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Visceral on Microtransactions: "A Lot of Players Need Instant Gratification"

Matt Gardner
Dead Space 3, EA Games, Microtransactions, Visceral Games

Visceral on Microtransactions: "A Lot of Players Need Instant Gratification"

Dead Space 3 developers - Visceral Games - have moved to clarify the rather controversial introduction of microtransactions to Dead Space 3, couching the in-game financial options in terms of providing time-saving devices geared towards players who "need instant gratification".

“Not much has been spoken about that, but I can tell you the details now," said Visceral's John Calhoun, chatting to CVG. "The way the micro-transactions work, is that there’s only three things that you can buy, and they’re basically tiers of different resources. Resources are extremely valuable in Dead Space – we got rid of credits entirely.

“Everything that you can find in the game can be constructed from resources, which includes Tungsten, Semi-Conductors, Somatic Gel. Combining these in different ways will create either a weapon part, an ammo pack or an upgrade to Isaac’s suit.

“There’s a lot of players out there, especially players coming from mobile games, who are accustomed to micro-transactions. They’re like “I need this now, I want this now”. They need instant gratification. So we included that option in order to attract those players, so that if they’re 5000 Tungsten short of this upgrade, they can have it."

Calhoun took pains to note that the microtransactions are "completely optional", and that everything that can be purchased via real money might also be purchased with in-game currency - ration seals.

“There’s also the hardcore Dead Space players, who are reluctant to spend money outside the purchase of the game," he continued. "Honestly, most of the dev team are that way, we’re kind of old school, a little bit older. So not only are the micro-transactions completely optional, but all packs are available to purchase using in-game resources that you find.

“So, your scavenger bot will go out, and sometimes when he comes back he’ll deliver ration seals. You’ll start to accumulate ration seals at a pretty steady clip throughout the game, and everything that can be purchased with real world dollars can also be purchased with ration seals.”

Add a comment3 comments
Korma  Jan. 25, 2013 at 16:37

They say packs, so are these randomised items like in Mass Effect? That's a very seedy way to do business.

The problem with them saying you can just use in-game items is how much graft it takes to get the in game items. When you have money on the line it's surely going to take longer to earn the resources from gameplay than it would without a 'buy now' option.

I remember EA's financial report so I know how much money they make off all these micro-transactions. They need to start making the games cost £1 or £2 if they're catering for the mobile game player who's expecting to pay micro-transactions or stop trying to excuse the gouging of customers.

Quietus  Jan. 25, 2013 at 18:48

I hate the idea of microtransactions, regardless of what colour you paint them. It's not a good thing to make the core players feel like they have to grind your game to get enough materials. If they're not obtainable at a decent rate without these transactions, there'll be some backlash.

Tsung  Jan. 26, 2013 at 10:05

I picked up Sims 3 in the steam sale, that game is micro transaction hell. As far as I can tell everything costs sim points, I have no idea if you can earn them thro' playing the game but seriously it's crazy. It seems to combine expansions with Microtransactions, anyone hooked on the game should just give EA their money and be done..

Sadly, after playing this, I thought, oh no.. Sim City is coming it's by EA. Chances are it will also be Micro-transaction hell with Expansion packs as well.

I'm just glad I didn't pay £30 for Sims 3, it would be a total rip off at that price. For that you get some of the game to play and the option to purchase the rest at a premium. :/

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