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Blizzard: No plan to raise World of Warcraft's free-to-play cap above level 20

'There are a lot of things we want to reserve for paying customers'

Blizzard will not extend the World of Warcraft free-to-play limit beyond level 20, the game's producer has told CVG.

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John Lagrave said that new players are given "a good sense of what our game is" in the free-to-play segment.

In June last year the company introduced a free Starter Edition of its immensely popular MMO, which gives customers access to its first twenty levels at no charge. Players will need to subscribe to progress further into the game.

But with World of Warcraft's popularity falling from 13 to 9 million subscribers, it was questioned whether Blizzard should open more of the game to be free in order to retain more customers.

In July, Electronic Arts announced that its rival MMO, The Old Republic, would essentially adopt a free-to-play model entirely. It is believed the game had fewer than one million active users before the freemium mode was established.

But Lagrave didn't appear to advocate the policy. Asked if World of Warcraft would be free beyond level 20, he said:

"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. There's also a lot of things in the game that are special that we want to reserve for our paying customers."

He added that the studio has "slid some of the pay-for features into the first 20 Levels".

Lagrave's comments were made in a new interview with CVG.

'Mists of Pandaria' will be the latest expansion to the World of Warcraft series. The Mists of Pandaria release date is set for September 15.

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