Xbox One titles Ryse, Killer Instinct and Forza Motorsport 5 have drawn mixed reactions for their varying implementation of microtransactions, with Microsoft boss Phil Spencer admitting that the platform holder hasn’t settled on a set strategy yet.
“We’re still learning,” Spencer told Kotaku when asked about why the three games use very different strategies; Ryse’s microtransactions are largely ignorable, almost all of Killer Instinct’s content is locked behind a paywall despite it being free-to-play, and Forza’s prices for better cars have raised eyebrows.
Spencer said Microsoft will monitor and learn from which of these strategies fans embrace – and which they eschew as too expensive.
“I want to be able to learn from what we put in, so let’s make sure we are crafting the game and the analytics so we can see what the consumers – the gamers – like and don’t. If you assume buying habits are a reflection of what people like. So that we can craft the experience better for the gamer,” he said.
“It’s easy to say something like, ‘I’ll never allow somebody to buy the win of the game, I won’t let them buy victory,’ but that’s kind of a trite answer. I’d say, ‘Yeah, I guess I have that line, that [we wouldn’t have] “Pay five bucks and get 1000 achievements” or something stupid like that.’ I’m always pushing against that. But, in reality, that’s not what the gamers are looking for. They’re usually looking for customization and their gameplay style opening up.”