I was interested to see, in the wake of this week’s subscription announcement, how a few people commenting on the 5.6 million number felt the need to clarify that this included people who were subscribed via WoW Tokens, the PLEX-like item that Blizzard introduced to Azeroth back in April.
My inference from this is that they somehow view those who subscribe using WoW Tokens as not being real subscribers. After all, they aren’t actually paying to play the game any more, they’re just using the gold they have accumulated.
I’ve heard that same line of reasoning in EVE Online as well. And it is completely bogus.
In fact, it is almost the opposite of the truth, because every single one of those WoW Token funded accounts is actually paying more money into Blizzard on any given month than I ever did with my account.
I tend to go for the “every three months” option, which gets me a small discount while not committing me to a long stretch. It works out to $13.99 a month.
But a WoW Token, good for 30 days of game play, that is $20 here in the US. Anybody financing their subscription with in-game gold is handing Blizzard $6.00 more than I am for the month of August, and I am getting 31 days while they are only getting 30.
And the quickly seen objection, that they are not, in fact, giving Blizzard any money out of their own pocket is irrelevant, because SOMEBODY is. Saying that they are not a subscriber is like saying somebody isn’t a subscriber because their mother pays their bill. Money has in fact been given to Blizzard that, in turn, has been used to add time to an account, and more money than Blizzard would have gotten otherwise.
Yeah, I know Tobold already posted something like this last week, but I had this written already and I need something for Blaugust. Besides, I don’t think the topic is “used up” yet in any case.
Anyway, while we’re on this track, I have also seen people claiming that WoW is already free to play because of the WoW Token. Again, no, because somebody has to pay for every active account. Remember when WildStar tried to make that argument back before launch, that their CREDD system, another PLEX-like currency, effectively made their game free to play? (They liked to call it a “hybrid” model.) Well, guess what they are working on right now? Yes, they are actually turning WildStar into a real free to play game, because their claims about CREDD were marketing BS. Free did not enter into it.
Finally, I was interested to see how some reaction in the WoW Token market during this week’s double whammy of announcements from Blizzard. Looking at the WoW Token Info site, you can see that the price of a WoW Token in-game finally got back up to its original 30,000 gold price, peaking just beyond the 32K mark.
I am not sure what that means. Why would it spike on the fifth just before the subscription number announcement, before dropping back down to its usual range, and then jump back up again after the Legion announcement? And why was this a US WoW Token market only phenomena, as the markets for the other regions remained flat through the same period.
Are US subscribers going on hiatus and just keeping their accounts ticking along with the piles of gold they have accumulated? Because an increase in demand is the only explanation for a price spike in this sort of market.