Let the rumor die. Bashiok, the hungry tree, has made it official. An in-game store is coming to World of Warcraft sometime in the future. The rumor kicked off last week after a data mine by WoWHead discovered an item labeled for addition with the “5.4 In-Game Store”.
Initially, Zarhym explained that the company was simply “exploring the possibility” of introducing a feature that’s become a near universal trait of the genre. That’s no longer the party line.
Of course, when we’ll actually see the store in action remains to be seen. Bashiok noted that Blizzard is still “pretty early” in the process.
The reasoning behind the addition is sound. First off, the microtransactions available from the Battle.net store have been a hit, even if Sparkle Pony was a firestorm initially. Thus, an in-game store would be highly convenient for fans of the web-based store. Second, with pressure and expectations from the F2P market mounting, Blizzard is investigating adding new convenience-oriented items, such as the experience boosting Enduring Elixir of Wisdom, to appease a growing minority. These items will be tested in Asian markets before making the jump to Western audiences.
Seems Blizzard’s various increases in experience gains over the years weren’t enough.