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What Is The Big Deal Behind In-App Purchases?
I can’t say that I like titles as question sentences, but then again, I do a lot of other things that I don’t like, like spending money on “in-app purchases”. It’s only a dollar, so what’s the deal anyway, right? Alright, I’m getting straight into the subject.
Let’s start with a rough definition of in-app purchases for those unfamiliar with the term (I don’t know if anyone lives in a cave). An in-app purchase refers to items, services, points, coins, anything of in-game value that a player can purchase. I myself see this “something precious” in 2 categories.
The first is anything that affects your gameplay, or anything that gives you different kinds of advantages over all other players or monsters. Let’s say there are 2 types of currencies in the game and one of these currencies is extremely hard to get, or you only get it once a day or you only get it from one one way or another. The game offers you this “extremely difficult to obtain currency” in its “app store”. As a dedicated and impatient player, you don’t want to collect enough of these currencies for a year to get your dream weapon and instead buy this currency using the infamous “in app shop”.
The second category is cosmetics, which only means visual changes or visual additions. For example, a pet that goes everywhere with you doing nothing at all. For example, a nice hat that only gives you a nice picture.
Although I hate the first category, I still support the second. Buying something knowing it won’t do your character or gameplay any good means you’re supporting people who spend their time showing you the game you’re playing. Or it just means that you like to use visuals that few people use! Anyway, it means, in my opinion, that you are doing it correctly!
We have a perfect example that includes both categories; World of Warcraft. You’re already paying for the game, paying a subscription to be able to play, and Blizzard is still trying to sell you something like pets and mounts or certain services like character visual change or gender change, right? it not? Well, I support that.
However, WoW also tries to sell you important services like server switching, which I can’t stand. I don’t want to be misunderstood here, so let me just say that I don’t want to see every player switch servers whenever they want. But Blizzard should definitely work on that, maybe one free server change per year is a good idea. Or maybe they should at least lower the price. It’s tricky, I know, but if you’ve been playing WoW for years, you probably have characters scattered all over the place and aren’t willing to pay huge sums to get all your characters on the same server. After all, you cannot know what will change in the future. Maybe you need to move your main character to another server leaving other characters…
This was our well-known example from Blizzard. As many of you may know, we have far worse examples, especially mobile games and Facebook games. As far as I can remember, I can say it started with Farm Ville. Correct me if I’m wrong, but Knight Online or Silkroad or any game before Farm Ville couldn’t do what Farm Ville achieved! It’s like these guys just poisoned the gaming industry and walked away as if nothing had happened. Now, every developer and every company thinks it’s pretty normal to sell people important things in the game, things that affect gameplay. No, it’s not normal, I’m telling you. Knowing this, I still spent money on games until I realized that even spending money, it’s very hard to get what you want, just spend more!
Yes, that’s what these developers want. They want you to buy more and more diamonds, for example, let’s call it extremely hard to get as “diamond”. You buy diamonds and use those diamonds to open chests and you get shit, then you buy more diamonds to open other chests and you get lucky once! Then you decide to buy more diamonds!
A strange example is that you can buy a level 60 skill when you are at level 1. Oh my god… Another example is that you have to wait a month to upgrade your weapon/skill or you have to pay for it. Fair enough right?
Yes, these guys have changed the game world a lot, to the point where people are even buying skills for their characters. I used to spend money on games, but I can say I try not to do it again, and you know what my solution is? Ignore games that have in-app purchases when I see them, or (99% of mobile games have in-app purchases) I just download them hoping maybe they only sell cosmetics, then uninstall when I see this ugly picture.
Let’s forget mobile games for a moment and look at the example of Diablo. When it was released, people could buy and sell things on the auction house, and Blizzard received a commission for each transaction. How was the game back then? ****! The drop rates were terrible, literally terrible for such a game which was almost solely drop oriented, even when you got an epic item there was no reason to get upset as it would probably become an intel item as you played a barbarian… II can’t even find words to describe how terrible Diablo 3 was at that time. Then Blizzard completely changed it. They removed AH and fixed the drop rates and now D3 is a game perfectly suited to the Blizzard brand. By the way, I spent (wasted) over $100 on items hoping I could kill faster and get more items to sell in return. So stupid…
And for those who don’t already know I will talk about Path of Exile for example. A perfect example for our second category. They only sell cosmetics and also sell storage slots, but let’s ignore that for a moment. They usually sell cosmetics. I could pay to personally play such a beautiful game, but the game itself is free. If you like Diablo like games, try Path of Exile and you will understand better what I am saying.
Well, this topic never ends with short articles like this because the list just keeps growing. I haven’t even mentioned the children who make purchases with their parents’ credit card. That would make this article much longer. There are many other related topics that could make this article much longer, but I’ll end that for now.
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