Free Diablo 3 with 12 Months of WoW – Recap

As revealed at Blizzcon, there’s a nice promotional offer for World of Warcraft players. Agree to purchase 12 more months of WoW and get Diablo III for free. The deal is only valid for past or present WoW subscribers (you had to have a WoW account as of October 18th), but if you are one, it’s a pretty sweet deal. You can even buy the DiabloWikiDiablo 3 Collector’s Edition instead of taking the digital download, and get 4 months of free WoW (a $60 value) with that purchase.

The official news is here, and you can read more details official news is here. You also get a new Tyrael styled horse and access to the Kung Fu Panda beta test, once it begins. Where will you find time to play Diablo III with all that?

For a limited time only, players who make a 12-month subscription commitment to World of Warcraft through the WoW Annual Pass will receive the following epic rewards:

  • Diablo III FREE – Download the digital version via for free when the game launches early next year. This is the full game, not a trial edition.
  • Tyrael’s Charger WoW Flying Mount – Ride for the Archangel of Justice on all current and future characters on a single World of Warcraft account. Tyrael’s Charger will arrive via in-game mail with the upcoming launch of patch 4.3.
  • Access to the Next WoW Expansion Beta Test – Get a guaranteed spot in the beta test for the next World of Warcraft expansion (at a time to be announced in the future).

We’ve long seen speculation about how Blizzard was going to avoid having their WoW subscription base gutted by the release of Diablo III, and this seems like a pretty clever counter to that threat. I don’t know if it’ll work; I asked two former WoW players if this offer and the upcoming Panda-pack was going to entice them to resub, and they said no. But it seems like a no-brainer for anyone playing WoW now and not planning to quit. I’d assume it will work the other way too; encouraging WoW players who are curious about Diablo III to give it a try, since they can do so essentially for free.

It’s a risk for Blizzard, though. Say 1m WoW players take them up on this… that’s $60m in free copies of Diablo III. Even to Bobby, that’s getting up towards being real money. True, not all of those players would have bought D3 otherwise, and probably a fair number would have canceled their WoW subs and played D3 exclusively, but I’m sure at least a few hundred thousand WoW players were going to buy D3 on top of Wow, and Blizzard just gave all of those people $60.

It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out, though I doubt Blizzard will publicly release any figures on how many people take them up on this offer. I wonder if there will be a similar offer for the Diablo III expansion(s) when they arrive in 2014+? Or will Blizzard be tying to free subs to Titan, by that point?

Related to this article
You're not logged in. Register or login to post a comment.

47 thoughts on “Free Diablo 3 with 12 Months of WoW – Recap

  1. I was a former WOW Player, and if you asked me, i would have said no too.
    But if the offer also includes a guaranteed DIABLO III Beta , than it become a resounding YES!! :mrgreen:

    • I agree, this offer should have included D3 beta, and I would have signed up.

      As it stands its gonna cost me $180 for a copy of Diablo III, Instead of $60.

      Even if you were to play WoW until D3 is released. Its not good value for money.

      Lets say D3 is released in 3 months that’s $45 dollars of subs paid for with another $135 to pay until you get your D3 copy to keep.

      Even if D3 isn’t released for 6 months that’s only $90 of subs paid for and another $90 to pay while your playing D3?

      unless you plan to play both which i don’t think alot of people will it all sounds great until you do the math.

        • Because as soon as Diablo 3 comes out… They will give up at least a solid month to play.

          WoW: I’m maxed and have nothing look forward too except flashing people with my PvPness and etc. 
          Diablo 3: Not knowing anything about the game, except from the past two Diablo games…

          Even if it’s just a week or two, when they get it they will temporary(?) throw WoW out the window.

        • I see it as this: whoever is so fanatic as to commit himself to 12 months of wow, wont be so interested in D3 so the offer means next to nothing to them. For those who are interested in D3, will probly realize they wont hav time for wow once D3 is out and hence paying 180 for D3 is not exactly smart. The ones in the middle? well is probly wiser to not commit to a 180 dollars plan if you aint sure.

