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DiscussionNov 22, 2016 8:00 am CT

Should Blizzard do more free weekends?

At present, World of Warcraft requires you to buy the game (usually in a deal where you get most of the expansions) as well as the most current expansion in order to play the most up to date content. Diablo 3 also requires you to purchase the game, and you need to own Reaper of Souls to play the full game. StarCraft 2 has a free edition, but you still end up paying to get past the first five missions. I’m not begrudging this, it’s a game company and it has to make money.

But the recent Overwatch free weekend has me wondering if Blizzard could pursue a similar promotional strategy for its other pay games. Would that work? For a game like StarCraft 2 it might be tricky — essentially the sci-fi RTS is already in a permanent promotional mode, letting you play a great deal of its content for free and determine if you like it enough  to buy it.

But maybe for Diablo 3 it could be a big thing. I think a lot of players who tried Diablo 3 back at launch have no idea how much the game has improved, and doing something like throwing the gates open and letting people really see just how much better it is would be a good move. I’ve spent hours upon hours in Sanctuary since the Reaper of Souls patch changed the game for the better, and I really wonder if something like this could get people interested in Diablo who missed out due to the bad reputation the troubled launch and Real Money Auction House gave the game.

But for WoW, I don’t know. It’s weird but MMOs are not nearly as new player friendly as Overwatch. Especially a game like WoW, which is essentially a juggernaut built on the backs of successive expansions. Dumping a new player at level 100 for a free weekend doesn’t seem like it would be particularly rewarding.

What do you all think? Should Blizzard start doing free weekends for all of its games, or is it really just an Overwatch thing?

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