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There is No MMO Without Microtransactions

jalexbrownjalexbrown Indianapolis, INPosts: 120Member
I've given a lot of thought to the topic of microtransactions, how much a segment of the MMO community hates them, and what we could (should?) do about them.  What I've discovered in my thinking is that I cannot currently come up with an MMO on the market that has no microtransactions.  Now I'm sure somebody will point to some obscure, niche MMO  where you pay the subscription and that's that - except it isn't, really; because even when developers aren't facilitating microtransactions, players are finding ways to initiate their own microtransactions.  Essentially the players become the cash shop.  Diablo 2, for instance, had no officially sanctioned RMTs, and yet we all know there was definitely a large community of people selling items for real-world cash.  So what I'm wondering is this: Why do the players that hate microtransactions find these MMOs and then end up creating a market of microtransactions?
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Comments

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,783Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by jalexbrown
    So what I'm wondering is this: Why do the players that hate microtransactions find these MMOs and then end up creating a market of microtransactions?

    Because the players who hate microtransactions aren't the ones that create the secondary market for them.

  • OmaliOmali MMO Business Correspondent Orchard Park, NYPosts: 1,114Member Uncommon

    Electronic Arts had a presentation about Battlefield Heroes a couple of years ago where they checked metrics and found that people who complained the most on the forums about being able to buy guns were the same people who were paying exponentially more than anyone else for those same guns.

     

     

    Check out my monthly column on MMORPG.com.

    image

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by jalexbrown
    I've given a lot of thought to the topic of microtransactions, how much a segment of the MMO community hates them, and what we could (should?) do about them.  What I've discovered in my thinking is that I cannot currently come up with an MMO on the market that has no microtransactions.  Now I'm sure somebody will point to some obscure, niche MMO  where you pay the subscription and that's that - except it isn't, really; because even when developers aren't facilitating microtransactions, players are finding ways to initiate their own microtransactions.  Essentially the players become the cash shop.  Diablo 2, for instance, had no officially sanctioned RMTs, and yet we all know there was definitely a large community of people selling items for real-world cash.  So what I'm wondering is this: Why do the players that hate microtransactions find these MMOs and then end up creating a market of microtransactions?

    Simple .. there aren't no that many who hate microtransactions .. and those who hate it are not the ones who participate in the market.

     

  • JacxolopeJacxolope Jackson, MIPosts: 924Member

    -What I have done? Given up pretty much.

    I still try out the Indies but in MMO's they just dont cut it for me as far as quality/stability (i.e. poosr implementation of good ideas and filled with bugs.) OR they have far too heavy an emphsis on PVP.

    I would pay $20- $25/month for a good MMO that included it all... I will not be nickle and dimed. And so the hobby is (and has been) dead to me for awhile. I still have hope though...kinda. =/

     

  • jalexbrownjalexbrown Indianapolis, INPosts: 120Member
    Originally posted by Quizzical
    Originally posted by jalexbrown
    So what I'm wondering is this: Why do the players that hate microtransactions find these MMOs and then end up creating a market of microtransactions?

    Because the players who hate microtransactions aren't the ones that create the secondary market for them.

    Or is it because people justify behavior when it serves their own benefit and condemn the same behavior when it doesn't?

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by jalexbrown
    Originally posted by Quizzical
    Originally posted by jalexbrown
    So what I'm wondering is this: Why do the players that hate microtransactions find these MMOs and then end up creating a market of microtransactions?

    Because the players who hate microtransactions aren't the ones that create the secondary market for them.

    Or is it because people justify behavior when it serves their own benefit and condemn the same behavior when it doesn't?

    Why go to all that trouble? It is only about playing games.

    And if they participate but says they hate it, it is not like they truly hate it. You should ask why they lie about not hating it.

  • reeereeereeereee Posts: 1,203Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by jalexbrown
    I've given a lot of thought to the topic of microtransactions, how much a segment of the MMO community hates them, and what we could (should?) do about them.  What I've discovered in my thinking is that I cannot currently come up with an MMO on the market that has no microtransactions.  Now I'm sure somebody will point to some obscure, niche MMO  where you pay the subscription and that's that - except it isn't, really; because even when developers aren't facilitating microtransactions, players are finding ways to initiate their own microtransactions.  Essentially the players become the cash shop.  Diablo 2, for instance, had no officially sanctioned RMTs, and yet we all know there was definitely a large community of people selling items for real-world cash.  So what I'm wondering is this: Why do the players that hate microtransactions find these MMOs and then end up creating a market of microtransactions?


