In-game store coming to World of Warcraft, Blizzard confirms
After signs emerged last week suggesting that an in-game store would be heading to World of Warcraft, Blizzard has confirmed that it is indeed coming, further detailing the where and why of this new feature.
Taking to the Battle.net forums, community manager Bashiok explained that the store is designed to offer a more convenient option for buying items that are already purchaseable from the developer’s Cash Shop. "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.
“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."
As for the experience-boosting item that was discovered in the shop and led to fears that WoW would be straying into pay-to-win (meaning players can pay for XP and gear instead of earning them with time and skill) territory, Bashiok said that that will initially be exclusive to Asian regions. This will be among several in-game store items that will be tested for player feedback. The store will also offer an “alternate way” to obtain Lesser Charms of Good Fortune.
“We’ve had a lot of requests from players in different regions for convenience-oriented items such as these, and as with other new ideas we’ve introduced as WoW has evolved—including Pet Store pets, mounts, and more—your feedback plays a hugely important part in determining what we add to the game,” Bashiok said.
"Ultimately it’s still too early in the process to make any final determinations about our plans, but in the meantime, we hope you’ll check out the in-game store once it’s implemented on the PTR and let us know what you think."
From a business perspective, the inclusion of purchasable in-game buffs seems like a sound plan, as it could provide Blizzard with some extra money amid a dwindling number of WoW players. Still, this doesn’t sound too reassuring for those afraid that the game will be unbalanced by players who pay their way to power. What do you guys think?
A writer, journalist, and aspiring storyteller, Peter Grimm has been gaming since the days of the Nintendo 64, and reporting on the goings-on in the World of Gaming since late 2011. His base of writing operations is located within the void between Here and There, or so he would have you think.
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