Indeed, Blizzard have resorted to a time-honored marketing tactic often employed by drug dealers to get would-be customers hooked on their product. Apparently, Warcraft movie goers, who choose to view the upcoming movie in one of the theatres which participate in Blizzard's promotion, will receive a free digital copy of World of Warcraft, which includes all the expansions leading up to and including Warlords of Draenor, coupled with a 30-day free subscription. While on some message boards rumors have surfaced that the gift was only about the 30-day subscription, it is not true: the digital copy of the full game is indeed included. The movie launches on June 10 while the latest expansion of WOW, Legion, is set to launch on August 30.
Everything considered, the venerable but currently ailing MMO title is in for a double infusion of fresh blood: one prompted by the movie and the above mentioned promotion, the other, obviously by the launch of Legion.
In the US, the theatres participating in the promotion are Regal Cinemas, Edwards Cinemas and some United Artists Theatres. People who live in Europe, Australia, Brazil and New Zealand will be able to pick up the game at select theatres which also take part in the promotion.
Players who already possess the game and are active in it, won't be left out in the cold either: if they log into the game from May 25 to August 1, they'll be rewarded with transmogrification items inspired by the movie. Apparently, the list of these items includes a Gul'dan's Staff, an Alliance sword and shield as well as a Horde axe. The movie-theater part of the promotion lasts all the way to end of the year.
WOW reached its subscriber-peak back in 2010, when some 12 million people explored the virtual realms of the game as paying customers. With a bit of luck, that number may actually be exceeded provided the promotions, the movie and the expansion make a loud enough bang as they land.
Philip Thalberg has worked in e-Sports coverage since 2004 as a member of GosuTeam.