World of Warcraft studio beefing up its microtransaction efforts

Blizzard Entertainment establishes "Microtransaction Strategy" business unit, seeking director and manager to help lead the initiative.

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Blizzard Entertainment, creator of popular franchises like World of Warcraft, Diablo, and StarCraft, is beefing up its microtransaction efforts. The Irvine, California developer has posted a pair of new jobs on its "Strategic Initiatives" team calling for a director and manager for the company's new "Microtransaction Strategy" unit.

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The language featured in the job listings suggests that Blizzard is aware that gamers have not been entirely won over just yet by the way which some games have employed micropayments.

"Do you want to help Blizzard Entertainment design monetization models that actually enhance the gameplay experience?" the requisition for Director of Microtransaction Strategy reads.

The person selected for this job will work to target the "intersection of revenue generation goals and quality player experience" with an overall aim of creating an enjoyable--and profitable--experience.

An ideal candidate will "have experience conceptualizing and iterating micro-transaction based game business models, and possess a deep understanding of player interactions with those models, both at the individual and community levels."

For the Director of Microtransaction Strategy position, eight years of industry experience and quantitative Bachelor's degree is required, while an MBA or quantitative Master's degree is preferred.

Blizzard's establishment of a "Microtransaction Strategy" unit is hardly surprising. The company has recently moved deeper into the world of free-to-play games through collectible card game HearthStone: Heroes of Warcraft and MOBA Heroes of the Storm.

And while World of Warcraft still requires a monthly subscription, Blizzard offers a range of virtual items for purchase, including mounts and pets for fees in the $10-$30 range. In addition, Blizzard launched a World of Warcraft in-game store just last month.

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Frostbite24

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<< LINK REMOVED >>

You do know that WoW has had microtransactions for years now, right?

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Mr_Enlightened

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There is more important things in life than money.

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Mimicry

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Here's hoping that Blizz has learned the all important lesson from D3 - if you're gonna charge extra for it, make sure it's cosmetic only.

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Richardthe3rd

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The sad thing is that as people turn away from WoW, this sort of initiative seems to suggest Blizzard is looking to the remaining loyal players to fill the revenue vacuum they leave. That seems unfair and a little disrespectful.

I could understand this sort of position for something like Heroes of the Storm or Hearthstone, which are Free to Play, but invading WoW even further with microtransactions should be done with caution.

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unreal101

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F*ck mictrotransactions in pre-paid games, and f*ck the lazy consumers who enable the sleazy business practices. The audience is just as responsible as the publishers here.

14 • 
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nurnberg

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<< LINK REMOVED >> 1 million people just bought a game in an alpha state (Day Z), so sadly, the lazy consumers who enable the sleazy business practices are a big group.

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Frostbite24

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >>

Yeah they bought a game in alpha state for a cheaper price than the full release and don't have to rebuy the game at full price. Idiots!

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Steve_Esquire

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<< LINK REMOVED >> I remember when I signed up to GS for the cheat code section..

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Frostbite24

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Yeah shame on them for buying cosmetic items that have no bearing on gameplay. Shame!

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nurnberg

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Cosmetic items should not cost anything.

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AzatiS

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Enhance for our pockets , sound more realistic.


Like they are not generating a massive amount of $$ , they want more ... lol. I lost respect to Blizzard long ago. They became another Activision. period

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Mimicry

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<< LINK REMOVED >> What do you mean *another Activision*? It's called Activision Blizzard for a reason =)

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Stiler

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enhance for the players? LOL!


Lets just call a spade a spade here.


"Do you want to nickel and dime customers who have already paid full price for our game even more?"


It's one thing to have them on free to play games and focus them on pure-cosmetic items, probably hands down the best business model of this I have played has been League of Legends, where every-single gameplay releated thing (heroes, runes) can be obtained by playing and you are never forced to pay a single cent.

Instead the majority of their money comes from skins and cosmetic items that have zero affect on the gameplay.

That is how you do micotransactions right.

You do NOT charge people full price for a game, let alone a monthly subscription, and then on TOP of this have gameplay altering things that people can buy for money, especially if said game is online against other real players and it can give them advantages.

IE games like World of Tanks is TERRIBLE at this, being able to "buy" victory because you can buy actual gameplay items that give you an advantage over free players makes the game experience terrible as a whole.

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J_Dangerously

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I think it's inevitable that all the things we love are bound to become the things we hate. Success is self defeating. Blizzard now occupies a place on my shelf of dubious infamy, right next to Bioware.


The cash grab will only become more desperate as more players turn away from them. Like rats on a sinking ship.

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Richardthe3rd

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You may be on to something. A lot of analysts used to say that WoW would ruin Blizzard, and the void it creates as WoW shrinks is a motivator.

