As syncaine from Hardcore Casual so correctly remarks, some people are avoiding the Wrath of the Lich King beta because they fear if they play the beta, they will have seen most of the content before the expansion is even out. My WotLK beta is up and running, but as I said I plan to use the beta to play the deathknight I might not want to play in the release version. But I completely share the fears that the total amount of content in Wrath of the Lich King will not be sufficient to last until Blizzard manages to bring out the third expansion.
And with WAR and other interesting games looming at the horizon, I foresee me playing World of Warcraft on and off. New expansion or large content patch comes out, I play for a couple of months, then take a break for a couple of months to play something else. I pretty much already did that with The Burning Crusade.
The only problem in that mode is having to cancel and reactivate your account all the time. How annoying! What I'd really need is a World of Warcraft lifetime subscription for $200, which would allow me to play WoW whenever I want, without having to bother with my subscription status. Wouldn't that be a good idea? Even for Blizzard it might be a good plan. WotLK is probably going to come out this year, with the bulk of the sales being in 2008. But as they probably won't be able to make another expansion before 2010, their earnings in 2009 will be lower than usual, and investors don't like that. So why not launch a lifetime subscription option in 2009, and thus carry forward future earnings. After all, WoW is 4 years old now, and you can't really say with certainty that all the 10 million players are going to be playing this for more than $200 worth of monthly fees. Better grab the money now, while the game is still hot.
If you are paying for WoW right now, would you be buying a lifetime subscription for $200 early next year?