Video games have become a huge market that has expanded greatly over time, therefore, it is normal to find thousands of gamers around the world that besides spending a lot of money on consoles, accessories and games, also spend large amounts of money buying items from a videogame. In the past generations it was unthinkable to spend real money on intangible and non-existent objects that only serve to benefit in a simple game, but thanks to the passing of time and the constant increase of players in the world, it is normal for any player to try to overcome any challenge that imposes some videogame, regardless of the cost.
The video games that began the practice of buying with real money benefits in the game were the ultra-famous Free-to-Play, this business model is characterized by offering the player a videogame that can be purchased completely free, but has many limited features that require some payment to be activated, such payments are made to obtain certain facilities in the game come in the form of microtransactions, so called because these payments are for very small amounts of money, but even so, constantly. The Free-to-Play model began with MMORPG video games and has now expanded to all types of genres.
Bearing this in mind, it must be taken into account that Free-to Play videogames, being free, require an alternative way for the developer company to obtain profits, and time has already proven that the best method is microtransactions.
The types of elements that are normally obtained through microtransactions are the following:
· Cosmetic elements
This type of elements are characterized by not offering an item that gives any advantage to the player, these are just aesthetic items that in no way affect the gameplay, among them can be found: Clothes, sprays, poses, voices, emblems, among many more aesthetic features.
· Temporary Enhancers
This kind of elements modify in some way the gameplay of the videogame, and besides that, they can also give the player some kind of empowerment to help him overcome the game more easily, usually, these items can be obtained for free, but will require much more effort or luck. The examples of these are extremely varied and depend on the theme of the game, but usually can be some chest that requires a microtransaction to be open, an item that allows more experience, some powerful weapon that requires real money to be obtained, accelerators, among many unlimited possibilities more.
· Unlockable elements
These are the elements that directly, have a totally restricted access for those who do not pay, these types of elements do not normally affect the player in any way, these only try to extend the content of the game. The examples on these can be very varied, they can be levels, vehicles, exclusive weapons, extra characters, among many others.
You can also add a very popular way to invest money in a videogame, this consists of buying and selling coins exclusive to a game, especially MMORPG, which with the use of real money is achieved to form a quite striking market. An example of this type of business World of Warcraft and its large number of players who are willing to buy WoW gold, or can also be mentioned (taking into account the games Free-to-Play) the case of Path of Exile where the gaming community has formed a market where you can buy PoE currency of different types and with various forms of payment.
In short, the videogame business has evolved quite a bit over time, and thanks to this, they have an unparalleled success, just to mention the fact that players invest a lot of money in them is proof of this. It is hoped that this article will help to understand a little better the use of microtransactions in Free-to-Play videogames.