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Forza Horizon and the micro-transaction floodgate

Friday, 9th November 2012 09:33 GMT By Patrick Garratt

Forza Horizon’s single-player micro-transactions point to a monetization trend that could affect triple-A gaming at its core. You may have to accept the inevitable, says Patrick Garratt.

It isn’t hard to imagine a near-future in which players expect to be able to bypass campaign difficulty spikes by coughing up a micro-payment, whether or not they had to pay up-front for the core content.

There was something odd about Forza Horizon. It’s a great game, if a little standard. You roam the obligatory open world, winning races so you can enter more, stocking up your garage with Turn 10′s trademark veehickles. It took me a little while to notice, but alongside every car I bought with in-game currency was an option to purchase with “tokens”. When I hit the first “you don’t have enough” finger-wag with some Mercedes-alike, the obvious truth dawned: I was being allowed to spend real money, in-game, to progress.

The same features were in Forza 4, apparently – I’m not a sim fan so I didn’t notice – but this seemed significant to me. Forza Horizon is a single-player game: it has a distinct campaign. In-game purchases (or In-App Purchases, or IAPs) are normally reserved for multiplayer in triple-A games, but everything in Forza Horizon is buyable with cash on the solus side.

And it’s not just cars. You’re able to buy “popularity spikes,” which last for longer if you spend more tokens and double the amount of skill points you accrue from races. Players see their virtual crowd-pleasing ability boosted for 30 minutes for a single token. You get five tokens for 400 Microsoft Points, or about £3.40. Then there’s the “treasure map”. This shows you the locations of smashable barriers – which bring down the cost of upgrades – and pinpoints secret races when they occur.

There’s no way you can get this through play: if you want it, you have to pay for it.

Taking a look at micro-transactions in Assassin’s Creed 3, Mass Effect 3 and Forza Horizon. The shift’s towards real money options in every aspect of big budget games, both single-player and multiplayer. Note: I say repeatedly in the video that 400 Microsoft Points cost about £5. This isn’t true. They’re £4.25 for 500 if you buy them through Xbox Live Marketplace.

None of this is news. Speaking in September, Playground Games told us there’d be a full suite of micro-transactions in Forza Horizon. What’s different here is that everything you can buy is included in the campaign, and much of it could directly impact both the difficulty of the game and the time it takes to complete it. If you need a new car for a race, you can just buy the best one. You’re paying to make the campaign easier. EA has been running this type of monetization across its driving games since the launch of this generation, but the idea’s clearly catching on.

Assassin’s Creed 3 is another example of how quickly we’re moving towards a world where IAPs in “ticket” titles – games in which there’s a cost to entry – are the norm. While cash purchases are strictly multiplayer-only in Connor’s debut, the level of IAP monetization is eyebrow-raising. You can buy everything – every customisation option, every move, perk, streak and bonus – as soon as you put the disc into your console, regardless of level. You don’t even have to play a match.

While this type of whale-courting in multiplayer is likely to cause concern as it allows players to “buy their way better,” it’s the implications for single-player elements of triple-A games that could be long-lasting. It isn’t hard to imagine a near-future in which players expect to be able to bypass campaign difficulty spikes by coughing up a micro-payment, whether or not they had to pay up-front for the core content.

Take something like Borderlands 2, for example. Obviously, it’s gun-based. Try applying the Forza Horizon model to it. You might be on a story mission which ends in a boss fight. You may need a fire weapon to beat the stage. In the current game, the chest at the entrance to the boss arena contains the appropriate equipment, and off you go. In Borderlands Horizon, the chest is a shop, and you’re given the option to buy the gun for either 50,000 credits or two tokens. If you don’t have enough in-game currency, you have the option to go back into the game and grind for it, or you simply hand over a few quid.

That’s a pretty different game.

Opening the floodgates

The use of IAPs in triple-A games has spread over the current console generation – companies like Capcom and EA, for instance, now use them as standard in certain genres, such as fighting games and sports – but it’s clear their use is accelerating, and is now spilling over from multiplayer into all aspects of the product. We’re not in the realms of fantasy here: Forza Horizon’s all-out approach and Mass Effect 3 with its campaign-ready gun-packs are proof.

We shouldn’t be surprised. The question, really, is what’s taken gaming’s big players so long to push for IAPs in single-player.

