Halo 5 Has Amassed Over $1.5 Million in Microtransactions

Microtransactions were originally implemented on mobile games which adopted the free-to-play business model. This gave developers the freedom to create a large user-base among casual players and attempt to monetize their creation through optional micropayments. As we all know, this can be a very flawed concept and involve an absurd amount of grinding to experience the game without paying any money. Unfortunately, microtransactions have become an integral component of modern gaming and even included in full priced releases. This is really shocking because microtransctions were designed for a free entry point and not an additional source of revenue for $60 titles. One pertinent example is Halo 5 which allowed players to purchase weapons and items for the Warzone multiplayer mode.

In theory, you can acquire credits through gameplay and there’s no obligation to pay real money. However, it is fairly insulting considering one of the packs has an eye-watering price of $100. These payments go towards funding Halo eSports events which might encourage users to adopt a more forgiving attitude towards these microtransactions. According to Microsoft, the Halo World Championship prize pool has increased to a whopping $2.5 million:

“Since we first announced a starting prize pool of $1 million at gamescom 2015, the winnings for the Halo World Championship has grown immensely due to community crowd-funding via the Halo 5: Guardians REQ System. The final prize pool is now locked and players will compete to win their slice of $2.5 million at the Halo World Championship. And if being the best Halo team in the world wasn’t enough of an incentive, this might be: the first place team will take home a total of $1 million – the biggest individual prize pool in console esports history.”

This means the game has made at least $1.5 million through REQ pack sales. It’s quite shocking to see players spend so much money on multiplayer packs, and emphasizes how rapidly the industry is progressing into competitive play. I do worry though because it’s alienating single player gamers, and the constant onslaught of microtransaction is making consumers very wary of game publishers in the long-term.

Controversial Microtransactions Removed From Godus Wars

Peter Molyneux is one of the mistrusted game developers throughout history and it’s not unwarranted given the hugely disappointing releases during the last decade. Molyneux has forged a terrible reputation for promising so much and failing to deliver! For example, Fable 3 was a pretty hollow experience and didn’t have a lasting appeal. However, this isn’t reason enough to explain why many people perceive Molyneux as an unreliable figure. This animosity mostly stems from the release of Godus, a god game made possible through crowdfunding. Prior to the release, many Kickstarter pre-order promises were broken and the game is filled with microtransactions. Rather shockingly, the business model is akin to a freemium mobile title, and wasn’t altered from the iOS version.

Recently, the publisher launched a RTS based around the Godus world. Despite creating such a huge backlash from the original game, Molyneux didn’t reward the initial player base and decided to charge for extra content. This rightfully resulted in terrible user reviews and many people voiced their displeasure on the Steam forums. In response to the frustration from players, 22can’s CEO, Simon Phillips released a statement on Steam which reads:

“Hi Godus Wars Community!

Firstly welcome to our new Godus players and hello to our existing users. As you noticed, yesterday we (finally) released Godus Wars. By now, all of you that purchased the original Godus and our Kickstarter backers should have Godus Wars in your Steam Library. We’re aware that it took a few hours to propagate to some of you and if you think you should have it and still don’t then do get in touch.

We’ll be making some changes to the game and also the steam page to reflect the feedback that’s coming in and we’ll do a round up of that very soon.

In the mean time, its been brought to our attention that the extra content being a premium add on really isn’t a popular choice. Whilst we think that it does represent good value, especially considering that Godus Wars has been delivered as a free update to hundreds of thousands of users and the lower purchase price of the main game we understand previous Godus owners frustrations with this.

Therefore, based on your feedback, the extra content will be available to all free-of-charge

Apologies for the frustrations and we hope you enjoy playing.

Simon Phillips, 22cans CEO.

PS: Thanks for everyone posting their Godus Wars feedback in our discussion boards. The Godus Wars team really appreciate the detailed feedback we have received.”

Despite the change of heart, consumers are still very suspicious and extremely angry with the game’s development. One user proclaimed:

“Ok, but why was this EVER considered in the first place? You know damn well that people were extremely dissatisfied with Godus. To think you would have the audacity to try and charge Godus owners for the extra content is just absurd. On top of that, we were promised no microtransactions – unlocking new areas with real money is a microtransactions. Our faith in you as a company is already pretty much gone, don’t start lying to us too.”

