Deus Ex: Wallet Divided - Fans Respond to Microtransactions
It's pretty much safe to say that the general response to the recently released Deus Ex: Mankind Divided has been overwhelmingly positive. Fans and critics alike have fallen in love with the game, praising its gameplay and atmosphere. But, like all good video games these days, micro-transactions have to come in and ruin everything.
Maybe "ruin" is an over-exaggeration, but their presence is disappointing nonetheless -- and in some players' opinions, tarnishes the overall experience. And what makes Mankind Divided especially bad is that there are so damn many of the bloody things. Not just in the optional arcade-puzzle mode, Breach, but in the main single-player campaign as well -- with the game recommending you spend your cold hard cash on in-game currency and Praxis kits (AKA the upgrades for protagonist Adam Jensen).
While these may be technically optional, fans are still disappointed and confused as to why developer Eidos Montreal allowed this:
Deus Ex Mankind Divided was a great choice... but why did they had to put Microtransactions to the game (not talking about DLC) ?!?!— Coverop (@Coverop) 24 August 2016
Some fans have even decided to forgo buying the game at all just by the mere presence of micro-transactions:
Even professional news outlets are irritated with this. Just look at how Eurogamer reported on it:
Key word there being "annoying." That said, there are a few defenders. Or at the very least, those who aren't particularly bothered by them:
I don't mind the microtransactions in Mankind Divided so much though. The problem is never the microtransactions themselves.— aqua (@aquapendulum) 24 August 2016
As if that wasn't bad enough, players who acquired the pre-order DLC were shocked to learn that the DLC items, upon being moved into the game's inventory, could not be used again on subsequent playthroughs. Basically, it's DLC that you can use once and ONLY once.
Eidos Montreal's community manager, Poticha, took to Reddit to explain the situation:
Hi everyone. Here's how things work:
Consumables (Praxis Kits, Ammo, Credits, Crafting Parts) are one-time use items. They will be in the storage section of your inventory, until you decide to add them to it. Once you do, they will be 'consumed' in your current playthrough, and not re-usable. Consumables work the way they do due to first party constraints.
Durables (Weapons, Skins, Augmentations) are not one-time use. They will automatically be available in all of your playthroughs, once you have downloaded and installed them.
He also later added that the micro-transactions had no impact on the game design:
Hi everyone. We've read your concerns, and we just wanted to step in and clarify things here. We have not, and will never, compromise the balance of the game in order to direct people towards microtransactions. The game was balanced 100 per cent independently of the microtransactions available in the store.
Rather than answer peoples' queries, these statements seemed to leave more people confused, and some users like FatherofCorgis were left particularly angry:
"...I won't be buying any more games from your 'first party.' This is absolutely absurd. I'm not spending one red cent in your goofy ass Microtransaction store, either..."
Others were left so outraged, that they're even calling out Eidos on the legality of it all, like one Carnagh who says:
"You need to check with your legal team in the EU, there's no way that justification is going to get past consumer protection in most member-states, and certainly not here in the UK.
There's the distinct possibility over the next week this is going to blow up in your face. Certainly from a European perspective your practices are starting to look exploitative."
It's very unlikely, though, that Eidos or publisher Square Enix will have to deal with legal action. Some fans tried to be more rational, yet were still left unsure as to what Potchia meant when he said that these were the results on "first-party constraints." One Adefice asked:
"...I guess I would want more insight on these "first-party constraints". Because as it stands, the workaround is to make a game, claim the items, save the game in a permanent spot, and start all subsequent playthroughs from this save to preserve the start bonuses.
"The fact this works holds the intended system in complete disregard. Furthermore, the existence of microtransactions makes things more complicated. By using this work-around, are we technically abusing the system? Because I'd imagine this would lessen the chance of people buying Praxis Kits with real money if they can start with a higher count every time.
"Please help us understand. Nowhere in the pre-order info does it say "one-time and one-save use" for consumables."
If you've been considering acquiring a copy of Mankind Divided yourself but are unsure now whether to invest or not following all this, I think this one Tweet best sums it up:
It is still poorly optimized on PC and the microtransactions are total bullshit. If you enjoy the @DeusEx games. Mankind Divided delivers.— Inexpensive Gamer (@InexpensiveGamR) 27 August 2016