"Microtransactions" has become a dirty word inferring a greedy corruption is intent on feasting upon your depleted bank account. But wait! There’s no cause for alarm following confirmation Rockstar is offering an option to part with small change to save time in "part 2" of the biggest entertainment launch in history Grand Theft Auto Online.
I’m overjoyed to learn that I can sidle closer to a life of luxury in the more lively incarnation of Los Santos come October 1 — if I decide to spend money to save time.
Honestly, I probably won’t have time to earn an extra $500,000 or $1 million, and the chance to buy it for a relatively small fee is a fair trade if it means I can step-up to the big time with my crew almost immediately.
It’s not cheating or buying your way to success, but rather the opportunity to play less of the game. If you pay to essentially level up your swag, you’re ultimately going to play less GTA Online because it will remove the fun of earning your stripes.
Microtransations and in-game purchases have evolved over the past 12 months from a necessity, if you want to win, to a time saving tool. It’s like buying the express pass at Disney Land — it costs a bit more, but how much is your time worth?
The microtransactions in Grand Theft Auto Online won’t make a skerrick of difference to the balance of gameplay. If you want to buy in-game gift cards, you’ll essentially fast track your way to a bigger bank balance.
If that sounds like a horrible waste of a good time and you’d prefer to earn your rewards, nobody is going to look down on you for not spending additional money. In fact, most people will play in a deliberately leisurely manner and probably have more fun, long term.
However, for the time-strapped dads, CEOs and plain lazy gamers, there’s an option to fast track your way to the good stuff that you might otherwise never find the time to see.
Rockstar could have easily sold GTA Online as a $20 or $30 piece of DLC. Hell, Activision asks for $19 every time it releases four new maps for its multiplayer mode; and sometimes they aren't even new. GTA Online is amazing value in the current climate of paying for extras.
Selling microtransactions within the freebee that actually benefits some players and can be totally ignored by others is the perfect solution. It will appease the suits at Rockstar trying to impress investors as they demonstrate another ingenious way to add to the $1 billion GTA V made in three days, but it isn’t costing you, the gamers, anything.