For many people, the presence of microtransactions in games are an automatic deal-breaker for them buying the game. This has lead to several especially insidious game companies actually waiting until reviews come out before patching microtransactions in, like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LeZ89_u2Gc
People come to reviews in order to help them make informed purchasing decisions. Most gamespot reviews do indeed mention the microtransaction content. But you have to go digging through the main review to find it. It would be so much more convenient if there was a disclaimer at the start of the review that told us what kind of microtransaction system the game has.
Here's an idea for the type of microtransaction rating system the reviews can have:
- 1 - No microtransactions of any kind
- 2 - Cosmetic-only non-random microtransactions
- 3 - Pay-to-win non-random microtransactions
- 4 - Cosmetic-only loot boxes
- 5 - Pay-to-win loot boxes
With that numbering system, we could even allow people to filter their search results so that only games with MTX ratings they don't mind will show up.
You could also put a disclaimer, such as the letter "X" or the image of a red flag, whenever the game comes from a game company that has changed the microtransaction system via post-release patches in the past. So any game from Activision should be rated 1X because of the bullshit pulled by Crash Team Racing: Nitro Fueled, and any game from Bethesda should be rated 2X because of Fallout 76. So on and so forth.
This would deter game companies from pulling the kind of bullshit mentioned in the Jim Sterling video above. If a game company does that, even once, they are stigmatized for life. So don't do that.
What do you think? Should Gamespot and other review sites adopt this disclosure policy?