Excerpt from PVP Live
The WoW Token Battle.net conversion, introduced last week, was positively received by the community at large - mostly by World of Warcraft players that had either amassed a fortune and left the game a while back, or by current WoW Auction House moguls looking for something else to do with their hard-earned currency.
That, of course, was the idea: to reward long time WoW players. For those not in the know - players can purchase a $20 WoW Token which can be sold on the Auction House for gold to other players. From there, this token can be used to either add $15 in Battle.net balance to their account (and thus buy other Blizzard products), or add one month of WoW time.
"The reality is that the token is for people for whom WoW is their primary game. It’s for the auction house barons of the world, the collectors, the people who have multiple dedicated WoW characters they do tradeskills on and amass a WoW fortune," World of Warcraft game director Ion Hazzikostas told Glixel.
The real feat is that Blizzard managed to introduce a way for players to buy gold without making the game pay to win, and essentially shut down 3rd party gold sellers - all in one fell swoop. This is in sharp contrast with Diablo 3's Real Money Auction House, which constantly came under fire from players as they felt that you essentially had to spend money on the game to be geared competitively - not to mention using Blizzard as a bank.
"The removal of the real money auction house in D3 actually made [the WoW Token] possible," Hazzikostas said. "We never would have considered token-to-balance conversion if that existed, because it allowed you to cash out of the game. We’re not looking to create real wealth here. We’re not looking to create real dollars, we’re not looking to become a bank. We’re just trying to offer a way for players with tons of gold and players without much gold to transact within the game world using things that are valuable to both of them as a medium. That’s the key difference."
While Blizzard has yet to offer data as to what players are spending their gold on, be it on WoW time, Overwatch loot boxes, or Hearthstone packs, it's clearly offering a long-desired service, and one that keeps Blizzard fans engaged in their ecosystem of games.