HomeTechnologyafter Microsoft's takeover of Blizzard, the MMORPG could become free-to-play

after Microsoft’s takeover of Blizzard, the MMORPG could become free-to-play

This Tuesday, January 18, 2022, the information came out: Microsoft wants to buy Activision Blizzard for $ 68.7 billion. A takeover that has yet to be completed but could make Microsoft the third largest video game company behind Tencent and Sony. His acquisitions include the legendary World of Warcraft, Blizzard’s cult MMORPG. After this takeover, World of Warcraft could well go in the direction of free-to-play.

an MMORPG on the decline

After a golden age in 2012, World of Warcraft is in a long decline. The number of subscribers, then 12 million, eventually dropped relentlessly to 5.6 million in 2015. Latest official data shared by Blizzard, those curious must now turn to third parties to try to figure out the number of current MMORPG identify subscribers. And according to estimates, World of Warcraft would have no fewer than 4.74 million subscribers in 2020. Far from its heyday, Blizzard’s title is also struggling to stem the craze that inspired Final Fantasy XIV, the phoenix-influenced Square Enix that was even forced to be withdrawn due to lack of space on its servers.

Unfortunately for World of Warcraft, the complaint filed against Blizzard in July 2020 turned its development upside down, forcing its teams to turn away from the next additions to change its content deemed inappropriate at a time when inclusion is necessary . In addition, many players were not satisfied with the latest game expansions, especially Shadowlands. Players bluster and think the developers aren’t listening. But at a time when Blizzard is being forced to postpone its original plans to deal with its internal crisis, there is a way out within Microsoft’s unity.

With this acquisition of up to 68.7 billion dollars, Microsoft could definitely bring a second wind to World of Warcraft. And for good reason, Microsoft’s ultimate goal remains to offer the most complete Game Pass offering possible. A particularly attractive and lucrative service with no fewer than 25 million subscribers. With its bulging purse and its monumental clout, Microsoft could well bring a breath of fresh air to World of Warcraft. And for good reason, adding World of Warcraft to Game Pass could allow the Redmond-based company to reach a whole new audience.

Cancel subscription, make way for free-to-play?

A resurgence in popularity that could restart World of Warcraft with new players. One of the problems with MMORPGs, besides the time you have to devote to them, is their cost. World of Warcraft is a monthly subscription that varies between €10.99 and €12.99 depending on the plan chosen. But with its integration into Game Pass, World of Warcraft could be assimilated, abandoning the usual subscription to adopt another. So when World of Warcraft is integrated with Game Pass, the subscription is only €9.99/month with the PC plan, €12.99/month with the Ultimate plan.

A more attractive offer, especially since the game would also be accompanied by more than 100 other games. Of course, integration with Game Pass wouldn’t be a miracle solution. In order to keep its players happy at heart, Blizzard has yet to rectify the situation and offer substantive solutions. Until then, the studio has yet to fix its problems internally. In addition, the takeover of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft must be validated. Nothing says World of Warcraft will be integrated into Game Pass. But such an idea would come to play it for free (although a subscription to Game Pass still exists), which could appeal to a multitude of new potential players.

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