Blizzard Confirms In-game World of Warcraft Store

New in-game store plans to lure past players back.
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Blizzard Entertainment announced they will begin creation on a brand new in-game store for World of Warcraft.

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The community manager, Bashiok, has said that the idea is still “early in the exploration process” since it is “still too early in the process to make any final determinations about our plans”. The overall goal of the new store is to “simplify and expedite the purchasing process” that is already in place.

“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,” he said. “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.”

Unfortunately, this will mean more opportunities for micro-transactions. The store will feature new kinds of items, including an experience buff (to assist with character leveling) and an alternate way to acquire Lesser Charms of Good Fortune. These micro-transaction woes are coupled with the fact that players discovered the Enduring Elixir of Wisdom on the game’s Public Test Realm last week.

When it is eventually completed, it will be first tested within the Asian markets before spreading to other countries. This makes sense because not only the Asian regions are on a different type of payment plan, which you pay by the hour rather than flat fee, giving little incentive for new players to spend time ranking up.

The recent and significant subscriber drop has put pressure on the company to change what they have been doing. Free to play games and the influx of multiple new and promising MMOs have changed the playing field.

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick was quoted in May, saying that the “environment surrounding online games has become increasingly competitive.” Thus the company plans to release new content more often to keep current gamers playing, increase incentive and ease of lapsed players wishing to return.

So whether these micro-transactions will help breathe new life into WOW, or only work to continue reducing its player base, time will only tell.

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Image of Lui Galletto
Lui Galletto
If you are reading this, I have been kidnapped. They are forcing me to play video games against my will. Send help