Blizzard Talks Free-To-Play World of Warcraft

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Blizzard Talks Free-To-Play World of Warcraft

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Blizzard says that World of Warcraft could go free-to-play someday, but don't expect that day to come anytime soon.

Free-to-play MMOGs are a relatively new development in the Western videogame market. It was big news a year ago when Dungeons & Dragons Online made the transition but it turned out to be a smart move: Turbine revealed in February that despite being "free," DDO revenues had increased by an amazing 500 percent, while the player base had doubled. That success gave the game a new lease on life and may well have figured into the decision, revealed earlier this month, to do the same with Lord of the Rings Online. Could World of Warcraft, the industry's undisputed big dog, someday make the same switch?

It's definitely possible, according to World of Warcraft Lead Designer Tom Chilton, but not until another game manages to make a serious play for WoW's crown. "I feel like [free-to-play games] are doing that to compete with other games that are on a similar subscriber level to what they were at," he told PC Gamer. "I imagine that when one of them went free to play it cannibalized some of the other subscribers."

"I can definitely imagine that being the case with World of Warcraft. If another game comes along and blows us away it may not make sense for us to have a subscription fee," he continued. "Or even further down the line, when we have another MMO out."

Don't expect that to happen anytime soon, however. World of Warcraft is still a hugely successful endeavor, responsible for well over half of Activision's operating profit, and Blizzard has no interest in messing with it. "We're not spending a lot of time thinking about it," Chilton said. "It's not something that's a reality for us in the near future."

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I don't play WoW but I think it's a smart move. Here's hoping BioWare follow suit and do the same for The Old Republic.

If they made World of Warcraft free, I would gladly renew my subscription. That was the only thing that I didn't like about playing WoW, was that I had to continuously pay for it.

Seriously, they need to do this. I want to play the game again, but I do not wish to pay that subscription fee.

No no, you wont take my soul!

Free to play, but $30 for the game. So, basically, the same as every other game except cheaper. Interesting.

Andy Chalk:
"Or even further down the line, when we have another MMO out."

Is that a promise Blizzard?

but not until another game manages to make a serious play for WoW's crown.

So, WoW will be free to play in Spring 2011? After all, thats when SW: TOR comes out.

Canid117:

Andy Chalk:
"Or even further down the line, when we have another MMO out."

Is that a promise Blizzard?

They are already working on one

So instead of making you pay up front for your fix, they'll just inject the heroin straight into your veins and THEN ask for money when you're too high to think straight?

between cataclysm, diablo 3 and starcraft 2 they wont need any more money for a while anyway

they should do like Guild Wars does; "Buy the Game, Play for Free Forever" - that's one of the main reasons why GW is my favorite MMO :)

So when Blizzard hits the money singularity it goes free to play. Do you know how quickly that is going to addict the world?

I'd gladly pay if I had the money. I had good times abound in my trial.

If WoW ever went free to play...well, that'd be awesome.

Well, with The Old Republic coming out boasting the Star Wars licence, I think WoW has a serious threat to its crown. I could see WoW going the DDO route if they start losing players/revenue. The Old Republic probably won't be free-to-play, what with the game being fully voiced and it is EA's most expensive game yet, so they'll probably hold off for awhile. Oh yeah, and it's EA! What do you think they're gonna do with their MMO?

It would make sense, if they come out with something big, huge and better...why not make it free. I mean, by that point it will have already made them a huge wad of cash

They'll consider it when their numbers are waning. Obviously that won't happen anytime soon, like the article states.

THE ONLY THING THAT WILL DESTROY WOW IS WOW ITSELF.

I hope to god this does not happen for a long fucking time. I despise F2P games. This is the reason:

Buy the game and pay 15$ a month and you get everything in the game if you work for it. - Monthly Subscription Model

Buy the game, or download it for free and then you have to pay say 5 bucks for a cool weapon skin, 20 for this rare mount, 40 to get these potions and exp boost. - Free to Play model (Or the F2P games I have tried)

The point I am trying to make, F2P games seem to have far less quality than those who pay subscriptions for. Also most of the cool stuff in F2P MMO's require you to pay a lot of freaking money just to get them. Unlike in Subscription where you pay a base line of 15 bucks a month. And If WoW every does this I will happily jump ships to SW; TOR and no they will not go Subscription anytime soon after it is released (that is my guess anyway)

Also SW: ToR will NOT kill WoW. Only WoW could kill WoW as I stated above. How hard is that to get through your heads?

And if I had to harbor a guess I would think they would go F2P at around 2012/2013 If not later, only because that is where I am guessing they will release there other MMO, since I am guessing again that they release info on it this or next Blizzcon.

Woah, if they plan doing that, COUNT me in and COUNT me in to perform microtransactions, seriously, that subscription fee is the only reason these private servers exist. So if you would make it free, you offer those private server users a stable and free server, where quests are fixed and everything is up-to-date. You lure them and if they love the game so much, they might as well get into microtransactions..VOILA!

