SuperData Research predicts that World of Warcraft is on course toward a microtransactions future.
In April, the subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game made $93 million in revenues, a huge loss from $204 million seven months ago. Blizzard also lost about 1.3 million monthly active users from its Eastern player base.
While introducing microtransactions beyond pets and mounts would help, a total switch to free-to-play would be "too much of a jolt for WoW," reads a post on SuperData's blog.
Players are responding to the microtransactions that are available, however, which is a positive sign for Blizzard.
"Despite major declines in total revenues between September 2012 and April 2013, the game has seen an increasing conversion rate for [its] current, add-on, extra-game store, and its microtransaction revenues have held pat overall," says SuperData. "What it tells us is that dedicated WoW players are interested in — and will spend money on — microtransactions. By bringing this system into the game and allowing for power-ups and performance-based microtransactions, WoW hopes to further entice players to spend."
Just don't expect a free-to-play WoW anytime soon.