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Micro-transactions killing games?

27. June, 2011Tags: Game articles, Microtransactions

Microtransactions in mmo games

As the Eve-Online's microtransaction controversy heats up, it's the right time to discuss this topic. One should look at this from two sides; player's side and publisher's side. There has to be a balance between the sides to keep both of them happy and playing.



Nothing is 100% free

Now, I can almost hear some of you shouting out some names of free games in disagreement with this title. Yes, there are free games but I am trying to exaggerate this a little bit to understand why the game publishers have come up with Micro-transactions in the first place.

Microtransactions, by definition, mean small transactions even of the order of cents. (This is not the case for today's Eve Online items, is it?) 

It could be good and bad

The whole idea for games started when Microsoft's XBOX 360 came out. We saw the first examples of micro transactions in games during those days. I can remember how players reacted to Elder Scrolls 4 way of trying to make revenue from microtransactions. The add on Bethesda put on the network would make your horse invincible. That was the worst idea for a microtransaction.

We see good and bad examples these days. Some publishers know how fragile gameplay is and they know they should not be giving unjustified advantage to paying customers. 

When Eve Online, right after the Incarnia patch, started to test Microtransactions, it all looked innocent when CCP released only character customizing content. However, the leak of inside documents disclosing CCP's plans for microtransactions other than just customization content has ignited the debates.


What to do next?

It's simple. Everytime a game developer comes up with unexpected and gameplay-killing premium content, players backfire. All microtransactions should be limited to customization items and they should never bless paying customers. 

Share your ideas

Comment below and share your ideas (preferably with examples if you have encountered such problems in games you play). Publishers read these blogs and you can make a difference with your two cents.

What do you think?

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