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Blizzard: No Plans for Updated F2P Features in WoW

By - Source: CVG | B 31 comments

Blizzard is still opposed to the idea of a free-to-play World of Warcraft.

With SOE's DC Universe going free to play last year, Everquest going free to play earlier this year and Bioware's Star Wars: The Old Republic quickly following suit, it seems like Blizzard's World of Warcraft is part of a dying trend. Despite an increasingly large number of MMORPGs going free to play, it seems like Blizzard isn't quite ready to give up on its subscription model.

In an interview with ComputerandVideoGames, Blizzard's lead game producer John Lagrave said World of Warcraft won't be going free beyond level 20 anytime soon. "You know, we looked at it lots, we looked at whether Level 20 would give you a good sense of what our game is, and we think it does. There's also a lot of things in the game that are special that we want to reserve for our paying customers."

Even though there's an expansion on the horizon upping the level cap to 90, Lagrave says Blizzard won't be offering any new perks to its Free-till-level 20 trial. With a rapidly decreasing player base, some may question the reasoning behind the move, but everything may change once Blizzard releases its highly secretive "Titan" project.

To read the whole interview, head on over to the CVG article here.


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  • 3 Hide
    knightmike , August 26, 2012 5:32 AM
    I haven't found a good F2P model yet. My brothers and I are currently playing LOTRO. It's scary because you can actually end up spending twice as much as you need to if you don't purchase things in the proper order. e.g. You decide to pay to have your gold cap removed. A couple of days later you decide to become a VIP member which you discover also removes the gold cap.

    I plan to try Star Wars and Planetside 2 soon. Although I don't think those will be any better. I'd rather pay a subscription for a game so I don't have to do hours of research for micro-transactions. I think a subscription should give you full access to the game including "expansions". EQ really turned me off to the subscription model plus having to buy expansions. I will give Blizzard credit. They have been fairly modest with their expansion releases.
  • Display all 31 comments.
  • 3 Hide
    tomfreak , August 26, 2012 6:10 AM
    I guess until they drop another 50% player base, they wont give free to play. Why would they do so?
  • 4 Hide
    Marcus52 , August 26, 2012 6:18 AM
    One reason I still have a WoW account is it's one of the few decent MMOGs that have no F2P players.

    That being said, it is stock full of the kind of players I believe the F2P encourages anyway, so I'm not sure there's much point in supporting Blizzard to avoid it in WoW.

    knightnike, the whole reason publishers are adding F2P to their subscription based games is just what you said; F2P players, on average, spend more money than subscription players. It attracts the kind of player that doesn't want to make a commitment to a game - even just for a month - and doesn't want to have to buy the game up front, but will spend more money each month because they "can but don't have to".

    The MMOG model now is "release the game as subscription based, get those suckers to pay for a large chunk if not all the development costs by paying $60 cash up front, and charge them $15/mo for awhile so they don't feel too ripped off when they add F2P and everyone else gets the game subscribers spent $60 on for free.

    Rake in $20 million a month for a game that costs you half a million to maintain, spend $10 million on an Xpack every other year, and make over $200 million profit. Whine and cry about how you aren't making enough money, and go F2P, adding another couple of million accounts - most of which cost almost no money because they are just accounts on the books that you get to use to brag about how successful your game is, a a half million or so are giving you money as fast as they can.
  • 2 Hide
    giovanni86 , August 26, 2012 7:07 AM
    I've been a avid wow player on and off for 5 years, and honestly this whole F2P isn't worth it for WoW. The player base went down because the game didn't cater to the hardcore anymore. Even still though its well built game, has a great modding community that hasn't died in the 8 years its been around, and for me i always find something to do that i haven't done in game and i like this type of repetition the game has. I don't know if its the sound, the environment of the game but it just appeals to me a lot more then any other RPG out there even with the dated graphics and i honestly am very much graphically inclined when it comes to games.. Saying that though, forget F2P.
  • 3 Hide
    pharoahhalfdead , August 26, 2012 7:28 AM
    Instead of charging X amount of $ for the game, then X amount for each expansion, why not just charge for the monthly fee alone? I think the F2P up to level 20 is a good idea, but if I was gonna buy the full game I wouldn't want to pay $70+, then have a monthly fee.
  • -1 Hide
    hella-d , August 26, 2012 7:28 AM
    i like wow, and if they had an all-in-one package so i could get the whole shebang in ONE package id play again, but i havent played in about two years and im WAY behind (havent played since wrath of the litch king) i dont wana hafta catch up buy buying two more installments, and i have likely lost my toons since i didnt do the battlenet switch. if i am wrong please let me know im WAY out of touch with wow ATM...
  • 7 Hide
    Anonymous , August 26, 2012 7:38 AM
    I hope they will never go F2P. You can either have monthly subscription, where eveyrone pays the same, or micro-payment when one can spend 1000$ and quickly gain advantage over those that are not willing to spend a penny. Enough said, WOW with their monthly subscription makes the gameplay equal and balanced for everyone, where the other option is not. Stay like that WOW, please stay.
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , August 26, 2012 8:58 AM
    "One reason I still have a WoW account is it's one of the few decent MMOGs that have no F2P players." BULL CRAP!! There's FAR more F2P players in WoW than anyone is willing to admit because they aren't as obvious and can blend in than in any other game!! I know... I used to sell tons of BoE epics galore left and right so the "NO F2P players" argument is utter crap! Not accounting for all the gold and account sellers even!!
  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , August 26, 2012 1:49 PM
    Me and my friends stopped playing wow last year and we have not looked back, the reason for us leaving is because there is so many free to play games now that we enjoy that World Of Warcraft does not feel like its worth the subscription anymore.
    Franky free to play games are no longer pay to win, for example all champions on league of legends all champions can be unlocked free or with money and I have killed many paid accounts with my free to play account.

