The eternal struggle for post-launch monetization in games is a push and pull between players and publishers. It’s not enough for games to sell $60 copies anymore, you need a “revenue stream” that keeps generating cash as you try to keep players engaged to play.
This has resulted in a lot of bad things, like the entire pay-to-win mobile games industry, and the loot box plague that infected console and PC games thereafter. You have less controversial things like battle passes or non-randomized cosmetic storefronts, but even those can come with their fair share of issues.
Destiny 2 employs a lot of these different tactics. It sells DLC and Annual Passes and still has loot boxes in the form of its Eververse Bright Engrams. And yet it has one form of microtransaction I actually like and feel good about buying.
I’m talking about its special ornaments.
For most weapons or pieces of armor, ornaments are part of the loot box item pool, or you can buy 1-2 random ones weekly with extra built-up dust currency. But I’m talking about what Destiny does with its direct-purchase ornaments.
So far, these have been on weapons that require you to go above and beyond to get them, or at least do a dedicated quest for them. We have had these ornament packages for Whisper of the Worm, Thunderlord, The Last Word, Thorn and now Outbreak Perfected. The prices have fluctuated, but most recently with Outbreak, each of the two ornaments cost 700 silver each, or about $17-18 for them both. That’s pretty much the cost of DLC, but for something that is entirely optional.