Blizzard has made some curious changes to the way players can purchase game time for World of Warcraft, its aging but popular MMORPG. The options to buy game time in pre-paid chunks of 30, 90, and 180 days have been removed, leaving only the 60-day option. You’ll of course still be able to purchase a recurring monthly subscription, however.
WoWhead speculates that the change may be a move to combat World of Warcraft bots that use WoW Token to pay for 30-day passes – these can use their Battle.net account balances to pay for game time, but that’s not accepted as a payment method for recurring subscriptions. For their part, some players suspect it’s a revenue raising move by Activision-Blizzard, and are chafing at the inability to buy 30-day passes – particularly players who only occasionally jump into the game from time to time.
However, these players aren’t out of luck – in fact, they can still purchase the recurring monthly WoW subscription – at a cheaper price than the 30-day game time pass, in fact – then cancel it before the next month’s charges are made to their credit or debit card.
The key thing here, however, is that some percentage of players who only mean to play for a month will likely forget to cancel their subscription before they’re charged for the second, and then perhaps feel compelled to keep playing.
Blizzard’s official explanation isn’t particularly helpful: “We recently conducted a review on the available services in all currencies”, the company wrote in an email announcement. “Based on this, we have decided to alter the available Game Time options in the Blizzard Shop. As of today, the Game Time options of 30, 90, and 180 days have been removed and Game Time is only available as a purchase of 60 Days.”
Blizzard does point out that subscription and WoW Token prices are unchanged, and that any already purchased game time will remain valid.