Last week 1UP said that Blizzard generated over $2 million bucks in just four hours for the new Celestial Steed found in the Blizzard Pet Store. Created for the MMORPG World of Warcraft, the $25 virtual steed allows players to "travel in style astride wings of pure elemental stardust." The supernatural warhorse also travels at 310-percent speed if players own at least one other 310-percent mount.
But many players were annoyed with the pet's release. As reported by MMOSITE.COM, subscribers complained that Blizzard was destroying the PC-based MMORPG for profit. Other believed that the virtual steed allowed players to "buy their way through the game." But as Blizzard said in the past, it is not selling "progression," but rather vanity items to (1) make a profit and to (2) give something unique for fans to collect.
There's no question that micro-transactions are here to stay. Many non-Blizzard MMORPG's thrive on this model, racking in revenue by offering Free-To-Play MMOs alongside purchasable equipment, magical items, and other necessary goods. This business model also addresses the gamer who wants to play, but doesn't have the time to grind for items and equipment.
Do items such as the Celestial Steed and other in-game, purchasable goods mean that players are taking the express lane?
Do you or would you buy virtual in-game goods? Would you pay money for weapons and armor to get ahead of other players? We want to know!
Maybe if you spent your time farming for a job instead of gold, you could make a dent in your area's unemployment. Just a thought.