Perhaps in an attempt to reinvigorate its slowly dwindling World of Warcraft
user base, Activision Blizzard
is considering adding in-game purchases to the online game. In a post on the Battle.net forums, Zarhym (aka Jonathan Brown, WoW Senior Community Rep) said: “We are currently exploring the possibility of adding a way for players in certain regions to make purchases directly within the game. As part of this process, elements related to this will be appearing on the PTR. We’ll provide additional updates on our plans as development progresses.”
The comment pertained to the discovery of an in-game spell called the Enduring Elixir of Wisdom that would give the user a 100% increase in “experience gained from killing monsters and completing quests” that appeared in the game’s Public Test Realm.
One commenter in the forums noted that games in which you can pay real money to do better are usually free-to-play games, which jibes with what Activision Blizzard CEO Robert A. Kotick said in May when discussing WoW
’s loss of subscriber numbers and the new reality of online games back in May
. “It's important to note that the nature of online games has changed, and with the environment becoming far more competitive, especially with free-to-play games,” he said.
Activision Blizzard is smart to try anything to bring additional profitability to the game, keep its current players coming back for more, or attract new players, but bringing in-game purchases may be a dicey way to do so.