Pay to Win

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Synonyms: P2W, Microtransactions
See also: Free to play, Loot boxes in Gaming, Whales
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Pay to win (P2W) is, at its core, a game where players can pay real world money for either premium currency used to purchase non-superficial and non-cosmetic upgrades to a game or simply purchase these upgrades outright. While there is some disagreement about what, exactly, makes a game "pay to win"[1] but most people don't considered a game to be so if there is a reasonable way for a player to gain the upgrade that can be purchased or if the game can be played without purchasing the upgrade. Many mobile puzzle games such as Candy Crush, for example, feature consumable items that can be purchased with real-world money but these items aren't necessary to play the game. They simply make the levels (potentially) easier to complete or allow you to play for longer.

Still other people are fine with (or resigned to) the fact that mobile games are often predicated on the the pay to win model, but take issue with Triple A games such as Assassin's Creed: Odyssey[2] or Fallout 76[3] featuring microtransactions. These people believe that if you pay $60USD or more, depending on the currency, you shouldn't also have to pay for features that should have been included in the base game.


  1. ^ What is your definition for "pay to win"? Posted 4 July 2018. Accessed 23 Sept 2019.
  2. ^ Assassin’s Creed Odyssey has a huge grinding and microtransaction problem. Posted 3 Oct 2018. Accessed 23 Sept 2019.
  3. ^ Fallout 76 fans are furious over the newest cash shop items. Posted 11 Sept 2019. Accessed 23 Sept 2019.