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Blizzard dismiss notion of World of Warcraft going free-to-play

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As you may have noticed, Blizzard are coincidentally at this weekend's gigantic Blizzcon event, where they've so far shown off lots of very exciting stuff involving orcs, demons, aliens and - most exciting of all - playing cards. They also pooh-poohed any idea of World of Warcraft going free-to-play any time soon, with the quite concrete exclamation that WoW "wasn't designed as a free-to-play game".

It wasn't a completely mad idea, considering WoW's steadily falling subscriber numbers (well, there are only so many people on Earth), coupled with gaming's current obsession with free-to-play. Speaking at Blizzcon, however, CEO Mike Morhaime announced that (thanks PCGamesN ), "we've always taken the business model on a case by case basis. In the case of World of Warcraft, the first 20 levels are free. It wasn't designed as a free-to-play game. I don't see that type of transition happening in World of Warcraft, although we are always looking for new ways to make the game more accessible."

Eurogamer also spoke to production director J Allen Brack at the event, who supported the pooh-poohing by stating that "we would have to rework the game pretty significantly in order to make it free-to-play. It's not something we're currently considering."

So there you go. Barring something drastic like a mass exodus or money suddenly losing all meaning, I'd say we can expect to pay to play WoW for quite some time. In related news, there's a new expansion on the way - we've collected everything we know about it here .

Tom loves exploring in games, whether it’s going the wrong way in a platformer or burgling an apartment in Deus Ex. His favourite game worlds—Stalker, Dark Souls, Thief—have an atmosphere you could wallop with a blackjack. He enjoys horror, adventure, puzzle games and RPGs, and played the Japanese version of Final Fantasy VIII with a translated script he printed off from the internet. Tom has been writing about free games for PC Gamer since 2012. If he were packing for a desert island, he’d take his giant Columbo boxset and a laptop stuffed with PuzzleScript games.