Thought of the Day: Blizz Annual Pass

The weirdest thing about this annual pass to me is that there’s no BUY THIS NOW button that lets you shell out for your 12 months in advance in a single payment. ie. hit this button, pay this money, get your free horsie/ D3/ beta access/ 12 month WoW sub. I wasn’t planning on buying it myself but when I checked out the website, I was expecting to see a button like that.

Even if it cost exactly the same as two six-month subscriptions, that would be a simpler way for players to pick up the pass than signing some sort of contract by which they agree to pay for a year’s worth of subscriptions. (And might also lend itself to Christmas presents if anyone has family who throw that kind of money around on gifts.)

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17 thoughts on “Thought of the Day: Blizz Annual Pass

  1. Yes, it is rather odd for a company apparently desperate to take your money not to make it easy to do so.

    Maybe the webteam didn’t get the memo early enough.

  2. Agreed. The hubby and I were both expecting to (and hoping) to make a one-time payment for the next twelve months, and instead we had to convert over to 6-month plans. It was odd, and frankly, more annoying than I expected.

  3. I think Blizzard didn’t want to confuse people into thinking that you needed to pay up front to get the deal.

    I’m getting a fair number of hits from people who want to know how the payment works. Ensuring that everyone understands the “just keep your current subscription and you get D3 free” is better than cluttering it up with new payment options.

  4. What Rohan said. Plus, what about the people who already have 3 or 6 month subs active? An easy-to-press button would likely cause more problems than the slightly-less-streamlined way it is currently set up.

    Nevermind how much less deal-y a big “Buy It Now: $156″ comes across as :P

  5. The idea isn’t really to take your money now. It’s to lock people into a 12 month subscription quickly and easily just as other MMOs are coming out. It’ll drastically reduce the ‘jump ship’ chances of someone trying out TOR if they’re already paying for a Warcraft subscription.

    Pretty dastardously clever.

    I for one threw my money at my monitor the second it was announced because of the mount on offer. I’m a terrible terrible sucker but hell I’m gonna play warcraft til they turn the lights out anyway :D

  6. Have you tried reading the FAQ on how you use the Annual pass if you want the Diablo 3 collectors edition? It really does sound to me, like whole thing really was a spur of the moment type of thing.

  7. The deal is not a desperate move to grab some money before going F2P. The deal is to hurt SW:ToR.

    They don’t need your money now, they want you to not play SW:ToR. They don’t want you to start playing SW:ToR and accept the loss of the already payed one year fee. They want to remind you every month that you are actually paying for WoW and therefore should play it and not SW:ToR.

      • Hadn’t thought of that. It makes sense. Although whether it would work is another question. Not sure people think that way, even if marketing departments do.

    • Absolutely.

      Right now, this is the best that Activision/Blizz could do against ToR coming online. Diablo III must really have big issues, otherwise you could bet dollars to doughnuts that they’d have released it a week before ToR. Now that they can’t, this annual pass is the best they could do.

      They’re gunning for the people like me, who can only afford one sub at a time, and hoping that the lure of a “free game” will keep me from defecting to ToR. Well, whether or not I defect to ToR is irrelevant, because I wasn’t planning on purchasing Diablo III. (If I was thinking of trying any single player RPG, it’d probably be Dragon’s Age, but that’s just me.)

      Of course, I suspect that Rohan is right in that this is also a preemptive strike against Diablo III defectors from WoW. I know of a few ex-guildies who were probably going to unsub from WoW in favor of D3, and this will probably keep them in the fold.

    • Why would they care if you play SWTOR though if you’ve already paid for an annual WoW sub? By the time that year is up, there’s already a good chance that you’re bored of SWTOR and want to come back in any case.

      Also I thought it was a basic cashflow rule that money now is always better than money later, that’s the other reason I’m confused.

      • More money later might be better than less money now. :)

        1) They know that a lot of wow player are going to play SW:ToR.
        2) They know that they can’t prevent that.
        3) They know that SW:ToR will have the best phase of every MMORPG (start phase) while WoW is entering the “end of expansion blues”.

        The best thing they can do is let as much people as possible start playing SW:ToR and then draw them out of SW:ToR as fast as possible. Every player that leaves SW:ToR leaves a few “friends” behind with one less online friend. The more friends that leave, the less you feel “at home” in SW:ToR because it feels more and more like a railway station and less like home. And player will have to play more and more with randoms because their friends leave (which most player don’t like).

        That’s what Blizzard did, in my opinion, to turn potential future SW:ToR player into SW:ToR tourists:

        – They’ve delayed D3 and sacrified the christmas sale only to be able to release it short after SW:ToR to pull player out of SW:ToR.
        – They will also release 4.4 or panda-beta a few month before or after D3.
        – We haven’t heard anything of Starcraft. I’m sure they have something to add too. DoTA?
        – The one year pass is only their next mind trick to get you to play some WoW instead of SW:ToR.

        And, hey, I haven’t seen anyone mentioning it but panda sounds like another “half expansion”. Less new races then TBC, less new starting areas then TBC, less zones then TBC, less heroics then TBC, no normals in contrast to TBC, less raids then TBC and again only 5 level. Only this time they haven’t spent a big chunk of their budget to redo the old world. It might very well be that panda comes out during Q1 or Q2 2012.

  8. Going to be a bit cynical here but perhaps they are spacing out the money to influence people to stick with one game. From my circle of MMO friends and journos people like to stick with one game since most of them pay monthly or set a standard for themselves to only play one game.

    By forcing players to have a monthly tab from which the FAQ states can’t be cancelled perhaps they are using all of their power to keep players for a year or atleast make them aware that WoW still exists with the other MMOs release new year.

  9. When I saw the Annual Pass deal, my first thought was, “Okay, how much does it cost?” Like so many others, I expected a single, lump sum payment, the way almost any other company would do it. I am not sure Blizzard thought that part through.

    When I showed the deal to my daughter, who really wants to play a panda NOW, she thought about it for a moment or two and then said, “That doesn’t seem like a very good deal. Let’s just wait.”

  10. Pingback: [Last one on Blizzcon] Always in motion the talent system is « Welcome to Spinksville!

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