World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Beta Launches, Free-to-Play Model Not Likely

World Of Warcraft Cataclysm

Free-to-play MMOs are everywhere; with free-to-play MMOs such as Lord of the Rings Online, Dungeons and Dragons Online, and Company of Heroes it really was inevitable that Blizzard (the king of the MMO) would eventually take notice. PC Gamer recently had a talk with Tom Chilton, World of Warcraft's Lead Designer, and they were able to stir up some interesting news for WoW fans -- it could be made free.

Tom was chatting about free-to-play MMOs and how they were all the rage nowadays and he mentioned that it may "not make sense for us to have a subscription fee." Sounds good to me, we wouldn't be mad if we saved a few extra bucks a month.

“I feel like they’re doing that to compete with other games that are on a similar subscriber level to what they were at. I imagine that when one of them went free to play it cannibalized some of the other subscribers. I can definitely imagine that being the case with World of Warcraft. If another game comes along and blows us away it may not make sense for us to have a subscription fee. Or even further down the line, when we have another MMO out.”

It's a cool concept, but most of the free-to-play MMOs charge money for in-game items, which if you care to recall Blizzard has already done with an extremely high-grossing mount. Overall, I think that it would be cool if Blizzard decided to take this route, but I doubt Activision would stand for that because the subscription fees are basically pure profit. In other words, for now it's wishful thinking, but I doubt we will see this for awhile... at least until World of Starcraft comes out.

In other World of Warcraft news the beta for the long awaited Cataclysm add-on officially started yesterday for a select few that signed up with their accounts. Sounds pretty cool, but I bet a few of you are freaking out because you didn't score an invite. Well, stop worrying because apparently Blizzard hasn't sent out any invites yet according to and a new CM name Lylirra.

A question was posed to Lylirra regarding the serious lack of invites and she responded with the following:

"We're still in the process of selecting accounts and ensuring that they're properly flagged for beta access. We've not yet sent out any invitation emails, though. So, you may want to check your registered email address periodically during the next 24 hours to see if you've been invited to the Cataclysm beta, or simply keep an eye on the "Manage My Games" section of your Account Management page ( If you've been selected to participate, you'll definitely be notified in one of those two areas."

So if you haven't gotten an invite yet relax, because they are still pumping them out. The servers are live on Cataclysm, so it's only a matter of time my friends.

Those of you who are among first to get in the beta should let Game Rant know how it's going in the comment section below. And for those of you who are maybe a little bummed that you didn't get in can poor out all of your disappointment and broken dreams on our shoulder, we won't judge.

How would you feel about no longer paying for WoW? Are you excited for the upcoming Cataclysm add-on?

Sources: PC Gamer and

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