GamesBeat

How Blizzard is trying to coax back old World of Warcraft players with the next expansion

World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor.

Above: World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor.

Image Credit: Blizzard

World of Warcraft’s next expansion is due out soon, and Blizzard is making it as easy as possible for lapsed players to get back into the massively multiplayer online game.

Warlords of Draenor is the next big addition to World of Warcraft. To encourage players to pick up another expansion for the popular, and long-running MMO, Blizzard is going to offer a shortcut to all players who prepurchase the add-on.

“To get everyone straight to the action, when you buy the expansion, it will come with a boost to level 90 for one character on your WOW account,” reads a Blizzard development blog.

World of Warcraft has lost subscribers over the last few years. It has approximately 7.6 million monthly paying members. That’s down from a high of 12 million in 2010. Blizzard wants to stop the bleeding, since WOW makes up a huge chunk of its revenue and has done so since the game debuted in 2004.

One of the ways to get old subscribers to come back to the game is to make things easier for returning players. The studio is doing that by offering players who prepurchase the downloadable content a way to upgrade a dormant character to level 90 with the push of a button. This gives players the chance to experience the new Warlords of Draenor content immediately without having to slog through older sections of the game.

The expansion increases the game’s level cap to 100.

Blizzard is preparing to test out the auto-leveling tool soon on its public test realm, and it plans to have an official release date for the new content in the near future. The developer also revealed that the prepurchase version of the expansion should go on sale soon.

As usual, in addition to the standard expansion, Blizzard will sell a physical Deluxe edition, a Digital Deluxe Edition, and a physical Collector’s edition of Warlords of Draenor.

“If you prepurchase the Digital Deluxe edition, you’ll get your exclusive World of Warcraft pet and mount right away, allowing you to bring a little bit of Draenor past into Azeroth present,” reads Blizzard’s blog.

Warlords of Draenor will have players traveling through time. The developer is re-creating older parts of the game with updated graphics as part of the story. Draenor follows the events of Mists of Pandaria, which was the last expansion, and takes place in the homeland of the Orcs.

This is the fifth expansion and the first since September 2012.

 

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Activision (Activision Blizzard) is an American video game developer and publisher headquartered in Santa Monica, CA, but now operating worldwide. It was the first independent developer and distributor of video games for gaming console... read more »

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