World of Warcraft Won't Go Free-to-Play, Blizzard Says

World of Warcraft Won't Go Free-to-Play, Blizzard Says

World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor

Despite declining subscriber numbers, Blizzard says World of Warcraft won't be made free-to-play.

Activision revealed earlier this week that World of Warcraft dropped another 100,000 subscribers, which isn't as bad as it sounds in the context of its remaining 7.6 million users and a greatly reduced decline compared to that of the previous quarter. It's still a far cry from the glory days of 12 million users, though, but don't expect Blizzard to hop aboard the popular (and, for many, lucrative) free-to-play train anytime soon.

"We didn't make the game to be free-to-play," World of Warcraft Production Director J. Allen Brack told Eurogamer. "We would have to rework the game pretty significantly in order to make it free-to-play. It's not something we're currently considering."

Brack said he hoped Warlords of Draenor, the WoW expansion revealed yesterday at Blizzcon, would increase subscriber numbers, but added that the development team focuses on creating content, while "business concerns" are left to the publisher.

Despite the declining numbers, World of Warcraft remains the heavyweight champion of subscription MMOs, and the "not currently" qualifier leaves the door open to reconsideration in the future. Which is probably wise: In 2008 Blizzard's Rob Pardo ruled out microtransactions, saying they would be a "betrayal" of the user base, but in July the studio reversed that stance and confirmed that they will be implemented. Five years is an eternity for a videogame, to be fair, but as they old saying goes, never say never.

Source: Eurogamer

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Don't care.
Unless they added Murlocs as a playable race.

Then i'd fucking throw all my money at them.

But if people still play it, still pay for it, well... Who am i to judge?

Havnt they been talking about mirco transactions recently? Dont tell me they're going to have both a subscription and MTs.

spartandude:
Havnt they been talking about mirco transactions recently? Dont tell me they're going to have both a subscription and MTs.

I don't play the game anymore but I thought they have been doing that for at least a year now?

It's certainly a bit of a unqiue genre in terms of lifespan.

I was honestly expecting Blizzard to eventually decommission WoW with it's dignity intact, but if the lines are read between what they didn't say, perhaps not.

spartandude:
Havnt they been talking about mirco transactions recently? Dont tell me they're going to have both a subscription and MTs.

What do you mean "talking" about them? They've had it in the game since Wrath of the Lich King introduced the Ulduar raid. And from there they've just been adding overpriced mounts, pets, and other things to it.

And they might as well. Their being so lazy as to reuse Garrosh as a villain, trying to act like "mysterious time traveling ally" is actually much of a mystery, and using time travel and an area that no longer exists so they don't need to bother keeping the player "housing" relevant other than to make it a constant gold sink for this one expansion. After this, much like pandarias farm, it will be completely useless and left to rot.

That, and the fact their sub numbers are at an all time low shows how interest is going down, and hard. I don't care what people might say, but 4 million subs lost is a 33% drop, and the business types who run things won't like seeing that.

They really are raking in so much cash with subscriptions that it would be foolish for them to consider f2p until those subscription numbers are much, much lower. The games that made the switch to f2p were dealing with subscribers in the hundreds of thousands at most.

I loved playing the game back in Vanilla, and still kind of enjoyed it up until Wrath, making Pugs to take every guy that need it in my guild, or even people that just wanted to do the instances but had no one to help them.

Then Cata came up and it just felt like a dumbed down version of everything, and since then I haven't touched the game and never put any thought into it.

spartandude:
Havnt they been talking about mirco transactions recently? Dont tell me they're going to have both a subscription and MTs.

They've had both for a while now, not including all the payed mounts and pets.

mattaui:
They really are raking in so much cash with subscriptions that it would be foolish for them to consider f2p until those subscription numbers are much, much lower. The games that made the switch to f2p were dealing with subscribers in the hundreds of thousands at most.

True. But people will still be surprised because WoW is considered to have one foot in the grave, despite its 7.6 million players. :/

The only micro-transactions they have right now are mounts, mini-pets and a few pieces of armor to transmogrify. At least that was true last time I checked.

cursedseishi:
Their being so lazy as to reuse Garrosh as a villain

To be fair, from how I saw it explained over on the WoW forums, he plays a pretty minor role. I think he escapes imprisonment and gets the plot-ball rolling by dicking with the Dark Portal, but I'm pretty sure they confirmed that he's not going to be the major antagonist.

