Feeling a bit of sticker shock after watching the standard price of big-name PC games leap up to $60 over night? Well, you're definitely not alone. In fact, you've got at least one friend in a very high place, and he thinks it's high time we put our collective foot down and put a stop to all this bank-breaking nonsense. Oh, but there is one teensy little catch. His solution, you see, involves the dreaded M-word: microtransactions.
“I have trouble working out why free-to-play games have generated controversy – I’ve been doing this for four years now, so it feels kind of normal to me – but I can’t think of anything more exploitative than gating all of your content behind having to pay someone $60,” EA General Manager Ben Cousins told Rock Paper Shotgun.
“How many times have we all bought crappy games for $60, right? And the majority of people in our game spend less than that – the cost of a full-priced game. So what we’re selling is a cheaper than full price game that you can try before you buy. If you choose to buy at all. I honestly don’t see what’s so controversial about that – compare to buying a console, an HDTV, and then a $60 game which, if you don’t like it, you’ll have to sell back to the store for $10.”
Currently, Cousins is deep in the development trenches of Battlefield Play4Free, which – terrible name aside – looks to be a pretty excellent free-to-play translation of Battlefield 2. Granted, it remains to be seen whether BFP4F will use microtransactions' powers for good or for the wallet-swiping villainy perpetrated in Battlfield Heroes. Please, EA, don't lure us in with Battlefield and then spring a trap on us again. We'll only fall for it so many hundreds of times.