    This is very confusing, it seems like you're approaching things backwards in time.  RMT far pre-dates the widespread use of microtransactions and was in every game that didn't have a cash shop full of easily tradable items. 

     

    I can't complain too much.  All things considered I would much rather the game devs get this money to make a better product than some farmer/hacker in China.

  • jalexbrownjalexbrown Indianapolis, INPosts: 120Member
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by jalexbrown
    Originally posted by Quizzical
    Originally posted by jalexbrown
    So what I'm wondering is this: Why do the players that hate microtransactions find these MMOs and then end up creating a market of microtransactions?

    Because the players who hate microtransactions aren't the ones that create the secondary market for them.

    Or is it because people justify behavior when it serves their own benefit and condemn the same behavior when it doesn't?

    Why go to all that trouble? It is only about playing games.

    And if they participate but says they hate it, it is not like they truly hate it. You should ask why they lie about not hating it.

    It's not about going through trouble; it's pretty much a psychological function.  Almost everyone is a hypocrite to one degree or another, about one topic or another.

  • jalexbrownjalexbrown Indianapolis, INPosts: 120Member
    Originally posted by reeereee
    Originally posted by jalexbrown
    I've given a lot of thought to the topic of microtransactions, how much a segment of the MMO community hates them, and what we could (should?) do about them.  What I've discovered in my thinking is that I cannot currently come up with an MMO on the market that has no microtransactions.  Now I'm sure somebody will point to some obscure, niche MMO  where you pay the subscription and that's that - except it isn't, really; because even when developers aren't facilitating microtransactions, players are finding ways to initiate their own microtransactions.  Essentially the players become the cash shop.  Diablo 2, for instance, had no officially sanctioned RMTs, and yet we all know there was definitely a large community of people selling items for real-world cash.  So what I'm wondering is this: Why do the players that hate microtransactions find these MMOs and then end up creating a market of microtransactions?


    This is very confusing, it seems like you're approaching things backwards in time.  RMT far pre-dates the widespread use of microtransactions and was in every game that didn't have a cash shop full of easily tradable items. 

     

    I can't complain too much.  All things considered I would much rather the game devs get this money to make a better product than some farmer/hacker in China.

    Maybe the problem is that I used the terms microtransactions and RMTs as if they're interchangable; in the strict sense, they aren't exactly the same thing.  All microtransactions are RMTs, but all RMTs may not be microtransactions.  It really all depends on how you're defining a microtransaction versus an RMT.

  • asmkm22asmkm22 Anchorage, AKPosts: 1,788Member
    Wow doesn't have microtransactions.  It has some extra services available, and there are some mounts and pets you can buy, but you'll never know from just playing the game.  It's never advertised during play.  In fact, there is no way to even access the "shop" from within the game.

    You make me like charity

  • VengeSunsoarVengeSunsoar Posts: 5,316Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by asmkm22
    Wow doesn't have microtransactions.  It has some extra services available, and there are some mounts and pets you can buy, but you'll never know from just playing the game.  It's never advertised during play.  In fact, there is no way to even access the "shop" from within the game.

    While true that unless you know about them you can't tell they were bought.

    How do you reconcile these two statements:

    "Wow doesn't have microtransctions... there are some mounts and pets you can buy"

    That is a microtransaction. 

    not too mention the cards for a chance of getting a mount, worse kind of mt IMO. 

    Quit worrying about other players in a game and just play.

  • JacxolopeJacxolope Jackson, MIPosts: 924Member
    Originally posted by VengeSunsoar
    Originally posted by asmkm22
    Wow doesn't have microtransactions.  It has some extra services available, and there are some mounts and pets you can buy, but you'll never know from just playing the game.  It's never advertised during play.  In fact, there is no way to even access the "shop" from within the game.

    While true that unless you know about them you can't tell they were bought.

