Blizzard: Free-to-play WOW 'possible'

The microtransaction-based Free Realms recruited 3 million users less than seven weeks after its launch, inviting players to its casual family-friendly world to buy accessories for their postmen and chef characters. However, its revenue has yet to match World of Warcraft's, which had over 11 million subscriptions by October 2008. Despite its extraordinary commercial success with a traditional subscription model, WOW lead designer Tom Chilton said the dominant MMORPG could go free-to-play in the future.

How much for the Sword of a Thousand Truths? Multiply the cost of one truth by 1,000.
In an interview with VideoGamer, Chilton said, "I certainly think it's possible that we could do some kind of microtransaction stuff. Whether or not World of Warcraft ever goes the direction of, I guess like Anarchy Online has gone the direction of going free-to-play with microtransactions. Whether we ever shift to a free-to-play model is really too hard to say at this point."

If the game adopts a free-to-play model in the future, it won't be the first premium MMORPG to switch to a microtransaction-based revenue stream. In June, Turbine announced the struggling Dungeons and Dragons Online will abandon its subscription-based system later this summer.

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Monk3y4330d ago

if the stuff wouldnt be too overpowered

Baka-akaB4330d ago

meh it's no wonder they would happily switch at some point . F2P is even worse and more expensive than subscriptions , dont kid yourselves .

It used to be in theory a fair system , but right now , and at an alarming increasing rate , with f2p games becoming less amateurish and with an exploding game budget , they often make it so you'll be miserable if you dont buy at least a few items .

They would also make their maximum to tempt you .

So yes in the end only the most addicted will spends up to hundred of dollars , but the average joe would still give them a little something .

threepy4330d ago (Edited 4330d ago )

I wouldn't want that. £9 a month may be a fair amount, but at least I'm paying for a game subscription. I'd much rather pay for a subscription to a game than pay for micro-transactions. It's pretty obvious that people who pay the most would get the best stuff, and I'm not the type of person who would pay real money for a mount or a good sword. I couldn't bring myself to pay for in game items, though can justify paying a subscription for such a good game. :-)

Edit-I agree with Baka-akaB above, F2P just wouldn't be fair.

idlewild_4330d ago

terrible idea, one of the big draws of WoW is the subscription model, it allows anyone to get ahead given they have enough time. microtransaction models for a game this big would only really work if there are "must have" items, which completely skews the game toward those with money instead of those with "skill"/time invested.