Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions and loot boxes)

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KjGarly
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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions and loot boxes)
by KjGarly » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:07 pm

jawafour wrote:
Mafro wrote:...Scummy as strawberry float.

If that is true, it is indeed a scummy act. The frustrating thing is that most of the mass market won't know about these aspects until they have already purchased the game. At least folks here are aware of it and can make a decision on whether they're happy to support EA or not.


Played a few hours via Origin Access and I enjoyed what I played of both the SP and MP. Will be getting it still but as a Christmas present unless I can find a cheap price for it on PC.

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions and loot boxes)
by Cheeky Devlin » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:33 pm

Not getting it at any price.

Publishers have finally crossed that line for me. Both Shadow of War and Battlefront II are games that I was looking forward to and had every intention of buying. I'll now be completely skipping both.

SoW with it's stupid end-game grind (Made easier by loot boxes) and Battlefront with it's pay-to-win mechanics (fuelled entirely by loot boxes).

strawberry float off EA and strawberry float off WB.

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions and loot boxes)
by Winckle » Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:47 pm

Not sure if this article was posted yet ( http://www.rollingstone.com/glixel/feat ... on-w508742 ), but it articulates some of my opinions far better than I could. I especially liked this part:

Rolling Stone wrote:You still lose in the end, because you’ve traded money for time. You haven’t purchased a game. You haven’t incentivized quality through the dissemination of your money, which is the only real power an individual holds in a free market. You have been sold back time in your life to do something, anything, else. All the confusion created by multiple in-game currencies, endlessly adjusted pay scales for items, manufactured fluctuations in a game’s self-contained market, and so on, is an endless loop meant to divide your spending from the game’s true value proposition: time, or, your actual life away from the game. As both the only governing body with a responsibility to the people partaking in these digital markets, and the only salesman within those markets, game publishers are the definition of compromised. In such a dynamic, the first thing that goes is quality. A game no longer has to be good to get your attention. It only needs to offer you more of your own time back to you. The next time a game offers you a deal on a microtransaction, remember that they are selling you nothing. They are returning what’s rightfully yours.

Is this really how you want to enjoy your games?

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions and loot boxes)
by jawafour » Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:04 pm

I’m so glad that I’ve finally defeated my personal pre-order culture during this year. The progression / grind / loot boxing sounds blooming awful in both Battlefront II and Need for Speed. I’m not buying either of them and it feels good 8-) .

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions and loot boxes)
by Jenuall » Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:29 pm

Winckle wrote:Not sure if this article was posted yet ( http://www.rollingstone.com/glixel/feat ... on-w508742 ), but it articulates some of my opinions far better than I could. I especially liked this part:

Rolling Stone wrote:You still lose in the end, because you’ve traded money for time. You haven’t purchased a game. You haven’t incentivized quality through the dissemination of your money, which is the only real power an individual holds in a free market. You have been sold back time in your life to do something, anything, else. All the confusion created by multiple in-game currencies, endlessly adjusted pay scales for items, manufactured fluctuations in a game’s self-contained market, and so on, is an endless loop meant to divide your spending from the game’s true value proposition: time, or, your actual life away from the game. As both the only governing body with a responsibility to the people partaking in these digital markets, and the only salesman within those markets, game publishers are the definition of compromised. In such a dynamic, the first thing that goes is quality. A game no longer has to be good to get your attention. It only needs to offer you more of your own time back to you. The next time a game offers you a deal on a microtransaction, remember that they are selling you nothing. They are returning what’s rightfully yours.

Is this really how you want to enjoy your games?



Hmm. Loot boxes, micro-transactions etc. are obviously bullshit but I can't say I agree with the primary thesis here.

They are not "returning what is rightfully yours" at all. They produce the game and therefore they get to determine what it costs to play and the mechanism that is used to charge you and how often. That's like saying "I paid to get in to the Science Museum and now they want to charge me more to see some of the exhibits! Those are rightfully mine!"

Games are entertainment - you are buying something which you want to entertain you. As a consumer your choice is to assess whether the value proposition of each game meets your own criteria and then spend your money appropriately. You have time which you can give to playing the game or to doing something else, similarly you have money which you spend on the game or save for something else. If you think that the amount of enjoyment you get out of the game is worth the combined time and monetary investment then happy days, if not then move on.

The only real problem I can see with this specific example in BFII is that it sounds like the developer has not been up front about the realities of the game and how the transactions impact the performance, therefore denying the consumer the opportunity to make an informed decision on whether the benefits outweigh the costs.

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions and loot boxes)
by Trelliz » Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:35 pm

That isn't the primary thesis; its arguing that publishers are pushing out games so bloated with "content" that they are selling shortcuts to reclaim the hours of your finite life it would take to get there the 'slow' way, regardless of quality.

