World of Warcraft expansions are released every two years and generally cost about $50. Additionally, to access the game players are required to pay a $15-per-month subscription fee.
Here's what the company can do to save the World of Warcraft.
Kill the monthly subscription fee. Much like the newspaper industry, where the monthly subscription fee was once a profit center, it's now a barrier that prevents the product from reaching the largest possible market. Create a soft paywall. Make the product available to everyone who has purchased the game at any point. The current model is to sell updated expansions every two years. Continue this practice. Sell the new expansion, and 'give' the base product away to all previous WoW customers.
Market to WoW's biggest fans. In 2014 Blizzard claimed over 100 million players played World of Warcraft over the past decade. Though the lofty number is propped up by duplicate or abandoned accounts, doubtless millions of paying customers have played the game since 2004. This is a massive market of prospective customers. At its peak in 2010, World of Warcraft claimed just over 12 million monthly subscribers. Today, fewer than 6 million subscribers remain. Converting a fraction of 100 million former players would repopulate the world with customers already comfortable spending money on the product.
Sell high-quality in-game purchases. Treat World of Warcraft like a platform. The game could be the App Store of gaming. Blizzard should adopt and improve on the free or buy-to-play model used by PC games like Guild Wars 2 and Blizzard's own Heroes of the Storm and Hearthstone. Continue to charge for the base game, expansions, cosmetic items, mounts, and level upgrades. In the Battle.net shop, Blizzard sells dozens of World of Warcraft-related virtual items. Offer a subscription fee for hardcore players. Give these premium customers access to subscriber-only servers, legacy server content, in-game level-boosts, and cosmetic items.
Remaster and market classic content in modules. With each biennial expansion patch, Blizzard designs map and quest regions for players to explore and team-focused player-versus-environment instanced challenges. Considerable time and money is invested in the development of raid and dungeon content, yet the content is deprecated every two years in favor of fresh content. WoW's first two expansions, the vanilla base game, the Burning Crusade, and Wrath of the Lich King, are game-industry classics. The content exists inside the modern game but not in a meaningful way. Sell modular components of the early content, like raids and dungeons. There is a market for this content. In the current game, old content is generally cast aside and forgotten. Instead, Blizzard should treat its legacy content like early Beatles records: genre defining classics.
Foster and grow the intellectual property. From World of Warcraft to Starcraft to Diablo, Blizzard's legacy is tied to games products grounded in character and story. The company must continue to push World of Warcraft out of gaming, into mainstream pop culture. The Warcraft movie was not a great film, but it was a step in the right direction. Transmedia storytelling is at the center of their marketing push for Overwatch, another Blizzard-owned property. If the strategy is successful, Blizzard could become the Disney of gaming.
Develop, then openly communicate a legacy plan for the game. Though the market for subscription-based massively multiplayer online games shifted, the World of Warcraft product remains strong. WoW consumers are loyal and have an emotional connection with the content. Don't make consumers guess about the future of the product.
How much is WoW a year?
The Annual Pass itself isn't a purchasable item, Royceweiss - it's a commitment to one year of World of Warcraft subscription. That means the cost can technically vary, depending on what method of payment you prefer to use. If you choose to pay by month, that means the cost will be USD$14.99 x 12.
How much is a 1 month subscription to WoW?
Three Plans to Choose From
USD 13.99/Month USD 41.97 billed every 3 months. Save USD 12.00/year.
USD 12.99/Month USD 77.94 billed every 6 months. Save USD 24.00/year.
How much does WoW cost to play?
First is the cost of WoW if you only pay the subscription fee. That would come to $179.88 a year if you pay the monthly $14.99. That's about $200 a year for a hobby that provides over 40 hours of entertainment a month.
Can you play World of Warcraft for free?
World of Warcraft is not fully free to play just yet, but if you're determined, you cannow sustain your subscription using in-game gold rather than real-life currency. Many say playing WoW is like a full-time job, but now, at least, it's a full-time job that pays for itself.