Nothing in concrete as yet, but this is kind of interesting: World of Warcraft has always sustained itself via a subscription model. Over the last two years or so, the most successful MMORPG on the planet has been losing subscribers at a consistent rate. Now it looks as if Blizzard might start testing in-game purchases of certain items in particular realms.
Speaking on the game’s official forums on Battle.net, a community manager confirmed that Blizzard is toying with this monetization model: “We are currently exploring the possibility of adding a way for players in certain regions to make purchases directly within the game. As part of this process, elements related to this will be appearing on the PTR [Public Test Realm]. We’ll provide additional updates on our plans as development progresses.”
From the sounds of things it’s still early days. The debate over on Battle.net was sparked when players noticed an in-game item called the Enduring Elixir of Wisdom cropping up on the PTR. The item’s description made reference to an “in-game store”. Needless to say, a lot of long time WoW fans reacted negatively to the news of a potential in-game store.