Microtransactions, paid DLC, free-to-play-but-pay-to-win: all thorny topics for gamers as they involve having to fork over hard-earned money for dubious gains. Now there’s a community-built site where you can check your games ahead of time to see if they have microtransactions, and if so, how they work.
The site, Microtransaction.zone, launched a few days ago. It has a relatively diverse, if limited library of games at the moment — site creator “igrat” said on Reddit all content would be manually verified.
Each game entry on Microtransaction Zone comes with a series of icons, which are tagged if a game possesses that kind of DLC or microtransaction. It’s a clever way of showing, at a glance, what kind of game you’re in for when you search it on the site. Each entry also has a short summary of how the microtransaction works, which begins with “Basically, [Game X]…”
Here’s an example of what a proper entry looks like:
The Zone includes subtle, cheeky jabs at the most prevalent forms of microtransactions in the industry. For example, the button which indicates a game has cosmetic content which doesn’t affect gameplay is called “Horse Armor DLC” — a reference to an infamous $2 armor pack from The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. It was so roundly mocked for being a useless, overpriced piece of in-game bling the phrase itself has become shorthand for the entire category of DLC.
Other categories include:
- It’s Not Gambling, We Swear: For games with randomized lootboxes
- But First, You’ll Need a Contract: Games with subscription costs
- It’s Not Just Cosmetic: Downloadable content that changes the gameplay
- Expansive Expansions: Quoth the site’s creators, “Actual content for actual money”
- Infinite Money Hole: Exactly what it sounds like, but if you need a primer, see any mobile casino of your choice
- Spotless: For games without paid extras of any kind
According to a mission statement from the site’s creators, the Zone takes basic info on the games from the GiantBomb API, the same community-run database that Twitch uses. The specifics of the DLC are cataloged and summarized by the creators themselves.
After a post on the PC Gaming subreddit drove a number of visitors to the site, the site’s moderators said they were overwhelmed by the number of submissions and were working to sort through all of them.
We were not prepared for this level of interest and we are Backed The Heck Up with pending submissions (over 200 of them, at time of writing). It is radical as hell to see that so many people think this site is a cool idea!!! Thank you so much! 🤡🐱👤🕹
— MICROTRANSACTION.ZONE (@MTXZone) April 20, 2018
The creators have also said they’re considering further tags, including those for platform-exclusive DLCs and physical add-ons such as Amiibo.
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