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Is 'World of Warcraft' Exploring A Free To Play Future?

Forbes - “First, we’ll be testing the (World of Warcraft) in-game store with some new kinds of items we’re looking into introducing (in Asian regions, at the outset) based on player feedback: specifically, an experience buff to assist with the leveling process, as well as an alternate way to acquire Lesser Charms of Good Fortune,” said Blizzard community manager Bashiok in a recent forum post.

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MooseWI1174d ago

I would play it if it was. $15 a month isn't worth it to me.. As long as it doesn't turn into pay to win. Aesthetic armor and weapons whatever, the game was good for flow of combat in a group. It just worked and was nice. With ~8M subscribers I don't know if they will turn it loose yet though.

GeisT1174d ago

They'll keep dumbing it down further and further until noone plays. WoW has been bleeding for while now, they need to bring back player uniqueness and open up ways for us to play differently.

Dan_scruggs1174d ago

8 million subscribers at 15 a month is still crazy money. No executive in the world would ever say, Hey 8 million people are still willing to pay so lets start giving it away for free. They would be fired.

MooseWI1174d ago

Yeah that isn't even close to low enough.

jimmywolf1174d ago

read back in the day around eq2 launch that they only needed 500k subscribers for around 6 months too break even an start making a profit so wow has a long way to go before they try F2P

Kryptix1174d ago

I think they should make the first 60 levels free to play with the same restrictions of the trial and if you want more, they have the option to upgrade and pay $15 a month for the full experience. Trust me, when I first played this back in 09, the game was very addicting and fun. So if they did this, it can improve player count by vast amounts and I know they'll be willing to upgrade once they reach the cap. Free to play accounts can only chat in a party or raid to prevent gold for real money advertisement. If they can implement smart restrictions, Blizzard can see even more profits and current players can benefit from it, too. More players will mean better economy in the auction house and players will enter early game dungeons faster. Also level 60 raid dungeons will be played again like back in the day. There's a lot of benefits to a free to play model if done right.

MeatAbstract1174d ago

I only know what people say within MMO's and many say a company will make more money with the F2P model than with the subscription. However, not many of these games are even close to the numbers WoW has.

If it is indeed true you make more money with F2P then Blizzard will certainly look at it. Could this be an attempt to pull in as many people as possible? How people would start, or return, playing WoW if you suddenly there was no subscription? But how many would leave?

However, I think Edge or maybe Eurogamer wrote an article asking just how free is F2P because many people can end up spending far more then what they would spend on a yearly subscription within the game.

When I used to play I used to look at it as 'paying rent' in a way because for the2-3 years I spent within WoW it was really my home away from home. You can call people that play MMO's all day long sad or whatever but some people do genuinely consider themselves 'virtual residents' in these worlds. They have their own economy, their own rules, geographical locations etc. It's nice being able to log in to a subscription based game and knowing you're all on an even keel, the difference being - how much time are you willing to put in?

Because I believe MMO's are made for people that have the time to spend large amounts of time in them. Again, you may sit there and call these people sad and are losers because they choose to spend hours grinding and raiding (although some people do balance it well into their daily lives) but some people genuinely love doing it. Add in a F2P model and suddenly you're dealing with the F2P kids, kids that jump in and spam chat (happened recently in RIFT), new currencies so all the gold and silver you've earned can be worthless and people will be able to buy some amazing gear without having to work for it.

But I think non of this would matter with WoW. Gear is easy to come by these days, all the servers overlap anyway so any sense to community has long gone which was killed when they introduced the dungeon finder.

This would be a significant blow if they introduced it to a game like EVE which seems to be a very community driver game but games like WoW aren't about known players anymore or feeling part of a community. F2P wouldn't change anything.

NatureOfLogic1174d ago

If WoW goes f2p, It will cause a ripple effect. Many p2p will turn to f2p.