Oh, So People Do Want To Pay For Microtransactions In $60 Video Games

Illustration for article titled Oh, So People Do Want To Pay For Microtransactions In $60 Video Games

It’s easy to sit here as a games writer or armchair pundit and rail against the practice of publishers asking for more money from gamers who have already spent $60 on a new title. But hey, turns out plenty of people love doing it (and are doing it), especially when it comes to EA Sports’ big games.

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Despite titles like FIFA and Madden releasing as full-price games, some of their biggest draws in recent years have been their “Ultimate” modes, where players can purchase decks of fake cards to bolster the rosters of their personal, Ultimate team.

EA revealed this week (via GI.biz) that they make $1.3 billion on “extra content” a year, which is all extra digital stuff, like DLC, season passes, etc. Around half of that figure, though—$650 million—comes just from EA Sports’ Ultimate Team.

God damn that is a lot of money on top of the money people have already spent on the game.

DISCUSSION

Look, people like to complain about “Pay 2 Win” and all that, but the reason it’s offered is because people want it. I’m sorry, they do, not the people who read Kotaku as a general rule, nor the people who frequent gaming sites, not the “hardcore” gamers but the “silent” majority of players. They want an awesome team or an awesome gun or an awesome suit of armor and they don’t play often enough to unlock it on their own...so they buy it. If this stuff wasn’t popular, companies wouldn’t offer it. Until there’s some sort of significant financial consequence for it, like not buying any of their games and telling them it’s because of their purchasable bonuses every time you’re tempted and don’t, well then they won’t stop because ultimately feedback is less important than cash flow, particularly for online games that have server maintenance costs.