Blizzard: World of Warcraft is Not Built to be Free-to-play

Senior game producer says "We’re happy with the business model we have now. It’s very successful."

Blizzard Entertainment has no plans to make World of Warcraft a free-to-play game. Speaking with GameSpot today at BlizzCon, senior game producer Jason Hutchins said switching from paid to free is not a wise design choice, at least as Blizzard sees it.

“We’re very happy with the business model we have now; it’s very successful. We’ve got a stable player base that we’re excited about,” Hutchins said. “World of Warcraft is not built to be free-to-play and I think for free-to-play games to be good, they need to be built that way from the ground up and we’re not there.”

World of Warcraft currently has 7.6 million subscribers and is the top subscription-based MMO on the market. Various competitors like Lord of the Rings Online and Star Wars: The Old Republic began their lives as paid games before adopting a free-to-play business model.

The Elder Scrolls Online will launch next year as a subscription-based MMO, while Sony has not yet disclosed if EverQuest Next will carry a subscription fee or not.

Blizzard announced World of Warcraft’s fifth expansion today: Warlords of Draenor. For more on the expansion, check out GameSpot’s breakdown of the upcoming add-on.

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