Rare Shows the Industry How to Do Microtransactions Right

Microsoft and Rare are tackling microtransactions and loot boxes head on. With controversies surrounding Destiny 2, and Star Wars Battlefront 2. Has Rare learn to implement in game purchases, from the miss steps from Activision, Bungie, and EA. Will Sea of Thieves start an avalanche of change from other games in the industry?

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FallenAngel19841253d ago

Warframe shows how to do microtransactions right, especially since it’s a F2P game that requires microtransactions to be profitable.

A $60 game like Sea of Thieves has no excuse to have microtractions, and not having loot boxes shouldn’t be something seen as a positive and thought highly of.

moegooner881253d ago (Edited 1253d ago )

Praising a full priced retail game for not including loot boxes is nothing short of pathetic. Journalists are the ones making loot boxes seem like the norm.

Brian76554921253d ago (Edited 1253d ago )

It is a full priced online game, some of you seem to forget that. The dlc will be for things like buying pets later on. Why are so many of you resentful of adding content to an online game that can keep things entertaining for those who want more?

These are not things that are forced upon those playing, some of you seem to neglect that. This is a game designed to be played for months and months, not a one shot deal so of course it will have to be monetized since the game itself was never designed to be static like a single player title. Online shooters add maps, more weapons and so on, is it not unheard of to ask for money if work is still being done? I am sure you are not aksed to work for free.

MMO titles come with a monthly fee to keep servers going on and then they also charge for expansion packs and so on. Sea of Thieves is not asking for a monthly fee but rather adding cosmetics and such that are all optional. There is no pay to win methololgy here.

It appears many of you don't want to listen regardless and are set in stone of how games should be priced as though we still all play games like we did on our NES systems.

UnHoly_One1252d ago Show
Christopher1252d ago (Edited 1252d ago )

***It is a full priced online game, some of you seem to forget that. The dlc will be for things like buying pets later on. Why are so many of you resentful of adding content to an online game that can keep things entertaining for those who want more? ***

Resentment? No. But I don't think people should give praise for someone doing what they should have done to begin with.

The praise they will get will come when we use it as a comparison of how to properly implement MTX in a game compared to others.

Furthermore there are F2P online games that have done MTX right for ages. They're the ones we should be parading around, not the latest $60 game with cosmetic MTX. This sense to just want to hold Microsoft aloft for doing what should be a no brainier.

It's good that they're doing it, but have we come so far that we give praise for not robbing people rather than going above and beyond to give more to people for less (how much free content was there for The Witcher 3, a SP game?).

starchild1252d ago


I agree. People lumping all "microtransactions" together is stupid and counterproductive. I don't like microtransactions that affect the core gameplay experience, but cosmetic stuff is just an extra layer that people can choose to utilize or not. I simply don't mind them at all.

It's like when games have unlockable costumes and such. I don't usually have the time to play enough to unlock things like that, but I don't cry if other people do have the time and desire. And it's the same way with cosmetic items people choose to pay for. It's their choice. If it makes them happy, cool.

Kryptix1252d ago (Edited 1252d ago )

The best kind of microtransaction in a 60 dollar game? When it has none.

Doesn't matter if it's a Microsoft game or a Sony game or Nintendo.

The gaming industry has grown, there's more consumers with the added benefit of digital distribution which locks in a legitimate sale.

If anything, they should include new cosmetic items in DLC "expansions" rather splitting it apart to nickel and dime you.

They could even give them for free and entice more people to purchase the game rather than not. Good publicity is good marketing. I always respect a dev when they give free content which leads me to purchase more of their games in the future.

wheresmymonkey1252d ago

yes this is Journalists fault... Hey I see a postman over there why don't you go have a pop seeing as you seme to enjoy shooting the messenger.

Not his is the fault of publishers. Plain and simple.

1252d ago
Markusb331252d ago Show
S2Killinit1252d ago

I dont get it, if they have microtransactions in a FULL PRICED game, then its already a shi*y business tactic. Sea of thieves is not a free to play game. Choose ONE and do that.

Markusb331252d ago

Shills and frauds excusing the practice in general. Corp slaves idiots.
This is why gaming as a service will carry on due to sycophants.

