Freemium WoW is not something Blizzard is 'spending a lot of time thinking about'

While you may think your friends at Joystiq are only on the prowl for the hottest gaming scoops, we want you to know that's not true ... we also monitor the fabric of the universe for any tears that might upset its delicate balance. Do not panic, but World of Warcraft's lead designer, Tom Chilton, mentioned to PC Gamer that "at some point, it may not make sense for us to have a subscription fee." Now, pause and savor the moment, because it's fleeting.

Before you decide whether to buy a loaf of real bread or another month's subscription, listen to the remainder of Chilton's thought: "We're not spending a lot of time thinking about it. It's not something that's a reality for us in the near future."

When the fateful day comes that WoW can make more money as a freemium title than an MMO with a monthly subscription, we're sure it'll take that path. MMO expert Elizabeth Harper, high mistress of WoW.com, tells Joystiq, "Free to play is the future of MMOs. We're seeing Turbine push their games to the free-to-play model and becoming more profitable because of it. Life or death for an MMO is all in subscriber numbers -- free to play lowers the initial barrier to entry and opens up more opportunities for players to give you money."

This article was originally published on Joystiq.