World of Warcraft is free for returning players this weekend

World of Warcraft screenshot.
(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

Former World of Warcraft players will either despair or rejoice at the news that Blizzard has made the game free to access until November 9. "You and your allies are needed back on the front lines," says Blizzard, fingering a pouch that contains what you so desperately need. "This weekend, we're giving all players with inactive World of Warcraft accounts full access to the game and all of your characters without a subscription."

Players will be able to access all of the game's expansions using the anniversary feature that my crew refers to as 'Chromie time' - basically Chromie is a bronze dragon that appears as a gnome, and can warp you between the various key events in WoW history. The free period ends at 23:59 CET on November 9 or, if you're in the States, at 23:59 PST on November 8.

This is part of a wider push in the runup to the release of Shadowlands, and applies only to the 'main' World of Warcraft: you can't use this deal to check out WoW Classic. If you're not a hoary old addict, pining for your dwarf and bear, fear not: we can help set you on the path to becoming one.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."