Gamescom 2013: An Early Example Of Microtransactions On The Xbox One
Microtransactions have become somewhat of a staple in the gaming industry lately. Some games manage to pull it off in a non intrusive manner that allows lazy gamers to utilize it and other, normal gamers to pretend it’s not there and never be reminded of its existence. This is still something of a balancing act, and sometimes we get examples on both ends of the scale that make us love and hate the system equally. The why Ryse plans to use microstransactions falls in the middle of that scale, for now.
Details have surfaced regarding microstransaction in Ryse, the roman hack and slash from developers Crytek that will be exclusive to the Xbox One, and arrive on launch day. The game has come under scrutiny after a poor showing at E3, which basically just involved one quick-time event after the other. While that has changed to a degree, new details regarding the way players can “purchase” multiplayer content has put it right back in the spotlight.
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Here’s how the whole system is set to work according to a Microsoft producer:
“When we talk about the progression system for multiplayer, it’s armour-based.
The way that you get armour is very similar to how you get it in like Mass Effect or FIFA. You only earn gold while playing multiplayer [and] you use that gold to buy booster packs. Those booster packs contain random sets of loot. Based on the different tiers of loot that you get – whether you buy Bronze, Silver or Gold Packs – guarantees whether you get rare or common items.
One of the things that we did a little different is that you can buy them with in-game currency and real world currency. The difference is that if you’re close we also have small microtransactions.
Say for instance a gold pack costs 15,000 gold, [and] you’ve only got 12,500 you can actually buy the difference and only spend a little bit to make it go to a Gold Pack. So we offer some variety there.”
So, one thing I can’t really put my finger on is whether this is good for co-operative play and bad competitive play, or just generally bad for both. This type of system could be good if the changes were purely cosmetic, much like the way Dota 2 approaches “loot drops” but the idea I’m getting from this announcement is that actually, statistic changing equipment will be put into little bags and randomly dished out. The rate at which it gets dished out to you, though, depends on the speed of your play or the speed of your credit card.
The full interview includes details about how players can “grind” for more gear, which doesn’t exactly out my fears to rest. It’s not so much that this is a deal-breaker for Ryse itself, it’s just another example of how microtransactions can take something exciting and truly turn it on its head from time to time.