Historically, microtransactions are a relatively young monetisation method but their rapid expansion is a good indicator of their effectiveness. They're also quite a polarising issue in gaming communities, but Path of Exile dev has found a golden formula.
All this led to consumers being increasingly vocal about what they perceive as a fair system. Naturally, not many games can say they got it right, and some had them backfire, but Path of Exile is certainly one of the brighter examples of this.
Speaking to Gamespot, Grinding Gear Games' co-founder Chris Wilson said that Path of Exile's magic formula is about ensuring that game development and monetisation are kept in their own corners.
"Our philosophy is to not allow microtransactions to affect game systems. That way, there are never any game design considerations related to them, so the game development team don't really need to think about the business case for how the game is monetised and can focus on just making it fun", he said.
Path of Exile's microtransactions are pay-to-bling, rather than pay-to-win, meaning they're purely cosmetic items that do not affect gameplay. Balancing fairness and finances is always a difficult task, but GGG made it work great.
It didn't take long for the discussion to switch to Tencent, one of GGG's main shareholders, but Wilson insists that absolutely nothing has changed, except for a few more CEO-related tasks he's taken on since the investment in 2018.
The mere mention of the name Tencent seems to really grind some people's gears, but we're yet to find anything but praise from their Western investments. Wilson stressed that the plan was to keep doing what they were doing until then, and the Chinese publisher gave them ample freedom and support to do so.