In a move that shouldn’t surprise the more pessimistic among us, Bungie just announced that you will soon be able to pay real money for in game content. Starting on October 13th, a new store will open up in the tower dubbed the Eververse Trading Company, which promises new emotes and dance moves in exchange for Silver. Naturally, Silver is obtained with real money, possibly in response to the relatively high number of players who opted to pay $20 for three new dance moves prior to the release of the Taken King. All players will be given enough Silver on the 13th to buy a couple of the new moves for free, but the rest will only be accessible with actual money. Bungie promises that the new store will not stock any items that affect game performance in any way.
On the flipside, Star Wars Battlefront will not have any microtransactions. It is stated that the game revolves around a more traditional progress system in that you are rewarded credits for playing the game and completing challenges which can then be used to buy equipment. However, it is emphasized that buying credits with real money is not part of how the game is intended to be played. Of course, veterans of the Battlefield series will be familiar with the Premium and weapon/class upgrade DLCs that were offered in the past that often dwarfed the cost of the traditional $15 DLC pack that we are used to seeing.
Of course, only time can tell if both of these behemoths of a game can avoid the slippery slope that is often associated with microtransactions. Obviously, Bungie will claim that they will not offer anything that will affect in game performance for now. But there is nothing to stop them from offering a themed weapon in the future that has much better stats than anything that can be obtained in the game, short of being lucky. After all, theoretically it is possible to find something with high aim assist and excellent performance, but that requires a healthy degree of luck. But if you can simply buy it, under the guise of simply buying what is essentially a weapon skin, then why wouldn’t you? Veterans of Destiny will remember the days when everyone ran around with a shot packaged Felwinter’s style shotgun simply because the barrier to not having one was disproportionate to the disadvantage of being outgunned all the time.
Similarly, Star Wars Battlefront is not going to have microtransactions, but there is nothing to stop them from bundling in something potentially game changing into something akin to the Premium packs in Battlefield. While it is undeniably more expensive, it’s probably not much of a deterrent to those who can justify buying fake items with real money anyways.