Let’s talk about microtransactions.
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Microtransactions are, let’s be honest, in every single modern AAA release. Call of Duty wouldn’t be seen dead without them, and although Modern Warefare didn’t have a shop for the first month, it quickly got its act together and began demanding more money from it’s loyal fan base. From shooters to moba, console to PC, you won’t be hard pressed to find somewhere to shovel cash into a gaming experience.
Arguments about microtransactions have been going on for years now, but fundamentally, no big steps have been taken to remove them. Companies will sometimes change the way their store works in an attempt to improve their system, but at the end of the day, you’re putting money into your computer to get in game items.
When looking at games using the Free To Play model such as PlanetSide 2, extra money is understandable. Sure, you start off under powered, and you can get the stuff you need by playing the game, but if you want any chance of winning in a fight, you’ll do better having bought the stuff you need for the job. These games are a little more understandable, as you’re effectively paying for the game over the course of playing it, occasionally adding more funds and grabbing that weapon you’ve been thinking about for weeks. Games like Fortnite, which are similarly free, offer in game appearance items for an extra fee. While these don’t necessarily make you better at the game, a lot of gamers value how they look and will gladly help the developer by buying a skin they fancy.
Of course, we couldn’t talk about microtransactions without talking about the big hitters. Games that are full price, setting you back forty or fifty quid, offering ingame options to spend more money. Halo 5: Guardians took pride in their Rec Pack system, where you would randomly unbox armour sets and weapon skins to customise your spartan. A game that already boasts a hefty upfront fee seemed to push their premium items is almsot commonplace in the current gaming market.
The question still persists then; Should a fully priced game be allowed to offer extra payments? This comes down to the players themselves. Some people love being able to support the developers in any way they can – or perhaps they have no qualms with putting money into games to gain extra benefits. Others despise the very nature of extra transactions, going so far as to call it manipulation by the game developers.
What do you think? Is this a problem or a feature? Let us know on Twitter!