If you’ve been a gamer this past decade you’d know that the gaming community has been at war with micro-transactions for some time now.
There has been no worse perpetrator than Electronic Arts.
Voted multiple times as the worst company in America. Yes, below oil companies, lobbying firms, and all of America’s internet companies that have borderline monopolies. Isn’t that insane?
Let’s talk a bit about micro-transactions. I listened to an interview once that the profit that comes in from micro-transactions is substantial and often laps the initial profit of the video game. Here’s where there argument gets a little more valid:
For the longest time, like movies, making a multi-million dollar video game was a gamble. Would you profit? or would you bomb? For the kind of staffs they have on some of these games; it’s great to have a safety blanket for that profit.
I get that, and I believe a large amount of the gaming community gets that.
Here’s where EA drops the ball: “Star Wars: Battlefront”
$60 is a lot of money, especially in today’s climate. Now that developers can create additions to gameplay with downloadable content, character customization, etc.; is it philosophically correct to assume that what we originally bought was valued at $60, and the additions should cost more.
“Star Wars: Battlefront” was not, by any definition, worth $60 upon launch. With only a couple of maps, no campaign mode, and only a few game types.
You had the option to pay $90 – $120 to assure that any additional downloadable content was already yours.
I can’t stress this enough: Never pay for something that doesn’t exist yet. Hell, I’d go as far to say don’t pre-order. Your basically paying for something that’s not done yet.
After all the DLC, it’s still arguable if “Star Wars: Battlefront” is still even worth its initial 60 dollar price tag.
Enter “Star Wars: Battlefront 2” 2 years later.
Loot crates… Let’s talk about loot crates.
Video games are simple. You work hard to get to the next level. The extension of the story or gameplay is your reward. In a multiplayer-first game like Rocket League you have loot crates.
Loot crates inherently shatter this idea. They aren’t earned, they are bought. Want a better looking car in Rocket League? Only if you’re willing to pay.
Battlefront 2 takes this concept to ridiculous levels. To unlock main characters such as Luke Skywalker, Darth Maul, Han Solo. You either have to play a shit-ton (or like 48+ hours) to earn them. Or just buy them. Advantage: Rich people.
Where, in Rocket League, the micro-transactions are cosmetic, they don’t reflect gameplay. Battlefront 2 gives a clear advantage.
This sucks right?
After controversies following releases such as Sim City, several Battlefield titles and now both Battlefront titles, plus being voted worst company in America multiple times – can EA take a hint?
Here’s the issue. People hate micro-transactions, but they will always be there if people keep buying them. EA doesn’t care at all about the backlash to their model – money drives everything.
You have to vote with your wallet, but even then it’s an uphill climb because micro-transaction profits are that powerful. The only thing that can undermine Public Relations is money. Electronic Arts is that powerful.