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Microtransactions: a video introduction

By on July 18, 2011
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The Escapist magazine ran a video introduction to microtransactions. I took a deep breath before I watched it – expecting a Zero Punctuation style scathing review of the business model that would probably make me laugh out loud while also seething.

Instead, we got a balanced, nuanced, critical analysis of microtransactions from the team at ExtraCreditz.

You should watch it.


About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve:
  • They force fed “Never sell power” like what 5 times in a row? It almost brain washed me. Until I remembered one point of view…..

    “What’s not fair about it? The 13 year old kid has summer off and no job, he can sit around and level up for hours and find all the hidden tricks. I’m 35 years old, and I work 40-60 hours a week. I only get to play for a couple hours a week. I will never be as skilled as that 13 year old kid or the guy on welfare because I can’t invest 40 hours a week to one game. Spending money for better items lets me level the playing field and compete against those kinds of people, it puts money in the developers hands, and I get to actually enjoy my 1 hour of gaming. The 13 year old who doesn’t spend any money gets competition, the developer gets money, and I have fun. That equation is more fair than the alternatives.” – Unknown

    I didn’t quote it perfectly but I hope you get the idea.


  • Good stuff, not sure about power thingy. With all this
    you have to keep in mind that there always will be users who are not good
    enough, who loose, who worse than others. You have no choice but to sell/give
    them some hope in shape of possible upgrade to be better.

    It isn’t only about convenience. I don’t agree. Why
    most of the people leave games after playing for a while – because they cannot
    get any better! They can’t overcome something or someone for periods – then you
    lose them. So you have to differentiate it at the end of the day and keep the
    BTW – facebook connect doesn’t work good for now here – i was stuck as the process…

  • Sam Redfern

    LOL, companies are choosing to interpret microtransactions as ‘free for all gouge-fest’ 🙂

  • Great post and a great video, I wrote my dissertation on the subject of digital distribution and how microtransactions are now a completely viable business model. I wish I had this video to broaden my perceptions of it beforehand..