Playing video games these games comes with a few certainties; online multiplayer, day one updates and microtransactions.
Paying for additional content has become pervasive to the point that there are not too many new games released without some form of DLC. Some games let players buy cosmetic content, whereas others offer substantial chunks of brand-new gameplay.
Then, of course, there are loot boxes and the controversy surrounding that whole mess. It seems obvious then that a lot of gamers might be unsure about just what they’re getting when they purchase a new game.
That’s where the brand-new Microtransaction Zone website comes into play. The Microtransaction Zone website is a database that tracks any and all monetisation in video games.
Microtransaction Zone Website
The basic idea behind Microtransaction Zone is to provide information to the consumer about what additional payments are available and what players can get for their money.
As the creators put it in the About section of the site;
MICROTRANSACTION.ZONE is your one-stop source for information about how badly various video games are sticking their dick in it when it comes to monetization.
Clearly, the people who made the site have a bone to pick with the industry.
So how does Microtransaction Zone work? Basically, Microtransaction Zone is a database of games with information on their monetisation. Users can search for a game and be able to determine what, if any, microtransactions are included.
Knowledge is Power
Microtransaction Zone doesn’t just tell you if a game has microtransactions, it goes a step further. There are nine categories that a game can be included in and these give players an idea of what to expect.
The Spotless category is the one a lot of older games will be included in. This means that when you purchase the game, you own it outright and there are no additional purchases. If a game is included in the Spotless category, it won’t appear in any others.
The other eight categories are where things get more interesting. They are;
- Horse Armour
- Bulk Horse Armour
- Expansive Expansions
- It’s Not Gambling, We Swear
- Infinite Money Hole
- It’s Not Just Cosmetic
- But First You’ll Need a Contract
- Table for One
- Free to Play
Each of these categories has a specific meaning on Microtransaction Zone, but they’re mostly self-explanatory.
Explain Like I’m Five
The Horse Armour and Bulk Horse Armour categories relate to frivolous and cosmetic DLC. Things that don’t alter gameplay but which also don’t come with any chance of randomisation.
DLC moves into the Bulk Horse Amour category when the cost of it equals or surpasses the game itself. An example being Fortnite.
Expansive Expansions is a category for paid DLC which adds something meaningful to the game; e.g. new quests, a new area to explore or new story content.
It’s Not Gambling, We Swear is for Lootboxes and any other randomised DLC. The most obvious examples being Overwatch and Battlefront II.
Infinite Money Hole is a category that is often paired with It’s Not Gambling, We Swear. Games in this category do not have an upper limit spending cap meaning that players can spend an infinite amount of cash.
It’s Not Just Cosmetic is for content that alters gameplay like Experience Boosters, better weapons or instant level ups.
But First You’ll Need a Contract is for games with subscriptions like World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XIV.
Table for One is for games that include a single-player component that is free from microtransactions, but which also include a multiplayer mode that does offer paid content.
Finally, Free to Play is for those games which cost nothing to buy but then features in-game purchases.
Armed with Information
The Microtransaction Zone is a great initiative to help arm gamers with knowledge before they make a purchase. By using the website, parents too can be informed about which games have the potential to see them remortgaging their house.
The site is clean and simple and easy to use. As it’s only just launched it’s obviously not entirely populated as yet, but in my searches, I found that most games do have some information available.
The owners and creators of the site have pledged that;
MICROTRANSACTION.ZONE WILL NOT
Cost money to use
Track and sell your data to any third parties