An interesting tweet has recently come from Jay Wilson‘s account stating that the RMAH may, in fact, come to the hardcore scene. If there was one thing that would ruin the hardcore community, it would be micro-transactions for resurrections. While it would not be a “9.99 for a resurrection,” it could be perceived in such a way. While you would be required to re-level to 60 over again, you could charge your card to either buy a new character or simply re-buy all that was lost. Many believe that if character selling becomes available, hardcore would simply cease to be hardcore.
Alternate means of monetary transactions are always available for the hardcore community. However, there is deeper significance to the monetization of the hardcore community. Not only would an RMAH diminish hardcore stigma, it could open a Pandora’s box for the legal team that could have resonating repercussions. Parents with children that use their credit cards with light-fingered contempt notwithstanding, “I didn’t know” just isn’t a reliable or legally viable excuse for killing off a character with $300 invested in it (or however much you wasted on Bobby Bucks), and such legal claims are easily fought. As such, it would seem that the costs from legal battles would not be a primary deterrent, but the effect a negative experience would have with their consumers – that is to say us. But who knows. It’s also possible that the demand is just not there, and such qualms would be few and far between.
If there is a demand for it we’ll consider it.
It would seem to me, at least, that HC would have become somewhat of a refuge for those that wish to dodge the community of money-spenders in softcore. In short, it would be a community that Blizzard would not have chosen to monetize, and therefore an untapped source of revenue. Surely Bobby would frown at such an oversight on Blizzard’s part.
Yet, with the introduction of the RMAH to the hardcore community, I believe it would effectively alienate them from what the mode really “stands” for – or at least the banner under which the majority of the hardcore community rallies.
As an addendum to this editorial, I see that it would be remiss to not address the benefits of having an RMAH – as some comments have pointed out. As I briefly mentioned before, such transactions would be present no matter what. As such, it would be in Blizzard’s interest not only to capitalize on an untapped revenue stream, but to allow a secure measure for such transactions. It seems, however, that Blizzard’s initial reasoning behind it was that the costs outweigh the benefits.
When talking with Jay and Rob Pardo last July, their reasoning behind the omission of an RMAH was to “save people from themselves.” The RMAH would create certain barriers and legal troubles, as well as a deterrent for customer’s continued use of the feature. Since this tweet directly involves the demand for such an option, it would seem that they are looking at as a viable revenue stream for the option before making it available.
What is the community’s reaction to this bit of information? I think it would be interesting to get a poll on this, seeing how people who actually will be playing hardcore feel about this possibility versus those who do not on playing it.
Thanks Muggs for posting in the forums.