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Player spends $62,000 In Runescape reignited community anger around microtransactions

A recent UK Parliament report focusing on microtransactions in the video games industry has revealed that one player has spent $62,000 USD on Runescape, an otherwise free-to-play game.

The report was the result of an investigation into the alleged harms of microtransactions in video games by the British Parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sports Committee, which had particularly flagged Runescape, a roleplaying game developed by UK-based games company Jagex. The report revealed that “a member of the public whose adult son built up considerable debts, reported to be in excess of £50,000 [$62,000 USD], through spending on microtransactions in British company Jagex’s online game RuneScape,” which caused “significant financial harm for both the player and his parents.”

As noted by Kotaku, RuneScape players have been complaining about the game’s aggressive microtransactions since the “squeal of fortune” update in 2012, which let players pay up to $99.99 for wheel spins in exchange for armor, money, or experience points. In addition, if you are in need of Cheap Runescape Gold, you can visit our website z2u.com.

Jagex said that about one-third of its revenue comes from microtransactions, while two-thirds come from an alternative subscription model. Its director of player experience said players “can potentially spend up to £1,000 ($1,247) a week or £5,000 ($6,238) a month” in the game but claims only one person had hit that limit in the last 12 months.

Most players who disagree with the direction the game has headed have long since moved over to OSRS, which features far less in the way of microtransactions and better preserves what the game felt like in its early halcyon days. That doesn't change the fact that it appears like Jagex has little issue exploiting players with gambling addictions to make a profit, and the microtransaction model continues to prove with subsequent reports detailing its systems that it absolutely needs to be removed from gaming as soon as possible. Not every situation is as bad as RuneScape's appears to be, but it's possible we're not far off if the legislation being suggested to rein these practices in doesn't get approved soon.

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