The latest free interactive streaming series, Silent Hill: Ascension, has some pretty egregious microtransactions and fans aren’t happy. The series (or game?) allows viewers to watch a show and determine the outcome of situations by casting votes on decisions in a “choose-your-own-adventure” style. The choices with the most amount of votes progresses the story in that direction. While voting seems to be fairly straight-forward, the game’s Founder’s Pack complicates things quite a bit.
The $20 Founder’s Pack for Silent Hill: Ascension includes the Season Pass, access to all the in-game puzzles and in-game cosmetics such as emotes. However, viewers were quick to notice that purchasing the Founder’s Pack could give paying customers a pay-to-win advantage in voting.
As reported by Polygyon, players spend what is called Influence Points (IP) to essentially sway decisions. The more IP you hold, the more power you ultimately have to sway decisions in your favour. You can purchase IP with real money which creates a big problem. This means that those who pay for IP basically have more sway in the voting process – as you can imagine, fans amounted this to a pay-to-win model. Twitter/X user SmoughTown points out:
Here as some of the deeper details to Silent Hill Ascension's Monetization:
– You pay £20 for a battle pass and founders Pass
– Some puzzles are gated behind the battle pass
– Voting isn't equal – it is done via IP, the currency
– Yes you can buy IP
It isn't even a game. pic.twitter.com/NQBpk6AjaY
— SmoughTown, Mensis Scholar (@SmoughTown) November 1, 2023
Genvid Entertainment CEO Jacob Navok released a statement to IGN defending the Founder’s Pack and microtransactions, stating that they aren’t pay-to-win:
“The notion that users can ‘win’ by paying is generally false. As you can see, decisions are already in the millions. We are creating a community-based product with the growth of having millions of people participate easily and free. The Influence Point packs are intentionally small to prevent any individual user from overwhelming decisions. Instead, IP packs are focused on cosmetic unlocks and collections that are completely voluntary and unrelated to the narrative control.”
One commenter stated, “I have never been more confused about a game/non-game. Why couldn’t they just get Supermassive Games to make an interactive Silent Hill game ala Until Dawn and The Quarry?” Preach.