WoW may go free-to-play in China

According to a news story on RedlineChina, The9 -- publisher of Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft in China -- is currently in talks with Blizzard to offer WoW as a free-to-play game in China. This is rather surprising news to hear, especially after The9's Q3 sales report where the company had net revenue of $42.2m -- due almost entirely to World of Warcraft. That said, the company is also barely scraping by on profits because of increasing operating costs for the game. The increased costs are primarily due to the use of high-quality HP server farms to support its popularity in China.

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20 Comments

If they do that, then every other WoW player in the world will start complaining and want it to be free in their region. It will come back to bite Blizzard in the butt.

I think pay-to-play games are a rip-off anyway. You buy the game from the store for 20 to 30 buks. Then you have to pay each month to play the game at all. Unless you turn your system into your very own private server that only you can play on.

well xbox live do that and i dont see anyone complaining for paying a multiplayer game...

anyways free to play its always better

wait... due to rising costs of maintaining servers they want to offer it for free... because offering it for free will bring them in so much revenue to pay for those servers.

Does that make sense to anyone?

Or by offering it for free they can put them out on to servers they don't have to maintain? is that what they are trying to get at?

I'm just as confused as you are. There seems to be a flaw in someones logic here...

Maybe offering it for free means that they do not need to provide technical support to the users or something along those lines. I dunno...

i bet they would do some sort of in game advertising if this ever went through

it would be funny seeing billboards plastered all over the place

There's always a catch; it probably means they will then be able to drop support or something similar saving in other areas.

I quit WoW like 3 months ago and sold my account. I miss that kind of game, I want a new popular game thats free to play, hopefully guildwars 2 will fulfill that need but who knows. I just won't and don't want to get back into WoW.

I'm in the same boat mate. At university now and although I miss WoW, the idea of going back to that addiction scares me.

I would have to say bye to real life once more!

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