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Reflection: Microtransactions in today's games


This week I wrote an article about the For Honor microtransaction controversy. It got me thinking about this subject. The conclusions I reached today made me write an article about them.

What are microtransactions?

Microtransactions consist of selling content within a game or other software. They are embedded in a business model that is widely used today. For example, when you do download of a free game in your device store and they always use this monetization model.

It is a very lucrative business model. This kind of software is considered "freemium" (free + premium), but nowadays there are already very expensive games using this model.

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I don't know if you noticed, but in some app stores there are warnings, all free games and even some apps that contain microtransactions. This is how the producer or programmer thinks of making money. In my opinion, as long as the model is not overused, that's fine with that.

Producers have to make money, don't they? They would not be making such a well crafted application or game for free. This model in this is good. There are not always people who can afford the apps, but want to use them or play the game.

Basically you get it for free, but if you want a function in the case of an application you have to pay. Or if you want a performance boost or a premium item in a game, you have to pay. Nothing against that. After all, the application is free, but there is someone who has to profit from it.

The microtransaction problem

For me, the problem with microtransactions is when they come into paid games or applications. Especially when this content is very "well paid". I'm not talking about Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Rust or even Payday 2. These are cheap games that get constant updates, and Rust is on. early access. Also, these items are purely cosmetic and some were added after the game was released (case of CS GO and Payday 2).

No, I'm talking about expensive games, sold almost incompletely and then buying DLCs (downloadable content) for half the price of the game, which will only add parts of the game. You share these things that when you come to see you think, "Shouldn't this come with the game anymore?"

That's it my dear, make the most of the investment. This has been acceptable to everyone, although it is unfair to the player in some cases. What makes me confused is when these same games even add microtransactions to cosmetic items or to buy game currency.

Let's think about this. You buy a game, which on the market price list, is in the range of the most expensive and still want to add microtransactions? Even more cosmetic items are paid, it is for me a robbery of the players wallet.

For me a game of this price, from over 40 €, should come complete to the player. Microtransactions, in my opinion, should be used in very cheap or free games. It makes no sense to have microtransactions in such expensive games.

Speaking of "For Honor" again, if you read this article you will realize that this content, although it can be purchased for free with the currency of the game, requires that you play for years to have it all. I also give you the example of GTA Online, with which I have experience. The content is expensive and the money in the game takes a long time to earn.

GTA Online, Microtransactions
GTA Online prices

It's interesting that GTA V has microtransactions in online mode, where $ 8 million in game currency costs around $ 70. One of the fastest cars costs the player about $ 1 million. The operations pay off badly, and there are more complicated operations by their nature (the example of the "Heists"), with which you earn only $ 100,000 with luck.

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It seems to me that they impose microtransactions on players who want to enjoy the full content of a game they bought for € 60. This does not seem fair to me. It's for you? Be sure to give your opinion on this subject in the comments!


The games mentioned here were just meant to give examples of the cases I was talking about. As there are many cases on the market, these two are cases among many.

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