Could World of Warcraft be going free-to-play?
There are few MMOs out there that don’t have in-game stores, most of them that do are buy to play, after which it becomes free-to-play with micro-transactions and an option to subscribe for extra bonuses. A developer has confirmed that micro-transactions are now being added to the PTR (Public Test Realm). Does this mean that World of Warcraft too will be shifting to the free-to-play model?
Community rep Jonathan brown posted on the Battle.net forum, saying”
“We are currently exploring the possibility of adding a way for players in certain regions to make purchases directly within the game. As part of this process, elements related to this will be appearing on the PTR. We’ll provide additional updates on our plans as development progresses.”
As pointed out on VG24/7, Polygon has added that rumours of the paid in-game items had begun after some one was spooted with an XP boost buff, something, which is evident of an in-game store similar to games like Rift that also went free-to-play recently.
It is only a matter of time now before World of Warcraft joins the free-to-play business model. Even though the game still has millions of subs monthly, it’s sure to increase the number of players should the game go buy to play, or even free-to-play. Its probability of the game surviving for many more years as a subscription MMO is decreasing as more free-to-play MMOs pop up every couple of months. And with Blizzard is working on a new MMO, Titan, they are sure to shift resources of development to the new project. Or at least, that would be the good move to make. The reality is that while WoW was incredible for almost a decade, it’s time to move on. The game cannot compete with other MMOs when it comes to graphics and convincing new players to start subscribing to the game. Many might say that graphics aren’t important, but it’s one of the first things people criticise when comparing the game to MMOs like Guild Wars 2.
It wouldn’t make sense for the game to have in-game microtransactions and remain subscription based. World of Warcraft already has an online store, paired with the subscription model. Why would they add an in-game store to that too?
But this is just me speculating, what do you make of it?