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Hails from Nova Scotia, Canada and is fanatical about fighting games, Formula One, Rocky movies, and Steam discounts.

How Blizzard Is Ripping You Off

It’s no secret that gamers have to pay for just about everything in World of Warcraft these days. What do you have to pay for? Well…

1. Initial Game Cost
2. Monthly Subscription
3. Server Transfer
4. Race Change
5. Faction Change
6. Additional Content (Expansions)
7. Micro Transactions
8. Login Authenticator

Almost all of these are not required. WoW could still exist as is without any of the above costing money. Does this sound hard to believe? Well, it shouldn’t and here’s why.

Initial Game Cost & Monthly Subscription
In this day and age, many MMORPGs opt to only have consumers pay for monthly subscriptions. Downloading a client and then either playing a limited free version or paying for a full subscription is the norm. Blizzard forces consumers to buy the privilege to play World of Warcraft and then they must set-up a $15 monthly subscription just to play.

ArenaNet, former Blizzard employees and makers of Guild Wars, have openly stated that developers do not need to charge gamers to play MMORPGs each month and that it is nothing more than a cash grab on the part of the developers. Considering how easily ArenaNet could have fallen apart if the original Guild Wars bombed without including monthly subscriptions, it’s not hard to believe what they are saying. Monthly subscriptions, though common, are NOT required.

Account & Character Services
Want to turn your dwarf into a gnome? It’s going to cost you approximately $15 a pop. That’s right, changing your race in World of Warcraft costs as much as it does to play the game for a month. If that isn’t ridiculous, then I don’t know what is…. especially considering that in other MMOs such as APB or Champions Online you are able to completely change every aspect of your character’s appearance without spending even a single cent. Imagine that! WoW’s faction change is not any different and only takes seconds for the game to process. You are being charged a quarter of a hundred dollars for a five second computer process.

Then there are server transfers. Many MMOs do not tie characters to specific servers and you can instead come and go as you please. Other games, like Rift, will plop your character onto servers of your choosing but you are free to transfer them whenever you want for no fee at all. Whoa. In WoW, if you want to move your warlock from Shadowmoon to Hyjal, it’s going to cost you something like $25 to disguise it as something that actually requires effort on Blizzard’s part… But to play with people from either realms in dungeons or battlegrounds is completely free? Where is the logic?

Additional Content
Pretty much all MMOs will charge for this kind of content except games that have adopted free to play mantras (subscriptions become optional). For example, Champions Online is currently working on increasing the level cap from 40 to either 45 or 50 and an entirely new city will be explorable. Sounds pretty substantial! While expansions are allowed to make money and I don’t view selling them as an evil act, they don’t need to cost as much as full retail games.

Micro Transactions & Ingame Stores
Considering everything that Blizzard forces their players to pay money for, it just seems so insanely wrong that they offer ingame mounts for sale at a price of $25. Yes, you can purchase a digital horse for a digital character to ride on for a whopping $25. You can also purchase vanity pets that serve no function at all for about $10 to $15. Wow. You can purchase thorough DLC for other games at a fraction of that price. For the price of one imaginary flying glitter pony to ride on, gamers could purchase several DLC adventures for Dragon Age: Origins or upgrade their Street Fighter 4 copies and obtain several new characters and stages.

While everything Blizzard charges people for is certainly extremely wrong and unnecessary, I suppose one can’t really speak out about it too much. The players are willing to spend money for these ridiculous services, so why should Blizzard stop? In a way, I suppose it is OUR fault that Blizzard earns money for all of these services which shouldn’t even cost money.

Shame on Blizzard for offering these services and shame on us for utilizing them.

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3 Comments on “How Blizzard Is Ripping You Off”

  1. Golma Garcia November 21, 2011 at 4:47 PM #

    I really love your blog, it is very informative. Keep up the good work!!

  2. mat w February 1, 2012 at 3:22 PM #

    I have looked this info over and while you are correct on what you are saying you are forgeting blizzard is a buisness that monotors its servers and has an army o developers and support people.
    I dont play many online games but i have tried wow as well as SWOR, champions online, as well as others. I have fould wow is a far suppirior game in almost every part ( except price) we as consumers love FREE its gets up wet but free leads to crap games few people relize the buissness side of it sec its fast and east and they could prolly come down on price but ill trade that to know that not everyother player is useing hacks to be demigod like in the games i enjoy and blizzard dose need to pay for that army to ensure fewer and fewer hacks go on and ruin our fun.
    if you dont like the fee dont play ….. if you want to play deal with the fee its for a far better gameing experiance than if it was just another free pile of crap game

  3. Stefan May 22, 2013 at 7:25 AM #

    Tbh all blizzard thinks of is ripping ppl off.. If your account is hacked, they ban it.. Its actually your account.. Thats what they are saying on the webpage.. u pay for the account once u pay for the game.. u get a game code u siqn in with to the account u BOUGHT! Now to play it pay money each month.. Fine its only they need money to their support and such..
    But char transfers?
    How can they take the account thats actually a Physical item (in this case the CD’s and such) and then they can just remove it? Ahem.. Btw they monitor your computer every single day, said in another word they hack your computer with the client shit download stuff and then watch what u are doing if there is any 3th party programs in this case bots.. Then we get to another case.. Wow accounts are to control 1by1.. not multi accounts at the same time.. But multibotting (yeah botting in the end ;)) is happening.. its not Multiboxing cause its a program (3th party again) that goes in and assist u to control many chars at the same time.. GG Blizzard? u have to pay for a game thats offline each wensday almost and have trouble ingame and such.. Cross realm servers fucked up making everyone have log in problems and u are paying for it! :P Do u get a refund or anything? Nah! But blizz helps you to get a bad experience.. they destroyed the game more and more.. PvP sucks.. Raiding is to easy and PvE? Wooooow.. BORING!
    Then the funny things come :) If u wanna quit wow/B-net account u wanna know what to do that u CANT read all over the internet? U have to give them all your info! and a photo of your passport or something like that? What the hell? blizzard cheats this much and expect me to give em private info about me from my passport? Haha.. Then i call em on their phonenumber and begins to argue with em.. All their support jerk could say was “i dont know anything about legal things thats not my area.” What!??!?!?! Not your area.. DORING LEGAL STUFF!?!?!?!?!
    So actually he just proved they dont care, and in the end you can talk to their layers :) Oh wait u cant call em u gotta make a letter and then u gotta use more money ;) see how its all been hitten? and blizzard think they can buy ppl.. But they cant buy us when they have threaten us bad and how will they avoid this? By making PVP suck even more? Making ppl pay more? Hahaha.. riiight.. Just quit the game.. and stop pay for any blizzard game and they will stop act like fucking kings on the internet cause they arent! They fail to much and cryes to much when we then confront em!

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