Blizzard has effectively removed the upfront fee which new players previously had to pay in order to start playing World of Warcraft.
Until now, if you wanted to play the long-running MMO, you had to pay for the Battle Chest – containing the main game and many of its expansions – as well as setting up a subscription. But now, as the Battle.net subscription page makes clear, all that is required to get started in World of Warcraft is a monthly subscription. As the site’s sales pitch says: “Get access to World of Warcraft and every expansion through Legion with your subscription—no additional purchase required.”
New players will still have to pay extra for forthcoming expansions, such as Battle for Azeroth, which is due to arrive on 14 August 2018 and for which a pre-expansion patch hit the game yesterday (today in Europe). You can scrutinise what it added to the game here.
Given that World of Warcraft has been operational since 2004, during which time it has generated vast amounts of income for Blizzard, you could argue that the removal of a barrier to entry such as the Battle Chest is somewhat overdue. Nevertheless, the move will be welcome for those contemplating checking out the legendary MMO.