A New Form of 'Profitable' Cheating: Microtransactions
The gaming industry is constantly evolving. One of the biggest developments that have occurred in gaming are microtransactions. What are microtransactions? Simply put, microtransactions are in-game currency. You spend your real life money to get in-game currency to buy whatever you want within a particular game. Gaming companies have started using this approach for gamers to level up characters, buy skins, or obtain advanced gear. Microtransactions have become a nuisance and they are ruining the gaming world. They’ve become a way for companies to make money. They have also turned many gamers into lazy players.
Microtransactions have been included in games such as Fortnite, NBA 2K, and Call of Duty just to name a few. In prior NBA 2K games, it was always about the hard work and dedication (the “grind”) put into your career mode in order to level up. Now with microtransactions, you can purchase VC, virtual currency, so you can level your player faster. Those that didn’t buy the VC hardly stand a chance against the ‘souped up’ players VC has created. Being broke means you have a broke down player, a severe underdog. The fun has been taken out of the game.
In Call of Duty Black Ops 4, the makers have created COD (Call of Duty) points as their form of currency. They also incorporated tiers as part of the game play. With this being implemented, they now allow you to purchase tiers to move forward in the game or special packages that give you characters, call signs, emblems and gestures. This is a little annoying because you can just purchase COD points, using them for in-game purchases; all the things you usually had to play for. No more fighting for the prestige of having the coolest gear because you’ve earned it. No more old school first-person shooter game play many hardcore gamers enjoy.
Fortnite has been on the forefront of microtransactions. Using V Bucks, you can acquire various emotes, gliders, harvest tools, and, the most popular item, character skins. Epic Games, the creator of Fortnite, always finds a way to make people spend their money on skins. I was a victim of this twice. They make the skins so appealing, you feel like you have no other choice but to throw your money into the game. I ended up buying those skins and added revenue to the company because they got my attention.
To put it bluntly, I don’t care for microtransactions. ‘Grinding’ is no longer a necessity when I can just buy what I want. What makes it worse now is that all games are trying to find a way to incorporate these purchases. Yes, microtransactions bring in funds, but how much money can they take from us? We spend enough buying the games as it is. Spending about $65-$100 on a game and then dishing out more funds for accessories, the microtransactions start to take a toll on your pockets. They’ve become slick and incorporated ‘sale’ deals into the mix. Everyone knows people can’t resist a sale. This causes people to spend even more money than they normally would. This new microtransaction movement is just a way for gaming companies to further weasel their way into our pockets.
Overall, gaming has become lazy. Instead of putting in work, some gamers are taking the easy way out. Games were made to make you work towards a wide degree of goals. They made gamers look forward to the many accomplishments they could achieve by putting in the time and work. However, with microtransactions, game companies have proven that if a customer has ‘a lot’ of money, it makes things a lot simpler for the lazy player...and boring for the ‘grinder’. As much as I’m trying to avoid it, I know that at some point I will have to adapt to this modern form of playing style. Changes are unavoidable in the gaming world. I’ll just have to learn to love, while hating, microtransactions.