Bethesda’s Tacky Single-Player Cash Grab Sours DOOM Hype

Bethesda Softworks’ Wolfenstein: Youngblood, the last installment of the series before Wolfenstein 3 comes out, has a microtransaction system that’s got everyone talking.

Save Your Silver Coins, Boys

Wolfenstein: Youngblood is not a multiplayer-focused game. Instead, it has two modes: single-player and cooperative, which makes some wonder why the game should have a full-blown microtransactions system at all.

As noted by Kotaku, a venerable gaming news website, many Wolfenstein fans have been unhappy with the new system, which changes the dynamics of the game.

“Some became so angry about microtransactions in the new game that they harassed one of its lead level designers, Mitja Roskaric, on Twitter, causing him to have to lock his account.”

The microtransaction system allows players to spend money on all types of upgrades. The model is controversial. Many gamers believe that “pay-to-win” games are a net negative for the industry. Kotaku’s Joshua Rivera addressed this, as well, writing:

“Are they a net good? No. But cars still run on gasoline, even as they kill the planet. That’s not to suggest we should be ambivalent about any and all microtransactions, but there are better, more exploitative targets, and it feels counterproductive to single out a game that barely tells you it even has microtransactions.”

The in-game store has two types of currency. Silver coins, found in the game without a real-world cost associated, allow you to buy essential items. Gold bars, on the other hand, cost fiat money.

bethesda's wolfenstein: youngblood has been met with mixed reviews

bethesda's wolfenstein: youngblood has been met with mixed reviews

Microtransactions have contributed to Wolfenstein: Youngblood’s less than stellar reception, and it could hamstring Bethesda’s launch of DOOM. | Source: Steam

Microtransactions Create Vulnerability for Wolfenstein: Youngblood?

A Reddit user pointed out that he was able to take advantage of the game’s microtransactions system and use a Cheat Engine.

“So, the game has a built-in store with gun upgrades, gun skins, character skins and boosters. Checked everything there, and you can buy all of it with standard coins (apart from Deluxe Edition stuff I guess? I have it already so I can’t know for sure EDIT: deluxe stuff can be bought for gold bars only if you have the standard edition of the game, makes sense I guess). Skins you can usually buy with standard coins or gold bars which are the premium currency you buy for real money on Steam. […] Big brain Bethesda, big brain, next time add some sort of online sync”

Hundreds of comments followed, with a large number of people expressing degrees of disgust.

Bethesda’s controversial move might just neuter sales of the highly anticipated new version of DOOM. DOOM is a highly competitive game and one of the oldest first-person shooter franchises. Players are less than excited that the current development team is willing to put everything on sale.

Still, not everyone has a negative view of Youngblood:

In the cryptocurrency world, it is widely believed that gaming is the next frontier for blockchain technology. Such innovations would center around player-to-player transactions, however, rather than studio-to-player.