          • Your forgetting the group of people that have max lvl characters and they mostly only play when a raid is going on (or someothere guild function).  These people probably wouldn’t mind having D3 to play as they wait for the next raid to happen. 

            Also you don’t have to pay 179.88 you could pay 167.88 if you pay every 3 months or you can pay 155.88 if you pay every 6 months.  So if you had plains of getting D3 but wanted to stay with WoW to raid on the weekends your subscription to WoW minus the 60 bucks you would have payed for D3 is now only 95.88 (or 7.99 a month)  Its a good deal for those who plain to stick with WoW and play D3.

  2. I doubt Blizzard will publicly release any figures on how many people take them up on this offer

    Yes, but it does enable them to inflate the pre-order numbers, making the game look a lot more successful.

    • Blizzard don’t really need to inflate their pre-order numbers to look successful, though. This isn’t HGL.

  3. There are two important considerations to have in mind here.
    #1 This is encouragement for more players to keep their WoW subs, in particular if they were a bit uncertain about the new Expansion.
    #2 It is a way to increase the number of people who are playing Diablo 3 and thus using the RMAH as well as buying expansions.
    All in all its an incredibly clever move. And since Blizzard is essentially giving away online copies it also means they arent loosing near as much money as you think (alot is lost in the retail part of the business).

  4. I dont think it will hurt them too much because the people that are subbed to wow are more likely to use the RMAH.

  5. Well, I’m still playing WoW but was considering finishing up after defeating Deathwing but when Blizz announced Pandaren as a new race and Monks as a new class I had second thoughts. When they then announced this deal that included Diablo 3 for free for just commiting to twelve months sub (which I was going to do anyway), I signed up for it then and there.
    It’s great value but the real question for me now is, “Should I get the Diablo 3 CE anyway?” … hmmm

    • If you do they give you 4 free months that count towards the 12 months so basically the cost of the normal D3 so you are still getting a free D3’s worth of money… If you were going to get the CE anyway and were going to keep your WoW sub going for that long then you might as well since it’s basically getting a $60 rebate…

  6. I’m a little surprised Blizzard didn’t offer a 6 month $30 discount option as well. That would definitely bring in a lot more interest from WoWers.

  7. Kinda surprised this is just being posted now, instead of, you know, two days ago, but whatever.

    Anyway, how is this of any risk to Blizzard at all?  Saying it’s a ‘risk’ is kind of laughable… I know you like to see both sides of things, but this is an incredibly clever move by Blizzard (see post by mrmud), there’s no two ways about it.  They are profiting huge off of this deal.  They’re locking you in to paying for a year, and giving away Diablo (digitally) as an incentive just gets more people online for that as well.

    Doesn’t really matter that some WoW players would have also bought Diablo outright… it has to do with them getting you to promise you’ll pay for a year, regardless if you actually play WoW in that amount of time.  Overall, they’re profiting, otherwise they wouldn’t be doing. That’s what they want most, is people to keep subscriptions for long periods of time, instead of subbing off and on.

    Besides, it works great for people who would want to play both games anyway.

    • We did post it then, as part of the panel transcript. The beauty of the days after Blizzcon is that we can go back to the news that was only mentioned briefly at the time and devote a bit more coverage to and discussion of it. As we’ll continue to do for the rest of the week.

      • Ah, missed that part, my fault.  Didn’t really mean that as criticism per se — however I’m glad you posted it separately for discussion.  Probably better to do it after the fact anyway, after things have settled down.

        • Which is exactly why I made this post. Since this was originally just a minor mention in a long article on one of the panels. We’ve got more posts coming up with extra details on the Arena demo, Azmodan’s design, the story stuff, runestones updates, and more; things that would have been lost in the rush of news during the event itself.

    • All the Blizzcon news was covered as it happened but a lot of folk were busy watching panels or it was easy to miss info because of the volume of it, as you can see. Now is a good time to reflect and expand on that stuff.

  8. ATTENTION! If you read the offer on Blizzard’s website, it says you first have to complete the WoW subscription period you get for free BEFORE you can download D3… So, if you want to wait a little bit longer MORE and MORE, get this deal, If you want to play on jan the 17th, don’t get this deal…

    • Except by reading the first bullet point…..
      Diablo III FREE – Download the digital version via for free when the game launches early next year. This is the full game, not a trial edition.

