A quote from this article has caused ESO fans to go into a tizzy:
What types of items or services can we expect to find in the Zenimax store?
The purpose of the store is to offer interested players a variety of additional services. At launch we’re going to have two items: the ability to upgrade to the Imperial Edition, and an entry level horse (Palomino colored). The horse you get in both purchases is functionally the same, but the Imperial Edition is the only way to ever get the White horse. We have the Palomino horse available to allow players to purchase a basic mount without purchasing the entire Imperial Edition.
So, there is going to be a mount in the “cash shop” upon the release of ESO. People are throwing a fit about it and, for the life of me, I can not understand why. For one, mounts are available and purchasable for in-game gold. Zenimax is not forcing anyone to buy a mount from the cash shop. You can easily save up the gold and buy one in-game and, other than the fact that the cash shop horse is a Palomino, there is no difference between the cash shop mount and the one purchasable in-game. Its not faster or better in any way.
Secondly, World of Warcraft has been doing this for years. Their cash shop is almost exclusively mounts with a few pets thrown in for good measure. WoW also has a subscription fee, just like ESO. I see very little griping about WoW’s mounts. Why the uproar over a single mount in the ESO cash shop? I just don’t get it.
I normally detest cash shops in general but I am fine with them as long as the items in them give little to no advantage by their purchase. Mounts fine. Vanity pets fine. Gear with stats on them? Not so fine. I have no problem with a mount in the cash shop, even for a subscription game. I won’t be buying it but I could not care less if someone else does.
Speaking of cash shops and WoW; I contend that theirs is one of the worst in the business. Not because of items available in the shop but because of how Blizzard seems intent on nickel and dimeing their customer’s to death. Want to transfer servers? That’ll be $25.00! Want to change your character’s name? That’ll be $10.00! Race change? $25.00! Appearance change? $25.00! And now, of course, they have the ultimate fee for auto-leveling to 90 at $60.00 a pop.
What irks me about most of these is that they are so easily done. Its all automated and requires no real difficulty. Rift offered free server changes when it was a sub game and Scott Hartsman told me that Trion saw no reason to charge for something that is completely automated and didn’t require any manpower to perform. Same goes for the other services. The argument goes that the fee is a way to gate it so that people aren’t changing constantly but Rift gated it with a cooldown requirement instead of a fee and this seems much fairer to the consumer.
I don’t know, I just feel that Blizzard is probably making plenty of money off their sub fees and the sparkle ponies in the cash shop. They just don’t need the added revenue stream.