The lights are on
Blizzard's flagship MMO has made it nearly impossible for many newcomers to have much success with a subscription model, forcing them to go free-to-play. But could be the dominant MMO be headed towards the same fate itself?
Polygon posed the question to World of Warcraft lead designer Tom Chilton, who said it wasn't out of the question, but says Blizzard has reservations about if free-to-play games can have long-term success.
"For Blizzard it makes sense [to go free-to-play] at some point," Chilton told Polygon. "But a lot of the risk is in making that transition. You hear stories about developers going free-to-play and getting double the number of players, but you don't always know it works out that way and how long it stays that way. We really don't know what the rate is before people drop off and lose interest."
How much life do you think WoW has in it before it must abandon its subscription model?
[Source: Polygon via GameSpot]
Our TakeBy the time World of Warcraft goes free-to-play, will people even still care? Sure, abandoning your hard-earned character is tough, but Blizzard probably won't go free-to-play until necessary. By then, new MMOs, like Blizzard's own Titan, could be knocking on our doors, making people move on to newer pastures.
Email the author Kimberley Wallace, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.
Once it gets to about 3 million paying players it probably will, but that's atleast an expansion or more away, and at that point it'll be 13 years of raking in cash. People shouldn't dwell on the numbers drop, but how unprecedented it's been for a game to have the staying power wow has had. It's pretty extroidnary.
WoW be dat booty MMO, Diablo 3 all day kid
Think about it, wows got 7 to 8 million people paying 15$ a month to play, that's huge revenue. Second place subscriber game is probably swtor, and they might only have 7 or 800k paying players, prob not even that. That's a HUGE gap. Wow isn't in trouble of going f2p anytime soon. They'll dip to 6 mill, release and expansion, go back to maybe 8. It's still a ton of paying players.
"Long term success"?
Excuse me, but WoW has dominated the MMO market for 9 years. I don't know any MMO that has had that kind of success and that's saying a lot considering WoW's mechanics were inspired by Everquest.
maybe once they release the final expansion pack for Wow then they would go f2p
I don't need another mmorpg game right now. I need to continue working on my backlog....the next multiplayer game I might play is BF4, but other than that, no more multiplayer games for me until I work on my backlog :/
eh... i love WoW. i feel like part of what makes it great is the constant attention it gets from blizzard because of the subscriptions. i feel like free to play would just doom it
I'd hope it never goes free to play. The small $15 wall that is in place like it is now not only keeps out the riffraff of spam and an influx of children (sorry kids, I'm a grumpy old man), but it also keeps away the requirement of spending extra money to stay at the top of the game.