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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Nightwng2000 NW2K Software http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

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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Andrew EisenYou have to try to purchase something first. Pick a game, hit purchase and if your wallet doesn't have enough to cover it, you'll be given an option to "add exact funds" or something like that.09/23/2014 - 2:05pm
MonteI have seen no option for that on my 3DS; anytime i want to add funds it only gives me the option to add in denominations of $10, 20, 50 or 10009/23/2014 - 2:03pm
IanCWhat Andrew Wilson said. PSN is the same when you make a purchase over a certain price (£5 in the UK)09/23/2014 - 2:02pm
Andrew EisenNeither eShop charges sales tax either. At least in California.09/23/2014 - 2:00pm
Andrew EisenBoth Wii U and 3DS eShops allow you to add funds in the exact amount of whatever's in your shopping cart. If your game is $39.99, you can add exactly $39.99.09/23/2014 - 1:57pm
Infophile@Matthew Wilson: As I understand it, any regulations to force tax online would also set up an easy database for these stores to use, minimizing overhead.09/23/2014 - 1:30pm
MonteReally, the eshop just does next to nothing to make buying digitally advantagous for the customer. Its nice to have the game on my 3DS, but i can get more for less buying a physical copy at retail. And that's not even counting buying used09/23/2014 - 1:18pm
MonteIanC, The Eshop wallet system only lets you add funds in set denominations and the tax makes sure you no longer have round numbers so you ALWAYS loose money. A $39.99 game for instance requires you to add $50 instead of just $4009/23/2014 - 1:13pm
Matthew Wilsonbut thats just it those sites, even the small ones, sell all over the country.09/23/2014 - 11:12am
Neenekoeither that or it would follow the car model of today. big ticket items are taxed according to your residence, not where you buy them.09/23/2014 - 11:07am
NeenekoI doubt it would be the retailer that handles the tax in the first place. If it goes through it would probably be folded in as a service on the processor end or via 'turbotax' style applications.09/23/2014 - 11:05am
Matthew Wilsonsimple there are over 10k tax areas in the us for sales tax. it would be impossible for small online retailers to handle that.09/23/2014 - 10:55am
IanCWhats wrong with charging tax in an online shop?09/23/2014 - 10:47am
E. Zachary KnightI don't see why it would be that difficult to maintain one. Especially for a news outlet with multiple people on the payroll.09/23/2014 - 9:37am
Matthew Wilsonthey can, but will they? more inportantly will the traditional sites be willing to do the extra work to maintain the list?09/23/2014 - 9:02am
E. Zachary KnightSo how will it reduce the power of the traditional games press? They can create curated stores too.09/23/2014 - 8:39am
Matthew WilsonI think its a good thing, but it does mean traditional games press will have less power than ever before. To be fair most of the gaming press were never big on pc gaming anyways.09/23/2014 - 8:33am
E. Zachary KnightMatthew, is that a bad or good thing?09/23/2014 - 7:43am
MechaTama31When you say "youtuber", I picture some sort of customizable potato...09/22/2014 - 10:48pm
Matthew Wilsonthis change will only give youtubers more power.09/22/2014 - 9:54pm
 

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