Why Microtransactions Are Bad for Gaming

The only thing constant in life is change. The problem with this belief is that not all change is good by default. Some things change for the better, and some things change for the worse. Unfortunately for gamers, many would agree that microtransactions are the ladder.

In the old days, video games came complete with everything in it. What you paid for is what you received. During the classic days of gaming, the only obstacle between a gamer and bonus content was the player’s progress within the game. Players were encouraged to complete the games and replay them with harder challenges with the promise of rewards.

Unfortunately, as technology advanced, and online modes began to take precedence over old school gaming, microtransactions made their way into the community. It began as cosmetic improvements like exclusive costumes, but when developers began to realize that people would drop extra money on a game they already purchased, many developers began to abuse this practice.

Many games are designed around microtransactions. Accomplishing tasks and leveling up are created to be tedious and time-consuming, making the players choose between buying microtransactions or spending an unreasonable amount of time grinding for recompense.

This practice also gives an unfair advantage to players who are financially well off when the microtransactions involve upgrades that allow for an easier advancement though the game and dominance over opponents who cannot afford to purchase additional content.

Another flaw in this system is the gambling style in which many of these products come in. Loot boxes have become common. Consumers are expected to spend money on a randomized outcome in the hopes that they will receive the item they want. This practice is a manipulative way to increase sales because consumers buy more than they intended to get a specific item.

As a result, it is no surprise that many gamers find the development of microtransactions to be shameless and greedy tactics imposed by game developers. They have reduced the quality of games and catered to those who are at a financial advantage instead of making the game more accessible and enjoyable to a wider audience.

As an opinion piece, these views are my own, if you don’t like them then change my mind in the comments below. -J

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