Gamers Discuss Their Feelings Towards Monetization In Digital Gaming

Are microtransactions incorporated into games unethical? With the incentive to drive players to spend is a key facet of game design, microtransactions are very profitable for video game developers. This has caused governments to take notice. Loot boxes have already been banned or regulated in several countries because of their links to gambling. In fact, a recent survey found the more gamers spent on loot boxes, the more likely they were to be problem gamblers.

A study done by The Conversation surveyed 1,104 English adults who played any one or more different mobile and desktop games. They were asked what monetization features they had come across in these games and which they believed to have been unfair, misleading, or aggressive.   

“Creating an event which has 20 stages, 18 stages of which you can fulfill for free [just spending loads of your time] and for the last two you have to pay in-game currency to get the final reward,” said one anonymous participant. “This is very very sneaky tactics. Even if you’re notified at the start of the event you still feel like you’re being robbed in plain sight.”

Many participants raised the issue of being constantly pestered to make purchases so often that it detracts from their enjoyment of the game. Several took issue with in-game currencies, which many perceive as unfair because they can make the implications of purchase decisions less clear for players as it typically disguises the actual price. Players also complained about tactics such as pay-to-win, as they believe it creates social division.

Ultimately, the general presence of microtransactions clashed with player ideas about what a gaming experience should be like and makes for an interesting discussion on how to negate these problems in the future.

(All information was provided by The Conversation)

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