Blizzard’s already including a real money auction house in Diablo III. What’s keeping them from doing the same in World of Warcraft? Customer backlash? Yeah, I’m sure a ton of players would be really upset, but that happens constantly. At first, I thought it would be terrible. The more I think about it now, the more I wonder. It would be like buying time – not skill. You could purchase mats and BOEs, but it’s not like you could buy your tier gear with money.
I think you’d see a lot of crafters spend USD in place of gold on their materials. You’d have people who no longer want to gather their own mats. This would cause demand and price to increase. On the other hand, there are some people I’m sure who didn’t have an interest in gathering previously who would take a stab at it to make some real money.
Who knows where prices would settle. Personally, I doubt we’ll ever see this in World of Warcraft, but Blizzard must have thought about it. I think I’d be okay with it.