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On Turbine & Microtransactions

A post to The Lord of the Rings Online Forums reassures subscribers that Turbine is not planning on implementing real-money transactions into their Lord of the Rings MMOG, or presumably any of their current projects, responding to outcry over a job advertisement noticed by Massively that references "Turbine's micro-transaction-based in-game store." Without going into too much detail, they clarify that this is for a future game, rather than a current one: "We know the recent job listing has caused a bit of a stir, but please be aware that this posting is for an unannounced future project." Thanks Eurogamer.

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13. Re: On Turbine & Microtransactions Jan 6, 2009, 23:56 MMORPGHoD
 
But way to jump to conclussions about what these micro-transactions will actually consist of. At it's worst, it's certainly no more unfair than a paid expansion.

I see what you did concluded there.

This comment was edited on Jan 6, 2009, 23:56.
 
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12. Re: On Turbine & Microtransactions Jan 6, 2009, 20:39 Ruffiana
 
Yay for microtransactions, the gateway to the division of a player base by financial means. No longer will skill or time investment reign supreme as the base for all power in MMO games, now you can just spend more than your opponent and defeat him with your financial muscle!

Fixed that for you.

Seriously, MMO progression is almost entirely time-based. And for some people, their time is more valuable than their money.

But way to jump to conclussions about what these micro-transactions will actually consist of. At it's worst, it's certainly no more unfair than a paid expansion. And those usually comes with all kinds of perks like extra levels, new areas, opportunites for even more uber gear...
 
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11. Re: On Turbine & Microtransactions Jan 6, 2009, 20:21 Kxmode
 
"We know the recent job listing has caused a bit of a stir, but please be aware that this posting is for an unannounced future project."

Nothing to see here. Move along.
 
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10. Re: On Turbine & Microtransactions Jan 6, 2009, 18:43 MMORPGHoD
 
Unfortunately the rampant success of gold farming proves you wrong.

I figured someone would mention gold farming or ebay as part of a counter to my argument. I played WoW on launch, which means everyone has nothing out of the gate. It was a relatively level playing field to start. It takes time for the game to be affected by the rampant farming and ebay crap. And at least people at some point actually had to spend the time/effort to farm the item or build the character. The difference is micro-transactions would ruin it right away, essentially aging the game many times faster than it normally would have. It'd be as if I started at level 60 on WoW launch. I wouldn't touch a game like that with a ten foot pole.

This comment was edited on Jan 6, 2009, 18:46.
 
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9. Re: On Turbine & Microtransactions Jan 6, 2009, 18:10 Jason
 
I don't believe that micro-transactions that give players a distinct advantage over others in a MMOG will be successful, whether the game is PvP based or not. It doesn't matter if it's a console and it's not the same as a $15 a month fee that everyone in the game must pay to play. Many people wouldn't want that kind of environment to play in, even if they had the money to buy themselves a l33t character with all the best items. It takes away from the psychological feeling of competition for items, levels, gold, PvP combat.. the goals of playing the game.

Unfortunately the rampant success of gold farming proves you wrong.

Personally I'm for microtransactions, particularly if you can buy virtual currency. Even if I will never buy it myself, it means that the company can force gold farmers out of the selling gold business, and at the same time, force them out of the business of spamming me with tells and mails regarding gold farming.

 
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8. Re: On Turbine & Microtransactions Jan 6, 2009, 15:55 MMORPGHoD
 
It all depends on what kinds of micro-transactions we're talking about.

I don't believe that micro-transactions that give players a distinct advantage over others in a MMOG will be successful, whether the game is PvP based or not. It doesn't matter if it's a console and it's not the same as a $15 a month fee that everyone in the game must pay to play. Many people wouldn't want that kind of environment to play in, even if they had the money to buy themselves a l33t character with all the best items. It takes away from the psychological feeling of competition for items, levels, gold, PvP combat.. the goals of playing the game.

I had no desire to play Hellgate due to their two tiered pay system.. in addition to it sucking. And that game only had very minor advantages for subscribers.

This comment was edited on Jan 6, 2009, 16:04.
 
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7. Re: On Turbine & Microtransactions Jan 6, 2009, 14:55 AW
 
I think everyone is overlooking the fact that Turbine is looking to get into console space with an MMO product. With the disparity in costs of onlines services between the PS3/360 .. it makes sense to go with a micro-transaction route for their game.

Plus, with the rabid success of micro-trans on consoles, it makes more sense to do it there.
 
