Page 8

For Microtransactions

Microtransactions are a business model where players can purchase in-game content. By Jacob Otten

T

he term “microtransaction” has become a filthy word in the gaming community, being associated with greedy, out-of-touch corporations corrupting the industry and wringing their player bases for all the money that they have. However, negative connotations aside, what exactly are these much-derided forms of game monetization? Microtransactions are a business model where players can purchase in-game content with payments. They are often employed in free-to-play games as the main source of revenue for game developers. In cases where players already purchased the game, microtransactions provide additional content to the basic game experience, but usually aren’t essential to the game itself. They have received heavy negative attention lately, largely brought upon by spectacular abuses of their systems by a small number of notorious games that will be mentioned below. Critics claim that large companies, such as Electronic Arts (EA), abuse the microtransaction model by releasing unfinished games at a $60

6

fee and then charging micropayments for content that should already have been included in the basic game package. However, many of these critics overlook the advantages that occur from games monetizing microtransaction systems. Microtransactions are effective funding systems for video games and provide unique benefits to both players and game developers. Before diving into the benefits derived from microtransactions, it is important to address the core elements of critique leveled against these infamous monetization systems. The most common accusation made of microtransaction-dependent games is that they become “pay-to-win,” a phenomenon where the amount a player spends determines how much success they will enjoy in the game. Pay-to-win becomes especially egregious when the game pits players in direct competition against each other, creating extremely obvious divides between those who have spent money and those who have not. There also are accusations leveled against specific types of microtransactions known as loot boxes. Many critics believe

Profile for Rebuttal

Spring 2019  

We proudly present our first issue! The topics include abortion, the Iran deal, voter ID laws, targeted killings by governments, Hamilton: A...

Spring 2019  

We proudly present our first issue! The topics include abortion, the Iran deal, voter ID laws, targeted killings by governments, Hamilton: A...

Profile for rebuttal
Advertisement