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Blizzard Clarifies WOW Veteran Edition Free-to-Play Rumors

Community manager speaks out to dispel the latest rumor that genre-defining MMO is going free-to-play.

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World of Warcraft developer Blizzard Entertainment has spoken out to dispel a recent rumor that the genre-defining MMO is going free-to-play. Through datamining, WoW players recently discovered references to a possible free-to-play "Veteran Edition" of the game, leading to the rumors.

However, community manager Bashiok has now clarified what exactly the Veteran Edition is. He writes in the game's forums that while someone who had never played WoW before could play the free Starter Edition as much as they want, the same option is not available for lapsed players.

That's where the Veteran Edition comes in. Through WoW's upcoming 6.1 update, Blizzard will "effectively revert lapsed accounts into a Starter Edition 'mode,' with all of the same restrictions."

The one major difference, Bashiok explained, is that any sub-level 20 characters can join a guild if any of your other characters are in that guild.

Blizzard has codenamed this mode "Veteran," though Bashiok explained that the developer is not likely to use the term Veteran Edition to any great extent when 6.1 rolls out. "It will simply be the default state for accounts that don’t currently have an active subscription," he said.

WoW lead designer Chris Chilton said in a 2013 interview that a free-to-play version of the game "makes sense" eventually, even though Blizzard has no plans to switch the game's business model anytime soon.

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