Dead Space 3 dev on microtransactions: players “need instant gratification”

Friday, 25th January 2013 12:14 GMT By Dave Cook

Dead Space 3′s microtransaction store first surfaced via this photo and with it, a torrent of complaints from gamers followed. Visceral stepped in to say that the payments were not boosters, but time savers. Now the studio has discussed the payment model in more detail in a new interview, saying that it gives players “instant gratification.”

Speaking with CVG, Visceral’s John Calhoun said, “Not much has been spoken about that, but I can tell you the details now. The way the micro-transactions work, is that there’s only three things that you can buy, and they’re basically tiers of different resources. Resources are extremely valuable in Dead Space – we got rid of credits entirely.

“Everything that you can find in the game can be constructed from resources, which includes Tungsten, Semi-Conductors, Somatic Gel. Combining these in different ways will create either a weapon part, an ammo pack or an upgrade to Isaac’s suit.

“There’s a lot of players out there, especially players coming from mobile games, who are accustomed to micro-transactions. They’re like “I need this now, I want this now”. They need instant gratification. So we included that option in order to attract those players, so that if they’re 5000 Tungsten short of this upgrade, they can have it.

“There’s also the hardcore Dead Space players, who are reluctant to spend money outside the purchase of the game. Honestly, most of the dev team are that way, we’re kind of old school, a little bit older. So not only are the micro-transactions completely optional, but all packs are available to purchase using in-game resources that you find.

“So, your scavenger bot will go out, and sometimes when he comes back he’ll deliver ration seals. You’ll start to accumulate ration seals at a pretty steady clip throughout the game, and everything that can be purchased with real world dollars can also be purchased with ration seals.”

What to you think gamers? Should those accustomed to the mobile payment model mind-set be catered for in home console games too, or is this developers finding out how to squeeze more pennies from your pockets? Let us know below.



  1. Gareth Harmer

    I think it entirely depends on how it affects gameplay. If you can progress comfortably without needing to buy resources, even if it involves having to think carefully about upgrades etc, then great. If your choices are either grinding out resources for hours, or shortcutting it and hitting up the store, then there’s a problem. Hopefully the reviews will highlight which end of the spectrum it lies.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. KAP

    I just like to say gamers getting bent out of shape over this clearly don’t understand this much.
    Just being I love videogames doesn’t automatically mean I have the same amount of time to put into games as the next person, it’s tough to still be a gamer with responsibility, kids, bills, mortgage etc etc. So it’s just a barrier of entry for those like me to get in on the fun too.

    I used to feel like these microtransactions used to be for noobs but you soon realise that when you don’t have the time you won’t play many games because of what time they require off you to enjoy said game.

    Besides the dev have come out and said this isn’t a ploy to get more money off folk just a way to gain loot you otherwise don’t have the time to farm for.

    Just my two cents before the usual “this is dumb” starts flooding the comment section.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Paranormal Pett

    Isn’t it better to have an option there for those who want to use it, and if you fall into the category of not wanting to use it, then it will not affect you. If the game forces you to grind out these resources, then I will have a issue, and it will soon come to light that it is just a way to make more money from us. I really hope that who ever does a review on this will let it be known how easy the resources are to come by.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. absolutezero

    I would personally like this shit shoved out onto the main fucking menu instead of completely breaking the 4th wall by popping up in the middle of gameplay.

    Its fucking horrible. Why bother building atmosphere and tension when its going to be broken when you go to use an in-game terminal?


    #4 2 years ago
  5. freedoms_stain

    Ugly justification.

    Does this instant gratification he’s on about go hand in hand with financial expenditure?

    Why are we paying for cheat modes now?

    How many micro-transaction games on mobile cost £39.99 to buy?

    #5 2 years ago
  6. DaveDogg

    those complaining about this need to take a chill pill. its been done with most of the EA sports titles for years. there was outrage when folk heard about it in ME3 but next to silence after the title came out. it was in NFS if folk want to use it they will. and to be honest your paying for the resources from what I can make out not guns and on my first playthrough of the demo I found it very easy to screw a gun up. final thought after several years of doing it they know the market is there they are just catering to the people that want it

    #6 2 years ago
  7. ps3fanboy


    if you don’t have the time then you don’t have the time, it is that easy. only idiots pay for this, that don’t see the long time effect of this shit. you have ruin the game for the rest of us.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. theevilaires

    Played the demo last night and Co-op with a random person and both versions were quite enjoyable. I don’t know whether I want to play single player or Co-Op first when I get this game but Co-op was so smooth. Can definitely see myself beating this in one sitting on a Saturday night or Sunday.

