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

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Trelliz
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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by Trelliz » Mon Jul 13, 2020 1:18 pm

Corazon de Leon wrote: I can’t speak for NHL, NBA etc. because I’ve only got limited experience of playing those games but I can’t see that they’re immune either.


Here is a trailer for NBA 2K20 which features literal slot machines, it's pretty clear EA are far from the only culprits, and 2K may be worse:


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Tomous
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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by Tomous » Mon Jul 13, 2020 1:25 pm

2k are worse

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by JT986M2 » Mon Jul 13, 2020 1:36 pm

Tomous wrote:
JT986M2 wrote:I think it would be a bit different if it was specifically a sports game with an '18' label on the cover. You would hope it would get the majority* of parents thinking about what would cause a sports game to get a certification like that.

I think even the threat of cutting off their cash-cow (kids) would be enough for EA to change tack. We've already seen it removed from UFC 4 (although it's not as big a seller) and that is a franchise who could get away with a certificate like that.

*Of course some numpties will just buy it anyway without thinking.


Are kids their cash-cow? I can't imagine them having access to amounts similar to the disposable income that adults hooked on it will have.


While it's true that young adults with a disposable income will be one source, you will also have a sizeable under-18 crowd who will:

- Spend pocket money
- Spend money meant for other things (i.e. asking mum/dad for lunch money that then goes to Fifa, or cash birthday/Christmas gifts)
- Have a console that has a (parents) default payment method meaning and several bulk purchases are just a few clicks away.

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by Drumstick » Mon Jul 13, 2020 1:47 pm

2K are the worst in every respect.

One man should not have this much power in this game. Luckily I'm not an ordinary man.
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Corazon de Leon
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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by Corazon de Leon » Mon Jul 13, 2020 2:34 pm

Trelliz wrote:
Corazon de Leon wrote: I can’t speak for NHL, NBA etc. because I’ve only got limited experience of playing those games but I can’t see that they’re immune either.


Here is a trailer for NBA 2K20 which features literal slot machines, it's pretty clear EA are far from the only culprits, and 2K may be worse:



That’s vile, but I was talking about the update culture of modern sports games in that part of the post, sorry if that isn’t clear.

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Tomous
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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by Tomous » Mon Jul 13, 2020 3:08 pm

Frankly, sports games peaked with Super Mario Strikers on the Gamecube.

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by Balladeer » Mon Jul 13, 2020 3:53 pm

Tomous wrote:Frankly, sports games peaked with Mario Tennis on the Nintendo 64.

Fixed that for you.

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by Tomous » Mon Jul 13, 2020 3:59 pm

Pfft, Mario Tennis didn't even peak on the Nintendo 64

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by Balladeer » Mon Jul 13, 2020 4:13 pm

Did too, they overcomplicated it thereafter. All the nonsense with Power Shots...

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by Tomous » Mon Jul 13, 2020 4:47 pm

Game Boy Colour entry for the win :wub:

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by Hime » Mon Jul 13, 2020 4:50 pm

Corazon de Leon wrote:
Hime wrote:
Corazon de Leon wrote:
Hime wrote:
Corazon de Leon wrote:I don’t imagine it’ll lose them many sales, sadly, but I’d simply love to see it put FIFA under. Thirty years of being a duff franchise.

But it isn't though, FIFA is alright. As others have said there are plenty of options outside of FUT.


This will probably be a case of opinions simply differing, but it really does feel like EA have been resting on their gameplay laurels for the best part of a decade at this point and churning out essentially the same game(I could never get into FUT so can’t really offer an opinion on that). I went back to FIFA 17, FIFA 14 and FIFA 12 recently to grab some easy achievements and apart from improved graphics I couldn’t really tell the difference in gameplay between the three games and FIFA 20.

It’s simply not fun to play FIFA for me anymore and hasn’t been for a long time. I’d like to see someone else get a shot at the full license.

I can't disagree with that but what you've written there is a bit different to "the game has been gooseberry fool for 30 years".


