A Colossal Pay-To-Play? – The Future of Microtransactions in Pokemon Go

Most of us can categorically say that we’ve spent money on Pokemon Go, some more than others. Recently, however, things have been called into question about Niantic’s tactics to get players to spend money.

I admit I’m guilty of this – the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) is high as of late, with shinies being pumped out faster than produce in a factory. And I’m not the luckiest person in the game for shinies – my Aron record is enough to prove that, I suppose.

New Pokemon/Shinies/Forms

With new Pokemon come new shinies and forms. The forms, instead of being interchangeable, are counted as separate Pokemon – for example, Castform and Cherrim should be interchangeable due to differences in weather – however, they spawn differently depending on the in-game weather.

I discussed with a friend the impact of Mega Evolutions, and how they would be distributed and if we would need a new mechanic. I could go on about this in a future post, and I might do, but in short, I feel that Mega forms will be their separate storage slot.

Shadow and Purified Pokemon have added extra strain to the storage.

You know how to expand storage? Microtransactions! And there’s no way of organising the Pokemon either, except for the search terms. However, I would like to keep my spare shinies for trade in a separate box to the rest of the shinies, without having to mark them as trade.

Let’s see how problematic this is with Venusaur: let’s just assume I’m after a living Dex – so normal Bulbasaur, Ivysaur and Venusaur would be present. And then I catch three shiny Bulbasaur and evolve the best one, and evolve another into Ivysaur. So that shiny Venusaur I was saving for a Mega Evolution? Nah, I’d have to find the Mega Evolution form, and then (if they release evolution shinies) find the shiny version. And then I’d have to find six Shadow Bulbasaur to get the following results:

  • Bulbasaur (Regular)
  • Bulbasaur (Shiny)
  • Bulbasaur (Lucky)
  • Bulbasaur (Lucky Shiny)
  • Bulbasaur (Shadow)
  • Bulbasaur (Purified)
  • Bulbasaur (Lucky Purified)
  • Ivysaur (Regular)
  • Ivysaur (Shiny)
  • Ivysaur (Lucky)
  • Ivysaur (Lucky Shiny)
  • Ivysaur (Shadow)
  • Ivysaur (Purified)
  • Ivysaur (Lucky Purified)
  • Venusaur (Regular)
  • Venusaur (Shiny)
  • Venusaur (Lucky)
  • Venusaur (Lucky Shiny)
  • Venusaur (Mega)
  • Venusaur (Shiny Mega)
  • Venusaur (Lucky Mega)
  • Venusaur (Lucky Shiny Mega)
  • Venusaur (Shadow)
  • Venusaur (Purified)
  • Venusaur (Lucky)
  • Venusaur (Lucky Purified)

This list does not take in to account any high IV Pokemon, spares for trade, or in the case of shiny Shadow Pokemon existing. For two Pokemon, I would currently have to have 26 open slots including Mega Evolution. Holy crap!

You may think – all that waffle, how does it tie into the point you’re making? Well, you could buy extra storage, couldn’t you? And that costs 200 coins per 50 slots, which isn’t a lot considering we just spent over half of the given slots on a Living Dex on just one evolution line. Now imagine doing that for every Pokemon?

I know it’s a stretch and it’s not realistic, but this is the sort of overload we have to deal with. I feel that maximum storage increases should either be half price or double the storage capacity.

That was such a hefty category, I didn’t realise how bad it was until I did this. I don’t have a living Dex, but it’s a problem for others that do. We’re all expected to drop a load of money on storage, but there are so many other things to spend those coins on too.


Stardust event aside, the last couple of events have been hefty on the focus of microtransactions. The Ultra Bonus unlocks ensured that we would be raiding for the Legendary Beasts as well as Mewtwo. Nobody really cared for Deoxys, honestly.

The event was also very egg-centric. The incubator effectiveness was doubled, meaning people would burn through incubators a lot quicker than usual. Coupling this with the Unown/Kanto regional hatches for the three weeks, it’s enough for people to want to drop a lot of money on one of the boxes to ensure they have enough incubators to last the three weeks.

We also had the (very lacklustre) World Tourism Day event, where it would have been another perfect opportunity for us to drop money on event boxes for incubators, had they released all of the regionals in eggs, regardless of region. However, considering only your respective regionals could hatch from your eggs, it didn’t bode well, until the task where Australians/New Zealanders could shine – ‘Trade Pokemon caught 10,000km apart’. This meant that we had to coordinate friends to send gifts to hatch Pokemon to trade over.

Oh…that’s where the spending focus went. All for a Seviper/Zangoose that wasn’t guaranteed to be shiny.

Unluckily for me, despite pressing for new friends in Australia and New Zealand, I mostly got new Japanese friends, which after the fact, a friend is a friend.

Raid Hours

Considering we’ve not had a new Legendary Pokemon in raids since the end of April (Lake Guardians, anyone?) it’s been about rehashing old Legendary Pokemon, some with their shiny forms, and others that had already been rereleased (looking at you Kyogre/Groudon). Every Wednesday we’ve had a Raid Hour, involving the current 5* Raid Boss as the featured Pokemon in all available Gyms for an hour. While this is a great way to grind for raids and an EX Raid eligibility, it’s also extensive on Raid Passes and your wallets. I had to miss out on a Raid Hour recently, partly because I was down to two Premium Raid Passes. It sucked, but the house is priority.

Out of the Legendary Pokemon available (not including Mythicals), we’re only missing Regigigas, which brings me onto the next topic:

Colossal Ticket

This ticket has just been announced and is rumoured to provide a Go Fest experience, with an in-game questline. However, the prize is a Regigigas (as it is the Colossal Pokemon). The price of this ticket is set to be £7.99/$7.99/€8.99 on the App Store Page and is only purchasable via real-world money rather than in-game coins. The release date is November 2nd from 11am until 7pm, so it’s essentially a pay-to-play Research Day. The latter part I’m excited for, but to pay for it – I dunno. I probably will cave and buy the ticket, to experience it and review it for you guys.

While I’m okay with purchasable events like a Go Fest, having to pay for a Regigigas is absurd. However, it is only a temporary paywall, as Regigigas will be coming to EX Raids afterwards.

I’m sure there’s something that I missed, but these are the main reasons why there is an issue with microtransactions in Pokemon Go.

3 thoughts on “A Colossal Pay-To-Play? – The Future of Microtransactions in Pokemon Go

  1. Pingback: Why I Almost Quit Pokemon Go – That Little Lola

  2. Pingback: Why I Quit Pokemon GO – That Little Lola

  3. Pingback: The Cashgrab Is Obvious – Pokemon GO to HOME Integration – That Little Lola

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