Microtransactions are a slimy way to virtually shake down video game players for their real money. They lure you in with the promise of a lootbox potentially containing a powerful new plasma rifle which winds up being a Level 1 dried turd shaped like a pistol. They represent all that is wrong with today's greedy publishers, who don't consider their games a success until they make enough to finance their CEO's vacation space station (while working their employees to the brink of collapse). And now people have decided to cut through the subterfuge of vague mob tactics and just straight up use Counter-Strike: Global Offensive's microtransactions to launder money.
The way microtransactions worked in Counter-Strike was that you earned lootboxes while playing the game, but you couldn't open one unless you bought a key from the developer, Valve. Players were able to buy, sell, and trade lootboxes and keys on Steam -- Valve's online store which lets you buy so many games for cheap that the ensuing fast-growing pile of unplayed titles adds a ton of unnecessary stress to your life. International fraud networks, presumably run by thousands of portly men named Vasily who all wear Adidas tracksuits, figured this marketplace was a much more convenient way to launder their ill-gotten cash than the many poorly reviewed car washes they've been running for decades.
According to Valve, "nearly all" microtransactions in Counterstrike were being used for money laundering. It's got to suck when you set up a fancy digital marketplace so people can exchange fake guns, like a Playskool version of a weapons black market, only for a bunch of real criminals to swoop in and show you how it's done.
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