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With Mists of Pandaria looming on its horizon, World of Warcraft will likely continue as the #1 MMO on the planet for a good while yet. Still, it seems prudent for Blizzard to contemplate ways to keep it on top, one of which is opening up new F2P elements and expanding the real money marketplace. See why we think so in our latest edition of the WoW Factor.
Here’s what I’m proposing, nay betting, Blizzard will do in time: Instead of a straight up “freemium” hybrid model, Blizzard should open up all of WoW’s 1-60 content for free, populating the now long-stagnant lower level areas, and monetize it with various cosmetic and convenience items. Hell, the monetization is already there with the plethora of extras you can buy on Battle.net, so why not add in a “Bazaar” to the UI and let people spend their Blizzard monies, perhaps even what has been earned in Diablo 3, on WoW trinkets and baubles to fluff up their experience? And then, once players have hit 60, offer them reduced price upgrades to further expansion content, and require subscriptions for anything Outlands and beyond. You already give players unrestricted access to the 1-20 game, why not add the last 40 levels and help keep the lower half of the leveling content populated?
Read more of Bill Murphy's The WoW Factor: Should Azeroth be F2P to 60?