Microtransactions.

The dreaded word that every gamer doesn’t want to see or even hear in their games.

When you’re playing a video game and you find yourself having a good time, it can be rather irritating to see that microtransactions are implemented in the game.

If you don’t know what microtransactions are, they are a “pay-to-get-more” scheme that many publishers use in order to get more money from consumers playing their games. Ever since they’ve first come to existence, they’ve been the bane of everybody who wants to just play for fun.

Microtransactions take your hard earned money and then use them as actual currency in-game for you to achieve something or get a rare item at a much faster pace. They’re usually prevalent in free-to-play games usually for mobile games but now they’ve made their way into even triple A games as well.

While most microtransactions from triple A games aren’t too imposing, publishers have recently taken to shady tactics in order to sway you into using your actual money for in-game currency.¬†Publishers like to do this by disguising them as “difficulty” or even “challenge” by purposefully making the game more difficult to irritate you enough to spend more cash. That is just low.

A more recent example of this practice would be 2K Games and their NBA 2K18. NBA 2K18 have been massively criticized online by recent reviewers for microtransactions being pushed heavily. One reviewer even noted that there is no preview for your character’s hairstyle forcing you to spend actual in-game currency in order to know what they’d look like on your character. This is a way of letting you waste more in-game currency so you’d spend your actual money for more.

When presented with this, you have to ask yourself: “is it fair to be paying full price for a game that won’t let you enjoy something until you pay more?”

Of course the answer is no. It’s always no.

When you’ve paid for a game, you shouldn’t have to pay for more in order to receive more content from the game you’ve purchased. Wouldn’t it be really unfair that after a hard day’s work you go home eager to play something to enjoy yourself when you’re presented with this?

(What a waste of money…)

What happened to just using cheat codes?

Back in the good old days, we were given cheat codes for gaming in order to help us make the game a little easier or a little more fun. Where did those go? Imagine having to pay a dollar for every $500 or ten dollars for $10,000 you want to get easy in Grand Theft Auto San Andreas.

While it’s clear that those good old days are gone, what we’re eventually left with are nothing more than money hungry corporations intent on milking every cent and penny they can get out of us. It’s fine if they want to make more cash as money is how they survive and grow, but it’s completely unfair to not give us the quality we deserve in their games that we pay for. Publishers and developers who have that in mind to exploit us using such shady tactics give video games a bad name.

Mircotransactions are even more of a nuisance online.

Imagine this: you’ve decidedly want to go online because you want to have some fun with other players, you then go up against this guy who has all the cool weapons and armor and even the coolest skin you’ve ever seen in the game. He can one shot kill you but it takes about 50 shots full to even scratch a fraction of health off of him. Did that guy even earn all those cool equips? No. Of course not. He bought them. You’ve got two options: you either quit going online for multiplayer entirely or you decide to fight fire with fire. You use your money to buy the best weapons and armor you can afford in order to go back and get revenge. If you’ve taken the latter, congratulations! You’ve fallen for yet another clever trick that publishers use to swindle you out of your money.

In the near future, if this keeps going, microtransactions will more and more become more prevalent until you can’t even finish the first level without infuriatingly having to spend $5 for a weapon you could’ve earned “fairly” but would’ve taken too long.

What can we do to stop this, you ask?

Taking a stand can be as simple as refusing to use microtransactions period. When you see a review that warns you that a game pushes microtransactions in your face aggressively, you avoid that game like the plague.

Now don’t be confused, this isn’t about flaming microtransactions as a whole. It’s about gaming companies out there who use shady tactics to push you into spending more of your money. This is a pain. They need to stop. Difficulty shouldn’t be used as a smokescreen in order to push you into spending more of your hard earned money on a game that you already paid for.

“I have to pay how much for a haircut?!”

In the end, it’s too optimistic to believe that microtransactions will ever go away. They’ll most probably always be there as a way for publishers and game developers to make more money than they already have. While they are tolerable in the first place if they’re not shoved up our faces every time, it can be understandable to always be wary of this practice.

Developers and publishers are always finding ways to get more and more money even at your expense if they can get away with it. Don’t let this stand! Do your part to make sure that they know that this practice is absolutely unacceptable.

  • Limit Break

    What do you mean “gone too far” ?

