Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery has been available on Android and iOS devices for a short time now. While players are mostly enjoying their time in the free to play game, earning House Points and learning spells, some argue that the game’s microtransactions are taking the fun out of things.
In Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, players can pay real money to unlock a premium currency called Gems. Gems can in turn be spent on cosmetics (e.g new clothing and hairstyles) or Energy which is used in missions. Players have complained that microtransaction prices are too high and that the game puts too much of an emphasis on these payments. Following this negative reception to the game’s microtransactions, it seems that microtransaction discounts have been rolled out for some players.
Eurogamer reports that it has been offered a discount of 130 Gems for £0.99 (approximately $1.35) which is down from £4.99 (approximately $6.81) and that this deal will last for just 48 hours. Other players say that they have been offered a deal of 130 Gems for £0.79 (approximately $1.08) down from £2.99 (approximately $4.07).
Players in the United States have also reported seeing 575 Gems priced at $4.99 and $9.99. Some players say they haven’t seen discounts at all, though it’s unclear whether the platform makes a difference as one Game Rant writer saw discounts on iOS but didn’t see them on Android. There is also some anecdotal evidence that the discounts depend on the Year that the character is in and that Year 1 players will see 130 Gem discounts and Year 2 players will see discounts for 575 Gems.
It’s not uncommon for mobile games like Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery to test different microtransaction prices or methods like this. It seems that developer Jam City and publisher Portkey Games (the Harry Potter focused arm of Warner Bros. Interactive) are just trying to see which prices players are more likely to spend money on.
But it may take more than simple price tweaks to stop players from feeling frustrated by the game’s business model. Gems can be spent to replenish Energy which is used to complete activities such as lessons but these quickly run out and so players have to wait four minutes for one Energy pip to replenish, or pay Gems to refill the bar instantly. The game is heavily reliant on this model and makes it difficult to progress without waiting long amounts of time or paying, which is why so many are trying to figure out new ways to get free Energy.
Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery‘s release follows huge discussion about microtransactions in games and how much of an impact they have on players, particularly young players. There are plenty of reports about children spending thousands on microtransactions in games and no one wants to see that happen here.
Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery is available on Android and iOS devices.