Blizzard Isn’t Against A Free-To-Play World Of Warcraft
As it stands, the number of players enjoying the largely popular World of Warcraft MMORPG seems to be declining. Blizzard has sort of attempted to combat this eventuality by taking a more casual route–allowing it easier for new gamers to start playing.
One patch that really helped simplify the game was the Mists of Pandaria patch. Mists of Pandaria appeals and casual fans, where according to Blizzard, it was very successful. Tom Chilton, the lead designer for the game, spoke to Polgygon where he said that the game would be in bad shape.
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Mists of Pandaria moved the game from its instances and raids approach to something a little more accessible.
“People who played Vanilla always say ‘if it had stayed the same, I would have the same fun now as I did then.’ But that’s not true. Audiences always evolve,” he explained.
By seeing how well the casual approach worked, Blizzard is no longer opposed to a free-to-play model for the game. However, while this is an option for the future, the team is unsure how sustainable it will be in the long-term. Blizzard’s team is worried about the success rate of free-to-play games over a long period of time.
“For Blizzard it makes sense [to go free-to-play] at some point. 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.”
That is Blizzard’s largest potential threat, and if they can find ways to quantify and overcome that, World of Warcraft could use that model in a few years time.
And of course, this isn’t the first time we have heard about Blizzard and free-to-play for World of Warcraft.