Emerging business models for online games like microtransactions and tiered subscriptions have long met with skepticism from the average MMO enthusiast, who's viewed Blizzard and its standard subscription model for World of Warcraft
as a bastion against new monetization strategies.
But it seems possible that Blizzard might soon explore the pay-for-goods arena after a press conference at its BlizzCon event -- though specifics are still being ironed out.
According to coverage from MMO news site WarCry, WoW
production director J. Allen Brack was asked
about a button found in the Wrath of the Lich King
beta's data files called "Paid Character Customization."
The report says Brack first balked at addressing the question, and then ultimately confirmed that WoW
would eventually incorporate some form of paid character customization, though the company is apparently still working details out.
Blizzard is also reportedly exploring ways to monetize multiplayer games on its Battle.net service for the upcoming Diablo III
; while the details of that monetization strategy are also apparently still being worked out, Brack did confirm that it doesn't involve subscription fees.