Posted Wed, Mar 12, 2014 by Mem
The anticipation leading up the revealing of a new World of Warcraft can be pretty intense. However, it is nothing when compared with the excitement that buzzes through the community after it is actually announced. Warlords of Draenor is a prime example of this.
Since it's reveal at BlizzCon 2013, players have been hanging on the edge of their seats for some hint of a release date. Every tidbit of news is analyzed over and over again, until every last detail has been taken in. Then the waiting game for Blizzard to toss us another tiny breadcrumb begins anew.
This week, fans of the game were delivered more than just a breadcrumb. In fact, it may even be considered a whole loaf of bread, or at least an entire piece (not the crust either). Blizzard finally has made Warlords of Draenor available for pre-sale, something that should bring joy to the entire World of Warcraft community. However, this big news has been met with disappointment and sometimes downright anger from fans thanks to one tiny detail; the price.
When Warlords of Draenor first went up
for pre-sale, most players were too delirious with joy to really
notice anything amiss. A pre-sale means that we are one step
to getting a new expansion for World of Warcraft and that is almost
always a cause for celebration. Then, after looking over things a bit
more, cold hard reality finally set in.
There is something surprisingly different about Warlords of Draenor. It's not the characters, the art, or even the game play. No, the difference is is that this expansion is more expensive than any other World of Warcraft expansion before it. As things stand currently, the standard edition will run players $49.99 USD, ten dollars more than previous expansions.
Reactions to this price increase have easily covered both good and bad extremes, as well as much of the in between territories. Some are of the opinion that ten dollars isn't such a big deal. Really, it's not a lot of cash and it certainly won't break the bank. For others, with more limited incomes, this ten dollar jump is a huge deal. In fact, it may mean the difference between them purchasing a copy of Warlords of Dreanor or going without the newest expansion.
Of course, it stands to reason that the price increase is due to the rising costs of creating games. Just like any other industry, the cost of creating games has been going up for years. I suppose most of us should have expected a price increase to be incoming, however, prices have stayed pretty much the same. Warlords of Draenor seems to be one of the first games to come out and have such an obvious price jump.
Even with a potential motive behind this price increase, I still can't decide if I should be totally understanding or join the crowd who believe this is total insanity. I am lucky in the fact that ten dollars is a pretty meager sum to me. I won't have any trouble coming up with the funds to buy my expansion pack. With that being said, I am still pretty unhappy with having to shell out the extra funds, especially considering our household purchases two copies of every expansion.
Despite the fact that I can personally afford the expansion, I find myself distinctly upset with the fact that this price increase may make Warlords of Draenor totally unobtainable for some players. While ten dollars has never seemed like a huge amount of money to me, for some people it really is. It also makes me wonder where these price increases will end. Will games skyrocket in price so that only the elite can afford to purchase them?
The only way I can see a potential for things to be made right here is for Blizzard to offer more bang for our buck. What I'm talking about is a bigger, better, more interactive expansion than we have ever seen before. More zones, more quests, more of everything. This way players feel like the extra money was well spent, that they got their monies worth, even if they had to scrap the bottom of their piggy bank to afford it.
I know some will roll their eyes at this notion and write it off as crazy talk. Warlords of Draenor, for World of Warcraft fans, is probably going to be the most enjoyable game we play. It doesn't matter if we try out any of the other new games set to release, we will always find ourselves drawn back to World of Warcraft.
So shouldn't we just fork out the funds
and shut up? I think not. No matter how much we love it, we can't
forget that World of Warcraft is still charging us a monthly
subscription fee. This is happening in a world where free-to-play is
becoming the new norm. So with that in mind, this price hike suddenly
becomes more of a big deal.
With Blizzard raking in 14.99 a month (and sometimes more) from each player, plus the proceeds from the various expansion packs, they can't be hurting for cash. So why the price increase? Is it greed or something else? I don't have the answers to that, but I do know one thing: every player should be concerned, even those who can afford the price increase. With shop buttons appearing in game and a paid for level 90 boost in the works, things could quickly spirial out of control. World of Warcraft could become a real life gold sink.
With all that being said, I will still be purcashing the expansion. World of Warcraft is what I do, my favorite game of all time. I won't be missing out on this particular expansion. However, I will be voicing my rather negative opinion about the price increase, with many others in the WoW community, in the hopes Blizzard will get the message.If expansion prices do keep spiking, the subscription fee stays the same, and the amount of content doesn't match the price, then I may consider throwing in the towel when it comes to World of Warcraft.
What do you think about the hike in price for Warlords of Draenor? Does this price jump affect your actually buying the game? Do you think more increased prices will be seen in the future? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!