Ubisoft’s For Honor has recently come under fire for price gouging players on in-game purchases. According to TechSpot, a Reddit user spent the weekend crunching numbers and determined that it would cost $732 to unlock everything in the game.
According to redditor Bystander007, it requires 91,500 “Steel” (the name of the in-game currency) to unlock all of the content for each type of hero. Since there are 12 heroes, it would take over a million Steel to buy everything in the game. Plugging that into the cost to buy Steel with real money, a player would need to purchase more than seven $100 Steel packages. He concludes that since the game also costs between $60-100, the total cost of the game is around $800.
Bystander007 also went on to calculate the approximate amount of time it would take a player to purchase everything using only Steel earned by playing and asserts that it would take 5,200 hours or roughly two-and-a-half years for a casual player to earn enough in-game currency to buy everything.
He believes it is unfair of Ubisoft to charge for content in For Honor that he feels he has already paid for, especially at such a high price. To him, if the content is in the base game, then it should be included in the purchase price. He has no qualms with the company adding content and charging for it later.
According to Ars Technica, Ubisoft Montreal Game Director Damien Kieken points out that the developers never intended for players to unlock all the extra content in For Honor. They did not even design it for players to play as all 12 characters.
“Kieken says the team designed For Honor around the idea that most players would ‘play one to three characters’ rather than trying to unlock content for all 12,” Ars Technica said.
The thought was to have players spend a little time leveling up their character, a substantial amount of time improving their gear to the top tier, and then the rest of the time earning Steel to purchase cosmetics and other in-game perks. For the most part, this is what they have seen so far since release. Most players focus on one character, and a few have two or three.
Ubisoft views For Honor microtransactions as mostly cosmetic items; things that are not necessary to enjoy the action, but are fun to use and make your character unique. Kieken equates the in-game store to a brick-and-mortar store.
“When you go in the store, you don’t buy all the things they have [in one visit]. When you come back three months after, you want a new one. That’s really the same idea. We don’t expect them to buy everything; we just expect them to buy things they want right away because they don’t want to wait a week to get it.”
Gamers, by their very nature, tend to be very obsessive when it comes to collecting items in games. Years of finding every secret in Super Mario Bros. and Sonic the Hedgehog, and unlocking every possible item in fighters and RPGs have made many of them this way. The player that feels that he or she needs to unlock everything in a game is the same player who cannot walk by a barrel in an RPG without breaking it.
Ubisoft’s For Honor developers have poked at that stereotype and have said, “Hey, it’s okay. You don’t have to unlock everything in the game.”
Kieken also reminds players that the microtransactions are what support For Honor developers, who are continually working on aspects such as patches, “maps, and new heroes,” which will be added to the title “for free every few months.” Ubisoft must have a revenue stream if gamers expect to continue being supplied with fresh content.
However, that is not to say that the team at Ubisoft are ignoring the For Honor community’s concerns and all of the criticism that this has raised over the last week. Kieken notes that the feedback has “started an interesting discussion,” both within the community and among the developers. He assures players that their feedback is being heard and that the team is not averse to making changes. Ubisoft is confident that it can strike a balance with For Honor players that is mutually beneficial, but it is still “looking at the data.”
[Featured Image by Jordan Strauss/Invision for Ubisoft/AP Images]