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Example for a pay2win MMO

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Hello reddit,

I am currently writing my PhD thesis on the topic of microtransactions in videogames (German fair trading law).

For that purpose, i need and example for a game that is heavily pay to win, best would be to include a detailed explaination how exactly the pay to win works.

Since i am a little bit out of the loop on the current MMORPS, i cam here to ask 🙂

So what am I looking for?

An example for a game that has real money transaction required to achive the highest levels of equipment and the likes. Meaning it should not just be "pay for convenience" or to speed up the process, unless its something unreasonable like making it 20 times faster. Best would be if the game was free to play, but does not have to be.

I often read that black desert, arch age or blade and soul are pay to win, however i would like to know how exactly you would win by spending and how a non spending player would be in a permanent disadvantages.

The game does not have to be an MMO, could also be shooter or any genre, really. It should however be on console or PC.

Additionally, if anyone knows a fitting example for the same parameters on mobile, that would be good, too.

(The point im trying to make in the chapter of my thesis, in non-legal broken down terms: Advertising a game as free (or as a fixed price e.g. 10$), but be required to pay real cash to achive any reasonable progress, might be false advertising or misleasing.)

Thanks to everyone

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Edit: Okay this has gotten quite a few good answers. While reading all of your comments, i think i made up my mind on what exactly i want to focus on int eh chapter, which is namely those games in which microtransactions are required to make any meaningful progress, in whatever way this progress may be defined. Ill use those examples to get the point across.

So for example, a game like WoW that has been mentioned quite a few times would not be considred misleading in the sense that you can not play without the microtransaction (and the subscribtion price is communicated upfront, so no misleasing there)

I am however not sure yet on how to incorporate games that are buy to play/have a subscription model and additionally offer microtransaction. Regarding the legality under trade law, it is gping to come down to what an average user might expect when seeing the game being offered or advertised. If you concluded that an average user expects a full game and paying for every piece of content being available to him, then additional cash shop only items like they have in WoW would be misleasing.

I am also still looking for a good comparision in the analog world that may be simial to payed games with microtransaction. I am thinking about something like a theme park for which you pay upfront to enter but maybe have to pay extra for some attractions. This might constitute a similar problem under trade law. But i think that might extend the scope of the original question.

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