Watch: We Are Worried About Microtransactions in Racing Games!


What used to be unthinkable in the days of the internet not being common yet is now the norm in almost any game - and racing titles are no exception to microtransactions. It is one of the more questionable elements in modern gaming, which is why OverTake's Marvin Miller takes a deep dive into the topic and shares his worries.

Image credit: OverTake

In-game currency, car liveries, clothing items for your virtual racing driver... There are numerous possibilities to spend you hard-earned real-life cash on digital goods in your favorite games. In fact, the focus in games of a particular company seems to have shifted almost exclusively on these in recent years - and it has reached the world of racing games and simulators as well.


Looking Back at the Early Days​

Marvin takes a look at the history of microtransactions in gaming, going back as far as 2006. and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. The explosion of the practice since has lead to interesting new content being made available on one hand, but also to outrageous prices for miniscule items on the other - not to mention the pay-to-win mechanic some titles started to implement. This gets worse when it is specifically aimed towards kids, as certain examples Marvin focuses on show.

What does this mean for future racing titles in particular? Are we facing normalization of these practices even in racing simulations? This may very well be the case, as Marvin thinks - but only time will tell for sure.

Your Thoughts​

What is your take on microtransactions - both in gaming in general and in (sim) racing games? Do you agree with Marvin? Let us know in the comments below!
About author
Yannik Haustein
Lifelong motorsport enthusiast and sim racing aficionado, walking racing history encyclopedia.

Sim racing editor, streamer and one half of the SimRacing Buddies podcast (warning, German!).

Heel & Toe Gang 4 life :D

Comments

Premium
I'll put a similar comment to the one I put on the video.

The fact that a large portion of the sim community supports the iRacing model just shows that we are the problem, EA would never get away with a scam such as this.

Makes the horse example seem a bit cute.
 
Might be the last of it's kind, but my go to model is definitely the original Assetto Corsa.

One time purchase with optional DLCs, where the game also works like an accessible frame, leaving the door open to any form of modding.

Taking in consideration that the game goes strong until this very day with many quality mods to choose from, and it's getting close to the 10 year anniversary, I think it's fair to say, that it has proved it's worth.
 
I don't mind to pay for DLCs that are mine FOREVER. I don't pay for renting a videogame that won't be mine ever. I still can play my old videogames 30 years later, even after the companies dissapeared in the oblivion.
 
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I'll put a similar comment to the one I put on the video.

The fact that a large portion of the sim community supports the iRacing model just shows that we are the problem, EA would never get away with a scam such as this.

Makes the horse example seem a bit cute.
You mean the same EA that puts on a bit of lipstick on the same F1 game / FIFA game / NHL game etc etc and calls it a new release for $70?
 
Might be the last of it's kind, but my go to model is definitely the original Assetto Corsa.

One time purchase with optional DLCs, where the game also works like an accessible frame, leaving the door open to any form of modding.

Taking in consideration that the game goes strong until this very day with many quality mods to choose from, and it's getting close to the 10 year anniversary, I think it's fair to say, that it has proved it's worth.
To add to this, rfactor (and GTR2) were the go-to sims before AC. Modding is key.
 
Premium
The games are often produced by smaller studios and apart from F1 aren’t annualised franchises you pay full price for every year.

It’s in the interests of both the dev studio and the players for them to come up with a model that funds long term support and decent content. That‘s not easy based on the mess some of the games are in with DLC (iRacing is a different beast).

If you’re relying on your next DLC drop to fund your Studio for the next quarter, it needs to be something that will sell and can be produced cost effectively. So niche or licensed content will have more of a cost/risk.

I’m ok with buying additional content and I’ll buy cars/tracks that I will rarely if ever use to support a dev studio but some things do wind me up. RF2 and Raceroom really need to look at how they package/bundle together additional content. AC, AMS2, ACC type DLC drops I’m generally ok with although Season passes where delivery of the content in the set timeframe can be problematic I’m less of a fan.
 
Premium
Might be the last of it's kind, but my go to model is definitely the original Assetto Corsa.
Unfortunately i think the AC Model is the last one of this type and never will come again.

Because nowdays the whole world is just about money money and more money. Even the AC modding is getting more and more infected and peple even want make money with ridiculose Skin Patreon`s ....

The first priority of every game producing company, even more simracing has made a huge step out of beeing niche, is making money. And micro transactions are a modern "pervert" tool to generate a lot more than just a basic game.

We all can hate it, still the good is - until now nobody is forced to buy addicional stuff. Every sim right now is also good playable without (Raceroom is a exception of course :) But to be fair, there are offers to buy the whole package with a good price).

But yeah on the other hand sometimes there is a bad aftertaste to have purchasted only a piee of the cake.
 
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Well, we are talking about racing games, a games which you can buy paid mods for, so... Yeah, future will suck.
 
