As mobile games rose in popularity, several free games were released. These were released to the public with a unique business model. But, they could choose the option to mildly enhance that experience with a small fee that could give them a new item, skill or the ability to decrease wait times for constructing buildings. This business model was coined “Freemium,” and was a successful and fair way to use microtransactions. However, as time went on. Developers began putting microtransactions into priced games, and they weren’t just for mobile.
AAA Equals No Way.
Some could see the problem beginning with Blizzard’s own Diablo 3. At the game’s launch. Players could buy and sell virtual items on a real-money auction house, that was poorly received upon release. The system undermined certain aspects of gameplay, with players receiving quality items due to their wallets instead of their skill. In the end, Blizzard owned up to their mistake by shutting the system down in 2014. More problems arose in 2015 when Metal Gear Solid 5, a mostly single player game, released with a poor microtransaction system. The gamemode that centered around this failed to work for some at launch, and felt almost necessary for progression. This wouldn’t be the first time Konami f—ed up with microtransactions, as shown by the recent Metal Gear: Survive that locked extra save files behind a 10 dollar paywall.
Pay-to-Win V.S Cosmetic.
Other game’s have released with a loot box system that doesn’t even give consumers a choice in what they pay for. While some games such as Overwatch, have kept them them on a pure cosmetic level. Other games such as Middle Earth: Shadow of War launched with random loot boxes that gave out different items that the player may or may not have wanted. Last year EA released Star Wars: Battlefront 2 with a progression system heavily tied to rolling the dice with loot boxes. Critics and gamers alike voiced their justified negativity towards the system. Criticism which resulted in EA disabling the system until a better solution could be developed.
A Fix from the Government or from us.
All this negativity from the result of poor business decisions eventually resulted in the US government questioning whether or not they needed to classify loot boxes as a form of gambling and instill certain laws regarding them. This act gives further proof that microtransactions have gotten out of hand, with only developers and gamers able to quell this plague. Gamers have the power to rid fully priced games of microtransactions with two simple things. Their wallets and the power of self-control. While it’s enticing to speed up progress at the cost of a few extra dollars. Remember that when your doing so, it gives developers more intensive to include more microtransactions in future games. But perhaps there is a way for developers to have their cake and eat it to. Perhaps if they choose to include microtransactions, then maybe we could see a retail price drop in certain AAA titles.
What the future holds for this controversial system remains unknown. But the hard truth remains that most gamers are fed up with entire debacle brought on by Microtransactions.
What would be your solution to this whole situation in the community? Let us know in the comments below.