Square Enix boss acknowledges console gamers don't like microtransactions

DEMD (Image credit: Square Enix)

In a recent interview between Square Enix CEO Yosuke Matsuda and MCV, the executive shared his thoughts about microtransactions in the current state of the industry. He said the following when asked about how the practice was viewed on consoles.

What people expect and want in a home console game is perhaps quite different from what people want in a mobile game. The way that console games are made, the volume of content and how much effort goes into them, there's something in that which doesn't fit in the mind with microtransactions.

While this statement is rather cryptic, and doesn't promise any change, it's still means that at least Square Enix understands that console gamers don't like microtransactions in expensive titles. When you're paying $60 or more for a "AAA" game, and have to buy loot crates for weapons or other non-cosmetic items, it can put a lot of people off of your title. It seems unfair that you have to spend so much only to find out that you probably have to pay more.

Square Enix games like Deus Ex Mankind Divided featured gameplay-circumventing micropayments.

Square Enix games like Deus Ex Mankind Divided featured gameplay-circumventing micropayments.

It's worth noting that Square Enix games like Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and Rise of the Tomb Raider featured microtransactions which gave those who paid gameplay advantages. Hopefully the publisher will find the correct balance in its future titles. At least the CEO acknowledges that console gamers don't want them in a game if they're already paying $60 or more.

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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.

