For Honor: Microtransactions killing the game?
We often hear from seasoned gamers that gaming and the shear experience of completing tasks and quests in games has been overly simplified in the last few years. More and more developers are putting certain features of their games behind a door that can only be unlocked by paying an extra amount, or a so called microtransaction. There are a lot of companies which have a reputation of doing this. But what happens when a company goes too far and demands an unrealistic amount of money to unlock relatively meaningless things, which should already be included in the game?
This is the case with Ubisoft and their latest action fighting game For Honor.
For Honor has been hyped for months, even years as the next big thing, and certainly expectations were set high, from both Ubisoft and their fans. But from the second the game hit the shelves, it started attracting the wrong kind of attention and reactions. To be honest, it has been praised for its accurate interpretation of various significant historic warrior classes, innovative combat system and online matchmaking, but all of this lays in the shadow of a poorly made peer2peer connection system, unreliable servers and most importantly, microtransactions.
For many gamers, microtransactions present an annoyance, an unnecessary part of a game which only dampens the experience and joy of the game. For Honor certainly tries to get out of its way and push microtransactions even harder. To put this claim into some context, the game is priced as an AAA game, with a price tag of $59.99, a pretty hefty amount to start with. In addition to the core game, players who would like to unlock the full features of the game would need to pay around $700 dollars more, with certain packs costing up to $100 to unlock. This concerns mainly cosmetics, skins and other customizables that make the game more enjoyable. This all wouldn’t be such a bad thing if it was regulated much better than it is right now, as Steel, the main currency in the game, is very hard to obtain, and it would take years of playing to unlock every feature of the game without paying, so players are basically being forced to purchase certain packs and unlockables, and Ubisoft isn’t doing anything about this. This attitude from the publisher has enraged quite a large audience, which is now demanding a change of politics.
This reaction from the players hasn’t gone unnoticed by the games main developing team, as game director Damien Kieken has gone on his livestream to respond to this controversy, but not in a way the fans expected. Kieken said that: ‘’We never had an intention for you to unlock everything in the game’’ and that they expected that players will only play with only one to three characters, so they wouldn’t need to unlock all of the extra content for other characters in the game. In continuation, he said that these items were meant as an end game content bonus, for players to get when they master the game after several weeks.
Gamers haven’t responded to these comments well, as they feel betrayed by the developer, and helpless to do anything about it. Thousands of gamers united against this stand from the developers, and there are even special forums going up on sites such as Reddit, which are dedicated to fans who want to go there and share their frustrations and thoughts about all of this, and the way Ubisoft is handling these problems.
To make things even worse in their In his summary, Kieken compared the game with World of Warcraft, saying that it is not expected from players to unlock all of the cosmetics in that game, so the same should apply for this game, and that it should be treated like an RPG in a sense, that the players unlock and develop only one character of their choice.
The reasoning behind all of this made the fans even more angry and perplexed, as Ubisoft doesn’t seem to be sweating so much and caring about their opinion. All of this is very discouraging and disappointing to see and is ruining the taste and excitement of this fresh and creative game, but to be honest, for players who do want to only play and enjoy this game, these unlockables don’t offer any additional value, except esthetics, and the game is very enjoyable if you see it for what it is, a bloody, fun action filled, fighting multiplayer game. The characters are cool, the combat is awesome, and the game as a whole is very entertaining, whether or not you decide to purchase extra items. Be that as it is, Ubisoft still needs to revise their strategy about the game, at least in regards of the amount of Steel the players get as a reward after winning a match, and the developers next move could set a precedent in the coming years when it comes to microtransactions and their place in gaming, as it is clear that the tides are changing as gaming becomes more and more mainstream and commercial.
After all of this said, and after weighing in both the pros and the cons, For Honor still looks like a promising game and with some adjustments and changes it still could be a hit it was expected to be. A lot of respected gaming sites and newspapers are giving this game a very positive review, setting aside all of these controversies surrounding it, so if you were interested in buying this game, don’t get discouraged, wait a little and see if Ubisoft will try to handle it and make the situation better. We will have more news in the upcoming days about the development of this controversy, so make sure you stay tuned if you want to follow up on this situation.