There are expectations when playing games on certain platforms. PC games are likely to have loads of modding capabilities, for example. Another common feature that is found in mobile or Facebook games are microtransactions; purchases you make from within the game. These usually range anywhere from exclusive items to more in-game money.
It makes sense to include this financial model into small and addictive games, but what about full-priced retail titles? Seems like EA is taking a chance on that very idea with the upcoming Dead Space 3.
In Dead Space 3, there will be the ability to craft new weapons out of resources you pick up along the way. Alternatively, there seems to be an option to download additional supplies if the player feels so inclined (i.e., lazy) at an additional cost. Associate Producer Yara Khoury went into a bit of detail on this.
“You can buy resources with real money, but scavenger bots can also give you the currency that you can use on the marketplace. So you don’t have to spend [real world] dollars.”
There was initially some concern over potentially just buying prime resources early in the game to create the best weapons. Khoury, however, quickly shot this down.
“There are a lot of weapon parts that are only available to buy later in the game unless you’re playing through it again [on New Game Plus].”
At the very least, the integrity of the game can’t simply be bought out. Regardless, I’m still pondering on one specific question burning in my mind. Do microtransactions even belong in a full-priced retail game like this?
Electronic Arts has had to fight off many criticisms recently whether it’s the way they handle acquired game franchises or backdoor business deals. It’s not 100% clear whether or not the decision to add this financial model into Dead Space 3 was EA’s. For now, I’m just going to say that it’s most likely the case. Even if so, I can’t say I blame them.
Like any business, EA looks for ways to maximize profits. What better way to do that than offer the option for consumers to spend more money? This is purely an optional thing for gamers who may be too lazy to scavenge resources that are already accessible for those willing to put in the time. If someone is willing to spend the money, then that’s their choice. This isn’t like what Capcom pulled off with their on-disc DLC fiasco.
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