HG131:

but not until another game manages to make a serious play for WoW's crown.

So, WoW will be free to play in Spring 2011? After all, thats when SW: TOR comes out.

Lol. I'm just seeing SW:TOR as just another warhammer personally. People will play it and leave.

I'm actually hoping for that a well because I don't want the majority of the population moving to a star wars game. I got enough at galaxies and EQ was way better when that was around.

Also as a poster mentioned above, you make it free to play, you get a shitty in game shop where you can buy items. It will be worse than emblems from heroics and shit, you can just buy your gear, there will be more idiots.
F2P is fail.

I think making WoW free would be a big mistake, now or in the future.

Making it free now is obviously not very smart. F2P MMOs are usually free in order to become more competitive compared to P2P alternatives. Since WoW is already the biggest player on the field, there's no need for any of that. Sure they'd get more players, but the increase would be far less significant than in the case of a relative underdog like D&DO or LotRO. Also, apart from the huge amount of subscription fees, Blizzard is already making money through mircopayments, like in the case of those special mounts, and all the WoW-themed merchandising they sell.

Making it free in the future when they are in danger of losing their top position would, in my opinion, be a colossal mistake as well. WoW is getting pretty old, but it's still going strong. But once it somehow loses the appeal that keeps the majority of players loyal right now, making it free won't help much. These players already pay a fee, so if they move to a new game it won't be because of financial considerations, it will be because the other game is more interesting or just plain better. Making the game F2P is a way to draw in new players, not to keep old players with you. WoW currently has more players than any other MMO, by the time it lose its lead it will be really old, and there will be more and more F2P MMOs as time goes on if the current trend continues. Most players that would make up the potential audience for a F2P WoW will either have quit the game already, will be playing another (newer) game already, or are simply not interested in an outdated MMO.

In my opinion, the best thing WoW can do is continue on the track they're on. It has served them very well so far, and I believe that changing their business model will do them more harm than good.

SnugglesPanda:

HG131:

but not until another game manages to make a serious play for WoW's crown.

So, WoW will be free to play in Spring 2011? After all, thats when SW: TOR comes out.

Lol. I'm just seeing SW:TOR as just another warhammer personally. People will play it and leave.

I'm actually hoping for that a well because I don't want the majority of the population moving to a star wars game. I got enough at galaxies and EQ was way better when that was around.

If every gamer became a star wars gamer for this game, I can die the next day saying my life is complete.

Hurr Durr Derp:
I think making WoW free would be a big mistake, now or in the future.

Making it free now is obviously not very smart. F2P MMOs are usually free in order to become more competitive compared to P2P alternatives. Since WoW is already the biggest player on the field, there's no need for any of that. Sure they'd get more players, but the increase would be far less significant than in the case of a relative underdog like D&DO or LotRO. Also, apart from the huge amount of subscription fees, Blizzard is already making money through mircopayments, like in the case of those special mounts, and all the WoW-themed merchandising they sell.

Making it free in the future when they are in danger of losing their top position would, in my opinion, be a colossal mistake as well. WoW is getting pretty old, but it's still going strong. But once it somehow loses the appeal that keeps the majority of players loyal right now, making it free won't help much. These players already pay a fee, so if they move to a new game it won't be because of financial considerations, it will be because the other game is more interesting or just plain better. Making the game F2P is a way to draw in new players, not to keep old players with you. WoW currently has more players than any other MMO, by the time it lose its lead it will be really old, and there will be more and more F2P MMOs as time goes on if the current trend continues. Most players that would make up the potential audience for a F2P WoW will either have quit the game already, will be playing another (newer) game already, or are simply not interested in an outdated MMO.

In my opinion, the best thing WoW can do is continue on the track they're on. It has served them very well so far, and I believe that changing their business model will do them more harm than good.

...I LOVE YOU! (no homo) Anyways I agree completely with above statement!

can't see it being a good thing, by that point WoW will be old news. As it is, it feels fairly stagnant. Yeah sure new content etc but the thing that i'd have liked to have seen most was new classes, they could of added quite a few but just haven't. When all is said and done, rerunning the same instance over and over is old, pvp is where the hype stays usually.

awsome117:

SnugglesPanda:

HG131:

but not until another game manages to make a serious play for WoW's crown.

So, WoW will be free to play in Spring 2011? After all, thats when SW: TOR comes out.

Lol. I'm just seeing SW:TOR as just another warhammer personally. People will play it and leave.

I'm actually hoping for that a well because I don't want the majority of the population moving to a star wars game. I got enough at galaxies and EQ was way better when that was around.

If every gamer became a star wars gamer for this game, I can die the next day saying my life is complete.

Star wars should stay in fps and hack and slash like the force unleashed, well that and kotor. I love bioware, but I have no interest in another star wars MMO. I'd get bored. If I play an MMO it has to be fantasy and not sci fi. But thats just me.

