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The 'games as a service' model is showing up in more and more games, but players don’t always react fondly when the move toward micro-transactions alters longstanding features in a game series.

Alissa McAloon, Publisher

October 2, 2017

2 Min Read

The 'games as a service' model is showing up in more and more games, but players don’t always react fondly when the move toward micro-transactions alters longstanding features in a game series.

At least, that was the case with Forza Motorsport 7 and Microsoft’s recent language change for the description of the $19.99 VIP pass. Integrating any level of paid content into a game without upsetting its playerbase is a tricky task, and that's exactly why developers should be aware of changes like this and the conversations that lead up to them if they want to best avoid similar issues with their own games.

According to Windows Central, Microsoft quietly edited the wording for the passes’ Microsoft Store listing after early players realized an existing Forza Motorsport VIP feature had been changed to accommodate the game’s new lootbox system. In previous games, the VIP pass offered players a permanent boost to the way they earned the in-game currency but the latest game instead offers VIP owners five consumable and limited-use boosts.

This looks to add onto existing concerns players had with Forza Motorsport 7's random chance lootbox system and the ways they already feared that the game's structure would bend to accommodate that system. 

In-game, players are able to pick up more CR boosting “mod cards” by paying the in-game CR currency (and eventually cash), but that’s been somewhat of its own controversy as well. For more on that, Ars Technica has an excellent write-up on this 'loot boxification' of Forza Motorsport 7 that explains those issues in greater detail.

While the language of the VIP passes’ original store description wasn’t technically false, the text failed to disclose that people were throwing their cash at only a temporary boost rather than the permanent one players of the previous games would expect. After a silent update, the text on the store page now features the “five uses each per card” disclaimer but that comes after players had already picked up the VIP Pass and gained access to the game ahead of its October 3 release date.

About the Author(s)

Alissa McAloon

Publisher, GameDeveloper.com

As the Publisher of Game Developer, Alissa McAloon brings a decade of experience in the video game industry and media. When not working in the world of B2B game journalism, Alissa enjoys spending her time in the worlds of immersive sandbox games or dabbling in the occasional TTRPG.

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