Announced earlier this year, the in-game store has now been officially launched in World of Warcraft by developer Blizzard. The shop is a first of its kind and for the first time allows players to purchase mounts and pets from within the game with real-money.
The shop includes most of the items that are already available on the Battle.net store, and also new ones. These can be added to your inventory straight away with a purchase and there is no waiting time involved.
To commemorate the launch, Blizzard is offering a 50 percent discount on selected mounts and pets. It didn’t mention as to when the sale will expire so it’s best for any interested player to make purchases as soon as possible.
Blizzard has promised to broaden their in-game store with time and add in new and exotic items.
This is the first time that micro-transactions have been brought into the World of Warcraft. Perhaps this was a step taken following the surge of many players leaving the iconic MMO.
When at its peak, the MMO boasted more than 12 million paying customers in 2011. However, that number was revealed to down to merely 7.6 million by the third quarter of this year.
As of last year, World of Warcraft accounted to 61 percent of total revenues for Blizzard. This would be drastic if the MMO further lost subscribers and went below five million by next year.
Introduction of the in-game shop is just one way to regulate that revenue stream. The company needs to bring back their players and perhaps the newly announced “The Warlords of Draenor” expansion may do just that.