Microtransactions, a placeholder

I had a bit of what may turn out to be just indigestion but feels like insight, and I’m jotting it here so I don’t forget. And so I can stick in things that might be wrong so I remember to go doublecheck. And besides, I need to get back in the habit of putting things here. Anyway…

One of the longer term discussions in online gaming is the microtransaction model. It typically appears in ‘free’ games. Essentially you get the frame for free and get additional pieces by paying for them. The classic western position is that it breaks things if you have to buy something to finish OR if you can buy something that makes you overpowered in comparison to someone else.

On the other hand there’s a strong market in Asia that essentially makes the free game an extended trial. So you do have to purchase something ‘necessary’ to finish. But it’s not the full ending but rather the pieces you need and want to get to the ending you’re doing. And of course you can purchase experience enhancements (special colors and costumes and non-combat pets) as well as various side-quests/missions just as you do for the western model.

The whole micro-transaction model appears in apps for tablets and phones as well.

The thing that caught my mind for inspiration is wondering if there’s a market for this in other than games and micro-electronics. A couple of examples that wandered around my mind were things like television shows (purchase by the episode, and by the way you can get that without commercials and maybe with a few special dub-overs for just a few dollars more), and 3d printing.

especially 3d printing.

I’ll obviously return, but that’s the hook for which this is a placeholder.

Thoughts are more than welcome on this. It’s a meander, after all, and I’ll go


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