Iím going to come out and say this now, Iím going to shock some people but Iíd be fine with Micro transactions in AAA games.
Now before someone flies off the handle and points out how the companies want you to buy their cake, so they can then have their cake and eat it, thereís actually something I should point out about it and how companies could happily have me accepting micro transactions.
At present on console and some stuff on PC, DLC costs. Now DLC is sold as low cost high profit margins by many publishers so they often donít sell comparably to the game. Micro transactions are essentially horse armour and skins, just extra little things. You know that stuff weíve had in games for a long time. So what if AAA publishers gave us the DLC free ? Iím not kidding give us some nice chunks of free DLC say three one hour chunks in the year for the game, maybe a bit more. Iíd be fine with micro transactions being present if they planned to give us decent content beyond the games launch for free and a decent amount of content. Would anyone here really throw a fuss if we had micro transactions for say horse armour when you get shivering Isle free ?
Heck this could help stop the trend of releasing the same game with minor improvements every 12 months........ Ok maybe not but it could help.
The other way is if the micro transactions are substituting the price. The best example I can presently give is The Secret world. About £20 here in the UK for a non subscription MMO now. Iíve been playing it for a bit now and I have yet to be screwed over by the cash shop. Iíve paid £20 and Iím not being treated as a second class citizen as with so many other Free to play MMO games. Believe me Iíve tried other MMO games and a lot of free to play ones. In Battlestar it took me 2 weeks to get a second level ship, while someone who paid £2,000 in total had decked his ship out with the best stuff and looked like this.
Iím ok with The secret World having micro transactions, hell I was given tons of the cash shop stuff free and yet Iíve barely used any. I even got given a ton of credit to spend in the shop on whatever I wanted. paying £20 for the MMO to not get screwed over sounds fine,especially as an entry fee as everyone has to pay and no-one is getting screwed over.
If a big AAA non MMO released here in the UK at £20 with a cash shop here in the UK, and went with the cash shop from the beginning selling at £20 right away (with the game no doubt dropping after that reduced by many other shops) Iíd be fine with that. A few years ago I was PC gaming only really due to circumstances and I went by the motto of £20 or less for PC games. It was amazing how different it was and you know what. It made me realise how rubbish this whole premium gaming idea is, itís getting worse though with Black Ops 2 going up to £55 RRP, sure you can buy them cheaper but thatís the RRP. At £20 I'm fine to not getting quite everything in the game. I'm not paying the premium and as such I'm also not getting quite everything. If publishers want to keep their premium pricing they better start delivering and giving me a reason for this premium and not just "Because we can".
If companies stopped being morons then this idea of Micro transactions could be a future and a good future of gaming. The main issue with gaming on consoles so far is they are confined by the standard sales period of games being about 2 weeks because seriously no idiot is buying games on demand that are 5 years old for £20 when even factoring in the extortionate bus fare of £4 ($6.3) it can still cost me only about half the cost of games on demand if I buy pre-owned. Micro transactions can be in games for longer, a lower cost gives a higher install base and not being morons and creating barricades in the game, people will buy the micro elements and you know what, youíre not making 80-90% of your games profits in 2 weeks you have this sustained sales period youíre after. The same sales period idea thatís lead to accidentally killing some games off due to the whole online activation codes for them.
If micro transactions kill off all the damn other bullshit thatís accumulated round gaming and on top of that improve gaming, then Iíll happily accept them if Iím getting something out of it. If however this is being used to milk consumers. Iím a human, Iím not a cow and honestly I will vote more with my wallet if it happens.
You know what the only free to play game Iíve put money into is ?
Super Monday Night Combat, you know why ? Because I didnít need to, I wasnít feeling like I had a barricade in front of me deliberately impeding me by design when obviously it was a mechanic designed to slow me down. Super Monday Night Combat is a true example of free to play done so well and pretty damn ethical with most if not all items available in random drops for just playing the game. Before putting any money in I had 3-4 payed cash shop items just in random drops.
If micro transactions are to have a future it has to be benefiting players not allowing someone to buy a £60 game and then lose to someone who payed £60 more to max out their character. Iím looking at you EA and fight night round 3. Yes Iím saying EA has done pay to win before and micro transactions before on console.
So if publishers want to keep micro transactions what do you believe they should give up, or give back to consumers ?
Would you say Nah to a nice chuck of free DLC and game support for about a year or so