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Re: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")

Posted: Thu Aug 22, 2019 1:47 pm
by OrangeRKN
Karl_ wrote:Succinct critique of the politics of the big-G Gamers you find on imageboards and sites like Reddit, particularly relating to the loot box debate:

Image


Pictured: Accurate criticism of Gamer politics
Also pictured: Evidence for how the alt-right have more effective radicalisation streams within the gaming propaganda theatre (yes that's a phrase now and I'm sticking with it)

It highlights how the strong dislike of these monetisation techniques (lootboxes etc.) is equivalent to a wider criticism of capitalism, so you'd think it would make sense that such groups should be receptive to socialist politics and education.

But then the accusatory, critical branding of those self-identified Gamers is probably why those potential allies are instead pushed the other way. Pointing out such value dissonance in a confrontational manner is unlikely to win anyone over.

"Your critiques of paid DLCs & unlockables are critiques of capitalism so why the strawberry float are so many of you libertarian fascists"

I would posit it's because proponents of the left have been ineffective in co-opting that critique - especially when compared to the alt-right.

Re: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")

Posted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 7:14 am
by Knoyleo
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-49661870

Ban children from gambling in games, MPs say

In-game spending should be regulated by gambling laws and so-called loot boxes banned entirely for children, MPs say.

The industry's UK trade body responded it would "review these recommendations with utmost seriousness".

But the committee of MPs had accused some of those who had given evidence of a "lack of honesty and transparency".

Free video games often encourage players to buy virtual loot boxes, which contain an unspecified amount of items to improve further game-play.

Some games have associated online marketplaces where players can trade or sell these items.

The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee's inquiry into addictive and immersive technologies heard stories of young adults who had built up debts of thousands of pounds through spending in games. Jagex, the company behind online game RuneScape, admitted players could spend up to £1,000 a week or £5,000 a month.

But the MPs found the industry was reluctant to accept responsibility for intervening when a player was over-spending or even to put a figure on how much was too much.

And some had been "wilfully obtuse" in answering questions about game-play, which MPs needed to know in order to better understand how players engaged with games.

Without naming names, they said they had sometimes found it difficult to get full and clear answers from the gaming industry representatives who had appeared before them, in particular when it came to answering questions about what data they collected, how it was used and the psychology underpinning how games were designed.

Honesty system

"Social media platforms and online games makers are locked in a relentless battle to capture ever more of people's attention, time and money," Mr Collins said.

"Their business models are built on this but it's time for them to be more responsible in dealing with the harms these technologies can cause for some users."

In response Dr Jo Twist, the chief executive of UK Interactive Entertainment, said: ""The video games industry has always, and will continue to, put the welfare of players at the heart of what we do.

"The industry does not dispute that, for a minority, finding balance is a problem.

"This is why we are vocal in supporting efforts to increase digital literacy and work with schools and carers on education programmes."

But Mr Collins said the games industry should contribute financially towards independent research into the long-term effects of gaming.

"Gaming disorder based on excessive and addictive game-play has been recognised by the World Health Organization," he said.

"It's time for game companies to use the huge quantities of data they gather about their players to do more to proactively identify vulnerable gamers."

The MPs also called for both social media platforms and game-makers to establish effective age-verification tools.

Currently both rely on a honesty system and, as a result, there are large numbers of under-age users on social media and playing games.

Loot boxes should not be sold to children and should instead be earned as rewards for game-play, the MPs said.

"Loot boxes are particularly lucrative for games companies but come at a high cost, particularly for problem gamblers, while exposing children to potential harm," Mr Collins said.

"Buying a loot box is playing a game of chance and it is high time the gambling laws caught up.

"We challenge the government to explain why loot boxes should be exempt from the Gambling Act."


There is growing international disquiet about loot boxes, with a US senator calling for them to be banned and the government of Belgium ruling they were in violation of gambling laws.

China has restricted the number of loot boxes players can open each day. Sweden is also investigating them.


Game companies' hubris not doing them any favours. Age verification to be a mandatory feature on future home consoles?

Re: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")

Posted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:00 am
by jawafour
It's great to hear this but I do wonder just how long it'll be before anything is really done about it. The industry will undoubtedly try to take tiny steps such as putting a "Surprise Mechanics" label on game boxes; minor things that have little impact in terms of raising awareness in consumer minds nor in stopping children being indoctrinated with gambling mechanisms via games.

But, hey, it's a step forward.

Re: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")

Posted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:18 am
by Cheeky Devlin
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/stories-49941610

Nothing we didn't already know here, but FUT is called out and it's on the BBC front page just now.

More fuel for the fire.

Definitely feels like public opinion is being pushed to oppose them. Which is great.

Re: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")

Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 4:15 pm
by jawafour
Image Image

Mario Kart Tour, the new mobile game based on the classic franchise, now includes the option to purchase additional racing characters. £39 for the Diddy Kong pack and £20 for the Rosalina pack.

I am - ahem - "surprised" by these mechanics :lol: .