Molyneux and his studio didn’t learn anything from the Godus furore and had the gall to charge loyal players with a series of micropayments. Frankly, the damage has been done, and I can’t see this latest endeavour making any difference.

DOOM Will Not Have Microtransactions

DOOM is one of the most influential and iconic video games ever devised. ID Software’s classic first-person-shooter popularized the genre and showcased the potential of engrossing single player games on modern hardware. While Wolfenstein 3D set a fantastic framework, it didn’t have the same impact as DOOM or capture people’s imaginations. Despite DOOM’s age, it’s still holds up remarkably well and I could easily play through the entire game multiple times. Recently, I purchased the DOOM 3 BFG edition which includes all the content from the older titles, and is a great package. One strange change revolves around the medpacks now sporting a pill icon instead of the red cross. Perhaps, this is down to some copyright issued with the charity, British Red Cross.

After a long hiatus, DOOM is finally coming back, and I cannot wait to see if it honours the series’ roots. Honestly, I’m pretty hopeful because the recent Wolfenstein reboot adopted a fantastic old school feel and fast paced gameplay. It’s absolutely stunning and demonstrates that single-player focussed first-person-shooters can be released in the modern era. Sadly, modern games tend to be marred by microtransactions, season passes, DLC, and other measures designed to maximize profit. However, according to Peter Hines, vice president of marketing at Bethesda, the game will not feature any microtransactions:

This is wonderful news and reassures players that the multiplayer aspect will remain completely balanced. This is essential because various micropayments to acquire items can destroy a multiplayer community and make the progression system seem very unfair. Also, the single player aspect should have good pacing and not slowed down to encourage users to purchase items. Not so long ago, Bethesda unveiled a teaser trailer showing DOOM’s campaign. So far it looks stunning and it’s certainly going to be a day one purchase for myself!

Homefront: The Revolution Will Have Microtransactions

Homefront: The Revolution is an upcoming first-person-shooter and follows the story of Ethan Brady as he stages a resistance movement against a vicious Korean army in Philadelphia. The original Homefront contained a compelling, dark story, but at times it was difficult to take seriously. Furthermore, the single player aspect involved a very linear approach only lasted around 4 hours. Rather impressively, the sequel will feature a massive 30+ hour campaign and include a resistance mode at no additional cost. The majority of first-person-shooters in the modern era focus on the multiplayer component and rarely provide a enthralling experience for single-player gamers. However, Homefront: The Revolution looks set to change things, and offer a huge amount of content.

On a positive note, the developer has confirmed there will not be a season pass. All downloadable content will rather surprisingly, remain free and the game should be supported with additional content for at least one year after release. However, designer Fasahat Salim told GameSpot that the multiplayer aspect will include microtransactions on launch:

“Everything that’s available in the game is available for free, and even after release we’re going to continue to be delivering missions, drip-feeding them into the community for at least a year,”

“There’s always going to be new content delivered for free, players are going to have lots of stuff to dig their teeth into.

“It’s absolutely not a pay-to-win system because everything we’re providing in these resistance crates is available for free in the game through normal play. All we’re offering is, for those players that don’t necessarily have the time to invest in the game, to unlock those cool things. It’s basically just a time saver for them – a shortcut to unlocking these things.

“They pay a little bit of money but they’re not getting anything that’s exclusive to them.”

Honestly, I cannot understand the logic of purchasing a game and paying money reduce the time investment. Granted, if there’s a lot of grinding involved, then it might make sense, but that’s more of a problem with the game’s business model. Hopefully, this doesn’t impact on the multiplayer’s balance and is implemented in a fair way. I just wish the modern gaming industry didn’t push microtransactions so much in full priced releases. I do commend the studio for their free DLC programme, but I’m really not keen on the arrival of microtransactions.

Destiny Will Not Offer Ammo Microtransactions

Over the years, gaming habits change. From triple-A games being released at £40, to subscription-based games and even free games with paid bonuses. A large number of customers are offended by companies who release a game and then request more money in either DLC or microtransactions that are sometimes already packaged with the original game. Destiny is a popular subscription based game that was recently rumoured to include ammo microtransactions.

