Microtransaction and Loot boxes – Good or Bad

The biggest issue in the gaming world.

You Pay over £60 for a AAA title, and then you get hit with DLC, Cosmetics and all manner of things. Is this right for the average gamer?

Some of the big names in the industry are the worse EA for example recently added microtransactions to Battlefield V for cosmetics and skins. But why I ask myself. Yes, this is the first Battlefield V without the need of the additional Battle Pass (normally £40 extra) and I am sure they would argue that the additional content for maps, guns, etc needs funding.

But if the game has sold around 7,300,000 copies that’s £365,000,000 at £50 per game average. Not too shabby considering the game sales were below BF1.

Why do they still feel the need to fleece the gamer for more cash?

Free to Play

However, the other side of the Coin you have free to play games with the biggest by far being Epic games Fortnite.

Now being a Free to Play title Fortnite uses microtransactions to run the game this is via the season pass or for cosmetics to make your character different.

I personally think this is a good way to fund the game. However, after 8 seasons I just don’t feel it anymore and refuse to spend the cash.

The game has not changed that much, no new map, the gameplay if anything has got worse now the Pump shotgun has been replaced with a shotgun that can kill at range with one pump, It feels the game has lost its direction somewhere.

The Gamer’s

I have spoken to quite a few gamer’s when playing online and the consensus is that enough is enough. Fine in the Free to play model but spending £60 plus on a AAA title like BF V or Call of Duty and then getting fleeced on the microtransaction front is a poor show and the Publishers clearly not showing love to the gamer’s who buy the titles.

The whole concept of loot boxes and microtransactions hit the headlines again recently with US Senator Hawley trying to introduce legislation banning manipulative video game features aimed at children.

From his website.
https://www.hawley.senate.gov/

Senator Hawley, a fierce critic of social media practices that prey on the addition of users, announced today that he will introduce landmark legislation banning the exploitation of children through “pay-to-win” and “loot box” monetization practices by the video game industry.

Senator Hawley said, “Social media and video games prey on user addiction, siphoning our kids’ attention from the real world and extracting profits from fostering compulsive habits. No matter this business model’s advantages to the tech industry, one thing is clear: there is no excuse for exploiting children through such practices.

“When a game is designed for kids, game developers shouldn’t be allowed to monetize addiction. And when kids play games designed for adults, they should be walled off from compulsive microtransactions. Game developers who knowingly exploit children should face legal consequences.”

BACKGROUND

  • In recent years, the video game industry has become increasingly reliant on monetization models that promote compulsive “microtransaction” purchases by consumers.

The most abusive such practices are:

  • Pay to win: Pay-to-win games take two forms. In some cases, designers engineer games with artificial difficulty curves to induce players to spend money on upgrades simply to progress. These games are often offered for free, enticing players to download and even offering them a false sense of progression upon initial download before artificially increasing the difficulty to induce compulsive purchases. In other cases, designers create multiplayer games offering players who purchase paid upgrades competitive advantages over other players.
  • Loot boxes: Loot boxes, incorporated both in free and paid games, offer players randomized rewards for spending money, combining the addictive properties of pay-to-win with the compulsive behavior inherent in other forms of gambling.

Summary

The industry needs to change, especially on the AAA title front. when it comes to Free to Play then this does need regulation however additional responsibility needs to be taken by the parents of the children playing the games and saying NO.

Matthew Wrightson

I have been playing games for over 30 years, I mainly focus on FPS, Sport and adventure type of games. When reviewing I keep an open mind and will write how I feel the game plays for me.

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