Although Blizzard’s World of Warcraft web store has offered in-game items for some time, the game was still able to pride itself on avoiding tedious microtransactions and instead depending on the funds and loyalty of its 8.3 million players. However, as indicated by the newest public test realm patch, an EXP-boosting item has shown up with the tag of “In Game Store.”
Commenting on the item in question, Blizzard senior community representative Jonathan ‘Zarhym’ Brown explained (through a Battlenet forum post) that they are “currently exploring the possibility of adding a way for players in certain regions to make purchases directly within the game.” Continuing on, Brown confirmed that “As part of this process, elements related to this will be appearing on the PTR. We’ll provide additional updates on our plans as development progresses.”
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Sure, the addition of in-game, rather than in-store, microtransactions can be attributed to the rise of free-to-play MMORPGs, but it’s still nothing strange or drastic to see. Experience boosters are common enough in WoW, and Brown’s comment of “certain regions” implies that any areas that have shown little support for microtransactions won’t be affected by the change.