Modern Gaming Companies Are Scamming You, Here’s How.

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Whether it be from selling broken and uncreative games for 70 dollars, giving players who pay an advantage, or shilling skins for an exorbitant price range, game companies are trying to tear as much money they can from your wallet. The recent decline in quality of video games and the rise in their price is a lose-lose situation for gamers, while being a win-win for game companies not having to do much work for a titanic paycheck. The sudden increase in prices has left gamers stumped if they should spend 60 to 70 dollars on the next game, especially if older games have a better story or mechanics. They believe your wallet is more important than making a quality piece of work, stealing away your enjoyment with pure greed.

Microtransactions have been around for an exceedingly long time, and they are in every form of gaming system one could play on. They are in phones, consoles, PCs, laptops, and so many more. They were first introduced in 2006, when game company Bethesda sold horse armor to players with money to spend. Most players disliked this new system for content, but the paycheck Bethesda got was worth the negative reviews it got. This set an example for other companies on how to get extra money flowing through their pockets.

Ever since then, microtransactions have spread and evolved, forming into various categories. Some of these include “pay-to-win” mechanics or seasonal battle-passes. These microtransactions plague games with obnoxious pop-ups, lack of content unless paid for, or a boost for players who spend money. But if that was not bad enough, video game companies are also increasing their prices for their new products.

Recently, video games have been increasing in price with the sudden popularity among all age groups. Many companies have already taken advantage of this trend. In an article by Ryan Whitwam, the CEO of Ubisoft admitted that their new games would be priced at 70 dollars, yet it will still be infested with microtransactions and cosmetics. This new price, along with the microtransactions systems, serves as a dangerous precedent for the future of gaming. It lets companies make people pay an inflated price for what they are getting, while still also being bombarded with microtransactions. Also, many of these companies try ripping the player off by selling them buggy games for the price of a finished one. If you look at Cyberpunk 2077, a game made by CD Projekt Red, the only thing you see is a buggy mess with lots of missing content that the developers had promised would be in the game, yet they still sold the game at 60 dollars. These companies are trying to sell you a half-baked game, and if we let them, the trend can only get worse. This behavior spells disaster for your wallet, your friend’s wallet, and your overall enjoyment of the game. This combination of microtransactions, unreasonable prices, and broken games releasing for a high price has put gamers back into being interested in older games.

Older games have recently been put back into the spotlight, whether it be due to cheapness, creativity, or the simplicity of these games, it is hard to ignore their sudden popularity. Games like Fallout: New Vegas and Team Fortress 2 have been recently spotted with a sudden increase in popularity and positive reception. Whether it be from New Vegas’s story or TF2’s simple mechanics but fun gameplay loop, something has caught the attention of gamers. Some believe older games are simply better than their modern counterparts, many think that older games had originality and passion behind them, rather than a hunger for easy money, while others believe that older games lay the brickwork for newer games, giving them a fresh feeling with their gameplay and story.

In an interview with Bridgette Young, she stated “older games set the tones, foundations, and just generally make the newer games what they are. We wouldn’t have COD without Doom from the 90’s, nor would we have the more recent Super Mario Bros and Mario Cart without the original Mario and the foundations it laid.” When playing these games, people generally have a feeling of playing something original and “baked with love.” The future of video games seems dark, while the past looks more inviting, so what can we do to get gaming back into a good place? Unbelievably, there is hope.

With changes in technology, game development is open for anybody with the willpower and knowledge to create games, meaning an increase of games made by solo developers or small groups of friends trying to make something cool. What can you do? Well, you can support these indie developers by pre-ordering games or starting a GoFundMe. If we support these developers, we can make companies create quality games again, or these indie developers could be the next companies. If we do not let these companies swindle us, they will be forced to make something that is worth our time and money.