The State of Loot Boxes/Microtransactions
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    By Steven Ghost Rivera

  • August 7, 2019


So recently their has been tons of articles about the destruction of family finances because of this pledge. Loop boxes and microtransactions have been seemingly not being kept in check and need to be stopped. Companies like EA (Electronic Arts), Activision/Blizzard, and even Ubisoft have been going mad with microtransaction fever over the last couple of years. Which now is hurting the lives of millions of people.  

These pains and wounds are starting to destroy the average person and household. We need to as game developers need to start to take control of the situation. We must start becoming the leaders because the AAA industry is failing on all fronts which is rapidly killing the games industry.  

Why Are Microtransactions So Bad? 

It’s time to get to the meat and potatoes of why they are bad and what they are doing. Microtransactions are what they say like they allow the user to buy micro pieces of content. Usually the cost ranges from $1 to $100. Here is a example of it in Shop Titans. 

Game: Shop Titans 

With the way that most microtransactions are implemented part of the game are cut out and repackaged and sold back to the player. As you see in this picture this form of microtransaction take out a piece of progress then wants to charge you to get the engineer which creates stronger and better weapons. This now puts you at a disadvantage and may even holts you from getting to the next level. But they try to get the sale as well as trying to sweetening the deal by adding some secondary currency aka diamonds. As well as an added perk of “–50% Item Break Chance”. This way they can see if you will get the deal but if not, I can bet that they will add a discount timer which would help seal the deal later down the line. 

Game: Crash Team Racing Nitro Fueled 

Next we are going to talk about Crash Team Racing Nitro Fueled that Activision released some time ago but now Introduced microtransactions and we show us a new trend. Which is adding these practices after the released day which screw over the rating and help to get these gambling mechanics to the people that they will exploit with them. With expiring content and other casino like mechanisms which plays on the have to get them before I can’t mentality. Then when you couple that with the secondary currency would acts like chips at a casino which disassociates money from the currency aide to their goals.  

With Live Services Microtransactions Get Worse! 

A newer trend that is being coupled with microtransactions are live services. Live services have added an extra layer which help force the user to spend more on their games. They help the user become hooked and super invested in the game which make the player want to get all the content to 100% the game. During their playtime the company will use all the practices that we have been mentioning in the previous paragraphs. As well as more psychological methods to increase you spending like giving discounts to prices that they really want you to pay. Also, well as making it more like the deals are too good to be true. However, it’s all predatory and forceful. 

They will promise that they want to just do cosmetics but they will throttle your enjoyment to force the microtransaction. They will ensure that your gaming experience is minimalized all in the name of profits. Companies like Electronic Arts, Activision, Ubisoft, 2K and now Bethesda are making sure that they will continue to push and force all their games as live service to increase consumer spending on microtransactions. Even with games that use to be fun and extremely exciting to play are now just glorify slot machines with yearly sequels. This makes the microtransactions pointless but prefect for their bottom lines. 

How Do We Fight Back Against Microtransactions? 

To be honest this is a very hard concept to think of because almost every game and publisher is using microtransactions and it coming to the point of just giving up on gaming as a whole. However, I think there is a better way and is it is. We must not stay quiet about the issue as well as take the fight to them. The reason I say this is because if you think about it adding microtransactions is a form of false advertisement. They all claim that no form of microtransactions will be in the game and then after it is rated and sold, they then sneak them in. Which now shows the wrong rating on the game. Which is brought under false pretests. Also they add their slow down timers on progression and holt our enjoyment with their carrots on a stick.  

We must be willing to demand our congress men and women to put more pressure on the ESA (Entertainment Software Association) to actually do something other than say they’re optional. Which now these microtransactions are affecting the lives of millions and they are unwilling to slow down on their monetary efforts. We must stop spending a dime in these in-game stores. We must use our dollars as the weapons against the AAA game industry and get our games back to being fun again. Together we can get this done but if one person spends than we will fail and they will win. 

So now it’s your turn in this conversation do you think microtransactions are evil or do you think that they are fine the way they are? Let me know I would love to keep the conversation going. 

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