Blizzard recently announced that Blizzcon event attendees as well as people who sign up for the Pay-Per-View event would receive an in-game non-combat pet. This pet, the most awesome Grunty the Murloc Marine, will come equipped with a gauss rifle that he will “occasionally fire into the air to make sure no invisible spacecraft are swooping in to attack.”
We won’t discuss whether or not a space marine fits into Warcraft lore here. Nor will we explore the merits of granting the pet to DIRECTV viewers who will not be physically attending the conference. What we will say, however, is that by allowing home viewers the opportunity to purchase the pet Blizzard has effectively introduced the option for many players to outright buy the pet for real-world cash. This was also possible with previous pets but the prices were beyond the reach of most players who either could not attend the conference physically or otherwise were not interested in paying the premium on ebay (as the ebay listing will likely be changed in the near future the listed buyout price at the time of this article is $1,299).
Blizzard’s partner in this endeavor, DIRECTV, has announced that their price to view the event will be $39.95. According to the press release, included in this price is the option to view the event via internet stream. Just a few hours ago Blizzard also confirmed that those viewers of the stream who do not have DIRECTV would still get the pet. This means that, in effect, you can buy the pet for forty bucks.
The reason this interests us is because there are many WoW players that simply won’t purchase the DIRECTV event but will still be interested in attaining the mini murloc. These players will be paying ridiculous amounts of gold for these pets. While we imagine that the pet won’t be a BoE sort of item and will, instead, be code based, we still expect that there will be a secondary market for the pets (not to mention a vast amount of players being ripped off in these sorts of trades). In this way, unless Blizzard somehow changes the mechanics of how the pet is installed, they’ve just introduced a way for some players to purchase gold for cash. The question, of course, is just how much will players be willing to pay for their mini murloc. We feel the answer will depend largely on both how limited supply will be for the item (for example, will gold farming firms be able to purchase the pets en masse for resale?) and how many gullible players there are out there (quite a few if experience dictates).
For the time being anyway, if you want this pet be prepared to cough up $40 bucks. Similarly, if you want to try a risky (yet currently legal) cash-for-gold arrangement you might consider picking one up for resale. Oh yeah, for your money you also get to watch the conference. It actually kind of reminds us of when J.P. Morgan bought a building and got a bank for free. Kidding, we’re kidding folks…
In all seriousness we’ll be watching the event closely and bringing you live coverage of any relevant WoWenomic news (while showing off our little murloc friend) so stay tuned.