... and you can just assume it with any game from EA -- they've promised that microtransactions will be in every single fucking game they make from now on. While they didn't explicitly say they'll be in Battlefield: Hardline, they've already come to Battlefield 4, so, you know, do the math.
If you've never run into them, here's how it works: Say you're immersed in a tense sci-fi adventure full of grotesque monsters eagerly waiting for you to blow them to pieces with a gun that shoots saw blades. You fight your way through a creepy derelict spaceship, as one does, and come upon a device that will let you upgrade your gun using some materials you've gathered. But then the machine reminds your character that if he'd prefer, he can simply pay for the upgrades with Microsoft Points. That is, with the player's real, actual money.
Welcome to Dead Space 3, asshole.
I don't know about you, but I'm real big on immersion in games. It's why I play, and it's what separates consoles from that simplistic iPhone bullshit -- they have the horsepower to bring worlds and characters to life, and to make us care what happens to them. All Candy Crush can make me feel is the frustration of failure or the momentary elation of moving on to the next level. So even if I was OK with getting nickel-and-dimed on a game I already paid $60 for, due to some kind of head trauma or something, I am not OK with getting yanked out of the story with a reminder that I can make all of these monsters bow to my will if only I hand over my real-world allowance.
I already know what some of you are saying, thanks to our cutting edge software that lets the editorial team access your computer's microphone at any time: "But Wong, you don't have to pay! It's just an option!"
Ah, see, but they have another trick up their sleeve (and I think I can hear your dog scratching to be let in). Here, get out your phone and play Candy Crush for an hour. I called that game the future of the medium just a few inches ago, and here's why: It's a "free" game that has earned more than $1.4 billion for its makers. Yep, it's going to wind up making more money than The Avengers did at the box office, and it cost almost nothing to create.