This doesn’t get said enough. Blizzard is one of the pioneers for micro-transactions in the MMO market. Realm Transfer, Race Change, Faction Change, Sex Change, Unique Mounts, Unique Pets (which, incredibly, can go out of stock, despite being digital), you name it, and World of Warcraft has it. Yet because of its persistent subscription-based model, no one really latches on to the fact that WoW is likely one of the biggest players in the micro-transaction market, and will continue to roll out ways for players to invest more of their real world doubloons into the ever-popular MMO behemoth.
The Auction House mobile smart phone application for the hardcore Ah enthusiast is another step in this never-ending chain designed to rob us of our hard-earned beer money. But it comes at the price of an additional $2 a month piggybacking onto your $15 monthly subscription. We can speculate in any number of ways about how successful this might or might not be, but let’s not forget how a shiny horse managed to to net millions for Blizzard in just a few hours. It cost $25.
The propensity for the WoW player-base to engage in all manner of frivolous spending always amazes me. A close friend, Itachi, warrior extraordinaire, paid Blizzard some hard-earned greenbacks to change his character into a female. When I asked him why he wasted that money, he said it was easier on the eyes than have to stay at the back end of a male human warrior all day. Your argument Bronte? Yeah i didn’t have any.
I think the AH module will not see the same level of success as past offers from Blizzard. First, there are only so few hardcore AH manipulators that they would want to have access to the AH functionality in all waking hours. Second, only a percent of those would have smart phones. Third, only a percent of those would have iPhones or iPads. Sure they have a web-version of the service in beta, but if you have access to the web, you likely have access to WoW in the first place.
I guess only time will tell!