I stopped playing after burning crusade, to stop lamenting the money I was throwing away, won't start again because of the time I have.
Though I played it for 5 hours tops a day. Never finished a raid, wasn't joined in a guild. As soon as I ran out of areas to explore, new quests, I was bored. Grinding is not fun.

Counterwise:
I stopped playing after burning crusade, to stop lamenting the money I was throwing away, won't start again because of the time I have.
Though I played it for 5 hours tops a day. Never finished a raid, wasn't joined in a guild. As soon as I ran out of areas to explore, new quests, I was bored. Grinding is not fun.

You weren't doing it right. o.0

SnugglesPanda:

HG131:

but not until another game manages to make a serious play for WoW's crown.

So, WoW will be free to play in Spring 2011? After all, thats when SW: TOR comes out.

Lol. I'm just seeing SW:TOR as just another warhammer personally. People will play it and leave.

I'm actually hoping for that a well because I don't want the majority of the population moving to a star wars game. I got enough at galaxies and EQ was way better when that was around.

Also as a poster mentioned above, you make it free to play, you get a shitty in game shop where you can buy items. It will be worse than emblems from heroics and shit, you can just buy your gear, there will be more idiots.
F2P is fail.

It's a BioWare game that is also an MMO, not the other way around.

Oh GOD what are they doing? Don't they realize how many will succumb to this plague?

SnugglesPanda:

awsome117:

SnugglesPanda:

HG131:

but not until another game manages to make a serious play for WoW's crown.

So, WoW will be free to play in Spring 2011? After all, thats when SW: TOR comes out.

Lol. I'm just seeing SW:TOR as just another warhammer personally. People will play it and leave.

I'm actually hoping for that a well because I don't want the majority of the population moving to a star wars game. I got enough at galaxies and EQ was way better when that was around.

If every gamer became a star wars gamer for this game, I can die the next day saying my life is complete.

Star wars should stay in fps and hack and slash like the force unleashed, well that and kotor. I love bioware, but I have no interest in another star wars MMO. I'd get bored. If I play an MMO it has to be fantasy and not sci fi. But thats just me.

Why not allow it to expand? For all we know, it could be better than WoW. Plus, I love almost everything Star Wars :D

Canid117:

Andy Chalk:
"Or even further down the line, when we have another MMO out."

Is that a promise Blizzard?

I think its a threat.

Anyway, even if the game went free, I wouldn't play it. I've played on friends accounts and on the trial and on private servers. The game is boring. I really don't see how people get sucked into it like they do.

HG131:

SnugglesPanda:

HG131:

but not until another game manages to make a serious play for WoW's crown.

So, WoW will be free to play in Spring 2011? After all, thats when SW: TOR comes out.

Lol. I'm just seeing SW:TOR as just another warhammer personally. People will play it and leave.

I'm actually hoping for that a well because I don't want the majority of the population moving to a star wars game. I got enough at galaxies and EQ was way better when that was around.

Also as a poster mentioned above, you make it free to play, you get a shitty in game shop where you can buy items. It will be worse than emblems from heroics and shit, you can just buy your gear, there will be more idiots.
F2P is fail.

It's a BioWare game that is also an MMO, not the other way around.

Instead of an mmo game also being from bioware? I'm sorry but your point just went above my head.

awsome117:

SnugglesPanda:

awsome117:

SnugglesPanda:

HG131:

but not until another game manages to make a serious play for WoW's crown.

So, WoW will be free to play in Spring 2011? After all, thats when SW: TOR comes out.

Lol. I'm just seeing SW:TOR as just another warhammer personally. People will play it and leave.

I'm actually hoping for that a well because I don't want the majority of the population moving to a star wars game. I got enough at galaxies and EQ was way better when that was around.

If every gamer became a star wars gamer for this game, I can die the next day saying my life is complete.

Star wars should stay in fps and hack and slash like the force unleashed, well that and kotor. I love bioware, but I have no interest in another star wars MMO. I'd get bored. If I play an MMO it has to be fantasy and not sci fi. But thats just me.

Why not allow it to expand? For all we know, it could be better than WoW. Plus, I love almost everything Star Wars :D

Honestly, even if it is good, I'll be one of those cynical pricks that stays in WoW or moves to a past mmo. I can not get into sci fi MMO's at all (Hence me mentioning Galaxies). I know mass effect was just a regular RPG and not like an MMO, but I hate mass effect. I did love Dragon Age though. That being said though I do like star wars. I just don't like it in an RPG and probably in an MMO medium.

LewsTherin:
Free to play, but $30 for the game. So, basically, the same as every other game except cheaper. Interesting.

it's only like £9 although that is without the expansions, but all together you can get all 3 for about 30 if your carefull

I hope most people realize that free-to-play means you get most of the races and classes and about half of the actual game. Then you have to pay for extra character slots, races, classes, and additional quests (i.e. most of them).

I still wouldn't play it...

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