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The World Record-Setting State of Microtransactions – Discussion (1)

MICRO-TRANSACTIONS, GAMBLING AND MORE

If you couldn’t tell, this article will be referring to the state of microtransactions and gambling in the community. While New Man’s Sky has in fact, redeemed its incredible marketing failure a few years back thanks to its overhaul which has appealed to fans, other game developers are still operating in the dark. Fancying a touch of drama, the fact still remains that the community needs to stand together in response to the introduction of micro-transactions and gambling irresponsibly in mainstream titles.

Read on to discover my pitch on the general discussion and why you should be concerned.

ARE Micro-transactions bad?

No, they aren’t. Objectively, micro-transactions allow for players who are willing, to purchase in-game cosmetic items in return for real money. This allows for players to show their support and loyalty to the game developers and just enjoying additional content, cosmetic items or season passes.

Many mobile game developers utilise micro-transactions in a more explicit manner compared to mainstream developers, as selling a game for free isn’t too profitable; plenty of optional cosmetics and content for a price is justifiable. This also applies to free-to-play battle royales such as Fortnite. Then there are mainstream triple AAA title; supposedly full games with usually a 60 euro price tag which may offer DLC packs, skins and others for a low price as extra content to those interested in more content.

Until now everyone’s happy – so what’s up with micro-transactions nowadays?

TEMPERED IMPLEMENTATION

Problems have arisen due to the fact that certain game developers are viewing micro-transactions as an opportunity to amplify profits while simultaneously producing flatter games, with the majority of content released behind micro-transactions and not to mention, the price of the title. Micro-transactions often arrive holding the hand of marketing; guilty names, in my opinion, include EA, 2K Games and Bethesda (Fallout 76).

Micro-transactions have become a method for game developers to make money off a poorly made title, especially one involved in a respected franchise such as the notorious Fallout 76. The iteration of the fan-favourite Fallout series was released as a complete disaster offering bugs, glitches and a broken package with micro-transactions pouring out from every orifice. This treachery, combined with the false advertising and fake promises, resulted in legislative and communal repercussions for Bethesda.

Using micro-transactions to make a title, bound to fail, more profitable is the physical equivalent of squeezing lemons in the open eyes of the community – outrage is just. Another poor implementation of microtransactions appears in the notion of pay-to-win, in both single but especially multiplayer titles as expressed by the case studies of EA and 2K Games.

Tune in to part 2 of the article to physically shudder with distaste towards the examples to be given and how exactly EA has won a Guinness World record.

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