Extra fees in video games force players to `pay to win’


Photo via Pixabay under the Creative Commons license.

Adam Goldsboro, Club Member

There has been a slow disease that has fundamentally changed the way gamers play, and that disease is called optional add-ons.

Video game players notice them everywhere in gaming today; many people who play games like Madden, any major first-person shooter, or NBA 2K know how bad add-ons can be.

An add-on is an upgrade a player can buy inside a game. It allows the player to get to the top of that given game by paying real money.

Add-ons should be purely cosmetic, like in Call of Duty, the most popular first-person shooter in the world. Call of Duty made $2.5 billion or more from supply drops last year, and supply drops give no advantage in the game.

Fans only buy them to look cool, which is very important to players. At least Call of Duty keeps it cosmetic only, but other companies make it “pay to win.”

NBA 2K and Madden are examples of this. 2K starts a gamer out as a terrible player in MyCareer and gives the gamer a very bad set of players in MyTeam.  These two modes are the most popular by a mile, so 2K tries to milk each as much as they can.

Most people who buy add-ons spend $40 just to upgrade their player to make them competitive on the Playground. Fans who want to be competitive are forced to buy packs in MyTeam, as 2K releases new and upgraded players throughout the year.

The only way to not have to spend money is to play and grind for 6-8 hours a day, which is hard to do for any normal player.

Madden is better at giving players a chance to have a good team without spending money. However, a player can only get so far and will eventually start to lose online games, so they spend money on packs to get better players.

The most popular packs are bundles and they cost $50, and Madden puts out more than 10 bundles per year.

Players spend around $100- $150 in NBA 2K for both the game and add-ons. In Madden, a player spends about $200-$250 for both the game and add-ons. Both games retail at $60.

Players spend so much money on games they already bought every year, but who can blame them?

Companies know it makes money and it won’t stop anytime soon.