Why Is Wow Not Free To Play
WoW players flame Blizzard over subscriptions after big game …
A recent change to how World of Warcraft players can purchase game time has rubbed some Champions of Azeroth the wrong way, and has others wondering if WoW should still require a subscription at all.
Ever since 2004, World of Warcraft has been transporting players to Azeroth and beyond, but now players are wondering why the game still requires a paid subscription more than 15 years after release – and why Blizzard is making it harder to play without one.
At this point in WoW, most players are used to waiting up to a year or more for new content after updates, and expect to shell out $40 for each new expansion along with their monthly subscription fees. This led Reddit user ‘Last_Judicator’ to wonder how Blizzard has any reason to still charge monthly fees for playing the game in the year 2021.
How does WoW even remotely have a reason to be subscription based at this point? from wow
“We’re literally sitting without content for sometimes over a year, and the one time we’re getting a big content drop, it’s another paid 40 bucks expansion, ” they posted on the official WoW subreddit. “What exactly is it what we’re paying monthly for at this point? I mean it’s definitely not the privilege of not having an item shop anymore like we once told ourselves when talking about f2p. ”
Read More: Preach Gaming quits World of Warcraft amid Blizzard workplace scandal
Based on the amount of upvotes this simple query received — more than 8000 at the time of writing — it’s plain to see plenty of players aren’t happy to still be shilling out $15 every month. As one user pointed out the reason Blizzard hasn’t made the game free-to-play is probably very simple: People are and will still pay the subscription.
That doesn’t explain why the publisher removed the option to buy game time in their store with so-called “Blizzard bucks” (money loaded into the online store) though.
Blizzard Entertainment$15 a month still to play WoW? Why Blizzard!?
The option to buy playtime in the store basically meant players could still gain access to the servers and their toons, without having to put their credit card info on file with Blizzard and having them automatically charge you each month.
Players could play for as long or as short as they wanted to, and it was a popular option just after expansions for those who didn’t want to go all-in on a subscription and didn’t care about the minor bonuses (like the item shop) associated with it.
Read More: Asmongold sheds light on “super serious” racism issues in World of Warcraft community
However, based on the current firestorm of controversy that Blizzard is experiencing, subscription and payment issues might not be the biggest thing WoW players have to worry about at the moment.
Why World of Warcraft Needs to Become Free-to-Play to …
Blizzard’s subscription model for its most successful game is outdatedSource: World of WarcraftI’ve been playing World of Warcraft since 2007, starting at the tail end of Burning Crusade. Since then, I’ve played every expansion Blizzard has released. Shadowlands, the newest expansion, recently came out last week and I dove right in Shadowlands has been encouraging so far, I’ve tempered my hopes and expectations. I’ve been disappointed multiple times by Blizzard in the past. I usually burn out in every expansion and Battle for Azeroth, the prior expansion before Shadowlands, was no exception. And I’m sure I’m not ’s always been a rigorous debate amongst the players on the many reasons why people quit World of Warcraft. I honestly can’t claim to know what the reasons are. But I do know how to grow a brand and that’s exactly what World of Warcraft is — a spite the fact that the game has changed, it hasn’t changed fast enough in the past few years. The gaming industry has changed much faster than World of Warcraft has been able to keep up with. And for the game to survive and reverse its decline, World of Warcraft needs to switch to a free-to-play business day, I’m a market & consumer insights researcher. My job involves analyzing data to study consumer trends and behaviors. Afterward, I translate data into insights to help the business unit develop marketing strategies to grow the 13 years that I’ve played World of Warcraft, there’s been a massive shift in the gaming industry, especially with consumer preferences. More recent games have dwarfed the popularity of World of Warcraft, such as Fortnite and League of difference? They’re all free-to-play. World of Warcraft is not free-to-play. I took a peek at the “list of most-played video games by player count” on Wikipedia to see where other games ranked in comparison to World of Warcraft. Out of the top 25 games, only two have a pure subscription Wikipedia — List of Most Played Video Games by Player CountMost free-to-play games make money off in-game purchases such as custom skins, loot boxes, and battle passes. And believe me, gamers love to spend money on digital cording to SuperData, “free-to-play games generated $87. 