While Blizzard’s Co-Leader, Mike Ybarra, has been widely praised for being an active World of Warcraft player, his choice to sell in-game boosts has left WoW fans out in the cold.
Boosting is always a contentious topic in the gaming sphere, but in World of Warcraft, it has become a pretty serious debate.
As part of WoW’s leveling system, players can pay for boosts using real-life currency. While many argue that money could be better spent both in Azeroth and in the real world, it also interferes with higher-level play as boosters don’t need to master their class in order to take on the game’s toughest raids.
Blizzard’s new Co-Leader and avid WoW fan, Mike Ybarra, has come under fire for selling boosts during an October 16 stream, and it’s left players questioning whether or not the iconic MMORPG can pull itself back from what many believe to be the point of no return.
Blizzard Co-Leader under fire for selling boosts
As Activision Blizzard continues to come under scrutiny following the lawsuit against the company for fostering a “pervasive frat boy culture” within the workplace, all eyes are on Ybarra as he attempts to steer the ship out of treacherous waters.
The new Co-Leader has found himself in the deep end, though, after tweeting about a stream selling Heroic Sanctum of Domination boosts.
“Likely streaming our Heroic SoD [Sanctum of Domination] sales run and high’ish end m+ [Mythic +] tonight,” he wrote in an October 16 tweet.
Likely streaming our heroic SoD sales run and high'ish end m+ tonight (20-23) starting at 5pm PT. 👍👍🎃😍
— Mike Ybarra 🎃 (@Qwik) October 16, 2021
WoW fans slam Ybarra
The backlash was pretty immediate, with one fan telling Ybarra to “quit your job. Boosting hurt [sic] the game so much, you should work how to fix that and not boost yourself.”
Unsubbed now. If you can’t see how making a tweet like this hurts the community, you should quit your job. Boosting hurt the game so much, you should work how to fix that and not boost yourself. Guilds need money but that need killed all chat channels and causes more problems.
— Teflononline (@teflononline) October 17, 2021
Another writes that “Boosting is the main reason I left WoW. With leadership doing this looks like I may never return.”
Boosting is the main reason I left WoW . With leadership doing this looks like I may never return. Sadge
— Brian Arnold (@BSqueeze303) October 18, 2021
Similar comments dominate the Reddit thread dedicated to discussing Ybarra’s boosting. “It’s bad for the game. Neutral for the community because the community is already completely f**ked by boosting anyways,” fumes one.
A final respondent notes “Boosting might feel more acceptable if folks were using gold to do it & not real money converted into gold… I’m not sure if World of Warcraft is salvageable.”
WoW’s boosting system will always divide players, but maybe this push will influence some changes to the feature in future patches.