Video games have been around for quite some time. They are the favorite hobby of many people, and even a way to earn money. Playing video games went from being a hobby to a job very quickly, especially when live streaming and video platforms like YouTube and Twitch emerged. With these platforms, many people picked up their controllers hoping to become the next gamer to make millions doing what he loves. With more people playing games, game developers need to offer better and more up-to-date products. Even if these products are not the best, in the end they do it all for the money, because it is a business.
When the video games were first released they were an amazing feat and they were all unique in their own way. Even though they didn’t look as good in the ’80s and ’90s, they offered something that many games today don’t. And that something is quality. In the last 5 years, video games have started to become more of a service than a true piece of entertainment. Slowly, major Triple-A developers began incorporating microtransactions into their games, very different from DLC (downloadable content). DLC was always an expansion or more content added to make the game more playable, which in turn made players more entertained and wanting more. The problem lies with video games trying to sell their game pieces that should have been free or unlocked by playing instead of simply entering a credit card number to unlock said heroes or items. This is a common practice recently and has raised a lot of problems, and even many countries consider the game to be “loot boxes”, which it really is. A loot box in video games is when a player uses in-game currency or real currency to obtain a random item or random set of items. Now the value of these items is based on a scale, some players will receive rare or higher quality items compared to others simply based on odds. This is mainly aimed at younger gamers who are more naive and willing to spend all the money they have on a game to look better or play better. All just to get ahead of the curve.
This practice is extremely dangerous not only because it promotes gambling among children, but it can be extremely addictive. There are many cases where people spend thousands of dollars just to get a single item or to upgrade their character or equipment. Clearly the developers don’t care, because it’s just more money for them, but they never look at what this can do for a person’s livelihood and even their families.
The main reason these practices are put in place is for developers to continue making money even after the game is released. Statistically, microtransactions generate more overall than the game itself, and those types of game series release annually with little to no changes to the game itself. It’s extremely rare to find a full game in any store or market that doesn’t offer micro transactions, even if they don’t affect gameplay, it’s still a major problem.
If developers want to keep players entertained and interested in their video games, they should develop quality games instead of creating barely finished games loaded with micro transactions. The games-as-a-service trend is slowly killing the quality of video games. Sooner or later, people won’t even be allowed to fully own the game, it will all just be a rental, but the player still needs to buy a code to play the rental, and then pay the rental to play the game that isn’t even theirs. Look how crazy that sounds?! The only way all of this will change is if the player chooses to change.