Blizzard Waives Fee To Change Genders In WoW
World of Warcraft inhabitants (read: players) have been chopping and changing their physical features and appearances using the in-game barbershop long before the battle of Azeroth began – changing physical features such as the face and hairstyle of an avatar has been possible for over a decade now. At a fee. Blizzard also levied a charge whenever a player wanted to change gender. Changing gender came at a price and a hustle: $15, regardless of which way the change went, or how often.
But now, more than a decade after the option to change was first made available back in 2009, Blizzard has had a change of heart. Not only will changing gender now be free of charge, but players won’t have to fork out the required $40 for the upcoming Shadowlands expansion either in order for gender charges to be forfeited. Which all basically means that between not having to pay for the expansion when wanting to swop genders, or for the actual privilege of changing genders, Blizzard has forfeited $55 (the cost of the Shadowlands expansion was previously pegged at $40).
Sending The Wrong Message
Even though the reason for Blizzard having previously charged players every time that a gender swop seemed in order is perfectly reasonable – so that players wouldn’t go the business of swopping gender every other day – the company says asking money for the privilege isn’t considered “sending the right message” any longer. The long-standing fee will be waived once the latest expansion pack has become available for installation, and Harry becoming Sally will be as easy as pouring water from a shoe, or in WoW-language, a quick visit to the barbershop.
Blizzard hasn’t let on too much about why switching it up is now as easy as a post-expansion pack update patch. The company previously suggested that a major change such as waiving a long-standing tradition or fee could not be hotfixed by something as simple as a patch. Instead, an expansion pack would have to do the job, said Blizzard at the time.
Paying Was Never Popular
When Blizzard initially announced that a charge would apply whenever physical appearances necessitated changing, including changes made to the gender of an in-game character, players were outraged at having had to fork out even more money over and above the subscription fees they were already paying for getting access to World of Warcraft. The fee was first announced back in 2008 at BlizzCon. Players at the time said they felt Blizzard was brazenly looking for more ways to charge more people more money.