Microtransaction is almost a derogatory term for folks who consider themselves franchise-mode gamers. Most of those folks would tell you that they feel gaming studios today are only focused on ‘ultimate team’ modes because of the added revenue they bring in. Franchise-style modes are seemingly being left in the dust, and Ultimate modes are getting the vast majority of a studio’s attention.
So what if we could bring microtransactions into our franchise modes? What if we could do so in a way that would not just be a “pay-to-win” format, but instead were add-ins that would enhance the franchise mode experience?
First, let’s note that as we head into the 2020s, every single team sports game should have an online franchise mode, one that is properly implemented on a 1:1 scale when compared to the offline variation. Madden is the only game currently that can boast this.
So without further ado, let’s examine five ways in which microtransactions could work in franchise modes.
Per-Season Entry Fees
- Part of the season proceeds could go towards league winners, or however else the league may want to decide to divvy it up (such as your money back for playing all schedule games). The money would not be controlled by the commissioner, but instead kept in a game-secured account and automatically paid out only when the conditions set by the league are met, or if the league folded.
- Recommended price: $5 per member per season. Studio keeps 10%.
- While there are sometimes strict rules about what games can and cannot do with officially licensed uniforms, the ability to unlock concept/future jerseys, throwback jerseys, or even a custom jersey that could be approved by a commissioner would be a fun twist to a league that sees itself going many years down the line. Similarly, the ability to either expand or completely rebuild a team’s arena or stadium would be a great way to generate revenue while not watering down the league’s talent distribution.
- Recommended price: $10 per team for jerseys, $20 per team for stadiums.
- Expansion would be a league-wide expense, and could be tied into the per-season entry fees from above. If the league decides it wants to expand, they would pay an increased entry fee for that season, but unlock an entire expansion suite which would include a jersey, logo, and stadium editor as well as a fully-functional expansion draft.
- Recommended price: $10 per member (as apposed to $5) for any season an expansion team is utilized.
Throwback Style Leagues
- Let’s say you want a small league of just 12 teams, or want to relive the NHL’s original 6 all the way through the Vegas Golden Knights expansion. You can purchase one of these pre-defined templates or use a custom template of your own creation to give your online league a different style than the traditional setups.
- Recommended price: $30 to unlock all templates, including the custom template. Commissioner would pay and have control over the templates, but could opt to have members pay on their own ($1 per team, for example).
AI Media Team Kit
- By purchasing this feature, your team will essentially be hiring an AI media team that would take in-game screenshots and videos of key moments and contributing those highlights to a weekly league recap show. All members can watch the weekly show and will have their basic stats shown, but only those who purchase the media kit will actually see their video and image highlights make the cut.
- Recommended price: $10 per user, and it can be used across multiple online leagues for that game.
These are just five examples of how microtransactions could work their way into franchise modes. The modes would never be tainted with an over-inflation of league talent, and all of these microtransactions would only enhance their respective leagues.
So what are your thoughts? What other ideas might make a list of franchise-mode microtransactions? Share your feedback in the comment section below.