Stop selling $60 Games on Free-To-Play Model

Posted by: 12/14/2013

Micro or even Macro transactions are absolutely fantastic in Free-To-Play games but when it comes to a $60 game we should be getting everything in the box with a reasonable effort put in as a time for reward cycle that is manageable for a normal person that has a job, life and responsibilities.

It seems that the pot is boiling over for me with the Next-Gen switch to PS4 and Xbox One. I used to not mind seeing some options for paid downloadable content, premium subscriptions or even a season pass. But much has changed in recent years.

Season passes for example used to cost about 20 to 30 Dollars but now we can purchase a Forza 5 season pass for 50 Dollars. Stay with me, that is a $60 game plus a $50 season pass taking us to  $110 for a single game that still offers micro transactions to  unlock some of the insanely expensive cars in Forza 5.

Forza 5 Micro Transactions

Turn 10 reacted to some extend with an updated economy and some reduced prices of its on-disc high end cars – this is only temporary though. It is perfectly reasonable to expect some of the Forza 5 players to spend well over $150 before all is said and done – this just doesn’t seem acceptable to me and smells of cash grab, even it Turn 10 doesn’t ‘mean’ it to be.

Perception is everything.

Another Xbox One game guilty of this is Ryse which offers paid upgrades and other real world money purchases when the game doesn’t need to have them. I am hopeful gamers vote with their wallet and don’t spring for this. Even NBA 2K14 is going down this road with unlockable MyPlayer animations and more.

Now you could say you’re partial to Sony but even them have started introducing micro transactions into the world of Gran Turismo 6, even if they are not as intrusive as Forza 5 for example, they still don’t feel right to me.

How do we fix this thing?

I understand that companies exist to make money and satisfy their shareholders with new record profits,  great margins and expanding into new markets. The world we live in will likely become even more intrusive a la iOS games with ads everywhere and other annoying things but I am here to offer some solutions.

GT 6 Microtransaction

We need to stop selling a premium product with additional costs attached or annoyances with paid workarounds. People who play games will revolt and stop buying your product – it will result in the death of an IP, a brand or even a publisher. If you want to unlock unlimited earning potential with a game then follow the micro transaction model and offer a Free-To-Play game with optional purchased content.

I am all for paying 20 or 30 Dollars and live through some ads or additional characters, tracks or levels to unlock since I only shelled out 30 to 50 % of the asking price. If I purchase a $60 Dollar game I want to be able to play the game to completion in a reasonable amount of time. Time = Money and a family man or woman may not have more than 10 hours to spend on a game and if I need to pay an extra 10 bucks to unlock a high end car or be able to  beat a boss, it becomes intrusively unacceptable.

Hopefully there are more people like me out there that don’t aren’t willing to give Microsoft, Sony, 2K or other publishers more money and hold these companies accountable. If we don’t help to stop this trend now we will live in a Mega64′s parody world.

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  • Holyfire

    This isn’t just about companies being greedy. It’s about the dev costs for these higher production games. Particularly thanks to graphics development. Post-purchse transactions are just an excuse to up game costs. Now individual games are starting to double, triple or even more so from the standard $50 – $60US.
    Nintendo pointed out this danger a long while ago, hence why they’re going the direction with WiiU. PS4/XB1 can sell all they want, but somethings gonna give when consumers aren’t going to afford all these high production titles anymore.
    Currently WiiU is the only home console in the race that’s almost completely free of all this non-sensible unaffordability. Pikmin 3 and Super Luigi U being bout the only examples of extra costs. No online subscription fees, No micro transactions and no advertising