A couple of days ago we discovered that Sony and Polyphony Digital had added some pretty shocking microtransaction unlocks to Gran Turismo 6, which saw a worldwide release on PS3 today. The worst of these was a Jaguar XJ13 that could be instantly unlocked for a cool 20 million in-game credits. That’s $196 in real money.Is this just a money grab? According to Sony it certainly is not. Shuhei Yoshida, president of Sony’s Worldwide Studios, has used his Twitter account to make it clear. Microtransactions are there to offer “an alternative path to busy people.”I’m sorry, but I don’t buy that. We all play games to relax and enjoy, not to speed through them as fast as possible. And even those that do just want to unlock everything aren’t going to appreciate spending hundreds, or even thousands of dollars to do so. If Sony really wanted to offer busy people an alternative, they could do the exact same instant car unlocks without a payment being involved. Unlocking these cars doesn’t cost Sony anything, after all.Viewing microtransactions to unlock content as anything other than an extra revenue stream is a mistake. They are there to generate money for Sony. They are setup to be tempting to the player, not because they are busy, but because they want to drive the more desirable cars without spending hours playing the game to unlock them.As gamers the best thing we can do is totally ignore the microtransaction option. The fewer people who use them, the less extra revenue they generate and hopefully publishers realize they aren’t worth the effort. If they do work, then they will only become more prevalent in games as a whole, and that certainly isn’t in the interests of anyone who enjoys gaming.
Sony says Gran Turismo 6 microtransactions are for busy people