Sony boss defends microtransactions

For Gran Turismo 6, president of Worldwide Studios says "the game is just offering an alternative path to busy people."

Sony president of Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida has spoken out to defend Gran Turismo 6's microtransactions.

"Read the posts, the game is just offering an alternative path to busy people," Yoshida said on Twitter. "Read reviews when they come out."

Yesterday, Sony confirmed final pricing details for the game's microtransactions, which will appear in the form of in-game credits that users can spend real-world money to purchase.

Yoshida claimed that microtransactions are not necessarily a "bad thing," though he said such systems could become problematic if implemented in a way that doesn't suit the player.

"Microtransaction per se is not a bad thing," he said. "How the game is designed around it could become a problem."

Gran Turismo 6's microtransactions are entirely optional; players can also unlock in-game credits through completing races and challenges as in past games. The racing game launches tomorrow, December 6, exclusively for the PlayStation 3. Keep your eyes peeled for GameSpot's official review, coming soon.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

1879 comments
Triton
Triton

I like this. Some of us work 45-50hrs a week instead of sitting at home and play games all day, thus have money to play catch up. No big deal really,- If you don't have the money, don't worry about it.

Tyaj
Tyaj

Pay more money to play less. 

How much sense does that make?


Polyphony is getting more phony every new installment.

Sevenizz
Sevenizz

"We want more money. You know how expensive it is to pay out 35 million dollar CEO bonuses?" -Sony

Is alI I read...

Carpetfluff
Carpetfluff

Except half the sites have posted their reviews before they patched the micro-transactions in (pats Gamespot on the back for holding off on that one). Explains why you only get the choice of one slow starter car instead of a handful...bored of going this slow? Fork over some more cash and you can skip it...

akiharho888love
akiharho888love

what i dont understand is the constant need to charge people for a "convenience" feature such 75 millions dollars when once apon a time you could of just used a programed in cheat code which would do the same thing...

i feel like i am the only one who realize that even if i paid for it its still no different than inputting a code to get the desired effect .

the nereve, its like there treating us like stupid goldfish.... no more cheat codes because of why???

but they have been replaced with buy the same affect which used to once be free.

McNeelyJ39
McNeelyJ39

I'm lost, so is Gran Turismo a full priced game using the free to play model?

SacredGray
SacredGray

I love my PS4, but I will never condone microtransactions.

Riverwolf007
Riverwolf007

i wish i still cared enough about gran turismo to ridicule it.

trinigamer07003
trinigamer07003

If you want to pay a company money to NOT play the game you just paid that same company money for then be my guest.Once they didn't cripple the game (i.e. making prize credits painfully low to entice you to buy the credits) I'm fine with this .Like the Hodge Twins say "You can do what ever the F#$KKKKKKK you wanna do!"

tjkraz
tjkraz

I'll add that I suspect Playstation+ and MS' Games With Gold will be following similar paid / freemium models going forward.  It's the logical next step.  Sony's DC Universe sells in-game credits and DLC packs.  Driveclub will probably have an even more imbalanced financial model than Gran Turismo...with very few cars available at release and others available only for purchase.  XB1 Killer Instinct is another example...one character "free" and others available for purchase.  


The current version of PS+ had the benefit of debuting on a mature system.  Sony had a years-old back catalog of games to draw upon for its "free" releases.  Even the newest games were 2+ years old.  MS did the same thing, albeit digging even further into the catalog for older titles.


Both MS and Sony have committed to a steady stream of "free" games but I don't think we're going to see Killzone Shadow Fall or Ryse as PS+ / GwG releases anytime soon.  Instead we're going to get a couple years of indie-quality games filled with micro transactions and optional DLC.  

tjraz2
tjraz2

so that's what that nifty touchpad is on the ps4 controller eh? its a credit card swiper.

virtualskill
virtualskill

Do not defend this crap. You idiot gamers who bought "Horse Armor" in the Oblivion days are what started this nasty cycle of paying for "a little extra". Now every game makes you pay & pay & pay for what you already own. 


Time to admit this crap is wrong and stop buying & supporting it.

tjkraz
tjkraz

Logically, this should really come as no surprise.  The retail price of games hasn't increased since the $60 price point was introduced in 2005.  Over that time, all developer costs have gone up:  salaries, employee benefits, rent, utilities, insurance, etc.  And now with the PS4 and XB1, devs are obligated to spend even more to create higher-quality graphics.  As gamers, we just assume that next gen games will look better...but reality is the artists and programmers need to invest a lot more time and money creating those higher rez images.  


So what we have is a market where studios are looking to DLC and micro transactions to offset their higher development costs.  


