blizzard co leader mike ybarra sparks controversy over selling carries featured image

Boosts are a very contentious topic among World of Warcraft players, to say the least. Blizzard appears to be acutely aware of this fact, as the Season of Mastery update for Classic Era servers includes a plethora of changes intended to stop boosting, which was viewed as one of the biggest issues in Classic.

A particularly egregious type of boosting is carries, specially among retail World of Warcraft players. Essentially, a player will pay a guild gold (or in some cases real life money, despite that exchange being against Blizzard ToS) in order to get carried through difficult content, such as high Mythic+ dungeons or Mythic raids, seeking to get the prestigious achievements and cosmetic rewards that come with such a feat.

It is no secret that, while legal and largely tolerated by Blizzard, carries are viewed very negatively by a large portion of the player base. Trade chat and the Looking for Group tool are filled with carry ads, and there’s a new forum and Reddit thread about this fact almost every day.

It seems that it didn’t take long for recently appointed Blizzard Co-Leader Mike Ybarra to get into hot water with the player base. Ybarra, who is widely known to be a fairly accomplished retail player, sparked controversy when he openly advertised his stream on Twitter, in which he was selling carries for the Sanctum of Domination raid.

blizzard co leader mike ybarra sparks controversy over selling carries mike ybarra tweet
Mike Ybarra advertising a heroic Sanctum of Domination “sales” stream, referring to a carry sale.

One quick look at the responses and you will see that players are not happy about Ybarra’s tweet. It didn’t stop there, with many forum threads on the topic, such as this one with 347 responses in less than 2 days, and multiple Reddit threads on the topic like this being among the most upvoted. Discussion got very heated, as tends to usually be the case with this topic, with several threads being deleted.

Many players argue that carries essentially make the game “Pay to Win”, as one can buy gold with real money using the WoW Token, and then buy carries using that gold, ultimately buying the most prestigious achievements and mounts with real money. Others are just unhappy that trade chat and LFG are absolutely filled with carry ads.

There appears to be a consensus that the Co-Leader of Blizzard engaging in this type of behaviour is at least somewhat tone-deaf, given Blizzard’s efforts to curb carries and the conflict of interest in maintaining the “Pay to Win” aspect of buying WoW Tokens for carries. At the very least, one cannot imagine that higher-ups at Activision-Blizzard are happy about Ybarra generating controversy so soon after his appointment, so it will be interesting to see his response to this issue.

What are your thoughts on the topic? Are boosts and carries affecting the game negatively, or are they a positive force in the game? Is there an issue with the Co-Leader of Blizzard participating in the sale of carries? Let us know in the comments below!

About the Author


Classic WoW is my jam, with a passion for PvP. Most know me as Baranor, the ret paladin guy, but I'm secretly a druid main, don't tell anyone. In my free time I play Switch games, particularly JRPGs. Some day I'll be making my own games and I humbly hope you play those too!

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