Monday, August 10, 2020

Death by 1,000 Cuts: The Age of Micro-Transactions

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Shibu Mazumder
Shibu was born...somewhere...lover of comics, Star Wars, and dark humor. He believes Captain America should run for president and all of our world problems would be solved. Dad jokes rule and thinks Kurt Broz is his spirit animal.

R.I.P. video games

Today’s video games are more immersive and exciting than ever before. With multiple platforms to play on, and a plethora of titles to play, so why do I feel like I’m being robbed?

MICRO-TRANSACTIONS!!!! That’s why

With the holiday season of games passing us, I can finally look back at the games I’ve played and still playing. 2018 was, in my opinion, not a good year for games.

We saw the return of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. Now, as an avid COD fan, this was a fresh release. Recent Call of Duty games have not been well received, so after years of stale combat and mediocre game play, this game was amazing.

You’re probably wondering why this is sounding like a game review. Well, I’m giving context to the reason why I’m angry. I’ve put over 250 hours of playtime in, and proud of my rank and my skill, respectively. But..a..red dot…a f**king red dot. THEY ARE SELLING A RED DOT SIGHT FOR $5. ARE YOU KIDDING ME??

$5 bucks for this thing which yeah, I bought.

1. In-Game Currencies

The game uses a fake in-game currency that players can redeem. Games use these exchanges to hide the real value of what players may purchase and to make more substantial quantities seem like the “better deal.”

2. Random Chance Purchases

These may be known as loot crates or bags, packs in different games. Players don’t know what’s in the box but are tempted to unlock something special.  Games may also offer “deals” that make these packs appear to be at a discount.

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3. In-Game Items

These in-game purchases allow purchasers to have an advantage in the game. For example, World of Warcraft offers in-game purchases like pets and mounts.

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4. Expiration

Similar to arcade games that had a time limit, expiration is used to encourage you to purchase to continue playing.

Monetization has been a business practice for game companies for while, and I, personally, have no issue with it. If someone wants to pay a little extra to get a character skin, fine, do it. But I draw the line at pay-to-win or greediness for remedial cosmetics that clearly say “give me money”. It’s disrespectful to the consumer who paid $60 for a title and now has to worry about going through the tiers of unlocking cosmetics which potentially lead to a gun that everyone is using. It doesn’t look good for Activision. The fiasco we had with EA and the pay-to-win situation for Battlefront 2 should’ve taught companies that fans will cause an uproar. It just isn’t fair to us plain and simple.

For example, the new Smash Bros title was released on Switch. It came with 70+ fighters and 100+ maps. What if I cut those numbers in half and said you had to “unlock” them as well as pay for future updates? You would be infuriated, right? So imagine me, who buys pretty much every big title and my game experience is cut short due to pay walls. Or 6 months down the road I have to pay for DLC to continue to play the game? It’s getting ridiculous to the point where it’s ruining my favorite hobby.

What do you guys think about micro-transactions? Are you for it? Against it? Let NERDBOT know in the comments!!!!

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