Study finds gamers tolerate cosmetic microtransactions despite recent outrage

Microtransactions are a topic of contention in gaming today and cause a lot of outrage. Recently, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding Star Wars Battlefront II. EA temporarily pulled the game's microtransactions, following a large backlash. If you go on Facebook and Twitter, there are numerous posts expressing concern and vowing boycotts. While that's just a small subsection of the gaming community, it's unclear how others feels.

Recently, data discussion platform Qutee conducted a study where it found that 69 percent of consumers found cosmetic microtransactions such as those found in Overwatch acceptable. The report — discussed by GamesIndustry — is quite extensive because it has more than 10,000 responses and greatly explores the issue. In addition to the 69 percent who found microtransactions acceptable, only 6 percent said they had never made in-game purchases. Surprisingly, only 22 percent had an issue with pay-to-win "toxic" microtransactions.

Flint Barrow, cofounder of Qutee, issued the following statement in response to the results of his company's study.

The industry is in the midst of a cultural shift while simultaneously experiencing growing pains. The pursuit of profit in some quarters has led to stagnation at best, and predatory tactics at worst. Gamers are watching and are at the centre of the interplay between passion and innovation meeting the bottom line. Fortunately, the market is so large it leaves room for fragmentation, where companies on both sides can successfully carve out a niche.

While the sample size is relatively small given the population of gamers out there, 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.

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Asher Madan

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.