How to Use in-Game Microtransactions to Your Advantage When Playing

How to Use in-Game Microtransactions to Your Advantage When Playing

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Everyone wants to win in games and no one wants to lose. However, let’s be honest. Modern video games, and any online games in general, sometimes use deceptive and manipulative practices, taking advantage of the players’ desire for victory.

Besides just making money from publishing and following their games up, studios that develop games constantly look for ways to generate even bigger revenues. They tend to constantly offer new game versions, new updates, extra content, merch, and so on, to squeeze as much profit from each product as possible. Microtransactions are among those ways and lately, these have been overused heavily in all types of games.

Game publishers are happy with microtransactions but are the players? Can one actually use microtransaction technologies to play more successfully and get more satisfaction from their gaming?

What Are In-Game Microtransactions?

Let’s start with the obvious. Microtransactions are a revenue-generating model that implies offering extra content to players when they already have access to the game – free or paid – to enrich their gaming environment and generally offer more fun. In other words, you can play the game for free or buy it, but there is always an option of getting a new weapon, a new skin, or reaching a new level faster through microtransactions.

Microtransactions can sell you anything, and the all-favorite loot boxes in video games are an excellent example of microtransactions. These are also called in-game purchases.

Now, these in-game purchases are marketed as “affordable” (and labeled “microtransactions”) but in reality, the price of a loot box in a casual mobile game can reach up to $100. That’s nothing near “micro” at all.

Players are made to believe that, chipping in an extra $20, they will improve their gaming experiences, get more benefits, and enjoy the game more. However, can one really enjoy any advantages of microtransactions besides game publishers?

“Take Advantage”: Is That Even Possible?

To be honest, casinos with free spins for $1 deposit offer more transparent and fair gaming conditions than many casual mobile games or video games do. With casino games, you chip in a small amount and play hoping for luck because you know that the results are random. Video games, in contrast, were built to allow players to gain satisfaction in achieving success through accomplishing in-game activities. Making these achievements purchasable or hardly possible without paying money makes playing and progressing in the game meaningless.

One of the very first concepts of microtransactions being beneficial is that some publishers make games completely free of charge for access in return for introducing microtransactions as a revenue model. Sometimes, they are combined with ads as well. The point is to allow players to play the game for free in hopes of making in-game purchases every now and then.

However, while this model sounds very good and charitable and good-will-ish at the beginning, the reality is much harsher. It is so much harsher that some players really start missing the good old times of subscription-only revenue model when the whole game was hidden behind a one-time paywall.

In reality, game publishers make the free game variation so stuffed with ads that it is unbearable and players prefer to pay to not see the ads. Or, which is probably even worse, the player is unable to win anything or achieve anything in the game without investing in a paid option or making those in-game purchases. In other words, you start paying for winning which is crazy and undermines the gaming experience completely.

So, if players want to utilize the concept of the game being “free” for their benefit they cannot do so. If they want to achieve progress in the game with their effort and skill, they are deprived of this opportunity. The only benefit microtransactions offer is quick paid progress in the game that kinda makes you proud but is not exactly an achievement that can be valued.