Massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG) World of Warcraft has long been the standout model of subscription business models in the gaming world: around 11.4 million people are currently paying $12 a month to play the game, while its recent Cataclysm expansion pack generated $188 million of additional boxed retail sales in its first month. But here’s the thing: the game’s publisher Blizzard Entertainment is joining the freemium bandwagon, announcing that new WoW players will now be able to play the game for free until their character reaches level 20, at which point they’ll have to start paying the subscription. The new model replaces previous free trials which were always time-limited to 48 hours or one week. Now, players can play at their own pace, with the theory clearly being that if they enjoy the game enough to reach level 20, they’ll be happy to start paying. A leaf out of Spotify’s book, you could say… Source: VentureBeat

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