Don’t expect to see any loot boxes in the next Mario game. Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of Mario and other beloved video game franchises for Nintendo, has been adamant about not following trends in video games. For better or worse, the company has focused on family-friendly games and tried things its own way while companies like Sony and Microsoft carved out huge portions of the gaming market for themselves.
While sticking with cartridges and avoiding online gaming may irk some Nintendo fans as stodgy and anti-innovation, the latest argument Miyamoto has made against microtransactions in gaming might make many gamers quite happy.
Microtransactions, or in-game purchases, are a staple in the mobile gaming world. The freemium model gets gamers in the door for cheap and gives them the option to become power users paying small amounts of money for conveniences such as time and ease of use. But putting essential elements of the game behind a paywall even after paying the price to get the game in the first place has irked many gamers who feel they’re being had or, what’s worse, buying what should already be in the game well after the fact in downloadable content or expansions.
The gaming industry has heavily debated the use of microtransactions in games after a notable title, Star Wars: Battlefront 2, was roundly criticized for hiding much of its loot behind microtransactions that essentially made the game cost much more than its initial MSRP. Even lawmakers debated legislating loot boxes in some games.