Surely you have noticed that video games for Android – and other platforms, to a greater or lesser extent – have abandoned the single payment model for a much more profitable model in the long term: the freemium . The most and least of which has played a Supercell game, such as Clash of Clans or Clash Royale, and knows what it is. What do all these video games have in common? That although they are free generate a huge amount of benefits thanks to the micropayments. Playing is free, but if you want to stand out, you have to pay for content, be it cosmetic or not.
It is a trend that has come to stay, for the simple reason that it works . An example of this is Fortnite, which in its short time of life has managed to generate 300 million dollars monthly . Pay special attention to this. We are talking about a 100% free game that could be played without major complication without paying a hard one. Where does this huge amount of money come from, then? Of dances and skins . It sounds absurd, or at least I see it like that, but it’s a reality. People pay because their character wear a different dress to the casual player in order to … stand out in the game and show off in front of the other players? Go to know. The point is that The performance of this strategy is more than proven.
Why do micropayments work? For many reasons. The first is because it generates competition and, therefore, addiction . After all, the content of the loot boxes and other microtransaction systems is completely random, so if you want a legendary skin you’ll have to pay for it and wait for it to touch you – if it ever touches you. The second is for the social factor. If I had to say a referring player of Fortnite I think it would be Lolito Fernández. This youtuber moves masses, thousands and thousands of people watch their videos and want to be like him. If he has a skin, the fan wants it to tell his friends “I have the Lolito skin!” and show off
Does it have anything to have a different skin in the course of the game? No, but people love her because she can boast about her.
That as far as the consumer is concerned. Then we have the developer, and continue with the example of Fortnite. The Epic Games game adds up more than 40 million downloads . Tell him that the game cost 20 euros and did not have micropayments. Had I sold the same amount, which I doubt would have happened, the firm would have already generated 800 million euros in purchases . Point. It’s money, no doubt, but that’s it. As long as no one else buys the game, the money will stop entering. With micropayments you eliminate that root problem (remember, Fortnite generates more than 300 million euros per month).
Micropayments allow lengthen the life of the game ad infinitum . You can add more cosmetic content, new skins, new dances, new gestures … The money-making machine will continue to work until the game goes out of style, so that then Much more money will have been generated than what would have been generated by selling copies at 20 euros. Tell him that the Fortnite fever lasted a year. 300 million dollars for 12 months is 3,600 million dollars, 4.5 times more than what the firm would have earned by selling copies at 20 euros. It is an example, do not take it to the letter, but illustrate the idea that I want to convey to you.
A game with micropayments is a game to which you return, and if you return, you spend more.
A point has arrived in which the video game market has undergone microtransactions , instead of favoring quality above all things (which is not to say that studios should not make money at all). Example of it is PUBG , which is still in the testing phase while continuing to add content to the loot boxes, or Dragon Age , that has online mode for the simple fact that in Mass Effect 3 the micropayments generated so much money that from EA they wanted to repeat the play. Money above all things.
In the fable of the golden egg hen, the farmer who finds the golden egg decides to kill it because, surely, he has more eggs inside and can sell them to earn more, with the surprise that there is nothing. Its moral is that The avarice breaks the bag , and this is precisely what we are seeing in mobile games. It does not matter if the game is better or worse, the player will be willing to pay for not having to wait to recover energy, for having a new skin or for a dance for his avatar. This is the same as throwing money in the trash, because when the game goes out of style, all that money you have invested, much more than you would have spent if you had bought the game at one time, will be worth nothing.
From my point of view, we are at that moment in which we have the hen caught by the neck ready to kill her. We are reaching a point where it’s better to have a cool character than a game with a history, quality and support that are worthy . Of us, as players and consumers, it depends not to go through the hoop. We have to make responsible and conscious consumption, being realistic and keeping in mind that we are feeding an industry that, saving the indies developers, looks for its own navel rather than the community of players.
Continue paying for microtransactions is synonymous with telling companies that their model we like , and their job is to give us what we want. Do you prefer a quality game that deserves each of the 20 euros it is worth, or do you prefer a bad game whose sole purpose is that you pass through the box to buy paVos? It depends on you, although maybe when we want to get a game in good condition, we have to dust off our old Game Boy to play the Yellow Pokémon. Do not kill the hen, let’s not let greed break the sack.