Take-Two has hopped on board the latest microtransaction-pocalypse. CEO Strauss Zelnick has confirmed to investors that Take-Two Interactive plans to include microtransactions in every game it publishes from this point forward.
“We aim to have recurrent consumer spending options for every title that we put out at this company,” said Zelnick. "It may not always be an online model. It probably won’t always be a virtual currency model, but there’ll be some ability to engage on an ongoing basis with our titles after release across the board.
“The business that once upon a time was a big, chunky opportunity to engage for tens of hours, or perhaps 100 hours, has turned into an ongoing engagement, day-after-day, week-after-week. You fall in love with these titles and they become part of your daily life.”
In total, 42% of Take-Two’s revenue came from microtransactions during the last year, no doubt aided by the continued success of Grand Theft Auto Online.
It’s a familiar refrain from a AAA publisher, but I do think the AAA scene is in danger of eating itself at this point. Gamers only have a finite amount of money to spend, and we’re being asked to spend more in every game. This means the number of games being bought is going to decrease, while the likes of Take-Two hope the average spend will go up. The problem is that when we see F2P mechanics and funding systems in a $60 title, at what point do we not just go and play a F2P game from the off, skipping the $60 purchase in the process? It feels like we’re on the brink of a genuine backlash on this front, in particular when the use of microtransactions is to the detriment of the single-player experience. See recent reviews of Need For Speed Payback for the perfect example. It was absolutely savaged by some outlets.
I’ll ask for your thoughts, but I’ve got a funny feeling what they might be. Do you think there’s a backlash brewing? Or will microtransactions only continue to get worse? Let us know your thoughts!