Big Bucks Blizzard taps WoW Players for More Cash


Blizzard considering making authenticators compulsory – a necessary cost?

Being the biggest MMO on the market is always going to have the inherent risk of being targeted by hackers and keyloggers pretty extensively, but Activision Blizzard have announced that they are considering making the use of authenticators for every account mandatory.

Now, if you consider that players are currently paying just under £10 a month already, along with a good £50-60 for the original game and the two expansions, that’s a hefty amount of capital already invested in per account. At between 5 to 6 million players in Europe and the USA, you’re looking at a straight $450 million from the content then nearly $100 million a month from subscriptions, not even counting the money rolling in from Asia.
A Blizzard Authenticator costs $6.50 per account, currently an optional layer of account security that to be honest is very effective. The authenticator is a small device that can be put on your keyring and is attached to your account. When logging in anywhere using your account, you are asked to press a button on your authenticator and enter the randomly generated number displayed on its small digital screen. As you can see, the authenticator adds the randomness layer to an account, meaning that prospective hackers must acquire the authenticator attached to the account in order to access the content inside.

However, making this compulsory will no doubt draw a massive backlash from a good majority of players. Experienced players have already invested well over a few hundred pounds into the game already, and being forced to fork out for another little addition is beginning to wear thin on an audience that is already being charged rather incredible sums for services such as faction and name changes.

Being a player myself I’m desperately hoping that Blizzard will think twice about this. Unless the authenticators become free I really don’t want to be paying more and more for the same game and same content. And I bet a good fraction of players feel the same way.

Paul Park

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