The good news is that these are OPTIONAL costs.  I guess that's preferable to $70 or $75 games.  As a consumer, it definitely makes me more selective about which games I'll buy.  I usually read reviews and other info before buying a game.  If I discover that another $20+ worth of add-on purchases are required to truly enjoy the game, it's going to impact my decision to buy or not.  

Neo_OnionKnight
Neo_OnionKnight

I'm going to get angry! You won't like me when I'M ANGRY! 


I don't know anything about this game! But he said MICROTRANSACTIONS!


GRRRRRAAAAHHHHH!!!


!!HULK SMASH!!

eagle63
eagle63

I've played real racing six on iOS and wound up hating it because of micro transactions. I will quit playing games altogether before I let the gaming industry nickel and dime me to death.

bluebird08
bluebird08

First online passes, then content cut from games for DLC, and now micro-transactions in $60 games. If the gaming industry continues down this path of micro-transactions, all I see is a horrible future for gaming.

snaketus
snaketus

DLC that wasn't ready to put on the disc or ready when game launches, ok fine. Microtransactions for lazy and busy people fine as you still can just play the game to get all the same stuff without paying real money for it.


Day one DLC on disc or even downloadable on day one NOT okay and paying real money in $60 game to get items you can't get by just playing the game NOT okay.

meatz666
meatz666

In the past you had to pay to cheat... It was called Nintendo Power, or Game Genie... :P

salimk
salimk

we need to campaign against micro transactions guys for any full 60$ console game. 

its ok on free to play games if you choose to play it.

PS2fweak
PS2fweak

I see the fear in people's eyes, but I don't really get it. Microtransactions don't apply to me, so I don't see how it would affect me. They could create cheats instead of charging "busy people", but offering free cheats isn't a good business model when you consider the amount of money they can make. 


The only way companies like Sony will listen to you is if you just buy the game and don't pay for anything else. The market will work itself out. If there is no demand, companies won't supply. 

arqe
arqe

See some people think we all QQ about "Buying Things" but what their small brains cant figure is that "BY SAYING WE , I MEAN ALL PC - PS - XBOX - NINTENDO" players who are againts "Microtransactions Bussiness Model".

It all starts with "You can just grind the same thing" then it goes to "Meh these are for people paying extra." then it comes to "Unfinished Products" that sells for full retail price and you have to "Pay for Every Single Bullet You Shoot" , "Every Single ball you kick / throw" , "Evet line you cross in racing games" etc.

I hope you understand why all complaining here. Not just to GT developers but for all. 

Same "Flame" should go for "PSN / Xbox Live"

adwerk
adwerk

@Triton I don think you see the full picture. They basically sell you a game, then ask you for more money to unlock "the fun part". Making sure the game is either so grindy or boring that you'll either run out of time or patience...


And last time I checked, cheat codes use to be free.

quickshooterMk2
quickshooterMk2

@akiharho888love indeed 

fuck grinding, cheats solve things like this 

but this is why i fucked off sports games and racing 

they all turn into a gimped game where if you want to have fun you need to pay 

Carpetfluff
Carpetfluff

@trinigamer07003 Yup, I have no general issue with all the games with 'time saver' packs for people with more money than sense. The argument about time saving is weird anyway, because if you have no time to play the game they way it's meant to be played, then why even buy it? Still, the option only bothers me when it gives people an overwhelming leg up in the online aspect of a game. 

quickshooterMk2
quickshooterMk2

@tjkraz bullshit 

metro last light was made with 10% money normal (aka shitty EA) companies use for their game 

with piss poor equipment, harsh conditions and a small staff 

explain that smartass 


also PC games are 50$ and much lower cause of sales and etc... 


customer is king, if that game treats that customer like a wallet then the customer will not buy the game 

keech
keech

While this is all true, it ignores one very important fact.  The industry created this problem of super inflated budget costs for games.  The industry were the ones that insisted games HAD to have top of the line visuals and HAD to be churned out every year like clockwork.


So what happens?  They dump money into developing expensive graphics and physics engines, they quadruple the staff for development teams (and still often require them to work 50 to 60 hour work weeks for months at a time to meet deadlines.)  Then when a game "only" sells 3 million copies in the first few weeks, they turn around and cry about how used games and piracy are to blame and say they HAVE to put in micro-transactions to make up for it.  They are playing the victim begging for money from consumers who already GAVE them $60.


Here's a stark bit of reality.  It took the original Gears of War almost 3 months to sell 3 million copies.  It was considered a smash success, it was the fastest selling video game of 2006.  Today, on the exact same console hardware, if a game takes 3 WEEKS to sell 3 million copies, It's considered a failure.


