This debate has been heating up recently and we decided that we definitely needed to throw our two cents in. So to be clear about what we are talking about, when we say microtransactions we aren’t talking about DLC. We are talking about the capability to buy in-game upgrades that somehow allow you to increase your probability of success or victory in some form or fashion. The most recent examples are from EA Sports who have put microtransactions into just about all their latest titles including Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10, NCAA Football 10, and now the upcoming Madden 10.
Gamers seem to be all in a rage saying that by having microtransactions in a game that allows you to buy certain capabilities cheapens the gaming experience. For instance in NCAA 10, you can buy an upgrade that allows you to increase the effectiveness of convincing a recruit not to go to the draft or leave early and it appears that there will be a microtransaction in Madden that will allow you to do the same type of thing with free agents and convincing them to resign. We want to be clear that EA isn’t the only one doing this but they are the one that most people seem to be referencing.
We say as long as it doesn’t affect online play, microtransactions are fine.
As far as we are concerned, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this (though we do have a caveat). This all comes down to one thing and that is choice. There are people who will buy them and there are people that won’t. Some people want that edge and some people just don’t believe in it. I am on the fence as to when it’s appropriate, I think that when it ONLY affects your single player game then that’s fine. You can do whatever you want to improve and optimize your single player experience but where we draw the line is when it affects the online interaction. We know that the ones in NCAA Football 10 apply to all dynasties both regular and online and I am sure that Madden will be the same way and we don’t like that at all. How can an Online Franchise be fair when some people will use microtransctions and some people won’t, the answer is it can’t be. If the upgrades apply to online interaction then the balance of power could be permanently affected and that is not cool. To lose a game or a free agent fair and square is one thing but to lose because they spent a few bucks is unacceptable.
So to close this out we think that microtransactions in games are fine, just not if they affect online interaction. To have the choice to improve your single player gameplay is a choice that each person has to make for themselves and no matter what they choose it’s their prerogative. Our final word on this is that it’s cool for single player but just not if it affects online components. Well folks we know you will have lots to say about this one, so “Do Microtransactions In Games Cheapen The Gaming Experience?”