Blizzard’s newest update to the WoW Tokens of their MMO lets players exchange them for Battle.net credit; essentially, players can now spend their hard earned in-game gold to buy content from Blizzard’s Battle.net store.
WoW Tokens, originally a way for players to convert their World of Warcraft gold to actual game time without purchasing a subscription, and on the other hand, a way for other players to get some quick gold through selling these WoW Tokens – to the before mentioned players – after purchasing them for real money.
The in-game auction house is where the players trade their World of Warcraft currency for WoW Tokens. The prices are constantly fluctuating depending on the current demand of Tokens, especially getting high around new expansion releases. Consequently, the announcement already has players scrambling to buy more WoW Tokens, leading to a drastic spike in prices overnight.
This system of letting players exchange in-game money for game time is not unique to World of Warcraft. Eve Online, the space-based MMO has also used a similar system for quite some time successfully.
What’s new about the WoW Tokens
In essence, when players go to redeem their WoW Tokens, they may now either buy 30 days of World of Warcraft game time or add $15 worth of credit to their Battle.net balance.
The Tokens themselves cost $20 when purchasing them with real money; hence, unless looking to trade Tokens for gold, it’s cheaper to add money to the player’s Battle.net account directly.
After redeeming WoW Tokens for Battle.net credit, players may spend their new balance on any Blizzard products available on Battle.net. Notably for buying games or in-game items in other games such as HearthStone, Overwatch, and Heroes of the Storm.
Although the system is only available for World of Warcraft’s Tokens, it’s similar to how the Steam Community Marketplace functions, where players may sell in-game items from Valve and other third-party games in exchange for Steam Wallet money; afterward, spendable through Steam store on any games or cosmetic items they may prefer.
With the popularity of community marketplaces and the like on the rise for PC games, we wonder if consoles, for example, Microsoft’s Xbox gaming platform will someday allow players to exchange in-game items for credits for use on other parts of their store. We think it’s certainly a possibility considering the rise of microtransactions and free-to-play games over the years.