Also winckle that quote is a good definition of 'artificial fun'.

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions and loot boxes)
by Jenuall » Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:38 pm

Trelliz wrote:That isn't the primary thesis; its arguing that publishers are pushing out games so bloated with "content" that they are selling shortcuts to reclaim the hours of your finite life it would take to get there the 'slow' way, regardless of quality.

Also winckle that quote is a good definition of 'artificial fun'.


But that is the power of the consumer to decide that the balance of enjoyment for investment (both time and money) that they are offering is not up to the standard you require and therefore to not spend the money on it.

EDIT: as stated before, unless they have lied about the facts of what the player can expect in terms of either the time or financial investment required (which it sounds like they may have done), then it is hard to say what they have done wrong.

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions and loot boxes)
by jawafour » Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:43 pm

Jenuall wrote:...Games are entertainment - you are buying something which you want to entertain you. As a consumer your choice is to assess whether the value proposition of each game meets your own criteria and then spend your money appropriately...

I would agree, Jenuall, but... publishers are not clear in their marketing about the progression / payment aspects of games. The bulk of purchasers wander into GAME, see (as an example) Star Wars, look at the box and just buy it. There is nothing on the box to indicate that you have to spend money to progress or to get certain items; nor the odds of getting each item. Consumers are unable to make an effective decision because this information is not clearly stated up front. My young nephews will undoubtably ask for a copy of Battlefront II for Christmas, without any idea about the loot box system that exists or that they will probably be asked to spend more money to get the things they see in the advertisements.

Publishers are currently in a golden era and they know it; they can have purchases and (effectively) gambling in their games that kids can play, without the need for any signposting and without meeting any gambling controls. It is astounding that they can do so.

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions and loot boxes)
by Hime » Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:51 pm

jawafour wrote:
Jenuall wrote:...Games are entertainment - you are buying something which you want to entertain you. As a consumer your choice is to assess whether the value proposition of each game meets your own criteria and then spend your money appropriately...

I would agree, Jenuall, but... publishers are not clear in their marketing about the progression / payment aspects of games. The bulk of purchasers wander into GAME, see (as an example) Star Wars, look at the box and just buy it. There is nothing on the box to indicate that you have to spend money to progress or to get certain items; nor the odds of getting each item. Consumers are unable to make an effective decision because this information is not clearly stated up front. My young nephews will undoubtably ask for a copy of Battlefront II for Christmas, without any idea about the loot box system that exists or that they will probably be asked to spend more money to get the things they see in the advertisements.

Publishers are currently in a golden era and they know it; they can have purchases and (effectively) gambling in their games that kids can play, without the need for any signposting and without meeting any gambling controls. It is astounding that they can do so.

So you actually have to spend money to progress in Battlefront 2? That would be the point I'd agree they'd over stepped the mark, if it's still just paying for things that can be earned with in-game currency or time I'll continue to not be bothered.

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions and loot boxes)
by jawafour » Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:56 pm

Hime wrote:...I'll continue to not be bothered.

That's fair enough, Hime. I guess we're in the position that folk who have decided not to buy the game are being critical, whilst those who have decided to buy the game are not being critical. Nothing wrong with either position; we each make our own choices :toot: .

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions and loot boxes)
by Hime » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:14 pm

jawafour wrote:
Hime wrote:...I'll continue to not be bothered.

That's fair enough, Hime. I guess we're in the position that folk who have decided not to buy the game are being critical, whilst those who have decided to buy the game are not being critical. Nothing wrong with either position; we each make our own choices :toot: .

Agreed, as long as things are optional and people have a choice there is no problem ;)

I won't be buying Battlefront 2 unless it's a significantly better game, if it's anything like the first it will be a very average first/third person game wrapped in pretty Star Wars graphics. The fact that someone can buy to unlock something that a lot of people will have in the first couple of days isnt an issue to me.

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions and loot boxes)
by Trelliz » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:17 pm

Hime wrote:So you actually have to spend money to progress in Battlefront 2? That would be the point I'd agree they'd over stepped the mark, if it's still just paying for things that can be earned with in-game currency or time I'll continue to not be bothered.


You don't have to pay to progress, however this comes back to one of the core arguments against lootboxes; that your "earned" in game progress is deliberately slowed or lengthened to make purchasing them all the more tempting or that you get consistently owned by people who do splash out until you do the same, so that they ultimately effect your experience whether you buy them or not, and are far from the hand-waving "they're just optional" statements from developers/publishers.

