That sound you heard was the collective groan of disgruntled gamers everywhere, as Electronic Arts CFO Blake Jorgensen announced today that the company intends to include microtransactions in all of their future games.
”We’re building into all of our games the ability to pay for things along the way, either to get to a higher level to buy a new character, to buy a truck, a gun, whatever it might be, and consumers are enjoying and embracing that way of the business.”
Microtransactions are a rising trend in the gaming industry that see games making themselves more accessible to the player by unlocking certain aspects in exchange for real-world currency. It’s an experimental process that has been prevalent in the mobile market and is now making its way to larger console and PC-based games.
EA has aggressively pursued this tactic in the past year with the inclusions of microtransactions in both Mass Effect 3 multiplayer and Dead Space 3, both of which were looked down upon by the gaming community as a whole.
Typically, the intent of a microtransaction is to allow players the choice of time over convenience. By giving them the option to unlock a certain game element using legal tender, they are then saved from having to grind in the game in order to accrue skill points or experience.
In the case of Dead Space 3, microtransactions allowed players to build up their supply of materials used for crafting weapons to use in combat.
While they can be handled right, many worry about the use of microtransactions to “break” a game, or ruin any fair qualities it might have had starting out. Since there’s no regulation in place, there’s nothing to stop developers from making certain parts of the game inaccessible to those who don’t wish to pay real money for it, making the game an uneven experience that favors those who are willing to pay and enhance the overall experience.
Furthermore, many gamers are wary of paying full price for a game and having the inclusion of microtransactions on top of that, as the $59.99 MSRP most games run at is already expensive to many.
While it may be a lucrative pursuit for EA, much still needs to be done in order to make the practice more acceptible within the core gaming community as a whole.
What do you think of microtransactions? Tell us in the comments below!
(Thanks Develop Online)