    How do you reconcile these two statements:

    "Wow doesn't have microtransctions... there are some mounts and pets you can buy"

    That is a microtransaction. 

    not too mention the cards for a chance of getting a mount, worse kind of mt IMO. 

    -Yup.

    I think selling exta character slots is fine IMO. Even server transfers go too far for me (thats a whole seperate issue on my reasoning...) The "its only cosmetic" or "its just a mount" doesnt cut it.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,783Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Jacxolope
    Originally posted by VengeSunsoar
    Originally posted by asmkm22
    Wow doesn't have microtransactions.  It has some extra services available, and there are some mounts and pets you can buy, but you'll never know from just playing the game.  It's never advertised during play.  In fact, there is no way to even access the "shop" from within the game.

    While true that unless you know about them you can't tell they were bought.

    How do you reconcile these two statements:

    "Wow doesn't have microtransctions... there are some mounts and pets you can buy"

    That is a microtransaction. 

    not too mention the cards for a chance of getting a mount, worse kind of mt IMO. 

    -Yup.

    I think selling exta character slots is fine IMO. Even server transfers go too far for me (thats a whole seperate issue on my reasoning...) The "its only cosmetic" or "its just a mount" doesnt cut it.

    A lot of people are fine with selling character slots on the basis that they wouldn't buy any, so it's charging more to someone else and not to them.

    I think it depends on the structure of the game.  If you're going with a buy to play model akin to Guild Wars, then selling character slots makes a ton of sense.  For a free to play model that relies heavily on an item mall, it also makes sense if item mall stuff is shared between characters on an account.  If item mall stuff isn't shared between characters on the same account, then charging for character slots is stupid because then it makes more sense to have multiple accounts, as the accounts are free, anyway.

    But for a subscription game?  Why would you want to tell people who like to play a lot of characters and are likely to subscribe for a long time that they should never pick up your game in the first place because you're going to gouge them on character slots?  That's shooting yourself in the foot, and driving away precisely the customers who you would have made a lot of money on.  People who play 10 characters tend not to declare that they've run out of content and are quitting before the initial month ends.

  • JacxolopeJacxolope Jackson, MIPosts: 924Member
    Originally posted by Quizzical
    Originally posted by Jacxolope
    Originally posted by VengeSunsoar
    Originally posted by asmkm22
    Wow doesn't have microtransactions.  It has some extra services available, and there are some mounts and pets you can buy, but you'll never know from just playing the game.  It's never advertised during play.  In fact, there is no way to even access the "shop" from within the game.

    While true that unless you know about them you can't tell they were bought.

    How do you reconcile these two statements:

    "Wow doesn't have microtransctions... there are some mounts and pets you can buy"

    That is a microtransaction. 

    not too mention the cards for a chance of getting a mount, worse kind of mt IMO. 

    -Yup.

    I think selling exta character slots is fine IMO. Even server transfers go too far for me (thats a whole seperate issue on my reasoning...) The "its only cosmetic" or "its just a mount" doesnt cut it.

    A lot of people are fine with selling character slots on the basis that they wouldn't buy any, so it's charging more to someone else and not to them.

    I think it depends on the structure of the game.  If you're going with a buy to play model akin to Guild Wars, then selling character slots makes a ton of sense.  For a free to play model that relies heavily on an item mall, it also makes sense if item mall stuff is shared between characters on an account.  If item mall stuff isn't shared between characters on the same account, then charging for character slots is stupid because then it makes more sense to have multiple accounts, as the accounts are free, anyway.

    But for a subscription game?  Why would you want to tell people who like to play a lot of characters and are likely to subscribe for a long time that they should never pick up your game in the first place because you're going to gouge them on character slots?  That's shooting yourself in the foot, and driving away precisely the customers who you would have made a lot of money on.  People who play 10 characters tend not to declare that they've run out of content and are quitting before the initial month ends.

    I see your point. I think it depends on the slots you begin with for the basic sub.

    I seem to remember usually getting 5-6 slots on a sub game (Its been awhile, I usually make 2 toons and a 'bank' toon) which seems fine, additional slots makes it cheaper than buying two subs (it should) to buy an additional 6 slots for those who need them.

