The whole article can be found here, but I was mainly interested in this part of it:
Tom Chilton: I certainly think it’s possible that we could do some kind of micro-transaction stuff. Whether or not World of Warcraft ever goes the direction of, I guess like Anarchy Online has gone the direction of going free-to-play with micro-transactions. Whether we ever shift to a free-to-play model is really too hard to say at this point. Anything I say now could easily five years from now end up seeming like, oh my gosh, that was an incredibly dumb thing to say, how naive!Of course I can now speculate on if Blizzard really has a timeline set out already for the game to be phased out (ack, scary thought! think positive, think positive, WoW will go on till I'm done...ah, better!).
But what did get me thinking is how our World of Warcraft could possibly look like today if it hadn't been pay to play all this time.
First of all I wonder if it would even still exist. There's only a few out there within this genre who are managing it, and none of them is even close to the size of player base that World of Warcraft has.
But lets say it would still be around...
I think we would be at least one expansion behind, and the game would look less pretty as well. Blizzard has some of the top-designers in the world on their payroll and these guys don't work for peanuts (though with how some of the new tier gear, looks I do wonder where those spikes on the shoulders keep coming from).
I was completely against pay to play before I started playing WoW. But having seen the game, and the fact that they keep bringing patch after patch of new content, I can see where the money is going, and it's worth it.
This game is brilliant to play, and brilliant to already just look at. I just cannot imagine anybody being able to get it set up like this and not charge a monthly fee.
The other thing that would be different is the type of players playing this game. And also the type of players being the top-geared players. Since skill would have far less to do with it, it would get people who have a large enough income, but no skill, easily in very nice gear....and possibly even gear that you just cannot get without real money.
Imagine /trade like this..and places like Amazon and Ebay would flow over with WoW stuff, well...more than they already do now then.
The content would be far more player driven as well. Since those who pay for the designer's wages do sort of have a pretty loud voice in what's getting done I can imagine.
I read the Greedy Goblin, and the way he bought himself into a guild, players would now be buying themselves into just about everything. I'm not sure if I like that thought, at all >_<
Would you play?
B-Rab commented on my earlier post, and I have to agree with him on the flappers. I would not gladly pay 50 or 60 bucks for my mount.
I don't agree with him on how fast Blizzard will phase out this game, however. Even though some people might seem to get tired with it, the game is more alive then ever (not counting China atm..).
And by the time we do actually get to be level 100, I'm sure Blizzard has found a way to make it much easier on new players to get there.
But how about you, would you play if you had to pay for...lets say each patch?