Just a few days after a Washington senator presented a bill to investigate loot boxes, Wall Street firm Cowen and Company warned investors that players’ anger over microtransactions will have negative consequences for companies like Activision and Electronic Arts.
While some previously speculated that the backlash won’t have any real impact on game sales, analyst Doug Creutz disagrees. According to CNBC, he wrote in a note to clients that both Star Wars Battlefront II and Destiny 2 suffered as a result of the controversy, and that he anticipates an industry “pullback” on microtransactions this year.
Game development times are getting longer, and R&D costs are growing faster than they had previously. This isn’t a monopoly business. Angering your customer with bad microtransactions does matter.
It’s not just that gamers are angry and complaining; there have clearly been performance consequences for the games involved. And in an industry where every company is dependent upon a relatively small number of franchises, this matters.
Creutz noted that Destiny 2‘s problems go beyond microtransactions, however, and he warned companies against ignoring players’ response. “We think writing off angry gamers as largely irrelevant is a mistake,” he said.
What do our readers think of Creutz’s remarks?