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11-05-2009 @ 11:09AM
Very informative article, Mike.I like the examples you provided about microtransactions outside of Blizzard. It made it easy to put it all into perspective.Personally, I'm indifferent about the microtransactions. I'm sure that will change if suddenly I'm outgeared by the rich guy in my guild who bought all of his stuff. But again, it's possible that it will never happen, the buying of gear and such.
11-08-2009 @ 8:22PM
Exactly. And in any case, as long as it's nothing that's affecting game balance, people wasting their money only means better updates for me.
11-05-2009 @ 12:08PM
The only quibble I have is that these aren't really microtransactions. Microtransactions are usually small payments, originally pennies or fractions of pennies, that were packaged together at some threshold to allow for credit card transactions without penalty. For instance, there was talk of on-line newspapers charging a few pennies per article, then bundling that all up at the end of the month. It was more efficient than charging at each article and allowed the consumer to control how much they spent on a site (rather than creating an artificial expectation with a subscription fee).$10 is not a microtransaction. That's just a transaction. Yes, the goods are virtual, but so is the game itself. We pay $15 a month without deeming it a "microtransaction".
11-05-2009 @ 1:43PM
Good point (@Qot) about microtransactions -- $10 is not small enough to qualify for his concept. Apple helped to revolutionize music sales by breaking apart albums and selling individual songs for 99 cents, which is an amount that people don't think twice about. And Apple is doing it again with the AppStore.What might have been truly interesting is if Blizzard had considered smaller prices, such as 39 cents (or 59, 79, 99), an amount most people would consider trivial. Maybe a permanent pet is a premium, but what about temporary pets to play with that last 30 days? What about special potions that could make you look like anyone or anything you targeted for 30 or 60 minutes (your favorite critter?) The point is, many people wouldn't think twice about spending at that price, it would be considered fun since it wouldn't be perceived as a big money-suck, yet Blizzard could still pull in a nice chunk of change.Blizzard has a solid business model, so they could have afforded to experiment more. $10 is a store, not a micropayment.
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