Activision, one half of the publisher-developer behemoth, Activision-Blizzard had recently come under flak for filing a patent that aimed to aggressively push microtransactions in its future titles.
The process involved matching a player with a marquee player who has invested more in the in-game economy and thus flaunts more cosmetic items /accessories that the less invested player would be tempted into purchasing post-match.
The newly filed patent drives in-game microtransactions via video game streams (VGS). The patent describes a VGS as an user-generated in-game replay which can be created by players themselves. The VGS is constructed using an in-game log and meta-data which records every event that has taken place in a match. Once created the VGS will allow users to watch a play from several different camera angles and show a player’s loadout and stats (highlighting any in-game item).
Highlighting a player and thus showing their loadout and stats is how this process would drive microtransactions. The VGS might showcase in-game items and the viewer might receive an in-game prompt to purchase said items.
Apart from this the patent also states that implementing the VGS system would allow esports casters to bring up essential information on players during a professional game but by and large, it focuses on the microtransaction aspect. These include promotion of specific items for advertising purposes and even pulling up the viewer’s in-game financial details.
Knowing how things have developed in the past few months it is not exactly surprising why there is a renewed interest in in-app purchases and microtransactions in fully paid games although we remain sceptical about how major publishers plan to implement these and whether at this point it is a necessity or sheer greed that is driving this practice.