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World of Warcraft Subscription Cost: A Breakdown

World of Warcraft: When Was the First Time a Subscription Cost Was Implemented?

The Beginning of World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft (WoW) was first launched in November 2004 and quickly became one of the most popular massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs). At launch, players had to purchase the game for a one-time fee, but there was no subscription cost. However, this changed just a few months later.

The Introduction of Subscription Cost

In February 2005, Blizzard Entertainment, the developer and publisher of WoW, implemented a monthly subscription cost for players to continue playing the game. This move was met with some criticism from players who were used to playing other MMORPGs without a subscription fee. However, Blizzard argued that the subscription cost allowed them to continually update and improve the game.

The Current Subscription Cost

As of 2021, WoW’s subscription cost is $14.99 per month for players in North America. There are also options for purchasing multiple months at once at a discount. In addition to the monthly subscription cost, there may be additional costs for expansions or in-game items.

Reasons Behind Subscription Cost

Blizzard has continued to defend their decision to implement a subscription cost by pointing out that it allows them to provide consistent updates and support for the game. The revenue generated from subscriptions allows them to pay developers and designers to create new content and features for players.

Impact on Players

While some players may balk at the idea of paying a monthly fee for a video game, others see it as an investment in their entertainment. The consistent updates and improvements provided by Blizzard have kept many players engaged with WoW over the years.


There are other MMORPGs available that do not have a subscription cost, such as Guild Wars 2 and Star Wars: The Old Republic. However, these games may have different business models, such as microtransactions or one-time purchases for expansions. Ultimately, the decision to pay a subscription fee for WoW or another game is up to each individual player’s preferences and budget.

How World of Warcraft’s Subscription Cost Has Changed Over the Years

The Early Days of World of Warcraft Subscriptions

When World of Warcraft was first released in 2004, the subscription cost was $14.99 per month. This remained the standard price for many years, with occasional discounts offered for longer subscription periods.

Changes in Subscription Pricing

In 2014, Blizzard introduced a new pricing structure for World of Warcraft subscriptions. Players could now choose between a standard monthly subscription at $14.99 per month or a discounted rate for purchasing multiple months at once. The more months you purchased, the greater the discount you received.

In 2018, Blizzard made another change to their subscription pricing by introducing WoW Tokens. These tokens could be purchased with real money and then sold on the in-game auction house for gold. Players could also purchase WoW Tokens with gold and use them to pay for their subscription time.

The Benefits of Having a World of Warcraft Subscription

Access to All Content

One major benefit of having a World of Warcraft subscription is that it gives you access to all current content in the game. This includes all expansions and updates, as well as any new content that is released during your subscription period.

Community and Social Interaction

World of Warcraft is an online multiplayer game, which means that having a subscription allows you to interact with other players from around the world. You can join guilds, participate in group activities like dungeons and raids, and chat with other players in game or on forums.

Discover Discounts and Promotions for Purchasing a World of Warcraft Subscription

Promotions During Holidays

Blizzard often offers promotions during holidays such as Christmas or Halloween where players can receive discounts on their subscription or other in-game items.

Discounts for New Players

New players can often receive discounts on their first month of subscription or on purchasing the game itself. These promotions are designed to encourage new players to try out the game and become long-term subscribers.

Comparing World of Warcraft’s Subscription Cost to Other Popular MMORPGs

World of Warcraft vs Final Fantasy XIV

Final Fantasy XIV is another popular MMORPG with a subscription model. The standard monthly subscription cost for Final Fantasy XIV is $12.99, which is slightly cheaper than World of Warcraft’s $14.99 per month.

Additional Costs

However, it’s worth noting that Final Fantasy XIV also requires players to purchase expansions separately, whereas World of Warcraft includes all expansions in the base subscription cost.

World of Warcraft vs Elder Scrolls Online

Elder Scrolls Online is another popular MMORPG with a subscription model. The standard monthly subscription cost for Elder Scrolls Online is $14.99, which is the same as World of Warcraft’s monthly cost.

In-Game Store

However, Elder Scrolls Online also has an in-game store where players can purchase additional content and items, whereas World of Warcraft does not have an in-game store and includes all content in the base subscription cost.

In conclusion, the cost of a World of Warcraft subscription varies depending on the length of time chosen and whether or not discounts are available. However, it remains an affordable option for gamers who want to continue their adventures in Azeroth.


Is WoW still $15 a month?

There is a game called World of Warcraft RETAIL that costs $15 a month. Classic is included as an additional benefit for paying for Retail. Blizzard has consistently stated this.

Do you have to pay for World of Warcraft monthly?

Subscription includes both World of Warcraft and Wrath of the Lich King Classic with the option to cancel online at any time, and is billed every six months.

Can I buy WoW permanently?

World of Warcraft operates on a subscription model similar to Netflix, where you pay for each month that you want to have access to the game.

Why is WoW so expensive?

The purpose of the subscription for World of Warcraft is to avoid making it a pay-to-win game. By paying the subscription fee, players can be assured that any microtransactions are only for cosmetic or convenience purposes and do not give an advantage in gameplay. Without a subscription, players may encounter pay-to-win microtransactions. This is a known fact.

Can I buy 1 month of WoW time?

If you don’t want to commit to a subscription for World of Warcraft, you have the option to purchase 60 days worth of Game Time from our online store.

Can you buy 30 days of WoW?

Starting from March 25, 2021, the Game Time options of 30, 90, and 180 days have been eliminated, and now the only Game Time option available is for a 60-day purchase. This change does not impact WoW Subscriptions or WoW tokens, and their prices remain the same.

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