Gamesbrief founder, author and analyst Nicholas Lovell explains: “People who make games become very focused on the value of content. When it costs them tens of millions of dollars to make a game, and millions of dollars to make a single piece of DLC, it’s understandable. The unpalatable truth, though, is that few consumers actually want to pay for content. If they can get it for free, by borrowing or pirating, or cheaply, by trade-ins or a rental service, they will do so.

“It has taken this long for publishers and developers to realise that people don’t value content: they value how that content makes them feel. The floodgates are now open.”

“Contrast that with traditional product marketing. People will happily pay three times as much for a Starbucks as for coffee from a cheap cafe. We’ll pay £2 for bottled water when it’s free from the tap. We’ll buy ‘Taste the Difference’ baked beans even though they are basically the same. At the extreme end, we’ll buy cars and clothes and accessories that are as much about status and self-expression and personal style as they are about the cost of goods.

“This is the difference between IAP and DLC. DLC is just content, expensive to produce content that consumers want to pay as little as possible for. IAP/virtual goods are different. They are about self-expression, about status, about personal choice. They are about trading time for money, or for wanting to collect your favourite cars to show off your discerning eye, or every player in a real football team to display your tribal loyalty.

“It has taken this long for publishers and developers to realise that people don’t value content: they value how that content makes them feel. The floodgates are now open.”

Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter, too, believes we’re looking at a trend.

“It makes too much sense to allow in-game purchases, so it’s likely they will be offered more frequently going forward,” he told me.

“I think many gamers prefer having unlimited options for free, but the truth is that there are some things people are willing to pay for, and there is some incremental effort to create the items. It makes sense that publishers will try to exploit the consumer and generate additional revenue.”

While instances of real money transactions in the single-player portions of triple-A games are few at the moment, it’s logical these options will become normal as the entire market lurches towards free-to-play. If people buy it, they’ll include it. You don’t have to, right? Have you heard the one about the developer that offered the choice between grinding for ten hours or spending a pound? It’s got a cracking punchline.

Disclaimer

Promotional copies of the following games were used in the creation of this article:

  • Mass Effect 3 (EA, PC)
  • Forza Horizon (Microsoft, Xbox 360)
  • Assassin’s Creed 3 (Ubisoft, Xbox 360)

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49 Comments

  1. woe

    You act like Horizon is the first game to introduce micro transactions..

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Patrick Garratt

    I can’t think of any other full-price game where you can unlock everything in single-player with real money.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. NiceFellow

    Nothing is inevitable regarding commercial transactions. The market either accepts it or it will die. Of course the market for videgames isn’t the most discerning or militant consumer market – but the principle holds. Look at how charging for GFWL folded due to market response.

    Mico transactions, DLC, etc. are all growing trends because the market has shown it will pay for them not because developers have some magic ability to force it on the market.

    If something doesn’t sell it dies – if the uptake on Live Gold was weak for example MS would change it, they don’t because millions have voted with their wallets.

    I’d thank them but I’m not sure I agree with how they’ve cast their votes…

    #3 2 years ago
  4. G1GAHURTZ

    EA have been doing this since Shift, and even before that, iirc.

    In fact, EA are probably the worst offenders when it comes to pushing IAPs in full priced games, and have been so for a while.

    I don’t think it’s that much of deal, though, as long as it only remains an option, rather than an integral part of the design, where players are punished for not spending money. For example, forcing players to grind, or get stuck on a near impossible challenge.

    As soon as that starts happening, I think it’s vote with the wallet time.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Gekidami

    Pat, doesnt unlocking cars in the single player also unlock them in MP though? I dont really know anything about the game i dont give a shit about racing, but i’d assume thats how it works.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Gadzooks!

    So don’t use the microtransactions. Problem solved.

    There, wasn’t difficult was it?

    #6 2 years ago
  7. G1GAHURTZ

    @Pat: http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2009/09/buying-your-way-to-the-end-a-need-for-speed-shift-review/

    “One interesting addition to the game is the ability to buy cars from the in-game menus using Microsoft points. When you’re shopping for your new ride you see what you can afford with your in-game funds, or you can simply buy the cars with actual money. How much? Tier one cars on the Xbox 360 are 40 Microsoft points, and Tier four cars are 240 points; fifty cents to $3.00. Whether or not you decide to use this feature is up to you, but it’s there. My thoughts? As much as it makes me feel guilty, I can see dropping a few bucks on a supercar instead of grinding my way there. And yes, you can use your purchased cars online.”