Microtransactions are almost like small DLC (downloadable content), they focus on adding a little experience to the game, normally at the cost of real-world money. Want to change the colours of your outfit? That will be £1.50. Don’t want to spend months grinding away to possibly get the gun you want? Buy it for £5. Microtransactions can be seen as good or bad, depending on how the company implements them and if they use them to restrict players choices or give others power boosts.

Activision has come forward saying that they will not be charging for the heavy ammo synth. The item in question offers a one-time refill for a players heavy weapon’s ammunition, something that could be seen as unfair given their rare drops. Offering players a boost for real world money is not something new but Destiny has so far avoided using these kinds of microtransactions. Destiny does currently feature microtransactions but only for emotes (actions the player can perform such as dancing on the spot or taunting the enemy), something that will not affect actual gameplay and is more for personalising your experience.

With microtransactions becoming the normal for so many games, it’s nice to see a game where the focus is on expanding the gameplay through expansions and events rather than asking for a continuous stream of money for highly controversial boosts.

How many of you still play Destiny, are you happy to hear this won’t be a paid for addition to the game?

WRC 5 eSports Competition Hidden Behind DLC Paywall

Italian developer, Milestone produced a number of officially licensed world rally games which left racing aficionados disappointed due to the sub-par graphics, synthetic audio design and lacklustre career mode. Eventually, the company lost the WRC license and decided to work with rallying legend, Sébastien Loeb. The latest WRC game was created by Kylotonn, formerly known as 4X Studios. Unfortunately, this release has received a fairly mixed reception with the general consensus describing the game as competent but no match for Codemasters’ DIRT Rally. In a press release, the company outlined their plans to create a highly competitive eSports scene. However, as astounding as this might seem, they are going to charge players to compete in any eSports event. The press release reads:

“Players just need to download one of the eSports Pack (the first DLC that is currently available is priced at $7.99/£6.49) to get access to the dedicated stages of each rally. From this moment, practise is unlimited but during the rally weekends, they will have only one opportunity each day to record their best time (from Thursday to Sunday noon). On Sunday afternoon, the ESL crew will invite the best drivers for a Sunday tournament which will be broadcast on Twitch. At the end of this Sunday Tournament, the best 3 drivers on each platform will gain their access to the semi-final and to the grand Finale. See the calendar below for more details.”

To access an eSport event, you have to pay $7.99/£6.49 for one of the eSport packs in addition to the base game. This is unbelievable and bound to destroy any hopes of creating a large online community. It’s also quite insulting and I cannot believe they have attempted to charge for competitive play. Clearly, many publishers are looking for new avenues to make money, but it’s occurring at the expense of player engagement.

Fable Legends Microtransactions Strategy Revealed

Microtransactions originated from free-to-play mobile games and eventually became a common occurrence in full priced blockbusters like Halo 5. Some users defend microtransactions in $60 titles and describe their usage as optional. It seems generally accepted if the extras in question only offer cosmetic changes. Personally, I find the concept of any microtransactions in traditional releases quite insulting, but that’s a topic for another day.

Lionhead Studios received criticism from loyal Fable fans, after deciding to focus on a free-to-play MMO entitled, Fable Legends instead of Fable 4. Up to this point, its business model has remained a secret. However, according to an image found by Reddit user Fiend1138, Fable Legends will implement various tiers of payment all the way up to $59.99. If the current pricing is correct, then I can only imagine the final game being fairly imbalanced. To clarify, I have no problem whatsoever with microtransactions being in full priced games, as optional payments help to steer the developer to a profit.

On the other hand, the Fable games have always been about the gorgeous environments and an engrossing story. Each iteration has got progressively worse, and I’m unconvinced about Fable Legends having a long-term loyal player base. Only time will tell, but I’m certain the microtransactions on offer will alienate many users in time for the game’s final release.

