‘Dungeon Hunter 4 and the trouble with the free-to-play fun tax’

Two minutes: that’s about how long it took before Dungeon Hunter 4’s in-app purchase system first reared its ugly head, with the tutorial explaining that equipment upgrades could be “sped up” by paying a few gems. Mind you, I wasn’t encouraged to spend any money yet; that wouldn’t happen for another two minutes, once I saw the first “special offer” on a loading screen suggesting I spend some gems on an item (evermind that I hadn’t seen much in the way of action yet). A minute later came the introduction to the Dungeon Hunter item shop, where I learned all about buying gear (it was on sale!).

This doesn’t sound so much like Free to Play as it is, Pay to Win. That’s an obnoxious business model and I absolutely detest those sorts of games. It’s like being back at the arcade and having your pocket continuously emptied of quarters, but not by your lack of skill – just by the game’s greediness.