Micro-transactions. Love ’em or hate ’em, they have been with us since they were first brought to us in the Mobile Gaming Industry. Since then, they’ve been added to almost every recent AAA title that has come out. Halo 5 Guardians, Black Ops 3, Modern Warfare Remastered, Deus Ex Mankind Divided, and more. However with these new features, does this give players an option to be lazy? Gone are the days of grinding for the gear you want, playing hard-mode to get better rewards, and doing difficult challenges for extra stuff. Nope, we now have the option of simply buying all of that through micro-transactions, because companies know everyone has at least $5 on them and will most likely be willing to pay money for gear they don’t feel like grinding for.
Yes, I agree that this is all optional and many games do make them optional. But when you get yourself a game like NBA 2k18, where the game deliberately tries every possible way to get you to buy their crap, then it becomes a serious problem. When companies start developing these games to have such options, it gives us the impression that you’re telling us it’s not worth playing the game to get the gear you want. That’s like adding loot boxes to Dark Souls 3. That would completely ruin the whole purpose of Dark Souls, and that’s feeling good about overcoming incredibly difficult obstacles and getting badass gear and weapons.
We play video games so we can enter a world of challenges and strategy. We play games overcome difficult trials and earn some amazing in-game loot. We play full-priced games to get the full experience of the game. Not to play one half of it with the other half blocked off by a price tag. We play these types of games as an escape from reality and to be immersed into a world of our imagination or the imagination of the developers, and micro-transactions tend to ruin that experience when done poorly. While some games do it right (mostly free-to-play games), many fail at it.
Micro-Transactions can be done right, but when you make it your goal to persuade gamers into buying your loot boxes, you make it feel like your game isn’t worth playing to get the gear you want. This whole system can ruin any game, and it begins making gamers lazy.