World of Warcraft Introduces Free-to-Play Component

Blizzard Entertainment announced today that its top-selling MMO World of Warcraft will be going free-to-play, for 20 levels.  The free trial will give new players an opportunity to try out the introductory content, in addition to a deeper grasp of the games mechanics and features.

Players will still have to buy the original game and the expansions if they want to play beyond level 20.  Blizzard has dropped the price of the original to $20 USD, and the expansions sell for $35 USD.  With the level cap at 85, the free-to-play option only gives potential customers a snapshot of about one-fourth of the leveling experience.  The free trial obviously also does not include access to the end-game content that takes up the majority of the end-game experience, and the majority of the motivation to reach level 85.

The key difference in Blizzard’s recent trial version of the game is that there is no time limitation on the trial period.  WoW has offered a number of free offers, ranging from 48-hour trials to two weeks.  The new option gives players an opportunity to level to 20 at their own pace, rather than having to rush through to meet time requirements.

Despite reports of a shrinking subscriber base, WoW still boasts the largest population of gamers, hovering around 11 million users.

Fore more information on World of Warcraft, check out the game’s website here.



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