      • yes! I was reading your comment with the same text in buffer already. STOP WOW $ calculating. Main news – D3 launches EARLY 2012. Not 2nd q or h of year. Maybe 17 jan. Maybe few weeks later in feb. 😈 BUT it is 1st good blue post on release date

    • Your statement is not valid. Here is part of faq:
      When will I receive Diablo III?
      Diablo III will be available to download via your account when the game is released.
      Q: When do I get Diablo III and the other exclusive benefits?
      A: You’ll be able to download and play Diablo III as soon as it’s available and once you complete the one-year term, it’s yours to keep, even if you cancel your subscription. Tyrael’s Charger will be available with Patch 4.3, and beta access will go live with the beta launch.

    • snipe I think it means the payment must be made IE the subscription must be completed.

      Or they mean that is you cancel you WoW sub they disable your copy of D3.

  9. The whole concept of the free game I would think pays for itself. Looking at the concept of why they’re doing it explains it enough.

    Blizzard wants to make money, they’re not doing this “to benefit all of their glorious and endlessly dedicated WoW fans”. So then who does this target? The people that are going to play WoW for the next 12 months it does (but really how many people will pay for WoW for a year at a time?). The people I’d argue it’s trying to entice are the people that are considering quitting WoW. By this I simply mean, instead of people quitting WoW for D3, or for any other reason, they’ll now be stuck in a contract for a year to WoW if they want D3 for free. Most WoW players I know play on and off every couple of months–meaning that they’re thinking they’re getting a deal. Whereas they aren’t. They’re paying 12 months of WoW, for which they’ll use maybe six months. So 6 x 15 = 90 dollars. 90 – 60 (price of D3) = +30. Uncle Bobby wouldn’t validate this unless there was an economical gain to it, and I’m pretty sure this is it.

    And before anyone goes all “RMAH” the profit gains from the RMAH will more or less cover the cost of running the system. In comparison to WoW fees, which still cover the cost of the system, but they make a lot more revenue than any reasonable person can expect from the RMAH (considering the only money it can pay is money that people put into it).

    • “but really how many people will pay for WoW for a year at a time?”

      The thing is, you don’t have to pay for it all at once… you can still have it bill you one month at a time if you want… which is also a clever move on their part because you still have to pay all 180 dollars eventually… although 60 of that is a loss since that is probably how much they will be charging for stand-alone digital copies of D3… I’m sure in the end they will have made many a pretty penny from this because of those that were not originally planning on buying both or were planning on quitting WoW…

    • ” And before anyone goes all “RMAH” the profit gains from the RMAH will more or less cover the cost of running the system.”
      You must not be very familiar with the wonderful world of Team Hats Fortress…

  10. Because of many reasons -inflating the preorder numbers included- this is a clever move on Activision Blizzard’s part.

  11. I will never pay 140 Euro  1 years WOW????  Wow Sucks alot and i will never play that agin… And diablo3 coast like 40 euro, why pay 140???   Stupied blizzard

  12. “We’ve long seen speculation about how Blizzard was going to avoid having their WoW subscription base gutted by the release of Diablo III, and this seems like a pretty clever counter to that threat.”

    I still say this has nothing to do with Blizzard having their WoW subscription base gutted by the release of Diablo III.

    I think it has much more to do with SWTOR coming out in 2 months.  

    There’s very little Blizz can do to keep those who have definitely decided to cancel their WOW account and move to SWTOR, but for those on the fence about leaving WOW for SWTOR (even if just for a couple of months to try it out), then this deal may be all that is needed to keep them with WOW. 

  13. i love how they can invite the masses to come play the wow beta but a D3 beta invite is like finding Wonkas golden ticket!

