While some of us struggle to give our games away, some manage to achieve the next level of profiteering. From Player Unknowns Battleground to <insert any major AAA here>, it’s rife and it’s tiring gamers out.
So what is exactly rife?
* Selling a season pass without showing what it includes.
* Adding microtransactions to $60+ Buy-2-Play games.
* Holding content to one side and selling it as microtransactions.
Why are these a problem?
Ten years ago this kind of profiteering wouldn’t have been considered but the spiraling cost of development, the internet and use of data across all facets of a games release has made it all into a science. A science which takes advantage of the psychology of gamers by preying on consumer traits (or frailties).
What this means is that publishers know gamers want to be #1, to be the best or have the fullest, completest experience. So they can sell useless items as part of a deluxe edition as it links into that part of a consumers psychological traits. A publisher knows that it’s easier to sell the season pass before a game launches because they still control the hype, and reality compared to hype is often less enthralling.
It’s not a crime but it’s manipulation. Which is exactly what consumerism is. However, will consumer protection laws revisit these practices, or will the digital, gambling era never be encapsulated?
Only time will tell.