Die-hard World of Warcraft fans with a little cash in their pocket will get a chance to own a piece of the MMORPG's history next week. Starting Monday, October 17, Blizzard will be auctioning off server-blade hardware that once played host to World of Warcraft's virtual realm in its earliest days. The net proceeds from the auction will benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, one of the world's premier centers for the research and treatment of pediatric cancer and other catastrophic childhood diseases.
"World of Warcraft realms are like the virtual neighborhoods of the game’s community -- they contain the spaces where millions of players have made friendships, forged friendly rivalries, and created lasting memories," said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. "Each winner in this auction will own a small monument to those collective experiences. The best part is that this auction benefits a great charity doing tremendous work in helping children from the U.S. and around the world."
According to the company, approximately 2,000 of the original HP BladeSystem server blades from about 500 different World of Warcraft realms will be auctioned. The server blades will also be prettied up for the occasion, crammed inside a custom windowed case featuring the World of Warcraft logo and an additional commemorative plaque signed by the World of Warcraft team so that onlookers peeking in know it's not just a piece of discarded junk.
Thursday Blizzard said that the HP server blades were preserved after a series of World of Warcraft infrastructure upgrades. They will now be offered in batches over the next four weeks, starting Monday. The auctions will take place on eBay and will be managed by online auction specialist Kompolt. For more information on the auction schedule as well as a detailed FAQ, head here.