Halo 5 Has Amassed Over $1 Million in Microtransactions

Halo 5: Guardians received a fairly mixed response from fans due to the short campaign and disappointing story. The developer, 343 Industries focused on the multiplayer aspect and provided a large amount of chaotic modes to encourage competitive play. As a predominately single player gamer, this doesn’t interest me, but it looks like the multiplayer component is already a financial success. According to a recent post on the Halo Waypoint website, at least $1 million has been spent by Halo 5’s player base:

Throughout the game, you can purchase Req packs with real money which provides you with certain items. The pricing ranges from $2 all the way up to $25. Please note, these can be unlocked through traditional gameplay, so it’s not as egregious as many microtransactions. Nevertheless, I dislike the notion of these small payments in a full priced title. Interestingly, for every Req pack purchased, a portion of the money goes to fund eSport Halo tournaments. This is where the $2 million figure comes from.

However, Microsoft is yet to disclosure the exact percentage taken from these microtransactions to pay for competitive events. It’s pretty staggering that at least $1 million was spent by players between December and March. While many of us detest the idea of microtransactions, it seems they are a successful venture in Halo 5, and continue to be purchased on a regular basis.

Overkill Pleads Forgiveness for Payday 2 Microtransations

After the vociferous backlash to it introducing microtransactions to it popular first-person shooter Payday 2, developer Overkill has apologised for alienating the game’s community. Overkill was left with little option, though, following a rash of negative Steam reviews and moderators going on strike over the matter.

“The past few weeks have been some of the most challenging in the history of this community,” Overkill wrote in a blog post on the game’s Steam page. “Players have been angry with us, media have written about us en masse and our volunteer moderators went on strike. For all the distress we’ve caused the past few weeks, I’d just like to take the time and say that we’re sorry. We’ve done a lot of things right in the past, but these past few weeks we screwed up.”

The Overkill team then spend two hours discussing the problems it created by introducing microtransactions with moderators from the game’s Steam forum:

In an effort to patch its damaged relationship with fans, Overkill promises that it will be more active in the Steam forums from now on. For some time we haven’t been active in our own forums,” Overkill writes. “We’ve been reading your feedback and clearing bugs, but we haven’t engaged you in discussions. This has alienated us somewhat, and for that we apologize. Starting next week, you will see the presence [of] 8 different Overkill members talking to you in discussions and taking an active role in the community.”

Forza 6 Director Defends Recent Microtransactions Update

Forza Motorsport 5 was a key launch title for Microsoft’s latest console but arguably the weakest so far due to a complete lack of content and microtransactions. The end result revolved around a fairly forgettable career mode, and core experience which felt unfinished. Thankfully, Forza Motorsport 6 resolved these major issues and received widespread positive reviews. The game’s impressive visuals and smooth 60 frames-per-second performance results in one of the best console racing games ever made! Initially, Forza 6 was praised for dropping obnoxious microtransactions and offering a large selection of vehicles. However, Forza Motorsport 6’s latest update has sneakily introduced microtransactions in a similar vein to Forza Horizon 2. Turn 10 Studios’ Creative Director, Dan Greenawalt made an interesting statement regarding the inclusion of microtransactions and said:

The update now incorporates in-game currency called Tokens which allows users to spend actual money in bundles costing between $1 to $100. Incorporating microtransactions in any full priced release isn’t treating consumers with respect and sadly, quite commonplace for the modern video games industry  Furthermore, to introduce microtransactions post-launch is unbelievable and a complete breach of trust. It’s unfair mainly because consumers spend time researching a game’s pros and cons before making a purchase decision. Now, Turn 10 have included a negative aspect which people didn’t expect or pay for.

While Greenawalt claims the game was designed without microtransactions, why have they suddenly appeared? This seems like an ill-advised money-making scheme and creates the perception that Turn 10 is trying to eke out every penny from people’s pockets through DLC and now, microtransactions.

Street Fighter V to Include “More Player-Friendly” Microtransactions

Capcom’s abysmal reputation among the fighting community stems from an investigation by Destructoid into on-disc DLC. Unbelievably, Capcom tried to sell Ogre-Gill, Dudley, Elena, Cody, Guy and other DLC characters in Street Fighter X Tekken while the content was secretly locked onto PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 retail copies. Even more astounding, Capcom defended the move and proclaimed:

“The character information and files were intentionally included on retail versions of the PS3 and Xbox 360 game to save hard drive space and to ensure for a smooth transition when the DLC is available, allowing players who choose not to purchase the content the ability to play against players that did.”