Costs of game development aren't the problem.  It's the business models and expectations of the people behind them that's the problem.

eagle63
eagle63

Optional costs? that's ridiculous. I think people that can afford this would have a decided advantage of those who don't throwing the balance of the game

quickshooterMk2
quickshooterMk2

@bluebird08 grand turismo is a POS anyway 

you still have fanstatic games like the witcher 3 awating you with no pre-order/DLC/bullshit what so ever 


just try the eastren devs, they're not half as greedy as the westren devs 

snaketus
snaketus

@meatz666 In the past you just had to put in a cheat code, now you have to buy it from the publishers.

monkeypukefight
monkeypukefight

@salimk i would agree with you but in the case of gt6, ITS ENTIRELY OPTIONAL.... or did you miss that somehow??? if so, read the article before commenting...

meatz666
meatz666

@salimk You never bought a DLC in your life, then? What's the difference between MT or DLC?

TightNinja
TightNinja

Those with "no time to play" are old school gamers like me that rember when 1 - 20 hours was enough to experience everything a game had to offer.  If the game was good (Contra, Double Dragon, MGS) You had no problem playing through it again.


This day and age every game requires a 100 hour commitment.  In order to be competitive in an FPS these days you have to spend 20 hours to unlock a decent rifle.  I just remember playing Counter-strike and being able to use my fav rifle in about 5 minutes or 3 rounds of gameplay...not 20 hours.


Plus if you like to play multiple game genres like me (racing, shooter, rpg, sports) It is near impossible to max out each game before the sequel comes around. People work, go to school etc or both.  Not everyone lives in their mom's  basement with no job playing games all day.


With that being said.....I would prefer the old school method of cheat codes.  But if people are willing to pay $1000 for a virtual car, I cannot blame the devs for taking that money.    Olive Garden does it with their over priced garbage "Italian food" It is just a matter if you can get away with it or not.

tjkraz
tjkraz

@quickshooterMk2 @tjkraz I'm not really sure what your point is with the first part of your post.  Of course there are low-budget games which are of high quality.  But overall the AAA titles come from publishers and studios with deep pockets.  For every "Metro Last Light" I could name a dozen games which were released early because the dev ran out of money (or publisher ran out of patience) or were cancelled outright.  


PC games are lower in price because there are no royalties to be paid to the likes of Sony and Microsoft.  If memory serves, $12 of every $60 console title goes right to Sony and MS.  There's your difference between the $60 and $50 price points right there.  


I do agree the customer is king.  I'm not saying that customers should just shut up and pay the dollars.  By all means, avoid buying games with micro transactions if you feel they harm the game.  If the public rebels against these business models, studios will be forced to adapt.  Only time will tell if that happens. 

TightNinja
TightNinja

Keech said it perfectly


Spending $300 million on marketing instead of you know THE GAME also would help budgets just a tad.

tjkraz
tjkraz

@keech Most of what you describe is just capitalism.  No matter what industry you look at, there's always someone who wants to do things bigger and better than their competition.  Consumers can always reject the prices and policies...but for the most part, they aren't.  


As for your Gears of War analogy, bear in mind that Xbox 360 was in its infancy back then.  There were only about 10 million Xbox 360s on the market back then.  That's a 30% adoption rate.


By comparison, in 10 weeks GTA V has sold 26 million copies on Xbox and PS3 combined.  However there are over 160 million systems sold, for an adoption rate around 16%.  The market is much more mature today so naturally game sales will be much higher.  

tjkraz
tjkraz

@eagle63 Depends on the nature of the paid content.  If we're talking about power-ups or upgrades which are nearly impossible to obtain through normal gameplay, then it does place you at a disadvantage.  Those may be the games to avoid.  That's the only way to send a message to the developer...don't buy it!


But the question to ask yourself is whether the DLC / micro transactions will impact your enjoyment of the game.  Personally, I know I'm never going to be the best shooter or driver on the screen.  I don't spend a lot of time worrying about whether others got their power-ups from hard work or $$$. 


I've bought COD map packs and given the hours I spent playing them, have no regrets about paying the extra money.  But then there are sports games like Madden with their card collecting mini games which are just a complete rip-off.  Will never spend a dime on that.  

Dudeman315
Dudeman315

Breathing is ENTIRELY OPTIONAL too*....Until there are details "Entirely optional" is market speak, XBOX live is entirly optional for titanfall--sure you can't play the game but you aren't forced to buy it.


*If you don't believe me lay facedown in enough water to cover your face up to your eyes and don't move from that position for 6 hours and keep trying to breathif you are still breathing you've proved me wrong--if you are dead then you proved me right.

aeterna789
aeterna789

DLCs were supposed to add new content like maps, story etc. Microtransactions are a way to skip ingame grinding by purchasing your way through levels and items.

