Blizzard Entertainment has launched its beta and revealed monthly subscription details for Remote Auction House
, a new service allowing World of Warcraft
players to browse and manage virtual auctions in the MMORPG through their web browser or the official Mobile Armory iPhone/iPod Touch app.
The service is free during this testing period (accessible only to players on select servers) and will have a non-paid version with limited features when it formally launches.
But gamers who want to take advantage of all of Remote Auction House's features will eventually need to pay $2.99 every 30 days on top of the game's monthly fee after the beta.
World of Warcraft
's auction houses allow players to buy or sell virtual items to others in exchange for in-game gold. Through these hubs, users can find the best price on common goods or purchase extremely rare equipment/materials that would require a significant amount of resources, luck, or time investment to obtain.
With Remote Auction House World of Warcraft
players can browse the in-game auction house, receive real-time notifications on auctions, view a record of their previous auctions, and more through their browser or the free Mobile Armory iPhone app. Once the service launches, though, only users who've paid the monthly fee can bid on, buy out, cancel, and relist auction.
Blizzard has been exploring new ways to generate revenue through the MMORPG outside of subscriptions and merchandise/authenticator sales in recent months, dabbling with microtransactions like exclusive virtual pets that players can purchase.
Last month, the company introduced a new in-game mount
that was very popular with players, likely earning the publisher hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars in the space of a few hours.