We’ve talked a bit about microtransactions here at PCU. None of us here like them, and we seem to be in the majority of gamers when it comes to these little wallet-drying mechanics.
It used to be, that these features only existed in free-to-play games, but they’ve become much more ubiquitous over the past few years. Now, many AAA titles (like Grand Theft Auto V and Overwatch) have them squirreled away for use by those gamers who don’t mind shelling out more money in order to get ahead. Regardless of whether you love them or hate them, microtransactions have shifted the gaming industry, and now we’re hearing that Take-Two Interactive (distributor for the hotly-anticipated Red Dead Redemption 2) will include them in ALL of their future games in some form or another.
In a recent quarterly investor call, Take-Two’s CEO Strauss Zelnick talked about how microtransactions have accounted for a sizable 42% of the company’s net bookings for the quarter. Zelnick went on to say, “We aim to have recurrent consumer spending opportunities for every title that we put out at this company. It may not always be an online model, it probably won’t always be a virtual currency model, but there will be some ability to engage in an ongoing basis with our titles after release across the board”.
Let’s be real, though. Those of us who have paid attention to the progression of gaming over the years are really not shocked by Red Dead Redemption 2’s online multiplayer having these microtransactions. Sure, it’s annoying that Take-Two Interactive is taking this route in order to rake in more cash for the games they distribute, but it’s hardly a surprise. That being said, this kind of news makes one wonder whether what Zelnick had to say will lead to these microtransactions also bleeding into the game’s single player campaign. Whether or not that will actually happen is still up in the air, but it’s plain to see that the company would squeeze an obscene amount of money out of gamers if they continued to add more microtransactions to the title. Considering the hype surrounding the game, and the anticipation of so many gamers who frothed at the mouth when the title was announced, it would make perfect business sense for Take-Two Interactive to jump on that proverbial train.
Zelnick’s appreciation for microtransactions isn’t relegated to Take-Two Interactive, though. These features have appeared in many other AAA titles. For example, the recently released Middle-Earth: Shadow of War contains microtransactions allowing the player to fork over their hard-earned real-world cash in order to obtain the in-game gold coins necessary for upgrading the character’s armor, weapons, and orc army. There’s also the microtransactions in Grand Theft Auto V, which (as of April of 2016) have netted the developers a cool $500 MILLION (USD)!
It’s clear that there won’t be absolute details on the microtransactions in Red Dead Redemption 2 until the release date draws closer. That being said, we do know that they will exist in that game, as well as every subsequent title from Take-Two Interactive (if the CEO’s statements hold true). This kind of revelation probably won’t deter gamers from playing the titles from that distributor, but it’s definitely something to think about as we head to our local brick & mortar stores, or fire up our favorite online marketplace when we purchase these games.
Read Dead Redemption 2 will launch sometime in 2018 (nothing definitive yet) for PS4 and Xbox One.
Tell us your thoughts on Take-Two Interactive’s news about putting microtransactions in every game, dear readers. Does this affect the way you think about buying the games you play, or is it not something you really care about? Leave us a comment below!