FFD: Do you even Microtransact, bro?

2 min read


It all started with a bit of Horse Armor. For just 5 USD, you could outfit your in-game horse with some sweet looking armour that made your equine beast look shiny, but did very little else. Since then, it’s all spiralled out of control – we’ve got season passes, online passes and worse.

Capcom, for instance, has the audacity to charge money for simple things like palette swops, in-game cheats and additional music. Both EA and Activision have laid out their plans to increase the amount of nickel-and-diming they do via microtransactions, doing all they can to make as much money off of every game sold.

Recently, outspoken developer Cliff Bleszinski posted a passionate defence of Microtransactions on his personal Tumblr.

“And you know what? In spite of the uproar, people still bought plenty of them. If you don’t like EA, don’t buy their games. If you don’t like their microtransactions, don’t spend money on them. It’s that simple,” he said.

“EA has many smart people working for them and they wouldn’t attempt these things if they didn’t work. Turns out, they do. I assure you there are teams of analysts studying the numbers behind consumer behavior over there that are studying how you, the gamer, spends his hard earned cash.

“If you’re currently raging about this on GAF, or on the IGN forums, or on Gamespot, guess what? You’re the vocal minority. Your average guy that buys just Madden and GTA every year doesn’t know, nor does he care. He has no problem throwing a few bucks more at a game because, hey, why not?”

Do you have a problem throwing a few extra bucks at a game for things that don’t radically make much difference? Is it a great way for these companies to boost their revenues, or is all this microtransaction nonsense ruining videogames?

Read  Metal Gear Survive requires an always-on connection, includes microtransactions

Last Updated: March 1, 2013

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

  • GTO

    Not even once. Not even ever.

    I can understand in F2P, but when I have already bought the games not a chance.

    Only time I have ever had any microtransaction benefits was when I wrote a bit of code for someone I met in game to auto backup his old files and zip them away. I was swimming in the double xp. Was great but I am not paying for that. I can see how others might find it worth it though. As long as it doesn’t take away content fine, I can live with it, but even so it just feels like they penny pinching and it is annoying regardless of the effect it may have on the game.

  • I don’t and I don’t ever plan starting.

  • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

    I don’t do it. I wouldn’t mind microtransactions as much if it wasn’t becoming a thing of one being forced to use it. It’s a slow, rotting creep. But the evidence is there. DiabloIII and it’s real money auction house is a start. You are almost forced to buy weapons to get very far in the final difficulties (unless you are willing to grind for months)

    COD and BF are also starting to show signs of “pay-to-win”. This is the issue. I don’t have anything against micro-transactions as long as it is only cosmetic. It’s simply when it gets to a point where you have no choice but to spend extra money just to play a game you already paid for that I start getting really, really angry

    • The Lying Dutchman

      Dude, how is BF showing signs of “pay to win”? All I can think of are those shortcuts for vehicles or specific classes to unlock everything, but that doesn’t mean you’re paying to win, it only shows that you are too lazy to unlock it through normal play.Other transactions are DLC which is additional content developed after release and therefore I have no issue in paying something extra. I really don’t see how you can say there is anything “pay-to-win” about BF.

      • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

        If you read carefully you will see I said “…showing signs…” meaning it isn’t pay to win yet but the signs are there. Unlocking all the kit in a class by paying for it is tecnically pay-to-win. You get all the good gear simply because you have a credit card.

        And yes, I understand the argument of “Just coz you got the weapons doesn’t mean you are good with the class” But that’s really not the point I was getting at.

        My point was that while microtransactions seem innocent enough now, it’s starting to show some very troubling signs of what is to come where future games will almost all REQUIRE extra content to be purchased just to be able to complete the game (If you are not willing to grind for months at a time to get stuff. This has already happened in DiabloIII)

        It’s the same as the little innocent online activation that started years ago. It was a minor inconvenience back then and seemed innocent enough but it has grown to games that require perma-online connections where you cannot play your game if the servers are off.

        Same thing is going to happen with micro-transactions.

        • The Lying Dutchman

          I agree that micro-transactions is a growing evil, and one that I don’t support. If there are “innocent” micro-transactions, I just don’t want to be reminded of it constantly.

          All I’m saying is that I don’t agree with the ‘…BF are also starting to show signs of “pay-to-win”…’ statement.

          • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

            You might not agree but unfortunately it’s true. The moment you can pay to unlock actual in-game benefits, it’s pay-to-win. It’s not a nice thought. We may want to turn a blind eye, but the facts are facts. Unfortunately.

  • I don’t mind microtransaction if they are extra clothes or pets or whatever. You can choose to buy it, you don’t need it. I have a problem with must have DLC’s like the From Ashes DLC for ME3. Javik is pertinent to the story so it’s not fair to make him optional.

    • TriangularRoom

      You hit the nail on the head right there. I still cannot believe that DLC.

  • Tarisma

    If they give me stuff like extra skins and music, whatever I’m fine with that, I wont buy them but each to his own. If they give anyone a competitive advantage in multiplayer or are pay to win in any way then I wont be buying or playing that game ever.

  • Darth_Clericus_The_Ultimate

    I only ever buy DLC, microtransactions are from the devil.

  • Deon Steyn

    Seems to me it’s like someone who cuts one loose on a crowded elevator. Someone did it but no one wants to admit to it.

  • AndriyP


  • Banana Jim

    It depends on the content. I have nothing but praise for the Premium service for Battlefield 3, but I’ll add that I’m very cautious at the news that EA is going to try to apply it everywhere. Typical EA, you give them a scratch behind the neck and they proceed to hump your leg, eat your lunch and sleep with your wife.

    I don’t like using real money to buy gear in games. The Diablo III model is one I despise. I also disliked the use of cosmetic items in Gears of War 3. One of the reasons, I’ve come to absolutely despise that game. The same is true when you get “pay to win” models (where it gives an obvious advantage to those with a credit card…).

    • AndriyP


    • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

      Yep. My sentiments exactly

    • Sir Captain Rincethis

      Oh banana of Wisdom, you have spoken, I have listened.

    • Valshen

      Sad thing is you getting premium meant you were playing other expansions I didn’t have, and then we never played together any more. #foreveralone

      • Banana Jim

        Fortunately, the old maps always remain in rotation, so when I’m online playing BF3, you can just join me for awesome-effect. Most likely I’m in a tank in one of the classic maps, taking names and eating sandwiches. The only mode I really like these days from the current expac is Scavenger. I can literally play it all day.

  • Sir Captain Rincethis

    Other than DLC like the kind on offer from Borderlands 2, no. They CAN SHUT UP and NOT take my money. Though to be honest, we can’t rage that they do this. When I way young and I bought the Thunder Tank (yeah, OVG is a RAGE because I got that, not sure what he got, probably a wooden spoon to his ass) there were a whole range of extras I didn’t need, but bought because I wanted MOAR. I even owned Smarf, *shudders.

    • OVG


    • Wtf101

      That’s Snarf, you Wooden Spoon!

      • Sir Captain Rincethis

        I claim typo!

  • Yes, be surprised! My comment is about Dota 2 😛

    Admittedly, I thought that having to pay a couple of bucks to have access to a tournament (live games and replays) was a bit silly. Why pay for something I could just watch in my browser?

    Then Valve goes and bundles one tournament ticket with a shiny courier that gets more rare (and better looking AKA shinier) with the more games you spectate. I can download the replays to benefit my own playing style (as watching the pro’s do their amazing hax really opens up doors to play styles that an ordinary player like myself would never have thought of). Plus, watching the games is just downright entertaining to me, and I love it.

    That being said, I’ve yet to spend money on actual in game cosmetics (item sets for heroes and such). Much like TF2, you get random drops every couple of games. If you know how to talk to people, and you REALLY want a certain item, you can always trade around. For example, I could probably trade my courier with a couple of other items I’ve found, for another upcoming tournament ticket if I really wanted to.

    Not to mention that there is also the Steam Market Place (still in Beta), where you can sell and buy stuff with real money… I wont ever spend money to get a cosmetic look, but selling the stuff I find???? FORTUNE HERE I COME! *Plays Dota forever to find more rare items*


    • watch dota 2 tournies for days, love it.

      i buy 2 or 3 keys everytime a new limited chest comes out, but I wouldnt go buy 25 keys to get a pudge hook or timebreaker… R500+ for a cosmetic item is a little ridiclous.

