Suddenly, a problem with Microtransactions?

14 04 2009

I used to never see the big deal with microtransactions (i.e. paying for DLC and so forth on Xbox Live, the Wii Shop, etc.), but tonight I think I almost hit a stumbling block in my resolve to, aside from Battlefield: Bad Company, not have a problem with paying to unlock more content in a game.

I was playing an open beta of a new game on Instant Action (the server-side multiplayer games site) called Lore: Aftermath. Really fun mecha game, basically the multiplayer arena matches from Mechwarrior 4: Mercenaries, complete with a mech lab. Of course, you don’t get immediate access to those. And therin was my problem. See I enjoy customization, but I’m not allowed to customize without paying money to unlock a large number of emblems, and in fact, every single weapon.

I almost was annoyed by this, but then I realized something. I’m playing a game for free. I’m paying to unlock more features, essentially paying for the game. Unlike Battlefield: Bad Company, where people were paying $60 including money for DLC that was really pointless (i.e. balance-breaking weaponry). Having thought about that it seems to me it’s acceptable to pay to unlock features in a game I didn’t pay for yet. In this way the gamer is setting their own price, and while I don’t have any proof, I have a feeling it might work out pretty well.

Of course since this is a beta I’m a bit loathe to pay to unlock features in it since I’m not sure it’d carry over when the full version hits. But I don’t feel like I was being cheated per-se, especially since I haven’t really felt the need to have customization in order to enjoy the game more so far.

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2 responses

8 06 2009
Logan Foster

We are really glad that you liked Lore Aftermath even though it’s still categorized as a “beta” state while we gather more feedback from the community and add new content.

While the micro-payment stuff is for the most part decided by InstantAction.com we don’t plan on nickle and diming the end user for any new content we release. The price you pay for the MAV Lab (and a few other addons like the new texture/skin pack) is just slightly less than the $15 USD that a person pays for other online games and as such as long as people are willing the buy these packs, we are content to continue to expand upon them and add new content such as new Mech, Weapons, Equipment and Maps for free to these pre-existing packs (thus increasing their value even more over time).

With regards to any worry about “being cheated”, InstantAction in the past has had a very good policy of refunding credits if a micro-payment option is taken away in the future and I suspect that they will likely continue with this policy.

Come hop on IRC or post your gamertag and hopefully we can find you in a future game of Lore Aftermath on instantaction.com

8 06 2009
edubois

Always good to get a response from the developer directly, thanks for taking the time. I do realize I did come off a bit skeptical with the business format, and I’m glad you cleared up some of my misconceptions, and I hope to see what future content you come up with.

Although I haven’t had as much time recently, when I do show up on instantaction my gamer tag there is “Angry_Ed”

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