Thursday, April 15, 2010

Don't Fear the Premium Items

In the winter, Blizzard released two vanity pet items in game that are purchasable by real cash. In the months that followed it created a few more. And then, today, Ghostcrawler finally came through and delivered the pony he promised me.

Of course, there are players on the game that are probably flipping out right now about the availability of such items. To them, and anyone raising a brow I just want to say: Don't panic.

Selling in game items for real money is not new. Other game development companies have been doing this for many many years with reasonable success. In many cases, these services provide access to their games for free but support themselves entirely with these microtransactions and impulse buys and in some cases they do let people get ahead in those games.

Blizzard is cool in that the items it is selling give no real major advantage in the game. The items they are selling are simply cute little fun vanity items. People could be naughty or take risks and trade the code entered on the battlenet redemption page for in game gold, however, this is risky business and I can't find a clear notation as to if it's prohibited or not (it's probably not prohibited but 'do at your own risk, we can't enforce these trades'). The number of people who do this is going to be slim and it's not going to harm the game economy like people buying gold and hacking would.

If a reputable person in a reputable guild wants to trade a unicorn for the gold for epic flying on their alt with another reputable person in a reputable guild I'm willing to bet Blizzard doesn't care.

Some players enjoy cool cute little extras and won't think much of paying a little money for it. If someone decides to get a pony on WOW instead of ordering pizza (the WOW item will probably be enjoyed more in the long run), that's their prerogative. It's not hurting anyone, and even if you don't want what's being offered, if these sales are successful (it looks like they are) more will come and that cool useless thing you want might just pop up.

I definitely prefer this idea over the hoping you get something in the TCG or buying TCG cards off of ebay.

Don't fear the microtransactions and don't QQ. Your tears won't change anything. These things here to stay, they aren't hurting anything, they're completely optional, and lots of people actually enjoy them.

1 comment:

  1. But one Pizza will bring me joy and fullness for several hours. How will I eat some pixels? HOW WILL THEY FEED MY LITTLE TREE, JIMBO?!

    And anyways, I need their tears. QQ Tears are the best type of cooling fluid for Anti-Dumb Cannons.



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