World of Warcraft won’t go free-to-play anytime soon, says Blizzard.
The first 20 levels of the popular subscription-based MMO can currently be played for free, and falling subscriber numbers have many speculating that a change of business model is coming.
However, speaking with Eurogamer at BlizzCon, production director J Allen Brack said that WoW wasn’t designed to be free-to-play.
"We would have to rework the game pretty significantly in order to make it free-to-play,” he said.
“It's not something we're currently considering."
Last week Blizzard boss Mike Morhaime announced that the game is down to around 7.6 million subscribers, but it’s still the most popular subscription-based MMO in the world, and Blizzard is investing more into its ongoing development than ever before.
"Player response to the content has been good, and we saw increased engagement that has contributed to maintaining relatively stable subscribership quarter-over-quarter," Morhaime said.
"We'll continue to invest heavily in World of Warcraft to deliver frequent, high-quality content to our players."
"But in terms of the content and developing, we have more resources focused on developing content for World of Warcraft than ever before. So we expect to continue having a long and happy life."
Newly-announced WoW expansion Warlords of Draenor has players time travel to the ancestral home of the orcs and the draenei.
It will increase the character level cap to 100, and bring fully revamped character models and animations to the aging MMO.
New Zones, Dungeons, Raids, Scenarios, and Battlegrounds, are expected.