Well EA has been busy lately. This week they announced a handful of enhancements and products that you may or may not enjoy.
First off, the really really good news. They announced that they had completed a project to unify logins to their Origin platform across devices. Now you can stop playing a game on one platform (such as PC) and continue playing elsewhere (PS3 or Xbox?). They also stated that they were working hard to ensure that games would have content spread across all platforms. There would be content available for your PC version, and then other game related content for you to play / view on your mobile device. This new development makes their historically bad Origin gaming service actually appeal to some gamers. Good for them.
Here’s where the bad news comes in.
They later went on to announce that they would be actively experimenting with including micro transactions in to most of their newer games. Microtransactions are in game purchases where you can buy items for your game campaign with real money. This was most popularly used with DLC on the current gen consoles and spread to mobile devices in recent years. It’s actually a great money making strategy for EA. If you are dedicated to the game, you will shell out a little extra cash to buy an item to make your playthrough more enjoyable / advantageous. These transactions could range from buying permanent items to buying one time use items or in game money.
The problem with this approach is it ramps up the difficulty and ends up making the game very VERY expensive to play. Sometimes this is only used on free games as a way to incentivize money making and popularizing a game with all markets. Other times, there are in app purchases for games you actually paid for. Not only is it expensive, often times you can’t even progress at a reasonable rate without spending real money. The game loses it’s fun. I would rather just buy the damn game than screw around with an infinite number of in app purchases that end up costing more than an alternative game.
Case in point, and number 3 on this roundup, EA released a new game last week called Real Racing 3. This is the sibling of Real Racing 2, which cost 10 dollars to buy and play and ended up being fairly successful.
This game is being offered free to play up front. It has graphics which are far above and beyond anything that has been seen before on a mobile platform. Yet, I would never ever play it and do you know why? Thats right, “mandatory” in app microstransactions. In order to play the game longer than a few hours per day, you are required to spend very large sums of money. For the price my friend was asked to pay for the “gas in his car” I could have very easily filled the tank in my REAL car.
EA makes me sick sometimes. I understand that it’s a business at first and that they don’t care about the customers, but they could at least pretend. I personally could think of several ways of combining microtransactions with games and making it actually WORTH it to play. Sadly, people will still feed EA their hard earned money and this annoying trend will continue.
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