We’ve been selling items in Rust for a while. People get angry when they hear the word microtransactions. I understand why. They’ve been fucked over. Why would an early access game have microtransactions?
If you’d have asked me if I’d ever have a game with microtransactions in 5 years ago, I’d have probably laughed in your face, but the way Valve does it is different. The idea is that no-one loses out. Everyone wins with every transactions.
You’ve got the guys with money, who don’t mind microtransactions. They like to dress their character up, have nice weapon skins. All that. Generally more money than time, instant gratification guys.
They’re happy because the stuff they buy makes them happier than having an extra $2 in a jar in their house.
They’re making people happy because when they get killed people can loot their purchased items.
So you’ve got the poor guys with no money. They hate traditional microtransactions because it’s a paywall. But on Steam they play the game and get random drop items, and can then sell and trade those items on the marketplace. It’s not unfeasible that a player will make more money selling items than the game itself cost.
They’re happy because they can sell the stuff they get randomly for free, buy games from Steam.
They’re making people happy because they can buy stuff from them.
Then you’ve got the modders. The unappreciated guys who tinker around and make stuff in their bedroom which is in their parents house, because no-one will give them any money because paying people for their creations is terrible.
They’re happy because they get to see their work in a game that they love while getting paid for it
They’re making people happy because they’re creating more game content for them
Then you’ve got the developers.
They’re happy because they give players more reasons to play their game
They’re happy because they link their game with a thriving virtual economy
They’re happy because they get more money to make more games
When you see the system up close and far away, it’s a total no-brainer. In fact I would go as far as to say that by not being involved in the marketplace we’re screwing our community.