Oh look, someone has opened their mouth and decided to defend microtransactions. Specifically, a market analyst from a Wall Street firm has decided to offer their opinion on Battlefront 2 microtransactions and how gamers are “overreacting” to the handling of the matter by EA.
The analyst in question is Evan Wingren of KeyBanc Capital Markets. According to a note written by Wingren, video games are the cheapest form of entertainment available and posits that gamers are being undercharged while also creating “a perfect storm for overreaction as it involves EA, Star Wars, Reddit, and certain purist gaming journalists/outlets who dislike MTX”.
According to Wingren, a gamer who spends $60 for a game and an additional $20 a month for loot boxes, then plays that game for 2.5 hours a day for one year, is paying 40 cents per hour of entertainment. By comparison, TV programs offer 60-65 cents per hour, movie rentals 80 cents per hour, and watching a theatrical release offers $3 an hour.
“Quantitative analysis shows that video game publishers are actually charging gamers at a relatively inexpensive rate, and should probably raise prices,” says Wingren. “Despite its inconvenience to the popular press narrative, if you like Star Wars and play video games at an average rate, you’re far better off skipping the movie and playing the game to get the most bang for your buck.”
In this writer’s specific opinion, what Mr. Wingren fails to understand isn’t that microtransactions or DLC itself is the problem so much as the way in which it’s applied is. If your game requires people to pay for a random crate to get ahead, then your game is built for the express purpose of fleecing players. If I like the base game, then I’ll spend money on DLCs or other things like that.
Or – and perhaps I’m just extending an inconvenient narrative – maybe publishers should release full titles instead of plucking pieces away for DLC exploitation later.