And I really did just reference a song by banal, atonal post-Britpop cash-ins Embrace. I should be banned from the internet. The point is that World of Warcraft, whose slow subscriber decline can no longer be written off as a mere blip on its spotless record (though similarly, having 10 million current subscribers is still a titanic matter), has just made a big, bold play to lure lapsed subscribers back to the venerable world of Azeroth. Just introduced is the Scroll of Resurrection, which must be 'cast' by existing players on the accounts of lapsed chums. Once done, the returning player will receive seven days of free game time, an upgrade to all the WoW expansions (if they don't have them already), a free realm transfer if they want it, and the option to auto-boost one character all the way to level 80. Bloody hell.
So, in one fell swoop you get to shortcut a bunch of money and a bunch of levelling. And to reattach yourself to the Warcraft-teat, of course.
The ultro-freebies are only available for the next 90 days, however - after that, the scroll will only grant 7 days of free play.
The point of all this is, of course, to lure old players back to the fold on a long-term basis, and to further sweeten that deal, the player who casts the spell will be granted a scloosive mount (Spectral Wind Rider or Spectral Griffon). if the recepient elects to subscribe for at least 30 days. Cue plenty of inter-chum hectoring, presumably.
I would imagine this'll work rather well, as even the hardest-hearted ex-WoWer is surely partial to free stuff. Hell, I'm almost tempted myself, though I can't imagine not burning out for the umpteenth time before those 7 free days are up. We used to love each other, WoW and I, but what's done is done.