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Patrick Garratt

    @5 – Yeah, everything you pay for – or unlock through normal progression – goes into your garage. You can use it on either side.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. woe

    @2Patrick Garratt: Electronic Arts says hi!

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Impatient Squirrel

    Interesting that this article appeared today, as last night I wrote that XCOM should have been free to play, and includes ways in which the game could be adapted to include micro transacations: http://adamrusselldesign.com/2012/11/08/xcom-should-have-been-free-to-play/

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Patrick Garratt

    I know EA does it, yeah. This is about the fact it’s happening more. In Forza SP you really can buy everything.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. ududy

    Gadzooks, you may not use them or any of your friends, but if just 1 in 10 players does, it may be enough to make micro transactions part of the basic game design. That will affect you, like it or not, and that’s the point of the article.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. Flukey73

    This has been going on for quiet some time now EA are the kings of it games like Burnout paradise had it and many others. Even Motorstorm RC has the feature.

    The future is already here for this sort of thing its nothing new.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. viralshag

    I don’t really see the problem. Especially when it comes to the SP portion of a game that impacts nothing other than mine and the game creators bank balance.

    It’s a personal experience. Like I have said many times before, some people have more money than time and others more time than money, if I only have an hour or two to play Forza every now and then, I have no problem paying a little to unlock my favourite car to race in. I don’t see why others should.

    I bought Bioware points to buy some of the packs in ME3 MP, I was happy the option was there as I didn’t want to grind away at it.

    Also, I’m not sure that’s true about AC3, I think there are still level restrictions on certain things regardless of how you try to purchase them.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. Patrick Garratt

    I’ve added in a line about EA driving games including SP IAPs. Ta for the notes. I sometimes hate doing this type of article for specifically this reason: you’re always going to get something wrong :-D

    #15 2 years ago
  16. DrDamn

    @15
    EA sports games like Tiger also have buyable unlock everything type codes too. I’ve not got a problem with it if it doesn’t unbalance the game. As long as you can unlock the same in game through play and under reasonable conditions it’s not a big thing.

    Locking the vast majority of the game off from the beginning is quite a nice game mechanic. A good way of tracking and feeling progress. However I’m not going to begrudge people who want to play it a different way, or even publishers who want to make a small amount from those people who want to play it that way. Though this sort of thing used to be available for free using cheat codes – all you get under cheat codes on GameFaqs these days is a list of achievements.

    As with DLC it’s always a value judgement. If you feel a game has approached this the wrong way then don’t support it.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. LuLshuck

    I havnt read all the comments but its the same thing with assassins creed 3 aswel, pretty shit tbh

    #17 2 years ago
  18. OlderGamer

    Boggles my mind that so many folks are fine with this.

    Right now the microtransactions are side by side with a seemingly uneffected gameplay. What happens when devs/pubs start changing the balance of the gameplay to force the need for in game purchases with real money? In pats example he used Boarderlands, but he gave the option to go back and grind for the in game currency to buy said weapons, what if you couldn’t do that? Or if the grind process went from a reasonable amount to say 10hours or some other such unreasonable amount?

    I have long felt that DLC hurts the industry. It is right up there with second hand game sales imo. Infact one prolly causes the much of the other. A gen or two back I used to buy bargin bin games, games for 20usd(compared to 50usd for new releases at the time). But now, I see a lot of games that I would enjoy playing, but even if the game is 20usd, they often have 30, 40, or 50usd in DLC. So I always feel like I am buying an incomplete game if I don’t look at the dlc. And some games really are incomplete w/o DLC. I know the Football game I get caps player skill growth, coach growth, and some other tid bits at 80% or so of their potential…unless you buy the DLC ofc.

    So what I am saying is that DLC has kept me from buying as many games as I might normaly. Because many times a game + dlc is over 110usd. And those bargin bin games(where overlooked gems are often found) aren’t much a of barin when the game + DLC still reaches 50usd to 70usd in DLC. Do I have to buy the DLC? No, but if you think that way you are missing the point. Would you buy only part of a game? So what eneds up happening is that many people, myself included, buy less games. And we end up buying big brand name franchises. The CoDs, the BFs, the Maddens, The Fifas, Forzas, etc… Meanwhile the smaller and medium range studio games get ignored. Going to be a day when only the largest most marketed franchises are going to be left.

    But I am guess I am drifting a bit, should get back on track. Ok childern here is the thing, DLC is bad…M’kay? Not all DLC, just the kind of DLC that doesn’t so much as extend the actual game, M’kay, it is the kind of DLC that does nothing but reaches for your wallet. M’kay?

