Money in Games: Microtransactions – A Problem The Gamers Created

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The latest backlash that hit EA is due to its abundant use of microtransactions. This is something that EA is personally known for, and microtransactions have been around for awhile. However, it begs the question: is EA the issue when it comes to microtransactions, or is it us?It is us gamers that are the reason for their continued existence. Microtransactions started in the mobile market, where you can play games like Candy Crush for a limited amount of time, but you have a time limit, or the levels get too hard. To circumvent this, all you have to do is pay a small sum of money.

Gamers were OK with this and spent tons of money on games like Farmville and others like that. Then, slowly, this mentality started to leak into PC and Console games. While it got criticism by gamers, the sales numbers were sky high for developers of games. So it stuck.

These microtransactions can be as small as 99 cents, to massive sums like hundreds, or even thousands of dollars. In console games, what you get with a microtransaction is a new outfit or part of a costume, or a different weapon, or something of the like.

Many criticized the gaming industry, claiming that this put many gamers at an unfair advantage. This was especially true in multiplay FPS games, as well as MMORPG’s, where microtransactions can make some characters far more dominant early on. This was thought to harm poorer players who merely wanted to play the game without having the game be almost unplayable due to people with an unfair advantage.

While gamers whine and moan about these transactions, to businesses, the numbers don’t lie. Players can criticize the practice all they want, but if they are still purchasing the games and putting in extra money from these microtransactions, who else would there be to blame. The game developers are only responding to the market demand, regardless of what gamers SAY they want, they are paying with their wallet.

If you want developers like EA to stop trying to nickel and dime their consumers, then stop buying their games. If there is one mantra that we should take away from this whole debacle, is that you can’t have your cake and eat it too. Vote with your wallet, not your mouth. At least you shouldn’t send someone death threats or anything like that.

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