Micro Transactions, the Anaconda of the industry
So the hot topic right now is Micro Transactions and I'm seeing a lot of back and forth going on in the comment threads (as usual) and just decided to put my two cents in on it as well..
This is kind of a hit or miss for me..
I find it acceptable for F2P game-types because you get out what you put in. Game development does take time and money so I don't expect full games outright for free. If you like what you've played of the game you can decide what aspects to buy and how much you put in. Heck if you really enjoy the game and just want to support it you can even kind of think of it as a donation to the people who brought you an experience that you really enjoy.
What I don't find acceptable is charging the full $60 price on a game and then incorporating this business model on top of it. If you're going to do this then there should be a $30-$40 price-tag on the title, because then at least it wouldn't hurt so bad if you spent another $20 on in-game content. If you're charging the full price then the in-game unlockables should only be available through some kind of in-game (fake) currency. I do understand that some of these transactions are available through
in-game credits (or whatever they choose to call them), but they make them very hard to obtain, trying to lure the player into spending real money for the instant gratification rather than grinding for the in-game achievements. There needs to be a better balance.
This poses a very relevant question for the future of retail titles. Where do we go from here?
If it turns out that everybody buys into the little content on full retail titles this could very well turn into the norm. Oh, it's just a buck here or $5 here, or $60 for ONE freaking car!? Where does it end? Subscriptions on retail games?
I was genuinely interested in Final Fantasy XIV until I found out it was a subscription based game. I have a bunch of subscriptions at the moment as it is via Netflix and what-not that are already milking my card on a monthly basis as it is, so I just couldn't justify another monthly expense on a single videogame. At least it is an online only game and it does cost money to keep the servers running, but I can see businessmen seeing that this is a viable means of revenue and trying to implement it as well, just to see if it'll work.
I'm not criticizing one company or the other on this topic, although one definitely is trying to push this right out of the gate. I just don't want this to go over because if it turns out it works for one of them it's just a matter of time before the other follows suit. Vote with your wallets on this one please, I don't want this to be a standard practice for games that are already over-priced at $60 a pop.
I already have a problem with them charging full-price for digital games, there's no reason for it at all. They don't have to ship them, they don't have to manufacture any of the materials that go along with physical titles, there's absolutely no reason we should have to pay full retail price on digital games. Period.
I didn't include DLC into this, because I feel that that is another topic in it's own right. I also find DLC acceptable as long as it is an actual expansion of the game, not just small in-game items such as armor that should be available in the game in item chests or at item stores, not an actual real world marketplace using real world money.