Microtransactions

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Right time for another fleeting visit guys, sorry for the lack of recent comeback on my threads (been busy), but I'll be on later tonight or tomorrow putting finishing touches to a review so hopefully this stirs some good mixed responses and interesting reading. The issue for debate; Microtransactions.

For those who don't know Microsoft are introducing, on a large scale scheme, what they have called "Microtransactions", a system in which you can get more things for a game by paying a small fee and downloading it - things such as new costumes, maps, music, weapons and characters. Even buying ammo isn't an unreal prospect, I'm just trying to remember whether that was a cynical (and unbiased) journalists rant or an actual announcement :/

Anyway as an example; Battlefield: Modern Combat for the XBOX2 will feature "microtransactions - buy music, armies, levels and more." taken from joystiq. (note this for the Advance Wars comment from me later)

I'd like to know what everyone thinks about this?

My opinion:

The only outcome of these Microtransactions I can see is them having disastrous consequences for the games industry (if they pull it off). Developers will start selling half complete games so they can make even more cash, think about it, I personally can't actually believe MS can get away with this one - it's a subtle form of theft, imo.

They claim that we want "customisation", I thought we already had it, what about Sports/Racing etc games, they have free customisation as does every other game/genre that needs it.

IF Microsoft were interested in giving us more freedom (by that honestly) then they'd give gamers the option of earning points/virtual money, or even (and I'd have no problem with this) base Microtransactions around that ideal, just think in Advance Wars (here's the note) you get new "maps" or CO's and things; all bought with virtual money by being good at the game and not rich in real life. IMO Microsoft are only in it for the money though, and this is a very bad thing for the consumer. As I say just can't see much good coming from this, besides developers thinking about titles after release and giving extras later (which is ok), but don't do things in half's is a comment that seems relevant here. Additionally with such a strain on them delivering advanced games maybe they'd be better making a new game or sequel instead.

Another point is we already have this system in place, just look at the Halo 2 maps, which I agree with, and feel is good. And just to make sure people don't think that's a contradition I'll explain. Releasing such a thing is purely optional and indeed pretty rare, it gives the Hardcore fans that really want it the option and I believe if you wait a short time they also come free. However with

Barry Lewis [ nin10do :: General Writer :: Feature Writer :: Fountain of Industry Statistics ]
"We're mentalist psychic Scots, which means we can read your mind. If you're lying, your head explodes and we laugh."

It sounds like the sort of thing people were scared Microsoft would do from the beginning, sacrafice game quality for money... yes, it could possibly be used for good, but when you look at Microsofts past, it is perfectly clear what this means.

I think it's disgusting. Things like new maps and significant extras are fine to pay a small fee for I think, but costumes? Weapons? No, they should be in the game in the first place, or available for free download at a later date. It's just another way of the games industry 'selling out' (for lack of a better term) as it becomes bigger and is an opportunity for developers to be lazy and release games with features missing out. It's already bad enough that you have to get patches with a lot of PC games - now people may have to start paying for them as well. It's outrageous, the consumer should not be paying for the little 'extras', they should be given to them as way of thanks for actually bothering to buy the game. This can only lead to greed.

Another absolutely brilliant topic by the way, '10do. Despite the fact that you've not been on much in the past week, you've managed to get in and post some really good topics for discussion. Nice one. Smilie

i think it will work. What they did with UT2004 is have some free and some paid, and it worked. Microsoft are a company, they are out to make money. Theres nothing wrong with that.

At its very core this idea is stupidly flawed in that it means you will never stop paying for you're game. It started off with expansions for games, which was all well and good, as usually they were tottaly worth your money and took the game to the next level as well as usually only being a one off. Then we had online subscriptions fees for certain games, which is fine as they are providing you with a server to play on, and to be fair they used that money to maintain the game and keep it running smoothly.
This idea however will mean that you have to keep paying money to get the best out of your game, even worse meaning that people with more money/more will to spend money will get a better gaming experience.....

We're mentalist psychic Scots, which means we can read your mind. If you're lying, your head explodes and we laugh

Things like new maps and significant extras are fine to pay a small fee for I think, but costumes? Weapons? No, they should be in the game in the first place, or available for free download at a later date.

Why?- they cost money to develop. It should be a case of everything developed before the disc pressing either ends up on the disc, or gets scrapped.

All paid for extras must be developed after the disc has been pressed- or there is the risk of companies holding back features to exploit players.

I'm 50/50 about this, depending on the scale of extras that would be avalible. If we're talking songs, that should be free, same with new maps etc....

But anything above like expansion packs should have a price, if it takes the developer time and money to create them. Although I do see what your trying to say Nin10do.

Everything is time and money though, F| J |D.. hell.. the bandwidth to download the new stuff will cost the companies a lot.


msenyszak wrote:
It should be a case of everything developed before the disc pressing either ends up on the disc, or gets scrapped.

That's pretty much my opinion on it.

Why should people be paying for new clothes, etc. with real money? Isn't video gaming supposed to be an escape from reality? One of my problems is that it may exploit naive younger gamers, who may not have a concept of money, who're going to be spending money on new things because they think they're getting them for free. I know that it costs developers money, but the way I see it going is some developers going into overkill and charging for every little thing. Sets of things are fine to have a fee paid for, but single costumes? It's not going to take THAT much effort for a developer to make a new costume.

I know I keep using clothing as an example, and it's not the only thing that could be bought under this idea, but it's just the kind of thing I dread being sold.