    But it IS gamers who let it go too far ! It is our fault entirely that we LET them swarm the industry the way they did.
    People just have to STOP BUYING this shit. And it’ll be over. But they won’t. Mostly because some people have way too much money to spare for their own good and little to no time and willpower to actually unlock stuff the way it was meant to be unlocked – by playing the goddamn thing !

    I have never payed for a single microtransaction in my life and proud of it. People should realize once and for all that the industry is going wherever money is flowing and that there is a VERY REAL danger of entire developers just simply declining fans requests for the continuation of their beloved franchise simply because they don’t see huge money making possibilities in that.
    You can’t overflow something like Devil May Cry 5 with microtransactions. You can’t put them in Half-Life 3 either. There is no point to making a new Silent Hill game because it’s a very niche type of game and hoping YouTube will advertise the game well enough for it to sell multiple million copies doesn’t seem to be a good deal for the producers anymore…

    As the result… Devil May Cry is missing in action for a decade since the last release, Half-Life 3 is officialy cancelled and Silent Hill is dead. Just dead.

    Please stop buying microtransactions, people. Please.

    • Jarren Navarrete

      It’s both the fault of gamers who buy microtransactions and companies who implement them as a quick way to make buck.

      I commend you for not using microtransactions to play games. I wish more and more people would stop falling for this scheme and realize it for what it is. Do they really think that when corporate executives realize that they can exploit microtransactions to make more money for far less content and quality, they wouldn’t use it? Far less effort on their part and more money to be gained without much loss. It’s a shady business tactic, but it works. People have too much money for their own good, and corporations are more than happy enough to take those green off their hands.

      This is another problem with free to play games in general. They’re more of a pay-to-win scheme that companies use in order to get more money for a good number of time. You see top players for this free-to-play games to be paying for most of what they earned. I’ve seen very few free-to-play games that don’t use this sort of crap. Take Warframe. That game actually gives us good quality and doesn’t shove microtransactions to our faces even though they’d be able to get away with it.

      I really hate what today brought us. We are paying more money for far less effort and for far less than what we should give out. Money doesn’t grow on trees. What next? We pay extra for interesting scenes in movies now?

      If people don’t take a stand against this now, companies all around the world are going to use this to exploit us little by little and pushing it forward until they’re common place. Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen!

  • Novacell

    Never bothered with microtransactions. But obviously some people who like them, hence why they are shoved into most games. I wouldn’t blame the publisher, as they are only going by the consumer who are for the most, happy to buy using microtransactions. On the flip side, having microtransactions can prolong a games life span as people invest in that game, the publishers make more money and support that game. So i don’t see how they are going to far! If the gamers are happy to use microtransactions then it can’t be a bad thing. Free to play games use microtransactions you get a “free” game but if you want the bells and whistles then you need to pay for it.

    • Jarren Navarrete

      In normal circumstances, I’d say you’re right. Nothing wrong with microtransactions. That’s the norm after all when you’re playing free-to-play games.

      The article was about how publishers have suddenly gone to using shady tactics to push us into using microtransactions in the first place. Microtranscactions taking a back seat is tolerable, not a bad thing. But when developers and publishers of video games purposefully make getting an item or doing something more longer and more difficult, microtransactions are offered as a way out.

      You may not think much of it right now. But in the future, you’re going to be bombarded with them in every triple A game that you play. Companies don’t have our happiness in mind, they want money. It’s always about the money. If they want consumers to be happy, why not implement cheat codes like in the past? We’re only playing games after all. If that’s what they want, fine. But why not give us the quality and content we deserve in return for more of our hard earned cash, huh? Why implement such a cheap tactic to gain more for less effort? “You want 5,000 in-game currency? Just give us 5 bucks.” That’s not content, that’s a scheme, a shortcut for people with more money!

      Video games are getting quite expensive nowadays with all these expansion packs and overpriced DLCs because we didn’t do anything about it. Microtransactions are soon going to be the norm for every game out there, offline or otherwise.

      The problem with free-to-play games is that they’re pretty much pay-to-win. Don’t be fooled. Top players of said games pay top dollar to make sure that they stay at the top and companies are more than happy to take the money off their hands. Only very few free-to-play games don’t use this sort of tactic, like Warframe. But that game is a diamond along a pile of crap.

      I respect your opinion, but it’s getting the word out that people are being cheated out of their money and are completely okay with it. Not everyone wants to have to pay more for “more content” on a game they already paid more than a $100 for. Would you?