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Blizzard's Pardo: World Of Warcraft Originally Planned As Free-To-Play

Talking as part of a keynote Q&A at the Paris Game Developers Conference, Blizzard SVP Rob Pardo has been discussing the history of world-leading MMO World Of Warcraft, revealing the game was originally planned as a free-to-play title.
Talking as part of a keynote Q&A at the Paris Game Developers Conference, Blizzard SVP Rob Pardo has been discussing the history of world-leading MMO World Of Warcraft, revealing the game was originally planned as a free-to-play title. Speaking as part of an in-depth conversation with GDC executive director Jamil Moledina, Pardo commented: “When were first going to make World of Warcraft, we wanted to make it free and advertising supported.” However, the Blizzard exec noted: “We didn’t want to charge a subscription, but as we researched market conditions, we realized that wouldn’t support us.” Elsewhere in the talk, Pardo discussed how the firm powered forward into the MMO genre with the PC MMO. He quipped: “Very naively, or else we might not have done it.” Early inspirations were Ultima Online, and then Everquest - but Blizzard felt they could see the elements that made those games less accessible. The full Pardo conversation at GDC Paris is now available on Gamasutra, including the Blizzard exec thoughts on a whole host of major issues, from user-generated content through the Activision/Vivendi merger and beyond.

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