World of Warcraft players will soon be able to spend real money on an in-game item, the “WoW Token”, that can be redeemed for thirty days of game time or sold to another player for in-game gold. It’s highly reminiscent of EVE’s PLEX, which effectively allows the game’s most proficient and wealthy players to use their gold to pay for their subscriptions.
“We’ve heard feedback from players that they’d be interested in a secure, legitimate way to acquire gold that doesn’t involve the use of unauthorized third-party gold-selling services—one of the primary sources of account compromises,” Blizzard explain in the FAQ document for WoW Tokens.
“We also know players who’ve amassed large amounts of gold through regular play would be interested in the ability to trade some to other players in exchange for game time, helping cover their subscription costs. The WoW Token feature gives players on both sides of the equation a secure and straightforward way to make that exchange. It opens up a new kind of payment option for World of Warcraft players, and we hope that it will also help lead to fewer account compromises and a better game experience overall.”
This is a fairly major step for World of Warcarft, one that will drastically reduce (or eliminate) the cost of the game for the most die-hard players while giving less-committed or experience players a fast way to acquire the gold they need to pay for many of the perks associated with higher-level characters, which also mean far less grinding.
WoW Tokens will be sold through the in-game store for real money. They can be exchanged for gold via the auction house... but the Tokens themselves do not have a fixed exchange rate for gold. Instead, the gold value of a WoW token will fluctuate with supply and demand. They can only be exchanged once, at which point they’re Soulbound and must be redeemed for game 30 days of game-time apiece.
No word on the real-money price of the WoW token yet, but it’s a pretty fascinating revamp of the World of Warcraft economy.