  14. I bought this the moment I saw it on the WoW splash screen.  Many people here don’t seem to play WoW (and even bash the hell out of it which seems misdirected) – just let me tell you that as someone that was subscribing for the next year anyway this is AWESOME.  Free D3, free mount, free Mists of Pandaria beta access.  IF YOU DON’T LIKE THIS DEAL, YOU WEREN’T THE TARGET AUDIENCE FOR IT.
    I must say, this is a clever way to make sure I didn’t close the account out in Feb 2012 (or whenever D3 launches).  Giving me buy-in into Pandaria makes sure I hop back into WoW when I am tired of Inferno runs (and then immediately do another Inferno run) 😀 .

  15. If I intended to play WOW at all in the next year, I would have jumped on this deal. I don’t think I’ll ever return to WOW at this point though.

  16. From the FAQ:

    Only one Diablo III license may be attached to a account.

    Huh? This must be just for the promotion, or total?
    Reeks of desperation on their part. If they wanted to keep people playing, they shouldn’t have made the most retarded expansion they could have thought of (kung fu panda). Seriously one of the stupidest things I’ve ever seen.

    • It’s simply a move to sustain cash flow.  Blizzard is now built, from a financial perspective, on recurring monthly revenue rather than blockbuster, boom-or-bust box sales.  The $15 x 11MM every month (though actually it varies by region around the globe) is what must be maintained.  All the investment dollars in D3, D3x, etc can be seen as a means to an end to keep that recurring revenue.  Don’t be shocked when, maybe around time of Titan announcement or release, the WoW subscription morphs into a subscription.  Still $15/mo, play any and all of Blizzard’s games online thorugh  Then it no longer matters if WoW “dies” or shrinks, as long as folks are willing to pony up $15/mo to play Titan, D4, SC3 or whatever.

      • Which is fine and understandable, but what I’m saying is that if you want to make people get into recurring payment and a sustainable subscriber base, then don’t make retarded content. WoW is, at its core, a video game, and if the content looks idiotic, then it isn’t as appealing to play.

  17. Its a weird deal because, as someone else already pointed out, someone that is willing to pay one year of WoW is already so much into WoW to care all that much for Diablo and the ones who are looking for Diablo and/or are waiting for it just to quit WoW, will simply buy D3 and play it, abandoning WoW which is already old.

    And as Flux pointed out, it all connected to the fear of having their WoW subscriptions gutted by Diablo3, I dont remember a similar bundle like this in Starcraft2 because the playerbase is very different between Sc2 and WoW but when it comes to WoW and Diablo, there is a good overlap since the genre is similar (RPGs) and a good part the community are Diablo 2 leftovers that wouldnt think twice into buying Diablo 3 and giving WoW a rest or even abandoning once and for all,  and blizz is aware (and afraid) of it, hence why we have this bundle but I think its kinda pointless if they want to battle the overlap.

  18. Diehard WoW players only care about WoW. They could care less about D3. To me this is only a gimmick to keep those WoW subscription fees rolling in even if you are not playing it.

  19. This make no sense. Can someone explain this to me?
    Why do people think this deal is to prevent people to jump to diablo?
    The deal is aimed toward Hardcore Warcraft players, those people don’t even care about Diablo. How does giving every Hardcore WoW player Diablo prevent people jump to Diablo? It seems to encourage it then discourage it.
    If the deal is aimed at causal WoW player that might make sense.

    • Hardcore WoW players are mostly just that: WoW players.
      And certainly blizzard isnt scared of hardcore WoW players not buying Diablo, thats the least of their concerns, even a decade later, diablo’s brand is still huge, the name itself is enough to sell it.
      But it just might do that, give hardcore WoW players a free game as long as they keep paying… but if they want to commit to a one-year-sub they are already so much into WoW that they shouldnt even have bothered with it.
      I think its a stupid bundle but… whatever, some people see some “clever” move in this.

  20. Since WoW players are blizzard’s dairy cows, it sounds pretty fair to “give” them a little something for the enormous amounts they must have spent already. But even then, they still get ripped off…  😕

  21. This is a very smart move to keep players within the Blizzard fold.  This will help them keep their active WoW subscription numbers up (people are still paying for the year even if they are playing other games), introduce new players to Diablo risk free that may not have otherwise bought the game and it directly adds competition to SWTOR for monthly membership dollars by using Blizzard’s newest shiny thing (D3) up against the new MMO.

