Freshly born from the Twisting Nether, the Celestial Steed flying mount lets you travel in style astride wings of pure elemental stardust. So saddle up, because this supernatural warhorse will fly as fast as your riding skill will take you, and it will travel at 310% speed if you have at least one other 310% mount. Once activated, this World of Warcraft in-game mount key applies to all present and future characters on a single World of Warcraft license.
Blizzard has long been in the practice of selling ‘pets’, which are ornamental creatures that follow players around the World of Warcraft. But the Celestial Steed is the first ‘mount’ (ridable animal friend) which must be acquired through grubby lucre rather than honest-to-god in-game effort. As soon as the Celestial Mount was announced the gaming community fractured. Added to the online Blizzard Store, the digital goods immediately attracted a high volume of orders, so much so that the shop began placing interested buyers in an automated queue to allow controlled batches of visitors to finalize their purchases on a first-come, first-served basis.
Within six hours after Blizzard added the items to its store, the number of gamers queuing to buy one of the virtual animals jumped up to 80,000, according to a report from unofficial fansite Wow.com. That number reached more than 140,000 several hours later, and users waited an estimated seven hours to complete their purchase. Doing some quick math, that would mean Actvision-Blizzard are hauling in $2.5 million/hour for an item that costs them pennies to produce (basically the cost of processing the user’s credit card and the bandwidth it takes to download the mount).
So what’s so special about this mount? Aside from looking cool, nothing. It isn’t faster or better than other mounts in the game; it’s just easier to get, and apparently World of Warcraft players are more than happy to shell out dollars in exchange for convenience.