IamTylerDurden11252d ago (Edited 1252d ago )

I think ppl take issue with a full priced game getting praised for having "good" microtransactions. If they make a great game and support it and the community continues to grow they should continue to get sales and that revenue alone should suffice. There are ways to get proper revenue without microtransactions for cosmetics that probably should just be in the game anyway. Well crafted expansions are another. And there are plenty of games that get worked on relentlessly after launch without microtransactions. Witcher 3, GT Sport, HZD.

christocolus1252d ago


Well said. Totally ok with cosmetic MTs in this game. The game will hopefully be a huge success for Rare and MS. Can't wait.

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RpgSama1253d ago (Edited 1253d ago )

I remember when all the "cosmetic" items you could unlock them in games by just playing (without spending an insurmountable amount of hours), but now it's not only ok to sell them to you after you bought the game full price, it seems is also the right thing to do?! We should be getting away of any kind of extra monetization of games, not to a different kind

I'm pre-ordering the most expensive edition of Cyberpunk 2077 as soon as available, CD Project Red is the kind of developer I want and will support.

Jmanzare1253d ago

You're right it sucks. But with game development costing so much I don't mind other people having shinier pants than me and 2 peg legs to keep games at 60 bucks

Atanasrikard1253d ago

Do you also remember when those games you bought never received any support after they were released?

mark_parch1253d ago

You can unlock cosmetic items by just playing the game. they have also said there will be plenty of items rewarded for doing hard quests that can't be bought with real money which is great. this is a multiplayer game which will be supported for years so monetization is necessary and this is best way to do it imo. NO GAME SHOULD HAVE LOOT BOXES AND NO SINGLE PLAYER GAME SHOULD NEED MONETIZATION

Rachel_Alucard1253d ago

Stupidest part is people trying to push microtransactions as DLC/add on content, when its nothing of the sort.


The cost of development rising is a lie by publishers to justify maxmizing profits to its shareholders. Costs have been the same since 2009, you know before loot boxes? Look at this video for an explanation

Michiel19891252d ago

@atanasrikard yeah and you know why? because they didnt release as a massive bugfest with cut content....

neutralgamer19921252d ago


Remember when we use to have cheat codes to make games more fun and unlock some cool stuff

Yeah now those are considered MT

For those of you defending MT or LB for any reason, you are the reason we are where we are today. These publishers are testing the waters to see what can they get away with

For example: Activision got next to no negative PR even though WW2 had MT and LB just as bad as star wars battlefront 2

Activision made more money from MT and LB than actually selling their games

GTA online makes 5 million per day

EA makes over a half billion from ultimate teams in Fifa and madden

For honor has a pay wall of over $700

What some of you fail is realize is the fact developers go out of their way to make game grind that must mor3 tedious in hopes of frustrating players into paying

If publishers want MT than their games should cost anything and rather should be F2P. They are applying the same MT to fully priced games

rainslacker1252d ago

I remember that a lot of games had them, but outside of some instances, I haven't seen a huge reduction of those kinds of things in games. MT, in general, actually just give more. I also see these kinds of extras in more games than we used to, which was done through the MT process.

I don't think MT have reduced the amount of extra content across the board, but I do think they have added to the overall available content.

Then of course you have things like the ME3 DLC, which obviously was stripped from the original game, as it had pretty strong ties to the main narrative.

There are a lot of anecdotal instances which support your case, so it's hard to argue, but in most games that I like to play, I haven't noticed a huge reduction. In those instances which don't abuse the customers willingness to pay, or overlook removal of content, then I have no problem with the cosmetic MT, so long as they're transparent.

RpgSama1252d ago


You're definitely right, when I read " Rare shows the Industry How to Do Microtransactions Right" my reaction was "F*** NO!!"

There is NO right way to do paid MT on a Full Priced game, I'd rather they charge us more for games, I would rather pay $70/80 for a complete package, but a real, full sized, full content game, rather than a glorified Beta that they will keep adding to it as long as people keep paying for stuff

NapalmSanctuary1252d ago


I remember when games were ready to go on day one, without the need for support.


