Microsoft Monitoring Buying Habits, No Blanket Strategy For Microtransactions
Microsoft Studios head Phil Spencer had some comments for those concerned about the microtransactions found in the Xbox One first party launch titles. While these titles all feature the option to buy in with real cash, the implementation is different in each.
Speaking with Kotaku, Spencer suggests that there isn’t a set plan for all titles. He says that the company is still learning, and its monitoring what users are doing with the games.
"I want to be able to learn from what we put in," Spencer told Kotaku. "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."
We recently published an opinion piece about the practice of blind-buy microtransactions in full-priced games. In the conclusion, we suggested that the best way to stop the practice was to prevent it from being successful. Microsoft’s monitoring resources will feed purchase information back.
Spencer does assure that there won’t be real money transactions for achievements. That aspect of the system seems to be safe.
For more from Spencer, including a conversation about the timing of Halo on Xbox One, the differences in launch lineups between the Xbox One and Xbox 360, and the possibility of dormant series returning, check out the full interview. You can also read our interview with him from September.
I’m hopeful that gamers steer clear of the microtransactions in full-priced games. It’s one thing to sell cosmetic items like the Gears of War weapon skins, but packs of trading cards are a tactic best left for free-to-play titles. If I’m spending more than the entry fee, I want to know exactly what I’m getting.