Blizzard employee snags a decade of WoW game time just before being laid off, will not have to pay a cent until 2033

Kalecgos, aspect of the blue Dragonflight from World of Warcraft: Dragonflight, flashes a hopeful smile - he is a blue-haired mage of considerable power with a vulnerable expression.
(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

The recent deluge of layoffs at Blizzard (and Microsoft's wider gaming division) has been utterly brutal—especially since several employees uprooted their lives to come and work at the company, with some employed there for just four months.

While there's no way to soften that sort of blow, one crafty ex-Blizzard employee did manage a small win on the way out: Free WoW for a decade. Adam Holisky, the former core technology product lead at Blizzard, posted his last-minute manoeuvre to Twitter late last week.

Holisky's current game time will now expire October 14, 2033. That's nearly a whole decade where he doesn't have to pay a single cent to the company that just laid him off (bar expansions) and while it's a small consolation prize, it's one hell of parting gift.

Holisky rightfully notes that these codes are a "well known employee benefit", so it's not as if he walked out of Blizzard with an armful of office supplies. Still—as a former customer support worker notes: "I tried this mid-meeting and we crashed the keyring site... so I have a lot I didn't get to claim." Holisky had to be quick on the draw to cash in, it seems.

Just to quickly figure out how much money Holisky doesn't have to pay Blizzard to keep playing World of Warcraft, let's take a look at current US subscription prices. Assuming his last subscription was January 14, 2024, Holisky has 117 months of free game time in his pocket.

If he paid monthly, Holisky saved around $1,754 over the course of 10 years. Even if he bought his subscription yearly, that would still be about $1,520. These numbers only matter if WoW's still kicking in a decade, or that its subscription price never changes. Or if Holisky wants to play WoW for that long. It's more symbolic than anything.

In a later tweet, Holisky writes: "You know, maybe it says something that I’m more relaxed today than I have been in weeks. Or months even? Longer? No Slack or email worries. No thinking about whatever drama or political heat is happening."

Staff Writer

Harvey's history with games started when he first begged his parents for a World of Warcraft subscription aged 12, though he's since been cursed with Final Fantasy 14-brain and a huge crush on G'raha Tia. He made his start as a freelancer, writing for websites like Techradar, The Escapist, Dicebreaker, The Gamer, Into the Spine—and of course, PC Gamer. He'll sink his teeth into anything that looks interesting, though he has a soft spot for RPGs, soulslikes, roguelikes, deckbuilders, MMOs, and weird indie titles. He also plays a shelf load of TTRPGs in his offline time. Don't ask him what his favourite system is, he has too many.