Why Have Microtransactions If They Are A “Non-Issue”

I love reading about developers and their weird explanations about microtransactions in their games.  This came up this morning in an article over on Polygon with the developers of Drive Club.  In their game, they do have microtransactions to speed up the leveling and getting cars, but they say the transactions are a “non-issue”, because leveling happens very quickly if you are in a social club.

Paul Rustchynsky, the lead developer on the project went on to talk about how people might buy their way into more powerful cars that they were not ready for and that the design of the game is designed around natural appropriation of cars through the progression of the game.  So why have the microtransactions in the first place?  Why put them in if you would rather people not use them?

Don’t answer that as I know exactly why they are there in the game, as these things are easy moneymakers for anyone that puts them in their game.  These transactions cost nothing to produce and are almost fully profit in nature.  The content is already created by the development team so all they are doing is selling you a key that unlocks a piece of content.  You would get it already, but this just allows one to pay to advance fast, even through they clearly state that advancement happens relatively quickly through the game.

Wait, back that up a second.  Quick progression occurs when you are in a club, so maybe this is targeted at those that just want a solo driving experience.  Of course, one would then ask why even play Drive Club if you are going to play solo as it is clearly designed around social connections.  Maybe because there is a lack of actual driving games on the PlayStation 4 right now, or you are going to get a chunk of the game free via PlayStation Plus when it comes out, but just want to dabble with it.

Any way you look at it, I am a bit irritated when I read from a developer when they say their microtransactions are a “non-issue”, but they still put them in the game.  Just admit that they are there as an added revenue stream for a game that might need a bit extra.  And I am not singling out Drive Club here.  Microsoft was just as agregious with their microtransactions in Forza.  Selling me DLC I can’t access unless I have the money to buy the cars in the game.  Thankfully they removed that obstacle after many complaints, and I would hope the developers of Drive Club will remove them if they don’t matter in the overall progression of the game.

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