The publisher of free to play mobile game Transformers: Earth Wars reveals the huge amount of money that one player has spent on the game. The news comes just weeks after it was revealed that one Runescape player spent more than $60,000 on microtransactions in the popular fantasy RPG.
Speaking at the Game Connect Asia-Pacific event as part of Melbourne International Games Week, Transformers: Earth Wars publisher Yodo1 revealed someone spent around $150,000 on the game. This is a huge contrast compared to games like endless runner game Rodeo Stampede, in which Yodo1 CEO Henry Fong revealed that the average high spending player in that game may only spend a few hundred dollars. Racking up a bill that high would also take some doing as Transformers: Earth Wars' microtransactions range from around $1 to $100 meaning that the player would have to buy the highest priced microtransactions 1,500 times.
In the same panel at the event, the Transformers: Earth Wars publisher revealed that it had created a bot that is able to spot "potential whales" with 87% accuracy. A whale is a player who spends a huge amount of money on microtransactions compared to others. Yodo1's bot uses player data to see which players may be more likely to spend more money, and Fong also said that the company could also potentially use the bot to target players with different microtransaction offers.
Mobile gamers have heard of this sort of testing before. Jam City tested different microtransaction prices in Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery and while it's unclear if the company used player data to do this, mobile gamers are now used to the idea that developers are showing them different things to make more money.
There have also been other uses of technology by publishers as they try to find new ways to make players spend more. Activision came under fire for its microtransaction matchmaking patent which uses matchmaking in multiplayer games to get players to spend more. EA has also become the owner of a patent that can make loot boxes full of cooler content for those who purchase them quickly. The publisher said that it doesn't have plans to use this in its games, but this didn't stop fans of its games from worrying.