Sigh. Microtransactions. Seems like every day someone else is adding them to their game, and not only that, but adding them in sneaky ways that infuriate fans, but still make the company loads of cash. OVERKILL Software, makers of Payday 2, joined the microtransaction game recently. And their fans are simply not having it.
Producer Almir Listo took to Reddit yesterday for an AMA about the recent event, Crimefest, celebrating the series’ third anniversary by encouraging people to join the Steam community, and providing rewards when enough people did. But no one really wanted to talk about Crimefest’s playable content. What instead ensued was question after question about the microtransactions that came with it, particularly galling when the website’s initial announcement for Crimefest had trumpeted all the content as free. Instead, in order to unlock randomly dropped Safes including weapon skins that can boost your weapons and abilities, you have to pay $2.49. The Drills used to open these Safes used to only be purchasable in that manner, but OVERKILL added them to random loot drops tables after everyone complained.
Aside from Payday 2’s initial cost, it also has paid DLC. You can read through the Reddit thread to find plenty of reasons why the company finds it necessary to squeeze even more money out of the title (hiring more staff, unexpected costs, the like), but it doesn’t change the fact that the company has promised on multiple occasions to never go near microtransactions, and now has gone back on their word. In their frustration, fans have even made a parody site entitled Road to Greedfest, peppered with actual quotes from the developers insisting that they would not touch microtransactions. It’s somewhat amusing, but mainly sad.
Eventually, developers are going to have to figure it out. People largely hate microtransactions. Especially when you’ve already dished out a huge chunk of money for the game, having others be able to pay even more to gain advantages in online is one of the worst ways to experience them. Couple that with some really poor PR, and you have a recipe for disaster. As long as people buy them, they will persist, but hopefully this uproar encourages companies to handle the announcements better than this was handled.