According to reports from players of the new Harry Potter RPG, Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, microtransactions within the game are targeting a younger audience who might be more susceptible.
Much like other mobile games, Hogwarts Mystery revolves an energy system built up by performing tasks. The earned energy must be used to complete the many challenges in the game, but also to do other simple things like having conversations, meeting with friends, and even resting. Because of this, many players have expressed their annoyance at how quickly their characters run out of energy.
Players can regain energy by waiting, but each point takes four minutes to recharge with most actions requiring multiple points. If the player doesn’t want to wait, the controversial microtransactions await.
While microtransactions like these appear in many games, there is one scene in particular that has angered players. In an early action scene, the player gets stuck in Devil’s Snare, the plant trap that the trio get caught in during The Sorcerer’s Stone. Even if the player goes into the scene with full energy, they are forced to wait for their energy to refill to break free…or use real-life money to regain the energy to break free.
The controversy can be seen when considering the demographic the game is targeting: children. The image of your character being strangled is bad enough, but to pair it with the pressure to use real money to stop it is unpleasant and offensive in many people’s eyes.
There has been no acknowledgment of the complaints from the developer yet. It will be interesting to see if changes will be coming for the game.
If you want to see it for yourself, Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery is available for iOS and Android.
Do you think Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery is exploitative by this? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments section below.