    #18 2 years ago
  19. speedxl01

    @18 I agree 100% with you.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. DrDamn

    @18
    “So I always feel like I am buying an incomplete game if I don’t look at the dlc. And some games really are incomplete w/o DLC.”

    The vast majority are fully functional games with no issue in not buying the DLC. The problem there is more you and your perception. You are cutting your nose off to spite your face. Standard games today contain massive amounts of content out the box.

    “Do I have to buy the DLC? No, but if you think that way you are missing the point.”

    I think you are missing the point. You are bundling all games in with this perception you have rather than the reality. You should support the games who structure well and not support those who don’t. By not supporting any you are becoming the problem.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. viralshag

    It’s funny that people say EA are the worst for doing this… yet they have added a ton of new content to the MP section of ME3 for how much? Oh yeah, absolutely nothing.

    I can’t stand reading all this “back in my day” nonsense. Gaming has changed, it’s bigger and better than ever. Money needs to be made. Get with it or get over it.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. absolutezero

    Micro Transactions cheapen the experience of playing the game.

    Why bother improving through the ranks of racers when you can just buy everything?

    Why bother dying over and over again in Dark Souls in order to improve when you can just buy high level armour and weapons with real money?

    Why would you play like that? If you do not have enough time or dedication in order to master something, then just play something else thats more dispoable? I hate this model. I hate it so much.

    I would have less games released and of a lesser quality then have to put up with content being removed and constantly getting asked if I want to pay for it instead.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. OrbitMonkey

    ^ “if you don’t have the time or dedication in order to master something…”

    Lol, it’s videogames mate, not kung fu :-/

    Plus, people should have the option of buying a few easy rank ups… Not everyone has time to spare.

    #23 2 years ago
  24. viralshag

    @Orbit, No no no. Those people that don’t have time and buy shit, they’re simply doing it wrong!

    Games are meant to be played the same way be everyone!

    #24 2 years ago
  25. absolutezero

    Yes because thats what I said.

    In the same vein : “If you don’t have enough time to play something, play something else!”

    I see no real problem with that statement. I also don’t see anything wrong in taking something you spend alot of time reading, playing and caring about seriously. Despite the subject matter at hand theres nothing wrong in taking something you have passion for seriously.

    Im not alone in thinking that taking short-cuts and easy get outs lessens the experience at hand. If something is worth doing then its worth doing well not paying your way through it.

    It also occurs to me that most of the games where these horrible micro-transactions are appearing in are the hugely popular titles that would make their money back anyway. Assassin’s Creed is Ubisofts biggest series and it was always going to make back its investment with profit yet there are a tonne of micro-transactions scattered throughout.

    #25 2 years ago
  26. OlderGamer

    Sometimes you some of you guys can’t see past your nose on your faces.

    If games cost 60 usd each, in the states they do.

    And I buy one game and its DLC I spend 110usd(or more) for the game plus the DLC. Could I not have purchased 2 games for 60usd each for roughly the same price? Doesn’t that point out that DLC laden games cause gamers to buy less games? Doesn’t that prove my point?

    Instead of buying Darksiders 2 and Blops 2, a gamer with a limited income has to make a choice? See where I am going with that? Or am I still just bitching and crying about nothing?

    If game prices doubled tomorrow, wouldn’t it stand to reason that most gamers would be able to buy half as many titles? Of course a cod gamer could chose to not buy the DLC for BLOPs2. And then the first wave of DLC comes out and he gets left behind by his friends and can no longer play with them. I have this problem in Battlefield 3, I bought some DLC and not all of it. Finding servers is tough and my friends that I used to play with have maps that I don’t. Hence the entire experience I was talking about.

    #26 2 years ago
  27. DrDamn

    @OG
    “Instead of buying Darksiders 2 and Blops 2, a gamer with a limited income has to make a choice?”

    Very glass half empty. They *have* a choice. That’s a good thing?

    You get a full games worth of content for $60 (if you don’t then don’t buy the game). If you want more then the option is there, if you don’t the option is there to buy a different game.

    Devs make good money from DLC from people who want more from a title. That’s a good thing too.

    #27 2 years ago
  28. Cobra951

    @6, of course, until it becomes the only practical way to progress. That day is what I dread. The way it is now, I simply ignore microtransactions entirely. As long as I can continue to do that, I have no problem with greedy corporations relieving suckers of their money.

