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Why Overwatch's Microtransactions are a problem

As a competitive multiplayer shooter Overwatch is making some serious waves. It's quite clear that the game is already a success, with an incredible critical, and consumer reception, yet one of the...

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CoNn3r_B872d ago (Edited 872d ago )

Any form of microtransaction in a full priced game is a problem. You are essentially locking away content that's on the disc to sell back to you and the argument that "you can earn it" is redundant when people can just buy it outright.
Claiming microtransactions are a choice is like saying you can choose between putting fuel in your car or you could push it to work.

Perjoss872d ago (Edited 872d ago )

Terrible comparison. Unlocking stuff in a game naturally can be fun as it gives you stuff to look forward to. Pushing your car to work is not fun, at all.

The way I see it is the support that Blizzard provides for their games is legendary, just look up when the last Diablo 2 and Warcraft 3 patches came out and remember those games are about 15 years old, and then there's the small detail that all future maps and heroes will be free, supporting games costs money so they have to make that back somehow.

If they were a company that simply abandoned their game after release I might agree with you, but they do not.

mgszelda1872d ago

This isn't like most pay to win things though. This is cosmetic. It doesn't unbalance the gameplay, unless you have some form of color blindness. What about double xp times?

MoveTheGlow872d ago (Edited 872d ago )

Yeah, if Overwatch played like Clash Royale, pay-to-win and not fun without money after a short period of time, I'd totally be on board with what you're saying, but no.

It's far more like a hybrid of DOTA's randomized chests and TF2's hats - they're random, but also completely unnecessary to play and enjoy the full game, completely unnecessary for competition, and all about enhancing a long-term experience via customization. With the characters they've got and their huge variations in design, someone who's going to play Overwatch enough that how their character is dressed actually matters to them has probably already gotten their money's worth.

Heck, they could have made this free-to-play with only one rotating character as the free one, but the whole game is based on swapping out characters to fit your situational awareness as a match proceeds. At a risk of having less players and no whales, they didn't do that, because it would actually affect the gameplay and make it essentially pay-to-win with flexibility as the transaction.

Do I wish I could just unlock everything with achievements, the way secrets used to work in the 16-bit era? Of course I do! I also know that isn't really possible - creating these unique assets is way more time-intensive than making Big Head Mode in NBA Jam or something.

(Re: the article: Garden Warfare and Uncharted 4 are both really cool in their own ways, but GW isn't deep enough mechanically to survive long-term, which costs more money because you need the best designers to do that, and UC4's multiplayer is a quick way to extend your enjoyment of a much-better single player campaign. These aren't good comparisons. Look more toward what CoD, Counterstrike, and TF2 have to offer.)

ChronoJoe872d ago

DOTA and TF2 are free to play though man. People paid £40 for this game.

joab777872d ago (Edited 872d ago )

You need fuel. Ya dont essentially need these. That said, companies know how much we crave customization. To most who play, it IS essential.

And while it is shady and greedy, ya cant blame them because it works. It's actually working so well that I just see ot getting much worse.

The thing is though, that the game must be great and desirable to maximize profits this way. Otherwise it will crash and burn. Overwatch is brilliant b/c they only need mp, a few heroes and modes, and are able to charge full price, make loot crazy random, and charge more for customization. Most games wouldn't get a way with this. They will.

So, while fuel is absolutely required, and glamour isnt. It is close enough that it will become insanely profitable.

It's a shame because Dota 2 and LOL have proven that you don't need to charge to play to rake in the bucks. Unfortunately Blizzard chose to once they saw the absurd interest in this IP.

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Swiftfox872d ago

I understand the reasoning for the loot boxes giving random-ish rewards in a game where players are encouraged to switch characters during a match.

Where I think they missed an opportunity was letting people buy the lootboxes for themselves. What I would have liked to have seen was a full "buy what you want" store and lootboxes available for purchase but only as gifts for other, non-grouped players and only one per player.

I mean I have no intention of spending money on random bits for my character--but I might be tempted to pick up a few boxes so I can give them out to players I felt really did an amazing job during a match. I think this would help build more of a supportive community for Overwatch.

s45gr32872d ago

Ok did anyone played Team Fortress 2, Quake Online or say counterstrike. If yes, how come today's games do not offer mod support, map editors, offline splitscreen multiplayer, and lots of online gaming modes. Wake up people, Blizzard is using the free maps and DLC content to willingly accept microtransanctions. In the past gamers got more free content than today, its a fact not an opinion. By the way the most expensive technology is not even utilized:

Tres FX
Environment destruction
L.A. Noire facial animation technology

The videogame engines:

Unity 5
Unreal Engine 4
Cryengine

Are free of charge

Wake up and say no to these greedy companies

samden872d ago (Edited 872d ago )

Yes Blizzard is willing to give away free DLC and accept [optional] micro-transactions on cosmetics because that is how they will fund further development (AKA the free DLC). Mod support and map editors would split the community which is bad for online communities. Lack of splitscreen doesn't happen very often because 9.9 times out of 10, people are playing from their houses (LAN parties aren't as commonplace anymore).

As for the technology, I do not understand why these things need to be utilized and I do not understand what kind of argument you are trying to make, if any.

s45gr32872d ago

The technology part was in case someone came out and said games are expensive yada yada yada. Actually mod support has proven time and again not only made the game better both gameplay/graphics wise but it lengthens the game for say 7-10 years. Look at it this way, Titanfall no mod support lasted 3 months before gamers moved on; on the other hand, Team Fortress 2 with mod support (2007 released) still played to this day. Counter Strike with mod support lasted until 2014 (sequel released). When did counterstrike released oh yeah 1998. Mod Support proves with facts not opinion to make a cookie cutter game (Watchdogs, Alien Colonial Marines, Fallout 4) into a masterpiece.

DiscoKid872d ago

It's all cosmetic and everything can be earned by simply playing. It shouldn't be a problem, especially if you ignore it.

Soldierone872d ago

The thing about Overwatch's "micro transactions" is that it is all entirely cosmetic. You are not buying an edge in any way, at all. I'm perfectly okay with that because I can just ignore how my character looks, I don't see them while playing anyways.

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