World of Warcraft has seen is subscriber base diminish over the past couple of years from its peak of 12 million. World of Warcraft senior producer John Lagrave said there are multiple factors leading to the decline in player-base.
“We certainly do look at [where WoW players go], and we have a very smart bunch of guys who do our analytics for us,” said Lagrave.”Of course people are trying Star Wars – our development teams are trying Star Wars! I’m one of the few people who are still playing it actually, but yeah we’ve seen a dip in subs. It certainly has to at least be attributable to The Old Republic, but it’s also attributable to people who want to wait and get Mists of Pandaria, so it’s not surprising. Are they going elsewhere Yes they are. We don’t have a lock on all the best games in the world – Skyrim was an amazing game.”
Right now, World of Warcraft is free-to-play until level 20, though that could change. “We could certainly look at extending the level of the trial,” Lagrave mulled, “what you can do in the trial in terms of the amount of gold that you can have and all that kind of stuff.
“There’s a fair amount that you can experience up to level 20, because you really get most of the core systems in by that point. But we can absolutely say, ‘Hey, why don’t we make it level 40 ‘ ‘Why don’t we make it level 60 ‘, do we let you at least experience the old world It’s all possible. Right now, no, but that’s all absolutely on the table.”
Still, Blizzard is not thinking in free-to-play terms for World of Warcraft just yet. “Right now we’re very happy with the subscription system with World of Warcraft,” Lagrave said. “We think it works very well. Mike [Morhaime] talks about the value we give you for that price-point, and that’s a fairly legitimate statement. Certainly a very cheap form of entertainment. So yeah, we’re comfortable with the subscription system. I won’t say never on that, but gosh not now and it’s been seven years! You’d think we’d have gotten there before now, so I don’t think so.”