WoW: The War Within director says there's "no long-term advantage" to buying the controversial $90 early access edition

World of Warcraft: The War Within keyart
(Image credit: Blizzard)

A week after World of Warcraft: The War Within fans blasted developer Blizzard for the expansion's $90 early access fee, the game's director has said there's "no long-term advantage" if you buy this edition. 

Last week, at Blizzcon 2023, Blizzard announced World of Warcraft: The War Within. The expansion isn't set to release until next year but we already know there are three editions up for grabs. First up, you've got the base edition that'll set you back $50. Then, there's the Heroic edition that will put the price up to $70 but will give you access to a bonus mount and transmog set, or the Epic edition which costs $90 and gives you three days worth of early access as well as other fun stuff.

Understandably, MMO players were quick to blast the "disgusting" $90 early access charge as they feared that the players who could afford the most expensive edition of the game would get ahead of those who couldn't. Following the backlash, World of Warcraft director Ion Hazzikostas says that Blizzard is doing "everything" in its power to make sure "there's no long-term advantage" for early access players. 

As reported by PC Gamer, Hazzikostas addressed the growing trend of studios charging extra for early access, explaining: "It is a trend across the industry that we're paying attention to. A number of games have done it. We're looking to make sure that we're maximizing the value of our expansion offerings, of these expansion bundles." 

The director then addressed the main issue players are having, adding: "The immediate concern that we knew we needed to tackle, and I think frankly I wish we'd done a better job of explicitly spelling out when we announced it on the web page as part of the pre-sale process, are the restrictions that are associated with the early access."

"We're looking at end-game power advantages," Hazzikostas reassures players. "Our goal here is, and we're going to do everything in our power to make sure it's the case, that there's no long-term advantage. You shouldn't be able to tell the difference between someone by the time Season One [with its raid and Mythic Plus dungeons] starts, who had early access to someone who didn't."

Need a break from World of Warcraft? Take a look at our best MMORPG list for ideas on what to play next. 

Hope Bellingham
News Writer

After studying Film Studies and Creative Writing at university, I was lucky enough to land a job as an intern at Player Two PR where I helped to release a number of indie titles. I then got even luckier when I became a Trainee News Writer at GamesRadar+ before being promoted to a fully-fledged News Writer after a year and a half of training.  My expertise lies in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, cozy indies, and The Last of Us, but especially in the Kingdom Hearts series. I'm also known to write about the odd Korean drama for the Entertainment team every now and then.