Micro transactions

Discussion in 'Gaming' started by Armadeadn, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. How do you guys feel about micro transactions? I generally don't buy them because if I buy a game I feel it should be a full game I paid for. It depends how micro transactions are implemented. If it's just a weapon skin on gears of war or a hat on team fortress 2 I may or may not buy it, depends if I want it. What I don't like are those games that are made intentionally difficult or (for example) earning xp/money is a deliberately painfully slow process to encourage the player to spend more to progress at a reasonable rate, not unlike arcade games of old. Some people say if you don't like games that are geared that way then don't buy them, but I say why should I have to miss out on an otherwise great game because of what many believe to be greedy money grubbing implementations as micro transactions. On Infinity Blade 1 on iPhone I played the game for long enough to master every single piece of equipment, twice. It took ages but I refused to stump up the cash just to progress quicker. If the game was free I might have considered it but it was £4.99, pretty steep for an iOS title.

    Cliffy B recently posted a blog where he totally defends micro transactions and EA in particular regarding their bad guy image that many (myself included) feel thy deserve. Here's the blog post:


    It interesting to hear someone playing devils advocate for micro transactions since most people who talk about them portray them in a negative light.

    What do you guys think of micro transactions?
  2. I only ever buy proper add-on DLC such as new areas and content but I never buy any skins or character models as that is just money for old rope.

    Farmville and the likes are the worst offenders for micro transactions in my eyes. Play the game without paying for free but spend a month doing something or give us £5 and you can have it now. No idea why people are so stupid to pay for that kind of crap.
  3. To me, it really is more like a hybrid form of the arcade era. Ultimately, if you're interested enough in the game, you'll continue to put money into it. The games that you don't like or have no interest in to begin with don't get your cash. For mobile, it sounds like this is the model that generates more money for the developers than the flat fee approach. I don't blame them for moving to it if it works well enough.
  4. Micro transactions in mobile apps are acceptable if used right but very few games actually pull it off in a good way. Infinity Blade is an example of a game that does it well. The transactions are there if you want them but in general they aren't needed and you aren't missing any important content if you don't purchase stuff. Sadly there are many mobile apps that use micro transactions for evil. Radiant Defense is one game I can think of. You can play for a while but eventually it becomes impossible to continue unless you start buying stuff. To me that just feels a little dishonest. I'd rather pay up front for a quality game. Getting gouged latter for an unknown amount pisses me off. Tap management games like FarmVille are in a different category all together. Since micro transactions have been their theme from the beginning they can't be faulted too much. However, I don't like the trend towards micro transactions that console and PC games have taken.
  5. I think it's a mixed bag, but one that's mainly full of crap. I don't mind games where they're paced well - if a micro transaction feels almost like a nice bonus, then I'll go for them. However, most games use them by having horrible grinding gameplay and where's the fun in that?
  6. EA have said that ALL if their games on the next gen systems will feature microtransactions. They know how to make friends.
  7. I don't mind them in multiplayer free to play games where the dynamics are balanced around not really needing them, or being able to earn them in enough time. Usuaully with these games if you get into it you might have to spend $20 to setup up a couple of classes with the equipment you want. Seeing that you'll probably play 30hrs+ of the game at this point $20 all up for the game seems reasonable.

    I don't really like it in single player games at all. The trend towards incomplete games with DLC from day 1 is disgusting. I loved Mass Effect 1 and 2, but really have no desire to play 3. EA are getting worse and worse,
  8. I think the general idea behind micro-transactions is financial viability in the digital age. I don't think the old flat fee model really cuts it anymore from the sound of it.
  9. Being a person who actually pays for their games I really prefer the pay up front model. Like I said, with micro transactions you never know what the final cost of playing will actually be. Also, the majority of the games I play are usually purchased on sale. I'd say at least 75% of my library was 50% off or more when I made the purchases. I've yet to see a micro transaction game that somehow goes on sale in a similar manor.

    So how goes piracy on games with micro transaction? I haven't heard much about it.
  10. It may be a model that has some advantages in terms of piracy, but it probably hasn't been around long enough to draw too many solid conclusions there. But I do think the reason developers are starting to experiment with all the various forms of micro-transactions is at least partially a response to digital piracy, but also a response to the trend of digitally distributed games having significantly lower entry prices, but a customer base that expects the sophistication to always rise. How do you make your money? Part of it is the idea that fans of the game will likely pay more with micro transactions than with a flat fee.

    That's what I mean by it being a resurrection of the arcade mindset in some respects. If you liked an arcade game, you would pump a lot of quarters into it without really consciously thinking too much about the total $$ you were spending. People typically didn't think "I'm only willing to spend $10 playing Donkey Kong".
  11. That is exactly how I would think of it. I'd set myself a budget for the game and then not go over it.
  12. I'm sure you could with many games, but there would be others that would convince you to spend a bit more if you really enjoyed them. There are plenty of people that will pay to see a movie in theaters more than once if they really like it. It's the same idea.
  13. I agree with bfun. I like being able to set how much I will spend on a game from the start. With micro transactions they are somewhat trying to abstract the payment process by making it an on going procedure. It's now more like a floating subscription - if you don't keep track of your spending habits that is. That would surely be what they are counting on, the people who don't care/think about the cost and just want more from the game.

    I prefer the feeling of owning a complete version of something that I can then choose to play as much or as little as I like. Sure, that doesn't work for the online model and is daunting for many casuals. So I'm fine with micro-transactions in multilayer games IF you can still compete fairly without them. In single player games, they should never with hold viable assets from the release game just to pimp them straight away as DLC. DLC should come later or be something negligible or novelty (doesn't fit in with the universe of the rest of the game but is fun).
  14. Here's the rub though: most flat fee games that exist today don't allow the buyer access to the complete game from the start. You have to "unlock" various content or levels by putting time into the game. So, if you don't put the time in, you haven't actually received the full value of the game for the price you paid. You paid for content that you never had access to.

    IMO, some of the freemium games with timers etc. are putting a twist on that. It's giving you the option to decide the amount of time and the amount of money you're willing to pay to unlock that content. If you don't think the game is fun, you're not going to spend the time or the money.
  15. I't might be more like going to a movie for free and then paying small amounts of money throughout the movie to continue watching. In a way that could be ideal if the total cost was the same as paying for the movie up front. If you decide you don't like the movie you could walk out of the theater without having paid the full price. But that might not be the case. You could also be halfway through a great movie when the payments suddenly balloon up. At that point you might have to weigh the unknown cost of the remainder of the movie against the expected pleasure it might bring.

    Actually isn't that how peep shows work? Not that I would know.
  16. For a while now in Need For Speed games instead of working your way up to the big cars you can buy them/unlock them instantly with real monies. This optional feature doesn't bother me but it certainly detracts from the overall experience a lot of companies aim for.
  17. And how does a person review a game like that? It's two different versions of the game with two different experiences.
  18. In Real Racing 3, there's a bunch of different options for how you pay for something. When you finish a race, depending on performance, you'll be awarded in-game money and sometimes in-game credits. You can also buy additional in-game money and in-game credits using real money, OR use real money to buy one of the available car packs etc. The in-game money buys additional cars, repairs, servicing, or car upgrades. The in-game credits allow you to do things like skip timers, paint your car, or open new racing tiers without having to qualify through racing performance.

    The high-end cars are fairly expensive in terms of in-game money, so it's really a matter of "how much time do I have to grind to earn it" vs. "do I mind paying a few extra bucks to skip hours of grinding".