Speaking to our friends at PC Gamer, WOW producer John Lagrave insisted that Blizzard had no intention of switching its flagship MMOG to the freemium model, under which games are free-to-play and revenue comes from sales of virtual goods.
"We're very happy with the sub model," he said. "It works well for us for various reasons. You churn through a lot of content very quickly on a paid-for game, and we think we offer great value in all the content we have for the player.
"If we went [free-to-play], do you make a ton more money? Maybe. Do you burn out players? Probably. I'm not saying we're never going free-to-play - we do that with the trial right now - but we're really happy with the subscription model. We're doing really well."
The facts, however, rather contradict Lagrave's sentiment. WOW has shed two million subscribers in the space of a year, while a slew of rival MMOGs have switched to free-to-play and reaped the rewards.
Blizzard acknowledged last year that it needed to do more to retain players. The release of the Cataclysm expansion saw subscriber numbers increase as lapsed players returned, but after blitzing through the new content on offer they left in droves.
The company has since said it is working to reduce development times in a bid to ensure a steady flow of new content. The fourth WOW expansion, Mists Of Pandaria, is due this year, and Blizzard has released four trailers showcasing its new features.
Source: PC Gamer