I'm not sure, but I think Blizzard knows better than to have the exact same enemy from the last expansion again. I refuse to be that cynical until it's more than speculation.

cursedseishi:

Their being so lazy as to reuse Garrosh as a villain

They stated he's not the main villain of this expansion. He escapes, and puts plans into motion but he's not the end boss and plays a minor role supposedly. Heck, they even said there won't be a final orc boss so that just puts it to rest.

Me55enger:
I was honestly expecting Blizzard to eventually decommission WoW with it's dignity intact, but if the lines are read between what they didn't say, perhaps not.

Remember that Activision is indirectly involved, they don't let anything go until it's a broken, shivering wreck begging to be destroyed to the few left who will listen.

Besides, even if it's lost almost half it's subscribers, 7.6 million still equates to something $1.1billion a year just from the subscriptions, assuming everyone buys the cheapest one. It's not like WoW is anywhere near the desperation levels The Old Republic and Lord of the Rings Online got to when they went free to play.

Isn't there already micro transactions in the form of the digital store to buy pets and mounts and such?

I think blizzard is confusing free to play with pay to win. Seriously, they could practically copy guild wars 2s system of payment and be fine. They already have a store for it. Hell, the guild wars team even went out and said that they wouldn't be having an expansion any time soon, as they are making enough money from the gem store to release frequent updates to the game anyway (every two weeks if i'm correct). Yet wow charges both for expansions and for a sub.

I'm not someone who insists on wow going free. Honestly i don't care too much as i've lost pretty much all interest in the game. But this, this is the biggest piece of bullcrap i've seen in a while. If you want money just say it. Don't make shitty excuses that fall apart at a minor inspection.

Nobody is asking WoW to go completely free-to-play, but at least reduce the subscription fee...it's been sitting at $15 a month for the last 8 fucking years! Considering all the free/cheaper WoW alternatives that have popped up, it's simply impossible to justify that kind of money nowadays.
Blizzard is making $114 million a month JUST from WoW subscriptions, that's not including all the extra cash they're making from microtransactions, server transfers, etc. Are they seriously implying that more than a tiny fraction of that is going towards content/support/etc? Bullshit.

The ONLY reason Blizzard are still charging $15 is because players are happy to keep paying that with no thought or consideration (i.e. blind sheep syndrome) because the fee is "still worth it" for them.

They'll make it F2P when the money situation calls for it, and not a minute earlier. They very likely have all sorts of contingency plans on what to do when that day comes, but until it does they know better than to rock the boat too much.

If subs are still working great for them, then there is absolutely ZERO reason to change it. Simple as that.

I'm still curious where the end game culture is heading in WoW, as the last time I played the game before switching to FFXIV ARR it felt like things were just falling apart. This is back during May/June, though. I really can't go back that easily either given my old computer died on me and took the files with it.

Yuuki:
The ONLY reason Blizzard are still charging $15 is because players are happy to keep paying that with no thought or consideration (i.e. blind sheep syndrome) because the fee is "still worth it" for them.

That's the only reason they need, because there's no reason to change something on the off chance that Blizzard might attract all people already satisfied with F2P MMOs but would cost them a significant amount of profits. Just because all of the relative failures haven't been able to dethrone WoW and have been forced to slum it in F2P markets doesn't mean that Blizzard should discard its current, incredibly profitable methods to join them.

Yuuki:
Nobody is asking WoW to go completely free-to-play, but at least reduce the subscription fee...it's been sitting at $15 a month for the last 8 fucking years! Considering all the free/cheaper WoW alternatives that have popped up, it's simply impossible to justify that kind of money nowadays.
Blizzard is making $114 million a month JUST from WoW subscriptions, that's not including all the extra cash they're making from microtransactions, server transfers, etc. Are they seriously implying that more than a tiny fraction of that is going towards content/support/etc? Bullshit.

The ONLY reason Blizzard are still charging $15 is because players are happy to keep paying that with no thought or consideration (i.e. blind sheep syndrome) because the fee is "still worth it" for them.

Sorry but I've never understood this. What should they reduce the price to? $5? $10? $15 a month is seriously nothing, and I'm not even rich or well off for that matter. Is paying every month for a game lame? Yes. Should it go free? Maybe but a "reduced" price won't change anything.

F2p would not work for WoW at all right now, it's player base is already too large.

F2p works great if you have a small or medium player base as you'll get flooded with tons of new users, and only a percentage of them will actually put any money into the game.

If you have a 150k player base, and have servers that can handle 2million...then F2p is a GREAT idea. Even if you only get 20% of players to invest in the game, you can end up making significantly more with a F2p setup with low numbers like that.

