“I’d suggest not buying games made by companies that have previously demonstrated insincere business practices.”
Microtransactions have been controversial in the gaming industry ever since the infamous horse armour by Bethesda kicked things off more than ten years ago at this point, but they have never been as hot a topic as they are at the moment, mostly thanks to loot crates, and others of their ilk.
The issue with loot crates is not just that they ask players to shell out money for piecemeal content- but also that players are paying money for a chance to get something they want. It’s an abusive implementation, and it can also completely mess up a game’s balance (as, reportedly, it has with Star Wars Battlefront 2).
Now, some developers have chimed in on microtransactions to GamesIndustry.biz, including Niles Sankey, who previously worked at Bungie developing Halo and Destiny, two of the most beloved console shooters of all time.
“Regardless of development costs, developers and publishers are going to attempt to make money – it’s a business,” Sankey said. “Developers have retirement to save for and families to feed… If people don’t like loot crates and microtransactions, they shouldn’t support the game by purchasing them. And I’d suggest not buying games made by companies that have previously demonstrated insincere business practices,” he added, noting that he himself does not like making or playing games of this sort.
“I stopped developing investment heavy games and I no longer play them. In my opinion, there are better ways to spend your time and life. There are so many great non-addictive/investment games to play.. and there’s so much more to life than video games.”
I think I understand the gist of his argument (though it will almost certainly get mis-reported and quoted out of context). He is not asking us to accept the abusive micro-transactions that pervade the industry- he is just explaining why they happen. At the same time, he is giving us a call to action, telling us to not just accept them if we really do not like them.
Personally, I feel like that is the right thing to do- if customers really dislike loot boxes and microtransactions, it is time for them to vote with their wallets.