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  • Will There Be An End To Microtransactions In Video Games?

    The way that players pay for video games has remained the same for decades. Most video game developers allow players to pay a certain fee upfront for getting unlimited access to a game and enjoy as much gameplay as they want. That means that you can sell or lend your video game to anyone you wish at your discretion.
    Even as video game titles moved away from selling titles in big boxes in land-based stores to online retailers and digital downloads, the model of paying upfront has remained consistent. However, a new revenue model has grown exponentially over the last half a decade. This new revenue model is known as micro-transactions.

    What are Micro-Transactions?

    Micro-transactions typically mean small amounts of cash paid in games for different upgrades. These monetary transactions can range anywhere from a few dollars to a few hundred, depending on what a player is paying for.
    These transactions first appeared in social and mobile games in the 2000s, with players being not charged to play games upfront. However, players were given the chance to purchase additional in-game items instead. The trend has continually grown over the years, with many free-to-play games using this technique to earn revenue.
    The first main technique that game developers are using micro-transactions is by allowing users to play games and skipping waiting times. That’s where players get finite in-game currency or lives to enjoy the gameplay all day long. Prominent games that use such a technique include Candy Crash Saga, Farmville, and Pokerstars.
    The other way that game publishers are using micro-transactions is by allowing players to buy additional in-game items. These in-game items allow players to personalize their characters and give them new skills or features.
    For the most part, gamers have been happy with this trade-off, as they can play a game for free without paying any of these micro-transactions. However, whenever they want to enjoy more, they can pay the game publishers a small fee.

    Are Micro-Transactions Increasing or Reducing in Games?

    With Monolith announcing their decision to abolish micro-transactions from their game Shadow of War, more online games might be prompted to follow suit. In the coming months, players can use their money to invest in the best crypto trading platforms in South Africa, as the buying of XP boosts, orcs, and Item chests with real cash are set to be abolished. The move came only six months after gamers expressed their displeasure with these intrusive microtransactions.
    The main problem with Micro-transaction in gaming titles is that there isn’t enough transparency. That’s making gamers feel like they need to purchase their way through the gameplay instead of actually earning it.
    Besides individual items, lots of games offer a loot-box feature that allows players to buy an in-game box that features random items that might be helpful in the gameplay or not. As such, many players and some regulatory authorities feel like these loot-boxes are like lotteries. However, lotteries must disclose their odds to players, unlike purchasing loot-boxes without knowing your chance of getting valuable items.

    Micro-Transactions in Large Games

    In recent years, developers have started adding microtransactions in large games. However, that doesn’t mean that gamers won’t need to pay for titles like FIFA or NBA 2K20 upfront. Instead, they will have to do both to access the game’s full content.
    Microsoft first discussed the prospect of adopting microtransactions in 2006, but it took several years to completely implement this payment model. Electronic Arts first featured their first microtransaction model in Tiger Woods PGA Tour, with second-hand game buyers having to pay $10 to get access to online play.
    Micro-transaction in large games was largely unpopular among players, so most publishers phased out this practice and replaced it with “season passes”. The model allows players to buy new downloadable content and extend their gameplay. This model became popular in Call of Duty, where players were allowed to download new maps.

    Huge Profits

    Game developers argue that microtransactions help to cover the increasing cost of creating large titles while maintaining the upfront cost at an affordable rate. Some of these developers have pointed out that video game titles like CS: GO saw a huge increase in popularity following the implementation of micro-transactions.
    With micro-transactions, fans can enjoy the ability to upgrade and personalize their characters without making it a pay-to-win model. Critics also argue that the rationale behind this move is to get a revenue stream from players who want to buy or rent second-hand games. Regardless of the driving force, micro-transactions are a great earner for game publishers.

    The Future of Micro-transactions

    With publishers such as the Monolith making such a huge leap to abolish micro-transactions, industry experts think that some developers will also follow suit. Lots of fans aren’t happy with these transactions in online games, because they feel that they don’t offer the transparency that’s expected. That breaks the trust between the game publishers and players, but only time will tell whether game publishers will put their customer’s needs before the profits.
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