I thought we had enough of microtransactions for a while, I thought Blizzard was just going to let the forums and the Blogosphere settle down a bit before any more additions to the blizzard and I seriously thought that blizzard was not going to follow Valve’s Team Fortress 2 model of microtransactions.
I must admit I thought it was a bit of a stretch to compare the TF2 hat-based business model to WoW when Blizzard announced that they were looking into the idea of microtransactions in last Wednesday post (Be MOP #245). Oh boy, it seemed that I was written some quality foreshadowing because last Friday Blizzard updated their official blog to say that in the near future new items will be added to the Pet Store to include a seesaw, a hitching post that will grant you and 24 of your friends a temporary skeleton horse mounts, and what I all be talking about today, the three brand new cosmetic helms for Transmogrification.
I am not angry at Blizzard for introducing these new helms, it’s a free market and we live in a Capitalistic world. If Blizzard thinks that there is an opportunity to make more money, more power too them, just so long as they never hide player content of any kind behind the store’s paywall.
I am worried about what this might mean in the future of gear/armor design team at Blizzard. I fear that Blizzard might now decide any artistic creations from gear designers will be placed into two groups, the ‘For the Players’ group and ‘For the Market’ group and we might see them cutting back on the truly-epic-almost-legendary gear designs from boss drops and PvP rewards to ensure that there is something new for the Pet Store.
Valve’s designer team can get away with distributing new hats and items behind stores and key paywalls because (at least in my opinion) Team Fortress 2 is not a game that requires regular and constant design and content updates.
The question that I now have to face is, “Will I buy any of these items” and answer for me it is a solid no.
Even if Steam was not delivering daily attacks on my wallet, I still would not buy these new cosmetic items from the store for the same reason why I do not buy hats or reskinned items from TF2’s market place. It is not needed to improve my performance in-game so why should I spend money on it? I just would have expected Blizzard to fine tune the paid services they already have before introducing new shop items, like reducing the cost of their single character server transfer service and maybe adding a multiple character server transfer bundle at the regular price.
But this is it, I am quite done about talking about microtransactions for a long, long time and the next time I am going to talk about Blizzard and their Pet Store the post will better begin with…
“As I predicted, at this year’s BLIZZCON Blizzard has announced that World of Warcraft will be going free to play.”
Be MOP focuses on the Mists of Pandaria expansion of World of Warcraft with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the game’s life cycle. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays