Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
Blizzard raises WoW monthly fee to $20

Starting from today the monthly subscription fee for playing World of Warcraft in North America has been raised to $19.99 if you pay month by month, $18.99 per month if you pay per 3 months, and $17.99 if you pay per 6 months. Reasons given by Blizzard are rising cost, especially for energy, and the weak dollar. Due to the latter the monthly subscription rates for Europeans rise by only 1 Euro, to €13.99 / € 12.99 / € 11.99.

I really don't see why this was necessary. World of Warcraft made $520 million of profit in 2007 on revenue of $1.1 billion. Did they really need to raise their profit margin to over 50%? I can only conjecture that this in a reaction to the announcement of Mark Jacobs that WAR might well cost more than $15 per month. People get an impression that something which is more expensive is also more valuable, and thus it would make sense for Blizzard to try to have the most expensive MMORPG on the market.

A reader provided me with an excellent link explaining the economic theory behind choosing a price. In this case the math is simple: even if half a million of the 2.5 million North American subscribers leave because of the price increase, the remaining 2 millions times $20 is still more than 2.5 millions times $15, so Blizzard is making more money, while reducing cost and server load. And by doing the price increase half a year or so before the next expansion, Blizzard has a good chance of regaining many of the people who quit now when WotLK comes out.

So even voting with your feet won't get Blizzard's attention this time, it's already accounted for. So I think the only course of action we have is to swamp the official forums and protest in the strongest possible language that won't get you banned. This is a capitalistic monopolistic outrage, and we shouldn't let them get away with it!!!
If this is an April fools joke, I'll be leaving this blog, not WoW.
Man, at first I was overjoyed; I had signed up for another 3 months just yesterday. So I went to the official page to check out the newspost, figured it was late, then went to the forums to gloat. I had about half of a New Topic written down when it clicked.

You got me!
Hello, Tobold!

Although we at Blizzard had no prior intention of increasing the price of the World of Warcraft subscription, we see wisdom in your reader's analysis. We have discussed the matter internally, and will be implementing the changes to the pricing schedule immediately. Stand by for the official announcement at


Mike Morhaime
CEO Blizzard Inc.

P.S. Since Warhammer Online has been delayed, nothing shall stand in our way! Muhahaha!
Mike you're fired. It is against your contract to comment in public media without approval.

Jean-René Fourtou
Activision Blizzard

PS: Hello Tobold, bon travail!

you fell in our trap. WAR is released effectively May 1st. We thank you for giving us a chance to regain your lost customers.

John Riccitiello
CEO Electronic Arts Software

P.S.: At a whooping $9.99 WAR will be 50% cheaper while giving 100% more satisfaction.
P.P.S.: By signing up a WAR account, subscription to forthcoming expansions (which are slated around $79.99) is compulsory.
Got me!
Good for .5 seconds lol, nicely done. If I hadn't just been reading a list of Top 10 office April Fools jokes it may have got me longer lol.
Energy cost? I should have known instead of using wires to have them drive the bits over to my house would bite me in the end. It looked like a good deal at the time.
Har har
Almost as good as the "Frozen Jihad" one that actually turned out to be correct.

If Blizzard actually does increase the cost I'm flying to Belgium for a nice long chat about responsible use of April Fool's Predictions.
Nicely done, Tobold!

By the way, the link to pricing strategy was WELL worth the momentary panic =).
If Blizzard actually does increase the cost I'm flying to Belgium for a nice long chat about responsible use of April Fool's Predictions.

OMG, still laughing at this Relmstein...

I heard that Blizzard is sending 1/2 of each $5 to Tobold?

(good AF's Day prank, Tobold) you know what it is like coming here and seeing this post on April 2nd?

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