Is Pay to Play Really Worth It Anymore?


Matt Warner, Writer

Last month saw the release of Star Wars Battlefront 2, the second installment of Star Wars on next-generation consoles. It is headed by EA DICE, a subsidiary of Electronic Arts, based out of Stockholm, Sweden. They’re responsible for creating games such as the Battlefield Series, Mirrors Edge, and both Star Wars Battlefront games.


Star Wars Battlefront 2 received initial lukewarm critical reception compared to the multiplayer beta. The main reason was because of how many credits it would cost the player to unlock Heroes, such as Darth Vader or Luke Skywalker. With this, it was met with serious backlash, enough that people began to boycott the game itself, leading EA DICE to remove the ability to buy credits and salvage parts from the game and the store ultimately. They also reduced the cost to unlock said heroes or vehicles. So instead of Darth Vader being 20,000 or more credits, he is now and always will be 10,000 credits, same with Luke Skywalker.


On the other hand, EA Sports, the creators of Madden and NCAA Football series, has in-app purchases to get “Madden Points”. These are used to purchase promo packs to obtain better overall players, improve your team, and beat other players in the head-to-head game mode. These types of in-app purchases are not entirely harped on, usually because there are other ways to get the newly released players, completing upgrade sets or going to the auction house.


EA DICE is not the only one incorporating “pay to play” into their games. Rockstar games is also a culprit of this, especially due to their brand new heist integration that was released on December 12. Every heist prep gave the player a chance to use one of the brand new vehicles, like the Deluxo (the Delorean). Other vehicles that were included in the DLC was the KM-02 Khanjali, “a futuristic tank”, and the Buckingham Akula, a stealth chopper. Those vehicles in total cost, 7,554,400 GTA Dollars, but in real money that is $100. Finishing the act gives the player  the chance to buy the vehicles at a lower price. But that lower price still doesn’t help with the destruction of wallets that every player goes through so they don’t get griefed (getting killed by a player whose one goal is to destroy players and whatever they are doing). The only way to get the vehicles that are newly released is to pick up shark cards, with the maximum giving 8,000,000 million GTA Dollars for $100. For players that don’t have that kind of access to money, it is an endless grind to get the money. But that grind for money puts a bullseye on the backs of those players.


Oakdale senior Robert Koehler, who is also quite the gamer, had a few things to say about pay to play, especially regarding Rockstar, “I’ve played GTA before. I was more of a grinder, trying to get money to buy fast cars and things like that. But the fact that I am targeted by higher level players with jets and weaponized vehicles, all the deaths and the fails of my organization caused me to stop playing GTA Online”.


Pay to win has rewarding qualities for the player who can afford the points or game dollars and the upper hand. But other players who don’t have that access are at a major disadvantage that just multiplies depending on what game you’re in. Do you  think pay to play/win should still be implemented?