  22. It shows that Blizzard might have other ways to monetize on D3 other than just the retail.. and not to mention, if they could get those players hooked, some of them will buy the expansions.

  23. They are doing this to encourage WoW players to play D3 as their backup buy-to-play game to play alongside WoW, as not everyone plays just one game and all but the most dedicated WoW player could use a break from time to time.

    Once a WoW player gets D3 for free and plays it they might encourage their friends to drop some cash and buy the game to play with them.

    In addition, the 12-mo. deal and the 4-mo. WoW deal with D3 Collector’s is to counter SW:TOR, but the free D3 with 12-mo. WoW might be to counter Guild Wars 2, which, like D3, is B2P (buy to play… with a small cosmetic non-pay-to-win cash shop, just like in GW1). GW2 is also set in a fantasy realm like WoW so it is a competitor like SW:TOR.

    If WoW players buy GW2 and like it, best case scenario is they use that instead of D3 as a backup game to WoW. Worst case scenario is they buy D3 (or not?), but play GW2 instead of WoW as their MMORPG, since GW2 has a bunch of features that can make the gameplay more fun, less frustrating than WoW’s or most other MMO’s (search youtube for “Top 10 Reasons To Play GW2” and look at some GW2 PVP videos you’ll see what I mean, especially considering the no sub fees, low system spec reqs and better graphics – WoW graphics are getting old), or pretty much any current MMO. So Blizz has to worry about both TOR and GW2.

    Free D3 with 12-mo. WoW sub might be a move to keep WoW players from getting GW2, in addition to discouraging them from getting TOR.

    I will be getting GW2 myself as well as the WoW expansion if I can afford it with my current crappy financial situation, and I’ll get D3 because I already have D1 & D2 (yeah, D1, I’m old school!)

  24. The offer isn’t worth it unless you were already planning to play AT LEAST 7 months of WoW just to break even. Who in their right mind who isn’t already playing wow, is going to commit 8/12months to a single game when there are tons of other good games including D3 itself. Lol. In my opinion, this promo is more of a reward for current long-term wow players than something aimed at attracting new/former WoW players cause it just doesn’t make much sense for them.
    I’m a former wow player myself – though definitely not as dedicated as many others – and while I plan to play some more wow on and off in 2012, it definitely won’t be 8months of it or at least I hope I won’t waste 8 months on it.

    • Edit button vanished =(. Just wanted to add that I would totally be all over this if we only had to do say 6 or 9 months of WoW. 12 months is just too much though.

  25. This is a great deal for anyone that wants to keep playing wow… but im sick of the anticipation… ive been waiting for Diablo 3 sience 2008 …  and i have a feeling d3 is going to be completely… wow-anized. Condor don’t even work on diablo anymore, its not even going to be close to the same game that Diablo I and 2 was. but we will see. I will play as long as it is free. thats why i have always played diablo, they dont charge you. But if they start charging. you can keep it. i miss wow, but ive came back a few times, and its just not the same game … and panda land… what the hell are they thinking ? they changing there audience to children ? but then give these crazy complex boss fights, that takes a entire team of smart knowing adults to complete. there kinda cutting there own throat…  but what ever, they can have fun making there 50 expansions, all they are doing is ruining the game, should have left it with Litch king. even then, any game with more than 2 expansions is pure overkill, either way you look at it. In the end… Games are just a waste of time… But as long as it dont feel like a waste of time while your playing. Than its fun ! I guess i just see more sense in making a good game and keeping it that way… keep on it with updates and patches and be done with it, Be happy you have 11 million subscribers that pay 15 bucks a month, and go buy a island somewhere and relax. dont go screwing with a good game, in the end… it will be 4-5 million subscribers… and fewer and fewer as time goes on. then you will be struggling to just stay afloat. then the money into other projects and games and everything goes down hill. Dont help to start making a game so long ago, like D3, then everything will be out of date by the time its released. Guess i just feel like they have worked soo long and hard on something… problly dumped trillions and trillions of dollars into D3, and now they are going to give it away for free ? why ? lol…. something smells fishy here

Comments are closed.