The announcement that Dead Space 3 has a microtransaction option was merely the opening salvo in what appears to be an all-out assault on your wallet by EA. The publishing giant revealed today, via Develop, that they plan to make microtransactions a major part of their strategy by including them in all future releases, at least for the foreseeable future. But let’s face it, much like an unwanted house guest, once these things get in, they are never going to go away.
CFO Blake Jorgensen, speaking at Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference, said:
“We’re building into all of our games the ability to pay for things along the way, either to get to a higher level to buy a new character, to buy a truck, a gun, whatever it might be, and consumers are enjoying and embracing that way of the business.”
He went on to say that EA has bolstered the manner they accept those payments by completing the transactions in-house as opposed to outsourcing and that this will allow the company to further reap the benefits.
One thing I would like to contest him on is the fact that consumers are “enjoying and embracing” microtransactions. I’m sure EA is making a nice bundle of dough on these itty-bitty sales, but I wouldn’t exactly say that gamers and consumer are stoked at the opportunity to have a multinational corporation bilk them even further. I understand the temptation of a quick purchase that would make your gaming life easier, but I really can’t fathom why people are so happy with parting with even more of their money.
The obvious concern here is that EA is going to start charging for things that you have no way of actually earning in the game. This reared its ugly head in a minor way in Dead Space 3, but it wasn’t too objectionable. EA and other companies have so far been very good about this sort of thing, but with this new revelation, it feels like only a matter of time before some major content will be locked behind a paywall. Gamers will be on high alert for certain. Not that they weren’t already.
What say you? Is this a reasonable way for EA to make some extra cash as long as they keep it optional? Or is this EA’s final form and the exposing of the darkest timeline, where publishers seek to squeeze as much money out of gamers as possible by withholding the goods? Comment now before we charge you for it!