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions and loot boxes)
by BID0 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:20 pm

Apparently it’s about 40 game hours to unlock a single higher tiered character :lol:

It’s going to take well over 1000 game hours probably to unlock everything and level it up. That can’t be right

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions and loot boxes)
by Hime » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:26 pm

Trelliz wrote:
Hime wrote:So you actually have to spend money to progress in Battlefront 2? That would be the point I'd agree they'd over stepped the mark, if it's still just paying for things that can be earned with in-game currency or time I'll continue to not be bothered.


You don't have to pay to progress, however this comes back to one of the core arguments against lootboxes; that your "earned" in game progress is deliberately slowed or lengthened to make purchasing them all the more tempting or that you get consistently owned by people who do splash out until you do the same, so that they ultimately effect your experience whether you buy them or not, and are far from the hand-waving "they're just optional" statements from developers/publishers.

Is there any actual evidence that in game progress has been deliberately slowed or lengethend? Shadow of War definitely sounds like one such case (although it sounds like the major problem is that the game is average) but are there any multiplayer games that take longer to reach the end weapons than CoD:MW? Like that game, do they have any best in class weapons that are available from the very beginning?

Just clarify, I completely understand why you have such a problem with loot boxes in general. I'm just not convinced they are making games any worse or more importantly to me, any less enjoyable.

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions and loot boxes)
by Mafro » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:26 pm

Struggling to think of any micro transactions I've bought other than a few keys for TF2 years ago and a character unlock in Marvel Heroes on PS4 (game is f2p but only gives you one character to play as and stops any others you play as from gaining XP after a certain level unless you buy them)

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions and loot boxes)
by jawafour » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:45 pm



Jim has moved into overdrive :o :lol: .

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions and loot boxes)
by Godzilla » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:08 pm

Bloody love Jim. Often the lone voice of reason. Personally I love DLC if it's done well (Nintendo), Witcher 3, Borderlands 2 etc, huge games with more good stuff added.

Loot boxes have now become toxic and they will hurt the product as YouTube is now the way many people get information on games. Shadow of War was the breaking point, I loved the first game but the second was a game built around padding and trying to get money out of me. It's a shame but a lesson hopefully learnt. At the very least I'm now a lot more suspicious of new releases.

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions and loot boxes)
by Jenuall » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:23 pm

The frustrating part of this for me is how "now" it is.

The last few years with Brexit, Trump, pretty much all big businesses, banks, government etc. giving up pretending they aren't evil and just doubling down on the nasty, and the like has just shattered any hope I still had that I was surrounded by decent, sensible human beings.

I simply don't understand how loot boxes etc. have come to be and how on earth it works financially -

"surely everyone knows this is exploitative bullshit right?"

"I don't buy any of this crap I can't imagine enough people do so they'll just give up doing it soon right?"

Nope, apparently every idiot under the sun is throwing money at this gooseberry fool so it's going to strawberry float us all for years. Thanks morons!

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions and loot boxes)
by Dig Dug » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:37 pm

https://www.reddit.com/r/StarWarsBattle ... d/dppum98/
Holy gooseberry fool, 400,000 downvotes on the EA statement.

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions and loot boxes)
by Trelliz » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:38 pm

Hime wrote:Is there any actual evidence that in game progress has been deliberately slowed or lengethend? Shadow of War definitely sounds like one such case (although it sounds like the major problem is that the game is average) but are there any multiplayer games that take longer to reach the end weapons than CoD:MW? Like that game, do they have any best in class weapons that are available from the very beginning?

Just clarify, I completely understand why you have such a problem with loot boxes in general. I'm just not convinced they are making games any worse or more importantly to me, any less enjoyable.


There is no 'smoking gun' evidence per se as unlike China of all places, companies aren't required to disclose the odds of their lootboxes. Ultimately this comes down to trust, and given Activision's patent and all the other gooseberry fool EA have been doing, all the games which have added lootboxes to their normal £40+ price tag, the news stories that microtransaction revenue is eclipsing actual game revenue and that Bioware dev talking about how someone spent $15k on Mass Effect; how games like Destiny 2 and Shadow of Mordor only let you open your free lootboxes in the same place as you buy the premium ones - given all of that, do you trust any of these companies to NOT rig games in their favour and do all the things f2p mobile games did to offer paid shortcuts past the frustrations they also created?

Jenuall wrote:I simply don't understand how loot boxes etc. have come to be and how on earth it works financially


Our brains release feel-good chemicals when we win random chance games/get irregular rewards from the same actions, something we've known through operant conditioning chamber experiments from at least the 1950s. Couple that with unregulated access to a young and impressionable audience buying chances to get hold of "content" you made once or just changes to xp/resource multiplier lines of code, the reasoning writes itself.

Also I literally emailed Jim Sterling talking about the term 'digital dogging' after talking about CoD on here, so I'm glad to see it got used in the latest vid.

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