Matthew McCaffrey, 34, is an assistant professor at the University of Manchester and wrote a paper on the challenges regulating micro-transactions in video games. He said the statement by the ESA shows the industry leaders know they need to “win back their customers.”
“It’s a question of: how to increase the revenue that can be generated through games without infuriating your customers,” McCaffrey said. “So, that’s the challenge.”
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Companies that walk away from loot boxes will most likely see short-term losses, McCaffrey said, but they could find themselves with a stronger customer base and potentially a new model that is even more profitable.
Developers will continue to test micro-transaction models, McCaffrey said, especially ones that involve an “element of risk” so customers come back. It’s a “giant experiment” by the gaming industry as the costs to develop triple-A titles continue to rise.