    Also hot tip. I have my PS3 tethered to my EVO wirelessly in my office and Co-Op was super smooth no lag at all. I’m going to get the collectors edition of this game because I really enjoyed it unlike Metal Gear Raiden demo.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. SplatteredHouse

    “So, your scavenger bot will go out, and sometimes when he comes back he’ll deliver ration seals.”

    This is the part where I ready to call foul. They team you up with a gathering bot? D: Next, every third time it returns it will be set to deliver a voiced sponsor message. FFS…

    In no way am I opposed to accessibility (very much the opposite, actually), but I do think it should be done with some thought to the intended play experience. If it turns out that the game was designed in line with this: “Dead Space 3′s entire currency and weapon system has been dramatically altered, now cynically designed to support its own little economy, and that wasn’t an option.”
    …Well, we’ll see once the embargo lifts.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. SplatteredHouse

    @5: So right. That’s the irritating part of it. That this is NOT optional, for anyone that buys Dead Space 3. Not only is it not optional for the purchaser, but that person then muddies the water for everybody else who might have otherwise had a shot at the game. As soon as someone buys that game, they’ve made their vote.

    I don’t intend melodrama there, but I don’t believe I’m mistaken in that view. Since, the models are expanses apart between mobile (no/minimal upfront, microtransaction) and traditional platforms like PC/console. If you say “well, I will play at my own pace, and swear off the shop” it doesn’t make a spit of difference to EA. Because, EA’s model remains reliant on box/game sales. Mobile operators want you playing as long as possible, they want to sell you, as do their partners paying to sell to you. Outside of that space, the priority is getting paying patrons through the front gates.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. DSB

    It’s one thing to nickle and dime your customers, it’s quite another to break immersion in order to do it.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. sonny

    “There’s a lot of players out there, especially players coming from mobile games, who are accustomed to micro-transactions. They’re like “I need this now, I want this now”. They need instant gratification. So we included that option in order to attract those players, …”

    Yeah, why not jump on the bandwagon that goes straight down the drain?
    These are sad times we live in…

    #12 2 years ago
  13. TheWulf

    I’m old enough to remember cheat codes. I don’t think we had to pay for those, did we?

    Thought Exercise: I wonder if using a hacked save which starts you out in a new game with all of this stuff unlocked will result in an Origin-wide ban?

    #13 2 years ago
  14. sonny

    @13 Well, before the internets we had to buy those magazines to get the cheats but mostly we didn’t have enough money and ended up in one fella keeping the watch and the other kids writing down the cheats on their muddy hands ;)

    #14 2 years ago
  15. DSB

    @14 Or call hotlines, or send for mailorder guides :D

    We also had to read the manual to find out how anything worked… God, the 90′s sucked.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. Sublimeone

    @ DSB, I disagree, the 90s rocked HARD. Reading those manuals, was like already playing the game – in your head (lol) over and over. Omg, then you read the manual again from page one.

    Good times.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. Telepathic.Geometry

    This is obviously a fucking disgusting filthy cash grab. The game is essentially survival horror, so the fun is to be had in NOT having enough resources.

    But, even if you accept that some people want to get lots of resources immediately, just give it to them at a reasonable price, which is to say, free, considering it didn’t cost a lot of money or take a lot of time to write those 7 odd lines of code;

    Obviously, this doesn’t affect me per say, as I will never buy this kind of shite, but it’s a slippery slope. I mean, now the game publishers have an actual financial interest in making gathering resources in the game that little bit more tedious, laborious, difficult, unenjoyable.

    That can’t be good for the game, even if the devs are trying to be honest, they’re never gonna be able to say “Hey, we decided that gathering resources is no fun, so we’re just gonna give everybody heaps in the beginning. Please scrap that free money scheme you had there!”

    Also, I have a fundamental problem with any business not satisfied with making a reasonable profit margin with their customers. This is fleecing plain and simple. They’d get me too if they could. Sickening…

    #17 2 years ago
  18. Telepathic.Geometry

    It’s not quite a furor yet. Not too many gamers seem to give a shit. :(

    #18 2 years ago

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