Micro-transactions may be the bane of hardcore gamers’ existence, but they keep getting bigger and they keep becoming more popular. It seems like every game that gets released these days has some form of micro-transactions incorporated in, and according to some new info out of 343 it’s easy to understand why. Apparently just six months of Halo 5 micro-transactions made more money than all DLC for past Halo games.
To be specific, that’s not all DLC combined for every Halo game. Instead, it is all DLC released for a single title, which was always large map packs up until the release of Halo 5: Guardians. This news comes via video game analyst Michael Pachter, who cites direct communication with 343 Studios.
“What Halo did with Halo 5 is free DLC,” explained Pachter. “And Halo issued free DLC every month…Six months of free DLC. And what they told me at Microsoft and 343 Industries was that the cumulative spending in micro-transactions on Halo 5 for that six months was greater than all DLC sales for any Halo game ever. Not cumulative for all games, but each game.”
According to the conversation as explained by Pachter, the explanation seems to be that the paid DLC would chip away at the playerbase. The launch of a new paid DLC map pack would splinter the audience and result in thousands of players abandoning the game, which also meant there were less players able to buy the newer DLC. Apparently this resulted in Halo 5 maintaining its audience better than previous Halo titles as well.
We’ve seen this mentality spread throughout the gaming sphere, with more and more online games offering free DLC. Titanfall 2 and the upcoming Star Wars: Battlefront 2 have followed this method, and gamers have been quite excited by it. The micro-transactions aren’t adored, but as long as they remain segmented into either their own mode, as they are in Halo 5, or limited to cosmetics only, players seem fine with their existence.