Microtransactions have been on the mind of many the last couple weeks. Star Wars Battlefront II went through major changes because of the backlash to it, as did Need For Speed Payback. And now, UFC 3 is apparently going to be marred by microtransactions as well. Yet, this isn’t the beginning of microtransactions, it’s far from it, they’ve been around for a while. The most popular “genre” of them is call Gacha, where you pay money to try and get special characters or creatures within the game. Among other things.
One of the most popular ones right now is Fire Emblem Heroes, which was revealed to have so far grossed $240 million dollars, a very impressive amount for a franchise that only late last year was called a “AAA franchise” by Nintendo. Yet, despite its evident success, some aren’t happy. Because in their minds, this proves that microtransactions are more lucrative than main games, and that’s wrong. Or is it?
In my opinion, it’s an unfair comparison. Because with Gacha games games, it’s not like Battlefront II where you success is entirely dependent on buying things to advance. You can play the entire game without spending a dime, and use the luck you have to get great characters or creatures. In Fire Emblem Heroes, every single summon banner is free to use. You don’t have to spend money to buy orbs unless you want to. And they give you plenty of chances to earn frees ones.
The other key point is this, while Fire Emblem Heroes is a great game, it’s limited in what it can do because it’s a mobile title. Fire Emblem fans are happily awaiting the next main game because they want a deeper story, the chance to use more than four characters on a team, and more. Each type of game has its own merits. Heroes is one you can pick up and put down eternally and not miss a thing, you can’t really do that for main console and handheld games.
Finally, for sales, yes, Heroes is more profitable than a mainstream Fire Emblem game. But that’s also because the game is free to download, and singular players have spent more than dozens ever will. The average is about $20 a download, but there have been documented cases of people spending hundreds, if not thousands on this game. That’s their choice, and it’s not fair to judge the game because of how much it’s making.