$25 WOW horse makes millions

More of a macro-transaction, really.

Blizzard has had unprecedented success with virtual item sales on the release of the Celestial Steed - a special in-game mount for World of Warcraft that costs the princely sum of $25, €20 or £17.

According to WOW.com (via GamesIndustry.biz), a seven-hour queue of 140,000 people had formed within three hours of the mount's release last week.

That already represented revenue of $3.5 million - or more than a million dollars an hour - on sales of what is, essentially, just an art asset for the subscription game. The translucent flying horse leaves trails of stardust behind it as it gallops across the sky.

It's the first time Blizzard has sold an exclusive mount for the game, although it had previously tested the micro-transaction waters with cosmetic pet characters, costing £9 or €10, in its Pet Store.

There's no limit to the amount of money Blizzard can make from the item, either; its numbers won't be restricted.

"The number of available mounts is limited in the sense that there is a fixed number of codes available in the store," explained a spokesperson on the WOW forums. "These codes are not generated automatically with each purchase, instead they are generated separately and then added to the store in batches."

"The Celestial Steed is not supposed to be a limited time offer only, so we will of course add more codes in case the current batch of codes gets sold out."

Four years ago, Bethesda caused uproar among gamers when it charged 200 Microsoft Points, or £1.70, for a set of horse armour for its RPG The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. We've come a long way, baby.

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Oli Welsh

Oli Welsh

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Oli is the editor of Eurogamer.net and likes to take things one word at a time. His friends call him The European, but that's just a coincidence. He's still playing Diablo 3.


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