Re: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")

Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 4:18 pm
by Balladeer
Me: ‘Good job Nintendo don’t engage in the egregious practices seen elsewhere in the market!’

Nintendo:

Re: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")

Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 4:20 pm
by Jenuall
No way! You mean Nintendo got into the mobile gaming scene just to screw people over with micro-transactions and make loads of money! I never would have guessed it! :shock:

I almost downloaded Mario Kart Tour the other day but realised that standard MK frustrates me enough and having it handheld form would probably kill me! :lol:

Re: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")

Posted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 6:55 pm
by gaminglegend
jawafour wrote:Image Image

Mario Kart Tour, the new mobile game based on the classic franchise, now includes the option to purchase additional racing characters. £39 for the Diddy Kong pack and £20 for the Rosalina pack.

I am - ahem - "surprised" by these mechanics :lol: .



To be fair I’ve been able to unlock a lot of stuff without paying so I think without the grind as an option it’s alright (although mega expensive).

It should be prohibited to those of 18 though, and certainly give you the option to unlock these things naturally along with a purchase. But these prices are insane, but then the games free so you have to make money back somewhere... not sure what the alternative is bar selling the game at £30.00 with everyone included? Would that work? I’m not sure.

Not a chance I’d spend the fees on the game they charge though

Re: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")

Posted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:07 pm
by Tomous
gaminglegend wrote:
jawafour wrote:Image Image

Mario Kart Tour, the new mobile game based on the classic franchise, now includes the option to purchase additional racing characters. £39 for the Diddy Kong pack and £20 for the Rosalina pack.

I am - ahem - "surprised" by these mechanics :lol: .



To be fair I’ve been able to unlock a lot of stuff without paying so I think without the grind as an option it’s alright (although mega expensive).

It should be prohibited to those of 18 though, and certainly give you the option to unlock these things naturally along with a purchase. But these prices are insane, but then the games free so you have to make money back somewhere... not sure what the alternative is bar selling the game at £30.00 with everyone included? Would that work? I’m not sure.

Not a chance I’d spend the fees on the game they charge though


They did that with Mario-alright not £30, but they sold it at a set price and made a lot less money as a result.

Re: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")

Posted: Mon Oct 14, 2019 7:53 am
by gaminglegend
Tomous wrote:
gaminglegend wrote:
jawafour wrote:Image Image

Mario Kart Tour, the new mobile game based on the classic franchise, now includes the option to purchase additional racing characters. £39 for the Diddy Kong pack and £20 for the Rosalina pack.

I am - ahem - "surprised" by these mechanics :lol: .



To be fair I’ve been able to unlock a lot of stuff without paying so I think without the grind as an option it’s alright (although mega expensive).

It should be prohibited to those of 18 though, and certainly give you the option to unlock these things naturally along with a purchase. But these prices are insane, but then the games free so you have to make money back somewhere... not sure what the alternative is bar selling the game at £30.00 with everyone included? Would that work? I’m not sure.

Not a chance I’d spend the fees on the game they charge though


They did that with Mario-alright not £30, but they sold it at a set price and made a lot less money as a result.


I can see that. There’s a massive psychology difference in buying a game for a platform, or an piece of software against a mobile game/app that we haven’t seemed to have solved: I know companies do sell a lot regardless and micro transactions but I think it’s common to thing £10 on my phone? Nah. £20 physical copy/download on the Xbox/PS4 store? Yeah that’s fine.

Re: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")

Posted: Mon Oct 14, 2019 3:23 pm
by Trelliz

Re: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")

Posted: Mon Oct 14, 2019 4:00 pm
by Gemini73
Always liked that meme :lol:

Re: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")

Posted: Wed Oct 30, 2019 9:15 pm
by Knoyleo

Re: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")

Posted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 6:49 am
by Saint of Killers
omfg. They levelled up:



(Games use bots, on the quiet, to make you feel good and thus keep you engaged and spending, and are used as advertising by kitting them out in paid DLC.)

Re: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")

Posted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 10:09 am
by OrangeRKN
The world needs way more bots for local play so this is a little bit nonsense - but yes you should clearly be able to tell the difference

CTR remake does the whole "randomised outfits" thing and I hate it because they are mostly ugly. I just want the classic designs!

Re: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")

Posted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 10:20 am
by Tafdolphin
OrangeRKN wrote:The world needs way more bots for local play so this is a little bit nonsense - but yes you should clearly be able to tell the difference


He does address the need for bots in some games, its the idea that companies are hiding the use of bots, deliberately conflating them with human players, to increase investment that's the issue. I remember coming across this in PLUNKBAT mobile. I was super happy after winning my very first match before learning that it had been entirely against bots, something the game never told me. Apparently the first ten matches are like this, with human players slowly added until the bots are removed entirely. It gives you that sense of success that keeps you playing by, essentially, letting you cheat without telling you that's what's happening.

That and he talks about the use of them as advertising mannequins, without telling the player this is what's happening, which reminds me of that old Activision scheme of matchmaking players based on cosmetics, specifically trying to showcase paid-for items to lower level players.