I play a lot of Rocket League, mostly for making my car look pretty, because I’m trash at the actual car-football part of the game.
As you play the game, you randomly acquire items that you can use to change the cosmetic appearance of your car. There are also crates which will give you a random item and you have to pay real money in order to purchase a key to open the crates with. Outside of crates, you can also acquire items by trading with other players, either you give them an item or more likely you give them keys in exchange.
I like the way Rocket League does this for the following reasons:
The most important reason - It allows the player base to continue to spend money to support the continued development of the game/
It gives the players something tangible in exchange for their time investment in the game, which might help with player activity and retention.
Purely cosmetic items have no effect on the gameplay so it’s not pay2win.
It opens up free2play options in the future which would help with player count.
Now of course, I don’t expect my ship in Infinity to be wearing a top hat. But other spaceship videogames have demonstrated that there is plenty of scope for cosmetics, with paint jobs, body kits, cockpit decorations etc. I personally always go for the vibrant orange on all my ships in E:D, even though it’s a game where you hardly ever see the outside of your own ship.
I imagine that the biggest objection to this course of action with Infinity is going to be the fact that a small team of developers with finite developer resources choosing to implement cosmetics while the game is missing core features is not great optics, and that’s a very understandable objection. But I don’t know what Inovae’s finances are like, I’d rather see them have a sustainable and renewable income stream with cosmetic microtransactions, rather than relying on continued game sales and donations. I’ve been following this game on and off since 2006 and I’d be rather disappointed if the devs just ran out of funding and had to shut her down after all this time.