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[Update] Just a quick note to let you know Blizzard just released these items on the North American version of their store.  I suppose the EU team just works faster and this wasn't a pander to the NA community after all.

[Original article]

Today three vanity gear items were added to the Blizzard Store, but only outside the US. Some time back we stumbled on the story that Blizzard would be adding an in-game cash shop to World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria.  Right after our story Blizzard confirmed the rumor, saying that they are exploring the option, especially in the Asian territories where cash shops are more acceptable.  Then they announced that they would be adding transmog gear to the Blizzard Store, a move that seems to support the in-game store format.

The three cosmetic items are head pieces, for sale for 12 Euros a piece -- a little over $15.00 USD.  The backlash on the North American servers against the sale of gear is pretty fascinating when you take into account the fact that we've been buying vanity pets and mounts for years now.  It's almost as if the moment that the items are wearable it crosses some line and offends their delicate American sensibilities.

It looks like Blizzard will only be putting up vanity items for the moment, but as we know they are looking to add in experience boosts, which in some circles translates to pay-to-play.  I personally am fine with this payment model, as long as the game that uses it doesn't also have a subscription.  WoW is the king of subscriptions, so  it just doesn't make sense to also take on P2P items.  As commenter Kardon mentioned though, there are players that would pay $15.00 so they could get through the lower levels for yet another alt.  

Why do you think North American players are so against the idea of buying items to advance your MMO characters?  Is it something in our culture perhaps?  And what is your personal opinion on the vanity items -- would you pay nearly $16.00 for a shiny hat?

5 Comments for this post.
Like 2 Disike 0

Most games that offer subscription and F2P side by side give you currency to buy items if you do a sub in that game. So like in Champions or Lord of the Rings you get a stipend of monthly currency to spend on the item  in the "cash shops".  Where the F2P players have to actually spend money.


I dislike the model Blizzard has going currently. They already rake in subs like no other game and now they added another revenue stream to that. Feels greedy but this is capitalism, all hail the monolithic giant! :)

Like 2 Disike 0

I agree, but then I remember how it was totally okay to buy vanity pets and mounts.  So why not gear and items?  Is it because they are used on the character?  At least this gear is cosmetic.

Like 1 Disike 0

That is the key point: these are cosmetic and entirely optional. If they were "Pay2Win" gear that was on par with the top gear that raiders or PvPers could acquire, all hell would break loose.

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I'm saying more that if you are going to offer these, sub people should be able to earn them outside of paying for them. There are a lot of people who will short cut of course. I dunno, over all it just seems greedy. The pets and mounts did too, even if I bought one. :) But hey at least one of those was a partial charity thing.

[Frostavenger The Shy guy] @ 8:43:23 PM Jul 16, 2013
Like 1 Disike 0

this Post fits me very well. I DID buy the Frost helm from the store. I dont mind the fact that Sub based games do a Cash shop thing. I am all for making my Toon look as bad ass as I can. Even if you have to pay IRL money for it. BUT wow dose it right and gives that said item to EVERY single toon you make/have on your account. so 15$ for a item that you wll never lose and have on every toon makes it that much better. Most games I have played make you buy it on every toon and some even make you buy it weekly so you can keep it.  I hate the pay to win idea for games but when you have played  a game for 4 years now and have many alts and want many more, You will tend not to want to Lvl anther toon because its slow and the same thing over and over again. So I am all for buying that pot just to get me past the part iv seen so many times.  But for me as long as the item is cosmetic I dont mind. Also i dont mind games doing both sub and cash shop as long as the game keeps giving me content that is fun and keeps me coming back I dont mind. Because every little bit of money I spend will help the game in the long run

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