LendEDU survey finds gamers support microtransactions contrary to recent outrage

You may have heard about the Star Wars Battlefront II fiasco where EA temporarily pulled the game's microtransactions, following a large backlash. If you go on Facebook and Twitter, there are numerous posts expressing outrage and vowing boycotts. While that's just a small subsection of the gaming community, how do others feel?

LendEDU, a marketplace for students where they can find loans and other financial advice, just published a new poll that questioned gamers about in-game microtransactions and their impact on their finances. LendEDU wanted to gauge their overall feelings about pay-to-play content. Questions were asked to 500 carefully selected respondents who were dedicated gamers that played both multiplayer and single-player games on a regular basis.

Contrary to popular belief, individuals in LendEDU's sample weren't outraged and supported microtransactions. The view is that they add value to a game. Many are willing to spend an additional $100 to $200 on additional content each year. This is definitely surprising news given the recent outcry. Some of the highlights from the poll are listed below.

  • 56.6 percent of gamers think the current paid downloadable content system is beneficial to gaming.
  • 80.4 percent of gamers won't stop buying games that come with microtransactions.
  • 40.4 percent of gamers think all paid downloadable content should be allowed in online play.

There are other interesting details in the poll as well like how 57.6 percent of gamers would rather spend the standard $60 for a game and have the option to pay for downloadable content. While the sample size is relatively small, the trend runs in contradiction to the narrative that the majority of gamers are against them. Clearly, publishers feel this way too, and it could be why micropayments remain a growing trend.

How do you feel about them? Let us know in the comments.

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Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.

