Are Video game Microtransactions bad?

2017 has been a fairly controversial time for the gaming Industry, as microtransactions seem to squander our favorite games, and make us distrust the developers who should be our friends in the first place. So, are Microtransactions hurting the gaming Industry?

Keep in mind that I personally don’t have much of a problem with Microtransactions because at the end of the day, it’s a choice you get to make. No one is forcing you to spend money on a game. I just wish developers would tweak the way loot boxes work so that us as gamers get more fun, and value out of it.

  • “The most controversy, and backlash I’ve ever seen from a video game would have to be Starwars Battlefront 2, and definitely with good reason.”

Starwars BattleFront 2 tank image-optimized

Within the multiplayer progression for battlefront 2 lies Starcards, which are what’s used to upgrade your troopers, heroes, and vehicles. The problem is that you need to spend way too much money on “trooper crates” in order to have a better chance at getting the upgrades you want. See, when a game forces you to spend money on the non guaranteed chance that you might get your desired loot, that’s a problem.

  • Player progression should be entirely dependent on skill, not how much money you’re willing to spend.

Loot boxes can be a great way to lengthen the lifetime of a game, and provide an easy outlet to add more content for the players, however developers need to keep in check what the rates are for the likelihood of getting what you’re after. Ideally, if game developers made it easier to get the desired items, and then created a way for players (who aren’t interested in grinding) to get what they want faster by spending a little bit of real money. That would be a good system in my opinion. Give players those two options:

  • Offer a way of building up in game currency through grinding out quests, mission objectives, whatever, and then they can roll for the chance at getting some loot.
  • Or give players the faster route to getting what they want by purchasing loot boxes with real money.

COD WW2 supply drop image

What we have right now, is a system that makes it damn near impossible to get good loot, which then exploits the player by nudging them to constantly spend their pennies, and at the end of the day it’s still not gauranteed you’ll get what you want. Honestly, while Starwars battlefront 2 is stupidly unfair, Call of Duty on the other hand isn’t nearly as bad when it comes to Microtransactions. I think the good folks at Infinity Ward, Activison, and Treyarch have done a decent job of implementing the loot box system into their games. It genuinely makes sense because of all the customization built into multiplayer already: weapon camos, charms, player emotes, etc.

COD MWR supply depot image-optimized

When Call of Duty Modern Warfare Remastered was released, Supply drops had been added into the game, however gamers were not happy clams. Reason for this was because the developers had turned it into a money making machine instead of just a simple remaster.

  • Is that such a dumbass thing to do?

Apparently the COD community thought so. Some were happy with the changes, and others wished it was just like it used to be. I for one thought it made a lot of sense. A once old game had been slightly modernized, and now included a fun way of getting new weapons, camos, and other goodies through supply drops (loot boxes). More content added in a game (when done right) isn’t so bad in my opinion.

  • So, are Microtransactions hurting the Video game industry?

No, and let me explain why. Gamers (you, and me) everywhere have got to come to the realization that our hobby is a business for someone else. Every game developer in the world is trying to do one thing:

  • Provide enough value so that you’ll spend money, whether it be buying a game that looks fun, getting refreshing new DLC content, or having fun opening loot crates in multiplayer.

It seems like many of us don’t know that most games take years to make, and hundreds of millions of dollars to fund. To keep up with the ever increasing demands of gamers, video game developers need to come up with new ways to make money even after they’ve sold their game. That’s why we see paid DLC, and of course: Loot Boxes. It would be best if we could all be open about this, and then work together with game developers to come up with better ways of monetizing their games, so that they still make a profit, and we don’t feel as though we’re being taken advantage of. I do firmly believe that loot boxes are here to stay, so let’s make them the best they can be.

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