Dragon Age’s microtransactions might not be bad, but EA hasn’t earned our trust
Dragon Age: Inquisiton will cost $59.99 when it releases later this year. It will include an option for players to spend more money in the game’s multiplayer option.
Let me remind you that this isn’t a mobile game. This is a highly anticipated, full-fledged console release and it includes a popular feature found in various mobile games: the ability to pay your way forward.
Here’s the full quote:
Platinum is the name of the currency that you can buy with money. Our philosophy for MP—and we are adamant about it—is that you can buy anything with gold coins, which is the currency you get from dungeon-crawling. There will be no pay wall.
Now, for what it’s worth, the multiplayer portion of the game will have no effect on the single player campaign, so don’t expect anything similar to Mass Effect 3 here. In addition, it's clear that there are no pay walls; this is simply an option for players to bypass gameplay and “cheat” their way to goodies. For comparison’s sake, it’s similar to paying Blizzard $60 for a free level 90 character.
There is one key difference, though: we don’t have EA’s trust.
The publisher’s track record on various issues in gaming hasn’t been the greatest recently, so you can perfectly understand why so many people are upset over the inclusion of microtransactions and payments into a $59.99 game. This is the same company that completely dropped the ball on last year’s SimCity release, threw Dungeon Keeper under a mountain of pay walls, published Battlefield 4 with a mess of issues, published Mass Effect 3 with an incredibly unpopular ending, and is viewed slightly above liver and onions on the likability scale by gamers.
The ironic part in all of this, though, is that people are going to pay for in-game Platinum because they have disposable income and the desire to get the best available items right away. On the one hand, you’re going to encounter these people in multiplayer matches and it’s going to be annoying. On the other hand, the DLC for Dragon Age: Inquisition is going to be free. Is it possible that the DLC is free due to these microtransactions? Yes. Still, it’s perfectly okay to be cautious about their inclusion in a fully priced retail game for new consoles.
Other companies could have done the same and we would have shrugged “eh, they’re not integral to the game so that’s okay I guess.” But EA isn’t another company; they’ve been under a microscope for quite some time now. This decision isn’t going to end their time in the negative spotlight, no matter how well intended it might be.
Jake was once called GameZone’s worst writer in the comment section of one of his articles. His opinions on microtransactions probably won’t change that opinion. Feel free to tell him how awful he is on Twitter @hop3less.