World of Warcraft Free-to-Play Transition Possible

Chatting with Polygon at this year's Gamescom, World of Warcraft game director Tom Chilton defended Blizzard's decision to push for broad appeal with the latest expansion for the title, Mists of Pandaria, and admitted a free-to-play transition is not completely out of the question:
"People who played Vanilla always say 'if it had stayed the same, I would have the same fun now as I did then.' But that's not true. Audiences always evolve," he explained. The studio worked to provide players with new experiences with the introduction of "dungeons, raiding, the introduction of accessible raiding," with the adoption of casual features simply being another layer to this. Chilton did, however, acknowledge a lack of "new experiences for the hardcore audience," stating it's something that will be focused on at a later date and is likely something that will be introduced through future expansions.


"For Blizzard it makes sense [to go free-to-play] at some point. But a lot of the risk is in making that transition. You her stories about developers going free-to-play and getting double the number of players, but you don't always know it works out that way and how long it stays that way. We really don't know what the rate is before people drop off and lose interest."