Some things never change; including Activision’s grasp upon the gaming industry’s udder, and it’s not going to be altered any time soon. Why? Because people like to socialise of course! Sitting at home raiding a dungeon whilst discussing what episode the Borg should’ve destroyed Voyager, is second to none, and Acitivision understand this. As such, they seem to be on a crusade to make WoW more accessible to the masses. In the 21st Century, no one likes to pay; in fact, we see it as quite an intrusion to be made to cough up our hard earned pennies. Piracy anyone?
Many people stay clear of the likes of WoW (Myself included) due to the subscription based service that some of just can’t justify. I could justify £8.99 on Microsoft Points, but £8.99 on one game monthly? That’s £107.88 per annum, and the big dogs know that the everyday consumer can’t continue like it, nor start for that matter. The introduction of ‘FreeTil20’ as it’s been nicknamed on the Blizzard Forums, is a clear jab at those of us who tread carefully when handing out card details. I for one may well look into the game more, but regardless of how long they give you; their aim is to hook you and reel you in like the money fish you are.
But how does this effect Activison?
WoW has had a drop of over 600,000 players since the last fiscal year, setting it on the course of concern (or the Guitar Hero path). As a result of this new ideology, there will inevitably be those who try and enjoy the game, paying the £107.88 a year, but in the long run Activison don’t lose money, merely gain. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if they make it impeccable easy to get to Lvl20, and then a David Vs. Goliath for 21 onwards.