Dead Space 3 Microtransactions: Players Need ‘Instant Gratification’
Word of Dead Space 3‘s microtransactions surfaced a few days ago, when it was revealed that players would be able to spend real money to upgrade their weapons in the game. As the crafting system is based on resources, players are able to skip playing the game as they normally would to purchase these resources for instant gratification.
One of the game’s developers, John Calhoun, explained the team’s rationale behind the microtransactions in an interview with CVG. He also explained how the newly implemented upgrade system works in general.
“Not much has been spoken about that, but I can tell you the details now. The way the micro-transactions work, is that there’s only three things that you can buy, and they’re basically tiers of different resources. Resources are extremely valuable in Dead Space – we got rid of credits entirely.
“Everything that you can find in the game can be constructed from resources, which includes Tungsten, Semi-Conductors, Somatic Gel. Combining these in different ways will create either a weapon part, an ammo pack or an upgrade to Isaac’s suit.
“There’s a lot of players out there, especially players coming from mobile games, who are accustomed to micro-transactions. They’re like “I need this now, I want this now”. They need instant gratification. So we included that option in order to attract those players, so that if they’re 5000 Tungsten short of this upgrade, they can have it.
“There’s also the hardcore Dead Space players, who are reluctant to spend money outside the purchase of the game. Honestly, most of the dev team are that way, we’re kind of old school, a little bit older. So not only are the micro-transactions completely optional, but all packs are available to purchase using in-game resources that you find.
“So, your scavenger bot will go out, and sometimes when he comes back he’ll deliver ration seals. You’ll start to accumulate ration seals at a pretty steady clip throughout the game, and everything that can be purchased with real world dollars can also be purchased with ration seals.”
Visceral’s attempt to cater to the mobile audience may seem somewhat laudable, but it’s simply jarring to see the option to spend real money on a game that—at its heart, like every survival-horror game—is about the preservation of resources. When you’re running low on ammo and you know you have a big fight ahead of you, the last thing you want to see is an easy mode option.