There were rumblings a few days ago that Blizzard was looking to start introducing some form of micro-transactions. Well wonder no more, because that’s happening. Blizzard will be launching the first phase of an in-game store in a test run in Asian regions soon.
Community manager Bashiok confirmed this on the Blizzard forums yesterday, writing that Blizzard was still “pretty early in the exploration process,” and that having such items on offer would make 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,” Bashiok wrote.
First, we’ll be testing the in-game store with some new kinds of items we’re looking into introducing (in Asian regions, at the outset) based on player feedback: specifically, an experience buff to assist with the leveling process, as well as an alternate way to acquire 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.
Doesn’t really bother me, all this talk of micro-transactions because I could barely last twenty minutes in the game before uninstalling it out of sheer boredom. But ideas like those lesser charms of good fortune? That smells like pay to win to me. “Ultimately it’s still too early in the process to make any final determinations about our plans,” Bashiok said, “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.”
Hate or love the idea, the store looks like a definite new addition to the game now. Still, if done properly, it should at least help parent company owner Vivendi to suck even more cash out of the studio for who knows what reason specifically.