As we all know by now, there are microtransactions in Overwatch. There was a bit of outrage about this fact, but that’s just a variation of rule 34: If it exists, there is outrage on the internet about it. In reality, those microtransactions are some of the fairest we’ve seen so far. They don’t give you power, they don’t feature any exclusive content at all and they offer so little value in return, that the incentive to buy them is near zero.
Doesn’t mean they are consumer friendly, dear TotalBiscuit, self-proclaimed defender of consumer-rights.
The argument he makes seems sound at first: Those that have the time, can unlock shit by investing time. Those that work, can spend money to do the same. It basically boils down to: just work, you lazy fucks, and you can have all the voice lines you desire. Completely fair. Those unemployed bums have to invest over an hour of in-game time to unlock content, while the hardworking folks just have to spend a dollar (well, two, since you can’t just buy one box). That’s only like 15 minutes of minimum wage labor, unless you count things like paying rent, food, healthcare and all the other shit a big amount of people are already struggling with, into the equation. How dare they come home from work, expecting to get full access to the content of a game they already paid $40 for. You can’t afford buying 50 loot boxes so you can get that one Tracer skin you really want? People are so entitled these days, jeez…
Hyperbole and snark aside, there are enough things wrong to make them consumer-unfriendly, even harmful to the subset of people suffering from gambling addiction. Like the fact that spending $40 doesn’t even get you close to a full set of unlockables (although it probably gives you enough coins to buy those you really want, but don’t quote me on that), there is no guarantee that you won’t unlock stuff you already own, you can’t buy certain items directly, etc. and even if that wouldn’t be the case: a business practice that is inherently unfriendly to the consumer can never be consumer friendly. You wouldn’t argue that getting a cold during your vacation is great, because you could have ended up with malaria.
There is a valid argument to all of this: “Microtransactions pay for future development”, but as of right now we don’t know how that will look like. It might as well just be more skins you have a chance to unlock (furthering the problems with the unlock system in the first place), one or two subpar maps and the inclusion of revolutionary game modes like deathmatch. We don’t know yet and despite Blizzards good track record of post-release support , I wouldn’t expect a critic of pre-orders and early access to defend microtransactions via that argument at this stage.
Then again: who cares. It might be a small step backwards in AAA monetization, but it isn’t mobile-gaming f2p. Also doesn’t hurt that the game is pretty good without any unlocks to begin with. And why bother about people who don’t have enough money to waste it on premium bottled water and microtransactions. It’s not like they consume much anyway… I just needed a topic to fill this WRUP with/something to take my mind off the depression I'm going through right now and shitting on my fellow left-wing bobo extremist TB seemed fun.
Speaking of the WRUP: What are you playing over the weekend?
Scroo: Probably gonna be just Blood and Wine for me. Might record some game play here and there, but that's about it.
Yoda: Definately more Overwatch and a bit of Dota. A friend wants me to try out hots now that talent gating is gone. So we'll see how that goes... Not looking forward to it lol
Dante: I've been playing Tropico 5. I'll keep being el Presidente this weekend.
Thomas: No idea. Probably some Witcher 3 and Overwatch