Microsoft 'still learning' about microtransactions on Xbox One

Microsoft 'still learning' about microtransactions on Xbox One
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

November 27th 2013 at 1:35PM

Console giant testing the waters with Ryse and Forza 5

Microsoft is still learning how to implement microtransactions on its Xbox One console, according to Microsoft Studios boss Phil Spencer.

Speaking to Kotaku, Spencer said the firm was still working out its strategy for in-game purchases, but is already testing the waters with Turn 10's Forza 5 and Crytek's Ryse.

He said Microsoft would look at the analytical data provided by these initial releases to shape how it tackles microtransactions in future.

"I want to be able to learn from what we put in," said Spencer.

"So let's make sure we are crafting the game and the analytics so we can see what the consumers - the gamers - like and don't, if you assume buying habits are a reflection of what people like. So that we can craft the experience better for the gamer."

Spencer added that rather than aiming for some sort of 'pay-to-win' scheme, players often preferred to pay for extra customisation of their game or character and finding new styles of play.

"It's easy to say something like, 'I'll never allow somebody to buy the win of the game, I won't let them buy victory,' but that's kind of a trite answer," he said.

"I'd say, yeah, I guess I have that line, that [we wouldn't have] 'Pay five bucks and get 1000 achievements or something stupid like that. I'm always pushing against that. But, in reality, that's not what the gamers are looking for. They're usually looking for customisation and their gameplay style opening up."

Microtransactions have become the most widely used business model in the mobile space, where free-to-play titles use the model to drive revenues.

One of its leading champions, Supercell, was thought to be making $2.4 million from just Clash of Clans and Hay Day through in-game purchases.