When Blizzard launches its fourth World of Warcraft extension, the panda theme Fog of Pandariaon September 25th, it will put another nail in the coffin of retail-based game distribution.
In addition to a standard digital edition, offered at a price of $39.99 that is equivalent to retail, Fog of Pandaria will be the first Wow expansion to also come in a $59.99 Digital Deluxe Edition, which includes the kind of in-game perks previously only available in the Retail Collector’s Editions. The Digital Deluxe download comes with a flying mount, a Lucky Quilen Cub pet, exclusive portraits to use in Starcraft IIand banners for use in Diablo III. Standard edition downloaders can also get these benefits later for an additional purchase of $20.
Blizzard isn’t completely abandoning nice retail packages. The $79.99 Collector’s Edition Fog of Pandaria also includes a behind-the-scenes DVD and Blu-ray, soundtrack CD, collectible art book, and mouse pad, as well as the in-game perks. But by offering the coveted, exclusive virtual items to downloaders at a lower price point than the Collector’s Edition at retail, the company seems to be recognizing that some of its most dedicated players no longer want to weigh down physical products to make an online purchase. game to play. .
Fog of Pandaria a welcome boost Wowsubscriber numbers. While the game still leads the MMO segment, stable at just over 10 million subscribers in 2012, the game has fallen from its peak popularity of 12 million subscribers in May 2010, a phenomenon one producer attributed to its launch. from Biowares The Old Republic late last year.
We have the Fog of Pandaria beta earlier this year and found it an enjoyable, if somewhat overly familiar return to Wow‘s roots.