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Top Stories in Microtransactions




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New in Microtransactions

6:30 AM on 04.14.2015

Mortal Kombat X's fatalities too hard? Pay to make them easy

Fatalities are, in most people's opinion, the coolest part of Mortal Kombat. In a franchise about ruthlessly beating up your opponent, fatalities are when these games are at their most brutal -- a blood-drenched pot of gold a...

Brett Makedonski

3:45 PM on 02.25.2015

There's already a workaround to skirt Pokémon Shuffle's microtransactions

Pokémon Shuffle isn't Nintendo's initial foray into the seedy underworld of free-to-play with microtransactions. Rusty's Real Deal Baseball did it first, but Shuffle is the first example that drew ire fr...

Brett Makedonski

6:30 PM on 02.20.2015

Sorry America and Europe, no Diablo III microtransactions for you

Blizzard has revealed that their upcoming 2.2.0 patch for Diablo III will include microtransactions. However there's a catch: It won't apply to the Americas or EU regions. So, I guess that leaves everyone else to milk that Di...

Robert Summa

4:45 PM on 09.08.2014

Google to pay back $19 million for in-app purchase settlement

In the latest in-app purchase settlement, the Federal Trade Commission is tasking Google with paying back $19 million to those whose children, against their parents' wishes, spent money on in-app purchases in apps downloaded ...

Brittany Vincent

12:30 PM on 06.17.2014

Forza Horizon 2 won't have 'token' microtransactions

Forza Horizon 2 creative director Ralph Fulton told Digital Spy that it would eschew the series' microtransaction currency, tokens. "The approach we've taken is that we've designed our game at Playground Games from ...

Steven Hansen

10:00 AM on 05.13.2014

Driveclub will have microtransactions, because of course it will

Remember that one conference where that guy was lovingly talking about how realistic Driveclub was, down to the real looking leather on the seats? That's how I imagine executives talking about microtransactions. There's proba...

Chris Carter

11:15 AM on 04.30.2014

Guerrilla job ad points to new IP with online focus

Guerrilla Games is hiring, and they say they're looking for online designers for a game they've been working on for a couple of years now. This is for an unannounced IP that will feature "innovative online gameplay." They're ...

Dale North

4:30 PM on 04.28.2014

Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare microtransactions incoming

This week, PopCap will add microtransactions to Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare. We knew the day would come and, you know what? It's not a big deal. For those of you not playing this wacky third-person shooter (you're miss...

Jordan Devore

8:00 PM on 03.28.2014

Forza 5 DLC cars can now be accessed without in-game currency

Turn 10 Studios is still attempting to win back disappointed Forza fans following its launch of Forza Motorsport 5 in November. In an open letter, creative director Dan Greenawalt has announced more changes for the game relat...

Jordan Devore

2:45 PM on 03.26.2014

Microtransactions made $352 million on consoles last year

While my default is to rally against microtransactions, some of this data comes from consoles adopting free-to-play schemes wherein you're paying for an aesthetic thing or still paying much less money than you would for a ret...

Steven Hansen

7:30 PM on 01.15.2014

Apple paying $32.5M to consumers over in-app purchases

Apple has agreed to provide full refunds to consumers in a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission. Apple is paying a minimum of $32.5 million over complaints from consumers that incurred charges when kids would spend mo...

Hamza CTZ Aziz

1:00 AM on 12.13.2013

Turn 10 wants to turn around fan perception of Forza 5

Dale dug Forza 5, but the Xbox One launch title has been met with the most varied reviews in franchise history. However, creative director Dan Greenawalt, in an interview with Eurogamer, said he is "not really driven by Metas...

Steven Hansen

2:45 PM on 12.11.2013

You can beat Bravely Default without random encounters

And it still took over 20 hours! Twitter user @dol_goemon, a Dengeki Online staffer, has Bravely Default: For The Sequel, which released in Japan, Europe, and Australia last week -- it's releasing in North America next year. ...

