Friday, October 21, 2011

WoW at $8 a month

How much does a MMORPG cost? If you think about it, this is obviously a trick question, because the price of any given MMORPG can change with time. For example Rift did cost $50 when it came out, but now costs $20. EVE Online has a promotion ongoing where you can play it for $4.95 per month. Many games give out free months if you refer a friend. It is in this context that I see the new World of Warcraft annual pass: Assuming that you would have bought Diablo 3 for $60 otherwise, the annual pass offers you a $5 per month price reduction on a World of Warcraft subscription for one year.

Obviously the annual pass is designed to keep up flagging subscriptions to World of Warcraft. And it might even increase the sales of Diablo 3, so it is win-win for Blizzard marketing. Promotions increase sales, and that is as true for a can of beans in your local supermarket as for World of Warcraft. But if we would interpret any promotion as a desperate sign of a failing company, we would need to conclude that all companies are soon to go bankrupt. Hey look, even Apple has promotions, they must be about to go under!

My wife has an active World of Warcraft subscription she wasn't about to cancel any time soon. And she wants to play Diablo 3 when it comes out. So signing up for the annual pass was an obvious decision. Me, I'm not currently subscribed to World of Warcraft, and I wasn't planning to play WoW before the next expansion comes out. So I gave the annual pass a pass, as to me that would just have increased the price of Diablo 3 from $59.99 to $155.88. I suggest you do a similar calculation of whether you are interested to effectively play WoW at $8 a month.

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