World of Warcraft is removing its Twitter integration, and the future for other Twitter gaming implementations is in question as chaos reigns over its API changes.
"Over the next two days, we will update World of Warcraft to remove the integrated Twitter posting feature," Blizzard announced in a forum post (opens in new tab). "After this small update, the function to Tweet from in-game will no longer be available, and the settings which store your Twitter credentials will no longer appear."
The devs did not go into detail about why Twitter integration was being removed, but it's easy to guess that it has something to do with the upcoming shutdown of free access to the Twitter API. The API is what lets developers access Twitter data to do things like make automated posts of cat pictures or let you share video game screenshots to the platform.
Free access to the API is ending on February 9, and while we don't know how much the feature will now cost, some developers have been balking at the idea of paying any price for something that's been free and core to how Twitter works for years.
Starting February 9, we will no longer support free access to the Twitter API, both v2 and v1.1. A paid basic tier will be available instead 🧵February 2, 2023
It's easy to see why World of Warcraft would remove Twitter integration in light of the upcoming pricing changes. The feature was added back in 2015 as part of patch 6.1 to let players tweet messages and screenshots straight from the game, but fans never really latched on. That's been the story with a lot of direct Twitter integrations in the games, going back to Uncharted 2 over a decade ago.
But now that all the major consoles have Twitter integration built-in, including things like the dedicated Xbox Series X share button, we actually do have a reason to worry. Will the ongoing, as-yet-unknown costs of Twitter integration be too much for Nintendo, Sony, or Microsoft to put up with? We know that publishers hate shouldering ongoing costs for old products - just look at racing games with car licenses getting delisted, old songs being removed from GTA, or legacy console store servers being shut down.
Time will tell if the (formerly) free marketing of the social sharing features remains worthwhile, but for now, tell your favorite share button that you love it.
Gaming's best Twitter account has already shut down, so maybe none of this matters in the end.