A 25 dollar mount is still a 25 dollar mount
A long time ago, numerous weeks behind us, I challenged Blizzard and their 25-dollar horsey. Many of you guys didn't like that, especially after I said that only Blizzard could get away with charging an amount so outrageous for a virtual horse. My point, simply, was that if another company tried to sell a 25-dollar mount, they would get severe amounts of hell. With Blizzard, the angry posts only made up half of the threads I read, a far cry from the loud backlash I'm accustomed to reading.
So here we are, about a month out from the sparkle pony, and Sony Online Entertainment has introduced a line of cat mounts into their microtransaction shop for the price of -- you guessed it -- 25 dollars. I should be angry, nay, I should be frothingly angry... but I'm not. I'm sitting here actually contemplating whether I want to buy this mount. (After all, even if I do buy it, it's a work-related expense. HA! I love my job.)
This confuses the heck out of me. A 25-dollar mount, no matter how you swing it, is a 25-dollar mount. It's an insulting price point that rivals the cost of EverQuest II
's most recent expansion, Sentinel's Fate
. Plus, with Sentinel's Fate
, you're spending 40-50 bucks on a game that gives you EverQuest II
, the five previous expansions
, and Sentinel's Fate
This mount costs $25 and you get one. One mount. Ha ha ha
.Follow the leader
I think a few people have been shocked by this announcement, but it doesn't really surprise me. I think it's surprising that it only took a month before another company decided to try on Blizzard's price point, but I can't say I blame SOE. Blizzard proved that the $25 price point was profitable, and they wanted to give it a try as well. That's just testing the market, and if people buy it, you can be sure it's going to continue.
And when I say, "It's going to continue," I don't just mean SOE is going to continue it. You can be sure that more companies are going to try to dip their toes into the water of "premium transactions," just to see how it works for their communities. If it works then great, they'll continue the practice with more stuff. If it doesn't work, then no problem, they'll just cease it and try an alternative.