Halo 5 REQ pack sales boost World Championship tournament by $500K

Turns out that Halo 5's REQ packs (digital card packs containing weapons, vehicles, armor unlocks, and various boosts) have been pretty popular. Hardly more than a week post-launch, they've already contributed half a million to the formerly $1 million prize pool for the Halo World Championship, a worldwide Halo 5 tournament that begins in December and culminates with the grand finals in March 2016.

But let's break that down a little further: after all, this is a 50 percent increase of the pool's starting value of $1 million, all thanks to optional microtransactions that cost $2 or $3. Just to be on the conservative side, let's assume that 100 percent of the $500K raised came from purchases of the $3 REQ pack; that would mean 166,667 REQ packs purchased. If Microsoft was still selling $10 map packs like it did for Halo 4, it could've raised the same amount of money from just 50,000 sales - less than one-third of the REQ pack number. Seems like a bad deal for Microsoft, right?

Except map packs need only be purchased once, whereas REQ packs can be bought multiple times. I myself spent $12 in a mad unlocking spree, meaning I've already spent more than I would have on a regular map pack. Meanwhile, Reddit users have estimated that it would cost more than $1,000 to unlock everything if a player relied solely on purchases made with real money. You can see the benefits: more repeat purchases that add up to more revenue, even though it initially seems like a less effective option.

And that's why Halo 5 has microtransactions, everybody.

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