Blizzard have confirmed that micro-transactions will be coming to the popular World of Warcraft MMO, after first appearing last week on test servers.
Set to roll out to normal player realms instead of just the test servers, Blizzard have revealed that they will approach micro-transactions different depending on each global territory.
Integrating a real money store into the game, Western players will (initially at least) only be able to purchase items with aesthetic properties (the same found in Blizzard’s Cash Shop), changing character appearances and offering “fashionable” pets only.
“For players who are already interested in the in-game items we offer, such as Pet Store pets and mounts, the benefits of an in-game store are pretty clear,” Community manager Bashiok explained.
“We think everyone would appreciate the convenience of being able to make such purchases without having to leave the game, and ultimately that’s our long-term goal for the system, though there’s quite a bit of work involved in retrofitting those existing items into the new system.”
However, it’s been suggested that Asian markets will receive “pay to win” items, with those territories generally more open to stat boosting items offered for real world dough.The micro-transactions will give those players willing to pay a little edge, and may include the elixir that appeared in test servers last week, giving 100% increased EXP for killing monsters and completing quests for a limited time. It was met skepticism from the game’s Western playerbase, who were fearful that the many hours of hard work that hardcore gamers put in to be top players in the game would be made redundant through paid-for items.
Blizzard are trying to expand on the monetization of the game, which has suffered a large drop in players. 1.3 million users have become inactive since the start of the year.