Microtransactions: Are they good or bad?

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Microtransactions – you either love them or you hate them. No one can argue that microtransactions are the way developers and publishers keep the cash cow growing. In the past the only way for them to make money was at the initial release of the game and if they release a paid DLC later on. DLC releases were quite lucrative even after the hype died out thanks to the used game market. But with digital game stores and the release of disc-less systems like the Xbox One S ‘All-Digital’ Edition the used game market is slowly going the way of the Dodo. Enter microtransactions…

The screenshot above is from the ever popular ‘Clash of Clans’ which is a free to play game but has had a large explosion of various types of microtransactions as well as the latest addition of a “Season Pass” which gives users more rewards as the complete certain challenges. Whether you’re familiar with the game or not, a quick look at the pricing can make your wallet go into hiding. It’s not as bad as you think.

When microtransactions first came to fruition I was absolutely dead set against them. There was no way that I was paying any money for a free game, especially a mobile one. I am sure you have said or have friends who have said the same thing. As time progressed my attitude changed a bit especially with games like ‘Clash of Clans’ since I’ve been playing for probably close to five years. That’s the key to my argument for microtransactions.

Depending on the game and taking DLC out of the equation, normally a $60 dollar console gets played for anywhere 2-4 months until it gets sold or shelved. That sounds like a lot of money to be spent on a game that gets very little screen time no? What’s the harm in spending a little bit of that cash on a game that is free and you’ve played for over 10 times that amount?

Whatever your feelings, microtransactions are here to stay. Mobile games, console games and even MMOs are leaning heavily on microtransactions to feed their bank accounts.