a full sub fee + 50% off for the other sub or something would be one option. Or they could even make the other game with the DDO model so people have options as to how much/if they are willing to spend on it.

 
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Matthew WilsonI think its a good article, and devs can take some lessons from life is strange.04/24/2015 - 10:24pm
Andrew EisenI tinyURL'd it. The world is safe!04/24/2015 - 10:23pm
Matthew Wilson@AE my bad there is nothing I can do about that.04/24/2015 - 10:21pm
Andrew EisenLooks like the spoiler is right there in the URL.04/24/2015 - 10:20pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://tinyurl.com/ok9pf6b a interesting opinion piece on the life is strange episode 2, and a dark event that happens in it. full warning major spoilers.04/24/2015 - 10:11pm
Matthew Wilson@mech no just she, nor her co workers have not. she never said it is not real.04/24/2015 - 8:58pm
MechaCrashWas she saying "I haven't experienced it," or "I haven't experienced it therefore it does not exist"?04/24/2015 - 8:31pm
ZippyDSMleeoy the skyrim paid mod thing is going over well. My 2 lints, I would not mind if Skyrim had a full SDK and not a crappy lil editor....04/24/2015 - 6:46pm
Andrew EisenWell, that is indeed crappy and nonsensical.04/24/2015 - 3:45pm
Matthew Wilsonshe got attacked for saying that she personaly has not experienced the harassment some other female devs have, and she got acused of defending GG and ignoring harassment. she ended up getting dog piled because of it.04/24/2015 - 3:43pm
Andrew EisenFine but do you recall ANY details at all?04/24/2015 - 3:38pm
Matthew Wilsonit was several weeks ago now, and I will admit to not saving it.04/24/2015 - 3:36pm
Andrew EisenAttacked HOW and by WHOM for not writing off WHO as evil? Do you have a link or anything?04/24/2015 - 3:31pm
Matthew Wilsonthat is the whole point she was not attacked for saying anything. she was attacked for being willing to debate in the first place, and not just write them off as evil.04/24/2015 - 3:28pm
Andrew EisenI know there's not a lot of room in the Shout box but goodness you're being vague.04/24/2015 - 3:26pm
Andrew EisenGreat, but that STILL doesn't tell me what she said, why she was attacked (or what the attack was) or what "standard line" she's following. Details, man. Details!04/24/2015 - 3:25pm
Andrew EisenOr what the heck Nina White (someone else I've never heard of) is actually referring to.04/24/2015 - 3:24pm
Matthew Wilson@AE she is a game dev. she used to do stuff with hormanix and now works with https://outact.net/#!/?page_id=2 she will often engage and debate both side.04/24/2015 - 3:23pm
Andrew Eisen...following.04/24/2015 - 3:23pm
Andrew EisenYou mean focus on stopping the bad behavior of those who are doing it rather than condemning all the people that associate with them? Great. But I still don't know who Emma Clarkson is, what she said, why she was attacked or what "standard line" she's04/24/2015 - 3:23pm
 

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