As stated in my previous article, I think what might be acceptable products for micro-transactions would include xp bonuses, gold, and levels. This is extremely controversial I agree. People will generally think that this creates a game where people who have money in real life gain real power in the game. This isn’t entirely true though.
I recently began the beta test of Champions Online, I will likely have my own preview before it goes live before September 1 when it launches. However, one of the things that they are touting with CO is the ability to purchase new costume outfits with real money. Supposedly this is a way to be able to keep more devs on the team at any given time and so through the micro-transaction sales they will be able to fund more content in the game itself that you don’t have to pay extra for. This coupled with a somewhat decent book called [amazonify]1401322905::text::::”Free”[/amazonify] and I’ve been thinking about micro-transactions in MMOs going forward.
Sony Online Entertainment announced their new micro-transaction model for both Everquest and Everquest 2 recently, deciding to take American MMORPGs in an entirely new direction. I can’t say that anyone in particular was surprised by the move. Sony has long been on the forefront at finding new ways to charge MMO players more money than they already were paying. Be it the Station Pass, Legends servers on EQ1, Magazines, or a Trading Card Game infused with in game items, Sony has tried to do it all. On top of that, they’ve already announced an MMO based on microtransactions called FreePlay, and I do believe that Sony uses EQ games to test out these ideas first.