Blizzard Entertainment, the creators of the juggernaut MMORPG World of Warcraft is rolling out a new store in order to monetize experience buffs, charms and other specific items. The new in-game store is described as the “spiritual extension of its existing pet store, which sells pets and mounts for avatars.”
“We think everyone would appreciate the convenience of being able to make such purchases without having to leave the game,” said Bashiok, who noted that there would be “quite a bit of work involved in retrofitting” in order to integrate the store’s items into the new system.
Microtransactions aren’t anything new in the MMO world and neither is free to play. World of Warcraft went free to play some time ago but only up to level 20, making it a glorified demo. If anyone wants to play the real game, they have to fork over $15 a month plus extra for the microtransaction Blizzard is offering.
As if Blizzard didn’t make enough money on World of Warcraft. Far be it from me to complain that Blizzard doesn’t need the money and they should be working on a new expansion instead of making a new store. The simple fact is, they should be doing both. The game also needs a graphical update too, but that shouldn’t stop them from monetizing items. World of Warcraft still holds around 8 million subscribers paying $15 a month. That outclasses all other MMO’s on the market today. Star Wars: The Old Republic uses a free to play model, microtransactions, and the $15 a month subscription. Developers and publishers are going to do what they need to do in order to make money for their MMO properties. I stopped playing World of Warcraft six or seven months after the Burning Crusade came out. I had fun playing and forking over my $15 a month but the nostalgia soon wore off and I was moving onto other games.