Despite this, Capcom hve produced a number of excellent fighting games in the past decade and Street Fighter IV is played worldwide in professional tournaments. As a result, fans of the genre cannot wait to try out Street Fighter V but there are some concerns regarding the business model.

In an interview with Eurogamer, Capcom’s senior product manager Matt Dahlgren directly addressed these reservations and said:

“I think, definitely – and it comes down to our philosophy. We’re trying to reward players who stay engaged with the game, and we have respect for our competitive players and we’re making sure that everything that can impact the outcome of a match needs to be earnable with in-game fight money. Microtransactions can be perceived quite negatively, but this time around it’s much more player friendly – players have more choice about what they want, previously it was bundled in one pack and now you can pick and choose what you want to work towards and get that content for free.”

Sadly, Street Fighter V will receive microtransactions and I honestly believe they could alter the multiplayer’s balance. While Capcom reassures us this won’t be the case, I’m quite skeptical. Furthermore, any full-price release which implements microtransactions only makes me wait for a hefty discount.

Are you looking forward to Street Fighter V?

EA Doesn’t Want to “Nickel And Dime” Their Customers Via Microtransactions

EA has an atrocious reputation among the gaming community and often ridiculed for their obsession with DLC, microtransactions and pre-order exclusives. This viewpoint isn’t unwarranted when you take into account EA’s anti-consumer decision-making and treating the customer like a cash-cow. While other publishers implement similar strategies, EA is usually the main target of people’s hostility. Some critics have argued, EA’s blatant use of premium extra content will hurt their sales in the long-term.

During the UBS Global Technology Conference, EA’s Chief Financial Operator, Blake Jorgensen said:

“I do think there’s a bit of consumer fatigue around feeling like they’re getting nickle and dimed all the time. And a lot of mobile games don’t allow you to have fun unless you’ve paid for it,”

“So we’re looking at new models of ways to try to alleviate some of that fatigue that’s going on. Some of those might come in the form of subscription-style, but some of them might simply come in different ways to play games over time so you don’t feel like you’re always getting nickel and dimed.”

“It could a subscription, a subscription that has extra content as part of it, or a sole subscription, or it could be simply an upfront payment to a game that has extra content coming over time,”  

“What we want to do is give the consumer a great value for their money and keep them deeply engaged in something they love to do.”

“The fundamental way that we as an organization think about [microtransactions and subscriptions] is all around engagement,”

“How do we engage the consumer as long as possible? In the old days, people played Madden for a few months and then stopped playing. When the Super Bowl finished, they were completely gone. Today, with Ultimate Team, they engage for 12 months, all the way up until the time you start playing a new season.”

Jorgensen’s comments come across as a PR exercise trying to alleviate concerns about Star Wars Battlefront’s DLC model. Furthermore, he’s certainly correct about gamer fatigue and users becoming sick of paid content just after a game’s launch window. Despite this, EA is part of the problem and consistently releases digital deluxe editions at absurd prices. Additionally, they have to take responsibility for implementing microtransactions in $60 titles. I realistically cannot see EA’s reputation changing unless they end anti-consumer measures. This isn’t going to happen anytime soon, due to the profit margins from microtransactions.

Do you purchase season passes?

Payday 2 Moderators go on Strike After Microtransactions Fiasco

Payday 2 is a hugely successful co-op crime shooter which initially attracted a loyal and passionate community. Sadly, Overkill outraged Payday 2’s fan-base after implementing microtransactions despite reassurances that this would never happen. As a result, many people have posted irate comments or simply left the community. Not only that, a moderator decided to go on strike and said:

“We’ve recently being under a great deal of stress after the Crimefest update,” 

“A number of death threats thrown at us as well as much more heavy moderation needed due to a huge increase in users breaking the rules. We are not paid and have been in a very stressful situation.”

“A lot of people will be wondering why we didn’t do this earlier, due to the recent safe release. A lot of things happened and Overkill admitted it wasn’t managed very well. We we’re hoping Overkill would learn from its mistakes regarding the last update and we were hoping they took these into consideration with the COP. We have a lot of issues regarding the release of the COP that shows they have NOT listened to user feedback at all.”