1 billion in revenue worldwide” in 2019, accounting for “80% of digital games revenue. ” Additionally, “free-to-play games accounted for 4 out of every 5 dollars spent on digital games. ” Crazy! In 2019, Fortnite “brought in revenues of $1. 8 billion. ” Super impressive for a game that’s only been around since 2017. Meanwhile, another popular free-to-play game, League of Legends, “generated nearly $1. 5 billion in revenue. ” Both of these games easily surpass World of Warcraft in both player count and revenue. Did I mention they’re also free-to-play? It‘s baffling to me that Blizzard hasn’t adopted the free-to-play model for World of Warcraft yet. While not fully developed out, the game has tons of opportunities to provide customizable options for players that have no impact on gameplay progression. This represents a huge market opportunity for Blizzard. I could be wrong! The executives at Blizzard could have had this discussion time-and-time again in their offices already and have their reasons on why the current model works. But I personally feel Blizzard could make much more revenue moving away from the subscription model while providing a superior consumer experience at the same time. Let me World of Warcraft was first launched, it was considered revolutionary for its time. Although the concept of MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) was not new, World of Warcraft became the biggest and most successful MMORPG in gaming history. At its peak, the game “had 12 million subscribers” in October monthly payments for products, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, are all the rage now for consumers, Blizzard pioneered the unheard-of subscription model when it first introduced World of Warcraft back in 2004. At the time, most video games (and other products, for that matter) were a one-time purchase. After the game was purchased, the developers usually moved onto the next project, leaving the original project to eventually fizzle out after gamers got bored of subscription model that Blizzard introduced generated a steady but robust revenue stream for the company, allowing its developers to continue to work on and invest in World of Warcraft and its subsequent expansions. As a result, the game grew in popularity over the years. In 2016, “it was estimated that World of Warcraft earned more than $9. 23 billion in revenue since its debut in November 2004. ”The storyline, gameplay, ease of learning, challenging yet fun endgame content, and strong social community all contributed to the game’s success. Many newcomers found the environment welcoming and inclusive in all aspects, which contributed to its success. Many other MMORPGs came and went throughout the years, unable to dethrone World of Warcraft. No “WoW killer” could spite its long reign, World of Warcraft did eventually fall. In fact, I would argue that World of Warcraft’s worst enemy wasn’t a competitor, but the company which developed it themselves — Blizzard. Blizzard’s inability to adapt to a rapidly changing gaming environment contributed to the game’s of Warcraft has actually seen a steady decline in its player base for the past few years. In 2015, Blizzard “reported that the subscriber base has fallen to 5. 5 million people. ” It also said it would no longer report subscription numbers, another sign of the company seeking to divert attention away from the game’s re-launch of World of Warcraft: Classic saw “old and new players back into the realm of Azeroth, with subscriptions growing an estimated 223% from July to August” in ditionally, according to Blizzard’s quarterly earnings report in October 2020, the latest expansion, Shadowlands, “has had more pre-sales than any other expansion in the title’s history. ” Activision Blizzard’s chief executive, Bobby Kotick, said the franchise is “well on track to make over $1 billion in the next annual Blizzard come back with a winning recipe for World of Warcraft? It’s too early to say. But I can honestly say that I’ve seen this play out over and over again in the history of the game. Every expansion sees a surge of players come back, only to see a pattern of gamers unsubscribing months is Blizzard not able to keep its subscribers and players engaged? A major reason why I usually unsubscribe from World of Warcraft halfway during an expansion is that I can’t justify paying $15 a month when the content gets my hiatus from the game, there are times where I do feel the itch to come back and play the game, whether it be new content or just playing with friends. But the subscription cost usually deters me from coming back, even if I can afford it easily. Every time I consider coming back, I ask myself, “Is it worth it? ”Instead of logging on and paying a month to see what’s going on, I ask my friends on the messaging app a few questions about the state of the game. Sometimes, the answers vary. “We have the raid on farm. So it’s not really exciting