Free-to-play "makes sense" for Blizzard at some point

World of Warcraft is one of the few remaining games you can point to as an example of the subscription model still being viable, but it seems even Blizzard are considering embracing free-to-play down the line. Speaking to Polygon , Blizzard's Tom Chilton said that it "makes sense [to go free-to-play] at some point", though they're still unsure of how this would work out in the long term.

"A lot of the risk is in making that transition," Chilton continued. "You hear stories about developers going free-to-play and getting double the number of players, but you don't always know it works out that way and how long it stays that way. We really don't know what the rate is before people drop off and lose interest."

This, of course, occurs in the same week that The Elder Scrolls Online was confirmed as a subscription-based title. It's not the only high-profile MMORPG to ask for monthly wonga either: let's not forget Final Fantasy XIV . We'll have to wait and see whether both are able to make a go of it with the subscription model - I suspect that Blizzard will be keeping a close eye on their progress too.

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.