I agree that games that fall under the 'games as a service' category should be f2p. Unfortunately, Warframe is the only game that I know of that comes close to getting the model correct.

Atanasrikard1252d ago


You mean bugs like these?


Yes and you completed those games after a few hours and then moved on to the next. The idea behind supporting the game after release is added new content and updates to keep giving players more of what they enjoy.

mastiffchild1252d ago

Game development is not too expensive for publishers not to include mtx. EA even said that taking lootboxes out of BF2 wouldn't hurt the bottom line.

A full price game, esp one without the supposedly expensive SP portion, has zero reason to have mtx. Not one. It's greed and cosmetics do matter as they denote haves and have nots which is how they force us to buy things that, previously, would definitely have been in the game.

Journalists apologising for this stuff are shills and the direct enemy of gamers. Loot boxes are worse, sure, but this is still purely greed. Map packs as dlc is bad enough let alone this cack.

ClanPsi11252d ago

The fact that there is more than one version should tip you off that they aren't as great as you think.

Rhythmattic1252d ago

Great Vid...
im am now subbed to Skill Up.

+ Show (10) more repliesLast reply 1252d ago
zerocarnage1253d ago

If it's not affecting gameplay and micros and loot boxes are cosmetics then can't complain really.

It's not like Henry the iquana is going to be licking you to death or betty the bird is going to be swooping down from above on your ass for extra damage and being a nuisance.

I would much rather publishers and developers go this route than what they have been doing, if anything congrats to Microsoft and rare for not choosing to be dicks like Activision with destiny, ea with star wars bf have been doing, like rock star with gta.

I play fortnite and luckily Thx to a few events early on I've got legendary characters, traps, weapons and so on, but at first the game made me feel like I had to spend and I did a bit and that was the last of it. Fortnite is bad luck on loot liammas and it takes an eternity to get a decent drop, that being said they are adding more and more ways to earn stuff.

But still I hate loot boxes, but if it's just cosmetics, players can easily say no compared to if they're in game items that affect gameplay, no game should be like that.

corroios1252d ago ShowReplies(1)
Yohshida1252d ago

That is why you are wrong:

Almost every AAA game today has a Season Pass and gets expanded beyond release. Sea of Thieves is getting new content for years (if its successfull) and this is why its okay for them to include cosmetics you can buy. Its not like a AAA SP game that comes out with a butload of MTs and wont get additional content.

If they support the game with new stuff im all for it.

UCForce1252d ago

See ? Micro transactions is only acceptable in F2P game. I’m sorry, but who defend MT in full price game is unacceptable and poor excuse. Again and again, MT should belong to F2P, not full price game.

Kribwalker1252d ago

so would you rather pay $25 for the frozen wilds, or, have cosmetic optional MTs and get the frozen wilds for free? Cosmetic ones you wouldn’t have to pay a cent for.
Now apply that to a massive online game, where the player base will never be split up because all of the DLC is free

Goldby1248d ago (Edited 1248d ago )

i'd rather give them the 25$ for the expansion and have those cosmetics included for free... like they did :)

Christopher1252d ago

Reminds me of a Chris Rick bit: "I pay my child support... You want a cookie for doing what you're supposed to do?!?"

rainslacker1252d ago (Edited 1252d ago )

I think there are plenty of games which "do micro-transactions right". The fact a game is now getting praise because it's apparently doing them right is just ridiculous. On top of that, there are still those who don't like MT of any kind in their games, so is Rare still doing it right for them? I kind of felt the same way about the Witcher dev saying something as well, although they have a history of being good about stuff like that, whereas Rare will have to succumb to whatever MS wants at some point. It shouldn't be a selling point that you don't have MT, or that you have less distasteful MT. Just make a good game, with good content, and let it stand on it's own merits. The MT can be discussed separately from that.

I can respect and compliment a dev/pub that doesn't try to fleece the consumer while saying that they're actually necessary or trying to validate their existence for whatever reason, but the MT discussion is going nowhere with the way it's being handled now. This same kind of stuff went on last gen. The overbearing MT, followed by the praise of those who were more consumer friendly. Followed by even more egregious forms of MT which kept getting worse and worse. What can possibly be achieved by repeating history on this matter. Gamers proved that if they make enough of a fuss, they can affect change before this gen started. The press was on our side. Do that again, and then maybe the happy medium can be found that keeps both consumers and publishers happy.