I'd like to add that both DLCs and Microtransactions are valid business models but when absued, becomes more of a plague rather than a service. Examples of good DLCs are Borderlands 2: Captain Scarlet's Pirate Booty or the Tiny Tina Assault on Dragon Keep, since they substantially extend gameplay. For Microtransactions, its ok as long as the game is FREE TO PLAY, and its not a Pay to Win model.

MigGui
MigGui

@meatz666 @salimk DLC adds new content, MT doesn't. and there are many DLCs that shouldn't make the cut either.

TightNinja
TightNinja

@Carpetfluff@TightNinja 

Hopefully your exaggerating about the number of 360 games you have played.  I have manged about 45 games in 8 years plus some PC and PS3 stuff.  Hopefully you wife still loves you because that is way to much time spent playing games for most women.....maybe you have one of the really good ones.

Carpetfluff
Carpetfluff

@TightNinja While I realise I was over-generalising; so are you. I am an old school gamer; started from the year dot and yet, over the last gen alone and even with work, wife and life commitments I managed to get through around 600 games on the 360 alone, along with some PS3 exclusives. I don't agree that all games need 100 hour commitment, unless you're wholly playing the online MP modes, and if that's the case then comparing that to the good ol' days when you threw in a cart and tried to clear five levels of side scrolling in a day doesn't really work,


Plus, you know damn well that there are people who have easily committed hundreds of hours to those games too.

tjkraz
tjkraz

@keech Yes, of course there are many moving parts to any serious analysis.  I was merely pointing out the flaws in your original comparison.  With only 10 million consoles in the wild at "Gears" launch, sales were never going to explode at launch.  


Also, Gears was an unknown property in 2006.  When you say "if a game takes 3 WEEKS to sell 3 million copies, It's considered a failure", you're referring to established franchises like COD, Battlefield, Arkham, GTA, etc.  New properties don't get off the ground that quickly even today.  


Finally, I'll have to disagree with the notion that games aren't much different today than 6 years ago.  Go look at Madden, NBA 2K, Need for Speed and COD games from 2007 or before.  Better yet, go look at Xbox launch titles like Perfect Dark Zero.  


We're less than a month into a new console generation.  Consumers are going to expect a lot more going forward, and we have the hardware to deliver.  

keech
keech

That's true, but the notion that just because more people own a console now automatically means inflated sales is a logical fallacy.  With a larger user base comes more competition.  Looking at adoption rates for console owners isn't a good way to gauge a development budget.  Looking at hard sales numbers and figuring out just how many copies you would actually have to sell to make a profit is.  


If a game like GTAV "only" has a %16 adoption rate, than any publisher that doesn't have a juggernaut of a franchise like GTA or CoD (which is 99% of the industry) needs to line up their expectations with reality. 


Also my point with Gears wasn't about adoption rates.  It was more a commentary on how absurdly bloated and unsustainable video game development has become.  Despite the fact it's on the exact same hardware It's now costing 4 times as much to develop games that frankly aren't all that different from the games we had 6 years ago.

Dudeman315
Dudeman315

Micro-transactions aren't option if you want to play the game efficiently with cars that can win the top races.  Once again it depends on the amount of time $50 shaves off, is it 5 hrs or 5 years of grinding?

monkeypukefight
monkeypukefight

@Dudeman315 breathing isn't optional if you want to live... these microtransactions ARE optional if you want to play the game. you can still unlock everything like in all previous gt-games. as stated in the article above. ( the details you were mensioning.)

maybe you got confused over my last comment as i didn't specify that i was talking about the gran turismo microtransactions and not microtransactions in general. (which i don't like, but the gt6 microtransactions i don't mind, because they aren't forced on you to progress in the game.)

meatz666
meatz666

@shingui5 Not necessarily, dude. DLC is a type of MT. Is not called MT because you normally buy it in the console store, but in the end, is a microtrans over the macrotrans (buying the game).

I'm just saying we should look one microtrans specifics, and learn to discern good and bad practices

shingui5
shingui5

@meatz666 @aeterna789

You're missing the distinction.

DLC is new content, made after the fact, and sold to people so they can extend the base game.

MTs are not new content, it's the same content in the initial release, but sold to you so that you cna avoid the grind the devleopers put infront of you.

meatz666
meatz666

@aeterna789 "Microtransactions are a way to skip ingame grinding by purchasing your way through levels and items" - You are getting a general term like microtransaction, and using it for one specific practice.


Microtransactions are game content that can be bought inside of the game. Nothing less. If you can buy new content inside the game, it's a microtransaction.


I agree that allowing people to pay to unlock is lame. But there are microtransactions done right.


What gamers can't be is retarded and bring pitchforks and torches to everything related to microtrans.