The student news site of Capital High School

Outlook

Microtransactions: Not So Micro Anymore

Microtransations+by+Steamwork%0AOwned+by+Valve+Corp.
Microtransations by Steamwork
Owned by Valve Corp.

Microtransations by Steamwork Owned by Valve Corp.

Microtransations by Steamwork Owned by Valve Corp.

Nathaniel Barrett, Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






If you have ever played anything under the name “Free To Play” then you’re likely encountered some form of microtransaction, which are a form of payment for usually small or overpriced in game merchandise that cosmetic, or on rare occasion, overpowered items. It’s important to note that microtransactions and paid downloadable content (DLC) are different in a few ways. DLC is best described as an offset or continuation of a game, usually having new game areas, weapons, or could even be a separate scenario all together. Some DLC can even be said to save games reputations. Dark Souls 2 was considered a poor counterpart to the original, but the DLC areas and bosses were considered good enough to get it higher ranking by reviewers. Microtransactions on the other hand don’t include areas or added story. League of Legends (LoL) is the biggest example of a game fueled by microtransactions. Riot Games has made one game, and that’s LoL. A “free to play” game made 1.6 Billion dollars in revenue by 2016.

Let’s say you started to play LoL and wanted to get all of the champions/characters you would need to play two matches every day for 3.6 years. Or, you could pay $588.25 to get them all. (These statistics are outdated as they were made in 2013, the time and price have already increased. Estimated around $2000). And that doesn’t include the skins in the game. Those come up to around $27,000.

On the other side of microtransactions there are games like Counter Strike: Global Offensive, Overwatch, and Team Fortress 2. Which use “loot boxes” which will give you a random weapon/skin/etc. These are much more risky and to some are considered online gambling. For Counter Strike and Team Fortress 2 you can put these items into a online market run by Steam, which is the program used to run some computer games. This lets you get some money back if you got a item you didn’t want, and also makes it so that you can buy the exact item you want. But, it caps at around $400, and there are a lot of items that are worth even more in this. Unusual Hats in Team Fortress 2 and Knifes and Convert skins in Counter Strike. This has made trading through other, cheaper items in numbers to get more expensive items. This includes keys, which are used to open the boxes, each around $2.50 but traded in hundreds and thousands.  Or Earbuds, which have fluctuating prices.

Overwatch, on the other hand doesn’t let you trade items with others, or market them. But, you can earn boxes without spending any money and playing the game enough, and instead of getting multiple of the same item you get currency instead to buy the items you want.

Microtransactions are getting very controversial. The first type used in League of Legends is widely accepted, but the other two have flaws. Counter Strike and Team Fortress 2 can have their items traded through 3rd party gambling sites, as well as being considered gambled in the first place. Valve, which owns both of these games through Steam is located in Bellevue, WA. In May, 2016 they received a letter from the Washington State Gambling Commission telling Valve that they needed to either shut down 3rd party sites they didn’t own. (Basically asking them to hack or use force to stop them.) Or delete all of the items that literally have a virtual economy and delete billions of dollars worth of items. The 3rd type in Overwatch has the issue of having paid boxes in $40 game (60$ on consoles). This has made some people mad, mostly because people with the money can get cosmetic items quicker than people who put hundreds of hours into the game.

In the end, I’m fine with Microtransactions because I can contain myself not to overspend. But this isn’t true for a lot of people. People against Microtransactions are asking companies to limit spending of items or get rid of them all together. But, I believe that Microtransactions are great ways to support artists as they make a lot of value, and for giving a constant rate of income to game developers.

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Microtransactions: Not So Micro Anymore

    A&E

    Rap Artists Take Aim at Trump

  • Microtransactions: Not So Micro Anymore

    April Fools

    Wright to Teach Art

  • Microtransactions: Not So Micro Anymore

    Features

    Kameron and Sophie Bustetter

  • Microtransactions: Not So Micro Anymore

    News

    What We’ve Learned About Fake News

  • Microtransactions: Not So Micro Anymore

    April Fools

    Why are video game movies so bad?

  • Microtransactions: Not So Micro Anymore

    A&E

    One Direction Solo Careers

  • Microtransactions: Not So Micro Anymore

    A&E

    Is Life Just Alien Again?

  • Microtransactions: Not So Micro Anymore

    Opinions

    The Talent Show

  • Microtransactions: Not So Micro Anymore

    News

    Trump FBI Investigation

  • Microtransactions: Not So Micro Anymore

    A&E

    13 Reasons Why Show vs Book

The student news site of Capital High School
Microtransactions: Not So Micro Anymore