Your thoughts on microtransactions in video games in general? (As of March 12th, 2022)

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GTxForza

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#1  Edited By GTxForza

Dear gamers

After I heard the two most recently released racing games are Gran Turismo 7 (PS5 & PS4) and Chocobo GP (Nintendo Switch), both received a lot of complaints from their respective communities for having many microtransactions as it makes them feel like being free to play & pay-to-win games.

So this inspired me to make this thread as I would like to see you guys share your opinion and experience.

Here are my personal thoughts:

In the full released games, I usually tend to avoid them as I rather keep grinding to earn virtual money and XP but for the free to play games, the last time that I used microtransaction was in Team Fortress 2 where I use it to obtain a virtual sniper rifle for Sniper class.

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sombre

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They've single handily reduced gaming to a laughing stock

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Efesell

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They don’t bother me.

I’ll even buy them if it’s something interesting, though I’m going to just disregard boosters and shit.

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sometingbanuble

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#4  Edited By sometingbanuble

MTXs are some of the most despicable things in gaming. Since their general inception I have treated them as a tip jar. Now it's akin to credit card machines asking for a tip at fast food restaurants upfront. That puts me and a cashier that has yet to make my food into an awkward spot. I'm paying $15 for a burger and fries and I'm asked to tip 10% before my meal has been made? I'm to look someone in the face and be like no thanks, now don't spit in my food. Spit is secret sauce anyway so who cares. That is where we are in gaming. I don't feel so bad fully embracing used game sales or destroying a game in one of my reviews. There is parity in the industry now. My Switch has made it hard for me to pay full price for a game. I technically have enough unplayed games that i can play at a healthy enough clip for my game library to outlive me. Outside of a few exceptionally catered to me unannounced releases like AC:Black Flag remake with AC: Origins control. A PubG single player 40 hour solo campaign w/Earth Defense Force DLC along with New Game plus featuring a zombie mode like RDR. Or, NHL 202X with a full fledge story mode as complex as Punch Club with full voice acting. Outside of those specific games i'm good. And there's dozens of games that i haven't written reviews for so i might as well replay those and get to writing.

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Nodima

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I don't play many games that have microtransactions, and the ones that I do typically don't seem to require them at all. MLB The Show is always my main point of reference, and in that game it's clear that the microtransactions are basically there for people who don't have enough time to consume all of the content in the game and just want to boost certain collections. Even then, despite a card pack store in-game it doesn't take long before you realize you're constantly receiving packs from the game pro bono anyway.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is NBA 2K, which confoundingly separates its real-money currency (VC) from its card collection currency (MT), and only allows you to spend the VC on packs rather than directly on players like The Show. To be that's completely insidious and embarrassing.

Otherwise, in the case of Gran Turismo, it seems clear that this isn't a game that's meant to just be played for a week or so and put away forever. Some of the structure is a little skeevy - more than any of it, I received an invitation to buy three Ferrari that are 1-3 million credits each and have until the 19th to make my purchase - because it's unclear how infrequent they'll be and could really drive a true car nut to make some unfortunate purchases, but the game is so chill and clearly not intended to be played that much per day (it's daily ticket only takes 26 miles to earn which is roughly 3 races, for example) that I can just put it back of mind thanks to my experience with The Show.

Destiny 2 comes to mind, I suppose, though most of that has always been cosmetic and I've honestly always thought the emotes were stupid and have never been high enough level to where I'm not constantly earning new gear I want to equip for a bigger number anyway so the shaders never mattered to me, and without a crew I'm constantly running with I never felt pressure to have the coolest looking speeder or spaceship, either. Their MTX do seem fairly overpriced, though. Likewise, Apex Legends just seemed foolish to me to get worked up over from the very beginning as the gameplay is far too fast to take much notice of what your enemy looks like and you'll pretty much never see your own character - who cares? If somebody wants to pay $20 for a single skin, that's on them IMO.

I have always wondered what it would've been like to play Metal Gear Solid V about a year after release, let alone now, since they introduced a whole new currency system that was pretty heavily MTX-based if I remember correctly around that time. Does it feel like a totally different game or does it still progress mostly the same, just with more avenues for players to pay their way ahead on the upgrade tree?

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zombie2011

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I think they are pretty essential tbh. AAA Games today have gotten incredibly complex to make and require so much more resources than an equivalent AAA game day 20 years ago. However, the price hasn’t increased much $10 increase isn’t much, so finding other ways to monetize superficial content (cosmetics) is a pretty great way to do it imo.

Loot boxes were not a good way to do it, but the current incarnation where you can just buy exactly what you want is fine imo.

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brian_

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I think the only game I ever engaged with that had microtransactions was Let It Die. I spent about $40 on it and it felt bad every time.

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monkeyking1969

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...I'd rather not have them.

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Justin258

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#9  Edited By Justin258
@zombie2011 said:

I think they are pretty essential tbh. AAA Games today have gotten incredibly complex to make and require so much more resources than an equivalent AAA game day 20 years ago. However, the price hasn’t increased much $10 increase isn’t much, so finding other ways to monetize superficial content (cosmetics) is a pretty great way to do it imo.

