Rumors of Blizzard’s new MMORPG have leaked! The folks behind World of Warcraft have been working on a new MMORPG that’s rumored to be free to play.
(Press Release) – Aug 29, 2009 – Breaking News — Rumors of Blizzard’s new MMORPG have leaked! Blizzard Entertainment, the folks behind the enormously popular fantasy MMORPG World of Warcraft, have been working on a new MMORPG for the last few years now. Blizzard even confirmed that they were working on a new MMO back during the Burning Crusade London Launch event when Itzik Ben Bassat, the vice president of development, said “When we announce our next MMORPG it’s not going to be another WOW–we’re not a company that tends to tread the same ground,”. He also added that this new MMO would “…be something innovative and new that really brings entertainment to another level.”
Since Blizzard announced that they’re working on a new MMORPG, the internet has been rife with speculation about the project. According to the rumors we’ve heard the new MMORPG may be free to play. We have confirmation from several sources that there have been serious discussions about implementing a free to play model with optional micro transactions but until an official announcement is made, this story remains a rumor
It wouldn’t be an unprecedented move if Blizzard’s new MMO really were free to play. More and more major game publishers are jumping on the ‘free to play’ bandwagon. Electronic Arts for example just recently entered the free to play market with their online MMOFPS Battlefield Heroes and strategy game BattleForge. Sony has had enormous success with their free MMORPG ‘Free Realms’. Many prominent individuals in the gaming industry have already praised the ‘free to play’ model as the future of gaming. Peter Moore, the current CEO of Electronic Arts, has already stated that free-to-play was absolutely “the future of where our key franchises are going”. Many old pay to play games have already gone free to play including RF Online and ArchLord with Chronicles of Spellborn confirmed to go free to play by next year. Funcom’s Age of Conan is also rumored to go free to play soon.
All I can think is that the free to download and play MMOs on the market are starting to match the premium subscription based MMOs feature for feature? Most likely the future of online role playing games will go the way of F2P and then cost us only for special items and features to those who want to pay for them and yet still allow for a massive community.