Thursday, April 15, 2010

Star-Spangled Ponies

Well, the Blizzard Store is doing great. The first two pets were a hit, the plushy/pet combos seem to be a hit, and now we have another new pet and also the store's first mount. And what a day it is for Blizzard's shareholders.

At $25, you would think people would be a little slow on the purchase of this one. I mean, really, $25? For something that is guaranteed to bring in a profit? But then when you look more closely, you realize that Blizzard is still feeling their way with the store. They want to see just how far they can go with it and still maximize profit.

First, pets.

Then, pets with toys.

Now, mounts.

Now, we all know that in-game pets are not really free. There is some cost to their development. Also, the more animations, emotes, actions, and other "tricks" that they do, the more time is invested, and time is money. And also testing. Testing is a big deal because it is time spent not actually producing anything.

So, new models with awesome art and features is going to cost more to produce and Blizzard decided that handing them out for "free" was not suitable for this level of quality. It sort of makes sense. After all, World of Warcraft had a specific amount of quality when it was released for the $15 a month price model. Over the years, the quality has increased and feature after feature has been coded into the game and the price has not changed. Technically, we are still paying for the World of Warcraft from five years ago.

The simple fact is that if we are going to continue increasing quality of the game and get some of those high-quality toys back into the game and out of the shop, we are going to have to pay a high monthly fee.

You should expect the fee increase to happen. It could happen with the launch of Cataclysm.

Anyway, upon a still closer look at this new mount, it turns out that it is just a new skin of an already existing in-game mount that drops off of Alganon in hard mode.

So no real effort was put into this store mount. Maybe some testing and fiddling with colors.

Enjoy your $25 re-skinned mount folks, it will be the first of many.

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