right now until the next one comes out. ”“Oh yeah, it can be sometimes. But you’re going to have to level up your artifact weapon and that’ll take you forever to catch up since you haven’t been around. ”“The guild fell apart. ”Why would I commit $15 upfront to come back when I hear these types of answers? It would require an intense amount of motivation for me to consider the time investment with re-orienting myself in the game, especially after I’ve been gone a few metimes, players have to decrease their game time, due to unforeseen circumstances in their personal lives. A free-to-play model would allow players to not feel the monetary pressure of staying committed to the subscription yet allow them to play leisurely and stay somewhat, $15 can add up for consumers. Money can be tight, especially now that we’re in a global recession. But since we’re in the middle of the pandemic, people are staying home and gaming more. This presents a huge market opportunity for Blizzard. I’m sure Blizzard knows all of this information. The company sends out an exit survey to every player that unsubscribes, asking for the reason why they are canceling their monthly payments. I can’t pretend to know the results of the exit surveys, but if I had to guess, the two biggest reasons why players unsubscribe would be for financial reasons and/or the content is content can always be refreshed and made exciting again, giving incentives for players to come back. Blizzard has proven that it is competent at world-building and storytelling financial reasons can be more complicated on an individual basis. But why force their loyal customers to pay a subscription when they’re not feeling up to gaming, especially with the players that have been around for a you don’t feel like watching shows on Disney+ or Netflix anymore, you can cancel at any time. When your budget allows it, you can come right back and still pick up on most of the shows that are available. World of Warcraft does not provide that same experience. The longer you’re gone, the farther you fall would be in Blizzard’s best interest to make the game free-to-play. Making the game free-to-play would open up the player base for Blizzard and increase its revenue far more than the subscription model with engaged gamers while allowing more financial freedom for budget-minded might argue that cutting off Blizzard’s revenue stream with the subscription model would be devastating to the franchise. The game has been Blizzard’s bread and butter for almost two decades. Why ask Blizzard to sacrifice that? Simple — Customer Lifetime Value. Blizzard needs to appropriately segment its player base using this metric to drive more revenue and sustain stomer Lifetime Value is a marketing metric that determines “how much money a customer will bring your brand throughout their entire time as a paying customer. ” For example, if I had played World of Warcraft for 13 full years and paid $15 a month, my CLV to Blizzard would be $2, 340 (There are 156 months in 13 years and I multiplied 156 months by $15) Pareto Principle hypothesizes that 80% of a brand’s revenue comes from 20% of its customers. The small, but profitable segment of customers are typically the most loyal and high-value customers a brand Principle to Starbucks. He said, “20% of Starbucks customers, who most likely drink every day, are worth a lot more to Starbucks compared to the 80% who only stop by for an occasional cup. ”But Blizzard’s current model doesn’t reflect this principle. It has one pricing tier for all its subscribers on World of Warcraft, $15 a month. Blizzard is treating every World of Warcraft player as what Kucheriavy described as “meh customers, ” or rather, all the same. Blizzard is not properly segmenting its customers into discernable CLV tiers in the nversely, other companies that follow a subscription model have different pricing tiers. For example, Netflix has three different subscription tiers for its customer: Basic ($8. 99), Standard ($13. 99), and Premium ($17. 99). This gives customers more flexibility and options. Other examples of subscription companies that have different pricing tiers include LinkedIn, Freshly, Disney+, Microsoft Office 365, etc. The list is endless! If you’re going to do a subscription model, be flexible with your customers. However, with that being said, although subscription, if done correctly, can generate good revenue for a company, the gaming industry is different and requires free-to-play to truly succeed. I’m sure most gamers would agree with me: once you’re fully engaged in a game, you’re committed. Not only do you seek to beat the game, but gaming can be quite a vain affair. World of Warcraft is no developers have always worked hard to ensure World of Warcraft fostered an environment where customization was available. The amount of transmogrifying (customizing armor), cute pets, unique mounts, cool titles, achievements, and base-building that exists in the game is of this stuff serves no purpose