Blizzard has introduced a new pet shop to its popular World of Warcraft MMO franchise, allowing players to purchase cosmetic pets with real-world money. This marks the first time Blizzard has allowed players to pay for in-game content, unless you count expansions.
The Money Printer, I mean Pet Store, opens with two $10 items for sale. The “Pandaren Monk” is a charity item in partner with the Make-a-Wish foundation, while “Lil’ K.T.” is a tiny, ice-shooting Kel’Thuzad.
The Pandaren Monk practices his Kung Fu while sitting idle, and will /bow back to any players who do him the honor. $5 from every panda will be donated to the Make-a-Wish foundation up until the end of 2009. The item will still be available for purchase thereafter.
“What Lil’ K.T. lacks in size, he more than makes up for in sheer malicious intensity,” says Blizzard’s description. The tiny Lich will randomly freeze passing critters and laugh at players defeated in PvP.
While these little guys may seem like fun and games, you’ll need to fork over real world cash if you want to get your mitts on them.
“Pets purchasable through the Pet Store will not be obtainable through quests or other in-game means — they’re only available through the online Blizzard Store,” says the offical FAQ.
Many MMOs offer similar services, where players can purchase items, buffs, or even levels through micro transactions. Blizzard says there will never be pay-for-play content in World of Warcraft that is not entirely cosmetic.
“Like other paid services we offer, such as Paid Name Changes, Race Changes, and Character Re-Customizations, the Pet Store service is entirely optional and intended to provide players another means to enjoy World of Warcraft in a way that isn’t detrimental to the game and that doesn’t detract from the gameplay experience for players who choose not to use the service.”
Players can purchase their pets by visiting the online Blizzard Store. After you purchase your virtual buddy, you will receive a code to plug in at Battle.net Account Management. You can alternatively send the code to a friend as a gift. Once activated, all characters on the account (present and future) will receive the pet in their in-game mailbox, so make sure to grab them quick before they suffocate.