I never thought I’d be on this side of the argument, the side that warns people to “be wary of games”, the side the cries “think of the children”, but here we are, I hope you’re happy AAA games industry!
I love video games, hell; I co-founded a company dedicated to them. As a young child I enjoyed playing video games with my brother, something we still bond over to this day. As a teenager they provided an escape from a less than ideal scholastic experience, allowing me to immerse myself in a myriad of different worlds. So trust me when I say I don’t want to rail against video games, but given that the AAA games industry feels the need to grab us by the ankles and shake us until every last coin is theirs, I don’t have a choice. Microtransactions are the subject of today’s discussion folks, the worst thing to happen to video games since Bobby Kotick.(When Satan dies he will spend eternity in Bobby Kotick’s basement!)
They first appeared in the free to play mobile gaming market, the idea being that you didn’t pay for the game itself but rather in game items that speeded up progression, a fair trade off in my opinion. But it wouldn’t be long before the AAA games industry took notice and decided that they deserved a slice of that action. Ignoring the basic principles of the concept, specifically the “Free” part of free to play, they forced them into full priced games, stripping out content and then ransoming it back to us. And when gamers inevitably pushed back on this idea they labelled us as “whiney” or “entitled”, claiming they were only giving us more options, painting themselves the altruists. They continued to do this for years, undeterred by our complaints or pleas until it became the norm, which, sadly, it is. Many AAA games today contain microtransactions or a secondary currency or loot boxes, yada, yada, yada!(Yes those are loot boxes…on Normandy Beach)
Some people brush it off saying things like “it’s just cosmetic”, “it doesn’t affect me” or “stop going on about it, we’re stuck with them”, and to that I say “FUCK YOU!” The point is we shouldn’t be stuck with them; children shouldn’t be accidentally blowing all their parents money on fucking Fifa because they don’t understand microtransactions. Parents shouldn’t have to worry that all their savings will be wiped out because their child used a feature heavily promoted within a game to unlock their favourite player. People shouldn’t have to phone their bank because their son played a video game.
You might be asking why I’m bringing microtransactions up now if they’ve been a problem for so long, well I’ll tell you, “retroactively added microtransactions”. It appears that the games industry is fully aware of how shitty microtransactions are, why else would Activision add them to the Crash Team Racing Remaster weeks after launch? That’s right, the shit snakes at Activision actually did that, and we all know why, to protect their profits and review scores. You see a lot of outlets, ourselves included, actually lower a game’s score based on the inclusion of microtransactions. Luckily Activision have come up with the perfect solution to safeguard their money grubbing, “Retroactive Microtransactions”.
But why bring this up? Simple, I’m writing this article to inform you that from this day forward N For Nerds will be altering our review scores to reflect their microtransaction laden bullshit, think of it as “Retroactive Reviewing”. While I am under no illusion that this will cause Activision to change their ways, it affords me a small amount of petty vindication. Now, please join me in saying, from the bottom of my heart….”FUCK YOU ACTIVISION!”.
Well, that’s just my opinion, do you disagree? Let us know in the comments below, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel and if you’re feeling generous feel free to donate to our Patreon, thanks for reading.