Steven Hansen

11:00 PM on 11.27.2013

Angry Birds Go! has a $125 car because of course it does

Angry Birds Go! has soft launched over in New Zealand, and Pocket Gamer is giving a nice little break down of how the game plays. Their hands-on has discovered that the game is heavy on microtransactions, one of which include...

Hamza CTZ Aziz

4:30 PM on 11.27.2013

Turn 10 responds to Forza Motorsport 5 economy feedback

If you've been playing Forza Motorsport 5, you're probably very familiar with the game's awful microtransactions. If not, basically the game uses tokens you buy in-game that can be used to purchase cars if you don't have enou...

Brett Zeidler

4:30 PM on 11.26.2013

Microsoft's Phil Spencer talks Xbox One microtransactions

In an interview with Kotaku about about the 2014 software lineup for Xbox One, Microsoft Studios head Phil Spencer commented about the state of microtransactions on the console. Games like Ryse and Forza 5, which cost full pr...

Jordan Devore

10:30 AM on 11.19.2013

Sony confirms micro-transactions for Gran Turismo 6

Sony was really excited to show off its new "in-game credits" for Gran Turismo 6 in a recent blog post. These credits "will be purchasable through PS Store or your friendly local retailer". It's a system of made up curre...

Joshua Derocher

7:00 PM on 10.22.2013

Selling Pokemon as DLC could ruin the series' worldview

In a 4Gamer interview with Pokémon art director Ken Sugimori and director Tetsuya Watanabe translated by Siliconera, the topic of premium DLC came up. It doesn't take much effort to imagine how, in the right (wrong?) h...

Jordan Devore

10:00 AM on 10.22.2013

Enhanced Bravely Default getting microtransactions

Bravely Default is coming to the United States next year, the UK on December 6. Not only that, but we will be getting an enhanced version of the original game, Bravely Default: For the Sequel. They even managed to make the na...

Steven Hansen



Yes, there are microtransactions in GTA Online photo
Yes, there are microtransactions in GTA Online
by Jordan Devore

The fact that Grand Theft Auto Online has microtransactions -- which Rockstar has come out to confirm today -- bothered some people far more than I would've expected. Considering how ambitious the base multiplayer experience sounds, and knowing that free content updates are planned, it's hard for me to feel angry. Or feel much of anything. I do get the concern that real-money purchases of in-game currency could break GTA Online. Here's Rockstar's response:

"The game and its economy have been designed and balanced for the vast majority of players who will not buy extra cash. There is no in-game paywall and nothing that should disrupt the balance of the game. You don’t have to spend real money to attain the cars, guns, clothes, flash and style of a high-roller in Los Santos, but can if you wish to get them a little quicker. The economy is balanced differently from the single player economy, and cash earned in one cannot be taken over to the other. Most players will earn cash much faster Online than in Story Mode."

That said, there will be growing pains. The company is really pushing for feedback in the early weeks of GTA Online -- both in terms of technical issues and the direction it should take for future updates. October 1, 2013 will be here before we know it. I'm looking forward to Online more than any other aspect of GTA V. Hope my expectations aren't out of whack.

Some More Details on Grand Theft Auto Online [Rockstar]

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7:00 AM on 09.25.2013

Grand Theft Auto Online may have microtransactions

Some sleuthing by a Redditor trawling through Grand Theft Auto V's warm, numerical entrails has revealed files pointing to something called "cash cards" of various denominations ($100,000 up to $1.25 million). There is also t...

Steven Hansen

4:00 PM on 09.03.2013

Star Citizen has now raised $17 million in funding

It seems that after its initial crowdfunding success, there's no stopping Star Citizen. Chris Roberts' super-ambitious space sim just hit the $17 million mark and now there's stretch goals for $19 million. However, fans have ...

Alasdair Duncan

12:30 PM on 08.26.2013

It only took 8 years: Microsoft Points are finally gone

The long and storied history of Microsoft's invented Xbox Live currency MS Points has finally come to a close. Despite standing by the system as recently as last October, an update today has phased out what the community has ...

