Pay To Win Games

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"Pay to win" games are (typically freemium) video games that offer items or other gear that give buyers advantages over non-paying players in real money or make gameplay marginally more sluggish and difficult for players who do not pay in premium currency or real-world money. Most of them are also shovelware games due to the fact that those games have highly repetitive themes and gameplay, numerous bugs and glitches and outright dreadful graphics, gameplay and originality. Most of these games are Western, Chinese, Japanese or even Korean mobile titles.

Notable Examples of Video Games Considered to be "Pay-to-Win"

  1. Perhaps the most notorious examples of "pay-to-win" games are video games designed for mobile devices.
    • Jurassic World: The Game - You have to sometimes pay $100 just to get a specimen.
    • Final Fantasy All the Bravest - Widely considered to be one of the worst, if not, the worst offender of this class of video games. If we listed all of the pay-to-win practices employed by this game, we'd be here forever.
    • Dungeon Keeper Mobile - Tasks can take a very long time to complete if you do not want to pay gems and the game is riddled with all sorts of microtransactions. The game has also been accused of rating interference.
    • Dragon City - The game will sometimes offer "VIP Dragons" that cost almost $20 just to obtain, far too many time-limited dragons clutter the game, and a "piggy bank" mechanic that collects the game's premium currency, gems, from certain tasks and offers the gems to you in real money are just a few examples of the "pay-to-win" practices this game engages in.
    • N3TWORK's Legendary: Game of Heroes was notorious for its high prices and constant nerfing of cards so players can't know which cards are good or not.
    • CSR Racing 2 - Most of the fastest cars in the game are obtainable via time limited in-app purchases only.
    • Summoners War - Often times, players will have a slow start when playing this game. Often times, players have to summon various units ranging from 3* to natural 5*, which are well often times adapted to various tasks, whether it be raids, PvP, or dungeons. However, the grind and the pay-to-win level gets less tedious as the further the player gets, but it takes dozens of runs and repeats to gain up to a 6* for a new player.
    • Real Racing 3 - You need to spend golds for next series or winning the new cars. If you don't waste your real money for golds, you can't win and it's really impossible to play.
    • Tales of Phantasia (iOS) - There were items that cost real money and some of them were mandatory to speed up the grind. Plus, there was a daily stat-up system that gave you buffs which were already standard in the original game. The game also required an internet connection and was discontinued in less than a year.
    • GrandChase was going to implement a weekly summon cap of 10. Summons could be farmed by using prana from selling heroes and monsters. For every 200 summons, players could get an SR select. After some revolting (mostly Korean), KoG decided not to implement the summon cap.
    • Cooking Fever - Upgrading the kitchen appliances, restaurant furniture, etc. will require using gems. Without the upgrades, higher levels will become very difficult or impossible to complete. Gems can only be earned in special offers such as periodic free gifts, leveling up, and the slots/casino minigame; otherwise, gems must be purchased through microtransactions.
  2. NBA 2K18 - This game is a full price AAA game, and there are tons of microtransactions in the game. The game demands you VC (virtual currency) for nearly everything. If you don't spend additional money, it is literally impossible to win matches with the free teams given[1].
  3. Metal Gear Survive - Extra weapon loadouts, money, storage, and even save slots are locked behind paywalls.
  4. Counter-Strike Nexon: Zombies. It should be noted that this game is an embarrassment to the entire Counter-Strike franchise, since no Counter-Strike game was ever pay-to-win. The game is not even made by Valve, has countless of bugs and zombies are way too resilient because the free weapons are weak.
  5. Some Roblox games are also pay-to-win. Examples include a "V.I.P." gamepass which gives you access to stronger weapons.
  6. Asphalt 8: Airborne: Once Vivendi took over Gameloft in 2016, the game has only gotten more pay-to-win, and in the 6th Anniversary Update, every Research & Development has become pay-to-win because of forced max rank, and extreme pro kit requirements since the Fast Lane Update.
  7. Gangstar Vegas: In order to complete the story, you have to spend diamonds before starting a mission which is unfair considering the fact that you can easily run out of diamonds.

Why They Suck

  1. Most importantly, they are often poor in quality. While there are some of them with good graphics (such as NBA 2K18), they have tons of glitches and lack gameplay elements.
  2. As previously stated, "pay-to-win" games are incredibly unbalanced and unfair towards players who are unwilling to spend premium currency or real money on them.
  3. Some "pay-to-win" games are simply clones of preexisting games.
  4. Console games that have to be payed for with a full price, such as De·Formers, Star Wars Battlefront II and NBA 2K18, have microtransactions, which goes to show just how greedy the developers and publishers are.
  5. Some games give absolutely 0 chance to free users to win a fight against a premium user.
  6. Sometimes it's kids that are playing these pay 2 win games, and since they don't understand how money works they'd take their parents credit cards and pay for them. Many times parents find out that their bank accounts are empty.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. Sometimes, some pay-to-win games are justified since companies sometimes lacks money.
  2. Sometimes it is added to avoid season passes or to make the game free to play (keep in mind that this is not the case everytime).


Pay-to-win games, especially on mobile games, have been known to receive mostly negative reviews by critics, but on the App Store and even Play Store, they tend to get mostly 5 star reviews which can mostly be sarcastic. However, some games, like Legendary: Game of Heroes/Summoners War, have trustable reviews that actually make sense, while some games tend to have reviews that are just a sentence or crash complaints which are blatantly pointless.

Responsible Gambling

Gambling addiction, also referred to as compulsive gambling, is a disorder that stems from multiple causes. Like other addictions, it’s a disease that can be treated by professionals. Players are driven to continue playing even when they experience significant financial issues and other ill effects. They may find it hard to concentrate on anything else.[2]


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