This one will probably end up being controversial. Some people consider a game pay to win (p2w) if there are any microtransactions built-in whatsoever. Others will argue against a game being p2w unless you’re able to buy a level of in-game power that you cannot earn in game. Of course, there is a whole spectrum in between those two extremes.
For our purposes, we’re going to let the idea of pay to win be incredibly broad, and then we’ll break down what that actually means to the player bit by bit. Buy to play – buying the box/license – is not pay to win because everyone must pay the same amount (ignore sales, etc) and gains no advantage in any scope of the game. Pay to play – such as with a subscription – is not pay to win, because again, everyone is paying and one player cannot necessarily pay more in order to gain advantage. Pay to win elements are present if a player can spend additional money to purchase something in game. However, it shouldn’t be said that the game is inherently pay to win because of this. Having elements of a thing, pieces of a thing, doesn’t mean the whole of the game is that. For example: a game could allow duels (PVP) and not be considered a PVP game, despite having a piece that is.(more…)