World of Warcraft's beloved Recruit-A-Friend program will be shutting down soon, although Blizzard has already indicated that the developer plans to replace it with a newer version of a similar model. The Recruit-A-Friend program was first introduced all the way back in 2008, and while the model has been tweaked here and there, it has remained largely the same for over a decade since.
The World of Warcraft Recruit-A-Friend program allowed players to invite a friend to make a World of Warcraft account, with the end result being that both parties involved would reap several benefits in the exchange. Playing together, for instance, would net experience bonuses and other in-game buffs, while additional rewards like mounts and extra game time were on the table for both people if the new player decided to stay subscribed to the game. The program has been around for a long time, and has been well-received, outside of the fact that it would occasionally result in a friend functioning a lot like a door-to-door World of Wacraft salesperson.
Blizzard announced the change would be coming on the World of Warcraft Recruit-A-Friend page, which now states that players can only take advantage of the current system until June 11, when the program will be shut down for "maintenance." Just what that maintenance will be is unknown, but given that it will require the program to outright be removed for a lengthy period of time indicates it will be much more than the small changes that Blizzard has made to the program in the past. After June 11, players will no longer be able to send out recruit invites, but a friend will still have 90 days to purchase game time, which will also get both players the expected rewards.
Blizzard hasn't revealed anything about the replacement, but its inevitable more details will emerge about it, especially now that the industry is gearing up for E3 season — which, in itself, often functions like a precursor to Blizzcon, the late-year Blizzard-specific gathering that usually serves as the site for the company's biggest yearly announcements. While it seems like the World of Warcraft Recruit-A-Friend replacement will want to be implemented well before that convention, if nothing's mentioned about it in the coming months, that will likely be the very latest fans will discover what's next for the program.
As it currently stands, though, the removal of the World of Wacraft Recruit-A-Friend program is just another reminder that Blizzard's MMORPG is in a constant state of flux, even well-into its second decade of existence. The company has shown few signs of slowing down with its content, and small tweaks like this provide even further evidence that World of Warcraft remains a top priority for Blizzard. Those who miss the good old days will soon have an option for them, too, as World of Warcraft Classic appears to be getting closer to launch.
Source: World of Warcraft