The Impact of Microtransactions In the Gaming Industry

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The Impact of Microtransactions In the Gaming Industry

When it comes to ‘’microtransactions’’ in the gaming industry, it’s often seen as one of their worst nightmares. Having to pay money just so you can change the colour of your armour or spending a ridiculous amount of money to obtain a skin to then later being untouched, it all sounds ridiculous, but that’s something very common to come across now when playing the latest games.


Back then there was no such thing as using the internet to buy games online on digital platforms like PlayStation Network, Nintendo eShop, Xbox Store, and Steam. The game files would then directly download onto your device, allowing you to play the game straight way. Back in the old days you would just go to the nearest gaming store (which some people do), pick your favourite game or console and then enjoy the gameplay when you get back home.


With the rise of digital gaming also comes in-game purchases also referred to as ‘microtransactions’. Microtransactions are things that you can buy inside the game like cosmetics, upgrades, premium access, etc. It’s swarmed through the whole gaming industry, you can see microtransactions on free mobile apps, popular games, and even more.


Source: Elden Ring Wiki


The very first microtransaction was sold by a major publisher during 2006, when Bethesda sold horse armour in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion just for $2.50, this was a test to see how the market would react to this kind of deal, it was seen as a bad deal that provided no buffs, no benefits, it was just simply to make the horse look cooler. The horse armour was then labelled as a ‘’bad DLC’’ and thus the gamers moved on.


Another big issue with microtransactions is that they tend to switch up the whole gaming mechanics fundamentally, like many games are crafted to persuade players to buy microtransactions. For free games, they often add in a play to where there’s a limit number of times you can play or spam with you irrelevant ads to the point you quit playing or fall to their trap and decide to buy a ‘’pay this and get no ads’’.


The change in mechanics also applies to the very big gaming titles, many games slow down their progression, increase the rarity of certain items or block you off from certain paths, unless you pay them to have that kind of equity. This is normal in the current world of multiplayer online games, or even MMOs.



Halo, a well-known franchise into the gaming industry, that built its way up to becoming one of the most popular games as it is today. The most recent Halo, Halo Infinite is a multiplayer that’s completely Free-to-Play, many Halo fans were concerned about this because this is the very first Halo game that’s free-to-play.


As previously mentioned, talking about microtransactions in free-to-play games, Halo Infinite’s could be its most disappointing ones yet. If you’re a returning Halo Infinite player, your chances of getting back to the game to try out the ‘Fracture: Tenrai event’, although Fiesta is now forever an addition to Halo’s Multiplayer system, the Yoroi even pass is only active for a couple of weeks this year and there are most definitely plenty of rewards to get.


Sadly, if you want to unlock everything that the event has to offer, you must bring out your wallet to the battlefield. One effect and an emblem cost around $20 to purchase, a price that was bigger than the Season 1 Battle Pass.



Witcher 3 was a highly popular game, based on fantasy novels by Andrzej Sapkowski, so there’s no surprise there’s such a huge story to tell. And to the Witcher fanbase it came to no surprise when they released a two-story heavy DLC, compared to Halo and their outrageous deals, I’d rather pay The Witcher 3's DLC content knowing I can enjoy another lengthy hour of gameplay. The Witcher 3's DLC were so good, being worth their retail price, that they still stand to this day as number one of the ‘DLC Top 250’.


In conclusion, not all microtransactions are unreasonable. There are some out there that are worth to buy if it satisfies your gameplay, but there are often ones that require for you to pay an outrageous amount of money for something so purposeless. It’s uncertain if the prices of microtransactions will increase, but there’s still hope for those gaming developers out there who are really attentive and listen to their fanbase.

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