When it comes to gaming, players are given a playground and several tool with which to rescue the princess or coat their TV screen in tomato sauce and chunks. That formula usually asks gamers to learn, adapt and improve in the environment that they find themselves in. In other words, they need to learn some new skills. Of course, practice anything for hours upon hours and you’re bound to become brilliant at it. Or you could just throw down some cash to beat the game.
Upcoming sci-fi horror action game Dead Space 3 has a few interesting hooks and gimmicks when it releases next month. There’s a weapons-crafting feature which actually sounds pretty decent, as well as a Kinect function that uses your potty mouth to pull off certain actions. And now, you can lay down some cold cash for better weapons in the game. “You can buy resources with real money, but scavenger bots can also give you the currency that you can use on the marketplace,” associate producer Yara Khoury said to Eurogamer.
“So you don’t have to spend [real world] dollars.”
I’m not against micro-transactions when they’re handled well and responsibly. Sure, they can water down a gaming experience, but at the same time, no one is forcing you to buy them. Veteran Dead Space gamers will most likely not need such weapons, as they’ll be more than used to the plasma-torchin’ and foot-stomping of previous instalments in the franchise, while newcomers can always make use of a lower difficulty setting.
Micro-transactions need to add something to the experience. Not force gamers to have no alternative but to buy extra content in a game that they just aid for, like that clusterf$%k of a slap to the face, Final Fantasy: All the Bravest. That’s a game which puts players in situations where they have no such choice but to spend extra dollars on respawn tokens and random characters, after having spent several dollars on buying the actual game.
That ain’t the way you do it.