Eliyahu Gasson | Staff Writer
For a few short months, I was excited for the upcoming release of EA Sports’ “FC24” on the Nintendo Switch. I had hoped that it would be a significant improvement over last year’s disappointing, overpriced and miserable “FIFA 23 Legacy Edition.”
Compared to the PlayStation, Xbox and PC version of “FIFA 23,” the Switch release did not come with any updates in gameplay or graphics. Rather, consumers got updated kits, player stats and teams. Despite the lack of any substantial upgrades, EA charges Switch owners $39.99, the same price that they had charged in past years since the release of “FIFA 2018” on the Switch
“FC24” was released to the public on Sept. 29. While the graphics have been improved and the gameplay is a bit better, the Switch version is still lacking in many ways, with laggy motion graphics and game modes that don’t always run as smoothly as their PlayStation, Xbox or PC counterparts. Despite the lackluster performance of the new “FC24,” EA Sports increased the price to $59.99.
“FC24” requires the download of a release day patch. Granted, the patch is free as are all subsequent updates to the game. However, the time and storage space required to install said patches can become inconvenient pretty fast.
To add insult to injury, the AI in “FC24” is almost as bad as it was in previous installments, and passing in the game is as frustrating as it has been in the past. Worst of all, the series still contains microtransactions, those terrible in-game purchases required to enjoy certain parts of the game that you paid full price for.
“FC24” is one example of how video game developers are exploiting the time and money of consumers with in-game purchases and post-release updates despite charging $60 to $70 upon release.
It’s becoming increasingly common for video games to be released unfinished, with developers relying on post-release updates to add essential features and content. This is a cynical practice that allows developers to get games out the door on time, even if they’re not ready.
“Cyberpunk 2077” is another example of a game that was released unfinished, with developers relying on post-release updates to fix bugs and add essential features. The game was so buggy and unplayable for many at launch that it was removed from the PlayStation Store for several months. Despite this, CD Project Red, the game’s developer, continued to sell “Cyberpunk 2077” at full price.
“No Man’s Sky” is another game that was released before it was ready, with developers promising to add features and content that were not included in the launch version. Hello Games, the developer of “No Man’s Sky,” has since released a number of major updates, but some players still feel that the game is not what it was promised to be. Even after a number of large updates, promised features such as unique ships and the ability to land on asteroids are still not available to players without third party modifications.
Microtransactions are another trope that plagues many modern day titles. “Roblox” and “Minecraft” are two popular franchises that contain microtransactions, both of which appeal mainly to children.
In “Minecraft,” players have the ability to trade their real-world dollars into proprietary Minecoins. Minecoins can then be used to purchase popular skins and texture packs. In “Roblox,” players can purchase in game currency called Robux. Robux can be used to buy items, games and other content on the platform, including loot boxes.
While microtransactions are optional, they are often designed to be as addictive as possible. Some games, like Roblox, use loot boxes, which are virtual containers that hold random items. Players can purchase loot boxes with real money, but they never know what they are going to get. It is essentially the same as playing slots in Las Vegas, though you don’t win money. The sense of anticipation and excitement created can be addictive to some players.
Loot boxes have been compared to gambling, as players are essentially gambling with real money in the hope of getting the items that they want. This is a particular problem for gambling addicts, who are more likely to spend large amounts of money on loot boxes in an attempt to get items that they want.
The trend of video game developers releasing unfinished games and relying on post-release updates to fix them, and the use of microtransactions to exploit gamers, is a bad thing, though, it doesn’t take a genius to figure that out.
Gamers deserve the same consumer protections that everyone else does. They deserve to receive the products that they are promised when they pay for them and they should not have to worry about whether or not they will be at a disadvantage if they do not spend money on in-game purchases.