Darren Nakamura

10:00 PM on 08.22.2013

Ryse will have multiplayer microtransactions

[Update: Microsoft has released a statement addressing exactly how microtransactions will work in Ryse. “The progression system in ‘Ryse: Son of Rome’s’ cooperative multiplayer experience offers player...

Hamza CTZ Aziz

3:15 PM on 07.29.2013

Jimquisition: Fee to Pay

It's time to talk about why "optional" microtransactions in games aren't really optional, and why they're especially gruesome in games we already paid for at retail. The rise of "free to play" elements in games that are not ...

Jim Sterling



Blizzard talks about World of Warcraft microtransactions photo
Blizzard talks about World of Warcraft microtransactions
by Jordan Devore

When Blizzard said it was exploring potentially adding microtransactions to World of Warcraft in "certain regions," speculation quickly pointed to that being code for "Asia." Good job, everyone who suggested that! After admitting that "we're still pretty early in the exploration process," the company has given more context for the in-game store.

"We think everyone would appreciate the convenience of being able to make such purchases without having to leave the game, and ultimately that's our long-term goal for the system, though there's quite a bit of work involved in retrofitting those existing items into the new system," wrote a Blizzard community manager.

"First, we'll be testing the in-game store with some new kinds of items we're looking into introducing (in Asian regions, at the outset) based on player feedback: specifically, an experience buff to assist with the leveling process, as well as an alternate way to acquire Lesser Charms of Good Fortune. We've had a lot of requests from players in different regions for convenience-oriented items such as these, and as with other new ideas we've introduced as WoW has evolved -- including Pet Store pets, mounts, and more -- your feedback plays a hugely important part in determining what we add to the game."

Experience? Doesn't bother me. Those Lesser Charms of Good Fortune, however, could be an issue for some players who fear the in-game store will lead to an eventual pay-to-win scenario. "Ultimately it's still too early in the process to make any final determinations about our plans," Blizzard continued, "but in the meantime, we hope you'll check out the in-game store once it's implemented on the PTR and let us know what you think."

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3:00 PM on 07.04.2013

Blizzard exploring in-game store for World of Warcraft

A "100% XP Buff" item that references the "5.4 In Game Store" was discovered on the World of Warcraft Public Test Realm, prompting players to ask Blizzard what the deal is on the forums. "We are currently exploring the possib...

Jordan Devore

1:45 PM on 04.19.2013

Curiosity goes a bit mad with new in-app purchases

I had long since deleted Curiosity from my iPhone after spending admittedly far too much time (see: more than five minutes) tinkering with the cooperative game about chipping away layers of a massive cube. But now, here I am,...

Jordan Devore

3:30 PM on 04.09.2013

XCOM: EU for iOS won't go overboard with in-app purchases

Considering the game's unforgiving difficulty and meaningful character losses, it's all too easy to imagine a mobile version of XCOM: Enemy Unknown that runs wild with microtransactions in a hugely successful way. Thankf...

Jordan Devore

10:30 AM on 03.18.2013

Ridiculous Fishing dev thinks free-to-play is mostly evil

Ridiculous Fishing is a game that looks ripe for microtransaction exploitation, but developer Vlambeer has opted instead to charge a flat $2.99 and let the chips fall where they may. The studio's belief that free-to-play mode...

Jim Sterling







Microtransactions coming to Call of Duty: Black Ops II photo
Microtransactions coming to Call of Duty: Black Ops II
by Jim Sterling

If you were worried fee-to-pay microtransactions were going to become the norm ... prepare to be justified. Activision has announced it'll be jumping aboard the bandwagon tomorrow, introducing incremental buy-me-ups for Call of Duty: Black Ops II

The publisher promises its "Micro Items" won't affect gameplay and, in fairness, this appears to be true for the most part. Here are the three things players will be able to purchase as of tomorrow:

  • Personalization Pack: Each pack as a unique weapon camo, three targeting reticles, custom calling card. $2.00/160 MS Points. 
  • Extra Slots Pack: 10 extra Create-a-Class loadout slots, plus room for 20 more emblems, 32 films, and 40 screenshots. $2.00/160 MS Points.
  • Flags of the World Calling Card Pack: National flag themed calling cards. $1.00/80 MS Points.

