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Microtransactions & the 19-Year-Old Who Spent $13,000

Posted Nov 30, 2017 by Suzie Ford

Microtransactions & the 19-Year-Old Who Spent $13,000

Kotaku has a fascinating and corroborated interview with a 19-year-old gamer named "Kensgold" who has spent over $13,000 on microtransaction purchases over the last several years. His open letter to EA was posted on the Star Wars: Battlefront II Reddit: "My choices are my own, and so is my addiction. I just wish someone had told me of the dangers before I started." 

Over the course of about six years, the teen spent money on microtransactions in games including The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, SMITE and others. He felt that he needed to spend real world cash in order to stay competitive.

“It never feels like you’re making a good decision when you spend that hundred dollars,” he said. “But at the time I was like, ‘What else am I going to spend it on?’ There weren’t really any repercussions to enforce like, ‘Yo, idiot, stop.’”

The problem for Kensgold became so extreme, he sought out professional help and now has largely stopped making any in-game purchases. Now he wants to help others who may be in his shoes:

“The majority of the reason that I made my post was not really to slam EA or any of the companies that do this, but to share my story and to show that these transactions are not as innocent as they really appear to be,” Kensgold said. “They can lead you down a path. It’s not like buying a stick of gum at the store.”

This post is interesting in light of comments made by Take-Two president Karl Slatoff  yesterday: "The whole gambling regulator thing, we don't view that thing as gambling. Our view is the same as the ESA statement, for the most part. So that's going to play its course. In terms of the consumer noise you hear in the market right now, for me it's really all about content. It's about over-delivering on content. You can't force the consumer to do anything."

You can read more of the interview at Kotaku or visit the Reddit thread linked above.

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Suzie Ford / Suzie is the Associate Editor and News Manager at MMORPG.com. Follow her on Twitter @MMORPGMom

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