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Blizzard makes WoW base game and expansions free to subscribers

New subs now only have to pay an extra fee for the latest expansion, Battle For Azeroth

Blizzard will no longer charge subscribers for the World of Warcraft base game, or any of its expansion packs save for the upcoming Battle For Azeroth.

The Battle For Azeroth pre-patch went live today, and Blizzard has marked the occasion by adding an incentive for new subscribers. Starting now, it will no longer charge for the World of Warcraft base game when someone signs up to pay the $15 monthly fee.

In addition, subscribers will get free access to all of WoW's expansion pack right up to Legion, the last expansion that Blizzard launched. Battle For Azeroth is due for release on August 14, and subscribers will still have to pay $49.99 to play.

It has been almost three years since Activision Blizzard regularly updated WoW's official subscriber count, at which point the number had fallen to around 5.5 million.

However, the long-running MMO has typically seen renewed interest around the release of expansion packs. Warlord of Draenor, which was released in 2014, sold 3.3 million in 24 hours and pushed subs beyond 10 million - a huge spike, but one that ultimately proved to be short-lived.

Legion, which launched in 2016, also sold 3.3 million in a single day, but Activision Blizzard provided no insight about its impact on subscribers.

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Matthew Handrahan

Editor-in-Chief

Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.