Have people noticed that this horse is half the cost of an expansion? Have people noticed that many other games, like Champions Online or City of Heroes, offer more items for less cost? Has anyone noticed that this horse actually provides an in-game "advantage," as all of your alts now no longer have to purchase mounts with gold, they'll just have the horse to ride around on from level 20 on up? Where is all of the standard whining and complaining? What makes Blizzard allowed to do this and other companies become the devilspawn when they try it?
It's ok, it's Blizzard!
If this was any other video game company, especially Cryptic or Gala-Net or even Turbine, people would be rioting in the streets. Instead, I drop by the World of Warcraft forums, and I find a huge thread of people defending the addition of the overpriced mount.
"I like World of Warcraft as much as the next person, but I find this horse to be an insult. "
We seem to be engaged in a horrific double standard. We have people who find spending 25 bucks on a single item appalling when it's done in a F2P game, but seriously ok when it's done in World of Warcraft.
Cryptic's item shop is sucking the consumer dry with both a subscription and microtransaction business model, but it's 100% ok if Blizzard does it, right? Here's a question for you -- why is Blizzard allowed to do what so many other companies can't do?
I like World of Warcraft as much as the next person, but I find this horse to be an insult. Twenty-five dollars is not acceptable for the price of a virtual item that serves one purpose. It's not ok for anyone to sell an item at such a steep cost, and I feel really horrified that so many people are so easily bought into something like this. Plus, I wouldn't have a problem with this mount if it was 5 bucks or something, or if I hadn't seen people completely rip Allods Online to shreds when they tried selling a bag upgrade for 20 bucks on their microtransaction shop.
What's been shown today is that people will pay anything towards a product they feel comfortable with. It's less about the purpose of the item, and more about if the consumer feels that the item is a quality purchase from a trustworthy company . Apparently, quality means "a horse full of stars."
The double standards that people hold are amazing, and truly fascinating to watch. It still blows my mind that there is a company that can get away with charging their customers outrageous sums of money, and yet those customers fork the cash over without a second thought. A price tag that could be the deathknell of one game's community can quickly become another game's best-selling item.
So what else is there to say, besides noting that many of our bretheren are extremely petty and fickle? Unfortunately, not much.
So shut up people, go buy your horse (NSFW).
Seraphina Brennan is the weekly writer of Anti-Aliased who will not get on your horse. When she's not writing here for Massively, she's rambling on her personal blog,The Experience Curve. If you want to message her, send her an e-mail at seraphina AT massively DOT com. You can also follow her on Twitter through Massively, or through her personal feed, @sera_brennan.