How Have In-Game Purchases Changed the Video Game Landscape Over the Past Decade?

The landscape of video games is a constantly shifting entity which seemingly never runs out of trends and new features which often shake up the core idea of the video game industry. These changes can take many forms, and one of these forms is the in-game purchase. Of course, this is not limited to videogame, as it works! It is also seen in other areas like iGaming platforms which incentivize their players with offers such as 20 euros free or bonus play.

The Pay-To-Win Gaming Trend

One of the most prominent examples of the in-game purchase industry is the pay-to-win gaming trend.

The idea behind a pay-to-win gaming trend is that while the initial game might be free or inexpensive to download, and you can play it without spending any money, the more powerful items, characters, and abilities are locked behind a paywall. You’re encouraged to spend money to improve your in-game skills.

This idea means that, technically, gamers have a choice. They can choose to play the game however they like, and it’s up to them whether they spend money. However, the purchases make the game a lot easier, so many people will choose to spend money and “win” that way.

In-Game Purchases and Loot Boxes

Another essential part of modern gaming is adopting loot boxes and in-game purchases as standard practice within the industry.

When it comes to video games, in-game purchases are normal. Once upon a time, this used to be done with currency generated in the game itself, earned by players for completing tasks. Nowadays, the currency is real money.

Furthermore, loot boxes are standard practice for the industry as well. The idea of a box which has a random chance of generating a certain item or character means that you are fundamentally relying on pure luck. However, the sneaky agenda behind this is that you are encouraged to purchase more boxes to get more items. The game will incentivize this by offering a guaranteed rare item for X number of purchases.

These types of items have been slowly introduced into modern gaming until they are a normal part of video game playing. Whether or not they are a good thing remains to be seen. There are many vocal critics of microtransactions in general who see them as being an underhanded way for companies to extort more money from customers, whereas others see them as an optional part of gaming and point to many games where it is not necessary to spend any money, instead investing time.

Final Thoughts

The gradual rise of in-game purchases has brought about a shift in the gaming world. We are now used to spending small amounts of money to earn the items that we want. However, whether this practice will continue or not, or whether we will cycle back to complete games being released with no microtransactions, remains to be seen. However, despite many critics, the practice remains consistent.

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1 year ago

I’ve never made an in-game purchase. Heck, I’ve never even bought DLC. I buy a game, & if I enjoy it, will then consider buying its sequel if one is made and/or will watch out for other games by the developer. You state above the practice continues – it will as long as it’s profitable. I’m doing my part to discourage it!