Last year, Blizzard announced that World of Warcraft players who buy the Warlords of Draenor expansion could boost one character to level 90 for free, and that it would sell further boosts for an undisclosed amount. Last week, as patch 5.4.7 went live in North America, players saw the service in the in-game store for $60. Blizzard hasn't confirmed that this is the final price, but today said it doesn't want to “devalue the accomplishment of leveling.”
"In terms of the pricing, honestly a big part of that is not wanting to devalue the accomplishment of leveling," World of Warcraft lead encounter designer Ion Hazzikostas told Eurogamer . "If our goal here was to sell as many boosts as possible, we could halve the price or more than that—make it $10 or something. And then hardly anyone would ever level a character again.”
We pointed out this problem when we first heard of the $60 price tag . On the one hand, Blizzard probably wants to get players with multiple characters to endgame content faster, without having to resort to third-party leveling services. On the other hand, if it makes the boost too cheap, players won't have motivation to play through hundreds of hours-worth of content.
"I am not an economist,” Hazzikostas said. “I'm not the one setting the dollar value myself, but it's not the profit maximizing price. That was not our aim here."
We've reached out to Blizzard for comment.