In this day and age, there’s no denying that microtransactions have become notorious for being prominent in many major titles. The idea of knowing that a game you’ve bought might require you to purchase digital boosts or items in order to gain access to the full experience has made people wary about the potential of upcoming releases. For example? The news that the new Devil May Cry gives players the options to pay real money for in-game currency that would usually require one to sink minutes or even hours of gameplay to obtain normally.
The fact that you can buy your way through to progression can remove any sort of satisfaction that you would have normally attained should you have played the game that way you were originally meant to. Yes, there are instances wherein microtransactions are optional and that you may choose to ignore them. However, the fact that they’re there meant that the developers knew that they could somehow influence players into buying what should have been originally a part of the game that they already paid for.
If you want an example of microtransactions clearly being used by developers for their own personal gain, then look no further than Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. There have been many who voiced out their concerns that integral parts of the main story are blocked should you not have a high enough level. And the game’s developer Ubisoft has implemented a very easy way for those of you who wish to go through the plot as soon as possible, without the need of having to take on long and arbitrary sidequests—experience bonuses via microtransactions.
It’s very clear that they intentionally placed these progression walls just so you’ll use your hard earned money on something you shouldn’t even need.
The only microtransactions that, in my opinion, can be deemed as acceptable are ones that do not give players any sort of distinct advantage. One of my favorite examples being in Dota 2, a free-to-play MOBA game. Just about everything you purchase in it is purely cosmetic and they have no effect on how a player performs in every match. Although I do agree that the game’s developer Valve can be greedy by tempting players with offers such as limited edition items for a short period of time or emphasizing discounts on particular digital goods that can enhance visual appeal, players don’t necessarily need them in order enjoy and get good at the game. You can even gain most of these items for free by simply playing!
So long as we continue to purchase games which contain the shoddy use of microtransactions, developers will keep using that as an excuse to pump out more of them. For those who continue to support the practice, then know that it could potentially lead to many Triple-A games being highly affected in the most negative ways possible. Since these particular developers know that they can get away with it, should people continue to buy what they shove out, they’ll just continue to find whatever they can put behind a paywall just so they can squeeze more out of the consumers. Who knows? Someday you might just need to use actual money just to gain basic in-game features such as running through the environments or even swimming in the water!
Always be proud of game devs that have provided many of you with amazing in-game experience, without requiring you to pay for anything as they’re the ones that actually care about the players. Show your support by buying their titles and proving that games can be enjoyable even without microtransactions.