      10$ a month is my limit
      the game is worth it

      • Yeah when I have a bit more cash to splurge I think I might just buy a key or two 🙂

  • Macethy

    No to microtransactions, no to DLC. I walk into the store, put down my money for the game, end of transaction. No more money is ever spent on that game.

  • FoxOneZA

    Nope. Not even if it’s a shiny new Ferrari in Forza.

  • Anon A Mouse

    Never have never will. If that means that I’ll be unable to play a full version of a game offline then so be it. I don’t need games in my life. (I want games in my life, but I don’t NEED games.)

  • string_slinger

    All depends how it’s done. I hated the idea, then Valve launched MANN UP with MVM and I’ll admit, I’ve paid them about $20 over the last 3 months to MVM on the official servers. I don’t have to, regular MVM and TF2 are huge, free fun – but the MANN UP servers kick ass and are definitely worth $1 a pop every now and then. But the play to win stuff, man, at that point it stops being fun, which means I’m not going to play, which means you don’t get to make more money out of me.

  • OVG


    and ultimately??? THANK YOU FOR PLAYING OUR GAME 🙂 Why do developers never say thank you anymore??…CAUSE THEIR WORLD does not include us.

    That shit is now all in the past. You have to pay for those features.

    PAY TO PAY TO PLAY…want a reward for your effort for playing and supporting our game??? THEN BUY THE FCKING DLC BITCHES.

    • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

      Yeah I hear you man. I miss the days where this stuff was included in the original game.

      I can understand devs needing to cover their costs, but I feel that the end result is going to be something very ugly that no one is going to be happy with

    • Sir Captain Rincethis

      You have to pay the troll toll to get in that games hole BOY!

      • OVG

        With your Micro willy.

        • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew


          • OVG


          • Sir Captain Rincethis

            You never watched Always Sunny in Philadelphia then… Shame. Sort that out!

          • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

            I guess I missed something here?

          • Sir Captain Rincethis

            Indeed 😉 Watch this and tell me you don’t laugh! 🙂 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJ8G2s–1zA And to the downvoter, get a life, know what you are doing before you do it.

  • “you have reached character level 25. Good for you. Please insert credit card into your console NOW to continue”

    • “Thank you. You only need 500000000 XP to reach level 26 or insert credit card into console now @ R50”

      • “Thank you. You have died. Please insert credit card to load save game”

        • Sir Captain Rincethis

          Hahaha! Like a sir. I can see this happening with certain games too. “This was the okayish ending, for the better ending that ties up lose ends, insert…”

          • Uberutang

            There are games out there all ready where you can buy ‘extra’ lives (respawns) per 24hour period… You do not have to, but if you died x times and you want to go on…pay or wait 24hours.

          • Sir Captain Rincethis

            That makes me sad

  • TriangularRoom

    I tend to be happier to pay for additional content if I feel that the game is not forcing me to. A game should be playable as is, with microtransactions adding extra things that are ‘nice to have’ but not essential. Games that try to force you to pay extra are the ones that lose my interest very quickly.

  • CypherGate

    Real Racing 3 came out for mobile and its free. The micro transactions in that game is crazy crazy. If you want to buy 1000 gold it will cost you R782 of your hard earned cash. Think about that…. it costs more than a console game. Pricing of micro transactions is a problem i think. 1000gold is the most you can buy in the game and most expensive. You get to buy 5gold which will cost you R17 which is the cheapest there, but that 5gold basically gets you one minor thing. So in the end it just costs too much.

  • OVG

    That horse armor does look… sweeeeet… its all so shiny….DROOOL… look at those curves… the horse even looks frisky…


    • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

      I worry about you sometimes

      • Sir Captain Rincethis

        Only sometimes? 🙂

        • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

          Sorry you are right. Always

  • mornelithe

    No, I don’t do microtransaction’s, I may be the vocal minority, but I have plenty more money to spend on actual games. If I want to download something, it’s called mods which, sorry Cliff, are much better when done by the community.

    Case in point, the creator of the SMRTR mod for Stalker: Call of Pripyat, is currently working on a very very extensive update for his mod. He’ll be adding in the maps from Clear Skies and Shadows of Chernobyl. Hey look, the longest, most in-depth FPS ever created.

  • Valshen

    I will accept micro-transactions when they allow me to trade whatever resources they are selling, that I have in huge quantities, into money in my account.

  • iPrimal

    I promise that this nickel and diming garbage is going to increase piracy.

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