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Blizzard may rethink WoW sub-fees in the future

Wednesday, 30th June 2010 19:48 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

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World of Warcraft’s lead designer Tom Chilton has said that it may not “make sense” in the future for the game to have a subscription fee.

Speaking with PC Gamer, Chilton said the free-to-play model being adopted by western MMOs hasn’t gone unnoticed, yet Blizzard’s not in any hurry to change the subscription plans.

“We’re not spending a lot of time thinking about it. It’s not something that’s a reality for us in the near future,” said Chilton.

“If another game comes along and blows us away it may not make sense for us to have a subscription fee. Or even further down the line, when we have another MMO out.

“I feel like they’re doing that to compete with other games that are on a similar subscriber level to what they were at. I imagine that when one of them went free to play it cannibalized some of the other subscribers. I can definitely imagine that being the case with World of Warcraft.”

Chilton said in the past that it’s possible that Blizzard could “do some kind of micro-transaction stuff”.

WoW: Cataclysm is slated for sometime this year, with an “unannounced” Blizzard MMO in the works as well.

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16 Comments

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  1. mathare92

    No.1!!!

    #1 4 years ago
  2. OlderGamer

    If Blizz droped subs, opened a store where players could buy gold/gear/even rep, the gold farmers market would all but dry up over night.

    Maybe then we could game w/fear of being hacked. Why? Because to them our accounts would be near worthless.

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Gekidami

    I doubt alot of people would be happy if you could just outright buy gear instead of having to work for it in-game.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. Erthazus

    “opened a store where players could buy gold/gear/even rep”

    than game will be full of whiny little kids, cheaters, noobs and e.t.c. as always.

    + world Of Warcraft as the setting will be ruined. Blizzard will never sell gold in Free/to play. they could make scrolls for faster experience.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. OlderGamer

    See both of you fellas sound like you bought into it hook line and sinker. And there in is the problem. Blizz has shifted the focus of the game away from leveling, exploring, adventuring and more towards grinding for gear.

    So, in that regaurd your very correct, if the point is to simply obtain gear then yes buy it defeats the purpose. However, if the game was still a game, this model makes far more sense. If you countered/replaced end game oh i don’t know … new content. With a full fledged expansion instead of 5 new levels, and a handfull of new raids. But of course, the 5 new levels are just enough seperation to warrent new end game gear!!!

    Very exciting!

    Oh wait, no it isn’t.

    And I think it is because of the shift in game play dynamics and focus that has shut this possibilty on Blizz. I don’t think it is going to hurt them much in the long run.

    Personialy I am going to LoTR(free to play) this fall. In part the free service, but also the breach of security(and your a fool if you think it is all bumb users fault), of WoW.

    As for authenticator? Blizz should be shot for doing that. Look you encourage add ons. Even have them built into your interface. But w/o an official blizz run/approved site to obtain said add ons, several of your users open themself up to hacking. You also put so much focus on Gear, that GS becomes more important then anything else, and it your ticket to raing. This creates a rush of wow sites that “calculate GS”. Again opening your users up to attack.

    But!! But wait, for your own piece of mind, you can buy(from blizz no less) an authenticator!!

    Simply put, if blizz has a way to further protect its users, it should be provided for free as part of their service. Plus it is in the best interest of Blizz and the game to keep its users as safe as possible.

    What? Hacked? Me?

    Yes.

    But i went extreme measures. I did a complete reformat. Had my wife(an IT guru/sec head at Xerox), comb over the system before and after. Found nothing using the best tools in the sec biz. We never lend account info, share email etc. We got hacked … again. I stake every level 80 toon I built that it was NOT us.

    Ok lol, got carried away.

    /Rant off.

    But yes Blizz should design future MMOs to be sub free, will never work the way wow has changed over the years.

    #5 4 years ago
  6. endgame

    it doesn’t make sense now unless u’r in the ripping ppl off business.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. Phoenixblight

    @5

    As Chilton says will not happen unless they lose their sub base or they have a new MMO to push which is going to be supposedly announced this Blizcon.

    You forgot to mention all those said addons you can get from community sites that have been tested and even having a rating system to know which are funky. You don’t need a GS to raid or PVP.
    You don’t have to buy an authenticator, they have it for free for those that have Ipod touch or Iphone or a smartphone. They could have made the prices for these authenticators to be skyhigh like so many virus scanners *cough* MCafee*cough* but did they? No its for 6 dollars plus shipping and they are even considering it to come with WoW.

    #7 4 years ago
  8. hitnrun

    Eventually the game will just be so damn old that it could make sense to pull the plug and end the subscription model.

    WoW is still currently a creative focus for Blizzard (well…sort of), but at a certain point in the not-too-far future it’s just going to be a cash cow. Rather than quietly watch its subscriber numbers fold, they’ll likely throw the gates wide open and manage it like a Facebook game, farming (zing!) what money they can.

    Anyone who thinks Blizz will care about the game up to that point, the players, and their characters…you should really know better by now. Heck, they didn’t care before they were part of Activision.

    #8 4 years ago
  9. OlderGamer

    Sigh.

    Ok.

    “You forgot to mention all those said addons you can get from community sites that have been tested and even having a rating system to know which are funky.”

