Harry Potter and the Many Grievances of 'Hogwarts Mystery'
Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery is the newly released free-to-play mobile game that allows players to attend Hogwarts in the house of their choosing, years before "The Boy Who Lived" attends the school. Despite the massive Harry Potter fanbase, the game has been under fire recently due to its unfair energy system and excessive micro-transactions.
The majority of tasks in the game require actions that are completed by using energy, and most actions have you using two or more of these units. Having only 25 energy to start leaves you floundering 20 minutes into the game, as you’re being strangled to death by a "Devil’s Snare". Your only solution is to wait it out and get your energy back, or refill it using "gems"--which, you guessed it, are bought with real money. Aside from strangling your character for a couple of hours, the game makes you wait before unlocking story line quests unless you want to spend the money to continue playing. So I can either wait three hours or spend fifty-five gems to find out what's in the mysterious corridor...how magical!
My opinion on micro-transactions and loot boxes has always been fairly simple: I will support them so long as they provide only cosmetic changes that don’t alter the gameplay. Sure, I will pay money to give my witch glasses or to make Hanzo look like a yakuza hitman. But I will not pay money in order to complete tasks that have unfair requirements in the first place. It's not rocket science.
Considering major studio Warner Bros is behind Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, I’m not surprised at the problems that currently plague the game. The ultimate goal is to make money, and what better way to do so, than to take advantage of impatient players, or kids that may not understand the consequences of buying gems to keep playing their game. We're better than this, and I'm hoping game studios will one day understand that these transactions may make them a quick buck, but it makes for horrendous gameplay, and is a clear abuse of their customers.