Mentioned in this 1up article on Gamefest 2006 is Microsoft’s wish for microtransactions in XBox Live. One bit intrigues me:
Another thing Microsoft intends to add to the Marketplace is the ability for vendors placed in videogames to allow gamers to buy from the Marketplace. Say, there is a vendor in an RPG selling a rare sword and that sword is available on the Marketplace, players will be able to put the sword in a checkout cart and then return to the Marketplace later to complete the download. For now, the in-game Marketplace will bring the Marketplace experience into the gameplay, but the transactions, for now, will still need to be completed on the Marketplace and not in-game.
Okay, does that disturb anyone else but me? Apparently not, but I remember worrying sometime ago when they originally announced this intent, that this may lead to basically ruining the online game experience. To quote myself:
Imagine you sign up to World of Warcraft and you play and play. For weeks you build up your experience, earn your gold, build up stats (I’ve never played the game so excuse me for my ignorance when describing it). For your hard work, you’ve gained a kick ass sword, unbeatable armor, you can take just about anybody. You alienated friends and family for weeks but dammit, it was worth it.
Then some punk kid with their mommy’s credit card buys all your stuff in thirty seconds.
But whatever. I won’t start a hissy fit if people want to be able to just buy their gold to buy stuff in the game other people earned. You just won’t see me playing massive multiplayer online games anytime soon. And I’m guessing you’ll find that many potential players will agree with me.