Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Mike Sacco will be your host today.
A week or two ago, my precious cat Stella had to be put to sleep. She was very sick and there was nothing we could do to fix it. It really hurt because we had some really unbelievable history between us over the past four or five years -- ask me sometime about how I found her at TWO animal shelters -- but she had a pretty good life after I found her, so I'm doing my best to deal with it with dignity. It's been hard.
Today my partner and I adopted this handsome ragdoll named Smokey to fill the Stella-shaped void in our hearts. He's no Stella, but he'll do. And I'm sure we'll have some history too, someday.
Do you think it's actually too late for WoW to switch over to the "free-to-play" model?
I'm seeing so much buzz online about RIFT right now, and other games that have made the "switch"; also, it seems that no MMO can realistically release with a subscription (Wildstar being a possible holdout). But i think about WoW switching to F2P and wonder, "Would it bring people back? Would it actually entice any new players?" Content brings people back, at least for a while, but the sheer size and scope of WoW seems so intimidating that a switch to F2P would not have the appeal that a newer game would. And, of course, it would be met with wails and cries of "Final nail in the coffin, WoW is dead!"
I mean, it's not impossible, but in order to make that move, it would need to be proven that subscriptions aren't profitable anymore, which is demonstrably untrue. Blizzard reps have said this before. Any MMO launching with a subscription model in 2013 and beyond is doomed to failure or free-to-play, but WoW will likely be able to avoid going free-to-play for a few more years by momentum alone.