Let’s face it, we’ve lost the battle. Bowser kept Princess Peach and is now charging us to see Yoshi, Luigi, and Toad. Microtransactions are so prevalent in today’s video games that we sometimes don’t even notice them. But, are microtransactions ruining video games?

Microtransactions, loot boxes, and season passes are slowly but surely ruining video games and there’s no end in sight. What was free content 10 years ago is now hidden behind a paywall and taunting you as a 9-year old kid taunts you when you’re on the floor dying.

Why Do Gamers Hate Microtransactions?

It’s easy to see why gamers would hate microtransactions. Oftentimes, you’ll get a basic free-to-play game that will charge you for literally everything else in the game.

Then there’s the case when you pay $60 upfront for a game only to realize that features or characters are missing, which is okay if you can naturally unlock them. But what these game developers do is, they’ll make you grind for countless hours until you basically give up and just pay for it.

You probably fall into one of two camps – you’re never paying for any additional features in any game out of principle, or you gave up a long time ago and you’re spending more money than ever before on video games. Who knows, maybe you’re even a so-called whale, and you’re paying for studio executives’ trips to Hawaii or their kid’s college tuition.

At least the Las Vegas whales get a free room and complimentary champagne or something. Video game whales don’t get anything in in real life, except looong credit card statements.

What Games Were Ruined By Microtransactions?

There are so many examples of games being ruined by microtransactions, from mobile games like Candy Crush Saga to AAA titles like Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. What started as a simple $2.50 horse shield add-on by Bethesda in 2006 in their mega-popular Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, continues to this day.

War Thunder

This free-to-play MMO war game has players grinding an indefinite number of hours to get a nice plane. Or you can fork out $10, $60, or even much more for a single airplane or another type of vehicle. A Reddit user calculated that it would cost around $9,500 to buy every premium vehicle in the game.

I understand that the game is free-to-play, but would you rather pay $60 upfront or spend hundreds of dollars over the years for new premium vehicles? I think we all know the answer, but the ship has sailed and there’s no putting the toothpaste back into the tube.

Star Wars Battlefront 2

This game came out and, well, things hit the fan. Star Wars Battlefront 2 came out in November 2017, but already a few days prior to release, people started noticing things that were way off. Since then, the game became a poster boy for microtransactions and loot boxes. But what exactly happened?

Many players that had EA’s Early Access Program quickly figured out that the main protagonists were hidden behind paywalls and that you’d have to play for 40 hours to unlock a single character. And it would take around incredible 5,000 hours to unlock and upgrade all of them.

So, how much money are we talking about here to unlock all the content? $200? $500? $1,000? You’d have to give EA $2,100 of your (or your parents’) hard-earned money!

The two-times most hated company in the world, EA, decided to budge and remove the use of real money after players started boycotting their game.

Are Microtransactions Bad?

There are many things that don’t sit right with microtransactions. Loot boxes for example are (still) being investigated by governments around the world, most notably the Belgian government that banned them for instituting outright gambling. And the FTC is still running their investigations but the fact that they are already looking into the practice kind of put a stop to it for now.

What the video companies are doing now is implementing battle or season passes. This sits a bit better with folks, but still, are they really necessary when we already paid a full price?

People do understand that game developers and studios need to make money, but the fact is that microtransactions are indeed ruining video games and the world would be a better place without them.



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