Deposit ten cents, puh-leeze. Pay to
From the Wired article:
A Little Moolah Goes a Long Way
Welcome to the online store of the future -- the one embedded in your favorite video game. When Microsoft releases the new version of its video game console -- presumably this year -- it plans to include a storefront that will offer "microtransactions."
The idea is that everyone wins: players with disposable income can spend a few cents here and there to enhance their gameplay, and publishers get a way to create a continuing revenue stream.
[This would be a convinient way to dispose of annoying income.]
"Not only do you have to sweep away the distinction between virtual and real, you have to stop looking at video games as a toy and start looking at them as an entertainment service," said Edward Castronova, an associate professor at Indiana University who studies video game economics and is the author of the forthcoming book Synthetic Worlds.
[Of course! Children shouldn't be playing games! Why should children play games when they could be interacting with an entertainment service?]
But Microsoft executives suggest those who do not take part will hear from unhappy fans.
"If you don't believe in the self-expression thing, so be it," said J. Allard, a Microsoft corporate vice president who has a key role in building the services in the next version of Xbox. "Let's let it play out in the market."
[I guess for some people that "self-expression thing" means giving away money.]
"We believe that an online marketplace will provide varying high-margin incremental revenue opportunities for all of the major video-game publishers with the Xbox 2 over the next five years," American Technology Research analyst P.J. McNealy said in a recent note.
That plan could be a drop in the bucket, though. Ferroni said it was conceivable that someday, the Xbox marketplace would let users trade and sell among themselves.
"What they're saying to developers is if you don't design this into the game the fan site community, these external people, will capture this money stream," Castronova said.
[Just think what a disaster to that "self-expression thing" that would be!]
Wired News: A Little Moolah Goes a Long Way