Can The Cash Shop Be Perfected?

With World of Warcraft adding an in-game store, or cash shop, one of last bastions of pure subscription MMORPGs is yielding to market forces and testing the micro-transaction model.  There’s no indication that the WoW subscription is going away completely, but it seems today that the line between using in-game money and real money to purchase virtual items (cosmetics, potions, mounts) is becoming increasingly blurred.  Purists complain that adding an in-game store breaks immersion in the game world, with filthy real-world lucre polluting and destabilizing the in-game marketplace not to mention adding dollars or pounds to silver or gold piece in-game currencies.  But can the in-game store be made palatable, or even “immersive?”

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