As a gamer, you’re probably familiar with the feeling of getting caught up in the moment and spending too much money on an in-game purchase. Maybe it’s to get ahead of the competition, or perhaps it’s just because you’re in the middle of an exciting match and want to ensure you stay competitive. Whatever the reason, it’s easy to lose track of how much money you’re spending, and it can be hard to turn down something that seems so exciting at the time.
But here’s the thing: overspending on video games is a real issue, and it can cost both gamers and gaming companies millions of dollars every year. When you spend too much money on in-game purchases, you waste your hard-earned cash and take away from the game’s developers and publishers, who need those resources to keep creating new content and making their games better for everyone.
If you’d like some tips on how to keep your money safe during in-game purchases without missing out on anything fun, read on!
Why “Free-To-Play” Means In-Game Purchases
We’ve all heard the term “free-to-play” before. It’s a popular way to describe games that don’t charge upfront costs but make money from in-game purchases. But what does “free-to-play” mean?
Free-to-play games are typically free to download and don’t require you to pay for them upfront. As a result, you can play for hours on end without spending a dime, making it easy for players short on cash.
But those free games have a secret: They make money from in-game purchases. Sometimes, these purchases are purely cosmetic—they don’t change the gameplay or improve your chances of winning. But in other cases, they give you an advantage over other players and allow you to progress faster than someone who doesn’t spend money on the game.
Types of In-Game Spending
In-game spending is the act of spending real-world money on in-game items. These items can be anything from extra lives to new skins to special abilities. In-game spending can be done through in-game purchases, typically made using an online currency you purchase with real money.
There are two main types of in-game spending: microtransactions and loot boxes.
Microtransactions in Gaming
Microtransactions are small purchases made within the game. They may be one-time payments or subscriptions, such as a monthly fee for a subscription-based game like World of Warcraft. Microtransactions may also be purchases of in-game currency that can be used to buy specific items or upgrades within the game.
That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you control your microtransactions in gaming.
Tip 1) Play the game for free
Play the game for free to see if you like it. If you do, great! If not… Well, there’s always something else out there.
Tip 2) Once you’re ready to start spending money, set limits
Don’t buy everything upfront if you want to spend money on a game. Set limits on how much you’ll spend at any time, and stick with them! This way, if something doesn’t work out for whatever reason (like maybe the game isn’t what you expected or it just isn’t fun), then at least you won’t have spent too much money on it.
Tip 3 ) Don’t use auto-renewal on your credit card any longer than necessary
It is a good rule of thumb for all kinds of services and purchases, but it’s essential when it comes down to controlling your microtransaction spending habits. Auto-renewal means that when one month ends and another begins, the credit card will automatically charge itself again without asking if this is what you want. If there’s no way to change your settings (like with some games), consider switching cards entirely, so you don’t have an auto-renewing bill every month.
Loot boxes are virtual containers that contain random items or rewards when opened. In addition, loot boxes often contain cosmetics that don’t affect gameplay but sometimes include rarer things that affect gameplay (e.g., better weapons).
Why It is Hard to Stop Spending
Do you ever feel you’re spending more money than you can afford on an online game? Regarding gaming, it’s not always easy to stop spending.
The first step is understanding why stopping spending on an online game is so hard. You might borrow money from family, friends, or even your credit card company. Many poor credit gamers even take out installment loans for bad credit to win some games.
You might be gambling with a friend or loved one who’s betting against you by making deals like “I’ll give you $100 if you lose.” Or you may feel that all your other financial obligations have been taken care of, so it doesn’t matter how much you spend on gaming.
If any of these sound familiar, then now is a good time to talk about managing your finances and reducing your chances of getting into debt while playing games online.
How Video Game Companies Use Psychology to Turn Players Into Payers
Video games are a huge business. The global video game industry is worth over $100 billion and growing. But what if you could make more money off of your game?
There are three main ways that video game companies get their players to spend more time and money on their games:
1) They keep players hooked by offering rewards for playing.
2) They create a sense of urgency by making players believe they must act right now or miss out on something important.
3) They make it fun!
How to Keep Children Safe from In-game Spending
When you’re a parent, keeping your kids safe can be stressful. That’s why we’re here with helpful tips and tricks to protect your little ones from in-game purchases in their favorite games!
There are three main ways to protect your children from spending money on in-game purchases:
1) Set up parental controls on the device they’re playing on. It is the easiest way to ensure that no purchases can be made without you knowing.
2) Remove your credit card information from any accounts associated with the game. It is another simple way to prevent spending without worrying about setting up parental controls.
3) Make sure your child is old enough for this kind of responsibility. If not, don’t let them play with it unsupervised, and don’t let them spend real money on fake money.
You don’t want your kids seeing ads for things that cost real money—and neither do we! With these three steps, you can keep your devices safe from unwanted purchases.
A Checklist for Ethical In-Game Purchase Monetization
When it comes to in-game purchases, you have to be careful. If you’re not, you could make mistakes that hurt your users and business.
Here are some guidelines for making sure your monetization strategy is ethical and practical:
1) Ensure that the items you sell are helpful to the player’s game experience. Don’t sell things that don’t enhance their experience or something that enhance their experience in a way that doesn’t fit with the spirit of the game.
2) Ensure your prices make sense about how much value they add to gameplay. Don’t sell items at exorbitant rates just because you can. Players will get angry and leave if they feel they’re being taken advantage of!
3) Don’t try to get players hooked on something that they can only get by paying more money later on down the road. It is a surefire way to lose them entirely!
We hope you’ve learned a lot about keeping your money safe during in-game purchases. We know it can be challenging to figure out what to do when you want to spend money on games but don’t want to lose control of your finances or spend too much money. Happy gaming, and good luck!