Blizzard investigating mobile and free-to-play

Open to concepts, but no promises from COO Paul Sams

Blizzard chief operating officer Paul Sams has revealed that the World Of Warcraft developer has teams already working on mobile and tablet, and the company would consider making its titles free-to-play.

"We do have a group within the organization that's focusing on mobile and tablet apps," Sams told GamesBeat.

"Thus far it's been around our games. But that does not mean that we won't go there in the future."

He spoke specifically about the success of the company's existing apps, the mobile WoW auction house for example, but said that gameplay had to be the biggest consideration.

"When we're deciding what games to make next, it's based upon figuring out what the gameplay experience is, what the game is," he explained.

"Then we decide what platform is most appropriate for it. So if the answer is mobile or tablet, when we're having those conversations, we'll definitely go there."

Sams also discussed the free-to-play business model as possible way to prolong the life of Blizzard's current slate of MMOs, if one started to see a massive decline in subscriptions.

"It certainly is possible, if we find ourselves in that circumstance, or if we come up with a game where we think that's the right business model, the most appropriate for players to experience it."

"We don't have any opposition to the concept, it's just that at this point we haven't decided to make a game where that is the model. But that doesn't mean that we won't."

Blizzard recently held its annual Blizzcon event, where it announceda new WoW expansion and an annual subscription service.

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