While the calls of a free-to-play World of Warcraft have been around for a while now, the reasoning has never been more apparent than now.
What’s the reason this time, you say? 6.8 million, as in that’s how many people are currently subscribed to the game.
Now, I know what you might say: it’s the summer before an expansion and there’s been a gigantic lack of content since the Siege of Orgrimmar patch. You’re exactly right. Siege of Orgrimmar launched with Patch 5.4 on September 10th, 2013. That’s eleven months ago.
Eleven months with no new content. Ruby Sanctum has never looked so appealing.
During this time, gamers have seen two new consoles release, Respawn Entertainment launch their first game, the long-awaited Elder Scrolls Online debut, Mario Kart 8 win over the hearts of Wii U owners, and Ubisoft’s E3 2012 show stealing Watch Dogs make its way onto shelves. Those are just the highlights; a lot of games have come out between then and now, but if you’re busy paying $15 a month, do you necessarily have the financial commitment, not to mention the time spent playing World of Warcraft, to try out these new games?
Personally, the answer was a bit of a struggle for me when I was playing World of Warcraft heavily. That being said, it sure is a hell of a lot easier spending time and money elsewhere now that I’m not currently subscribed. I don’t have to feel like my $15 a month is being wasted. I don’t have to commit several nights a week to playing the same game over and over again. I can go out with friends, take random road trips, try new things, or just sit back, relax, and unwind after a busy day.
The amount of reasons to not subscribe are, far and away, larger than the reasons to. And yet, here I am, missing World of Warcraft, and itching to play again. I’m probably not the only person with this feeling, too. I’ve seen several people on my Facebook feed talk about getting the band back together for the Warlords of Draenor expansion. Some, like myself, are turned off by committing $15 a month when I’ve enjoyed spending money elsewhere. Do you know what would make me pick up the expansion in a heartbeat? Having the game be free-to-play. I’m willing to bet others in the same boat.
Hell, I’d run out and pre-order the collector’s edition right now. The notion that it wouldn’t cost me anything, but time of course, to play World of Warcraft is far too appealing to ignore. Plus, it’s not like Activision/Blizzard doesn’t have alternative modes of revenue. How long have we been buying in-game items from the Blizzard Shop?
Maybe I’m just being a cheapskate who wants to dive back into the addiction that is World of Warcraft. Maybe I want to have my cake and eat it too. I mean, Blizzard has said that they’re planning on sticking with subscriptions and focusing on making the journey to end-game more accessible, but that’s not the problem. The problem is that why should I stick with one game when I can play many games. We only have so much money in our gaming budgets. We don’t have the same amount of time we used to. Many of us who grew up on World of Warcraft have responsibilities and bills.
We’d just like to escape reality and relive our memories without adding another bill to the pile.