The profit of online Games

In order to get one without eBay you would have to either be incredibly lucky or buy thousands of dollars’ worth of cards from the TCG. Neither is very likely for the everyman who plays World of Warcraft. But if you have a tax refund check or some money stashed away from a Christmas bonus (hey, not in my house, but it could happen) then it might be worth it for the dedicated gamer to buy their way to one of the rarest mounts in the game. The Celestial Steed is in a small way like that. No, the mount isn’t rare, not by any means. In fact, right now I float over a Dalaran filled to the brim with little floaty horsies. But it is purchasable, which means that if you have the cash and the patience to wait in an online queue for upwards of four hours to obtain one then you too can fly around with the stars at your command. Personally I received the mount as a gift, but I probably would have purchased it myself simply because I am a collector. I love getting mounts and pets. I’m a little slow at it if you look up my character’s achievements, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy it. The minute I saw this mount in action I wanted it. It is now my third mount that has 310% flight speed, which is a huge advantage in getting around. Not everyone sees this mount the way I see it. Much of the talk in the trade chat around my server, much of the grumbling I saw on other sites and on Facebook, complained about the commercialization of ingame items. ‘They’re destroying the game for profit,’ naysayers proclaim. I can’t believe they’re just letting people buy their way through the game,’ others complain. The heated debate has been raging for hours now, and there’s not hint at it stopping any time soon. Maybe it will peter off when the 50,000 person queues in the Blizzard store lessen. Honestly, online games are here to make a profit, and this particular item is selling like hotcakes. Rumor has it that in the first four hours sales of the Celestial Steed netted Blizzard $4.4 million dollars. That’s a lot of cash. Other games sell ingame currency, weapons and armor, just about everything.

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