Blizzard may have considered free-to-play for WoW, but won't change the model now

Gamasutra recently spoke with Paul Sams, chief operating officer at Blizzard Entertainment, just after the WorldWide Invitational came to a close. Alongside questions about the framework around Diablo 3 and the potential of user-generated content, the site referenced the recent revelation that World of Warcraft could potentially have been a free-to-play title. Sams offered, in response to the question, that he doesn't see the company changing the game's business model any time soon.

Echoing the points made by individuals such as Min Kim and Ray Muzyka, Sams noted that changing the business model would likely neccessitate a substantial revamp in game design - something they're not prepared to do. "The game has been designed in such a way to where we determined the business model to wrap that around what the game experience was." Sims also puts forth that the company has no plans to create a 'kiddie' version of the popular MMO, nor to port it to handheld systems.

Check out the interview for a number of other interesting topics, including Sams' followup to Mr. Pardo's rebuke against Microsoft over its Xbox 360 focus.