Not a traditional free to play model

A quick thought – if wow is Free to Play then can I cancel paying my subscription and then only login to the game on an existing toon that is level 1-20?

ie. Can I choose to suspend paying per month for a while, then move back to a subscription when I choose? No.

Clearly not, so its not true F2P, although I can understand why offering the model is a reasonable hook to players. There is a gulf between this form of free to play, and the form offered by Champions Online. I guess in an industry which is this competitive it stands to reason that marketing will bend what we think of as traditional F2P models. Perhaps that is even a good thing.

Are there many players left who have not already tried wow?

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4 thoughts on “Not a traditional free to play model

  1. What Blizzard is doing for new accounts is to have a more extended trial period, since they’ve always had some version of free trials. The game itself hasn’t gone F2P (because that model actually tricks people into spending more money than just subscriptions if you still have to use real money to buy game content like LOTRO does).

  2. What there are is millions of NON players who are experiencing browser and iPhone/iPad games for the first time, and becoming “MMO-curious”. If marketed to correctly (limited financial and social risk), they can (like me) be convinced to try WoW in it’s simplest form. And if Blizzard can retain even a few% of those, it would be a wild success.

    Older, empty nest players (like me) can become very loyal to a game they invest time in, and meet people on. And we tend to ignore modest subscription fees for something we spend even a few minutes doing every day. Still beats the hell out of $65 for a gym membership you use 2x/month.

  3. Blizzard have announced:
    With the launch of Rage of the Firelands (patch 4.2), we introduced the World of Warcraft Starter Edition, a replacement for the previously available free trial. The Starter Edition allows anyone to play for free up to level 20 without the time restrictions placed on trial accounts — all you need is a Battle.net account and Internet connection. The Starter Edition also opens up some new features that weren’t available in the old time-limited trial:

    Players with the WoW Starter Edition can create draenei and blood elf characters, which were previously unavailable with trial accounts.
    The two starting zones associated with these races are also available to people wishing to try out the game.
    The gold limit has been raised to 10 gold, allowing Starter Edition players to purchase mounts when they reach the appropriate level.

    When you reach level 20, your characters will stop gaining experience. However, you are free to continue playing and exploring Azeroth for as long as you wish — or you can roll an entirely new character to try out a new race or class. You can also choose to upgrade to a full, paid account at any time and continue your adventures beyond level 20.
    With the launch of the Starter Edition, all existing trial accounts, including expired ones, have been reactivated. That means if you’ve tried WoW in the past, your trial-account characters are now accessible once more.
    As you may have already seen, our Recruit-a-Friend program has also been upgraded as a result of the changes introduced with the WoW Starter Edition.
    Now’s a better time than ever to try out World of Warcraft. If you’re thinking of getting into WoW or know a friend who’s been interested in joining you in Azeroth, it’s easy to give it a try today.
    For more information on this exciting new feature and a full list of restrictions, please visit the Starter Edition FAQ.

  4. @Bristal and Lissanna – you’re both right of course – I didn’t consider the casual facebook-ish market a target for WoW as subscribers; mainly due to the platform difference. Interesting strategy indeed!

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