Do you want more or less item sales in games?
Posted by Tobold's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 February 2014, 7:38 am
Azuriel is a very confused person. He isn't quite sure whether he is FOR or AGAINST games having additional revenue streams from selling virtual items, in addition to the purchase price of the game (which might be zero). So on the one hand he is complaining if games give you that option to buy things for real money from an in-game store. He can't understand that in many cases a game has a "delayed purchase" option, where you get a somewhat shackled version for free, and need to pay a sum of money ONCE to unlock those shackles and get essentially a full game for a single purchase. Okay, so you'd assume that Azuriel hates real money item sales. But if Azuriel is against item sales in games, one would assume that he doesn't want to buy that sort of stuff for himself. So why is he complaining about a level 90 character in World of Warcraft costing $60?

The only reason to complain about those $60 boosts to level 90 is if you want to buy such a boost, and would like as many other people as possible also to buy such a boost. Simple economics: The cheaper the boost is, the more people will buy it. But if you are AGAINST boosting a character for real money, feeling that it is somehow unfair, then you should welcome that this boost is so expensive. A $1,000 Pay2Win item is not really an issue, because too few people will buy it for it to matter at all. A $10 item is much more problematic.

Boosting additional characters to level 90 is a luxury, and it is priced like a luxury good for that reason. You already get one of those boosts for free. And if you played the previous expansion, you most probably have at least one character at level 90 already. You really only need additional boosts if for some reason you want to play far more characters in Warlords of Draenor than you played in Mists of Pandaria, or if you want to play at least two characters in the new expansion that you didn't play in the previous one. There simply aren't that many people who will ever need such additional boosts.

Imagine the alternative, a boost to level 90 costing just $5. I am sure that many people, Azuriel first among them, would complain about all those "n00bs" buying their way to level 90 instead of leveling their characters up the old-fashioned way. So this is really a situation where Blizzard doesn't have any option which Azuriel wouldn't complain about. And for them it is a simple economic calculation: Everybody who buys a boost isn't spending X months leveling up that character, so every boost is a potential loss of subscription months.
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