Saturday, 12 July 2014

Pricing of The Curse of Naxxramas

700 pieces of gold. Seven hundred pieces of gold. I just want this to sink in. This is the price of each wing in the coming expansion for a "free to play" Hearthstone. 700.

By God am I naive or what? And I was honestly certain they will not charge more than 200 gold in the blackest scenario imaginable. I wonder where all that optimism was coming from. But here comes the good part, where I say, but there is more. If you lack the ludicrous amount of gold, you can always buy the wings together or separately with the real money. And for some unknown reason, if you are using dollars it is the cheapest, while if you are using euros, or even worse, pounds, you are getting royally screwed over.

Given that there are five wings in Naxxramas, and we all get the first one for free, you will have to spend 2800 pieces of gold to purchase all four remaining wings. Or if you are for some reason late to the party and miss the week where the first Arachnid Quarter is free you will have to spend 3500 pieces of gold. The only good thing is that they open in sequence, every week only one. In theory that means by the time Curse of Naxxramas finally comes out you should have saved enough gold for at least one wing. If you just do daily quests in Hearthstone you should be able to scrape up somewhere between 500 and 600 gold, maybe more.

By the time Blizzard releases the expansion I will have enough gold to purchase the wings as soon as each of them comes out. Even though I did not want to believe it possible, I listened to my friend and started saving instead of opening new packs of cards. That alone shows how little faith I have in Blizzard these days. In past, I would simply took my friend's advice for a joke. That he is trying to make me laugh with suggesting something so preposterous. Blizzard used to be about good quality games. Not about trying to squeeze their fanbase dry.

They are showing distinct lack of respect for the consumer, and I do not like it. It started with the auction house in Diablo, but we thought they came about after they decided to remove that. Then they implemented a cash-shop in World of Warcraft. Before Blizzard sold the services that was only reasonable to be charged for. Because it was always the players own "fault" or whim that wanted to change things that require a bit more work in order to be changed, such as the appearance of your character, and the faction to which your character belongs. But with the addition of the cash-shop where they are selling mounts and pets, they really entered in the territory that was before in my mind reserved for EA and its corporate greed.

And before someone comes out with the argument that Hearthstone is Free-to-Play and needs to finance itself by some means, I agree. This is why you can buy card packs and Arena Pass with either gold or real money. I even expected a price tag on the expansion, but the current price is ridiculous to be honest. It is comparable to charging for a new map in League of Legends, DOTA 2 or Team Fortress 2. The three games are all Free-to-Play, very successful as ones at that. But you do not see them charging extra for the addition of new content such as a new map. They charge for skins, and champions in case of League of Legends. And you can buy champions with the equivalent of Hearthstone's gold if you so desire. You have everything unlocked in DOTA 2, but can still purchase skins with real money if you so desire. You do not in any way need to pay in any way shape or form in order to participate on a new map or a mode such as One for All, or ARAM.

Do not misunderstand. I am fine with purchasing the Naxxramas wings with gold. I even expected it. But the price they set it at is too much. I will still buy it because I will have enough gold, and playing the arena or opening new packs with the new expansion around the corner is counterproductive, as I can get new cards from expansion if I buy packs after the expansion comes out.

Now if we take a look at the real money prices, there is a great difference in price between United States and the Europe. How is it even possible that each wing of Naxxramas in Europe costs $8, while in America it costs only $7. $8.5 if you use pounds sterling. If you buy all wings at once, as an American you pay $25, while in Europe we pay $30. In this day and age, that is robbery. It should not even exist. I want the same prices for everyone.

The prices I suggest are all rounded up, never down, but the difference between each of them is in couple of cents only. I took the American price for the basis, but I could use the British or European one as well. It might have a better impact as the jaws of those residing in United States would probably fall off when I show them how much more we from the old continent have to pay in comparison to them for the same amount of content.

I said it many times already, but it will not hurt to say it once more. Blizzard is slowly but steadily killing themselves by alienating their own fanbase by the consecutive stupid calls they are making for the past half of the year. Those are not blunders, they are deliberate decisions, and in order to get a big income today, they are sacrificing steady income over time which would be greater than the immediate influx of the money. If you can get $100 today or $1 every day for the next year, which would you choose? Even a child knows which one is a better, and thus the correct answer, and for some reason Blizzard does not.

#Hearthstone #FreeToPlay #UnfairPricing


  1. How active are you of late - in regards to blogging compared to when you started WoW blogging?
    Be a sport and drop by here: Linky here - calling all bloggers
    I'm doing a writeup to see how many WoW bloggers are still "active" - if you'd be interested in a link exchange, just let me know, it'd be good for some extra pageviews ^,^

    1. My friend, you are starting to repeat yourself. Expect my full post on the subject of decline of WoW blogs next week. I appreciate that you take the time and comment here, but I would appreciate even more if you commented on the subject at hand, such as the pricing of Naxxramas, instead of promoting something that has no real connection with the topic at hand.

      Thank you


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