Microtransactions the good the bad and the ugly


After the recent debacle surrounding Naught Dog being roasted (unfairly in my opinion) for having microtransactions in Uncharted 4. But having said that I have a problem with microtransactions when progression without paying is made awkward, not to mention when they ram it down your throat. It turns the game into something of a “money predator”, endlessly trying to get at your real world money. And it fosters resentment in gamers which I can whole heatedly understand. Greed aside, it is rather disconcerting because many of us play videogames to relax. The last thing we want is a game that attempt to squeeze as much cash from us as possible, even though we already paid full price for it. But not all instances of microtransactions follow the same route as the above mention scenario.

microtransactions-microtransactions-everywhereBut I don’t reckon we need to go into a panic mode each time a game is released with microstransactions. Microtransactions may be appearing more frequently across the industry these days, but I don’t believe that having microtransactions are inherently bad or a terrible idea for that matter. Before you start flaming me, hear me out first. Like any business model out there today, there’s a good and a bad way to go about things. Grand Theft Auto Online has the right idea when it comes to microtransactions. You can pay real money for in game currency, but this fact isn’t paraded or plastered throughout the entirety of the game. Also using microtransactions in Grand Theft Auto Online is not necessary to progress either. 

W5ilaunYes, microtransactions are optional, of course. You can acquire every piece of equipment in the game without ever having to make use of microtransactions, or using real world money to buy in game items. DotA is also a good example of how you can make microtransactions have zero effect on gameplay and have zero content barriers, while still making microtransactions appealing to the average DotA player. I think it is probably the best two examples I can think of at the moment. I am sure you could name other gaming titles which are equally respectful of their players, when it comes to implementing microstransactions. There are examples of massively dodgy practices out there, yet I reckon we’re focusing on worst-case scenarios.

smqamI have played several microtransaction-based games, and never have I spent a cent on any of them. I have still managed to fully enjoy them. I think microtransactions done right are a great way to not only optionally support a company/game that you think is deserving but also to give companies an incentive to keep working on their game even past the initial sale. Of course microtransactions can fall into the cash grabby territory pretty easily as well. But I cannot emphasize enough that developers know that the users don’t want game ruining microtransactions. It is the game publishers who push for badly managed microtransactions most of the time and not the developers themselves. So before attacking developers for micotransactions keep that under consideration. 

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About larch

I am a cucumber in a fruit bowl.
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