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World of Warcraft Eventually Going Free-To-Play?

by Kimberley Wallace on Aug 23, 2013 at 08:50 AM

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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 Take
By 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.