    #28 2 years ago
  29. viralshag

    @26, Maybe I’m missing something but I don’t see your point.

    Just because you buy a game doesn’t mean you have to buy the DLC at the same time, or even buy it at all. Why not buy two games, play them through and then buy the DLC if you think it’s worth it at a later date when there’s nothing to play/you have a spare bit of cash?

    “Instead of buying Darksiders 2 and Blops 2, a gamer with a limited income has to make a choice? See where I am going with that?”

    I don’t see what your point is at all. If you have a limited income, then you will always have to make a choice and budget. I don’t understand this attitude of “gaming should be affordable because I want to play everything.”

    You say you have a problem because your friends bought the BF DLC but you didn’t, they seem to be OK with it. The problem, unfortunately, falls with you on that and I don’t mean that to sound harsh.

    #29 2 years ago
  30. absolutezero

    Just to point out that I have no real problem with DLC, they seem to have completely replaced Expansions with lesser content with a higher price tag but thats just a change I have to deal with, one for the worse like most of everything this generation has ushered in.

    I have a huge problem with paying for unlocking content thats already there and micro-transactions in general.

    #30 2 years ago
  31. OlderGamer

    In the coarse of telling me I am out to lunch Doc and Viral, three other posters have expressed concerns about the very samethings I am talking about. Hell even the article expresses concerns.

    I think your right Viral, I think you guys just don’t get it.

    #31 2 years ago
  32. Cobra951

    @26, 31:

    OG, I think the point is that you are not forced to buy any of that. Spending your money on those products was your choice. I’m not defending MTs, which I personally find despicable. But I would not deny publishers and developers the freedom to pursue income by any legal means. As long as we continue to have the choice to reject MTs–and by that I mean the products remain wholly playable without them–I will simply continue to thumb my nose at them. I don’t see the point of getting all hot and bothered about it, because I have no power over the issue. My power is to reject the practice, and I do so constantly.

    #32 2 years ago
  33. Gadzooks!

    I think you should just quit gaming O.G. It sounds like you just don’t enjoy it anymore…

    #33 2 years ago
  34. G1GAHURTZ

    What Gz said.

    #34 2 years ago
  35. absolutezero

    You forgot to add in “you filthy liar with your lies and such” and wave a pitch fork about.

    #35 2 years ago
  36. OlderGamer

    Sometimes it feels like that Gad.

    #36 2 years ago
  37. SlayerGT

    When talking about dlc everyone does it different, but Forza Horizon’s is pretty messed up if you’re a fan. The two car packs released so far have contained 6 cars each. Both have 3 new cars and 3 cars that exist in Forza 4 already. Now after all that talk Turn 10 did to explain how Horizon uses the same game engine as 4..dont you think it’s a little fucked up? I had a feeling the car roster in Horizon was smaller for this very businesses practice.

    Its a case by case basis thou. Most Pubs/Devs haven’t figured out the right way to do Dlc. Most are still learning. That’s why it’s important to “vote with your wallet”. I’ve actually been looking for someone to review Dlc. Borderlands obviously does it right. GTA and RDR are in that camp as well. Then you have Horizon’s..which I think is shit. Or Assassins Creed..where you’re missing “sequences” because you didn’t buy the dlc or purchase the game from a specific retailer.

    As for micro-transactions its gonna get worse. The reason being its easy to implement, don’t cost the pub anything, and even if 2% of people who bought your game use it once..thats free money.

    OG I don’t know what games you’re buying in the bargin bins that have 60 dollars worth of dlc, but that sounds like a business model to me. Sell the game cheap and offer expensive attractive dlc.

    #37 2 years ago
  38. Gadzooks!

    Wasnt meant in a nasty way, btw.

    #38 2 years ago
  39. OlderGamer

    SlayerGT +1

    Mostly none out of the BB, but I can think of several that I would like to buy that haven’t because of it.

    I know Gad.

    I have a cronic pain, and take some meds pretty regularly. Sometimes I have days better then others. I prolly shouldn’t have posted too much today. Things don’t come out as clearly on bad days as good ones. It is prolly me, mostly.

