Opinion: There’s Nothing ‘Micro’ About $147

So Gran Turismo 6 is out today. What better way to celebrate a current AAA game then by analysing the frankly insane amounts of microtransactions in this game, or in general?

It’s common knowledge that Polyphony’s widely acclaimed driving simulator was to carry real-money transactions. But take a look at the credit purchases:

500,000 credits – $4.99
1,000,000 credits – $9.99
2,500,000 credits – $19.99
7,500,000 credits – $49.99

Sony and Polyphony stress that these transactions are ‘COMPLETELY OPTIONAL’. But courtesy of a leaked video it can be seen that the Jaguar XJ1 would cost 20 million credits. That’s $133.306666 you get the point. That’s American figures. Australian figures pit it at $147 at the current rate. $147 for one in-game, admittedly good car? Has gaming come to this?

[youtube id=”ZaiI2fUpXBs” width=”600″ height=”350″]

I think someone needs to shove a dictionary in Sony and Polyphony’s faces. A micropayment is considered to be a ‘financial transaction involving a very small sum of money that usually occurs online’. $147 is not a small sum. I could buy a 2DS here for that amount. I could buy my cat enough food to last a year. I could see a very cheap prostitu- ok forget the last one. Who in their right mind would pay this much for one car?

Call it DLC, or paid unlocks, but to call them microtransactions is a fucking laugh. Microtransactions are unremarkable in themselves (I have never laid down 50c-$2 for a weapon or a costume, nor will I ever) but the developers are kidding themselves with these kind of costs.

MICROScreen 1
Let’s talk about the grind. The devs have assured us that the system will be similar to GT5, unlike Forza’s 5 huge grind comparisons to 4, in order to force players to use real money to upgrade cars. Nevertheless, GT5 was always grindy, this just gives players the ability to shortcut their way through. Before, we had cheat codes. Now, we have a broken payment system.

This is not uncommon, in fact, this is common practice now. Companies like EA who were crucified when they started the microtransaction craze have clearly gotten away with it, as now this is completely normal. GTA V copped backlash over its real-money system, and especially considering Rockstar’s statements that online money would be easier to earn than in single player, it just comes off as infuriating. Remember when someone calculated how much would it cost to purchase every single one of Gears of War 3’s weapon skins? Remember the horse armour? This practice has been around for a while, but it’s only now that publishers have fully realized how much it can be exploited.

Maybe I’m wrong. I hope I’m wrong. Hot on the heels of GT6, maybe they’ll do it different. Frankly, I don’t see how they COULD do it different. Either the microtransactions will be completely irrelevant if Polyphony do it right, or they’ve changed the system of the game to make it so that the original content is heavily relying on you to use more of your money. Look at Forza 5, and the grindfest it has been reduced to. How inferior to 4 it has become, and how the fanbase get in an uproar over something that has been a part of Forza since 2, yet only now has become a negative effect.

Don’t kid yourselves. The publishers don’t care about you. They care about the big guns. The fat, bloated whales. Not the 99% of fans and gamers that scream injustice, but the 1% who will inevitably pay this much. The few that justify the costs and justify the developer’s actions, who will defend themselves on this. Because that 1% that will fold and refuse to ‘grind’ through the normal game when there’s a shortcut right there.

All for an easy payment of $147.