In-game purchases. Nobody wants them, and yet it seems like more and more developers are stuffing their titles with them. In the age of DLC, pay-to-win, and other of in-game purchases schemes draining player’s wallets, it’s becoming more and more difficult to find a game that won’t ask you to pay even more money beyond your initial $60 dollar purchase, even on Day 1 of release (See this week’s debacle with Soul Calibur VI). With that in mind, it’s easy to see why a lot of consumers consider the gaming world to be in a bit of a “Gamers vs. Publishers” stand-off, but not every developer is completely on board the in-game purchase train.
Shigeru Miyamoto, a innovative Nintendo legend and all-around amazing human being, talked with Bloomberg about his issues with in-game purchases and subscription models at this year’s Japanese Computer Entertainment Developer’s Conference in Yokohama this week. The 65-year-old creator of Donkey Kong and Mario expressed his belief that a fixed-cost model for games is the way to go, but also notes that subscription-based models can be beneficial, and even essential, as long as they are manageable.
Miyamoto’s main gripe is with the free-to-play model, which offers games for free to consumers, only to urge them to purchase in-game items, such as clothing, season passes, and upgrades, to profit. Ironically, Nintendo has released subscription-based, free-to-play model games before. One of the developers first mobile ventures, Super Mario Run, is an example of this with a free world to play, and the unlock of the rest for $9.99 on the App Store, as well as the release of Fortnite on the Nintendo Switch earlier this year.
Miyamoto spoke to this however, stating that
“It’s necessary for developers to learn to get along… When seeking a partner for this, it’s important to find someone who understands the value of your software. Then customers will feel the value in your apps and software and develop a habit of paying money for them.”
With these subscription models, and to build a comfortable relationship between gamer and developer so that gamers will know they’re getting more bang for shelling out more buck. While the subscription service model is probably never going to go way, developers will hopefully take Miyamoto’s words to heart and not get too greedy with in-game purchases.