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Monkey(PF) Talks: Microtransactions

There has been a lot of talk about microtransactions over the last few months, and everyone seems to have a different view on what is and what isn’t acceptable, or even if it’s acceptable at all. This makes it a perfect topic to start Monkey Talks with.

Before we get into what I think is acceptable, I would like to discuss the reason they are there, according to publishers and some gamers and devs too. The main defence people use is that AAA game development just isn’t profitable without them anymore. I have two arguments against this, one of which I will cover in a later article which you can read for an extra £10. The one I would like to discuss here is that the maths just simply doesn’t add up. I know that it was a huge success, but let’s talk about GTA V for a second. There was about £170 million spent on the game, including advertisement. That is a pretty excessive amount of money to spend making a game, but it still managed about 10x that in revenue from game sales alone, selling approximately $2 billion worth of copies. Like I said, this is a massive success story though, so let’s assume half of that amount was spent making a pretty small first person shooter with average AAA success. Using Call Of Duty: Black Ops 3 as an example (likely a generous assumption, considering they probably reused a lot from previous games), which sold approximately 25 million units. At £50 a sale that’s £125 million in revenue and £40 million in profit all without microtransactions.

So if the maths proves they are unnecessary, when is it acceptable? Well, like I said earlier, everyone has a different view on this, but I personally believe that it can be done to keep a game profitable, meaning that the devs can realistically continue supporting the game. To do this, there are certain things that need to be done in my opinion. First of all, the base game shouldn’t be £50. This would be to make up for the money you may feel compelled to spend at one point. Secondly, you should be able to get everything you would realistically want or need in the game for free without spending 4,528 hours in the game to assure you aren’t pressuring people to buy anything. Finally, every game with microtransactions should make sure that buying microtransactions doesn’t directly affect anyone’s experience. Of course, there are more things that can make microtransactions bad than just these three general rules, but these are my condensed thoughts on how they should be done.

So there are my views and arguments about microtransactions in video games. I know this is a very subjective topic and I would genuinely love to hear your views, so please share your opinions in the comment section of this article and I’ll be sure to keep an eye on it. I look forward to hearing from you all.

-MPF

3 comments

  1. ... ... ... says:

    My advice is to research your topic more next time, this is an interesting link for example.

    https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-typical-earnings-profit-of-a-AAA-game

    • ShiinaBat ShiinaBat says:

      Just noticed that this comment got caught by the spam filter because it had a link. I’ll pass your comment along to the author! Thank you! 😀

    • MonkeyPigFace says:

      Hey, I’m the author. I did do plenty of research, but that was mainly a matter of “how much did X make” and YouTube videos defending it as a whole. When it came to writing this, I did it more from the point of publishers alone. Of course, this was a silly oversight on my part.
      The point that there doesn’t need to be this much money in the industry still stands though.

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