    -BUT, I could see this being abused also. A sub game could give 1 slot and charge for additional, etc.

    Regarding the people who play 10 characters being the more long term players. very interesting and true. But on the other end I have seen new players jump in a game and max out their slots in the first week.

    Interesting though-

  • FusionFusion VaasaPosts: 1,391Member Uncommon
    Fool is not the one that asks, fool is the one that pays.

    Currently playing: -

    Waiting for: Class4.

    Dead and Buried: ESO, NWO, GW2, SWTOR, Darkfall, AO, AC2, Vanguard, CoH/V, EnB, EVE, Neocron, FE, EQ, EQ2, DAoC, FFXI, FFXIV, SWG, WoW, and billions of eastern junks!

  • asmkm22asmkm22 Anchorage, AKPosts: 1,788Member
    Originally posted by VengeSunsoar
    Originally posted by asmkm22
    Wow doesn't have microtransactions.  It has some extra services available, and there are some mounts and pets you can buy, but you'll never know from just playing the game.  It's never advertised during play.  In fact, there is no way to even access the "shop" from within the game.

    While true that unless you know about them you can't tell they were bought.

    How do you reconcile these two statements:

    "Wow doesn't have microtransctions... there are some mounts and pets you can buy"

    That is a microtransaction. 

    not too mention the cards for a chance of getting a mount, worse kind of mt IMO. 

    it's a microtransaction that is only available if you purposely seek it out, is never advertised, and has zero bearing on the gameplay.  So I can reconcile the two statements just fine, since I don't see the world in black in white as you obviously do.

    And the cards?  that's an entirely different game, which happens to have a few in-game bonuses if you get lucky.  You buy the cards for the card game.

    Your basic argument seems to imply that you consider a company that sells t-shirts with their logos as a form of "microtransaction."

    You make me like charity

  • thecapitainethecapitaine West Chester, PAPosts: 401Member Uncommon
    Microtransactions, DLC, and more extensive DRM are part of the new gaming paradigm, for good or ill.  If done properly, I don't have an issue with it (e.g. XP boosters, unlocking extra missions for an RPG, or services like Steam).  Part of the problem is that these are all so new that customers and companies are still dancing around trying to figure out where to draw the line between fair and exploitative practices.  Personally, I think companies have pushed the line too far and too adamantly with customers simply taking what they're given with a lot of false bluster.  There have been some examples of customers pushing back hard enough to force a reconsideration (like Eve's Monoclegate) but, unfortunately for those who want a return to the halcyon days of yore, history is not on their side; there's no going back from here.
  • Sevenstar61Sevenstar61 Centreville, VAPosts: 1,690Member Uncommon

    Microtransactions are here to stay. As majority of games are transitioning from P2P model to hybrids or F2P it is inevitable. Players do not stay with games long enough for games to be able to live just from subscription models.

    This article was written by Damion Schubert from BioWare Austin (SWTOR).

    http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/191264/Respecting_the_players_wallet.php?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+GamasutraNews+%28Gamasutra+News%29&utm_content=FaceBook

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    Imperial Agent - Rise of Cipher Nine http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBBj3eJWBvU&feature=youtu.be
    Imperial Agent - Hunt for the Eagle Part 1http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQqjYYU128E

  • BetakodoBetakodo Poor land, FLPosts: 338Member

    OP did you miss the early to mid MMO era? They were all subscription fee + box purchase, though some had no box purchases. Those were the days, where EVERYTHING obtainable in game. Now we have these greedy bastards who put up a subscription fee and a cash shop. And people still defend them when someone complains. Honestly I would prefer subscription, but apparently microtransactions make more money. Of course you have people saying they spent $100s and upwards. I used to be skeptical, but it's seeming more and more plasuable.

    Sub games were superior in quality, though some greats did come out of F2P. The some of the communities kind of suck for f2p's though.

  • koboldfodderkoboldfodder Danbury, DEPosts: 390Member Uncommon

    EQ, Ultima Online and Asherons Call, the three main MMOs that started the entire genre, did not have any microtransactions.   think the first F2P game that really worked out well was D&D Online.  So from that point on, you had microtranactions.

