Players of Ubisoft's new fighting game, For Honor, are staging a mass protest against the game's microtransactions. Following outrage earlier this week when it was revealed that it costs over $700 to unlock everything in the game, players are urging each other not to spend money on the in-game payments in order to send a message to Ubisoft.
On the game's subreddit, one frustrated fan says that although they love playing the game, Ubisoft just wants "more for the game than what it's worth." They also accuse the company of trying to "over-charge" players with For Honor's microtransactions.
This standard, says the player, should be fought with all of the "collective might" that the entire gaming community can muster as "Full-price Triple A games should not incorporate this low-effort high-price system of development." Although it is recognized that Ubisoft couldn't just change the price of microtransactions, as this would upset those who have already forked out for them, the player says that one possible solution is for the company to make refunds and then lower the price. "Ubisoft will never do this," they say, but perhaps in refusing to buy steel packs, players can send a message.
Many other For Honor players seem to agree, saying that it just takes far too long to farm for currency. One player quipped that they had already stopped playing the game, despite it being released just over a month ago while another replied saying that they too have lost the will to play. "I can't will myself to get on [and play the game] it's been days of just only getting on to only do orders to the point of I just can't even find the game fun anymore," they wrote.
Alongside these complaints of microtransactions and threats to not only ditch the game, but also possibly get their friends to ditch the game too, players are also up in arms about a perceived lack of balance among characters. While Ubisoft has released several balance updates aiming to level the For Honor battlefield, buffs to the Peacekeeper character in particular are also cited as a reason for wanting to drop the game. Several players have said that that they just aren't interested until Ubisoft makes things a little fairer.
While more balance patches will likely be released in the coming weeks and months, as is the nature of multiplayer games like this, things are unlikely to change on the transaction front any time soon. In the weekly developer livestream that took place yesterday, before the reddit post went up (and therefore may have actually contributed to players' unhappiness), game director Damien Kieken said that the team "never intended for players to unlock everything." The game's design is "based around" the idea that players would have a few chosen characters and that they would spend their time unlocking all of the content for these particular character.
Kieken also said that cosmetic items such as the impressive emotes are "endgame content" and is content that the team expects players to unlock after "several weeks." Moreover, the director says, "We are releasing more content to give more choices" to players and that "those items are harder to access, but at least they are grind-able." This doesn't mean the For Honor team won't change anything, however, as Kieken says, "We are looking at the feedback and looking at the data."
Without seeing the same data that Ubisoft has access to, it's hard to gauge exactly what numbers would be needed for the For Honor team to make significant changes. But given that the game's playerbase is already down by 50% on Steam, perhaps because of the disinterest in microtransactions, Ubisoft may need to act fast in order to avoid irreparable damage.
For Honor is now available on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.