Money in Gaming part 3
So the final part in this little series about the way money can be made in gaming. This final part is about possibly the easiest way to make money. But this can also be one of the most toxic things in the gaming industry. So let us dive right in.
Where we begin
Micro-transactions and loot boxes a dirty word or phrase to some. A part of gaming to others. Where ever you come down on this issue you have almost certainly come across this phenomenon at some point if you play enough games.
From survive the wild to return of the king and even the blindfold games Iphone games the audio-game community is just like any other and we have developers that would like to make money on there games.
I am not going to hide the fact that I am not a fan of micro-transactions and hate loot boxes with everything I fucking have. But we will discuss all of this below.
In Case You Don’t Know
For those who don’t know what these things are let me break it down.
A micro-transaction is an in game purchase, This can be literally anything from items of clothing, skills, teleporters, in game gold or coins, weapons or anything else a developer can charge you for.
Loot boxes come under this type of category but carry a hole other set of issues. Loot boxes are an item like a gift, crate or box. That when you buy it you don’t know what your going to get and it comes with a chance of getting a certain item.
While loot boxes are a kind of Micro-transaction they are often listed as a separate thing but always put in conjunction with micro-transactions. But I will get in to all of these as this article goes on.
Positives of Micro-transactions
The Positives are more for developers here but some may argue that it helps the community.
Making that cash money. This is the most obvious way it can be used effectively. A game that you might only sell for 10 dollars and at that price you might sell 1000 copies. yield 10000 dollars. How ever you give that game away for free and include micro-transactions that allow players to spend how ever little or much they like and suddenly you have a fountain of cash. That thousand players is now 2000. For every one that spends nothing there is 1 that spends 25 dollars. For every 50 players in the game there is one that spends even more then that. and in the end that 10000 dollars could be much fucking higher.
Develop first make money later. Perhaps your game isn’t worth money at first. But you make it free. Then you spend time making it better. Putting out up dates. Suddenly you have put in a lot of work on this game but haven’t made a cent. You could make the game cost to play here. But you would lose players. So instead you chuck in micro-transactions. Sure some people aren’t going to pay for anything. But on the other hand you have some players dumping money in to your lap.
The odd free game:: Here is wear players can win out on micro-transactions. So free to play games are funded by this type of thing. So those who can enjoy the game with out paying or can’t afford to pay suddenly can play this free game.
The Negatives of Micro-Transactions
I have had to rewrite a huge chunk of this article because while I was trying to look at this some what objectively, while adding in my opinions this section originally was a cross between my opinions on micro-transactions and an attack on a specific audio game. So lets try again.
The negatives of micro-transactions actually are varied depending on the game and how the micro-transactions are used.
The most obvious negative is hidden costs for a game. It becomes very easy to charge for a game then slip micro-transactions in later.
In a similar way you can add or make this problem worse by having rising costs for micro-transactions. When you start out a game then suddenly you find you have to pay to unlock more levels you might think oh sure 3 dollars for 3 more levels. But then you complete them and suddenly the next level pack is 6 dollars. Pretty soon level packs are 20 dollars and the cost to get to this point has been 30 dollars or more. This is a big problem with mobile games.
Pay to win features are another negative depending on where you stand on the matter.
Expensive items. This can be something that turns people away from a game. While they might be willing to pay 50 dollars for a game. Finding out that paying more money later for some of the content or items can make them not want to play in the first place.
In the end micro-transactions mostly benefit the developer so in the end players rarely find positives in this area.
The positives of loot boxes
I got nothing.
These exist for the developers to make money that is literally it.
The negatives of loot boxes,/h3>
It is gambling aimed at children. I mean need I say more. There is a reason more then 10 countries world wide are looking at introducing laws to regulate loot boxes and many are looking to adding them under the category of gambling.
Many people may not stop and think about what they are buying. Children might lack the understanding to truly realise what they are getting in to. But when you are spending actual money for a chance to get a certain item this is gambling.
While I have seen this in the Audio-games community it isn’t as big as it is in main stream gaming. Still when luck and chance are involved with actual money few positives can come out of this.
Micro-transactions kind of suck loot boxes really suck!
What are your experiences and how do you feel about these let me know in the comments below.