Video games have been around for quite some time. They are the favorite hobby of many people, and even a way to earn money. Playing video games went from being a hobby to a job very quickly, especially when video and live streaming platforms like YouTube and Twitch emerged. With these platforms, many people chose their controllers in hopes of becoming the next gamer who makes millions doing what they love. With more people playing, game developers must offer better and more up-to-date products. Even if these products are not the best, in the end they do it all for the money, because it is a business.
When video games were first released, they were an incredible feat and they were all unique in their own way. Even though they didn’t look that great in the ’80s and’ 90s, they did offer something that even many games today don’t. And that something is quality. In the last 5 years, video games began to become more of a service than a true piece of entertainment. Little by little, the main developers of Triple A began to incorporate microtransactions in their games, very different from DLC (downloadable content). The DLC was always an expansion or more content added to make the game more playable, which in turn made players more entertained and wanting more. The problem lies in video games trying to sell pieces of their game that should have been free or unlocked by playing the game instead of simply entering a credit card number to unlock said heroes or items. This is a common practice recently and has raised many problems, with many countries even treating gambling as “loot boxes”, which it actually is. A loot box in video games is when a player uses in-game currency or actual currency to obtain a random item or a random set of items. Now that the value of these items is based on a scale, some players will receive rare or higher quality items compared to others simply based on the odds. This is primarily aimed at younger players who are more naive and willing to spend whatever money they have on a game to look cooler or play better. All just to get ahead of the curve.
This practice is extremely dangerous not only because it promotes play among children, but it can be extremely addictive. There are many cases where people spend thousands of dollars just to get a single item or to enhance their character or equipment. Clearly the developers don’t care, because it’s just more money for them, but they never look at what this can do for a person’s livelihood and even their families.
The main reason these practices are implemented is that the developers continue to make money even after the game is released. According to statistics, microtransactions generate more overall than the game itself, and those types of game series are released annually with little to no change to the video game itself. It is extremely rare to find a complete game in any store or market that does not offer micro transactions, even if they do not affect the game, it is still a major problem.
If developers want to keep gamers entertained and invested in their video games, then they should develop quality games instead of creating games that are barely finished and loaded with micro-transactions. Games as a service trend are slowly wiping out the quality of video games. Sooner or later, people will not even be allowed to fully own the game, it will all be just a rental, but the player still needs to buy a code to play the rental and then pay the rent to play the game that is not even theirs. Look how crazy that sounds !? The only way this will all change is if the player chooses to switch.