Pay to Win – In Game Microtransactions

So we are finally here, the days of buying a game shoving it in the console and playing are dead. We now have to buy a game and they keep buying to get anywhere RIPOFF!

OK this is a semi-rant and may come across a bit old fashioned but I firmly believe in buying a game and working your way through it. Now it seems that a lot of game companies are putting in microtransactions that amount to “Gambling” into new games such as Fifa18 and StarWars Battlefront 2 to name two.  Why am I naming these two? I have/ had them and this is my experience..


Every year about September I used to get Fifa and then Pro Evo – Buy the game, play it and get the new version a year later. My son (15) is now into football in a big way so Fifa is his goto game. He plays no other game on the PS4 at all, NOTHING. HE likes the Fifa Ultimate Team and so will spend his time trying to open virtual packs of players in the hope he gets a couple that are worthy to go into his “Ultimate Team”. In the last 18 months or so he has started asking for Fifa points for his birthday or Xmas and we got him a few – nothing crazy mind just €20 here and there.

Now lets switch from Fifa18 to Star Wars Battlefront, Star Wars is great, I am a Sci-Fi geek and wanted this game but after a few days of playing i got very much fed up of playing the multiplayer and getting pasted every bloody session. I am not a bad gamer and know how it works but it appears that if you sink enough money into the game you can just rank up by cash – Pay 2 Win – Just pump enough cash in and own the game, I was getting nowhere and the rank up by play was so weak i just gave up and traded the game in. NO WAY was i paying ectra cash to have a level playing field.

Nothing too bad here it may seem but this led to an issue last week.  My son as i said got Fifa Point and PSN credits for Xmas from us and other family members, He used these points bo buy player packs to better his team. OK not sooo bad. However he then by mistake used my credit card linked to my PSN account and charged €100 buying more points and not topping up his card.  So I have two issues, 1) how did he managed to charge my card and 2) Microtanstactions are getting out of hand!


  1. How did he charge my card?

I am not stupid and had a password on all transactions and a PIN (Pin….. keep note) In the PSN store dashboard I have my account set up – I have my card in here so its easy for me to top up  a new sub for the year.  A number of years back he managed to make a very small purchase and I then changed the password and set a PIN to prevent anything further. This was to create a moment of pause before committing to a transaction.  This PIN did not present itself last week….. Calling PSN support I logged a compliant – It turns out the PN is NOT for PS4 transactions but for Smart TV’s using a PSN account.WTF!!!! – this setting is linked directly to my dashboard for the Playstation and makes no mention of a TV  it just stats as below protection about making a purchase via PSN network.  So a PIN is usless…..

2)  Microtransactions out of hand

We purchase Fifa18 for €110 – a substantial sum of money for a single game but again its the only game he owns so i pay it. However lets tot up the cost of the game so far.

Game €110, Top-ups for Player Packs €250 euro = €360  WTF!!!!!!

€360 so far spent playing a game that he will replace in September and this amount is dead money. Also, drop into the mix that this in-game microtransaction is gambling like a one arm bandit – you never know what you are buying. its a crap shoot and if you don’t get the player you want sure let’s buy more and go again. This game and others like it are becoming out of control on this front (minor list below).

  • APB Reloaded
  • Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes
  • Star Wars BattleFront 2
  • Fifa 18
  • UFC 3

More needs to be done to highlight on Game boxes that there is a Pay-to-Win model in operation on any given game and the cost so parents can monitor and be fully aware.  Ultimate Play is now banned as of this year for my lad – there will be no more FIFA points of PSN credits purchased from now on.
Be Warned


The Working Dad

The Working Dad

The Working Dad is a regular guy called Darren, Working as a senior manager for a leading NGO I have two kids and happily married. This is my blog about the life and times of being a dad today..
The Working Dad

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