I said it was a duff franchise, not that the games are gooseberry fool. Thinking on it a bit further the games are all individually fine, probably a solid 6 or 7 out of 10 most years, but (again on further reflection) the “update” phenomena I’m talking about isn’t new, almost every annual update of FIFA has only added incremental updates beyond the odd generational leap(I say this as someone who still owns FIFA International Soccer through FIFA 17).

This is understandable, when you only have a year at best to improve the formula, but for the consumer who has essentially been paying £40 a year for an updated roster and a couple of AI tweaks I’d strongly argue that the business model being employed has led to the franchise being, for want of a better word, duff.

And again that’s without even getting into EA’s use of micro-transactions.

Obviously that’s not a criticism that’s unique to FIFA, it’s probably endemic to sports games - PES and Madden are similarly duff for the same reason. In fact Madden is even more egregious than FIFA IMO. I can’t speak for NHL, NBA etc. because I’ve only got limited experience of playing those games but I can’t see that they’re immune either. Hard to blame EA for it though, they must make so much money on their sports franchises and most people seem happy enough with them! I’m quite happy to be an outlier here.

Good points all round. Sorry, I thought your initial post was just 'Fifa is gooseberry fool'.

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by Corazon de Leon » Mon Jul 13, 2020 7:38 pm

Hime wrote:
Corazon de Leon wrote:
Hime wrote:
Corazon de Leon wrote:
Hime wrote:
Corazon de Leon wrote:I don’t imagine it’ll lose them many sales, sadly, but I’d simply love to see it put FIFA under. Thirty years of being a duff franchise.

But it isn't though, FIFA is alright. As others have said there are plenty of options outside of FUT.


This will probably be a case of opinions simply differing, but it really does feel like EA have been resting on their gameplay laurels for the best part of a decade at this point and churning out essentially the same game(I could never get into FUT so can’t really offer an opinion on that). I went back to FIFA 17, FIFA 14 and FIFA 12 recently to grab some easy achievements and apart from improved graphics I couldn’t really tell the difference in gameplay between the three games and FIFA 20.

It’s simply not fun to play FIFA for me anymore and hasn’t been for a long time. I’d like to see someone else get a shot at the full license.

I can't disagree with that but what you've written there is a bit different to "the game has been gooseberry fool for 30 years".


I said it was a duff franchise, not that the games are gooseberry fool. Thinking on it a bit further the games are all individually fine, probably a solid 6 or 7 out of 10 most years, but (again on further reflection) the “update” phenomena I’m talking about isn’t new, almost every annual update of FIFA has only added incremental updates beyond the odd generational leap(I say this as someone who still owns FIFA International Soccer through FIFA 17).

This is understandable, when you only have a year at best to improve the formula, but for the consumer who has essentially been paying £40 a year for an updated roster and a couple of AI tweaks I’d strongly argue that the business model being employed has led to the franchise being, for want of a better word, duff.

And again that’s without even getting into EA’s use of micro-transactions.

Obviously that’s not a criticism that’s unique to FIFA, it’s probably endemic to sports games - PES and Madden are similarly duff for the same reason. In fact Madden is even more egregious than FIFA IMO. I can’t speak for NHL, NBA etc. because I’ve only got limited experience of playing those games but I can’t see that they’re immune either. Hard to blame EA for it though, they must make so much money on their sports franchises and most people seem happy enough with them! I’m quite happy to be an outlier here.

Good points all round. Sorry, I thought your initial post was just 'Fifa is gooseberry fool'.


Yeah I went back and looked at my first post and realised that it sounded pretty dismissive so that's my bad. I promise I have actually thought about why I don't like annual sports games! :lol:

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by Trelliz » Sat Jul 25, 2020 3:22 pm

Photek wrote:Trelliz, stop like. I know you’re laser focused on loot boxes and monetisation in games but now you are critical of games that don’t have loot boxes by assuming they were going to have them. :dread:


On the contrary, their lack of inclusion is an anomaly in forza games this gen. Forza 5 was heavily criticised for "its increased grind, lower payout and higher cash shop prices" a process designed to encourage people to spend their way out of a deliberate problem which was then rolled back ONLY after enough of a stink was kicked up.

