Blizzard: "World of Warcraft is not built to be free-to-play"

Senior game producer says "We're happy with the business model we have now. It's very successful."

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Blizzard Entertainment has no plans to make World of Warcraft a free-to-play game. Speaking with GameSpot today at BlizzCon, senior game producer Jason Hutchins said switching from paid to free is not a wise design choice, at least as Blizzard sees it.

"We're very happy with the business model we have now; it's very successful. We've got a stable player base that we're excited about," Hutchins said. "World of Warcraft is not built to be free-to-play and I think for free-to-play games to be good, they need to be built that way from the ground up and we're not there."

World of Warcraft currently has 7.6 million subscribers and is the top subscription-based MMO on the market. Various competitors like Lord of the Rings Online and Star Wars: The Old Republic began their lives as paid games before adopting a free-to-play business model.

The Elder Scrolls Online will launch next year as a subscription-based MMO, while Sony has not yet disclosed if EverQuest Next will carry a subscription fee or not.

Blizzard announced World of Warcraft's fifth expansion today: Warlords of Draenor. For more on the expansion, check out GameSpot's breakdown of the upcoming add-on.

Discussion

182 comments
Shawn Osier
Shawn Osier

Why would they? They make way too much money from those willing to pay their extortionist prices.....

Reza Armstrong
Reza Armstrong

Forget this game, It's ancient guys check out EverQuest Next, Got things WoW could only dream about and it's free to play.

Reza Armstrong
Reza Armstrong

When you can exploit millions of people and make money for something that isn't even worth a fraction of it's price, in this corrupt world they wouldn't stop.

Bruce Gray
Bruce Gray

No kidding. With =that= kind of money coming in, who would?

Shammara Blanchard
Shammara Blanchard

Took the words right our of my mouth. WoW could drop a million more Subs and still be more profitable than any MMO game out there. F2P transitions are for games on the edge or worse. Like RIFT. RIFT is a good game and was just on the edge of subs being viable and F2P. They went F2P and have one of the best models. But the game was not failing. WoW will never need to do this. By the time it is at that point, they will have released a new game that has millions of subs as well....

Christopher Paul Harvell
Christopher Paul Harvell

thats not necessarily true. Free to play isnt always bad. I play rift, ragnarok 2, and star trek online and I dont have to pay anything. If i want to pay for certain things I can. But I still have my moments where im broke and dont want to pay for a game. Its not all bad either.

Lynn Poynter
Lynn Poynter

Well then I have no plans on revisiting Azeroth

Adam Hefferon
Adam Hefferon

Did that even need to be said? May as well have entitled this "Company enjoys making money".

Mauro Tamm
Mauro Tamm

i would increase subscription fee - they are already addicted.

Mario Di Paola
Mario Di Paola

"Blizzard Entertainment has no plans to make World of Warcraft a free-to-play game." - they have, however, destroyed lore and created crap to take it's place.

Jaymeson Akahi
Jaymeson Akahi

I don't trust the math of someone who can't form simple words.

George Adrian Balas
George Adrian Balas

"while Sony has not yet disclosed if EverQuest Next will carry a subscription fee or not." You guys need to do your research a little better. Everquest Next will be free-to-play from the start, it even says that on the game's official website.

Cameron Lale
Cameron Lale

"has no plan" pretty sure most people who make Pay to Plays have 'no plan'

CeeGii Borels
CeeGii Borels

here an idea to make more money, DO A DIABLO 3... BRING THAT MOTHA TO CONSOLE!!!

Barry de Flart
Barry de Flart

Vinny his mats are wrong P2P 7.700.000 players * 12,99 Euro/month * 12 months = 1.200.276.000 Euro a year F2P 20% of 7.700.000players pay 1000 Euro in 3 months wich means 1.540.000 pay 1000Euro*(3months*4 Seasons in a year) = 6.160.000.000 Euro a year altho i do think no 1 will pay 1000 euro's or even dollars for a game every 3 months, there are not enough special mounts or pets or gear in the game that will have me spend more then 100 a year wich means with a increasing nummer of players 9.000.000 *100 = 900.000.000 = 300 million less profit a year offcourse numbers can be speculated about ;)

Nick Heikkila
Nick Heikkila

And I have no plans on ever buying it, I will stick to guild wars 2

Jordan Crother
Jordan Crother

Well, I have no plans to resubscribe, so there's that lol

Stephen Brantley
Stephen Brantley

There is a denial stage for everyone, but seriously, I do not even have to read the article from this link to know that "no" does not hold weight in the gaming business. If expectations go the opposite way and bites Blizzard in the ass a year or two down the road, I believe they will change their minds and make it free-to-play. WoW has lost its "Wow" factor years ago...

Justin Roane
Justin Roane

SC2 and DIII are both absolute jokes, they are like the Star Wars Episode I of the gaming world

Justin Roane
Justin Roane

The only real sports are combat sports. I don't even consider football a sport.

Ian Olivier
Ian Olivier

SC2 bigger than 1? Sorry but SC1 was one of those breakthrough games. No way SC2 will live up to the legendary of SC1. I did enjoy Diablo 3. Nice storyline. Can't wait for expansion though :)

Ian Olivier
Ian Olivier

I don't think they say WoW cannot die, but it is still going strong. I am back playing after almost 2 years and I know about 4 other people who started for the first time. I didn't think I would enjou MoP but the gameplay is just better. Besides I don't see WoW going down in the next 5years. Might be smaller but still has a couple of good years left.

Keri Hones
Keri Hones

They're already make boat loads of money off of it, why on earth would they??

Daniel Parrey
Daniel Parrey

Those numbers seem pulled out of nowhere and insane. So out of every 10 people, one will spend ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS on F2P content over 3 months? I don't think the rate is nearly as high as you think it is...

Tzardok
Tzardok

@Ποθητός Κούρτης I have to agree with you. - most cases.