So, this is happening. A “WoW Token” is being introduced today. An in-game item worth 30 days of Game Time. With it, one can spend $20 real world dollars to purchase a token to sell to other players for Gold. Or, you can be the purchaser of these tokens for your gold in game. What does this all MEAN?!
If I were to guess at the lineage of this idea, it probably came from a discussion after the Guardian Cub stop being worth any gold. The Guardian Cub had a similar system; either you buy this pet for cash, or you buy it off the auction house for gold. But no one regulated the price. I remember it starting off very high, maybe 20k, 25k. Then it dropped. Quickly, and steadily. I’m not sure if you can still buy Guardian Cubs from the in-game store, but I think they sell for about 500-1000 gold.
Blizzard is definitely aiming to stabilize this price. Like in the video, if you buy one, Blizzard’s in-game store makes a contract with you that says, “In approximately 30 minutes to 2 hours, you will get 17,345 gold.” Then your WoW token gets put in a queue of tokens to be sold on the auction house. This is where the price gets fluctuated on Blizzards end. They decide whether or not all the tokens sell for more gold, less gold, or that amount, and from what I can tell you never actually see individual tokens up on the auction house like a normal item.
Besides all of the price fixing, and what not. I’m really into this as a concept. Now it gives me gold goal, with something to spend my gold on. If I put in enough time to get gold each month, I can play WoW for not American Dollars. I’m curious to see if the price of this thing settles. I know Blizzard is always looking for gold sinks in the game and this is a big transference of wealth from one to another. I can see this token giving players about 15k, but the token being bought for 20k, or 25k. Where Blizzard essentially removes 10k from the game with each token sold.
I almost wonder if it gets to the point where Blizzard keeps the pool of tokens high by just adding them into the system. I’m not sure how many are going to be bought with real money initially. 20$ is a pretty hefty price tag for a lot of people. If their goal is to compete with gold selling sites, they didn’t do their research. Looking at a few different ones, 20k is about 15 dollars. It’s sounding like Blizzard is giving you 15k for 20$. Granted, their system is on the up and up, but still, that is their competition. You would think they would make the in-game gold easier to get than a gold selling website. Five dollars could be just enough to seek other options.
I think this is a great idea that will evolve over time. I’m very interested to see how this ends up.