to enhance your characters’ stats or contribute to the actual endgame content. They’re strictly cosmetic. And players don’t mind spending money to bling themselves out in any I first started playing the free-to-play FPS game, Valorant, this past summer, I scoffed at the ridiculous prices that Riot Games churned out for some of its custom weapon skins. Then one day, I saw it — it was shining bright at me like a diamond. The featured collection package was on the front page of the game menu screen. And I just needed to have Valorant Strike / Republic World$100 later, I was cursing myself for spending that much money on digital skins. I vowed I wouldn’t do it again. But a month later, I spent another $75 on more skins on six months, I already spent more than $200 on Valorant, a game that was marketed as free-to-play. If the $200 I spent on Valorant was used for paying for World of Warcraft’s subscription instead, it would be 13 months of game time there. Valorant already pumped more money out of me in less than half the time that World of Warcraft would have. I’m sure many gamers have found themselves in my situation across many different games. The free-to-play model works because it gives gamers the most important thing a customer would want: ’s not like Blizzard is new to the concept of in-game purchases or the free-to-play model. In fact, they’ve been doing it for years! According to SuperData, the digital card game market is expected to increase to $2 billion in 2020. Blizzard’s card strategy game, Hearthstone, is free-to-play and generates most of its revenue through in-game purchases. Hearthstone is the market leader in this space and is projected to earn $414 million in revenue. Not bad for a free-to-play game! Another one of Blizzard’s games, Overwatch, has seen considerable success. There are an estimated 50 million gamers who play Overwatch in 2020, according to Jeff Kaplan, game director of Overwatch at Blizzard. Players can buy loot boxes and skins for the heroes. Because of this system, “Overwatch has now made over $1 billion from in-game purchases alone, the sixth IP in Activision Blizzard’s library to do so. ”When Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR), another MMORPG game, was launched in Dec 2011 it saw considerable subscriber numbers with its launch, racking up more than one million subscribers in two weeks. It was crowned “fastest-growing MMO ever. ”However, within a year, Electronic Arts decided to make SWTOR free-to-play, canceling players’ monthly costs due to lagging subscriber numbers. “By dropping its subscription fees, Star Wars could attract upwards of 10 million players a month. ”— Michael Pachter, Game Industry AnalystSWTOR is still around to this day. In a recent quarterly earnings call, Electronic Arts disclosed that they were close to garnering $1 billion earned on the game since the start of its though a huge accomplishment in itself for Electronic Arts, the milestone was achieved over a span of nine years. It took considerably longer for SWTOR to generate that money. This was because SWTOR’s player base has always been considerably smaller compared to World of Warcraft. Blizzard could grow its subscriber base and possibly earn more revenue by switching to a free-to-play model, similar to what Electronic Arts did with Star Wars: The Old Republic. In my opinion, the edge that Blizzard has over EA is that World of Warcraft is a superior game compared to SWTOR in every potential to maximize revenue can help Blizzard invest more resources, developers, and storytellers to keep it from slipping into decline of Warcraft is a beloved game to veteran and old-school players, but the game has been lagging in subscribers for the past has the potential to acquire new customers into the Azeroth ecosystem if they switch to a free-to-play model. This is especially true with many Gen Zers, the generation with the biggest share of gamers, and more accustomed to playing free-to-play games like Fortnite and League of giving gamers, who are the customers, the flexibility to engage in their content and spend money within the ecosystem as they see fit, Blizzard would be providing the players with a more flexible and seamless consumer experience. In return, World of Warcraft could see an increase in player count and higher revenue gains from its high-value customers.
Will WoW ever go completely free to play? – Reddit
I’m sure it’s been discussed before, but as a new player I am curious what the experts in this forum think, as you’ve all played much longer than me! I’ve noticed the following quires you purchase the base gameRequires a monthly subscriptionHas micro-transactions in the gameNow I may be new to this, but I’m noticing most new games coming out today tend to stick with one or two of these things. I find it very odd that WoW has all three. Also, I was interested but for some reason you cannot find any active stats for players, it seemed to just stop one year. Anyways, curious what you guys think?