Ah, microtransactions. No one celebrates the addition of more stuff to dump real money on after you’ve already purchased a $60 game, but some ways of asking for money have grown particularly galling of late. Not the least of which is the revelation today that Metal Gear Solid V’s online multiplayer, Metal Gear Online, is selling insurance for your Forward Operating Bases, or FOBs.
FOBs are purchasable in MGS V with in-game currency that is difficult to obtain, but can also be bought with real money. FOBs contain staff, items, equipment, and all sorts of other goodies that you’d want to keep around, generally, but all that can be stolen by other players raiding your base. By purchasing FOB insurance you can’t prevent this from happening, but you can guarantee that (most) of your stuff will be replaced by identical stuff. That’s most, not all:
"The following are not covered by FOB insurance: Staff/items that are not fully your property, such as abducted staff being held in your Brig (FOB), Wounded staff (staff lost due to death or extraction will be compensated), Staff used by you to deploy in defense of the FOB (neither death nor extraction will be compensated), Nuclear weapons."
It’s also not permanent, but only covers for a certain number of days. NeoGAF indicates that the prices run as follows:
- 50 coins – one day coverage
- 100 coins – three day coverage
- 200 coins – seven day coverage
- 300 coins – fourteen day coverage
Currently, 100 MB coins is $0.99 USD, with slight price-cuts if you buy in bulk. It caps at $49.99 for 6000 coins, or about 120 coins/dollar. It sounds cheap in small amounts, but if you intend to play the online multiplayer for any amount of time you’ll either be buying a lot of insurance, or at the mercy of other players who can take and take without experiencing any real losses themselves…except from their actual wallets.
It’s a weird and disappointing model, if maybe not a surprising one. As long as people are willing to cough up for such things, the big name games will keep asking for money long after the game is sold…even for ridiculous things like insurance.
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