But...if you have over 7 MILLION people playing your game and blowing $15 a month doing so (less with yearly subs but whatever)....You would need the ability to at least have 5-6x as many players as you have now..in order to actually make more of a profit from F2p. That is especially true depending on how you convert old players to the new system (since you might lose a large % of the current income as well).

WoW has made so much money, over such a long time. I think it will be very hard to make much money from a F2p system..since quite a large portion of the player base has already actually.....played and paid for WoW. What they have now....first 20 levels free....is probably the best solution as it gets new players into the game (letting them try it for free), while still keeping the long term players paying consistently.

Even if their player base halved again to only 3 million...it still would not make sense to go FtP yet. I wouldn't even consider it personally till they dropped under 1-2 million..and then only because it's looking like those numbers will still go down pretty soon, and it's a last ditch effort to keep the game alive.

It's nowhere near that yet though.

Compatriot Block:

I'm not sure, but I think Blizzard knows better than to have the exact same enemy from the last expansion again. I refuse to be that cynical until it's more than speculation.

DugMachine:

They stated he's not the main villain of this expansion. He escapes, and puts plans into motion but he's not the end boss and plays a minor role supposedly. Heck, they even said there won't be a final orc boss so that just puts it to rest.

Which is why I said "a villain", instead of saying he is "The Villain". He is still an antagonistic force, however minor, and as a character he should be dropped much like how they've seemed to have discarded the Mary-Sue Med'an from the eye at large.

It's similar to how Kael'theas went from "Raid Boss" to "5 man guy", and at this point it just feels lazy to me, except instead of being the "End Game Raid" he's now "New Expansion Starter".

His entire arc as a character has been shoddy at best, and downright painfully cliche when he's lucky. It's actually a little sad to say that the best bit of growth you see in him is the introductory quest all the way back in Burning Crusade, right up to the point Thrall shows him through fantasy-vision his father's death. Everything after that has just been a downward trek after a rather quickly hit climax.

So?

I high;y doubt WoW going free to play would do shit anyway. With as old as it is, every one ether loves it, hates it or is indifferent to it.

DugMachine:
Sorry but I've never understood this. What should they reduce the price to? $5? $10? $15 a month is seriously nothing, and I'm not even rich or well off for that matter. Is paying every month for a game lame? Yes. Should it go free? Maybe but a "reduced" price won't change anything.

With that mentality, why not increase it to $20 or $30? If a reduced price won't change anything, then it could mean that the subscription exists purely for the SAKE of having a subscription and giving people the illusion that "oh it has a subscription because it's high quality and good support!"...when the exact same quality/support could be delivered off $5 a month, or even free (possibly).

By the way if WoW was $5/m I would happily stay subbed for years and years, just to have a go-to MMO I can enjoy at any time without worrying that I'm not "making the most" of my money (one of the biggest downsides to subscription model).

Yuuki:

DugMachine:
Sorry but I've never understood this. What should they reduce the price to? $5? $10? $15 a month is seriously nothing, and I'm not even rich or well off for that matter. Is paying every month for a game lame? Yes. Should it go free? Maybe but a "reduced" price won't change anything.

With that mentality, why not increase it to $20 or $30? If a reduced price won't change anything, then it could mean that the subscription exists purely for the SAKE of having a subscription and giving people the illusion that "oh it has a subscription because it's high quality and good support!"...when the exact same quality/support could be delivered off $5 a month, or even free (possibly).

By the way if WoW was $5/m I would happily stay subbed for years and years, just to have a go-to MMO I can enjoy at any time without worrying that I'm not "making the most" of my money (one of the biggest downsides to subscription model).

I don't know. I'm basing this from my situation. $15 is basically nothing to me and I spend it on something I play often enough to justify. My thought has been if you can't afford a measly $15 a month then maybe your priorities should be focused elsewhere and not on WoW. But hell I don't know everyones situation. I was saying it doesn't make sense to me cause it's never been a big deal to me. I've played for 9 years and not once has it been a problem.

Now what is plain robbery are the $25 transfers/faction changes. Those are just ridiculous.

World of Warcraft has become such a strange beast. It's a mangled, near death horse that's being abused to shit by its owner. Yet the owner's customers are all still lining up like chumps to ride on the horse, not even able to see that it could die if you fart too hard on top of it. Hell, it's not even World of Warcraft anymore with Cataclysm. The horse's organs were failing and the owner decided to kill the nearest donkey and transplant its organs to the horse. Yeesh.

