I know that microtransactions are huge, but I wasn't aware of the amount of money people are willing to put into it, and the fact that people actually feel good about it and give such games insanely high ratings.
If you've got the time watch the following video, a review of Dungeon Keeper on mobile phones - it's quite funny and you might learn some new words for swearing:
And I thought english wasn't a good language for creating interesting curse words. That video was quite informative on that subject.
On topic: I'm fine with cosmetic microtransactions; however, I have mixed feelings for transactions affecting gameplay. Most of the time, they lead to bad gameplay and force you to make these transactions to have some fun. But they make so much money for some companies so they can make big games and support others. Take World of Warcraft for example. It had microtransactions even before microtransactions were a thing. Name, race, faction changes; in-game pets, mounts ect. Could Blizzard have made Diablo 3 and Starcraft 2 and still providing servers for its old games without this monetary support from WoW?
One can argue that they can just focus on making good games and make money from selling that game. But a good game (in the eyes of us) might not make enough money (Planescape: Torment, which is probably the best cRPG ever created, or Heroes of Might and Magic 4 for example) and may even lead to closure of the company.
Yes, companies exist to make money; because they can't do the job they are build for if they don't have money.
I'm not asking "who's to blame", and yeah, I'm aware that companies exist to make money. What just eludes me is that people complain about paying 50 bucks for a fully featured triple A game, but apparently pay even more (!) for speeding up their casual smart phone games.
The point is: the term "microtransactions" might be a bit outdated. The "best offer" microtransaction in that app is the equivalent of 114 USD. How is that "micro" :-)
Like I said, I knew there was a lot of money in this business. Watched some talks by Jesse Schell years ago, just after Zynga was on top of Facebook games and was sold for billions, and his predictions of the future seemed to be both creepy and unbelievable. But - not for the first time in history - reality is even scarier than any worst dystopian vision...
The problem Bagstone is the new way of doing things, especially with the younger generations...
Pay to Win.
Without this concept these micro transactions wouldn't be so successful. Gratification is a problem and everyone seems to need it. Where this stems from I could throw a few ideas out there but gone are the old days earning things.
Please don't turn this into a generation fight. You just can't compare this. Of course this existed in previous generations, too, but just in different (non-digital) form.
It's something that just became a possibility recently, and companies are taking full advantage of it - can't blame them. It's like cell phone contracts almost "for free", but the fees for SMS are ridiculously high; anyone remember this? It just looks so tempting, a game for free, and the payment is optional. They're using (abusing?) a desire to get straight to the credit card. I just finished watching Orphan Black; now I have to wait for several weeks, damn cliffhanger... if I could pay some amount of money to see the second season right now, I'm not sure if I could resist. It's the same (or even worse) in games for many people.
well there are 2 huge schools of F2P games on the mobile phone one is Extremly bad and one is Semi-good.
Lets start of with the bad one, in this example dungeon keeper and any other "facebook" game, aka games that has a limited resource that lets you play for a limited time or wait for ages to get it back. Or pay a "small" fee of 1-50 dollars to let you play for half an hour extra instead of waiting 4 hours to be able to do the same thing. There are a ton of these games and some does it better then others. but 99% of them should be deleted and forgotten about completely.
The Semi-Good F2P model is the one that lets you play for an unlimited time in a go and gain everything in the game by just playing it, perhaps at a reduced rate of what a normal full pay game would have. A great example of this Punch Quest (http://www.punchquest.com/ ) an extremly solid game with lots of fun play elements. sure in essence its just a clone of the endless runner genre but it has solid gameplay. now in this game you can unlock everythign by just playing or unlock stuff by buying credits for real money.
now there are worse and better examples of this type of F2P model. for example Angry Birds GO!, you can unlock most things by just playing for free but to get the best car to be able to compete online you will have to buy the extremly expensive IAP Car only avalible from IAP. and this is very bad model IMO.
Anyway avoid the Energy based or two currency game like the plauge they are never worth it.
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