Blizzard's Paul Sams Talks Free-to-Play and Giving Away Diablo III with WoW's Annual Pass
Speaking with GamesBeat at BlizzCon 2011, Blizzard COO Paul Sams revealed that the developer already has a team working on mobile and tablet apps and that could extend beyond their current library of games. But what might catch the attention of more players is that Sams stated about Blizzard's free-to-play stance. Sams listed some the things that can usually lead a game to adopt the free-to-play model such as declining subscribers and that under the right circumstances; Blizzard isn't opposed to the model.
So it certainly is possible, if we find ourselves in that circumstance, or if we come up with a game where we think thatÂs the right business model, the most appropriate for players to experience it. We donÂt have any opposition to the concept, itÂs just that at this point we havenÂt decided to make a game where that is the model. But that doesnÂt mean that we wonÂt.
Blizzard already has a free trial to level 20 for World of Warcraft, but could they expand upon that in the future? World of Warcraft has seen a steady decline of subscribers in recent months, but the 800lb gorilla is still raking in more than enough subscription dollars to make it a highly profitable subscription game.
Sams also talked about the recently announced World of Warcraft expansion, Mists of Pandaria, how Blizzard plans to lower the expansion barrier for new players and the decision to give a free copy Diablo III away with the World of Warcraft annual subscription.
We thought it would be a cool thing to have our players be able to experience that game without having to leave WoW. We really view it as a give-back to the players.