I have a real problem with in-app purchases with iPhone games. Games that I’ve spent a couple of quid on that then expect me to continue to spend more cash on just to unlock new levels, get new items or top up some arbitary stat to keep the game going.
But in-app purchases in games that cost upwards of £40? That just boggles my mind.
The latest title to offer the option for the player to throw the publisher additional revenue after the point of sale? EA’s Dead Space 3, which, according to Eurogamer has micro-transactions for better weapons. Yep, you can buy new guns. With real money.[drop2]EA aren’t shy (or, indeed, alone) at doing this, they’ve been offering similar financially-fed short-cuts since Need For Speed Carbon (and possibly even before that) but this is the first time a Dead Space game has featured little pop-ups that remind you that if you don’t have enough ‘resources’ for a new weapon you can just buy some with cash.
In essence, though, this is how the Free-To-Play market works – you’re exchanging real money for in-game money. That’s a limitless cycle and normally seen in games that are, well, free.
It’s not even just the fact that EA are happy to let you skip the grinding for these resources, it’s more that it’s immersion ruining and actually (potentially, EA didn’t invite us to the preview event so we don’t know) detrimental to the flow of the game.
Are these resources going to be in very short supply? Will players that don’t want to spend extra cash have to run around in the dark trying to pick up more trinkets like a crazy Rare-em-up?
This’ll be the norm next-gen, but I’m already smarting.