This was inevitable. I despise micro-transactions and I’m not surprised that I’m writing about them. In fact, I’m more surprised by how long I’ve been able to not write about them. So what tipped me over the edge to finally snap and shout and bark about these satanic pieces of corporate bullshit? This article right here: http://www.computerandvideogames.com/448586/call-of-duty-series-switches-to-three-year-development-cycle/. Now the article itself is not about micro-transactions, but there is a comment made by the Activision publishing president and CEO Eric Hirshberg. He says that this new thing that’s going on that no one cares about will “give our content creators more focus on DLC and micro DLC”. I know what you’re thinking (well, not really), “but it’s Activsion, they’re slightly less cunty than EA!”. Indeed they are. Nonetheless they hold some sort of power and influence in the video game industry, so whatever they do other companies can do because “Activision are doing it, why can’t we?”. And this mentality has already spread like the plague.
Highly respected publishers such as Rockstar have jumped on this “fuck the consumer’s wallets” bandwagon. Between the period of GTAIV and V, Rockstar have released a series of games containing small, minuscule DLC. I’ll be honest, this at first was not bad, paying some money for some multiplayer skins is not that evil, it’s aesthetic. I’m against it, but I don’t see it as a problem. However, Rockstar then brought micro-transactions into the mix with GTA Online’s “pay real money for fake money”. I loved Rockstar for they’re quality products and fan service; but this shit, jesus bloody christ why!? To make matters worse, Rockstar had the audacity to make fun of DLC and micro-transactions in GTAV, continuously having fake radio adverts poking holes at Call of Duty for making people pay money for a bunch of maps. I see GTAO’s “cash for cash” shenanigans as a bigger problem.
Jim Sterling on one of his “Jimquisition” videos stated that micro-transactions play with temptation and that in a free-to-play environment, that was fine. But releasing that for a full priced game was evil (“fee-to-play” is how he put it). Now back GTAO’s bullshit. What GTAO did was have you pay real money for the in-game currency. The in-game currency is everything in GTAO, it’s the only thing that drives people when playing it. Now Rockstar did tackle the “pay-to-win” aspects of their micro-transactions, but that means jack-shit in my opinion. The whole concept of GTAO micro-transactions angered me, mainly because of Rockstar’s hypocrisy. To make fun of “micro DLC” then actually do it yourself is just proof of the sheer arrogance the Rockstar marketing team have (I do not believe that the core Rockstar team who made GTAV had any involvement with the micro-transactions, Rockstar are not that idiotic (I hope)).
Rockstar are not the only company to have turned their coats. DICE (makers of the Battlefield games) are proof of how shitty EA is as a publisher. DICE in my eyes have always created great products (I never got/played BF4 so I am oblivious to all that nonsense), but EA being EA have always tried spoiling the experience for me. Back in the glorious pre-Premium Battlefield 3 days, times were good. But Premium made BF3 horrible. The whole idea is horrible, people are paying £30 for a bunch of maps, guns and some pretty dog-tags to say “ooh, I wasted £30 on this garbage!”. Why? Why the hell did anyone think that was a good idea? Well, as people proved, it was a good idea because EA made a shit ton of money from it, well done everybody, we sure showed that EA are scumbags.
Speaking of EA, they ruined Mass Effect. Mass Effect 2 and 3 had so much DLC (and micro-transactions) that just simply looking at that series of diabolical arsehole-ness would be rather simple, but everyone knows that that was bullshit. No matter what I say will change anything, I’ll get responses saying that “they’re obtional though” or “you don’t need to buy them” but I would be wasting my breath. Jim, take it away…