  • yeah i do.. if its done fair i don't mind spending.
  • Really you like microtransactions? So please tell me in what way? Why do you like it? And how are microtransactions in full price game a good thing for gaming and gamers in general?
  • People that make games need to get paid. I don't mind them if not tied to progression
  • They get paid when you give them the $60. Big publishers like EA aren't struggling to make ends meet. This is purely greed, and they're willing to compromise the quality of the game to facilitate it.
  • @Axmantim We are talking of full price games here not free2play games.  They are getting paid $60-100 to play the game, games with limited collecors edition, DLC, season pass. Games that are mostly sequels of previous games that uses many of previous assets, Many of these games have deals with different retailers for various "exclusive retailer content", Many are being paid by Sony or MS to get marketing deals or timed DLC... Some like forza are also having companies sponsoring their DLCs and having product placements...  Other smaller companies can make highly rated games without the need of microtransactions... EA told their investors something like removing microtransactions in battlefront won't hurt them financially or won't have an impact.  So you know what? I won't cry for these big studios/publishers (EA, Activision, MS...) 
  • No one is asking you to cry for them. No one is forcing you to pay for the mtx's (except for BF2). It's not like mtx's in $60 games is new, they've been around for at least 13 years now. Servers don't pay for themselves, even if assets are reused ("many" of wich are not)
  • Ah The classic "no one is forcing you" or "this is optional". The only thing is that it's not really an option as 1) it in most case affects gameplay (the game is probably design to frustrate players so that they spend money), 2) they are still tempting EVERY gamer to pay for stuff. It's like paying for a service and you keep getting ads to make you spend real cash... 
    Also let's not forget that there is still devs, designers and other resources that put time into this. Time ad resources used on this bs isn't going to game development... I've always been against this bs. Microtransactions in full price games probably started in 2005 thanks largly to MS who called it a boon for players. But it really took off this gen... And now with 2017 being the year of loot boxes it just got worst and that's why gamers are making noice. People don't want this to be a norm in the industry. Servers don't pay for themselves? Wait wasn't that argument made when they told us to pay to play online?  LOL  Did you read what EA said? This is not about running servers. It's about maximizing benefits for investors. Like I asked before. How is this good for gamers and gaming?
  • What's your source that shows most $60 games with mtx affect gameplay?
  • Look up or google free to play psychology. You'll understand these business models. You think the aim of these games is not to make you spend more money? Let's not be naive here... Having said that I'll change my comment and say "in most case they are probably affects gameplay". Because it's really impossible to make that kind of statement. Sorry for the confusion. But like I said look that thing up. 
  • "in most case they are probably affects gameplay" That's the thing though, in most cases it doesn't appear to affect gameplay. Can you name 5 games with MTX's that charged $60 and the MTX's were needed for gameplay?
  • "That's the thing though, in most cases it doesn't appear to affect gameplay." So how do you know that in most cases it doesn't affect the gameplay? Where you invovled in making all these games?  I'm not talking about Pay2win I'm saying that game is designed orbuild to frustrate players and to tempt them to pay money. When I say gamplay is affected I'm talking about the likelihood that players are frustrated so they end up paying money. The precense of MT just adds the probablity that everyone gets more frustrating gameplay. Like I said I'm not talking about pay2win where people paying money gets an advantage. You want me to name 5? Sure. Games were paying money gets some sort of advantage. Games like halo 5, Gears 4, Halo Wars 2 or recently battlefront 2 and UFC 3. I don't know what you mean by "MTX's were needed for gameplay". I don't know where I talked about MTX needed for gameplay (wathever that means). 
  • I'd also like an analysis about how MTX changes gameplay / progression.
    Can someone give me a before after comparison? How about a game's originally designed with in-game-cr-loot-box in mind and then they-just-make-it-also-possible-to-be-bought-with-real-cash-without-any-progression-tweaking? Will that affect progression?
  • what console game had microtransactions in 2004?
  • And people don't get that and that is exactly what i mean as well. Since the whole Star Wars EA drama suddenly everyone is an expert trying to be smarter than everyone else. Bunch of sheep is what they are.
  • The bunch of sheeps are the one who are defending microtransactions/ lootbox and all the rubbish their beloved masters throw at people. The people speaking up and fighting for their gamers and fighting to save the gaming industry are not sheeps. :)
  • Typical guest, "you don't agree with me so you're a sheep/"fan"/idiot" did I miss any?
  • @Axmantim LOL so the guy is the one who started calling  us "bunch of sheeps" and you get upset that I return the compliment? He is the one who also first called me idiot. If someone insults me do you expect me to just keep quiet and take it in the *** like these corporate slaves? Sorry but I'm not a sheep... :)
  • Who said I was upset? Don't put words in my mouth to try and look right. I'm not wrong now am I, that it's your typical go to when someone disagrees with you.
  • No. Not for the first time, you're totally wrong. You didn't say anything when the guy called us sheeps and idiots. Yet you come at me. I think that show hypocrisy. Is it ok that he insults me first? Also it shows that when someone is coming at me I can respond and fight back. Meaning I'm not a sheep... :) Besides these 1 liners, you hardly reply to any of the points made so I guess the way to respond is to say when someone disagrees I need to insult them. Are you trying to change topic or deflect attention from the main topic? lol
  • @ aotf, since u can't spend money on MT's doesn't automatically mean that they are all bad. That is your problem not mine. Been playing games for almost 24 years and i can tell very well the good from bad which MT's affect progression and which are not. So stop acting like an idiot trying to be all smart about it.
  • @iso 24 years? Well I guess I'cve been playing for longer. But that hardly matters. If you really played for so long you would have seen the evolution of gaming. How slowly slowy we have new norms in the industry. From DLC, to pre order culture, to multiple versions on launch, to getting the game late if you don't pay a fee, to paying to play online on console, to microtransaction and recently how loot box has become a popular thing... They are trying to change gaming into whats happening in mobile gaming.And you guys are happy about it... Anyway the funny thing is I asked you some simple questions but you can't even reply. That's the problem with sheeps. They like and support microtransactions but don't know why.. LOL  So Here I'll ask again: 1) Please tell me in what way you like microtransactions? Why do you like it? 2) And how are microtransactions in full price game a good thing for gaming and gamers in general?
  • 1. Can people stay in a no like no dislike camp? I just don't care. AC-O and Middle Earth progressed fine.
    2. It's just pointless writting examples after examples so I'lll pass... and those emotional wording... Do you think everyone here's all miss informed and you are the one holds true knowledge and it's your mission to correct people? > change gaming into whats happening in mobile gaming.
    Have you ever designed (or participated in designing) a mobile game IAP businesss model?
  • I'd prefer only cosmetics being for sale. Blizzard is a good example in my mind.
  • I prefer none of it in a full price AAA game.
  • Yeah, the same Blizzard who promissed a Necromancer playable character, then released it with no new story line or quests, for the price of a full expansion...
  • I went to see the last Jedi yesterday, and it was terrible! The story made no sense... Although Luke Skywalker appeared at the end of the force awakens he was not in the last Jedi at all, which broke the story. It was very confusing. It wasn't til I got out of the film that I realised that there was an expanded cut where Skywalker appears and the story makes sense, but it requires an additional £29.99 ticket to view.
  • Spoiler alert and should I say, thanks for spoiling the moving for the rest of people who haven't seen it yet... eash. You really need to work on your examples.
  • Haha I haven't actually seen the last Jedi myself, it was obviously a joke... even if it was genuine, what would it have spoiled? I'm not sure if the fact you thought there was genuinely a cut with no Skywalker and asecond with Skywalker in for an additional fee says more about you or the time we live in...
  • I see what you did there, that was kinda funny....
  • Well to be honest with you, I haven't see the movie myself and I detest spoilers. So naturally any examples which can be construed as spoilers are going to raise major red flags lol.
  • It wasn't very obvious, it was hardly obvious until the end.
  • Good one
  • Good one.
  • "Square Enix boss acknowledges console gamers don't like microtransactions" But PC Gamers do apparently ;P
  • The way I see it, I personally have no use for $300-500 consoles with $120+ games. This assumes you spend another $60 on mtx's. BTW, My live subscription should help take care of running those servers...
  • Gamers need to separate publisher from developers. Publisher take their money off the top developers to get bonus have to hit certain milestone's. Games are costing 50 to 100 million to develop. Beside most Nintendo game so recycle almost everything
    So when that game that cost 60 went to 20 be on sale, the % that goes to developers is smaller. When you buy used nothing goes back to developers.
  • In my opinion, a game that you're paying top dollar for should work the same way as such games have always worked. If you want to offer microtransactions to make a single-player game easier or a multi-player game look better then go ahead. If you want to allow players to pay to have an advantage over others in multi-player games or require pay-to-win then you're being an ass.
  • Just look at CD Projekt, they make pretty good games without DRM, without microtransactions, in the respect of the gamers, and in return gamers respect CD Projekt. Why it's so complicated to understand what gamers await for?