And now Blizzard is saying they won't go Free to Play, which anyone in their right mind would have done by now, whilst plastering ads all over the internet saying "Play WoW for free now". (with literally no small text to clarify anything).

Yuuki:
Nobody is asking WoW to go completely free-to-play, but at least reduce the subscription fee...it's been sitting at $15 a month for the last 8 fucking years! Considering all the free/cheaper WoW alternatives that have popped up, it's simply impossible to justify that kind of money nowadays.
Blizzard is making $114 million a month JUST from WoW subscriptions, that's not including all the extra cash they're making from microtransactions, server transfers, etc. Are they seriously implying that more than a tiny fraction of that is going towards content/support/etc? Bullshit.

The ONLY reason Blizzard are still charging $15 is because players are happy to keep paying that with no thought or consideration (i.e. blind sheep syndrome) because the fee is "still worth it" for them.

You assuming that all the subscriptions are the $15 model. This is far from the truth, the Asian subscriptions work a lot different. You may also believe they pocket the money from the $15 model, but truth is they spend a large portion of that money on the actual operations and service of the game. Have you seen the server operations center. It is state of the art. A tornado hit one of the server buildings, and they managed to keep all the servers effected playable. I don't even think it would be able to operate in it's current form at a reduced price or free to play, it would be much less of a game.

LetalisK:

mattaui:
They really are raking in so much cash with subscriptions that it would be foolish for them to consider f2p until those subscription numbers are much, much lower. The games that made the switch to f2p were dealing with subscribers in the hundreds of thousands at most.

True. But people will still be surprised because WoW is considered to have one foot in the grave, despite its 7.6 million players. :/

WoW has been 'dying' since... well BC.

I remember all the forum threads... even while the playerbase was near double... man.

WoW will perpetually be dying in the eyes of pissants... Until the moment it actually dies, then all the 'meeeeemmmories' 'nostaaaaalgia' and 'maaaaaaaanthegoodolddays' creepers will suddenly emerge and take over.

I just say either enjoy the great bulging behemoth or ignore it.

Yuuki:
Are they seriously implying that more than a tiny fraction of that is going towards content/support/etc? Bullshit. Yes. It does. The server costs, development is faster and more weighty than ever, take the time to look at everything blizzard does to WoW each patch now compared to it's humble origins. What was considered a 'patch' back in vanilla was something like a couple of bug fixes, or a glaring flaw. NOW patches are like mini expansions in their own right. Story, Raids, content is constantly flowing into WoW at an almost unmatched pace.

The ONLY reason Blizzard are still charging $15 is because players are happy to keep paying that with no thought or consideration (i.e. blind sheep syndrome) because the fee is "still worth it" for them.

Yeah. It is worth it. I like what I get, I like the work Blizzard does on the game, and I enjoy myself.

Call me a sheep all you want. I like what I like. And for what enjoyment I get each week out of the game, 15 dollars or 8.99 pounds in my case, a month, is a nothing. Pocket change, More stupid fuckers waste that on a couple of drinks per night, every week trying to connect with someone. I get a month of having fun slaying E-dragons with people I've come to know as really good friends.

There's not much of a price that I could put on that. And it's the glue that holds WoW together in times where the content doesn't necessarily match with my ideals. (Though admittedly during that dark time they gave me Diablo 3 free as a sorry...not great, but whatever, Blizzard do like keeping customers happy for the most part and I'll concede that was a nice gesture)

But thankfully at the moment, it does match. Mists of Pandaria was an exceptional expansion, and I was happy to pay for it. I think and consider very hard about what my WoW sub is worth to me, and I unsub once a year for about a month to rest and reflect on if I want to continue. I can walk away anytime, I'm not any kind of addicted. I enjoy it, I manage my time well around it to no detriment of my health and social life. And it's a good game.

What more do you expect?

Ronack:
World of Warcraft has become such a strange beast. It's a mangled, near death horse that's being abused to shit by its owner. Yet the owner's customers are all still lining up like chumps to ride on the horse, not even able to see that it could die if you fart too hard on top of it. Hell, it's not even World of Warcraft anymore with Cataclysm. The horse's organs were failing and the owner decided to kill the nearest donkey and transplant its organs to the horse. Yeesh.

And now Blizzard is saying they won't go Free to Play, which anyone in their right mind would have done by now, whilst plastering ads all over the internet saying "Play WoW for free now". (with literally no small text to clarify anything).

Your post was hilariously funny, and I laughed.

Then I realized its true :(

 

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