Premium WoW services

Yes its ANOTHER comment post on the furore.  Its my blog.  And I always feel the need to comment when the WoW trolls cry louder than my 5 month old child.

So far there are three ‘premium’ services that Blizzard will/does provide:

  • Mobile Auction House
  • Mobile Guild Chat
  • Cross-Realm invites

Now its not clear right now if the last of these will be part of the same premium fee that you pay for the mobile services or a separate fee.  If its a separate fee I expect the same fee will cover an increasing range of services.  Either way I think we can expect to see more of these kinds of premium services, the same way we have seen more and more pets and mounts added.

Non-essential extras
All of these services have one thing in common: they improve your experience of the game but don’t really improve your success in the game.  Now I could find arguments that they can improve your success for each one (the ability to watch for rare items on the auction house, the ability to do dungeon achievements with friends, etc,) but the benefits are marginal and could certainly be achieved without the premium extra.  They are not essential – in some cases they are not even desirable for everyone.

This is similar to realm transfers, faction transfers, etc.  They are paid for because Blizzard did not factor them into its original plan, but players asked for them.

If you do not want these services, if you did not ask for these services, you don’t need to pay for them.  You are in no way disadvantaged by this.  I can’t believe that all of the trolls people complaining about the latest premium addition all asked for this service to be added.

If you are one of the small group of people who particularly wants this service and can’t afford it … well then you have my sympathy.  I can’t afford an Alienware gaming laptop and mobile internet connection so I can play WoW wherever I am either, but thems the breaks.

Yes I know you already pay $15 a month … nearly 7 years on
I’m not the first to say this, but Blizzard has not raised the cost of its subscription in all this time.  However inflation has not only existed, it has risen.  Blizzard will be paying more for wages, more for its facilities and hardware.  The cost of everything has gone up in 7 years, but WoW has not.  Blizzard has chosen to absorb the cost of inflation AND to engage in development outside of its original plan.  So for that development, it wants to charge.

If I support premium services do I pay for them?
Yes and no.  I do buy pets.  I have most of the pets (I think I lack Lil’ Ragnaros).  I don’t have the sparkle pony mount because I despise it.  Its the most stupid looking mount in the game.  In fact, you could create a Frankenstein mount from parts of other mounts in the game and it would still look better than the sparkle pony.

I have realm transferred three characters since the service became available, all Horde to join a real life friends guild.  The most recent of these took the Heirloom cloaks and helms with her to a guild where I don’t have access to these.

I don’t pay for any of the premium subscription services.  I don’t want mobile Auction House access because I couldn’t imagine auctioning without an addon to show me average prices.  I don’t want mobile guild chat enough to consider paying for it at the moment.  When I go back to work I might consider it.  I wouldn’t pay for the cross-realm dungeon invite either because all my cross-realm friends are on a different faction to my main characters and therefore I wouldn’t be able to use the service for the one group of people I would want to play with.

Morrighan’s conspiracy theory #138: Blizzard are using this premium dungeon invite service to pay for the technology that will allow BoA’s to be sent cross server.  I have NO evidence for this AT ALL.  But thats my guess.  Whether cross-realm BoAs will be premium or not … who knows!

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3 thoughts on “Premium WoW services

  1. I would not think they would make the BoA across servers a premium service because then it would be easy enough to just pay for one month of service and transfer them and be done with it. I hope they don’t charge for that service because if it is expensive enough you might as well transfer a toon to the new server with the heirlooms.

  2. 11.6 million active subscriptions @ $15.00 per month = $174,000,000 per month or $2,088,000,000 per annum.

    Just saying, with an annual income of over two billion dollars gross, you think a couple of developers could write some code and call it a freebie as a thankyou?

    Playing devil’s advocate here, but I will say that based on the income of the game, they could actually afford to give a lot more away than they currently do, and still turn a tidy profit.

    No, sorry, at this point, this is pure money-grabbing, and padding of the bottom line (which I understand is required of a business etc – but this is going too far).

    1. Firstly: http://wow.joystiq.com/2008/01/24/how-much-money-blizzard-is-really-making-from-10-million-subscri/ Its a couple of years old but still true.

      Secondly: Blizzard is a business operating in a capitalist economy. The people who own shares in Blizzard want Blizzard to do one thing – make more money for them. They elect a board that shares that vision. From their point of view they could either create these additional services for free (i.e. lose money) or they could create them and increase the overall fee to incorporate them (this would be the most profit) or they could follow the route they are and rather than force all players to pay for something only some want, they could create them as part of a premium service.

      If you don’t want to pay, don’t pay.

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