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World of Warcraft began life free-to-play and ad-supported

Tuesday, 24th June 2008 21:28 GMT By Patrick Garratt

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The Twilight Zone has nothing on this horrifying distortion of reality.

Picture, if you will, a world in which a hugely popular MMORPG becomes a far greater behemoth, capturing the hearts and minds of all human beings until only one man remains, alone. How would the MMO in question go about expanding its already formidable girth? By not costing a dime.

This harrowing picture of what could’ve been has been brought to you by Gamasutra, and we’re sighing in relief that it never happened. Apparently World of Warcraft was supposed to be a free-to-play, ad-supported game, but fate dictated otherwise.

Blizzard’s Rob Pardo made this bit of info known at GDC Paris, saying that in the end, market conditions prevented Blizzard’s plans.

That, friends, is what we call dodging a bullet.

By Nathan Grayson

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