CD Projekt Red rules out microtransactions for single player games


In context: Video game publishers including microtransactions in their single-player titles are nothing new, going back at least as far as Bethesda’s infamous ‘horse armor pack’ for Oblivion in 2006. Big-name franchises like Deus Ex, Shadow of Mordor, or Metal Gear Solid have all had installments tarnished by the inclusion of pay-to-win or predatory microtransactions.

On Friday, CD Projekt Red Chief Financial Officer Piotr Nielubowicz participated in a live chat with investors on the Polish platform Stockwatch. During the talk, Nielubowicz confirmed that the studio has no plans to implement microtransactions (MXT) in its single-player games while leaving them open for future multiplayer projects.

“We do not see a place for microtransactions in the case of single player games, but we do not rule out that we will use this solution in the future in the case of multiplayer projects,” Nielubowicz answered when asked about the prospect.

Fans should be pleased that CDPR is taking a stand in an industry that tends to favor maligned MTX models.

Just this month, one of the biggest releases of 2024, Dragon’s Dogma 2, garnered significant critical acclaim from reviewers. However, players discovered on launch that it included a shop with numerous items available for real money. Dragon’s Dogma 2’s shop offers 21 different purchases, with a total value of around 65 percent of the base game’s price.

Microtransactions are a goldmine for many developers, but their inclusion in single-player games has always been questionable. The practice is often viewed as holding game features hostage. After all, there are no fellow players to check out cosmetic items. Quality-of-life purchases, like “camping gear,” are frequently even worse since they usually indicate that the game includes unreasonable grind mechanics to prod players into making purchases to ease progression stress. It’s not only predatory monetization; it’s just poor game design.

With the recent confirmation that The Witcher 4 is in full preproduction and CD Projekt also eyeing up their Cyberpunk sequel, the news that these games won’t feature such microtransactions is very welcome.

The caveat that the studio will consider MTX for multiplayer games is not a big concern. CD Projekt is famed for its single-player experience and doesn’t dabble in MP gaming too much. However, “Project Sirius” will be multiplayer. That’s likely why Nielubowicz left the option open.

Another thing to consider is that gamers are far more accepting of MTX models in multiplayer gaming as long as it doesn’t employ pay-to-win mechanics. Gamers tend to find purchasable cosmetics and other content that does not give a player an unfair advantage acceptable. However, the price tags for extra content in recent games like Diablo 4 are ridiculous, with most skins costing between $15 and $30.

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