Forza 6 snuck microtransactions in after several months (and the review period was over) so you could buy the blind-packs of 'mods' which were cards you could apply for bonuses in certain races

Battlefront 2 and its shitstorm happened at the end of 2017, Horizon 4 comes out in september 2018, enough time to yank out the monetisation but leave in all the bells and whistles they would have interacted with. The changes they made to things like the "wheelspins" which are lootboxes by any other name are a clear indication of this change. In Horizon 3 they had cars or cash only. In Horizon 4 they pad them out with clothes, horns and other pointless guff. This, combined with the live service model which relies on FOMO as a driving mechanism, you have to do X activities in a certain time or you won't get the shiny trinkets, the expansion of wheelspins with super wheelspins (3 things instead of 1 per "spin") makes it look very much like this was going to be monetised out the arse, maybe not at launch but afterwards, as the previous games have demonstrably done.

A further element to this is the Forza VIP pass, which dovetails this with the "games haven't gotten more expensive" fallacy. The VIP pass is a coin doubler - a F2P mechanic that on the surface gives players a helping hand in getting more in-game currency quicker, but also punishes anyone who DOESN'T buy it by leaving them in the 'slow lane' of progress, a deliberate mechanism of creating a problem and selling a solution. Also to continue the above trend remember when Forza 7's VIP coin doubler originally lasted a finite number of races, but that too was pulled back after enough bad PR? They are as bad as anyone else at pushing for what they can get away with in terms of taking the piss and I fully expect them to try again with the new one if that is going for 'Games as a Service'.

Thinking about it, the entire Xbone launch lineup was pushing this as well. Does anyone remember Crimson Dragon? A game that was pasted as "a neutered, rushed shell of a game devoid of any character, identity, or personality...thanks to design elements that reek of shallow, free-to-play, microtransaction-baiting mobile development habits. I also remember being called all kinds of things at the start of this generation when talking about Ryse, linking this scary article about monetising game design and at the time saying:

I, 7 YEARS ago, wrote:The combination of grinding, microtransactions and gambling is a horrendous triumvirate of exploitation, and is only going to get worse.


:roll:

It does feel like being a conspiracy nut when all of this is so blindingly obvious and out in the open, often announced to rapturous applause and record sales. Has the narrative that games need this stuff because they've become so expensive to make by companies who post massive profits which it pays next to no tax on and lays off staff in droves in the same breath becomes so ingrained? Games didn't use to have all this gooseberry fool and seeing them go this way is grotesque. To be clear, I don't object to the concept of paying for games, it is when those games are designed to outwardly encourage or subtly psychologically manipulate you to keep paying for the same game is where I draw the line. I probably should have put TRIGGER WARNING: CRITICISING MICROSOFT at the start and I'm sure I'll get called mentally ill or that I can't "get my tiny mind" around some nuanced point why this is all fine again, but whatevs.

Tragic Magic wrote:I'm giving esteem a name of crafty Fu mining pinitz strawberry float me I live roasted ponuts

Never pre-order or pre-purchase a console, game or season pass.
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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by Hime » Sun Jul 26, 2020 11:45 am

The only thing I'd say is that it's not even close to being all games going this way (the Battlefront 2 saga was definitely a turning point) and the vast majority of micro transactions outside of sports games are for entirely optional, cosmetic items that don't affect gameplay.

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by The Watching Artist » Sun Jul 26, 2020 1:14 pm

Hime wrote:The only thing I'd say is that it's not even close to being all games going this way (the Battlefront 2 saga was definitely a turning point) and the vast majority of micro transactions outside of sports games are for entirely optional, cosmetic items that don't affect gameplay.

Have you ever customised the look of a character to appeal to you? Or thought "I like the look of that" when you are given a reward in game? Because if so then cosmetic items certainly do affect gameplay even if its not changing the numbers that pop up.

Also while I'm posting in here Rocket League should have been free to play aaaaaaages ago and the price for the extras in Sea of Thieves is strawberry floating obscene.

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by Knoyleo » Sun Jul 26, 2020 1:25 pm

Yeah, cosmetic items in games are a massive part of what appeals to a lot of people about games, especially where you are able to customise your character extensively, and so it always grates when people justify that part of an experience being walled off behind premium content as "just cosmetic" like visuals aren't an important part of the medium.

