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.

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7 Comments on Dead Space 3 Microtransactions: Players Need ‘Instant Gratification’


On January 26, 2013 at 7:02 pm

So basically, you need to pay for cheats? What a joke.
Even if I did want to cheat, I’d use console commands or something.


On January 26, 2013 at 8:59 pm

I´m ready to no pay, from DS3!


On January 26, 2013 at 10:45 pm

Allow me to put this as bluntly as possible. Microtransactions, while they might be reasonable in a free to play game (although even then I find myself looking for something to punch), are an abomination in a product I’ve already payed 60 damn dollars for.

It is of course their game, and they are free to develope it as they wish, but I despise this culture of instant gratification they seem to be catering to as being able to just pay a few bucks to get rescources you can get in the game instantly seems antiethical to actually, you know, playing the stinking game that I payed for.

And do they really think the mobile gaming crowd, by which I mean people who’s gaming experience is limited strictly to screwing around on their iPads are going to be lining up to play an ultraviolent sci fi horror game? I doubt it. Oh, but this is the Dead Space with “broader appeal”, I’m sure they’ll be lined up around freaking block for it once they find out it has “microtransactions”, as if microtransactions are the reason anyone plays a game.

I really needed to get that out of my system.


On January 27, 2013 at 1:22 pm

I tend to agree with gasmaskangel’s analysis. For the mobile/F2P realm, microtransactions makes sense given that they have to get money from somewhere, but the inclusion in a full-priced retail games is troubling. Sure, I can acquire all those resources through diligent effort, but they are also basically charging for cheat codes. I guess I don’t see why someone would buy a game, only to pay more to not really play it. Yes, Visceral (or more likely EA) is free to do this if that is what they choose, but it seems like there really isn’t any “survival” in survival/horror if someone pays real money to bypass such a key facet of the genre. Like gasmaskangel pointed out, EA is so dead set on “broadening the audience” for all its games, which does make some sense from a business angle, but it also comes down to trying to attract people that didn’t have any interest in the first place.

The big thing that concerns me with microtransactions in gaming is that it seems like a matter of time before we see the “pay to win” model used. Sure, I can collect the same resources by just playing DS3, but it isn’t so hard to fathom that the next game could provide so few resources that the only way to get sufficient upgrades is to buy them. EA’s CEO already made comments about charging players for ammo during an MP game, so it’s not like the concept of charging for the ability to even play a game is beyond them.


On January 27, 2013 at 2:19 pm

Honestly, there should be an option at the start menu to turn off the micro-transaction options display. I don’t care if it’s in the game, I’d just prefer to never see it.


On January 27, 2013 at 11:05 pm

@R.J. (The big thing that concerns me with microtransactions in gaming is that it seems like a matter of time before we see the “pay to win” model used.)

Don’t want to derail the discussion, but we do have it already. *cough*Diablo3 RMAH*cough*cough*


On January 28, 2013 at 12:20 pm

I would actually pay for making the game harder, not easier…