Say the word "microtransactions," and many gamers will groan audibly. However, that word usually makes video game developers' eyes light up. These transactions often cause a lot of debate in the gaming community, especially when they offer things like level-ups that give some gamers an unfair advantage over others.
Perhaps that's why Ubisoft recently confirmed that The Division won't offer microtransactions via a tweet from the company's community manager. There's just one problem, though: the tweet still leaves gamers wondering what Ubisoft's definition of a microtransaction really is.
In the tweet, Ubisoft's Natchai Stappers states that the game won't have microtransactions and "definitely no P2W." P2W refers to "pay to win," referring to such items that players often buy in games that give them access to exclusive weapons, skills and fast leveling up.
@Tovarisc_ There will be no microtransactions, and definitely no P2W
— natchai stappers (@natchai_) February 26, 2016
This tweet is confusing, though, because when players refer to microtransactions, they generally mean anything referring to paying for additional in-game content, including vanity items. Ubisoft already confirmed that vanity items are part of the game's planned DLC, though, meaning that players can purchase weapon skins, outfits, emotes and other things that don't actually affect gameplay.
So although Ubisoft's definition of microtransactions seems iffy, it's likely that this tweet still means that the developer doesn't plan on offering anything that qualifies as "pay to win," so gamers will still have a level playing field.
And that's the good news, as well as a surprise from a company that ruined Assassin's Creed: Unity by littering microtransactions throughout its setting. This also means that Ubisoft probably doesn't have plans of making gamers pay to unlock certain game features, something it's done in the past.
Here's hoping that this is a good sign that developers are finally paying attention to gamers, who have generally believed that microtransactions are evil. Even Microsoft's Major Nelson agrees that forcing players to pay for additional content not available to all players is a bad thing, especially in games that are multiplayer, such as The Division.
"[DLC passes are] really dangerous when it comes to multiplayer, because what happens is it fractures the community," said Major Nelson, as reported by Game Rant. "You have the maps, I don't have the maps, I didn't buy that map but you bought that map,' so when we all get together, 'Oh, you couldn't play the map.' "
The Division lands on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on March 8.