How World of Warcraft Classic Could Save the Franchise!
Mike Sanders / 6 months ago
World of Warcraft Classic Could Help Save a Flagging Franchise
At Blizzcon, we were treated to some pretty amazing announcements, but as a long-term fan of the game, in recent years I have found myself largely disenfranchised. Don’t get me wrong, largely speaking I have enjoyed the more recent expansions. However, at the same time, I find it to be more and more distant to the original version I loved so dearly.
At its height World of Warcraft peaked at over 12 million subscribers. Myself and at least half a dozen of my friends were included in that number. Since then, however, neither myself nor anyone I know is currently still subscribed. That might perhaps explain why it is currently in a downward spiral with just 5 million on the horizon according to Statista.
Despite the success of Legion, World of Warcraft subscribers continue to suffer.
Why though? I think it’s a combination of factors, but here are a few stabs.
- Disappointing expansions such as Pandaria.
- Blizzards endeavours to change classes, rather than innovate or improve. How many times have you had to completely relearn your trusted class at this point?
- The rise in subscription fee prices (I will get back to this)
- General stagnation
What, therefore, can be done to save the franchise? World of Warcraft Classic.
How can WoW Classic save the franchise?
Part of the Blizzcon announcements, aside from the new expansion, was World of Warcraft Classic. Finally, after years, Blizzard listened to the fans. Clearly, the success of non-authorised Vanilla servers such as Project Elysium should have given them a clue. Despite the free-to-play version being in crisis at the moment, the demand clearly is there.
WoW classic, if done correctly, could appeal to the millions of gamers, like myself, who left the series due to the simple fact that it no longer represented what we ‘signed up for’.
There is, however, one major factor that Blizzard must get right. The subscription price.
I do not think it’s any coincidence that since the subscription price was raised to £9.99 a month the figures have plummeted. At the time, I couldn’t believe it. To me, it made zero sense. If you are losing subscribers hand over fist, why would increasing the price help? It was the critical factor that caused the last of the people I knew still playing to quit. Ultimately it turned the ultimate casual gaming experience into a pay to play nightmare. Increasing the price caused those who only play 10 or so hours a month to think, is this really worth it anymore? They literally priced themselves out of the casual market.
I, therefore, offer Blizzard the opportunity not just to get us back playing, but also potentially save the franchise as a whole. LOWER THE SUBSCRIPTION PRICE.
If the marketing team at Blizzard has any sense. WoW Classic will be marketed at a lower subscription price to specifically target those of us who left. For £4.99 a month, for example, I would have no issue paying it each and every month for a casual return. In addition, I think Blizzard should do exactly the same with the new expansion. A price increase was completely the wrong move in my opinion and a drop would, in my opinion, get figures back up towards a stable 8-10 million.
What do you think? Would a lower subscription price tempt you back to WoW? – Let us know in the comments!