The term, “microtransaction,” doesn’t conjure up images of positivity and good game design. However, many people tend to disregard it as just being one of those things that’s part of modern game design. But by disregarding microtransactions as being just something that happens, people are dismissing a serious problem. The issue with microtransactions is that they encourage companies to include the minimum amount of content with a game.
They restrict important features behind a paywall by designing the game to make players spend money on things they should include in the base game. Certain features and functions shouldn’t be something extra that players need to pay for regularly to maintain access to them.
Microtransactions: Less Content, More Paywalls
Microtransactions encourage developers to provide less content and more payment for the simplest things. Also, they encourage the prevalence of pay to win games. In addition, they promote the idea of charging for power or to make progress more quickly. This establishes a situation that rewards paying players who participate in the microtransaction ecosystem.
Yet it punishes those who want to play without paying. For example, paying players can use a forge to create a weapon or make themselves a new pair of boots to level up faster.
Two Main Ways Microtransactions are Harming the Gaming Industry
Microtransactions are severely harming the gaming industry in the following two ways:
- Game companies consider requiring in-game payment after buying a full-price game to be a normal thing. This is even if the game is of subpar quality and is charging players for not wanting to grind to death in a single game. Or, for those who want to use the blacksmith’s forge to make new items more than once every five hours, for instance. However, microtransactions cause more than just these problems.
- Paywalls encourage developers to put the minimum amount of content into a game. This is so that they can charge for as many things as possible while putting in the least amount of work. That way, they can easily get more money for the same level of effort.
The growing trend of microtransaction greed in video games is reaching a dangerous level. Creating paywalls for things that were at one time free is affecting the quality of gameplay. How far will the gaming industry go to make a quick buck? And, more importantly, how much are gamers willing to pay for the most basic video game functions and features?