Tko11111252d ago

I get it You want businesses to not make money 💰 . Do you know how much games cost to make? Do you realize that it’s not mandatory an as a option you can avoid it

+ Show (7) more repliesLast reply 1248d ago
AspiringProGenji1253d ago (Edited 1253d ago )

Many games already do MTs “right.” If by “right” you mean the illusion of them being optional then that’s not right. MTs have no place in $60 games. There’s never a “right way” to include them. It is still predatory no matter what. If they think including them 3 months after release will avoid distaste or backlash, they are wrong. It will only prove the game does not need MTs and that they are being sneaky

Kribwalker1253d ago

Would you like optional micro transactions that don’t affect the game but you get a continuous stream of free DLC that everyone gets


Pay $49.99 for an expansion pass to your already $60 game that segregates and splits the player base.

How can you argue against that? You could buy a $60 game and never spend another dime but yet continuous content. Why would you have a problem with that?

notachance1253d ago (Edited 1253d ago )


- warframe is F2P
- kept giving us constant new contents.. I stopped playing for two months and when I come back there's already so much difference
- literally every time paid content is released they can be earned in game by playing just a couple of hours without spending anything, they're only being made paid content only for people who don't want to farm a little bit
- the developers themselves hold weekly live discussion with fans, and is very reachable in regards to discussion.

This game shows the industry how to do microtransactions right since long, long ago. It's laughable that the author thinks a full on $60 multiplayer-only game which has microtransactions 'shows the industry how to do it right'

Jinger1253d ago

Eh, most of the people who complain are the ones who mostly like story based games anyway. That's why they don't mind that even Uncharted is filled with them in the MP mode, because none of them play that anyway.

343_Guilty_Spark1253d ago

Warframe also sucks and has awful character designs. The

_-EDMIX-_1253d ago

I feel the best way to do microtransactions right in a game is to not have them in the first place.

1253d ago
Cyborgg1252d ago

Sea of Thieves beta suck to me.

babadivad1252d ago Show
ziggurcat1252d ago

How about no MTs with a continuous stream of free DLC that everyone gets?

rainslacker1252d ago (Edited 1252d ago )


I haven't seen a lot of love for season passes on this site either, so I don't know what you're talking about.

As far as the question goes, season passes tend to give different kinds of content than the typical MT, which tends to be focused more on smaller items like cosmetics, or the less desirable, ways to improve your avatar so you can gain an advantage, which is even worse in MP games at times. Season passes tend to give more content in the form of added levels or maps or whatnot, and some of those expansions come with added things you'd also see from MT.

Most people don't have a problem with an expansion, because in theory it's supposed to add playable and compelling content to a game people may like. Season passes generally focus on giving more future content at a discounted price. Season passes, or expansions, are typically only a problem when that content is stripped from the original game, and the original game gives less content because of it.

To answer the question though

It's been proven that MT that don't affect game play, or e can help support the addition of new free content which doesn't split the user base, and in cases MT that are not as desirable can do the same, is usually acceptable to most. There are some that want absolutely no MT in their games, but that's not likely to happen across the board regardless of if it's meant to support ongoing expansions or not. Not every game gets these fact, most don't. It's not hypocrisy, it's that you equate two different things as being the same. Not everyone asks for expansions, nor expects them in all games. If you think every person that has an opinion is also speaking for everyone else who also have their own opinions, and feel those opinions somehow all coincide in one voice, then you just fail to comprehend that gamers are diverse....not hypocritical.


Yeah, only MS has been getting heat for MT lately. You make a strong point coupled with strong evidence that MS just can't catch a break.

ShadowWolf7121252d ago

That's a completely false dichotomy and neither are remotely necessary.

SEE: Witcher 3, HZD

Kribwalker1252d ago

“ShadowWolf7121h ago
That's a completely false dichotomy and neither are remotely necessary.

SEE: Witcher 3, HZD”

Both of those had paid expansions. If they had cosmetic MTs maybe they would have been free.

