Understanding In-Game Spending
A common question that non-gamers usually ask is, what are gamers spending on? There are a lot, in fact, especially for role-playing (RPG) and massively multiplayer online games (MMO). These usually are combat and battle arena themed games. This is considering all kinds of games on a variety of platforms like mobile and PC. There are many reasons why players would spend good money on in-game purchases. Mostly, gamers do so because they believe that it will keep them competitive.
Here are a few common in-game purchases that gamers spend on:
- Additional Game Currency – All games on various platforms have some form of game currency. The game currency allows gamers to purchase tools that would aid them to increase their player levels. Through this, the gamer could get additional perks and stat upgrades. Playing the game could gain game currency, but it is always easier to purchase game currency with real money.
- Ad-Free gaming – This is more common in mobile games where the players can get uninterrupted gaming. Usually, ad-free gaming is packaged with VIP access as well.
- Cosmetic and Aesthetic upgrades – combat and sports games commonly have gamer avatars. These are usually built up from the ‘basic’ design that comes free with the game. Usually, gamers could gain different upgrades by playing. This includes, but is not limited to, skins, gears, armor, and weapons. Tasks in-game give players points or game currency which, in turn, can be used to buy the upgrades. However, there are special (often offered at a limited time) upgrades that could be bought through real money.
- VIP access to game events – this is a very common in-game purchase and one that does not usually come cheap. There are seasonal game events. Some games offer VIP statuses that provide access to special game rooms, training rooms, and more.
Controlling Game Spending
Overall, in-game spending is avoidable and controllable. However, many people do consider playing games as an investment. This is especially true since competitive game accounts for popular MMOs and RPGs like World of Warcraft, Fortnite, League of Legends, and even Minecraft, are sellable. The rarer are the items, upgrades, skins, and the higher the gamer level, the more expensive the selling price competitive game accounts could be. Often, rare weapons, armor, gear, and the like are also sellable individually. Aiming for such a sellable account could get encouraging, and borderline addictive.
Here are some good ideas to control game spending:
Set-up a Gaming Budget
A good way to limit game spending is to create a ceiling or a budget. This could be on a month-on-month amount or a year-on-year amount. The budget could help a player think up of ways to create a competitive account but at an affordable price.
If you are already in a considerable amount of debt but want to maintain the game playing, a good debt consolidation calculator can be handy. This way, players could see all their loan balances and their respective interests. The debt consolidation calculator can also help calculate monthly payment amounts.
Track your Gaming Time
Another way to control game spending is to control gaming time. Effectively reducing the time spent on a game could reduce the urge to buy additional, expensive upgrades. Set-up a gaming schedule and track gaming time. This way, other aspects of a player’s life will not be negatively affected by excessive gaming and over-spending.
Watch other people play instead
The best way to cut-off on game spending is to avoid gaming altogether. Trying to avoid the game but still have that love and passion for it? Why not try watching famous players online instead. Many popular players and game bloggers usually set up their playing times live online. This way other players and game lovers could enjoy the game but not play them. Usually, these live games come for free.
Prevention is Key
Truthfully, uncontrolled in-game spending is more common for parents with younger children. This may be because younger children do not understand the concept of in-game purchases. Prevention is a better cure than control for parents with young children who love playing games. One day your sweet little kid is innocently playing games, the next thing you know you owe thousands of dollars on your credit card bill. There are ways to prevent this, thankfully.
Here are some ways on how to control or prevent in-game spending:
Use of pre-paid value cards
Many online games, both mobile and PC, sell prepaid game cards. This is a good way of controlling game spending. The game card could be used as a gift or a means of budgeting expense. There are some multi game cards that provide access for multiple games around the world. Once the prepaid game card is used up, in-game purchases will be disabled.
Monitoring Credit Card bills
A lot of problems root from linking App stores to credit cards. Many parents usually link up their debit, or credit cards to app stores to allow their children to purchase games and apps on their mobile devices. However, without proper guidance, over-spending can be a problem. It may be a good idea to monitor credit card bills or debit card payments to ensure that children are not crossing a line when it comes to spending.
Turn-off in-game purchasing
The best way to prevent in-game purchases is to turn it off entirely. Unlink bank accounts, e-wallets, and PayPal from devices to further support this. There are also settings that allow parental controls on purchases on some devices.
Permission before Purchase
Not all in-game purchases are bad. What if a parent has a few dollars to spare for their kids’ games? If this is so, a parent-to-child agreement to always ask permission before purchasing anything online can help solve the issue. Perhaps this is more effective for slightly older children. Honestly still is the best policy.