I agree with a lot of what you said. However, I think you are taking micro too literally. A $20 (or even $50) transaction is MICRO in comparison of the whole revenue stream for a single game. That is where the term originated (not because the transactions were ever small couple'o'buckers).
Yes, there needs to be enough $1-$2 purchases, but if that is ALL you ever stick with, you are losing out on a TON of people willing to spend more. Raph made this point not too long ago and I agree 100% with what he said then (I just can't find the link).
My number one complaint with microtransaction games is that some are just god damn confusing. RoM, outside of a mount, was tiring to figure out and prevented me from ever spending money (I was always holding off thinking I would get X for free and pay for Z later). Also Free Realms didn't get any money from me because I was lost between figuring out if I just needed to pay a sub or just float for free and pay for tit and tat here and there. DDO is OK, but still confusing, especially considering a lot of what can be bought can be gotten for free and it isn't very clear.
Right now, I prefer Battlefield Heroes model, which is actually a dual currency system. Pay for the good stuff, like UNIQUE character customizations and non-game-balance-affecting boosts. While they have an in game currency (VP) that is earned via playing and allows you to purchase the BASICS like weapons and healing widgets.
October 23, 2009
Reaction: How NOT to do Microtransactions
Cuppy posted a "how NOT to do Microtransactions" post and I felt my response was worth re-posting here: