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

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 Sykes

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.