A screenshot of Population One posted yesterday to r/OculusQuest pointed out the presence of microtransactions, which angered some commenters. Many users seem to feel that microtransactions have no place in a game that costs $30 to begin with.
Population: One Microtransactions Explained
Lots of online multiplayer games, especially in the battle royale genre, are free-to-play with optional microtransaction cosmetics or a paid ‘battle pass’ system that gives you rewards across a season of play. This has the benefit of keeping the game’s online population healthy with free-to-play users, while also maintaining a stream of revenue for the developers throughout the title’s life cycle.
Instead, Population: One has opted to go for another route – a paid battle royale experience in VR, which also has microtransactions. Population: One developers Big Box put out a FAQ yesterday to clear up some of the confusion surrounding the topic and confirmed that microtransaction purchases give you no competitive advantage in-game, and are purely cosmetic. There won’t be any pay-to-win features in the game, in other words.
We’re seeing some confusion about POP1’s in-game store and microtransactions.
We’ve put together some quick answers for you. 🍌🍌 pic.twitter.com/FkUKHumAbG
— POPULATION: ONE (@populationonevr) October 8, 2020
“The only microtransactions we have planned are character skins and gun skins. We will not be charging for guns, maps or other functionality that will separate the player-base.” The $30 price for the base game gives you access to the entire game, including progression systems that grant you free cosmetics. Big Box also noted that the ‘free-to-play with microtransactions’ model was not viable for Population: One, as they “need to be able to support the cost of on-going development, servers, coders, artists, etc.”
The microtransaction store is not finished yet, hence why it was missing from some preview builds, and will not be available at launch. Microtransactions will be available launch with the first in-game event after launch, which will also be available to players who choose not to make any in-game purchases.
If you haven’t already, you can read our hands-on with Population One here, which launches October 22 for Oculus Quest and PC VR with full cross-play support. Big Box is also hoping to bring the game to PSVR in the future.