Blizzard just announced that the Guardian Cub will soon be retired from the Blizzard Pet Store.
"In approximately two weeks (no sooner than June 18), the titanically cute Guardian Cub will vanish from the Battle.net Shop and head into hibernation in the Blizzard Archive."
If you have yet to buy one, maybe now is the time. The Guardian Cub isn't going anywhere in-game. If you own one, you own it for good. And there will always be others selling/trading the cub in the future. Prices may go up as time passes, though. Something to consider.
This is the first pet to be directly pulled from the shelves, and I can't help but scratch my head and ask "why?"
The Guardian Cub is unique compared to its Pet Store brethren. Unlike the others, it can be purchased and after a cooldown period (24 hours) the cub can be traded to other players. It was essentially a Blizzard-sanctioned method of buying gold. Pay for the pet with real money then sell the pet in-game for in-game currency.
The implementation of this pet seemed like an experiment of sorts. Let's see what happens when we do this! Initially the response the pet received was polarized. Some thought it was a good idea and might actually help curb the illegal sale of gold from third party sources. Others didn't share that sentiment and only saw it as another cash-cow (cash-cub?) that would disturb the balance of the in-game economy. Eventually I think the community came to accept the Guardian Cub as just another part of pet collecting, regardless of how it was obtained.
None of its history provides me with clues to an answer to "why?" though. I can't seem to come up with any possible ideas as to why Blizzard has decided to retire the Guardian Cub now. Did it cause more headache than it was worth? Was there an overall negative impact on the in-game economy? Did Blizzard simply run out of generated codes and decided it wasn't worth it to continue producing them? Was it not as lucrative as they had hoped/invested in?
I don't expect any real answers, which is fine. Blizzard doesn't have to explain every decision they make. It does leave things open for speculation and wild imaginations though. Maybe the code for the Guardian Cub was slowly taking tangible shape and becoming sentient? :P
But seriously, I'm a bit sad to see this pet leave the store. It's adorable and was unique in that it gave players a legal route of acquiring gold in-game for real life money. If this type of pet really was just an experiment, who knows if we'll see another tradeable pet in the Pet Store any time soon. It was the first of its kind and it could be the last.