World of Warcraft has had six expansions over its 14-year history with a seventh one on the way next month. Players have always had to pay the subscription fee along with the price of the expansion in order to delve into the new content each time. While this doesn’t affect the future expansions (for now), all currently released World of Warcraft expansions will now be included in the base game for all subscribers. This does not include Battle for Azeroth, which comes out on August 14.
This does, however, mean The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor, and Legion will all come standard in subscriptions from now on. The listing on the official website states that subscribers will get “access to World of Warcraft and every expansion through Legion with your subscription” with “no additional purchase required.” All subscribers can also now play up to level 110, while free trials still only last until level 20.
This customer-friendly decision is obviously trying to attract new players and bring back lapsed fans. It also makes sense given that Battle for Azeroth requires that players also own Legion, the previous expansion that was released in August 2016.
This strategy sets an interesting precedent going forward. By including old expansions, Blizzard is showing that it is open to giving away older premium content. If this just the first step in this initiative, then it’ll be interesting to see how much time will have to pass for World of Warcraft expansions to be given away to subscribers.
Blizzard recently finished up the process of pre-patching World of Warcraft for Battle for Azeroth. It added class updates, War Mode and PvP updates, Cross-realm communities, and much more. In order to prepare players for the changes, Blizzard made a guide detailing the changes coming in the pre-patch.