Over the past few decades, video games have managed to seep into major aspects of our lives. And now, due to the popularity of smartphones, mobile games have taken a special place in our hearts. Though many online mobile games are available for free, microtransactions have become a much talked about topic in the gaming industry.
What Are Microtransactions?
To put it in simple terms, a microtransaction occurs when someone buys content which can be used inside another digital content such as various software programs, video games, and other digital media. This has become more popular over the years, currently infesting the video game industry and more specifically, the mobile gaming industry in general. They do have good sides and bad sides, but there still remains a point to be made.
An Example of Microtransactions In Mobile Games.
Angry Birds took the world by storm when it was released in 2009 becoming one of the most successful mobile games ever. Rovio entertainment immediately had money in their minds and six years later they had released a sequel. Angry Birds 2 is almost the same as the original Angry Birds game but here you can start with 5 lives and once those run-out, you’re forced to start again or pay money to receive more lives in order to continue. You can also watch advertisements for other Rovio products in exchange for fresh starts, but this gets old really fast and paying for more lives is the only way to bypass the measly ads. The gameplay of Angry Birds just doesn’t fit with waiting patiently and the game alongside the company suffered as a result.
Is It Good or Bad?
Microtransactions might sound like a dirty scam to some and its to be expected. The most popular “Free to play” models in online mobile games also have microtransactions. Mobile games like PUBG and MOBA Legends are some of the most played games on smartphones currently, though many exist. Players can buy skins or loot boxes for their characters, which only affect visuals, however, this type of microtransaction feature does not pass on to many games.
The most addictive elements in modern online mobile games are the idea of purchasable loot boxes. The most basic tactic that games would deploy would be to give you a free loot box and urging you to open it. After opening it you learn that more loot boxes would require you to purchase them with real money. This is a very unethical practice done by video gaming companies, especially on children who might be prone to suffer. However, sometimes the loot boxes do give good items and it might please you for a while to show off your new skin to your friends. But this won’t last because they will put an exclusive skin on sale the next day and the game will be urging you again to press open your wallet.
Even though loot boxes might seem dubious, people still pay money to buy them and thats why they keep thriving. The RNG elements in loot boxes of many mobile games online that remain free are very poor. This urges the players, even more, to spend money, where they get a “chance” to win their desired item. So yes, loot boxes may be one form of lowkey gambling, but if you are alright with that then it is no reason not to enjoy some fun games!
Best Ways To Stay Away From Pay To Win Microtransaction Games
If you are concerned about the time you spend on mobile games online, then you should think carefully before choosing the next mobile game to invest your time with. A good way to start would be to look at the gameplay mechanics, the story and the player base. If it is something that resonates with you, then you can move to the next phase.
Checking for microtransactions is essential in figuring out if it is a free-to-play or a pay-to-win game. If you see items or loot in the game store which might speed up your progress or might give you an advantage or edge over other players in PVP, then that is a pay-to-win game. But if the items or the loot in the store are purely cosmetic, then you shouldn’t worry as long as you have skills, you can win while having fun.
Are Microtransactions Here To Stay?
In some of the popular mobile games online, free MMOs such as Aura Kingdom, spending real money on Loot Boxes would allow the player to gain an advantage over those who are grinding. As this might act as a handicap for those who don’t want to pay, microtransactions in video games have become a major topic for debate. The argument given by developers does have some value since that argument means microtransactions are essential elements for any free to play mobile games and for the studio to survive. A bad example of microtransactions in the larger gaming industry is practiced by EA, where most of their games (even on the mobile) have extreme levels of microtransactions which have left many users dissatisfied. Even though it is unethical, they have since tried to mend their ways but to no avail.
As long as people would choose to opt-in for that “new armor” or that new “Diamond Crate”, microtransactions will stay. Even amongst some of the best mobile games online, microtransactions have thrived and boosted the game’s revenue. Developers now spend more money tweaking and perfecting the game, all thanks to the large revenue generated by microtransactions.
Some might argue that microtransactions in mobile games online are what is keeping the gaming industry alive as it supports the developers and the company making it. Others may argue that it is a sinister ploy by the big gaming corporations to take advantage of mobile gamers while milking them dry. It doesn’t matter how you long at it. The best game is the game that provides elements of fun and joy while not being pay-to-win even with microtransactions.