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Update: As pointed out below in the reader comments, these estimates are likely off by a sizable amount as they do not take into account the free Battle.net Mobile Authenticator. Users of the free app are entitled to the Core Hound Pup in-game pet (which was used to come up with the $26 million figure) just as users of the paid authenticator are, so it’s virtually impossible to calculate how much revenue has actually been made via this product. Sincere apologies for the misinformation.
Original Story: Blizzard Entertainment, video game developer and publisher best known for World of Warcraft, has earned around $26 million on their security authenticators to date.
The security authenticator for World of Warcraft is basically a keychain addition that allows for extra security for your account. Its success speaks to just how much players value their security, as well as how companies can innovate when typical account passwords aren’t enough to withstand hackers.
Each time the player wants to log in, the security authenticator will send out a one-time six-digit numerical code that the player will have to type in along with their username and password to gain access to the game or account management.
However, Blizzard doesn’t just give these little trinkets out for free. Players have to purchase them at $6.50 each. With around 40 percent of World of Warcraft players actually using the added security device, Blizzard has made about $26 million on them alone.
Players have been plagued in recent years by a number of hacking problems. In particular, World of Warcraft was a haven for trojan attacks specifically aimed to gather login details early on, which prompted Blizzard to release the security authenticators helping players find extra comfort in the updated security.
There aren’t any actual numbers on how much it costs to make the device or amount of customer service hours saved, but as an added “perk” for players, they receive a Core Hound Pup in-game pet for purchasing the device.