Paul Sams Interview @ Venture Beat

As a follow up to the “Free D3 with 12 months of WoW” news we posted earlier, here’s a Blizzcon interview with Blizzard COO Paul Sams. Venture Beat asked him about the free D3 issue, and dared to ask if it was just an evil ploy to get more action in the RMAH, at which point some PR guy’s head exploded. It’s such fun to read interviews that were not conducted by fawnsites.

Other questions cover WoW subscriber declines, Blizzard’s lack of mobile/casual games, the possible future freemium status of WoW, and more. It’s a good interview, and here’s a quote:

VentureBeat: The World of Warcraft Annual Pass was a big announcement. It’s an ambitious decision, especially to give away Diablo III. Does it tie back into reports from earlier this year of declining subscribers for World of Warcraft?

Paul Sams: Honestly, what it ties into [is that] we always are looking for ways to show an amount of, I guess … gratitude or what-have-you to our player base. We talk about, all the time, how can we do something cool for our players that’s going to benefit them, benefit us, and that they’ll feel is a give-back of sorts. That’s where this started. There’s a variety of benefits that come from it. Certainly the players get DIII, which is pretty exciting. That doesn’t mean they get the expansion sets, it means that they get DIII, right? So we get people excited about playing that … they get to touch it, feel it, experience it. And then from our perspective, it also is a situation where they aren’t necessarily going to leave WoW to play our own game.

We don’t want to take players from our universe and shift them over from World of Warcraft. There’s a lot of players playing WoW that have huge amounts of friends and family that they play World of Warcraft with, so [giving Annual Pass subscribers Diablo III] says, enjoy both of them. You don’t have to pay any more than you already do for WoW.

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12 thoughts on “Paul Sams Interview @ Venture Beat

  1. It’s a pretty good deal if you know you will play WoW for the next 12 months, but that’s not gonna happen when they get free Diablo 3 and never get on WoW again 😈

  2. Translation: Please dont leave WoW just to play D3! We even give D3 free to you guys but keep paying the sub, ok?

    • Yep.  This exactly. It is an awesome deal for those who will be playing WoW anyway, but yes, its essentially just a money grab. Pretty smart move actually.

  3. I’m not saying that the other reasons aren’t there, such as getting more people to participate in RMAH and get more people to commit to WoW (especially those who only sub some months of the year or consider switching). But I also believe them when they say this is ALSO a way to give back and show appreciation. In many ways WoW subs has funded the development of D3 and giving the game away for free to those who continue to support it (through subs) is cool.

  4. One rather intersting thing I´ve noticed is, that WoW fans are generally more accepting and positive about Blizzard, while Diablo fans are usually more cynical and reserved towards Blizz. I´m not saying that ALL Diablo fans are like that and that ALL WoW fans love Blizzard, certainly there are WoW fans that have reservations towards Blizz, but in my experience, and I´ve been around large well visited WoW fansites and forums, and I´ve also been lurking around here since 2007, in my experience, the above statment for the most part holds true.

    credentials (so that I´m not declared WoW-noob), finished D1 on Normal, finished D2 on Hell with dozen or so chars (my favorites were trapsin, bonemancer and blizz sorc) and only transfered to WoW out of bored of waiting for D3. Played WoW for 2 years.(Once it catches you it doesn´t realise you)).

  5. I call this good marketing!

    And it keeps me happy because they are really affraid people to leave WOW to migrate to Diablo, i like the high expectation they have!

  6. Definitely a shrewd way to keep wow subs up, plus anybody who is willing to drop the kinda cash a 12-month subscription costs will definitely be spending money in the RMAH.

  7. give copy of brand new game out WoW players
    play D2 for years , not even a fun cosmetic freebie to be had

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