A microstory about microtransactions.

Illustration for article titled A microstory about microtransactions.

I haven't blogged in a while. It's not that I have stopped playing games, I just didn't have enough time to play games as much as I used to.

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However, after the recent hiatus about Evolve's launch, I couldn't just shut up. The whole deal is about the microtransactions that were implemented in the game on day 1.

Don't get me wrong, I am not hating on the developers, I know they didn't start this trend. This is not a rant about Evolve, this is not a rant at all. This is about microtransactions in certain retail games.

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There are some games that are doing this because they need to; like Guild Wars 2. While it's an MMORPG, it's also buy-to-play, which means that after you buy the game, you don't need to pay a monthly subscription in order to play the game, which in turn means that, in order to get a constant income to maintain the game's servers, the developers need to rely on such services as microtransactions.

However, I'm straying from the subject. Just as my past article about DLCs, which still poses a big issue, this is not a rant, rather an expressed concern. I have no right to rant about developers and publishers deciding to add certain features that have no place in their games to begin with. It's their right. But it's also my right to express my opinions about these features.

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Now, like I said, this didn't start with Evolve. Retail games have had microtransactions before. But it's starting to look like it's becoming a trend, and as far as I'm concerned, this is not a good thing. No, I'm not going to start rambling about the old days when you could unlock everything in a game by just playing the damn thing. No... Times have changed and so have business models.

But it does become a problem when a retail game comes out with tons of day 1 DLC, a gigantic load of editions that grant too little for what you're paying for. But then you start the game and you also see that the game has a microtransactions store. The items that are being offered by the store are purely cosmetic, but still, you fail to understand the logic behind this when you think that you have paid full price for that game.

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My question is: when does it stop? Will this become a trend? Will there be any actual brave developers that will implement a buy-to-play-then-pay-to-win store? Of course, that would fail miserabily, but you get my point.

Right now we're considerably concerned about the quantity of DLCs that are coming out for games, some that add one weapon or one piece of clothing for the price of $1, or in some cases, even more. Does this mean that this kind of DLC will be replaced by ingame microtransactions? Does it mean that we'll see games where we'll be able to purchase a DLC weapon then buy an alternative skin for it from it's ingame store?

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This issue poses a lot of questions and leaves most of them unanswered. But the biggest one is: if this becomes a trend, what will developers and publishers come up with next to make sure that they can squeeze some more money from their games?

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