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Old 11-06-2009, 01:42 AM   #1
Rob Williams
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Join Date: Jan 2005
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Default World of Warcraft Introduces Paid Collectible Pets

From our front-page news:
There are many out there who believe that hardware innovation has slowed down, and to some extent, it could have. Processors, graphics cards and more are continually updated with new features and faster performance, but rarely do we see anything truly innovative. On the software side though, particularly gaming, there's a constant stream of quality titles hitting both the PC and the variety of consoles. In fact, if I could gain just an hour each day for one thing, it'd be gaming. Especially around this time of year, there's a true deluge of quality titles.

There's one direction plaguing gaming right now that I admittedly can't stand, and that's micro-transactions. If you have to ask what those are, they're essentially in-game items that require real-life cash to acquire. It seems a bit ironic to me that gamers and developers are up in arms over "gold-sellers" in MMORPG's, but when it comes to companies themselves selling in-game items for real-life cash, no one sees the problem. Personally, I do see a problem, because purchasing an in-game item for my real-world hard-earned money seriously detracts from the experience I should be having.

In some regards, I'm a hypocrite, because there are rare occurrences when micro-transactions don't bother me too much. If a developer is selling the rights to an item that in no way effects the players level of advancement, then I say, "so be it." There's real money to be had with such micro-transactions, and if there's one company that well understands how to extract funds from gamers, it's without a doubt, Blizzard. I don't mean to say that in a misleading or derogatory way, because the level of service and fun Blizzard's games provides are top-rate, so I can't rightfully complain.

But, even Blizzard has decided that micro-transactions are a good way of beefing up the revenue even further, and if a company like this knows it, and proves it with its actions, then you know for certain that this is just the beginning. The company has just unveiled in-game pets that offer little except to supply the player some companionship. Blizzard isn't so clear as to whether or not you have any control over the pet at all, but I'd assume you would be able to make it dance, wave or do whatever else current pets in the game could manage.

There are some obvious downsides and upsides to this kind of service being offered, but Blizzard knows one thing... gamers will be willing to part with their cash for such items. Call it a luxury item, if you will. The first two pets, Pandaren Monk and Lil' K.T., currently sell for $10 a piece, with half of the proceeds until the end of the year being sent to the Make-a-Wish foundation.

Give the gift of diminutive undead companionship with this Blizzard Pet Store exclusive-Lil' K.T., the mini-lich. What Lil' K.T. lacks in size, he more than makes up for in sheer malicious intensity. Watch with misplaced pride as he randomly freezes critters and laughs maniacally at your vanquished PvP foes. Once activated, this World of Warcraft in-game pet key applies to all present and future characters on a single World of Warcraft license.

Source: World of Warcraft Collectible Pets
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