     

     

  • BattlerockBattlerock Youngstown, OHPosts: 1,393Member
    Originally posted by Omali

    Electronic Arts had a presentation about Battlefield Heroes a couple of years ago where they checked metrics and found that people who complained the most on the forums about being able to buy guns were the same people who were paying exponentially more than anyone else for those same guns.

     

     I have complained forever about micotrans ( it has ruined gaming), I have never bought one microtrans and I won't be anytime soon. There is alot of older games out there that I havent even touched yet. I would much rather buy and play them. No need to get all caught up in the flavor of the month and make an impulse purchase on a microtranny.

     

     

  • jalexbrownjalexbrown Indianapolis, INPosts: 120Member
    Originally posted by koboldfodder

    EQ, Ultima Online and Asherons Call, the three main MMOs that started the entire genre, did not have any microtransactions.   think the first F2P game that really worked out well was D&D Online.  So from that point on, you had microtranactions.

     

     

    EQ and UO both have microtransactions now, and AC has plenty of RMTs occuring that aren't sanctioned by Turbine but could, in the strict sense, even be considered strong pay to win.

  • JacxolopeJacxolope Jackson, MIPosts: 924Member
    Originally posted by jalexbrown
    Originally posted by koboldfodder

    EQ, Ultima Online and Asherons Call, the three main MMOs that started the entire genre, did not have any microtransactions.   think the first F2P game that really worked out well was D&D Online.  So from that point on, you had microtranactions.

     

     

    EQ and UO both have microtransactions now, and AC has plenty of RMTs occuring that aren't sanctioned by Turbine but could, in the strict sense, even be considered strong pay to win.

    As far as 'player to player' sales, gold farming and such- it will never be defeated. ..But sanctioning it is far worse since it usually is done for "greed" on the part of the company and less about the "safety" of someone risking their credit card numbers to a scammer.

     

  • jalexbrownjalexbrown Indianapolis, INPosts: 120Member
    Originally posted by Jacxolope
    Originally posted by jalexbrown
    Originally posted by koboldfodder

    EQ, Ultima Online and Asherons Call, the three main MMOs that started the entire genre, did not have any microtransactions.   think the first F2P game that really worked out well was D&D Online.  So from that point on, you had microtranactions.

     

     

    EQ and UO both have microtransactions now, and AC has plenty of RMTs occuring that aren't sanctioned by Turbine but could, in the strict sense, even be considered strong pay to win.

    As far as 'player to player' sales, gold farming and such- it will never be defeated. ..But sanctioning it is far worse since it usually is done for "greed" on the part of the company and less about the "safety" of someone risking their credit card numbers to a scammer.

     

    From a business standpoint player-to-player transactions aren't strictly the fault of the publisher/developer, but from a gameplay standpoint they can open up a lot of the same gameplay issues that people have with cash shops (i.e. pay to win).

  • VengeSunsoarVengeSunsoar Posts: 5,316Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by asmkm22
    Originally posted by VengeSunsoar
    Originally posted by asmkm22
    Wow doesn't have microtransactions.  It has some extra services available, and there are some mounts and pets you can buy, but you'll never know from just playing the game.  It's never advertised during play.  In fact, there is no way to even access the "shop" from within the game.

    While true that unless you know about them you can't tell they were bought.

    How do you reconcile these two statements:

    "Wow doesn't have microtransctions... there are some mounts and pets you can buy"

    That is a microtransaction. 

    not too mention the cards for a chance of getting a mount, worse kind of mt IMO. 

    it's a microtransaction that is only available if you purposely seek it out, is never advertised, and has zero bearing on the gameplay.  So I can reconcile the two statements just fine, since I don't see the world in black in white as you obviously do.

    And the cards?  that's an entirely different game, which happens to have a few in-game bonuses if you get lucky.  You buy the cards for the card game.

    Your basic argument seems to imply that you consider a company that sells t-shirts with their logos as a form of "microtransaction."

    So you agree it is a microtransaction.

    Why would say it is a microtransaction in one breath, and say it's not in another.  Say whether it is a good or bad version of it, but by your own admission it is still a microtransaction.

     

    Quit worrying about other players in a game and just play.

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