Micro Transactions Could Save Arcade Games as we Knew Them

Back in the day arcades were king.  This was in the 80’s up to the early 90’s when home consoles were still underpowered.  When the Playstation and Sega Saturn came out though, while still underpowered by comparison, the quality of ports was much better.  This spelled the downfall of arcade games.  Gamers were no longer content with standing in crowded rooms full of loud sound and flashing lights.  Why would they though when they could play in their own home, at their own pace and enjoy the full game- sound, graphics and even drink their favorite beverage while chowing on Cheetos?  The world of gaming today is totally different than it was just a decade ago.  The Internet has taken hold and sunk its teeth into all facets of gaming.  Micro transactions are popular and I think they may be the way of the future for retro gaming to grow again, at least arcade games.

Arcades thrived on the whole micro transaction thing.  When you died, and you would since that is how they made money, you would be offered a limited chance at buying back in.  This is in effect a micro transaction.  Nothing wrong with it, if you had the money and you wanted to continue you could.  Today, this could be called “pay to win” especially if we are talking about Double Dragon III where you could purchase weapons and the like with real world money.

What if, rather than selling you the game on popular services such as Steam, Playstation Network, Xbox Live, Android and iPhone- you were given a chance to buy a single play?  Say, 25 cents to play Street Fighter V till you lose, just like it was in the arcades?  What about console games?  What is you could pay 25 cents or so to play the latest Ratchet and Clank till you died.  Or what about a Nintendo Playchoice 10 style option- pay X amount and get a certain amount of time to play- die as much as you want.

Obviously this would not work for role playing games but it would work for nearly everything else from the latest Major League Baseball game to the latest Madden Football and even Mortal Kombat or Spider-Man game.  Think about the additional revenues that companies could garner from this business model.

What is that?  You think fees are what stops companies from doing this?  Well, read on then.

Companies could get around fees with micro transactions by offering groups of credits.  Say, 20 for $5 or something.  This would be useful for gamers too as they could simply hit continue without having to hit the store to buy another credit.  This seems to be the best method of curing fees in this business model.  Just price the lowest pack low enough that enough people can get it- like 3 for a buck or something.

Come on Capcom and Atari and other companies.  Let’s see this in action.

Carl has been gaming on the go since the days of Tiger Electronics and the original Game Boy. Portability is a big factor in gaming across all ages.