The gaming industry is rife with Micro-transactions and in my eyes there is nothing wrong with the concept of them. However their implementation in certain games has to be called into question. Lets take a look at the popular Xbox One Exclusive title Forza 5. In which some shocking things are being revealed.
To quickly educate the masses, a Micro Transaction is an add on that is purchasable for a game with real world currency, be it cosmetic, upgrades to make you stronger, faster, have more inventory slots etc. These again, fall under two categories, Cosmetic and the highly frowned upon pay to win.
Typically these 'pay to win' games are single player as Multi-player communities very rarely take to a game that is pay to win, why? Well it's simple, nobody minds that someone has bought a cool looking outfit for their character for £5 or unlocked a new single player mission for yourself, its a good way to make money for those games that are free and is a fun way to show your appreciation to the company and the character.
However certain games are Pay to win, mobile games for example will enable you to buy the level that you are stuck on in order to move on, or buy a stronger gun. Clearly these are a big no no for any game attempting to be skilled based Multi-player as they are "paying to win."
So what is the big deal with Forza 5? Well I'll keep it short so you can form your own opinion but it goes like this.
The game is not free, so before you even install the game and play you have paid £55+ at this moment in time. Now for me I don't ever want to see Micro-Transactions in paid games. In my eyes fun additions like skins, costumes, camos are all fine to be paid for in a free game. However in a paid AAA Title I expect everything to be unlockable through pure playtime.
Well Forza 5 does that I hear you say, yes you are correct almost every single car bar one or two that are DLC are unlockable though playing the game and earning credits. So whats the deal? Some users don't find these intrusive but for me and many other customers we really dislike seeing 2 options in a paid retail game game to unlock content. When I go to buy a car in Forza it prompts me to buy with credits or cash. I feel pressured buying even with credits, I always have this feeling in the back of my mind that the developer or publisher has an active goal to get people to buy with money.
This theory goes hand in hand with what users of the Xbox One Game are saying. Many reports be it from friends or forum users claim the game has a lot of content missing from the get go and an emphasis is put on those real money transactions. Many are saying that there is what we call a "grind" to unlock cars. This has and always will be the case though, since the begging of games they have made a way to extend your experience and keep you playing over and over again to earn enough points, credits or stars to move onto the next level. However the experience in Forza is that the extended the grind to much, you would have to put hundreds and hundreds of hours to unlock all the cars.
I honestly believe that companies like this think we are stupid, it is obvious that the pure man hours to unlock the same content as in Forza 4 (its predecessor) has risen. They clearly have a mission to sell those cars and sell lots. Again, I have zero problem with a games company being a business they HAVE to make money, just don't do it in a game that isn't free and where I have already spent $60 on your game, with day 1 DLC being announced and Season passes to rake in more money with content that should have been included on the disc.
Here I have taken some posts from forums and summed them up to show you customers distaste for the new sequel.
"Turn 10 says their vision for the new Forza
hey have left out many tracks most surprisingly not included, the Nurburgring . There are just 14 tracks available when its released, with the possibility that more will be added later through paid downloads. They've also pared down the 500 car selection to just 200 cars.
NeoGAF users Izayoi states
" - Half the on-disc cars as compared to Forza 4.
- Half the on-disc tracks of Forza 4 (The Ring is paid DLC!)
- New season pass gives you 60 cars at 83 cents each, old season pass gave you 60 cars at 50 cents each.
- Shamelessly takes the car token system to a new level."
Finally in some shocking revelations their payment is actually flawed and designed to trick users to paying more money. I will admit these have now been corrected as being a "mistake after a patch" but its begs the question would these have been changed by the developer if keen eyed forum users hadn't raised the issue, how many more consumers would be spending more on less.
To put it bluntly it begs the question why the hell are we paying more then ever for Retail games at launch, with less content, less ambition, less love put into the game. Its turning into a money game rather than a passion project.
- Samuel Fletcher.