World of Warcraft's lead producer John Lagrave spoke briefly to CVG pertaining to any plans Blizzard might be considering to extend Blizzard's free-to-play Starter Edition. Basically a demo, the Starter Edition allows potential players to download the client and play World of Warcraft up to level 20, along with a number of other limitations. With the Pandaria expansion just around the corner and its increased level cap of 95, perhaps only 20 levels isn't representative of the full game anymore. Lagrave, however, felt differently.
In response, here are Lagrave's thoughts on the current level 20 cap in World of Warcraft's Starter Edition:
"You know, we looked at it lots, we looked at whether Level 20 would give you a good sense of what our game is, and we think it does. We've definitely slid some of the pay-for features into the first 20 Levels.
But there's also a lot of things in the game that are special that we want to reserve for our paying customers."
In other words, Blizzard has no intention of exploring any sort of free-to-play systems beyond the extremely basic Starter Edition -- basically a demo -- that's currently available. And why not? "Going free-to-play" is synonymous with everything going to hell. With World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria on the verge of release and the largest MMO subscriber base in the world, Blizzard has not need to concern themselves with a worst-case-scenario.
Thusly, World of Warcraft subscribers can be content that what they're paying for will remain exclusive to them, and the haters can go using the subscription as an excuse not to try one of the most popular games ever created. All's well that ends well, right?