UC4 has a paid expansion and MTs. What’s that games excuse?

Goldby1248d ago (Edited 1248d ago )

"UC4 has a paid expansion and MTs"

So no a stand alone Game is considered a paid expansion.

Expansions add on to the original game. and you can buy and play TLL without buying UC4.


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Rachel_Alucard1252d ago

It gives the signaling to people that its ok because its optional, but in reality it pushes you to buy them due to the game being set up as a grind that would take a long time or having content that just requires too much time for little reward, and in todays world most people dont have the time anymore

Kribwalker1252d ago

but this gear has nothing to do with any progression in the game. it is 100% cosmetic so it’s 100% optional

Rachel_Alucard1252d ago


You're missing the point. If there are no levels, no gear, and no way to progress outside of farming faction exp, then people are naturally going to see cosmetics as the goal to reach. This exact situation happens in many games, though unintentionally in most of them. You think everyone is going for levels and grandmaster rank in Overwatch and CoD now? Nope, theyre all after those cosmetics instead.

rainslacker1252d ago


The grind would be there regardless in this game. GaaS tends to thrive through grind. Even games that don't rely heavily on MT have grind, and sometimes, it's more than games that are GaaS type games.

The only incentive to buy would come from those who don't have the patience, or possibly time to resit the desire to buy them. The so called short cut. It's not an illusion unless the game play is specifically designed to encourage people to take that short was the case with SW:BF.

Optional isn't bad, and the way things are going, it's probably the best you're going to see going forward. It's about the best we've seen after all these years anyhow, outside the games which don't offer MT at all. Optional is bad, when the two options presented mean either not being as enjoyable without paying more or just giving in and buying a short cut.

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Razzer1253d ago

“MTs have no place in $60 games. ”

The alternative is $80 games. That is where we would be right now if it were not for post-sale transactions. That isn’t a popular viewpoint here, but it is the truth. Personally I’d rather allow others to buy their cosmetics and keep upfront prices down.

InTheZoneAC1253d ago Show
Razzer1252d ago (Edited 1252d ago )

lol....sheep? Ah...bullshit. It is called reality. Base prices of games haven’t risen in over 10 years. You think games are immune to inflation? Devs/pubs are finding alternatives in revenue with harmless optional cosmetics. I see nothing wrong with that. Why you care what other people damn clue.

Christopher1252d ago

This is false and you guys really need to stop selling on behalf of publishers who aren't looking to make a profit but looking to make more profit.

The cost, on average, has not increased for AAA games in ten years. What had increased is marketing costs and desired profit margins compared to previous years.

The fact that tons of single player games sell millions and keep getting made at the $60 price range alone should tell you how incorrect you are. Zelda, Mario, HZD, Nier, ffxv, and so many more to come. They prove that the issue isn't the cost, it's merely greed.

Razzer1252d ago (Edited 1252d ago )

False? Ok. Back it up then.

Inflation is an economic fact.

rainslacker1252d ago (Edited 1252d ago )

$80 games means that game sales go down, and likely revenue goes down both for new game sales, and MT since there are fewer people to sell those MT too. The market can only bear so much on the price of a new game, and $60 saw a sudden drop in new game sales when it was first introduced because of the sticker shock. Software sales went back up over time, but that was more due to the explosion of popularity of gaming as it went more mainstream.

The option is to make better games. If prices have to go up, they have to be within the realm of reason. No way are publishers making an additional $20 per regular copy sold off the sale of MT alone. There are whales, but not enough to bring in that sort of revenue. You're talking about an additional 33% increase in revenue from MT alone. At $80, you'd probably be looking at more than a 33% reduction in new game sales, which means overall revenue would go down.

Reality is is that games don't cost any more, or much more than they did last gen. Some do, some cost less. But on average, they're about the same.

