A couple of items that caught my interest today.
Diablo Digital Purchase Restriction
Now when you purchase a digital copy of Diablo III, you are restricted to a Starter Version for 72 hours.
Blizzard must be having serious problems with stolen credit cards to take such a drastic step. I would wager that hackers/gold farmers are using stolen credit cards to purchase digital editions, make a throwaway account, use it to launder or convey gold in some fashion, and then repeat when Blizzard bans the account.
Credit card charge-backs are a serious issue for merchants, as Visa and Mastercard heavily punish merchants who have a high volume of fraudulent transactions.
My guess is that Blizzard is implementing this delay to make purchasing "temporary" digital copies an unattractive option for hackers while they work on a technical solution. I would imagine that the next patch will probably lock out trading or using the Auction House until you are level 13, or maybe until the Skeleton King is beaten.
RIFT Expansion Including Base Game For Free
I have to say that Trion's Marketing people are impressive. From Massively:
Storm Legion will apparently include the full version of RIFT along with it, allowing new players to pick up the expansion and experience both the core game and the additions without restriction.
Of course, this sounds like less of a deal if you already own RIFT, but you're covered there as well, as existing players can expect a price discount on purchasing the expansion.
Let's see (all numbers made up for demonstrative purposes). Let's say Trion prices Storm Legion at $40, but says that if you already own RIFT, you can get a $10 discount:
Storm Legion + RIFT = $40
Storm Legion = $40 - $10 = $30
Subtracting both sides,
RIFT = $10
This is a very interesting definition of the word "free". It is mathematically identical to Trion saying that RIFT costs $10 and Storm Legion costs $30, and the combination costs $40. Only Trion's way of phrasing it will net them slightly more money because a percentage of current RIFT owners will not use the discount or coupon.
Yet the internet appears to be amazed at Trion's generosity. Well done, Trion Marketing!
That's not to say that it's a bad idea. I've always thought that expansion packs should just contain the full game. It means there's only one SKU running around. There's no chance of buying the wrong version. New players get access to the entire game right from the start. It's clean and easy, and really the only problem is dealing with the old unsold physical boxed sets.