“I like to believe that I am not unreasonable but unfortunately the situation constantly degraded. We will no longer refuse to work if we are given a public interview with a member of Overkill. We want to be heard and see what Overkill are willing to do to fix the situation.”

“If Overkill decides to let us go as moderators it’s something we are prepared for, I personally cannot sit by when they continue to promote immoral business practices. I felt the skins system needed work but could function. The recent safe update showed against that.”

Clearly, the moderating team are exasperated, and struggling to cope with people’s frustrations. Despite this, Overkill doesn’t seem overly concerned as the microtransactions keep bringing in a decent amount of money. However, the dwindling community and terrible handling of this affair will undoubtedly affect the game’s longevity. Overkill’s reputation has also suffered, and I feel a large proportion of the community will be very skeptical of any promises in the future.

Halo 5 Has Already Made $500,000 in Micro-Transactions

Microtransactions have slowly become a common occurrence in full-price releases and no longer exclusive to free-to-play mobile games. This is a depressing notion and it seems like publishers are desperate to eke out every last penny from the consumer even if it causes negative publicity. Despite the public outrage, it seems many users are purchasing micro-transactions in large numbers. Unbelievably, Halo 5 has already grossed $500,000 in micro-transactions alone. This happened in a one week period and makes for fairly shocking reading.

Clearly, publishers continue to implement micro-transactions because they are financially successful. In Halo 5’s case, you can spend real money to acquire REQ packs for various multiplayer modes. The pricing ranges between $2-$25 although they can be unlocked through normal gameplay. On another note, a proportion of micro-transactions helps to fund the Halo World Championship prize pool. This might explain why the sales of Halo’s micro-transactions are so high. However, it’s important to remember only a small amount is put towards the prize fund.

It’s almost become acceptable for micro-transactions to be in full price games providing they are optional or cosmetic. Personally, I just find it quite distasteful and usually wait for a price drop if they are incorporated on a mass scale.

Have you ever purchased a micro-transaction?

EA Grosses More Than Double From Extra Content Than Full Games

EA, Activision and Ubisoft have implemented a huge array of microtransactions into full priced game releases. Although the anger appears to be targeted towards EA due to the eye-watering price of various digital deluxe pre-order packages. One notable example is Star Wars: Battlefront which retails for £49.99 and already has a season pass to its name. Even more absurd, there is a listing which contains the DLC for an insulting £104.98; for those of you in the USA, this equates to $162.42.

Consumers are sick of major publishers pushing microtransactions and ridiculous pricing. However, the latest financial stats from EA illustrate the financial benefits of “Extra Content”. Rather worryingly, EA grossed more than double from additional content compared to digital games. Clearly, this doesn’t include retail sales but emphasizes how much money people are spending on DLC and microtransactions.

Microtransactions in full priced games have become the norm and the full experience rarely costs £49.99. This is a crying shame, as micro-payments were originally designed to be used on free-to-play titles. Major publishers are a business and they will keep implementing things which increase their profit margins. However, in the long-term, I’m unsure if this anti-consumer policy will come back to haunt them.

Have you ever paid for a microtransaction?

Payday 2 Black Market Updated “Working as we Intended” Says Producer

Payday 2’s Crimefest update implemented microtransactions and dramatically altered the game’s reception on Steam. Previously, the development team made assurances that microtranactions wouldn’t appear in Payday 2, and it seems they have had a change of heart. This has caused outrage throughout the incredibly passionate Payday 2 community and resulted in a fractured user-base. The game’s producer tried to alleviate people’s concerns during an AMA on Reddit. However, he spoke quite disparagingly about the game’s incensed fanbase and said:

“We understand that there is a lot of fury, anger and disappointment with us adding this. From an economical standpoint however, completely based on statistics, we can already see that the Black Market update is working as we intended. Going forward, we hope we can convince the parts of the community that resist this change that this was the right decision to do to ensure the stability of OVERKILL as an independent developer and the future growth of PAYDAY 2.”

This is a diplomatic way of saying the update has been a financial success and they’re not overly concerned with the negative reception. Therefore, this is quite an eye-opening response and bound to upset many of the game’s community. On another note, the developer has to be extraordinarily careful to look at the long-term perspective. If they annoy the player base too much, they will leave and result in a dwindling online community. Only time will tell how this pans out, but the developer’s current attitude is far from ideal.

