How smart of a business decision would this be for Blizzard? The makers of World of Warcraft enjoyed a real heyday a few years ago when their subscribers were through the roof but, somewhere along the way, people got disillusioned during the expansions and left the game in droves. They’ve had a few things boost their numbers recently but nothing lasting and/or significant but, it seems, they’ve discovered an important and potentially lucrative opportunity.
Warcraft, a film based on characters from the game, is set to hit theaters this summer and an email that has been sent out by Blizzard suggests that they might give movie-goers a little added incentive to try or return to WoW.
Dubbed the World of Warcraft: Ultimate Movie Edition, the deal would allow those who purchase a ticket to see the movie to also pick up a copy of the game, complete with all the expansions (prior to Legion, of course, which will be released later this year), free of charge. They’d also get an in-game special item (I’m guessing a mount or some pet, as usual) and a whole month of free play time! That’s huge!
Honestly, the best trial that is usually offered only lasts a week and that’s not nearly enough time to get someone “hooked” on the game. After a month, a player has probably found friends (maybe even joined a guild), has some idea about gameplay, has leveled a character out of the starter zones and has a better idea of what they are doing. It’s much harder to leave the game at that point.
While this promotion could boost game subscribers, it might also pay off at the box-office. People who have been curious about the game (or who want to return or who have friends that want to try but can’t afford to invest, etc…) might pay for a movie ticket just to get the perks, even if they weren’t planning to see the actual film. Really, it could be a win-win situation! This is marketing at its finest.
Warcraft will be released in theaters on June 10, 2016. Are you planning to see it? I still haven’t decided!