World of Warcraft: level 90 booster costs $60 because Blizzard didn’t want to devalue levelling accomplishment

By Dave Cook
25 February 2014 11:04 GMT

World of Warcraft developer Blizzard Entertainment has opted to give buyers of new expansion Warlords of Draenor a free level 90 booster for one character, but if you want to boost another character you’ll need to either buy the expansion again or pay $60.

It follows Wow Insider stumbling across the paid booster in the World of Warcraft store last week.

Now; speaking with Eurogamer World of Warcraft lead encounter designer Ion Hazzikostas has explained the booster’s creation and price-point. Getting to level 90 can take upwards of 100 hours, so it makes sense why newcomers might want to boost ahead to meet WarLords of Draenor’s challenge, but the $60 price-tag has come under fire from some critics and gamers.

Hazzikostas said, “We realised as soon as we came out with Warlords of Draenor boost to 90, we knew that there was going to be demand for more than [one]. It’s tremendously awkward to tell someone that you should buy two copies of the expansion just to get a second 90. That’s odd. So we knew at that point we were going to have to offer it as a separate service.”

On the price, he added, “In terms of the pricing, honestly a big part of that is not wanting to devalue the accomplishment of levelling. 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.

“But levelling is something that takes dozens if not over 100 hours in many cases and people have put serious time and effort into that, and we don’t want to diminish that.”

“I am not an economist,” he stressed, “I’m not the one setting the dollar value myself, but it’s not the profit maximising price. That was not our aim here.”

Responding to claims that the booster will remove the challenge of levelling, giving newcomers and edge, Hazzikostas replied, “The intent here isn’t to create a world where no-one levels. It’s just to allow people who want to purchase additional level 90s, maybe they want a second or third alt and they don’t have time to level it themselves because they have a family or etc – it’s to allow them to do that.”

What do you make of the Level 90 booster pack? Let us know below.

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