  • I like the statement 500 specially selected students.
  • Yep... WTF does a student loans and finance office know about gaming anyway? Also, I care little for what normal college students think most of them are bearly out of high school with little real life experience to set value on anything. They were probably all thinking free to play anyway. Surveys are pointless without context.
  • They're not students, they're gamers from all walks of life. LendEDU is just a website which keeps tracks of habits because they deal with finances. No where does it say all the respondents were students.
  • It also doesn't say all the answers were based solely on microtransactions. In fact it's based on DLC as a whole. When you write an article that misrepresents your source, you should expect readers to be unclear and possibly make incorrect assumtions.
  • How would they select "gamers" unless they were students or perspective ones that utilize their marketplace?
  • I have never heard of anyone liking micro-transactions...ever. It's like being tortured with a thousands cuts, slow bleed out over time...
  • Yeah I'd like to see the questions they asked and exactly how they were worded.   EDIT: Now that I've read the survey, nowhere does it say gamers are ok with microtransactions. It says DLC. DLC is a broad term that does NOT mean just Microtransactions. This article here is really poorly written and doesn't represent the source well at all.
  • Yeah, I found that annoying too. I have no issues with DLC. If it's crappy like horse armor, then I won't buy it. If it's like the Witcher 3, then yes please.Micro transactions are totally different.
  • Thanks for this comments. I'm surprised that there are editors here doesn't know the difference between DLC and micro-transactions. I would say the editor, as well as the original poll,  are misleading. See the questions in this article. 3. Which of these scenarios would you prefer when it comes to purchasing video games? a. 42.4% of video gamers would "rather spend $120 for a full game that comes with all future downloadable content included" b. 57.6% of video gamers would "rather spend the standard $60 for a game & have the option to pay for downloadable content We know for many games, the total price of DLC (except many non-sense, e.g., cloth, weapon) is less than the original price, so in most cases there's no way to be $120. If instead of $120, it's $80, I'm sure the result will be much different; and if it's $60, that would be a for 100%. 12. Will you stop buying video games that offer downloadable content in the future? a. 19.6% of video gamers said "Yes" b. 80.4% of video gamers said "No" A better question should be "will you stop buying DLC in the future", or "will you stop buying games which heavily depend on DLC". Again, it's not microtransaction. 13. Do you think paid downloadable content should be allowed in online multiplay games? a. 40.4% of video gamers said "Yes, all paid downloadable content should be allowed" b. 45.4% of video gamers said "Yes, but only if players do not gain a performance advantage from downloadable content"​ c. 14.2% of video gamers said "No, online play is tarnished by paid downloadable content" Apparently the editor is happy about that 40.4%, and ignored the 45.4%.
  • I agree. Either the editor of the questions and options knew exactly what he was doing as he try to direct "answers" to where he wanted them to go. Or he really has no clue about what this is all about.
  • Yes, I hate microtransactions, avoid games with them, and don't buy them in a game if I happen to have the game. But I fully support DLC and buy the Seasons Passes for games I like. These are completely different things.
  • A great example of how you can twist any survey or research results to say whatever you wanted to say Not to mention, it sounds like they're talking about additional content, like seasons passes and that kind of thing. Not where they make the game so uncompetitive for a player unless they buy the living snot out of the microtransaction system
  • B.S.
  • What?
  • Microtransactions or an upfront fee. Pick one. Don't try and nickel and dime me on a game I already paid for.
  • This survey ask some real dumb questions. There is no real difference between microtransactions and DLC or loot boxes. Questions and options were made to direct response to favour the bs.  500 carefully "selected" respondents. lol I think we've seen through these comment section and through Reddit negative votes what gamers think about it. Most of the company "fans" defending MT/loot boxes can't tell how this is good for gaming... Many will just mock gamers (who are defending gaming) with silly arguments...   PS: Once again, a poorly written article by Asher Madan. ofc he didn't talk about the questions ask and make a silly conclusion that there was a poll where "gamers favours microtransactions".   
  • "Most of the company "fans" defending MT/loot boxes can't tell how this is good for gaming" MTX's if implemented properly don't have to be horrible though and can be a good thing for gaming.    If I were to develop a game and release it tomorrow, who's going to spend any real amount of money on it? I have no history of developing games publicly, I have no early access model, I only have screen shots and a trailer. My options are sell it incredibly cheap and not make any money for my time, or I could add simple cosmetic MTX's. Make a decent amount of money based on time spent, and maybe use that money to invest in a better quality title. I can't see how that is bad for gaming. The more people able to make games, the more chances for some real innovation.   The problem, in my eyes, is a publisher that already makes billions, and can afford to finance any title they want, adding MTX's that make the game unfair to those that don't want to pay more, effectively forcing other to pay to be on par.
  • Yes, I totally agree with you. I'm sorry I didn't add MT/loot boxes in full price games. MT can be a good thing if implemented properly in F2P games. There are many great examples where microtransactions were well implemented and content was not forced on you. Unfortunately most of these huge companies are doing it for MORE AND MORE profits for their investors even if it pisses off their consumers. EA lost quite a bit in shares recently. And that's a lesson for all of these companies. ******* off gamers, will make a lot of noise. negative media coverage will probably mean poor sales and also ******* off partners and investors. A sustainable business is were you make less profit but keep everyone happy for long term gain...
  • the only type of microtransaction i like involves new maps, gears and stories.  But not to get advance in an online competitions.  That's bullshit.
  • This title is incredibly misleading. All we know is people are preferential to cheap games with optional DLC, based on the listed responses. We also learned that they are weak-willed and will buy a game if it has microtransactions, but it doesn't at all indicate that they like or support the mechanic. Oh, and they took a very small sample and were really particular in who they surveyed? Yeah, I trust that...
  • "Gamer" to me is broad. How many hours do they play, how long have they been playing games, what is their ages, platforms. I've noticed people in their 20s with less responsibility are more likely and less vocal about microtransactions (in America) than others. I remember hating free to play browser based games in the early 00s, but for someone who grew up with that in abundance, it's more acceptable.
  • This is what I was getting at about normal college students. It's hard to put a value on something with only a couple of decades of life experience.
  • Yes, those who started playing around 8 years ago will probably find microtransactions "normal" as opposed to us who used to play games with none. And that's why it's so important to fight this. These companies are trying to make this an industry standard. They are pushing it little by little and see if they can get away with it. DLCs and season pass has become a norm. In 2013, we had all that DLC/always online bs... This gen microtransactions in full price games is so common with these bigger companies.  These companies introduced pre-order culture, exclusive content per retailers, "get the game late if you don't pay", silver/gold/ultimate edition... They have had collectors edition without the game or with just a digital code. Patent about how to match fix games so that people spend more on MT...  They had continuation of a story behind a DLC.... Basically games as a service. Gaming strategies used by many company...
  • Firstly I want to know exactly what "Questions were asked to 500 carefully selected respondents" these 500 were carefully selected for? Positive to the overall micro transactions perhaps?  I have no problem with micro transactions IF the game itself is free to play (ie Warframe or the like), or that micro transactions are limited to purely cosmetic items. It seems we are being pushed into this whole sense of buy a game, buy DLC, buy MT items for the gaming experience. I remember when you purchased a game and you got the whole game and nothing but the game - complete. Then a couple years later you purchased "The Game 2". Then we started getting DLC, additions to the game we purchased, and there was backlash (as there are some still today), that we buy a game but then 1, 2, or 3 DLC are planned each has a price and gamers were complaining that the initial purchase only bought half a game and we are now expected to pay for the rest of it under the DLC guise. Now, on top of buying the original game, buying the DLC we are now coming up with buying micro transactional items within the game and/or lootboxes further adding another layer onto a merchandise money grabbing machine. And today we're not only buying a game, buying DLC, buying loot boxes and being inundated with micro transactions we are also getting "The Game 2" which heavily uses assets, mechanics, ideas and enemies etc from Game 1 and mushes these into making a minimal Game 2, (in comparision putting only one third the build time and money into building Game 2), then adding further DLC, micro transactions and loot boxes.  If we compare this gaming model to movies we'd be buying a movie that is provided as black and white, and no sound, but if you want any of these for the full experience you will have to pay for the sound and extra for the colour. Possibly a bad example but that's what I could come up with off the top of my head, and it's free. :)
  • " we'd be buying a movie that is provided as black and white, and no sound, but if you want any of these for the full experience you will have to pay for the sound and extra for the colour. Possibly a bad example " I actually think thats a pretty good example.   Except don't forget to add that they would stop the movie 5 minutes before the end and you would have to pay an additional fee to watch the ending.
  • The polls results are useless as "Microtransactions" is a broad term,  just like "Games".  Gamers have never complained much about being charged for cosmetic game extras.  Charging for loot crates full of randomized items, and tying it to single player game progression is very specific.  This was not polled.   I could poll parents on how they view "Discipling" their children, and use the results to say parents support spanking. It would not be true,  and nor are this polls results based on current events in gaming 
  • Also another issue is a lot of students aren't using their own money to buy things.  They are often still spending their parents money.  I know I for one would be a lot more willing to spend money on crap if it wasn't my money I was having to spend.  How about they re-do that survey and only use people who claim to only spend their own hard earned money on stuff.  I know in college when my parents still semi-supported me I wasted some money on crap I would never even consider now that I'm the one going to work every day to earn it.