World of Warcraft May Go Free-to-Play, Eventually

PC Gamer has shared some commentary made by Blizzard's Tom Chilton, in which the World of Warcraft lead designer suggested that their MMORPG behemoth may eventually switch to a free-to-play business model... when it makes sense.
The rise of the free-to-play western MMO hasn't gone unnoticed at Blizzard, developers of World of Warcraft, the dominant western subscription MMO. Speaking to PC Gamer at their studios in Irvine, California, World of Warcraft's lead designer, Tom Chilton, explained that (at some point, it may not make sense for us to have a subscription fee.)

Tom was speaking about the rapid expansion of free-to-play games in the west, and the terms under which Blizzard would consider a similar model for World of Warcraft. In the last year, classic western hardcore online games such as Lord of the Rings Online, Company of Heroes and Dungeons and Dragons Online have all embraced a free-to-play model, where microtransactions and item purchases are a substitute for a traditional subscription fee.

Yet Tom doesn't think those games have gone free just to compete with World of Warcraft. (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. 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.)