Today, PCGamingWiki announced a change to their articles and pages that’s quite significant. Their section, known simply as Microtransactions, looks to tell players exactly what they’re getting into when they install “free-to-play” games and other titles. Let’s face it, loot boxes and microtransactions are a bit of a problem in gaming lately.
PCGamingWiki hopes to provide clear information as to how titles are monetized and what each form of microtransaction does to titles. A goal of that project is to let people know whether games have solid DLC/expansion packs, or if it’s keeping its best content behind paywalls or subscriptions.
How The Microtransaction Section Works
PCGamingWiki looks to split up microtransactions into several subsections and defined each of them. According to their article, their definitions are as follows:
- Loot box – A variation of microtransaction where the player purchases a loot box where there is a chance to receive varying qualities of in-game items, similar to gambling.
- Cosmetic – Cosmetic microtransactions are any paid additional content that are designed to be cosmetic and does not substantially affect gameplay, such as skins, hats, decorative items etc.
- Unlock – Purchase of microtransaction content that affects gameplay and is not solely cosmetic. ‘Unlocks’ are normally chunks of a game that have been already developed and have been ‘locked’, and can be ‘unlocked’ with a purchase. This commonly includes individual characters, maps, levels, weapons, armors, etc.
- Boost – Allows player to pay to accelerate progress in a game, whether it is faster speed, levelling, level skipping, boosting % chance to find rare items, etc.
- Currency – Being able to purchase in-game currency whether it’s gold, gems, tokens, crafting materials, credits, V-Bucks, etc. which in turn are used to buy other microtransactions, or can be traded for account credit.
- Infinite cap – Game has microtransactions that can be purchased over and over again without any limit. This is in contrast to finite cap games that have a limit.
- Pay-to-skip – The game’s ‘main’ rewards can be achieved or grinded for without payment, but payment unlocks those rewards faster or instantaneously.
For instance, the above Warframe advertisement from 2019 shows bundles for playable character Ivara Prime, costing Platinum. Platinum is that game’s premium currency (like COD Points in Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2019). Being able to purchase Platinum for real-world money would file that under Currency.
PCGamingWiki’s admins have also said that this listing is merely a first draft, welcoming feedback on how it’ll be implemented. They’ve also added various categories into the Microtransaction section, as follows;
- Expansion pack
- Player trading
Microtransactions also have a section in previously made articles (under the Availability tab). Here, they precisely detail what aspects of microtransactions are in the game in question, and explain how they factor into the bigger picture. Quoting PCGamingWiki again, they said that the section “…will explain exactly how each game uses microtransactions and provides an opportunity to warn players of any particularly problematic microtransactions.”
You can read more information about these article changes here at PCGamingWiki, including the source code to add the sections (if you write there).
What do you think about PCGamingWiki’s choice to have a Microtransactions section? Do you think it’ll work? Do you hope to be better informed because of it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.