Bad News: Microtransactions are Here To Stay on Consoles

Based on the current statistics regarding microtransactions, they're here to stay and will continue to proliferate the Xbox One and PS4
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According to recent research, there are over 23 million console gamers in the United States that use microtransactions. You read that right: 23 million console gamers use microtransactions making companies $352 million dollars. 

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While microtransactions didn’t catch on as quickly in console gaming as they did in Facebook games, Mobile games, or MOBAs (I’ve spent so much money on League of Legends), in recent years microtransactions have made a strong breakthrough to the console gaming sector. 

From 2012 to 2013 U.S. console microtransactions made the monetary leap, gaining $87 million in revenue. This trend, illustrated in the graph below, is something that developers will want to continue as new games are made available for the Xbox One and PS4.

What this means for you

As we find ourselves at the beginning of a new console cycle, we expect publishers to be willing to take bigger risks and experiment with recently emerged publishing models. – Super Data

Unfortunately, this data means that microtransaction are here to stay and grow on your consoles. As we start to see more and more games added to the Xbox One and the PS4, it’s likely that gamers will see an increase in the number of games offering microtransactions – though we will have to wait for next year’s data to be sure. 

This glass-half full part of this data is that most microtransactions only occur in certain genres and consoles. If you have a WiiU, like Sports, Simultation, or Casual games then you’re not as likely to encounter microtransations.

Unfortunately, if you own an Xbox360 or Playstation 3, and like to play FPS or Action/Adventure games, you’ve probably already encountered an abundance of microtransactions during your normal gaming schedule. 

What’s wrong with that? 

Microtransactions are not in and of themselves evil. Most gamers primarily complain about free-to-win games, where microtransactions are almost necessary in order to even the playing field, or games that come with downloadable content already on the game disc. 

There are also complaints that as microtransaction become the norm, that gaming will turn into this: 

It’s not an unwarranted fear – but hopefully a fear that won’t fully manifest. League of Legends and Team Fortress 2 have demonstrated that not all microtransaction need to have an impact on the game itself, and that cosmetic microtransactions such as outfits and skins is a viable marketing model. 

 In the end, only time will tell. Gaming in 2014 is going to be a helluva ride. 

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