    None of wich are monitered by Blizz themselves. All of which are open backdoors for maleware/spyware and the likes. I was told by a blizz rep, on the phone that curse client(for example) is a known way for malicous deleivery. I can not vouch for the acuracy of that statement. But needless to say I am add on free at this point.

    “You don’t need a GS to raid or PVP.”

    PvP, no. Good luck getting into a nice iCC25 w/o someone judging your GS. And good luck clearing w/a group that doesn’t. GS equals almost everything in the game. Obviously, you have to know how to play, know the top rotations(which btw are often discused on said community sites whos forums often require logins, of course you should never use the same email, login keys etc in those as you do to login on wow – most everyone knows that I am sure some don’t). But it goes along with my point.

    “You don’t have to buy an authenticator, they have it for free for those that have Ipod touch or Iphone or a smartphone.”

    Of course those are cheap and cost effective.

    “They could have made the prices for these authenticators to be skyhigh like so many virus scanners”

    Or they could have used it as a way to beef up user security.

    “*cough* MCafee*cough* but did they? No its for 6 dollars plus shipping and they are even considering it to come with WoW.”

    Or they could have used it as a way to beef up user security. To begin with.

    #9 4 years ago
  10. lirky

    It works for starcraft brood war, and diablo II lod. It would work for any game premium content would be optional.

    #10 4 years ago
  11. Phoenixblight

    @9

    “Good luck getting into a nice iCC25 w/o someone judging your GS. And good luck clearing w/a group that doesn’t.”

    I am actually in a guild that raids ICC25 and I personally do not use any GS add ons or sites, the Guild leader and officers may but thats not my problem. They know that I do my class well.

    ““They could have made the prices for these authenticators to be skyhigh like so many virus scanners”

    Or they could have used it as a way to beef up user security.”

    Maybe but how would they do that exactly? If a computer or login ID is compromised Blizzard has no way other than an authenticator to know if its really you. Again Blizzard have discussed and mentioned in the forums where they plan on releasing the authenticator with the packaging of WOW.

    “which btw are often discused on said community sites whos forums often require logins”

    I have a few sites I go to and none of them I use like elitistjerks require me to have a login.

    #11 4 years ago
  12. OlderGamer

    @11

    “Or they could have used it as a way to beef up user security.”

    Maybe but how would they do that exactly? If a computer or login ID is compromised Blizzard has no way other than an authenticator to know if its really you. Again Blizzard have discussed and mentioned in the forums where they plan on releasing the authenticator with the packaging of WOW. ”

    Easy enough to do. If they can “put it in the box” they could allow the download(maybe in a patch) of the thing.

    Both times I was hacked, I had an unautherized Athenticator placed on my account. Infact a lot of folks seem to have that trouble, it effectivly locks the owners out of their own accounts. I don’t have any great insight to that, I just find it ironic.

    Glad to see your add on free. Safest way to be. I am pretty sure wow heros is safe too – no log in info. However I have read in the forums(wows) that some sites install phising software/loggers/rootkits even at the front end. No download needed. No login needed. No clue if that is even possible or not. The amount of ignorance(intended and otherwise) is massive when it comes to the increase in wow account hackings. So I don’t like to add to it. But on the safe side of thinmgs, I don’t really do much but login and play. I stay away from wow related sites now a days.

    #12 4 years ago
  13. Phoenixblight

    “Both times I was hacked, I had an unautherized Athenticator placed on my account. Infact a lot of folks seem to have that trouble, it effectivly locks the owners out of their own accounts. I don’t have any great insight to that, I just find it ironic.”

    Thats what they do give them enough to get all the shit needed and locks the owners out to do things. There is a way to block them from the game you can log in on the battle.net and when it ask you for keycode from the authenticator you put the incorrect code 3 times and it then locks the hacker out. I did it then I had to deal with Blizz CSR and hour or so later got my account back with 5 bag full of herbs to sell and few hours later I had all my gold, badges and gear back.

    “Glad to see your add on free. Safest way to be. I am pretty sure wow heros is safe too – no log in info.”

    Well with what Blizzard has done with the UI over the years every patch or so there is one less reason to install an add on. Now if they made a bag organizer….

    #13 4 years ago
  14. OlderGamer

    “Well with what Blizzard has done with the UI over the years every patch or so there is one less reason to install an add on. Now if they made a bag organizer….”

    Agreed!

    #14 4 years ago
  15. frostquake

    And Everything everybody just talked about is why I have Never Played WoW and never will, unless it goes free.

    WoW has to take away all those reasons for being Hacked.

    As for buying Gold, Weapons, Armor and Such. They should just give you the basic load out for NOOBS and not allow them to Pay Real world dollars for certain items until they reach a certain level, that way you keep the High End items out of Noobs unless they are willing to grind, then they can buy the items with real world money

    Just wondering, since Guild Wars is Free, I never see anyone talking about hacking of accounts with that game…Things that make you go Hmmmmmm?

    #15 4 years ago
  16. StolenGlory

    Gear score is a secondary concern (at least to our RG) in ICC25 (more so now due to the +25% buff – and also due to the abundance of frost badges from dailies, ICC 10 and weekly’s – no excuse) to player awareness in my opinion – especially in the heroic encounters.

    I would much rather gear up someone who knows his rotations, has self-awareness of where they are standing and their aggro, than some chump strutting around in iLvl264+ gear who dies either from their own aggro or from standing in the *insert colour here* shit every other time.

    #16 4 years ago