Rainbow Six Siege Incorporates Microtransactions

YouTube gaming personality, Angry Joe recently interviewed Scott Mitchell, Rainbow Six Siege’s Animation Director and uncovered a startling revelation about the game’s business model. During the interview, Mitchell unexpectedly disclosed information regarding microtransactions called ‘Rainbow Credits’. Despite clearly mentioning the microtransactions, Mitchell didn’t elaborate further and proclaimed all the details would be revealed within the next month. These microtransactions already add to the game’s soaring price point which varies between $59.99 for the standard edition and $149.99 for the collector’s edition.

Even more absurd, the game will not feature a single-player component and still retail at the industry-standard $59.99. Additionally, the higher-tier model’s pricing is sadly commonplace in the gaming industry and quite insulting to Rainbow Six’s loyal following. Clearly, Mitchell made a mistake in announcing the microtransactions which could have been a subject on his mind to avoid. Whether you love or dislike Angry Joe, this sort of questioning has helped to uncover the truth about the game’s business model. Now this information is in the open, prior to release, many consumers might be inclined to cancel their pre-order.

It’s a shame that the modern gaming industry includes microtransactions in full-priced titles and it looks like this has become the norm. Personally, when games implement these anti-consumer measures, I feel inclined to wait for a large price reduction or spend money on independent games instead.

Microtransactions Dramatically Alter Payday 2 User Reviews

Payday 2 is a fantastic co-op shooter involving intense heists which has attracted a rather large and passionate community. Despite these excellent foundations, there were some concerns about the multiplayer shooter integrating microtransactions. Back in 2013, the producer Almir Listo proclaimed:

“The Steam page for Payday 2 has been updated based on your feedback,” 

“We’ve made it clear that Payday 2 will have no microtransactions whatsoever (shame on you if you thought otherwise!)”

Despite these reassurances, microtransactions have been implemented into game’s Black Market Update. Now, players can open safes which contain a wide array of items. However, to open each safe, you need to purchase a drill amounting to £1.60. Many of the locked items can alter the core gameplay in an unfair manner.

Prior to this update, the user reviews on Steam were overwhelmingly positive and encouraged new players to purchase the game. However, data provided by SteamSpy illustrates the unbelievable change in user opinions after the introduction of microtransactions. This is possibly the first clear-cut example we’ve seen of how disgusted people are by microtransactions in traditional, full-price games.

This should be a message to the entire gaming industry that their behavior is not acceptable. Publishers have to stop with this nonsense and see how damaging it is in the long-term. In Payday 2, the microtransactions completely ruins the game’s balance and discourages you from playing. Microtransactions have for some bizarre reason become acceptable in recent years providing they are cosmetic. In my opinion, they should only be integrated into free-to-play games.

Need For Speed Will Not Implement Microtransactions or Paid DLC

EA’s reputation among the gaming community is fairly atrocious due to launch day DLC, microtransactions, and killing off revered series such as Sim City. As a result, it’s expected to see these features implemented in any modern EA title. Rather surprisingly, the FAQ page for the upcoming Need for Speed game directly addresses people’s concerns and states:

“We plan to release a series of free content updates for Need for Speed. We currently have no plans for any paid DLC.”

“There will be no micro transactions.”

Could this really be the beginning of a new consumer-friendly strategy from EA? It’s far too early to tell, but I’m pleased to see this level of transparency from a leading AAA publisher. However, it’s important to remember that the latest Need for Speed game requires an internet connection. The concept behind this is to merge the single player and online portion into one experience. I’d personally like EA to consider an offline mode, so the game isn’t rendered useless when the servers are switched off in the future.

Putting these issues aside, I have to applaud EA as the retail release should be updated on a regular basis without the need for an expensive Season Pass. Of course, EA’s plans could change in the future, but this announcement makes Need for Speed a much more attractive proposition. Unfortunately, PC gamers will have to wait until Spring 2016 which is a significant delay compared to the console versions; perhaps this is to properly optimize the netcode or overall performance.

Do you think this is the start of a new EA?