The "Micro Items" will be coming to the Xbox 360, with a release on other systems unconfirmed.

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12:00 PM on 03.06.2013

EA now says not all games will have microtransactions

Electronic Arts was in hot water recently on their views of microtranscations coming to everything they do in the future. Well the company looks to be backtracking a bit as EA's CFO Blake Jorgensen clarified what they meant a...

Hamza CTZ Aziz

1:30 PM on 03.01.2013

Real Racing 3 infuriates with $500 of microtransactions

While I really don't think there's anything inherently wrong with free-to-play games, they can definitely be problematic -- especially when a developer places the mental pummeling of customers above gratifying gamep...

Jim Sterling



On Cliffy B, microtransactions, and Electronic Arts photo
On Cliffy B, microtransactions, and Electronic Arts
by Jim Sterling

As we noted yesterday, former Epic man Cliff Bleszinski took some time to defend the controversial use of microtransactions in retail games, sticking up for it on the basis that companies exist to make money. I rarely turn down an opportunity to have a debate on these matters, so let's offer a respectful disagreement. 

"The video game industry is just that. An industry," he wrote on his blog. "Which means that it exists in a capitalistic world. You know, a free market. A place where you’re welcome to spend your money on whatever you please … or to refrain from spending that money.

"I’ve seen a lot of comments online about microtransactions. They’re a dirty word lately, it seems. Gamers are upset that publishers/developers are 'nickel and diming them.' They’re raging at 'big and evil corporations who are clueless and trying to steal their money.' I’m going to come right out and say it. I’m tired of EA being seen as 'the bad guy.' I think it’s bullshit that EA has the 'scumbag EA' memes on Reddit and that Good Guy Valve can Do No Wrong."

I think I've got a tiny violin somewhere, I'll hunt it down and play EA a tune! Seriously though, I don't think EA's being bullied without cause. The company managed to acquire many talented studios and a lot of great intellectual property. When you cultivate a passionate fanbase, then try to trade that passion in for money, I think you should expect a backlash. That's what's happening here.

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8:30 PM on 02.28.2013

Cliff Bleszinski defends microtransactions

Designer Cliff Bleszinski has shared his thoughts on the microtransactions and the backlash they receive, arguing that game companies exist to make money and if people don't like them or their practices, they can vote with th...

Jordan Devore

8:00 AM on 02.27.2013

EA plans a future of micro-transactions (Update)

[Update: According to TheSixthAxis, EA's CFO "misspoke" on the subject of game prices, and is actually expecting games to cost between $49 and $59, rather than the $69 he original talked about. Don't worry, they can always ma...

Jim Sterling

6:00 PM on 02.13.2013

Why an indie chose free DLC instead of microtransactions

Why would a developer offer a free 1.6GB expansion pack to its game? Steve Piggot, Torn Banner president and lead designer of Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, asks why not? "For us, our primary goal -- and I know people say this a...

Allistair Pinsof

3:00 PM on 02.11.2013

Jimquisition: Companies Exist to Make Money

Jimquisition's had it wrong all this time. Videogame companies exist to make money, so it was foolish to ever suggest their anti-consumer policies are awful, reckless, and deserving of criticism. That was all sarcasm, just then.

Jim Sterling

12:45 PM on 02.11.2013

Attorney: Dead Space 3 resource exploit might be theft

Dead Space 3 features an exploit which allows players to circumvent the game's microtransactions by acquiring infinitely spawning items. While Electronic Arts has no intention of removing the feature, an intellectual pro...

Kyle MacGregor

8:00 AM on 02.09.2013

EA: Dead Space 3 microtransaction workaround not a glitch

Electronic Arts claims that the infinite items exploit in Dead Space 3 is "not a glitch" and that the publisher has "no plans to issue a patch to change this aspect of the game." Responding to a Forbes inquiry, an EA represen...

Kyle MacGregor