World of Warcraft players will have less options for managing addons, after changes by Overwolf that will restrict other third-party programs.
Overwolf is the most popular and widely-used WoW addon manager and database out there. But, there are also so-called “third-party” programs that offer the same services.
Change – for better or worse – is in the air, though. This comes as a result of Overwolf’s latest update on how they will work with addon creators.
Overwolf announces new WoW addon manager API
On November 14, Overwolf officially announced how they were going to roll out their new API. What this means is developers will have to go through Overwolf if they want to get any compensation for WoW addons.
As you can see in the official roadmap above, in December downloads from third-party managers will no longer count towards the Curseforge Rewards Program. Overwolf purchased Curseforge, the largest repository of WoW addons, in 2020.
Devs will still be able to make their addons available to third-party managers if they like, but this change means they won’t be able to make money if they’re downloaded anywhere other than Overwolf/Curseforge.
One third-party addon manager has already called it quits after the announcement.
WoW third-party addon sites already shutting down
After the news broke, the creator of Ajour, one of the most popular third-party addon managers, announced they would be abandoning the program.
“Downloads do not count towards the CurseForge Reward Program—essentially splitting the community by turning addon developers against third-party addon managers,” Ajour creator casperstorm wrote. “In addition, they will rate limit third-party addon managers if one becomes too popular. Oh, and not all addons will be available over the API.”
While plenty of players have criticized Overwolf for this change, others have taken aim at Blizzard, for not officially supporting creators of these addons (which are basically required for high-level endgame raiding) themselves.
Addons like this are in a relatively grey area. They are not officially supported by Blizzard, but they provide massive, sometimes necessary, quality of life improvements for WoW and are used by most players. At the time of writing, there has been no word about whether Blizzard will intervene.