Yesterday World of Warcraft added a new in-game currency called Tokens that can be exchanged for game time. A day later, the price has already dropped significantly.
WoW players can buy and sell the Tokens through a region-wide Auction House for gold. Unlike the normal Auction House, the market for Tokens doesn't involve bidding. All Tokens are the same price at any given moment.
Blizzard set the initial price for this currency at 30,000g. Since then, supply and demand has moved the price. The flurry of initial purchases drove the price up to 31k but since then, the price has gone down all the way to 22k. WoWToken.info has been issuing updates over their Twitter account:
What happened in the first day is that a lot of WoW players decided to buy Tokens so they could make gold. The result is that there's a lot more Tokens on sale than are being purchased so the price is drifting downward.
I'm very curious to see how the price of Tokens will shake out in the long-term. It seems to me like the amount of players looking to sell them for gold will always be greater than the amount trying to buy them for game time. How much game time do players really want to buy in a given month? I can't imagine players stockpiling several months at a time, especially if they think the price of Tokens is going to come down over time. Plus, WoW player
However, there are ways for Blizzard to keep the price of Tokens up. For example, they just raised the limit on how many Tokens players can buy for gold through the Auction House per month. At the same time, players are restricted to buying only 10 Tokens with cash. This should hypothetically lower the supply of Tokens over time and push up their asking price.
Blizzard implemented Tokens so that players with a lot of in-game gold could avoid paying a monthly subscription. It also allows players with less free time to make more gold by spending real-world money. The other benefit to this system is that it provides a safe, official alternative to third-party gold sellers.