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by Hime » Sun Jul 26, 2020 1:30 pm

The Watching Artist wrote:
Hime wrote:The only thing I'd say is that it's not even close to being all games going this way (the Battlefront 2 saga was definitely a turning point) and the vast majority of micro transactions outside of sports games are for entirely optional, cosmetic items that don't affect gameplay.

Have you ever customised the look of a character to appeal to you? Or thought "I like the look of that" when you are given a reward in game? Because if so then cosmetic items certainly do affect gameplay even if its not changing the numbers that pop up.

Also while I'm posting in here Rocket League should have been free to play aaaaaaages ago and the price for the extras in Sea of Thieves is strawberry floating obscene.

Not really, I just put the stuff on that has the biggest numbers.

Liking the cosmetics doesn't mean it affects gameplay. Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to defend the price of these things, you don't have to convince me that £20 for a digital costume is bull gooseberry fool but if it doesn't affect the game then I'm not that bothered.

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by Trelliz » Sun Jul 26, 2020 2:15 pm

Knoyleo wrote:Yeah, cosmetic items in games are a massive part of what appeals to a lot of people about games, especially where you are able to customise your character extensively, and so it always grates when people justify that part of an experience being walled off behind premium content as "just cosmetic" like visuals aren't an important part of the medium.


I'm sure the kids getting harassed and bullied for not keeping up with the latest fortnite skins would have something to say about that.

Yes they're [JimSterling]just cosmetic[/jimsterling] but that is a core part of how games have become more predatory, normalising spending money as part of interacting with and through games and weaponising FOMO especially among young people. As a jaded 30-something I couldn't give a strawberry float about buying cosmetics as I am no longer the target audience, but that doesn't mean I should just ignore it like some digital NIMBY. Absolutely none of this and all the other stuff I've banged on about like a flat earther is beneficial to the end user in any way, I hope they all get regulated into the strawberry floating ground.

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by Hime » Sun Jul 26, 2020 2:33 pm

Trelliz wrote:
Knoyleo wrote:Yeah, cosmetic items in games are a massive part of what appeals to a lot of people about games, especially where you are able to customise your character extensively, and so it always grates when people justify that part of an experience being walled off behind premium content as "just cosmetic" like visuals aren't an important part of the medium.


I'm sure the kids getting harassed and bullied for not keeping up with the latest fortnite skins would have something to say about that.

Yes they're [JimSterling]just cosmetic[/jimsterling] but that is a core part of how games have become more predatory, normalising spending money as part of interacting with and through games and weaponising FOMO especially among young people. As a jaded 30-something I couldn't give a strawberry float about buying cosmetics as I am no longer the target audience, but that doesn't mean I should just ignore it like some digital NIMBY. Absolutely none of this and all the other stuff I've banged on about like a flat earther is beneficial to the end user in any way, I hope they all get regulated into the strawberry floating ground.

Where does this logic end though? Everything cosmetic is designed and marketed to make you think you need it and it will improve your life.

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by Trelliz » Sun Jul 26, 2020 2:50 pm

Hime wrote:Where does this logic end though? Everything cosmetic is designed and marketed to make you think you need it and it will improve your life.


It sure it, however even with things like Pokémon cards and other blind-bag purchases, as well as other cosmetic things like clothes etc they physically exist, you can exchange/give them to others or resell them, in some cases repurpose/change them to do something else; altering clothes, up/recycling furniture, etc. With the exception of things like the steam marketplace (where valve sell lootboxes and take a cut every time people sell the contents to each other, which is equally villainous) All these skins etc are locked into a one way system that rapidly invalidates previous "efforts" to try and take more and more. All the FIFA cards that become irrelevant every year, all the fortnite skins that because they aren't the new hotness may as well not exist.

All while simultaneously pleading poverty, paying their executives monstrous bonuses, routinely laying off employees and paying no tax on any of it.

Tragic Magic wrote:I'm giving esteem a name of crafty Fu mining pinitz strawberry float me I live roasted ponuts

Never pre-order or pre-purchase a console, game or season pass.

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