Eliminate microtransactions in FPS games

Eliminate microtransactions in FPS games
It could of been so very very good....

I jumped for joy when ngmoco released Rolando for the iPhone, I was so impressed by Topple it prompted me to downloaded the full version of Rolando when it hit the app store. I was blown away by the visuals and the aural delights but when the physics of the flipped out gravity level's coalesced with the usage of the accelorometer it provided a genuinely unique, high quality gaming experience

Ngmoco made such a promising start, a new company with a great pedigree, financial clout and a passion to bring the best games exclusively to the iPhone. What more could a new platform want? After all, innovative, high quality, platorm specific games and franchises often provide the backbone of any new system. Just look what Shigsy's development team did with Nintendo. DS vs PSP, Wii vs Xbox 360 & PS3... Nintendo's weaker hardware competed via Nintendo specific titles and innovation. I thought ngmoco where going to be of a similar ilk.

Like most first person shooter fans out there, I have been counting down the days to the realease of Eliminate. Of course, we all heard rumours and then then confirmation about the microtransaction element of the game. But after reading the speil from ngmoco explaining how it would'nt ruin the gameplay, I have to be honest and say that based on their track record I believed them.

If you happen to of been living under a rock for the last few months, you may be wondering what all the fuss is about? Essentially Ngmoco's online FPS game Eliminate is a pay to play game. I have no issue with subscription games. I regularly play World of Warcraft and pay a monthly subscription to do so. But, If I decided I wanted to play for 24 hours straight! I could do so without paying anymore than my montly charge.

Not so with Eliminate :( sure the game is free, but the microtransaction system destroys any element of gameplay. We play games for a variety of reasons. The main one being fun, where is the fun in continuously paying to progress in the game? You can't buy new equipment or upgrade unless you purchase energy cells (59p for 20 at the moment) these allow you to earn credits to get the real goodies.

After starting out and using up the initial 30 credits in around 15 minutes, I was left with the prospect of waiting for my energy to replenish over the next couple of hours or heading over to the app store to buy energy cells. I went with the former option and managed to scrape a few more credits in the 10 mins gameplay waiting for hours provided.

Today I bought 20 credits for 59p, I only needed to get 26 credits to level up so I thought I would bite the bullet and see how long 20 energy cells lasted.

I booted the game and the server put me in a match in which the other players had more poweful weapons and could kill me easily. My 59p 20 cell purchase, bought me less then 10 minutes game time before it all became a pointless excercise once more.

This totally turned me off the game, I just don't see the point, Eliminate could of been so much better. I would of paid £20 outright if the gameplay was based purely on skill (the essence of gaming?) as opposed to stealing mommys credit card and buying everything up. Sure when you're fully kitted out, it may be a great game and great players will become apparent. But how many 'real' fps nuts are going to pay to get to this point? There are too many other games in the genre that provide rewards the way it should be.. for your time, dedication and skill!

I genuinely wish that ngmoco would abandon these microextractions (sic) I would pay £10 - £20 and you can even stick ads in it like Quake Live, just please get rid of the energy cell purchases. Lets hope that Gameloft's NOVA and Sandstorm Multiplayer don't go down the same path.

What do you think? feel free to leave a comment.