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World of Warcraft on Game Pass: How Would It Work?

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Probably the biggest and most talked about and asked for (WoW-related) topic of conversation after yesterday’s bombshell Microsoft to buy Activision Blizzard news has been how WoW will actually work with Game Pass. While nothing has been anno…

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Probably the biggest and most talked about and asked for (WoW-related) topic of conversation after yesterday's bombshell Microsoft to buy Activision Blizzard news has been how WoW will actually work with Game Pass. While nothing has been announced officially, we wanted to take a look at how exactly this could work, what the best case and the most likely scenarios might be. From the official Microsoft announcement it's clear that most, if not all Activision Blizzard games are coming to Game Pass:

Upon close, we will offer as many Activision Blizzard games as we can within Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass, both new titles and games from Activision Blizzard’s incredible catalog. - Phil Spencer, Microsoft Gaming CEO

The "as many as we can" part stands out there, as there are probably too many variables with all the Activision Blizzard games to just instantly say "all of them are coming", but World of Warcraft certainly stands out as unique looking from the outside. WoW's subscription fee puts it apart from all the rest, and it's definitely the biggest question mark when it comes to Game Pass integration, as it's pretty safe to assume most if not all other Activision Blizzard games will be coming to it eventually. With WoW, it's not as simple as saying that it is or isn't coming to Game Pass, as there are actually quite a few ways it can be implemented on the platform.

The first thing to mention is that we're talking about the PC Game Pass specifically (for now at least, console WoW is a whole other topic), and so far there have been no games on there that require an additional payment in order to play (at least that I could find). This leaves us with three potential likely outcomes when it comes to WoW on the platform, so let's take a look, starting from best to worst case from a player perspective.

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1. WoW Is Completely Free on Game Pass

This would be the holy grail for both current and new players. The game would be playable with just the Game Pass subscription alone, without any additional fees - you would get the new expansions for free and wouldn't have to pay any additional subscription cost.

I have to say that while this one would be really great from a player perspective, it really seems very unlikely, as the sheer amount of money WoW generates from its subscription would be a huge thing to give up, especially after the $70 billion spent. For context, the Game Pass currently costs $9.99 a month (with the first month for $1), which is actually significantly cheaper than WoW's cheapest subscription, as the 6-month one comes out to $12.99 per month. Game Pass is quickly becoming something that makes less and less sense not to have for gamers in general, so it's a pretty good assumption that a lot of the WoW playerbase has it/is going to get it at some point even without the WoW sub being free on there, so I really doubt this one is happening, unfortunately. If this were to happen, however, it would be a HUGE move by Microsoft and would grow WoW's playerbase a tremendous amount, as the game would become a lot cheaper for those that don't have Game Pass yet, and completely free for those that already do.

My main concern here would be that this model, due to it losing Microsoft a LOT of money by default, would encourage heavier microtransactions in the game, and since the WoW community is generally not fond of these already, might cause problems. I doubt we'd see new types of purchases becoming available (like actual pay to win stuff), but the current offering (mounts, pets, toys etc.) would get a lot bigger. Personally I wouldn't mind this at all and it would be the best outcome, but again, I very much doubt it will happen.

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2. WoW Subscription Stays, but Most Likely Discounted

This one might be a little weird but it's the one I find most likely. WoW expansions would still be free so you wouldn't have to buy them, but there would still be a subscription fee - just not the same amount we have today. Since you'd need to pay both the Game Pass and WoW subscriptions, I think there would be a significant discount on the WoW side, up to 50% probably. The two subscriptions added would be bigger than WoW's alone is today, but not by much, and the value would still be pretty huge as you'd either be getting access to all the other games on Game Pass if you're not a subscriber already, or you'd be getting a discount on the WoW subscription (and free expansions) if you are.

The problem with this is that there's nothing like it on the Game Pass at the moment (that I could find) and would require a new payment option for the platform. The idea of having to put an * next to the "play hundreds of games for free" might be too much for Microsoft to bear just for WoW, however, so this would definitely be the weirdest option. It's not like there's no precedent for it though, as plenty of non-gaming subscription services have additional payment options to access more content, most notably with video streaming services with sports events and some movies. I do think it's unlikely that Microsoft simply keep the existing subscription and put WoW on Game Pass anyway, as there might be some community outcry there, so this would be a solid middle-ground solution.

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3. No WoW On Game Pass

The simplest option, Microsoft simply decide it's not worth the headache of having a subscription-based game on a subscription service. Nothing happens and WoW's payment model remains the same.

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While I'm sure there are other permutations and options, these 3 are the most likely, and if I had to guess I'd go for number 2, despite it being the most complex and tricky one. I really don't see Microsoft giving up on the giant amounts of money coming from the WoW subscription entirely, but they may surprise me. The idea of WoW suddenly becoming 50+% cheaper AND players getting the entire Game Pass library along with that is certainly a tantalizing one, not to mention what it could do for the game's population, so let's all hope I'm wrong!


What do you think will happen with WoW and Game Pass? Is there a more likely scenario that I missed?

Source: News Latest Topics https://www.icy-veins.com/forums/topic/63703-world-of-warcraft-on-game-pass-how-would-it-work/

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