Loot boxes were not a good way to do it, but the current incarnation where you can just buy exactly what you want is fine imo.

I call bullshit on this one. AAA games make frankly absurd amounts of money at their $60 price point, the microtransactions are frequently just icing on the profit cake. I've heard the argument, Extra Credits made the argument at some point in the past, and I still don't buy it.

And if it's true, I'd much rather see the industry make games with more reasonable budgets than buy a game and get assaulted with menus and nonsense bugging me to spend more fucking money.

Anyone reading this may have guessed that I don't like microtransactions and you'd be right. I think they can be justified in a free to play game like Warframe, but even in that space the idea has been abused to a disgusting degree. I also understand that servers cost money and games stop making that kind of money when everyone has bought the game, so games like CSGO and Rainbow Six: Siege can be supported for years after release with microtransactions. But also, those games could continue to serve their communities long after the developer stopped caring if they'd release the tools to allow users to make and maintain their own servers. You can do this in CSGO, but it's missing from a majority of multiplayer games out there. Nobody will be running Valorant servers except Riot.

No matter the situation, it feels like a slap in the face when I spend money on a game and then I'm gated from something I want out of the game unless I spend more money. I don't care how you slice it, that's fucking garbage and I hate every bit of it.

EDIT: I should clarify, I don't have anywhere near as much of a problem with something like an expansion or (actual) DLC. I don't have a problem spending fifteen dollars on a pack of multiplayer maps that took three months to design, balance, and bug-fix. Nor do I have any issue spending that kind of money on a three hour side campaign. The difference is that in Halo 3, I could spend time learning how to unlock a set of armor and then wear it while playing multiplayer. In Halo Infinite, the guy wearing the samurai armor just blew some money to get it.

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MindBullet

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On the one hand, putting a way for players to spend infinite amounts of money in your game can give a dev team the support and finance it needs to continue working on a specific project over a long period of time instead of living or dying by pre-order or download numbers.

On the other hand, this can lead to certain studios realizing they can structure games around the idea of asking for infinite amounts of money for increasingly mundane rewards infinitely.

Of course there's also the whole gacha game thing, but I feel like that's almost in a different category.

Personally, I just... Ignore it. If people don't like the game or the way it's monetized no amount of MTX will save it, anyway. It's just a matter of personal morals at a certain point.

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Onemanarmyy

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#11  Edited By Onemanarmyy

It's a shame that they are so effective. It becomes especially nefarious when young kids feel like they need to keep up with their buddies or get bullied over being a 'default'.

Personally it has probably only benefitted me, because i am a very frugal person and don't really care about cosmetics as long as i can still play the game. If i weigh up my Dota purchases / sales, i probably ended up making more money than i spent on it through the years.

I will say that my most negative experience with microtransactions is booting up Crusader Kings II and seeing greyed out things everywhere. That game really wants to let you know that you are merely playing 30% of a game if you don't decide to splash the cash.

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Efesell

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@onemanarmyy: It feels weird to consider the expansions of CK2 microtransactions though.

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FacelessVixen

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I bought $1M worth of fake money in GTA Online for $7.50 in real money (on a grey market) to better facilitate me making millions in fake money in a game that I spent $75 plus the $7.50 in real money on between the PS3 and PC versions of which I played for over 120 hours.

Sometimes the transactions are worth it when kept under control on both the ends, and sometimes they aren't.

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AV_Gamer

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#14  Edited By AV_Gamer

The only game I've given money to in microtransactions was Warframe. The reason being its a great FTP game where you really don't have to spend any money to get the full experience, all you have to do is join a dojo and the whole game opens up to you. I gave them my support out of appreciation by expanding the inventory slots and other basic stuff. It's this good will that's made them very successful and able to make pretty good story campaign content like the latest one. At the end of the day, however, people give ridiculous amounts of money to many of these games, which is the reason the practice exist and won't go anywhere anytime soon. People talk with their dollars and it turns out people like wasting money on skins, outfits, characters, and other stuff.

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mach_go_go_go

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I only play single player games with no microtransactions.

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TopCat88

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#16  Edited By TopCat88

I have never purchased a micro-transaction in any game ever, my "additional purchases" in games have been for genuine content: Some Halo 3 map packs, extra decks in Solitairica, DLC in Jurassic World Evolution, and some Forza Horizon expansions. That's it, pretty much.

I will never buy xp boosts, FIFA coins, cosmetics, battle passes, or limited use items of any kind.

So whilst they "don't work" on me, I also look down on any game that includes them. I think they are a stain on the industry, and should be heavily regulated by governments as the games industry has proven itself incapable of doing so themselves.

The child gambling and addiction generation they fuel is disgusting.

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TurtleFish

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Depends on the context. Sometimes I think they're okay, sometimes I won't engage with them because I think they're too egregious. The devil is really in the details - paying for cosmetics is different than paying for characters which is different than paying for gacha pulls, for example.