    #39 2 years ago
  40. SlayerGT

    @OG I have a suggestion before you would quit gaming. Unplug that Ethernet cable. Get offline. And stop “following” games. Two things will happen. Firstly you won’t know about any dlc or micro-transactions. You also won’t have the filth that is competitive online gaming. Secondly, you won’t hype games for your self. You would be amazed more often by games if you knew less about them before playing them. Trust me..I’ve tested this. Just a suggestion before you would “retire the controller” :)

    #40 2 years ago
  41. OlderGamer

    That is rock solid advice Slayer, really it is. The biggest trouble for me is taking a break from VG247, I have done it in the past but it is tuff. I am a stay at home Dad, not much to do so I tend to sit here for hours at a time.

    I need to play something instead, maybe time to get some Civ rolling.

    #41 2 years ago
  42. SlayerGT

    @41 I hear that. I wish sometimes I could “customize” my VG experience by somehow hiding content I don’t want to see. Like GTA5 for instance. I could go until release without info and be fine. I’m buying it, it doesn’t matter. But I want the interview with Houser..after I’ve played the game :D its almost like..I want certain info, but I want it how and when I want it :P a bit spoiled-ish yeah??

    Something to think about Pat :) everyone wants all the info at their fingertips..find a way to let folks receive only the info they want, when they want it.

    #42 2 years ago
  43. karma

    I was actually thinking about picking this game up. But now I know about the microtransactions, I don’t think I’ll bother. I just don’t want that crap lingering in the background while i’m trying to get into my games. It reeks of money grubbing marketing techniques, and that puts me right off whatever it is i’m trying to enjoy.

    #43 2 years ago
  44. IL DUCE

    Yeah Battlefield 3 also has something like this…you can basically buy shortcuts to unlock all the vehicle unlocks, or guns for certain classes, or everything for like $40…overall, I don’t see much of a problem with it…if you’re strapped for time and want to have the best stuff it’s understandable…or if you’re just lazy and want to have stuff right then and there even if you play a lot, oh well, that’s your prerogative

    #44 2 years ago
  45. OrbitMonkey

    You could theorize that triple AAA console games will end up like ios/android games, with everything having a token/real money price tag…

    Which also leads onto ingame ads… You pre-order, no ads… 2nd hand? Well you’ve got Pepsi ads all over your start screen unless you buy this code.

    Of course this would only be a shock for sony/ninty gamers… xbots are used to getting ads on their premium service ;)

    #45 2 years ago
  46. Erthazus

    This is actually bad.

    Yeah, no one forces you to buy them. No one forces you to buy DLC, stuff or anything.

    but this game should be F2P from the beggining then, not 60$ game.

    You paid your 60$ and you should own everything there for Free like in Guild Wars 2.

    Buying cars is just bad for the 60$ game, I guess if they could sell you some “customization parts” for cars that could be okay… But selling cars is like selling bullets in the F2P game.

    #46 2 years ago
  47. Keivz

    I too fear the day where games are designed in such a way that micro-transactions become the only reasonable way to progress. So far it hasn’t exactly happened…for now, they are essentially just charging for cheat codes. But MT do make games feel underhanded and cheapened (…and they say games are not art). And rarely do people like to pay for what they used to get for free. Unfortunately, when such concepts are introduced to a new generation of gamers, they tend not to know that things used to be different. It’s one of the reasons why I don’t pay for XBL Gold…

    #47 2 years ago
  48. fuchikoma

    Games like Forza Horizon set a disturbing precedent, and in some games like this you will have to wonder how affected the devs were by the motive to make playing the game without paying extra a bit less pleasant in order to drive microtransaction sales.

    Looking specifically at Horizon though, like other Forzas it seems like if you don’t absolutely have to have certain cars at all levels, you can get rich fairly quickly just by playing normally. I have a bit over 2 million with an orange wristband after doing races and rivals challenges, and that will buy me pretty much anything I want though there are still more expensive cars out there. The treasure maps seem to unlock bit by bit when you clear all missions in an area too. Barn finds remain circles for zones (is it like that when you buy the map?) and discount signs show up as purple dots.

    Still, I bristled a bit when the hostess(? narrator? coordinator?) suggested I treat myself to a car by using tokens. It’s a bit like hearing “hey, thanks for that $60. I know that used to buy a whole game, but you know what would make it even better? Giving us more money…” Especially with the level of DLC they roll out for this series, it starts to feel like the base copy of the game should be discounted, particularly with the weak car list that barely meets the requirements of the races you have to do.

    #48 2 years ago
  49. anonsinner

    Why not just download the game for free and then paying for the micro transactions isn’t so bad :-)

    That’s what I do

    #49 2 years ago

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