Even the AC modding is getting more and more infected and peple even want make money with ridiculose Skin Patreon`s
Why would you call it an infection? Guys like Jimmy Broadbent, Jarno and many more… often get views and subscribers (=money) when they use AC mods for their videos…

Why can’t we make money too? Or we are to always be a free mod factory for those guys?
 
I'll put a similar comment to the one I put on the video.

The fact that a large portion of the sim community supports the iRacing model just shows that we are the problem, EA would never get away with a scam such as this.

Makes the horse example seem a bit cute.
iRacing isn't the worst, at least they can somewhat justify their costs by being a niche product that provides a service (ranked racing). The ranked racing is how they can justify their fee.

I would never pay for it mind, but I can understand why some would see it as worth it. Racing against iRacings userbase is now a selling point.

As a long term PC user (my first PC was a BBC micro, windows wasn't even a thing back then) the idea of paying for skins or other easily made things will never be wroth it to me. I'll always see that as a money grabbing scheme that takes advantage of kids and for fanboys with no common sense.

I'm perfectly fine with boycotting companies. There's very little in this world I can't do without now, I have zero love for big companies but I know that doesn't mean much in this day and age, plenty of people with money will simp over the products made by big companies. So I don't expect anything to change.
People do a lot of crying about things these days but still line up to be taken advantage of, as long as consumers can't deny themselves they'll be ridden like an unloved donkey by every company out there.
 
iRacing isn't the worst, at least they can somewhat justify their costs by being a niche product that provides a service (ranked racing). The ranked racing is how they can justify their fee.

I would never pay for it mind, but I can understand why some would see it as worth it. Racing against iRacings userbase is now a selling point.
Now this makes sense, a coherent opinion from the outside :)
 
Premium
Just because these games are our hobby you can’t forget that they are produced by companies that have bills and people to pay.

They aren’t EA making tens of millions on Fifa FUT points to subsidise other games or Activision making billions on CoD.

If you want additional content and long term support it has to be funded and DLC is probably the only way. The other option is we buy a new version of the game for 50/60/70 pounds, dollars or euros every year.
 
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IRacing....? Oh yeah! Never have, never will.......... Buy a game, be done. Contribute to modders for nice cars/tracks, but to pay for a car/skin/track from the same company, well, you know........Might just be beause I'm old, and remember when game companies didn't do this !@#$ to us.......
 
Why would you call it an infection? Guys like Jimmy Broadbent, Jarno and many more… often get views and subscribers (=money) when they use AC mods for their videos…

Why can’t we make money too? Or we are to always be a free mod factory for those guys?
It could be worse, for example: you release something for free or upload a youtube video, but no one downloads/views them. It feels much worse than someone makes money with your mods (no, I'm not talking about SimDream, just Jimmy or Jarno).
 
IRacing....? Oh yeah! Never have, never will.......... Buy a game, be done. Contribute to modders for nice cars/tracks, but to pay for a car/skin/track from the same company, well, you know........Might just be beause I'm old, and remember when game companies didn't do this !@#$ to us.......
Well, a majority of them are businesses with financial targets, investors and the likes… if there’s profit to be made, they’ll exist.

You can always support the little indie game creator…
 
Personally I really think it depends on what the aim and intended length of support is

If something is supposed to be part of a regularly released series, F1 WRC Forza etc, I'd think twice about additional content

If something is presented as being a platform a developer intends to support and update for a number of years then I'm more open to micro transactions, at least in terms of major content like cars and tracks.

I do think the live service/MMO type model can work for racing sims that are aimed mostly at those wanting to race online

I think it also depends on if it feels a developer was holding something back to use as DLC
F1 or WRC releasing historic cars as add ons at the launch of the game feels like holding back for example
ACC or iRacing releasing cars or tracks built years after the sim was released as a DLC doesn't feel as bad at least to me
 
Premium
Why would you call it an infection? Guys like Jimmy Broadbent, Jarno and many more… often get views and subscribers (=money) when they use AC mods for their videos…

Why can’t we make money too? Or we are to always be a free mod factory for those guys?
It highly depends on what do you take money for. That was meant this way. Taking money for skins or ripped copy pasted stuff is like an "infection" yes
 
Premium
This is why I refuse to get into iRacing. I also do not race online ever, ever. I rarely race AI even, I'm a hotlap just for fun person. That's why i stay with AC/ACC/PC2 purely for this reason. I bought into iRacing years ago only to find out when I canceled my subscription I couldn't even do practice or anything. That irked me like nothing has before and swore the game off from that point forward.
 
The good old days were when you bought the game on CD/DVD, the developer released a few patches and then that was it, and you play the game work for how it "went out of the factory," maybe that’s why the older games were even better than the ones we have now. Micro transactions are now just a way to get by on something that alone, as it was born, would never have lived much longer. The base game has a cost, if we then add up all the microtransactions of the game itself of any modern title, perhaps you will buy the same game again 3-4 times.
 
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