Report Shows Gamers Really Hate In-App Microtransactions

To absolutely no one’s surprise (but maybe EA, Activision and Ubisoft) it turns out that gamers really hate in-app purchases, also known as microtransactions. The news comes courtesy of a new report by Unity, which may as well have been headed up by Captain Obvious. did a quick write-up on Unity Technology’s new white paper regarding user trends in mobile game purchases, where it was revealed that gamers prefer first and foremost earning rewards through ads. In fact, 54% of the participants in the survey preferred video ads with in-game rewards. The next most preferred monetary method was… buy-once to own.

Oh man, who knew that gamers like paying a flat premium to own a game? While only 18% liked the method of buying a game to own it, it absolutely trumped the 11% who preferred in-app purchases, or microtransactions.

It’s almost like all those complaints on forums, message boards and social media outlets from people who hate microtransactions have some sort of reflection on their actual purchasing and playing methods.

I’m pretty sure even outside of the mobile market the stats look very similar for console and PC gaming.

The report from Unity consisted of 2,000 mobile game developers and game players, so the sample size was decent enough.

The report indicates that multiple monetary methods utilized in games does not always have to have a negative impact. In fact, they note that including rewards through video ads can work in coalition with in-app purchases without one method cannibalizing the other.

For the most part, the report reveals pretty much what most gamers already know about monetary methods in gaming. I think most people put up with in-app purchases not because they like them but because they’re there. Whales with poor impulse control just spend recklessly when given the opportunity, but the stats above fit in line with most common complaints across the web from a majority of vocal players: they really don’t like microtransactions.

(Main image courtesy of Manaflask)


Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Contact.

10 thoughts on “Report Shows Gamers Really Hate In-App Microtransactions

  1. PC games are usually either microtransactions or pay up front.

    If it costs more than $60 to own the game or unlock everything without a huge grind, it’s not worth my time because I have much better options elsewhere. Anything higher than that is just shameless wallet gouging. Expansion packs being the exception and that’s only if they’re substantial enough to justify the price.

    1. PC gamers usually fall into two camps:
      The “gotta have it now!” crowd and the “Wait for the Steam sale” brigade.

      As a guy firmly in the latter I’ve yet to pay more than ten bucks for anything. Ever. Add to that all the various Humble bundles and publisher bundles and you can see why only a buffoon (or someone without patience) pays full price on PC.

      Not to mention there are so many games on most people’s backlogs it makes no sense to buy a game now, only to play it in six months time. Just wait six months!

  2. I think what I find most offensive about microtransactions in a $60 game (not talking about mobile trash) and can’t “just ignore them” is the game was built around them. Or in the case of EA games, left out until good reviews pass then patched in.

    There had to be balance edits to make players want to purchase those microtransactions to speed things up. Thus making the game more of a grind than needed.

    1. What I hate most is that games nowadays are often literally designed around microtransactions. They are all trying to find the sweet spot that causes a player to snap, give in and throw cash at them.

      I really miss when game design was more about making something fun/challenging to play, instead of trying to push politics, tell some cliche story, or make a quick buck.

      1. I’ve nearly given up on most AAA titles…I’ve found myself enthralled mostly with indie titles designed around being fun,or those games that were crowd-funded…. like Freedom Planet. That game is like the true Sonic 4 that Sega never made (I refuse to acknowledge that POS that is Episode 4).

  3. Yeah people hate IAP but thanks to whales they are still going to be a thing because even if only a handful of people get them, those that do get them go for the mega big premium package and give them good profits.

    1. The people who make our games are willing to financially exploit people with compulsion issues.

      Just think about that, for a moment.


  4. “The report indicates that multiple monetary methods utilized in games
    does not always have to have a negative impact. In fact, they note that
    including rewards through video ads can work in coalition with in-app
    purchases without one method cannibalizing the other.”

    You know, this kind of advice on reports is the reason video game’s monetary systems are getting shittier and shittier

    1. $60 game ($120 Collectors edition)
      $40 season pass
      In app purchases
      Non-Pass covered extra DLC

      And they wonder why there’s so much hatred around videogames.

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