For a quarter hundo, World of Warcraft players can get their hands on an exclusive mount made of blue and space and stuff.
Today, Blizzard added two new items to the Blizzard Store that will no doubt have World of Warcraft players soaring through the stars. The first is a $10 pet called the Lil' XT that joins the ranks of other pets already available such as the Lil' KT and Pandaren Monk. The second is more of a gameplay affecting addition: a Celestial Steed mount that is siphoning hundreds of thousands of dollars from players already.
The Celestial Steed costs $25 and is like sitting your butt on an armored constellation. Purchasing one applies to all characters on a World of Warcraft license. It will move as fast as whatever your current level of skill allows. If you're still a World of Warcraft fetus, it will remain in the celestial stable with a celestial tear in its eye until you level up properly.
According to WoW.com, the queue for the Celestial Steed has already reached over 80,000 people as of this writing, which calculates to something like $50 billion in profit for Blizzard in less than one day. Now, if we could just get Blizzard to put a unicorn mount on the Blizzard Store, I would reactivate my World of Warcraft account in an instant. I would do anything to ride on a unicorn.
It might seem like Blizzard is ripping players off here: anger, hate, rage, etc, but perhaps it isn't. Some WoW players spend dozens of hours grinding and questing just to get certain in-game items, which they are paying for the privilege of, so this is sort of like cutting out the middleman even though it costs almost two months of subscription fees. On the other hand, I don't play WoW anymore, and was completely over special items that made people stop and point at me when I did play. In a way, it's just like Blizzard selling a World of Warcraft t-shirt or another piece of merchandise, but the Celestial Steed just happens to be in-game.
To those still raiding and questing on a daily/hourly basis, is it okay for Blizzard to charge $25 for a special mount, or is it a shameless money grab? When it comes right down to it, the money Blizzard is earning will probably only go towards more Blizzard goodness, so I could think of worse places for these millions of dollars to go.