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Forza Motorsport 5 may or may not be the best available game for the Xbox One, but you would never know if the game was good or not because it's been drowned out by a far more serious issue: microtransactions. For those of you who don't know, microtransactions are in-game purchases players can make to help speed them along in advancing in the game or earning in-game items that would have otherwise taken too long to achieve just by playing. It's an ideal way to pay for cheats for people who don't have time to actually play.
Forza Motorsport 5, however, became heavily criticized when core gamers realized that the grind was a lot thicker in Forza 5 than it was in Forza 4. The free cars players would earn by winning races were removed and the credit payout was reduced. Essentially, Forza 5 was designed to make the process of playing normally just annoying enough to want to pressure players to buy cash shop tokens so they could earn more experience, money or their favorite cars faster. This tactic is known in the free-to-play arena as “baiting the whale.”
Forza 5 received major backlash for its increased grind, lower payout and higher cash shop prices. Turn 10 was put under the media spotlight by gamers and various forms of furious fanboys trying to keep the gaming industry from turning into an equally corrupt culture as the housing, banking and political sectors. Turn 10 has listened and they are rectifying the problem.
According to IGN, creative director at Turn 10, Dan Greenwalt, is working with the team to make adjustments and changes to the game's economy based heavily on community feedback. They revealed that the pricing structure of cash shop vehicles has been lowered and the payout per race has been increased.
More interesting than that, Greenwalt actually expressed how he felt about the community backlash in an interview with Eurogamer. Worlds Factory spotted the following quotes from the creative director, who stated that...
“I’m not disappointed in people – people feel how they feel. I’m more disappointed in myself that I’ve elicited this reaction in people. I think the biggest travesty for me is how people have misread our intentions, because that’s just been sad – community’s the biggest thing for us, and the whole point is to get people excited about cars and excited about games, so people saying we’ve changed the economy for this reason and we removed this feature for that reason – I understand it, because perception’s reality, and people start believing what they believe, but I know it’s not the thought process we went through to make the decisions we made.”
The very first rule in the top misconceptions about the gaming industry is that PR is always out to protect their own resources. Greenwalt basically tries to paint Turn 10 as the good guys, but if that were the case why didn't they keep the payout the same as Forza 4? Why inflate the prices of cash shop tokens and why remove content that used to be present in previous versions of the game?
Essentially, Greenwalt tries to pass off the blame as if it was something the studio didn't intend, but if that were the case they would have handled the economic structure of the game identical to the way Polyphony Studios handled Gran Turismo 6's economy.
Despite both Forza 5 and Gran Turismo 6 having microtransactions, the latter maintained a strong measure of similitude to previous outings when it comes to earning in-game cars and credits. While the addition of microtransactions can be forgiven, adjusting the grind in the game to better suit the inclusion of those microtransactions is why Turn 10 Studios is catching so much flack.
Hopefully, they'll continue to listen to community feedback and the gaming community will continue to keep the pressure on so this sort of thing doesn't become the norm.