$500 for a WotLK Beta Key?

My wife, walking by my office door, casually asked, “You’re not going to pay $500 to play this Lich King thing, are you?”

As I was expecting something more along the lines of “are you coming to bed?” “is the house locked up?” or “don’t forget to set the dishwasher,” I was a bit taken aback.

As usual, several separate thoughts rushed for my mouth and got jammed in together like the Three Stooges in a door way, leaving me muttering, “Who? What?” (Which sounds like “hooowhaa?” when I am in that state.)

She had already passed by and settled down in front of her computer. I walked over and she showed me an article on Yahoo! about Warcraft testers paying big bucks for access.

Yikes! People paying for beta access? Paying to test somebody else’s software?

Okay, it boggles my mind, but I get paid to test software, not the other way around.

But sure enough, we went to eBay and searched on “lich king beta” and found more than a few auctions up selling beta keys.

I have to wonder what the Blizzard stance is on that?

That and how many of those codes for sale are just scams? I mean, PayPal is good on giving you a refund if you do not get something tangible from an auction, like LEGO minifigures (don’t ask), but if all you are buying is an n-digit code number, how do you get your money back if it did not work? PayPal is NOT good at refunds when it comes to intangibles. They used to explicitly exclude such things from their refund policy, and may still, I’m just too lazy to check.

So, in answer to my wife, I said that if I had a beta key, I would happily sell it for $500 and just wait for the expansion to ship.

I went back to my office while she headed down the hallway. Arriving at our bedroom, she called out to me yet again.

The cat had just thrown up on the bed.

Reality was back to normal at our house.

9 thoughts on “$500 for a WotLK Beta Key?

  1. Snafzg

    My guess is that Blizzard would be happy to have testers willing to pay $500 to try out their beta. The ones selling it would likely bring nothing to the beta while the hardcores would be more apt to actually report bugs and submit feedback.

    Strangely enough, the average WAR beta key is going for 10% of that ($50) on eBay, which goes to show you how much hype is surrounding each of the products, or how desperate some WoW people are to grind even more (pot shot)! Then again, open beta will be upon us soon, so that could be why the price isn’t as high too.


  2. Regis

    Blizzard can’t really do much for people selling beta spots, since the code revealing is only revealed after the buy.

    I don’t like the way Blizzard and other companies use betas without NDA as, a big PR tool. It’s used for testing and finding bugs, but I doubt many people actually do anything worthwhile.


  3. Cyanabne

    I am sure a lot of these people who are paying are probably people who run/manage gold farming or server first organizations and working to solidify where and what they need to do. It is pretty serious though if they are willing to shell out half a grand, that must mean the value is there.

    If this were SOE I would expect them to start charging for this (and why not?) ;) Blizzard can swing either way.

    We should track this over the next few weeks and plot out where the price goes during new beta phases etc.


  4. Captain The First

    The days of being paid to beta test any form of games are long gone. Beta testing isn’t what it used to be, it isn’t a set of qualified people doing the testing because there’s money to be made off of a beta.

    It’s free advertisement, advertisement that people are willing to pay for just so they can catch a glimpse of what’s to come. It’s a commercial act of violence that goes against the grain of proper software development.

    You get your software testers for free… if they don’t complain about something it must not need fixing and can safely be ignored even if it is a structural problem that will get compounded further down the line.

    Such is life


  5. Manabunny

    Although I’m looking forward to all the new goodies in WotLK, I will *not* pay $500 for a beta key. Maybe $30, if I actually found a reliable person and felt like splurging. It’ll be here soon enough!

    Interesting blog here my noob friend. You have a million games under your belt…I have one.


  6. Johanna

    Blizzard went out publically a while ago with the fact that the so called “beta keyys” for WotLK has not yet been released, seeing that those you found probably are exactly what you propose; scams.


  7. Manabunny

    Beta is currently up and running — I think they are using keys to verify the account the invitation was sent to? I am not sure. I don’t feed them enough money through Blizzcon to ever get an invite anyway :(


  8. happylock

    Blizzard should lockthe keys to the accounts they were granted for, the fact that they don’t do such a validation process leads me to believe they are the ones posting those keys on eBay (as I’ve believed they’re the ones selling gold) lol


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