Is the WoW token price being manipulated

Just going to look at the North American graph for this.

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The WoW Token is currently almost 100,000g to purchase game time.  This is a jarring number to a great many people that have come to rely on purchasing their game time with in game gold.  And the interesting thing to me is, even at almost 100,000g for $20, I still have no interest in purchasing in game gold.  I have a small bankroll that I have built up over the years, the guild bank has over a million in gold.  Why would I want to pay real money for an in game currency when I really don’t need it.  When the token was initially added in, it had run up to over 40,000g at one point, then there was a quick drop down to near 22,000g.  I know someone that took that opportunity and purchased 2 years worth of game time.  He was smart it seems now.  At the time it seemed like a fairly stable range for costs, it was high enough that you needed to commit to some amount of time played in order to earn enough to buy your sub, and it was not too exorbitant that it was destroying server economies.

But something happened, and I do not think it is mere coincidence that there was a rise in EU prices, that the price started climbing once they announced store purchases could be made for in game gold.  I think they are manipulating the price.  But not how you may think.  They are not raising it to make it too appealing to pass up for those with disposable cash.  I think they already know what is a price point for people interested in buying gold.  I think they are using the percentage of the player base that is dependent on buying their game time, to boost their time played numbers.  If you need to pay with gold, then it takes a greater amount of time farming, and being in game than it did 6 months ago.  If they sell 100,000g to someone for $20, then turn around and trade that to a person for a $15 equivalent in game time, that took them 50 hours to play to get, then they are making $5  from the transaction, but also adding to the tally sheet for game time played for quarterly reporting.

With the just announced EU increases, it seems to me that they are not where they need to be with revenue and time played numbers. I could be wrong.  I do not have an accounting or business degree.  I just noticed that coincidentally the price just happened to quadruple in a short time when they announce the changes to the cash shop.  I will be very curious to see if the WoW token survives into the next expansion at it’s current rate and rising.  At some point those that have to buy to play will just say it has become a job, and walk away to other F2P titles.  And as long as there are ways to earn a lot of gold just doing things in game?  I cannot see people buying the gold from the cash shop.

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