Blizzard has confirmed it’s exploring microtransactions for its popular MMO, World of Warcraft, following the discovery of an item, in the latest test patch, ousting an in-game store.
While testing Patch 5.4 in the Public Testing Realm (PTR), players discovered the Enduring Elixir of Wisdom, which increases the players experience earned from killing monsters and completing quest by 100%. The item lists that it’s from “patch 5.4 In-Game Store,” as pointed out by WoW Insider.
WoW players erupted on forums to decry the buff, but more so the signs of a future in-game store with similiar wares. It didn’t take long for Blizzard to respond.
“We are currently exploring the possibility of adding a way for players in certain regions to make purchases directly within the game,” later wrote Blizzard senior community manager Jonathan Brown, in a forum post under username Zarhym. “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.”
It should be noted that many MMOs — like Everquest 2, Star Wars: The Old Republic and Guild Wars 2 — have some form of the microtransaction system in place. It may just be that WoW’s 8.3 million subscribers took pride in not being one of them. Yet, with the use of the words ‘in certain regions,’ Blizzard may only be planning to implement in areas more accepting.