The problem with having the conversation is that there is so much hyperbole around the conversation that it's hard to really address the issue sometimes. Because, in the end, people want to get paid, whether they're developers, designers, art, executives or stockholders. And that discussion is as old as business itself.

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superslidetail

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I just ignore them and grind if I have to. For the games I play it hasn't really mattered for me.

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ThePanzini

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So far I've never played a game that I felt required to engage with mtx, in fact probably the opposite through not needing to buy map packs and doubly so when considering F2P games.

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Shindig

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They don't bother me. When they're in games I like, they're often confined to modes that are simply too hamstrung and restrictive to bother with.

The idea of Ultimate Team is great but it's effectively career mode with dice rolls and a whole lot of features removed. Want to play your favourite formation? Do you have that card? Oh, one of your players has ran out of games on their contract. Better re-up that or replace him.

No team I've ever built in that mode comes close to the teams I've put together elsewhere.

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goosemunch

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I think they are pretty essential tbh. AAA Games today have gotten incredibly complex to make and require so much more resources than an equivalent AAA game day 20 years ago. However, the price hasn’t increased much $10 increase isn’t much, so finding other ways to monetize superficial content (cosmetics) is a pretty great way to do it imo.

Loot boxes were not a good way to do it, but the current incarnation where you can just buy exactly what you want is fine imo.

Yeah, I don't agree with this either.

  • Games did indeed increase in price with most AAA games carving content into season passes and DLCs and deluxe editions etc. Microtransactions in a F2P game? sure. But if I paid a full price for it, I don't want any distractions and ads for microtransactions breaking my immersion.
  • The publishers increasingly take bigger portion of games sold. Majority of sales per title now come from digital, and that's 1/3rd of the manufacture, retail and distribution cost they no longer have to bear.
  • Yes the games got more expensive to make but they're just victims of their own making. Nobody asked higher and higher production value in AAA games. Most people don't give a shit about high fidelity and perfectly happy to play games that look like shit like Among Us or whatever. AAA success isn't so much about production value but rather marketing.
  • There's economy of scale at work with market growing much larger. Same reason that flat-screen TVs no longer cost $20k to buy these days. Granted this is a weak argument since numbers change dramatically depending on who you ask. I might argue that the number of AAA titles being released is declining so they're competing for larger slices of pie (but then there are larger overall number of games and live-service games all competing for your time/dollar)
  • It's not like we have more disposable income - wages might look like they kept up with inflation, but many argue that the way inflation measured is flawed and don't take into account a lot of other crap that exploded in price like rent/housing/health care/education/etc, many families converting to duel-income households just to keep up.
  • AAA publishers are posting record revenue year over year with insane profit and not exactly hurting for money. Now, would they be barely keeping their head above water if it weren't for microtransactions? Who can say... (I'm guessing no)
  • At least I'd feel better if the money went to the right people, but it's all going to the publishers and CEO bonuses (for AAA publishers at least) while laying off developers who worked hard on the game.
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tp0p

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#22  Edited By tp0p

When I buy a full priced game and the first thing I see, in the bottom corner of the screen, is the in game store ads, I feel like I didn't buy a complete product. Kinda bums me out.

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cikame

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For the most part in the games i play they're not grand enough to feel like a requirement, like i need to buy them to get the intended experience, while i was playing Modern Warfare i bought a couple skins to look cool and... honestly i can't remember buying any other micro transactions recently, besides new planes in Flight Simulator but that's not quite the same thing.

While i can get by ignoring them just fine for now i dislike how they're shoved in my face at every title screen and elsewhere in games, just like outside of games i don't like adverts and being pestered to buy things, it just drags down the mood, i tried to play For Honor again recently and you get assaulted by like 5 different screens before you can dig your way through to the main menu, i remember when a modder cut the loading time for GTA5 Online by 70% by correcting how the game loads its microtransaction files, and how Modern Warfare is currently a buggy mess because of all the integrations and additions bogging it down, it's bloating certain games and making them worse over time, that's the part i don't appreciate.

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Bolle

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#25  Edited By Bolle

I almost exclusively play single player games, and in the rare case of a co-op game catching my attention, if it contains microtransactions, I won't buy. I'm an opinionated old fart who thinks that he should get everything a game has to offer by paying the asking price. DLC or expansions produced to add story content? Fine. If you think inventing fake currencies and designing flashy, disorienting sub-menus to peddle overpriced cosmetics to your paying customers is a valid business strategy, I will not buy your game and think twice about buying any future ones.

All of the above does not apply to F2P games, obviously. As long as there's developers making full-fledged SP games I can pay for and then "own", I'm not touching F2P with a ten-feet pole.

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cikame

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@beingcpm: Value is a weird concept, i haven't paid anything for listening to music in years, but i should pay $60 for a 6 hour game?

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rorie

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#27 rorie  Staff

I'm generally fine with them. I prefer games that don't have them but I find that most games that do include them make them pretty ignorable and/or cosmetic only, which I'm fine with!