Dont a lot of games offer these sorts of things for free, off the top of my head I can think of mods for UT.

We're mentalist psychic Scots, which means we can read your mind. If you're lying, your head explodes and we laugh

There's a small thing called choice here. No one is holding a gun to your head. You don't have to download them.

This already happens on Live with DLC. Why is it so different. If developers start releasing unfinished or half games it will get reported and reflected in review scores.

Stop scaremongering, your as bad as the tabloid journalists

This link doesn't work Don't click this link, it doesn't work

There's a small thing called choice here. No one is holding a gun to your head. You don't have to download them.


Stop scaremongering, your as bad as the tabloid journalists

Ye we have a choice, but if we dont choose, then we miss out. And eventually this sort of scheme will lead to lazily developed games because developers can just sell yuou the parts of the game they didnt make at a later date.

We're mentalist psychic Scots, which means we can read your mind. If you're lying, your head explodes and we laugh

No doubt EA would be doing that^

Smilie

Its funny because EA are soul less blood sucking parasites

We're mentalist psychic Scots, which means we can read your mind. If you're lying, your head explodes and we laugh

Dont a lot of games offer these sorts of things for free, off the top of my head I can think of mods for UT.

Usermade, mainly.

Mason: What kid is going to have a credit card to buy them? I wouldn't buy new clothes, but some people would- its their choice.

I've done textures before- it takes hours to do. Not including the additional moddelling etc to get a new set of clothes for a character.

Well, if the downloadable content was simple extras like a few maps and costumes then fair enough. People can play without them. The problem arises when they start releasing expansion packs for fees. It would then mean that some people get the expansion packs and others don't.
Then, if expansions can't interact with the normal game then you will see a lack in available servers.

360 Gamertag: shiptoncraig
PSN: shiptoncraig
Steam: Guess what?

But isn't that the same as if a sequel is released? Instead of buying a new disc your just downloading the files onto your console. It cuts out the middle man.


Peletboy wrote:
There's a small thing called choice here. No one is holding a gun to your head. You don't have to download them.

This already happens on Live with DLC. Why is it so different. If developers start releasing unfinished or half games it will get reported and reflected in review scores.

Stop scaremongering, your as bad as the tabloid journalists

That was where I was thinking, even if this did happen, I would just stick with what came in the box. If there was very little left in the game, I'd just take it back and say "no thanks." The only situation where I would pay is for a game where I genuinely wanted one more level or one more map, but the game would have to be so good to make me want to do this. D

evelopers could be underhanded about this and abuse it, but if the game is poor and lacking people won't buy it and no one will buy the downloads. The only bad scenario I can think of is a great game being made, but having levels stripped from it. So people will want more as the game mechanics are so good. But really if a game is that good, I doubt a game makers would want to risk it, as although it could make people buy the downloads it could scare people away.

But if Nintendo give us downloads for free like on the DS, well Microsoft are a little screwed then aren't they?

I think using it for expansion packs is the best thing for it, instead of doing it in small bits, it is done in one large goup, which people can choose or not choose to buy. Plus it means the price will not be that ridiculous, realistically how much would you pay for a new level?

[ Edited by Sharpshot on 2005/4/4 20:22 ]

Honestly can you guys ever stop looking for reasons to point the finger at microsoft?

Microsoft have put forward plans for purchasing game expansion online. Now instead of looking at it from a neutral point and seeing at how it could improve the world of gaming because its Microsoft you immeadiately look at how it could ruin the world of gaming.

Honestly if Nintendo came up with this idea and said they'd charge customers you'd be looking for reasons why it would improve gaming.

Matthew Evans [ Writer :: Moderator :: King of Impartiality :: Lord of the 15min Thread ] As the wind blows the sand to cover the camel's tracks so does time move to cover the Lord's.
Rejoice for the Lord will taketh his quarter and give much back to his followers.

pfft hardly after everything theyve said about getting around to free online for years and not giving it to the GC only to make us pay?! I think someone would have to punch Iwata in the face.

XBL Gamertag: James2t3

Companies like EA and Activision are not going to let the revolution have their content for free when they can charge for it on the X2.

But how much could be downloaded? And I thought the X-Box2 wasn't going to have a harddrive?

At the moment I can't see why this is a problem, but we'll see how it turns out.

Finally, if Microsoft are charging fo downloadds and other companies are offering it for free, what do you think the customer is going to choose?

but if your going to get better content from microsoft....

Yes, this concept could improve the market, but there have been many things in the world that look good but ar abused. I hope very much that developers don't abuse this system, but I'm not hopeful; and I trust Microsoft as far as I can throw them.

Stop scaremongering, your as bad as the tabloid journalists

Smilie

I'm not the fucking Daily Mail here mate, is it a crime to post a thread that's researched and based entirely on fact but because it's anti-Microsoft I'm scare mongering. Sorry if I've used fact and it's turned out negative toward your beloved xbox though, I personally think your response is a perfect example of how serious a problem this is/could be actually!

Ye we have a choice, but if we dont choose, then we miss out.

Exactly Rory. Just think of Battlefield, if we bought the game and mastered it and presuming it's online then took our skills to play and show off on Live we could be slaughtered by some little rich kid that sucks at the game but who bought the new

Barry Lewis [ nin10do :: General Writer :: Feature Writer :: Fountain of Industry Statistics ]
"We're mentalist psychic Scots, which means we can read your mind. If you're lying, your head explodes and we laugh."

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