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World of Warcaft and its future in today’s videogame industry

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World of Warcraft has been considered for many years as the undisputed leader in the MMO (Massive Multiplayer Online) business, but the situation with this genre of video games has changed quite a bit.

The WoW still dominates absolutely the MMORPG, but to stay in that position, WoW had to go to a change in its business model.

Blizzard’s colossal work was born in 2004, and he has known how to remain active until today thanks to the constant updates and various expansions that WoW receives.

Although this is not the first MMORPG in history, it quickly became the main reference in the genre, with a solid subscription system that generated million-dollar profits year after year.

Over time many other MMORPGs emerged that tried to dominate some share of the MMORPG market, but these were rather overshadowed by the enormous financial success of World of Warcraft.

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Image by Sean Do on Unsplash

However, in recent years, a variant of MMOs has begun to gain a lot of ground, that variant is made up of games with the model Free-to-Play, i.e. Online videogames that can be played for free, without paying a monthly fee.

The business is in the microtransactions that are performed within these games, in the purchase of advantages such as weapons, accessories and other additional content.

The free game system generated many doubts at first, but now, it has reached a colossal success in the videogame industry. With important exponents of MMORPG Free-to-Play as Age of Connan, or The Elder Scrolls Online, this model has been growing in popularity, until reaching the current success.

For this reason, many major MMORPGs have abandoned the subscription model and have begun to opt for Free-to-Play, as is the case of The Lord of the Rings Online.

Obviously, Blizzard has realized this, so they decided to use in World of Warcraft, a business model that includes some elements of Free-to-Play, but keeping its monthly subscription model.

This procedure was to make WoW a completely free game for all those who want to download it, but the game can only be enjoyed for free for a limited period of time.

When this trial period ends, the player must pay a monthly fee to level up their character. That model resulted in success, because players no longer needeed to spend money buying the game.

Warcraft is currently very successful, and with its new development (WoW Classic), it has managed to keep its community active.

Its resulting businesses, such as,the market for the sale and purchase of WoW Classic gold, which works through various websites where players can buy World of Warcraft Classic gold online, is also successful.

But despite WoW’s longstanding success, many specialists think that there is a good chance that this MMORPG will lose a large part of its success in a few years, as WoW has now lost millions of subscribers since its launch.

For that reason, many think that WoW should make the complete leap to Free-to-Play as well as take measures to stabilize the WoW gold market, or that Blizzard should decide to develop a new MMORPG (both options together are also valid). 

Having said all this, Blizzard should also be considered one of the most successful videogame developers of all.

Including its Free-to-Play: Overwatch game, Blizzard has managed to become one of the most successful MMOs of all time.

Blizzard knows exactly what to do, and whatever it decides to do with World of Warcraft, it is very likely to end in success.