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6. Re: On Turbine & Microtransactions Jan 6, 2009, 14:16 Zzet
 
Well it's a good financial model, sure. I won't debate the fact that it'll generate profit at all, I'm more than certain it will. My beef exists with the fact that they think this will somehow improve the quality of the game, or add additional content or playability, or customisation.
The latter of course is probably the focus of the microtransactions; customised avatars. The idea I guess is to look different from (nearly) every other avatar on the realm/shard/server/world, but the fundamental problem is that you don't. You may have a different hat to most of your guild but a lot of other people will share that hat because they bought it too. Stuff that isn't customisable will still be similar in appearance (just take WoW's armour sets as an indicator as to how boring that is).
What you've just ended up with is a slightly different hat to everyone else for extra money, which doesn't provide any benefit beyond visuals. And they'll get old after a few days.

My opinion distilled is this: why pay $x for an avatar customisation when you simply won't look any different from other avatars to any relevant degree? Also, if you pay $x for a gameplay changing addition (say, a gun), the only way that'll be worth it is if it's better than anything else. And then you have my first post's situation which I think most people agree sucks koala nuts.

The fact that Turbine are even considering it for a future project concerns me enough to post about it.
 
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5. Re: I'd hate to be... Jan 6, 2009, 14:05 briktal
 
Why can't they say "We estimate having approximately 500,000 subscribers buying an average of $15 worth of items per month, growing at a rate..."? It's not like microtransactions necessarily result in your game losing money and failing, as plenty of games use such a model. Maybe there isn't a hugely successful one in the US, but they don't all crash and burn.

However, the real advantage of microtransactions is the ultimate limitation of a flat subscription fee. With a subscription, there's a low amount of money a player can realistically spend per month on the game. In something like WoW, you pay for the account, but you can't really spend more money. Sure, you could maybe get another account or two and run multiple characters at the same time, but there are some general limits on how well you can do that. But if you sell an item that increases earned XP by 50% for 6 hours for $1 (in a grind-heavy game), a really hardcore player might buy 2-3 (maybe 4 in extreme cases) a day for a character. Two a day for a month is $60.

Of course, at the other end you have people who buy nothing, but the goal would be to offer a good set of items at a good price so that you get at least X per player per month in sales.
 
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4. I'd hate to be... Jan 6, 2009, 10:40 JohnBirshire
 
An accountant for an MMO that prescribes to the "microtransation" fad.

Yes, fad.

I can see it already...

Investor: "So, you estimate having approximately 500,000 subscribers paying a subscription fee of $15 per month, growing at a rate of approximately...."

Reply: "Uhhh, no, we uhm, expect our green pin striped hats to be very popular with our 20-28 year old male who lives in Southwest California player base, and they sell for $5 each, we think we will sell anywhere between 1,000 and 25,000 of them, our purple hair dye with highlight extensions might be popular with our 15-18 gothic female audience, and it sells for $4 a bottle, we expect to sell anywhere from 2,000 to 20,000 bottles, and.........etc, etc, etc, etc"

Investor: "Uhhh, no thank you."

In the already volatile MMO industry, this is just a recipe for disaster.
 
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3. Re: On Turbine & Microtransactions Jan 6, 2009, 10:20 Hellbinder
 
zznet...

You are wrong. As are the majority of people out there who bash on micro transaction games. It ok to pay someone 15 bucks a month. But its not ok to pay a company 15 bucks a month or less on some cool custom gear that makes your avatar a little unique and customized?

Look at Combat arms. they sell customized versions of weapons and armor that you already have the stats for and or acquired in game loke desert or arctic versions of m14's etc..

Its a good game model. There is nothing wrong with it.
 
The Whales name is Bob.
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2. Re: On Turbine & Microtransactions Jan 6, 2009, 10:03 DarkCntry
 
I feel special that it was my thread that prompted the response

That said, even if Turbine includes MTs into their future games, I'd expect either the game's entire base model to be built around it or it being solely left to their console MMO efforts, as console players are more willing to part with little fees than to pay monthly...especially those using Live.
 
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1. Re: On Turbine & Microtransactions Jan 6, 2009, 09:53 Zzet
 
Yay for microtransactions, the gateway to the division of a player base by financial means. No longer will skill or time investment reign supreme as the base for all power in MMO games, now you can just spend more than your opponent and defeat him with your financial muscle!

"Turbine are proud to make available the new Cash-Cannon, a new in-game weapon and currently the most powerful gun in-game to date! (by a factor of ten!) This weapon is so powerful it actually fires slugs of cold, hard virtual currency at your opponent. Out of ammo? Just replenish your supply with a microtransaction of $0.10 per slug!"

..unless of course the microtransactions are for gimmicky stuff like non-combat pets or hats or something, in which case I replace the previous statement with a deep sigh. I guess there might be enough stupid people in the world to buy into that.
 
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