Published on April 14th, 2022 | by Sunit Nandi0
Most Infamous Games for Microtransactions
One controversial trend that has wormed its way into the world of video games in the past decade, is microtransactions. The reason that they have attracted so much derision by both gamers and critics, is that previously when you bought a game, that was it, you got the full game. However, with microtransactions, this allows players to make further in-game purchases for extra content, such as more weapons or abilities.
Whilst this might sound like a bonus, it annoys many people because multiplayer games become less about who is more skilled at the gameplay, and more about who has paid the most money to gain the best stuff. Not only that, but it’s also perceived as greedy for game developers to be constantly allowing their customers to spend unlimited amounts on a single release, and can really sour any goodwill that is held towards the company.
Let’s look at some of the most infamous examples of games that had a severe case of these microtransactions, which infuriated players and pundits beyond belief.
This longtime soccer series by EA Sports has been a mainstay as one of the world’s most popular video games since its inception way back in 1994. Released annually since then, FIFA consistently ends up near the top of end-of-year charts for most games sold. This shouldn’t be that much of a surprise, as soccer is globally the most followed sport, with there being around 3.5 billion soccer fans worldwide. That’s a lot of potential FIFA customers.
Whilst the game series has always received some criticism for not advancing the gameplay as much as people would like year on year, that is relatively understandable, as it must be immensely difficult pumping out a new title every twelve months. However, where the company rightly garnered flak, was when they introduced microtransactions back in FIFA 09.
Subsequently, the releases have centred even more on these, especially in their Ultimate Teams mode, where gamers purchase packs of players, hoping to unlock their favourites. The players bought are completely randomized, meaning gamers can be tempted to spend masses of money to try and capture the stars. As a lot of FIFA players are young, this can lead to them spending fortunes without truly understanding, which is a big reason why millennial parents should pay more attention to what their children do on the internet.
Train Simulator 2015
This game wasn’t a big budget release, but it still attracted a huge amount of negative attention for its scandalous microtransactions. Train Simulator 2015 was released in late 2014 by Dovetail Games, and whilst it had great graphics fused together with realistic gameplay, making it an enjoyable experience for railway enthusiasts, the microtransactions were unbelievable.
The original game cost around $25 when it first came out, which is completely reasonable, but it only featured a few trains, and a handful of routes. The good news was that there were an additional 193 trains, stations, and routes available to download. The bad news, though, was that they cost between $20-40 each. That meant if anyone was crazy enough to buy all of them, it would cost them over $4000. We’re pretty sure it wasn’t worth it.
Star Wars Battlefront II
The first Star Wars Battlefront was a huge hit in 2015, with the action-shooter selling around fourteen million copies. The sequel was hyped up massively, and it seemed game developers, Electronic Arts, were due another hit on their hands. Instead, the company managed to make themselves numero uno enemy of the gaming community when they released Star Wars Battlefront II in 2017.
They achieved this feat by loading the game with loot crates and pay-to-win features that made it almost impossible not to have to pour extra money into it to compete with others. The backlash was stratospheric in size, and eventually Electronic Arts even ended up apologizing. The problem with the loot boxes was that players couldn’t see what items were in them until they had been bought, meaning that they might get what they wanted, or just as likely, they wouldn’t. Critics equated it to gambling, and said it wasn’t what gamers expected.
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