Author Topic: Micro-transactions in games  (Read 5727 times)


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Micro-transactions in games
« on: November 19, 2015, 01:49:05 PM »
Today I want to discuss micro-transactions in games, specifically why I think they exist - and why I think they shouldn't.

I am going to do my best to not focus on any specific company doing this, because many games have them, but I only have been affected by one specifically.

As most of you know, I have been temporarily banned from playing a game in the online lobbies due to my use of "mods" which are not allowed in multiplayer lobbies. I understand that I broke the rules that I agreed to, and this is the punishment for that. However, when you stop to think about why those rules exist - that is when the really dirty side of micro-transactions start to emerge.

What could be the reasoning for a company to want to remove a player from playing their game? Logistically, it doesn't make a lot of sense. Most companies would want the players to be playing the game as much as possible - keeping it alive, and encouraging others to buy and play the game. This has been the strategy for game companies for a long time - and yet in the last year or so, this has completely changed because they found another way to make money - micro-transactions.

I understand that making money is what everyone wants to do, I get that - but in my opinion the current micro-transaction market is completely messed up. It promotes ridiculous things like banning members from playing a game. The whole motive behind banning users for "modding" they claim is to protect the non-modding players, to make sure that they have a good playing experience - but since when has any company cared about that? That is simply an excuse because saying, "We only ban you because you are not paying us more money to play this game".

You can easily see this through-out this game, and many others - while you "can" play the game in its entirety without mods - all in-game purchases are so unbelievably expensive that it makes the game almost impossible to enjoy - and yet these micro-transactions are just a couple of dollars to get millions of in-game dollars instantly - no work required.

The connection between the in-game prices of things such as ammo and cars is blatantly obvious, yet no one that I know of has addressed it. The amount of money you earn from a "mission" or in-game activity is so low that you have to spend hours and hours doing mundane tasks to make any sort of purchases - yet you can spend a couple of real dollars and get millions of dollars instantly in-game.

So for a company to earn more money, they have to apply the logic through-out the entire game making process - which in turn makes the game not fun for its players. Remember, "all they want to do is make the game more fun for the users that don't mod", yet when you break it down, the reason the game isn't fun has nothing to do with the people modding, and everything to do with the lack of care the company has for it's players.

They make the game difficult to get any sort of in-game currency without modding, and then when you circumvent the micro-transactions, they ban you from playing because you are essentially having fun that they feel your $60 didn't pay for.

If I am at a gas station getting gas, and I pay for $60 of gas, and they decided because I didn't buy any of the candy bars or soda they have sitting around, that I wasn't allowed back at that gas station - do you think they would stay in business? Of course not - yet we as the players continue to go to the same gas stations, and suck it up, which is why game companies across the board are adding in micro-transactions - because we continue to take it as something we can't change.

So companies will say, if we get rid of the micro-transactions - how can I supplement the monetary income? Micro-transactions don't have to be a terrible thing, they can be implemented in such a way they they are purely beneficial to the player, without ruining the actual game-play if I choose not to use the micro-transactions. Such as actually balancing the in-game money rewards for doing the mundane tasks, instead of making the player spend 20 hours just to get what $5 would get them in micro-transactions.

Other games offer micro-transactions that give the player extreme advantages over other players - such as stronger guns - more health - faster moving around. If you look at a game like COD, imagine if you were playing a round of TDM, and someone on the other team had better guns, more health, and could run faster and longer because they paid an extra $5 for some micro-transaction perk. Imagine how fast COD would die if that was a thing.

Just like COD or any other fps game would never be allowed to do something like this, other games should be held to the same standards.

I am interested in what you think about this, let me know down below - let's have a discussion regarding this - share it with your friends, and tell them to come give their two cents as well.