DC Universe Gets Microtransaction Shop

By Quintin Smith on July 1st, 2011 at 9:20 am.

The sword: $1. The cape: $0.75. Ganking someone while also showing that you're wealthier than them: priceless.

Are all the MMORPGs in the world swapping to microtransactions and freemium payment models? The writing is on the wall, and the writing says “Give us your money! Give us your money in smaller increments, and with less constancy!” Which is a crazy thing to see written on any wall.

Anyway, Massively report that Sony have just unlocked DC Universe’s in-game marketplace. Players now have the option of spending their real-world money on Vault Tickets, allowing them to access a special Vault instance at $1 each time, or Proto Repair-Bots, also costing $1, which patch up your character wherever you are. That is all. Nothing to see here, gents. Move along.

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15 Comments »

  1. Serious J says:

    Heh. Poor DCUO. It launched with such promise. Quite the awesome game, but had next to no content updates and little to keep players occupied. It was worth the box price, but they completely failed at earning subscriptions from people. Now they want to get more money on top of the subscription fees. Good luck with that, Sony.

    They might have not lost so many subscribers if they had used the resources spent on this into more content updates.

    • Juan Carlo says:

      Yeah. The game is nearly dead as it is. I don’t see how introducing microtransactions will fix anything. They should really focus on giving players a reason to stick around for longer than the initial month. As it is, all of the content in the game can be had in less than a month and at that point there really isn’t much reason to stay.

      If they were really smart they’d just go free-2-play and figure out some way to make money strictly on micro-transactions. I would think that free-2-play would draw a huge influx of players given that it has the DC brand attached to it. I think that’s the only way to save the game in the long term at this point (and the core game really isn’t that bad, even though I think it lacks longevity and has some stifling features). They have an entire comic book universe at their disposal. One would think they could find a way to link the events of the comics with the MMO and “synergize” their brands (i.e. maybe they could give away special items for buying comics, or have special events/sales of items or DLC tied to stuff in the comics, something like that). But I doubt they are bold enough or smart enough to do something that drastic.

  2. Jody Macgregor says:

    I lost interest in DC Universe Online when I found out I couldn’t create a character who was an escaped circus bear named ‘Insane Clown Fozzie’. But if it went free-to-play I’d check it out.

  3. Hoaxfish says:

    a special Vault instance at $1 each time, or Proto Repair-Bots, also costing $1

    One dollar! One dollar! me love you long time! One dollar!

  4. neolith says:

    1$ visit an instance? Each time?

  5. destroy.all.monsters says:

    As long as it’s run by Sony they’ll never see a dime from me. No help during beta, by its failure to provide proper account security, installation of rootkits, suing geohot. There’s nothing too low for Sony to sink to.

    Even if they weren’t evil, they can’t do anything right. DC/Warners were idiots to let the license go to them especially after Matrix Online.

  6. Warth0g says:

    Seems very odd to be piling micro-transactions on top of subscriptions. Talk about milking your player base. But if, as I hope, it’s just a short hop from here to F2P, then I’ll definitely jump into DCUO. Always quite liked the sound of it, but not willing to pay a sub for any game …

    … except for possibly the Secret World .. damn, I’m weak :-(

  7. TillEulenspiegel says:

    Are all the MMORPGs in the world swapping to microtransactions and freemium payment models?

    The answer is yes. The next question is why? Has the subscription-buying audience declined so much that they’re in peril, or are they doing okay and just want even more money?

    Either way, microtransactions and DLC galore looks like the future for the vast majority of games. It’s not a happy future. The next logical step is some kind of counter-movement to get back to The Old Ways, like organic farming.

  8. Skusey says:

    “Ganking”? My, you really are a youth.

  9. mmalove says:

    The subs milk money from the max level players that just want to do endgame content, ala a traditional everquest/WOW game.

    The F2P microtransaction money serves 2 points. First it offers a chance to gleam more cash from willing spenders, who’s only traditional option to pay-to-win has been botters and spammers selling gold/isk/platinum. I guess in this regard the MMO dev community in general has finally succumbed to the “if you can’t beat em, join em” philosophy, but go back and see what adamant stances they’ve historically taken against gold sales and you’ll see this just drips with hypocrisy.
    The second point is to sustain players. A subscription creates a monthly reason to leave the game. Patch notes nerfing your favorite class? I’m not paying another 15 bucks for THAT!! On the contrary, a F2P, permanent item creates a lasting reason to stick with the game, and not go over to a competitor, making you a more likely candidate for future sales. A wow player’s celestial pony, for example, is good for as long as they play WOW.

    I too, kinda feel like as long as I’m willing to pay a sub that I know full well only benefits me so long as I keep paying, that it should entitle me to all the content the game has to offer. But, game companies are now experimenting with models where this is no longer the case. It’s too early to say for the whole market, but as for me, I’m no longer subbed to EVE, and haven’t really felt the inclination to go back to WOW or any of these other hybrid systems.

  10. JerreyRough says:

    Many people are hating on this shop and calling it a cash in. But, while it is still a cash-in, this microtransaction shop is how I’d like to see these shops work. The tickets are just like lottery tickets, giving you another chance to have a chance of getting some cool gear. But the chances are so low you’d have to spend a lot of money to get a decent amount of gear from it. The repair drones are also a good idea, saving you in-game money to buy other things.

    This shop is way better than other MMO’s IMO. You don’t get any combat advantages, you don’t get experience-rate increases, and you don’t buy health kits/golden bullets or any crap.

  11. Wulf says:

    This is just gearing up for free-to-play, really.

    Future Headline Prediction: DCUO goes free-to-play, and continues to fail to epic degrees, a complete ghost town compared to the thriving City of Heroes and the still quite, quite lively Champions Online.

    I knew DCUO was a fairly shit game from the beta. I’m personally glad I didn’t spend any money on it, therefore I don’t have to feel the need to defend any past unwise expenditures. :p

    • Arglebargle says:

      Yeah, it was a major failure conceptually. Limited powers, limited character set up, limited content, screwy gui. Oops. Perhaps they are doing well on the PS3 side, but not a lot to reccomend it otherwise.

      Your prediction is probably dead on. I too bailed after beta. I did actually find a bug in beta, so at least I gave them that….

  12. rocketman71 says:

    Payment was never the problem with MMOs.

    F2P?. Whatever. Still not interested.

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