Thursday 24 April 2014

The In-Game Purchases Debate

It's 9pm last night. I've had a long day at work and I decide 'You know what? If I'm going to review anything, I should try something new! How about that free puzzle game, Vita? This is good, non-wallet harming fun. YAAAY!'

In a natural turn of events, I boot up No Heroes Allowed! (No Puzzles Either) on PS Vita. And at first it's fun! Badman is a hilarious character, a real treat to receive tutorials from. The game plays pretty fun too! Not something I would play everyday or platinum trophy, but good for a harmless night of fun. Then during mandatory tutorial time, the words 'cold hard cash' appear in red along with an implication that I can buy something.

This is okay I first think. The developers must get paid somehow for this free game, right? Things my parents have said such as 'too good to be true' and 'nothing ever comes for free' come to mind, but I brush them off. This game is fun, right? Besides, there's no money in my budget for DLC this week.

I continue playing. Another tutorial. Another mention of spending 'cold-hard cash'. Okay, that's a tiny bit pushy. BUT AGAIN. I brush it off.

And in a unexpected twist: the cold hard cash mention happened a third time and it got me thinking: Do I really want to be reminded that I can't afford to help these guys? Or that I don't feel any need to buy what they're selling, but have it thrown at me again anyway?

At that moment was when I decided me and No Heroes Allowed! would not be friends. Which is a little bit of a shame. I know I could have kept playing again if I really wanted to, but from No Heroes Allowed!, I was looking for a casual experience to enjoy beside my other games where my cold hard cash had already gone. I just wanted fun, not to think about my wallet. Even if I'm more of an RPG kind of gamer, I would have been more likely to pursue this game longer and maybe eventually pay money if it wasn't thrown in my face.

A word of advise for future DLC creators:

Advertising is good. Most of us will happily accept a one time mention and place your product and whether or not we need it in the back of our minds. But please! Don't try and sell to me multiple times within a game. I will pay the money if I want to, you don't need to remind me. It is understandable and honourable that you've felt strong enough in your product to put a price tag on extras for it so that you can get paid and do this for a living. I want that for you too, as would other fans of the games. But please understand: if we are going to pay, we will. If we believe in your product enough, we definitely will. Until then:

Mention your in-game purchases once. Then let us decide what we will or can do.
Please and thank you.

Now to brighten up this post, here's a fun photo from the game:

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