Subscriptions and micro-transactions are the future

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Many are convinced that videogames are on a dark and disturbing path; developers and publishers are giving in to Sith  tendencies and ruining games – by saddling them with extra ways to wring money out of already dry consumers. One such person is Avalanche Games boss Christofer Sundberg, who believes that sort of thing is only going to become more prolific in this new generation.

Taking to Twitter, Sundberg said :

“Micro-Transactions, subscriptions and other biz models will be the next generation of games. It is that simple.”

Responding to a question from Eurogamer’s Wesley Yin Poole, Sundberg further explained that the “free-to-play has become a label for low quality, unfortunately.”

“But basically that’s where we’re heading. There will be f-ups for sure,” he added.” Hopefully we can lower the initial price point and build the game with the community instead.”

He could be right. Take for example, Killer Instinct on the Xbox One. It’s apparently a pretty decent fighter, but it’s available as a free-to-play game with just one character, and you need to pay to unlock the rest. More will be added over time, and at the end of Season 2, and $40 later, players will have a game with 16 fighters. I’m sure many would have preferred to just buy the game, on a disc, outright.

Forza 5, with its Season Pass, is likewise riddled with micro-transactions, as is bedfellow Ryse. EA ruined Dead Space 3 with microtransactions, and if they do the same with Dragon Age: Inquisition, I may just vomit in to my own shoes. Battlefield is a good example too; without a premium subscription, the base game becomes becomes a multiplayer snoozefest as the community is segregated, but for just two thirds of the price of the game itself, you get extra maps to play on.

I remember a time when map packs used to be free.

Last Updated: November 26, 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.

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