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

BCD303 "Speedy thing goes in. Speedy thing comes out."

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.

---

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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MechaCrashOh, no, I totally agree with you that Iron is being a prick and needs to stop, but isn't the usual GG suggesstion for harassment "just ignore it, grow a thicker skin, don't report it"?05/30/2015 - 9:22am
Conster...and even the more stubborn and annoying ones are downright pleasant when compared to IronPatriot's behavior. His behavior is harassment regardless of whether it's aimed at pro-GG or anti-GG people, and it has to stop.05/30/2015 - 8:55am
ConsterMechaCrash: is this about Goth_Skunk's complaint against IronPatriot? Because while I'm anti-GG and strongly disagree with a lot of the stuff the pro-GG people on here say, most of them disapprove of harassment, even if it's 'in the name of GamerGate'...05/30/2015 - 8:55am
MechaCrashMan, some people are just...so immune to noticing irony, you know? The mind boggles.05/30/2015 - 8:35am
InfophileBut hey, I'm not a mod here. It's up to them05/30/2015 - 7:36am
InfophileThat's really not conducive to a good discussion. It just puts people on the defensive. So yeah, I really think IP should try to hold back on that. I'm not sure a ban is in order unless they show they can't or won't change, though05/30/2015 - 7:36am
InfophileLooking through IP's recent posts, there are some that do add to the discussion. There are also a handful which add nothing and are just jabs or point-scoring. It feels like IP is treating the comments more like a battleground than a discussion, honestly05/30/2015 - 7:34am
MattsworknameAhh, that explains why I wasn't aware. I don't follow, like ,nor care for soccer05/30/2015 - 6:50am
Goth_SkunkThe top dog at FIFA.05/30/2015 - 6:49am
MattsworknameWhose Blatter conster?05/30/2015 - 6:42am
ConsterSpeaking of non-video games for a second, I'm seriously disappointed in people for re-electing Blatter, and disgusted by his speech afterwards.05/30/2015 - 6:32am
ConsterHe's at least 5 times as bad as GS.05/30/2015 - 6:31am
Goth_SkunkEIC of Gameranx apologizes for his recent conduct: http://ow.ly/NDBxn Frankly, I'm surprised this wasn't posted sooner.05/30/2015 - 6:31am
ConsterGS does have a point: IP, on his own, causes at least as much harassment, insulting, and holier-than-thou'ness, as all the pro-GG people on this site combined.05/30/2015 - 6:30am
WonderkarpI am not sure I agree that its Harassment, But I do agree that he doesnt bring anything to the conversation. Its too the point where whenever I see his name, I just Thumbs down and move on. Its all buzz words and accusations and rarely civil05/30/2015 - 6:22am
MattsworknameWell, best of luck on that, but im not holding my breath.05/30/2015 - 5:04am
Goth_SkunkI believe the time to pull the plug was long ago, but kept quiet knowing full well Iron Patriot cannot help themself. There is a mountain of evidence to support my claim. In my opinion, it is harassment, and it needs to stop.05/30/2015 - 4:35am
Goth_SkunkIt's not getting me down. Far from it. Nevertheless, the conduct is unacceptable and has gone far beyond what any patient human being ought to be expected to tolerate.05/30/2015 - 4:34am
MattsworknameDont let him get you down Goth, I just go look at kitten videos for a bit to get my posistive mood back05/30/2015 - 4:27am
Goth_SkunkIt is not conducive to a welcoming, open-minded environment that this site is supposed to be.05/30/2015 - 2:33am
 

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