The bigger reality is that the gaming market is growing faster than any other entertainment industry, and there are more people buying games nowadays, so the economies of scale are allowing games to stay at $60, because there are more game sales, thus more revenue. This is a fact that publishers like to leave out of their justifications of why it's so necessary to include MT to foot the bill for new games. The truth is, even a AAA game with a modest budget is likely to break even in today's gaming market....just like a lot of mid-tier games could easily turn a profit back in the PS1/PS2 days due to the install base and number of people buying games. You hear about the big games which don't sell well, but if you look at most of them closely, and ignore the oddball anecdote, most of those that don't sell well have some reason why they don't sell well....usually marketing, or bad design/publicity/whatever.

The biggest reality is that publishers have seen that there is a good revenue stream in MT. They will stick around regardless of the price of games. Unless you are so naive to believe that publishers like EA or Ubisoft would simply give up a viable revenue stream. If game prices go up, don't expect MT to go away, and it's reasonable to assume that these same publishers will continue to find more and more annoying ways to implement them within their games.


How come you never ask the publishers to back up their claims that game development costs have gone up? They like to say it's the case, but they've never provided hard numbers. The occasional developer who doesn't say such things...usually the one with successful games....don't provide numbers either, but no one is listening to, much less parroting their hyperbole as absolute fact.

Ashlen1252d ago

Razzer, your falling for corporate BS, these companies who are pushing this are making billions in profit yearly. All these companies want is more money, if they get MT's whats next it's not like they will stop pushing.

How much profit is enough before trying to squeeze more is too much?

Razzer1252d ago

Corporate BS involving entirely optional cosmetic add-on purchases? You guys act like these mean greedy corporations are forcing people to buy a damn outfit for their pirates or whatever. They aren’t!

Rachel_Alucard1252d ago (Edited 1252d ago )


Here's your evidence, this is data taken from ycharts directly and compiled in a simple to read graph. Back in June through Sept, 2008 was the highest amount EA have spent on development since that point at 372 million.From Sept 30th to Dec 31st 2017 they've spent 329 million. Since 2012 the amount they've spent has been hovering around 252 million to 300 million.

Rachel_Alucard1251d ago (Edited 1251d ago )


Did you really just ignore my comment and just glossed over the graph? Oh yeah you didn't believe anyone making these claims and now that I've given physical proof you're trying to save face. Also using Polygon and Kotaku as "proof" is like reading tabloid magazines and believing it. The games media will never publish the truth because it hurts them since it affects publishers who pay these websites review copies and many other expenses. Anyway since you can't read here is the data that graph is taken from note the 2008 cost vs the 2017 costs

Razzer1251d ago

It is a chart for one company, not the industry. And even for EA, you cannot draw any conclusions without looking at the quantity and type of games produced and what they cost.

Believe what you want.

Rachel_Alucard1251d ago


One look at the benchmarks for each major gaming company sitting to the right side of the page says all there needs to be said. All of them have the same type of statistics in regards to development costs. You can sit there with your ears plugged refusing to see the truth laid before you all you want because at this point it's not a "Belief" its a fact. Why people like you continue to stay closeted and close minded is beyond me, but I'm done. Stay ig'nant.

Razzer1251d ago

Keep pretending those numbers mean something without context. R&D is about as broad as you can get in a mega-corporation. Your ignorance is bragging you've shown something when you havent at all. The price of everything from a loaf of bread to gasoline have risen in 10 years, but somehow economic geniuses like yourself have convinced yourselves that video games are immune. Why? Cuz you don't like stupid optional cosmetic items for sale in games? Ignorant? No. That is moronic.

Goldby1248d ago


"Corporate BS involving entirely optional cosmetic add-on purchases? You guys act like these mean greedy corporations are forcing people to buy a damn outfit for their pirates or whatever. They aren’t!"

Until they start doing things like Overwatch does, Release a skin during special events that unless you have stock piles points will be unavailable without purchasing it

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zerocarnage1253d ago

I don't think there will be backlash, not if it's cosmetics, makes no sense to fight a games developer/publisher unless it's bad rolls with tons of duplicates and it's all affecting the game play..

343_Guilty_Spark1252d ago (Edited 1252d ago )

@Christopher can you provide actual numbers? Where is your source?

maybelovehate1252d ago

That is total BS though. Not all games are the same. Games that have big server farms and steady streams of content cost a lot more money to maintain than a game you spend 20 hours on and never play again.