Mobile User Spends $150,000 on Transformer Game
Microtransactions have taken over as the dominant method for game developers to continue making money on their games long after the title launches to the public.
Microtransactions can be enormous boons for companies looking to continue funding their game’s development. For instance, a Runescape player spent $90,000 on the Squeal of Fortune event, a highly unpopular microtransaction daily event available in Runescape 3 from 2012 to 2014 that many accused of making the game pay to win. In addition to a user reported in a recent MMO’s podcast to have spent over $10,000 on a random viking mobile game.
According to a recent report from Kotaku, however, we may have a new world record for most money spent on microtransactions, at least for mobile games. A gamer has reportedly spent $150,000 on “Transformers: Earth Wars,” a game like Clash of Clans by developer Yodo1.
The company’s CEO Henry Fong confirmed the spending at the Game Connect Asia-Pacific conference. It was followed up with a discussion of an AI the company had created that allowed them to predict which users could be “whales,” the name given to those who spend insane amounts of money on a game.
The AI can predict which users could be whales with 97% accuracy, an incredible statistic that could change the industry. Fong noted the AI could even be programmed to offer different microtransaction packages depending on the user.
He did note, however, that the company hadn’t implemented that feature as it could quickly backfire against the company. Users figured out the price of in-game items fluctuated from user to user.
Given the money involved in microtransactions, with mobile game Fate Grand Order having recently become Sony’s highest-grossing game of all time, it’s safe to assume that someone will create their own version and implement that feature at some point.
Whether or not it backfires will determine if the flood gates of microtransaction specialization burst open, and it spreads like wildfire across the industry.
Such a program wouldn’t be kept to mobile gaming either, as even PC users have gotten on the microtransaction train.
Steam user St4cks has spent close to $1 million on the platform alone. That’s way more than the price of all the base games on the market alone. League players are known for spending money on the many skins implemented into the game.
I know my brother and I have both spent over $3,000 on the title in the last 10 years. We’re sure to pay more as more content comes out (hello Louis Vuitton skins), and I’m sure countless others will continue to follow suit.
As controversial as mobile game microtransactions, and microtransactions in general, are they aren’t going anywhere in gaming anytime soon. Whether we’ll see them in the same form 10 years from now, you can bet they’ll still be a big part of post-launch income for developers.