Evidence popped up in a recent Diablo 3 patch that microtransactions might be heading to the game soon. This is always a sore spot for gamers, so Blizzard quickly made an announcement on its European and American forums to further elaborate on the matter.
“Some new features may start to show up in data-mined information for patch 2.2 that will not apply to all regions. Specifically, the following features will not apply to the European [or American] region,” the post says, including a new currency, timed experience boosts, new cosmetic items (pets, wings, character portraits), additional stash space and a new user interface that reflects that information.
As Eurogamer notes, Blizzard hasn’t confirmed what regions it plans to try these out in, but that the Korean forums for the game also feature this announcement.
The likely scenario is that this is that this is planned for the game’s upcoming release in China, where microtransactions are much more accepted as a way for companies to generate income in a market where piracy is such a big problem.
If we saw any part of it come over to western markets, it would likely be the cosmetic items. Pets are a big part of World of Warcraft, and it’s not tough to imagine that jumping over to another Blizzard property.