#342 Blizzard and Microtransactions (part II)

Oh it is this something special, I get to talk about Blizzard and World of Warcraft again, call it a callback to Be MOP’s earlier days (which was about six months ago before I decided not the renew my Warcraft subscription). Blizzard made headlines because they recently announced that their newest virtual shop item, any one of your characters to be instantly boosted to lv 90, will be sold at $60.

Image from WoW Insider

This is not the first time I talked about the latest addition to the Battle.net store, funny enough the last time I threw my two cents in about the Blizzard Store was 99 posts ago (Be MOP #243) Image from WoW Insider

Ignoring the fact that WoW is still subscription based and you still need to buy expansion packs this is quite a bit of money to spend for a in-game purchase.

This one item is Battle.net shop equals to one of the latest current-gen AAA game or four months of WoW play time just for the ability to skip the leveling process in a MMO. We could call it a E-shop purchase but this is a microtransaction and one that is a bit too big to be called ‘micro’ any more.

Initially the idea of micro-transaction is supposed to offer the player cosmetic goods that does not unbalance the game, like Blizzard’s mounts and Valve’s hats in TF2  or bypass the tedious parts of the free to play game, like the ability to either buy the newest champion with your money or grind up in-game victory points in League of Legends by yourself.

From the business point of view micro-transactions are meant to be small enough to justify the  impulse buy when the prompt comes up. Very similar to the dollar menu at a drive through or the candy shelf at the checkout aisle at the grocery store. It a microtransaction should not be enough to wait for your next paycheck to come in before heading over to checkout.

Between this and the Batman DLC fiasco (read Be MOP #280 & #338) it seems that the gaming industry is forgetting what microtransactions and downloadable content actually means.

It’s not just Blizzard, other companies have been incorporating in costly microtransactions, trying to push the edge of what is acceptable to pay for these services.

Case in point. Image from Reddit.com

But I want to know what you think: What is your opinion about the $60 price for a level 90 character? Are you planning on buying it?

And do you think there should be a limit on how much a company should charge for the items and services in their in-games shops? If what should it be?

Leave a comment down below I would love to hear what you think on the matter.


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Be MOP focuses on the world of videogames with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the gaming industry. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays



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7 responses to “#342 Blizzard and Microtransactions (part II)

  1. I think that it is way too expensive for some of the gamers to pay for something like that – I know that I won’t be one of the ones making such a purchase because, to be honest, I am an adult and the this is totally cost prohibitive when you consider the xpac costs as well.

    • Yeah I don’t know what’s the ideal consumer is for this item, because anyone with a bit of common scene would figure out that you can easily get a lv 90 within the four months of playtime.

  2. Yeomansa

    I may do it at some point if i REALLY need to. ..i.e I just can’t tolerate playing warlock anymore. I guess it’s just an initial price though and it will come down depending on how many people and buying it. I guess the logic is that they want to protect the game from a load of useless 90s which is in part commendable…I guess? hah

    • But isn’t WoD providing everyone with a free 90? so WoW isn’t going to flooded with extra 90s anyways?

      Although I don’t know how (or if) a sudden influx of 90s will change the player population in any significant way

  3. silversun008

    I don’t have a problem with this service, but I think it would bring on a ton of players who have no idea how to play their class. I personally think it should cost a little more to discourage this from happening. That way, not everyone would do it.

    • That was the first thought I had when I heard the price but who would buy it? it reminds me a lot of the SR4 million dollar special edition, something so expensive that no one would want to buy it.


      • Gruffertus

        The market for this is the people who, told that there’d be a free 90 boost with WoD, declared that they’d happily buy two copies, pay for an extra account, and pay for a transfer to get their other 90 over to their main account. It’s a bit of a niche market, but for them, this is actually a bargain:)
        As regards ‘useless 90s’, there is apparently a DK-like “Welcome to 90″ area where you have to get _moderately_ competent with your new class before being unleashed on the population. However, this is coming in with WoD (I think), and so it’s reasonable to assume that there’ll be a short snowfall of idiots when the pre-WoD boost appears.

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