I was truly shocked when the RMAH was announced for D3, and that was really the first strike.

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smokeless_0225

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Surly they would be smart enough to keep this "micro-transaction unit" far away from games that people have already paid full price for (Starcraft, Diablo, etc).

I know that Diablo 3 gets very difficult after "Normal Mode" but don't make it too much easier on people just because they're willing to fatten your wallet even more. Difficult games just make people work harder to get past them, that's the way it should be.

Micro-transactions that give people (who bought a game for $60 plus shells out more afterward) a huge benefit over someone else (that just bought the game for $60) wouldn't be right. This would kill any game as well as the credibility of the company that did so.

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Frostbite24

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If microtransactions are just cosmetic then who the f*ck cares? Seriously, which of you is going to whine about someone else buying a hat or in-game pet? Hmm? Currently WoW only offers cosmetic microtransactions and as long as it stays that way then no one should complain save they're an angsty teen who can't help it.

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unreal101

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<< LINK REMOVED >> The issue isn't any specific instance, it's the trend. In this case, it's cosmetic, but plenty of other games force microtransactions into the actual gameplay, like paid cheats/unlocks/in-game currency.

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Frostbite24

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >>

So because other games feature bad implementation of microtransactions now every game with microtransactions are horrible? Generalizing much? Why not treat it on a case by case basis. You know, like a reasonable person would.

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WingChopMasta

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Ouch! beefier IAP along with a subscription fee? Blizzard has lost all hope in it's outdated MMO. How about you change it up enough for people to care, make it free to play and then kill it off with beefier Microtransactions.

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Riddick123

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Entitlement. Why work for it and earn it when you can just buy it?

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smokeless_0225

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Just like that crap with AC4. Don't get me wrong, I love the game as a whole. But that little part where you could just buy the collectable items instead of work to gather them just got under my skin, lol.

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Riddick123

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> I just started the game. Noticed that. No thanks, I'll just play the game and find it myself. How dare you expect me to earn it.

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Riddick123

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Where'd ya go? Thought you got another ban hammer.

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unreal101

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<< LINK REMOVED >> They're being nice to us and saving us precious time, remember?

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deactivated-58270bc086e0d

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My way of interacting is to give it as wide a berth as physically and mentally possible without leaving the game. You are welcome.

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unreal101

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Wide berth* . Big difference

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deactivated-58270bc086e0d

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@unreal101 Good job I spotted your reply before the doomsday counter had stopped.

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unreal101

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The title alone made me a little nauseous.

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digitaldame

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Hopefully if it has to do with Hearthstone they don't mess things up too badly.

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Riddick123

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@DigitalDame Has Sefrix called you the Dame of a Digital Nature yet? And they pretty much use microtransactions in WoW already.

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digitaldame

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Umm nope, he has not. And yeah they have microtransactions in WoW but they have two new titles that seem like they'll be leaning pretty heavily on the concept.

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Riddick123

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Long story. Not intended as an insult. Was a compliment.

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Riddick123

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Until people stop paying for them it isn't going away.

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deactivated-58270bc086e0d

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<< LINK REMOVED >> It is so strange how I can hover over these things and my mind actually wants me to buy these things in game but then luckily every time so far the rational part of my brain has stopped me.

Yes I want to continue playing by buying credits, yes I want that transparent ghost horse to ride around on. No wonder kids are so susceptible to them.

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Moonco

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Moonco  Moderator

If all companies had a "Microtransaction Strategy" unit, I would stop playing video games and go outside for a fun round of Bocce or chuck the Frisbee at the house

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deadpeasant

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<< LINK REMOVED >> You shouldn't chuck the frisbee at the house. You might break a window. :)

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CnConrad

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I guess 30m+ a month from now to eternity was not enough.

They are going to slit their own throats for a few extra dollars.

I'm just glad I abandoned MMO's long before they slapped me in the face like this.

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Tommy7600

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I guess they decided that they better bleed this pig dry before it dies it's natural death.

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deactivated-5a44ec138c1e6

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Lol the death would still be unnatural.


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uncha1n3d

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Micro transactions need to just leave. They destroy what gaming is to people. Games arent meant to be a core product milked of everything its worth. All aspects should be available at launch unless were talking about full-fledged dlc. If I HAD to live with these micro transactions, I would want these two rules(or even laws) to be in place:


1. They only exist in free-to-play model software


2. They dont charge for content required to finish the game

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deadpeasant

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Your right there. I'd like to see a game where everything is unlocked from the beginning instead of always sticking with the same old formula.


Why are all games about the progress these days anyway? Can't there be a game that focuses on something else than progression systems as a way to reward players for continuing to play? And are games that bland that they need a sense of progression to make them feel complete?


I'd like to see some major studios develop games that don't rely on these things.

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