As a business strategy, microtransactions are a very legitimate way to earn a profit, especially for free-to-play games. Developers have to earn a profit somehow, however, the problem comes when the focus is too much on increasing their profits rather than the satisfaction of the players, which in turn creates an environment that generates satisfied players and less profit overall.
Here are 10 games that have been negatively affected by microtransactions.
Evolve is a game that was highly anticipated and had great potential up until its release. However, once the DLC layout became available, the player base declined significantly. Having to pay$60 for a game, along with an additional $25 for more content is hard to push on any gamer. Since then, a second release of the series called Evolve Stage 2 has been released as a free-to-play, but the damage was done.
2. Call of Duty
Most lists cite either World War II, Advanced Warfare, or the remastered edition of Modern Warfare to be covered in this series. Ever since CoD: Ghosts, Activision has strived to make up for declining sales by implementing microtransactions. In WWII, loot box drops are purely cosmetic and have no effect on gameplay whatsoever. For Advanced Warfare, the randomness that comes with the drop packs does not give players a sense of progression or improvement, and only rewards the lucky ones, or those that have spent countless hours on the game. As for Modern Warfare Remastered, the question remains as to why developers would input a microtransaction system into a game that has already proven to be popular?
3. Dungeon Keeper
Dungeon Keeper is possibly the best example of a game that has been ruined by microtransactions. The game has lengthy waits that render the game almost unplayable unless players pay to shorten those times. In order to clear a square of soil to be able to create, players must wait 28 hours to complete the action. What’s worse is that there are players who would love this game if it weren’t for the insanely long waits.
4. War Thunder
This MMO about World War II offers many options of planes to use, except for the fact that they are all locked behind a paywall of around$10 per plane in order to use them. The game itself is a free-to-play title, however, this is quite extreme. To complete and collect all of the available planes, it would cost upwards of $100.
EA has a reputation with problematic microtransactions. FIFA lets players create their ‘dream team’ by gathering the best players from all over the world. After they’ve built their teams, they can compete with others while using that team. The problem is finding the players that gamers prefer. Players can collect FIFA coins to get these players, but in order to expedite the process, they can buy coins with real money.
6. Assassin’s Creed: Unity
One of the most frequent complaints about Assassin’s Creed: Unity is the locking of equipment progression after the players have spent hours and hours of play time, unless players pay with real money. Typically, as players progress, they unlock better gear throughout the game. In Assassin’s Creed: Unity, a player’s equipment is exchanged for tokens that players can earn or buy (which is a lot faster than grinding).
7. Candy Crush
This hit mobile game may not exactly be “ruined” by microtransactions (it is still completely playable; however, players are just more likely to get stuck in later levels). Unfortunately, players that are easily frustrated with the game can easily buy the power-ups that are available in the game to get through those levels. This is very common as the game progresses. An example of a microtransaction would be through players buying hearts in order to continue the game instead of waiting for them to regenerate.
8. Allods Online
This was once a very successful MMO with good gameplay, great graphics, and had all of the content available for free. Then the game implemented microtransactions, and everything changed. Allods Online introduced ‘astral essence’, which means that players can no longer gain XP or deal substantial damage in PvP without it. It caused outrage among the players, and since its introduction, the game has made a lot of change to its Item Shop. The end result of this has turned the game into a free-to-play, but pay-to-win MMO.
9. Plants vs. Zombies 2
This is another hit mobile game that has been negatively influenced by bad microtransaction implementation. To deal with the ever-increasing number of zombies and their ever-increasing tolerance to damage, players need to upgrade their plants. Also, to make sure none of the zombies get across the lawn, lawnmowers must be strategically placed as backup. These features were free in the original game, however, in Plants vs. Zombies 2 it must all be paid for, which means spending cash is the only option to progress in the game.
10. Star Wars Battlefront 2
EA strikes again with their poor implementation of microtransactions. The much-awaited game saw many disappointed fans because of the ridiculous unlock requirements for many of the characters, along with the total price to needed to unlock them all ($2,100 dollars).There are also various benefits of buying loot boxes in the game, which caused even more backlash from players. Because of this, EA has decided to disable all microtransactions until a later date, which is a step in the right direction.