    Also for years blizzard has said that World of Warcraft is cheaper then a trip to the cinema , but Most of us are using Lovefilm now and that's only £4.99 per a month and provides a movie that you can watch daily each night. So this just shows that World of Warcraft is no longer worth its fee.

    I just feel that World of Warcraft is no longer worth the fee, maybe if it was 50% cheaper I would consider but other wise I'm not interested as there is other mmorpgs that I enjoy daily that are free to play which allows me to pay when I'm ready with out the fear of "oh no i need to find the money or i can't play this month" its just better this way.

    Sure the hardcore gamers might not like free to play, but Franky free to play will bring more paying customers to the game compared to the gamers that quit because of it.

    Why should I have to pay for a game which has deserted servers , unbalanced pvp and raids which take far too long, when I could be playing a game which has better features and balanced pvp and doe not take all night for one raid which on top don't force me to pay to play.
    World of Warcraft is not worth the fees and its dated!.
  • -1 Hide
    kartu , August 26, 2012 3:54 PM
    10 million subscribers, 10 bucks per month per subscriber, 1.2 billion bucks annually.
    So why would they go FTP? Is there any competitor doing remotely as much?
  • 1 Hide
    bllue , August 26, 2012 5:06 PM
    People should start jumping ship on this game. It's terrible. Not what it used to be 4+ years ago. Let's let this abomination die already
  • 1 Hide
    Kami3k , August 26, 2012 5:22 PM
    kartu10 million subscribers, 10 bucks per month per subscriber, 1.2 billion bucks annually.So why would they go FTP? Is there any competitor doing remotely as much?

  • 3 Hide
    ct1615 , August 26, 2012 5:34 PM
    actually its like $15 month (though i'm sure there are discounts for multi-monthly members) plus they often have one of the top two or three selling PC games each year with each expansion. It would be stupid for them to go free to play at this point in the games life span. I like how all the idiot fan boys think the game has gone down hill the second they stop playing yet it's still the most played MMORPG out there with all these countless attacks by F2P knock offs. These are the same idiot fan boys who think the game industry is not a business but some non for profit outfit. I'm sure WoW will go F2P one day but not before Blizzard has a new MMO.
  • 1 Hide
    nforce4max , August 26, 2012 6:00 PM
    The problem with the f2p model that is used by most rpg games is that almost all the important in game content is either restricted or turned off altogether until one buys or donates ect. I've been playing on a private server (wow for years) and there is a fine line where a f2p becomes unplayable and not enjoyable. Allowing for players to earn in game the same items that are available for purchase with real money helps to keep the population without diminishing skills. Lazy players tend to spend more money than the usual grind type.
  • 4 Hide
    neblix , August 26, 2012 6:16 PM
    Guys, you do realize that WoW has about 9 million subscribers who pay $15 a month?

    That's ~$135,000,000 in revenue a month, and ~$1,620,000,000 a year. You'd have to be a very mentally crippled and retarded CEO if you decide to go free to play and lose that much money.
  • 2 Hide
    neblix , August 26, 2012 6:19 PM
    I'm not saying I prefer WoW to be P2P, but why the hell would a company ever decide to drop that kind of income?
  • 1 Hide
    bigpoppastuke , August 26, 2012 8:12 PM
    People are leaving because MMO's as a genre are stagnant. It's a passing trend now and as much as I hate f2p games, they are the future of MMO's in general. I think people want actual user inputs instead of mashing the same combination of buttons while you auto-attack.

    My question is, why haven't they made an MMO with gameplay combat like Dragon's Dogma? An Action Rpg MMO. DC Universe is close I suppose.
  • 0 Hide
    86d , August 26, 2012 9:13 PM
    minus guildwars, the f2p model is for games that are dying or in fiscal trouble...Blizzard is not. The amount they lost in their "hard times" was more then the supposed "wow killer" (swtor) had total...
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