Whilst a frustration for some players, there’s no denying the huge impact that microtransactions have had on the gaming industry as a whole with larger studios committed to releasing free to play titles with every gained back via microtransactions – there are plenty of games where this has always been the whole business model in some sense particularly on mobile with games like casinos as players can find sites here not on gamstop for example – despite not having changed much, microtransactions are still shaping gaming across multiple platforms and don’t show any signs of disappearing any time soon.
One of the latest game releases to follow this pattern has been with the Smilegate Studios title of Lost Ark, the MMORPG has already had a wildly successful run in South Korea and Russia having initially launched over two years ago, and with Amazon securing the publishing rights it was able to launch in the west too but over its history has been somewhat criticized for being a “pay to win” game as the cash shop with microtransactions provides players with a way to buy in game materials to enhance items but as part of a real money transaction. It’s a practice that’s relatively common across games from the east but is still looked down upon for western games.
It has also helped some titles move from a buy-to-play model into the free-to-play space as the MTX market within the game has grown – one of the world’s biggest esports titles, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, was initially launched at the $20 price point much like it’s predecessors, but the success of its loot boxes and marketplace for trading unique vanity items eventually led to the change for the free release instead, something that actually came as a surprise to a huge number of players given the previous games still remaining buy-to-play.
That isn’t to say the buy-to-play model is going to disappear as it will still feature as the main method of sales for most of the bigger AAA titles, but as even single player games are adopting the microtransaction model to get a little extra it is helping to off-set to cost for many as prices are coming down. This is tacked on too with the use of downloadable content as an additional purchase which can sometimes come at the cost of the entire game itself too.
For those who dislike the model, unfortunately it will look to only become more prevalent over time, and even games that would typically not have any tacked-on extras will do so just to have the option.
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