Jimquisition: Fee to Pay

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A3sir:
And then there's EVE. Pay once for the game, free expansions, buy game time with in game currency, have a premium currency, which can also be acquired with in game items.

Don't forget incarna

Because they tried to do the same and the players didnt really appreciate that there will be microtransactions.

The biggest take-away I got from this episode was at the end where Jim talks about how the developers, at least the ones he spoke to, themselves don't like all this stuff but are forced to build it into the games, that the developers are not able to make the kind of game they would like and enjoy making. The developers would prefer to just make a good game and sell it, very simple.

I have sometimes said some not-so-nice things about game developers in my past posts. But, this got me to thinking maybe I should give some apology to the game developers and reserve my ire for the publishers instead. To be honest, to me, it says a lot for the reason of the decline in a lot of the quality of the Triple-A games; the developers are being forced to work at something they don't like, maybe even hate. That's got to be absolutely soul-syphoning. Imagine a new game developer just breaking into the industry is all full of vigor and ideas. By the time they have spent maybe just 2-3 years in the industry, they're ready to just put a bullet through their head. All the excitement and joy of game development has just been completely sucked away by the corporate drive for eternally expanding profits. That sort of thing does eventually destroy creativity, and the care that once went into the creation of a game is reduced to slap-shod, haphazard, "Good enough for government work" attitudes that result in completely mediocre or worse quality games.

I could easily see game developers, in a desperate bid to escape, making a mass-exodus away from Triple-A studios and publishers to become small-press and independent developers where they may be more free to create the kind of game they really want. The downside, of course, is that small-press and independents are less well-funded, and the work schedule could be even more intense. But, maybe that would be okay, because, at that point, the developer is so enjoying the creative effort and environment that he just doesn't notice that he's actually working harder than ever. I don't know; I'm just guessing here.

The main thing is that the Triple-A industry is just sick and doesn't seem to be getting better. Almost all these horror stories and vicious rants that Jim levies at the games industry seem to be targeted specifically at the Triple-A segment. Once we step outside that particular segment, things don't seem so bad. It's not perfect (nothing ever is), but it's not the fetid, shambling corpse the Triple-A industry seems to have become.

Everyone keeps harping on the DS3 Microtranaction stuff. It wasn't intrusive at any point. I played halfway through the game before I even figured out where the thing was at. I played through on the hardest setting and I never even needed the store. It was stupid and completely pointless and while I agree it did nothing to improve the game and therefore should not have been in the game, I do not agree that it's immersion was "traded in" for pay to win. I'm sorry but this time Jim, you are full of crap.

You would have an argument here if content in Dead Space 3 was pay-walled but not a single ounce of the game's content was pay-walled.

More and more I find myself growing to really and truly dislike the paid DLC cash shops in paid for retail games of almost any kind. Some people say its ok just so long as it is cosmetic and not p2win or p2thrive. But isn't cosmetic essentially the rewards that we play these games for? Often cosmetic is the desired payout. The sparkly uber armor etc. if developers are pouring all of the art time into mercenary merchandise then I am getting drab dull crap as part of the game I just shelled out how much for? There is almost no way to do this "right". In fact I can only see 2 types of DLC of this sort that don't raise immediate red flags to me. The first is true game extension packs. So long as they are not simply stuff that was held back at release. A full block of expanding content. The second is those rare charity drive items. Make a $10 donation to hurricane relief buy a pet type things. Those are a reasonable joint action between community ad publisher to leverage an otherwise evil mechanism for good. But the rest? Pure evil..

...I just gave myself extra resources in DS3 with a trainer simple cheat program called "CheatEngine" that allows you to modify things like skill points, experience, and pretty much any numerical value you can pin down specifically.

Here's how I did it. I had 500 resources in game, so I load up CheatEngine and search for values in game that equal 500. It gives me like 10,000 hits. So I then earn some more resources and I have 534. So I search for within those 10,000 hits for a value that is now 534. Now I'm down to like 20 hits. Change the in-game value again by selling something or crafting something. Search for the new value of 498. 1 hit. Select that hit and change the value of it to 500,000... now I have 500,000 in-game resources that the game wanted me to PAY FOR.

And that's why single-player microtransactions are fucking stupid on every fucking level.

I wish we could get an official statement from somebody that wouldn't cost them their job as to how they're being TOLD by their publisher to say they wanted intrusive DRM or microtransactions in their games. That it wasn't their publisher's idea and was in fact their own as the developer's. I never bought it for a moment because why would a developer want to introduce something the gaming community effectively universally despises to increase the revenue of their publisher (because that's where all the DLC payments go) which in turn will negatively effect their own sales of the game and the reviews of the game (which is the very thing the developer's performance and bonuses are based on!).

Why would ANYONE be that stupid and then say they did it "of their own free will". Fuck off.

Ukomba:

Merklyn236:
Is it wrong that at this point I think we're going to have a have a full scale video game crash to get any of this sorted out?

Never played the Dead Space series, not my thing really, but I had Mass Effect 3 and saw how this affected the multiplayer portion. The difficulty curve was stacked so that you'd start thinking about buying the weapon/equipment packs to be able to keep up (or you'd be hoping to be in teams that had one member who'd been splurging on them to even the odds a little). Or worse, you'd be the one "free" member of a "paid" squad, which meant you spent a lot of time as dead weight because the game was basing it's attacks on their level - not yours.

What are you talking about? There was no difficulty scaling with N7 number with mass effect. Difficulty was constant and only depended on what difficulty you chose.

Wondering that too. I found ME3 to have one of the better microtransaction systems I've seen to date and, even if you didn't spend a single penny on it, you still got four(?) free expansions with new characters, enemies, difficulties, and weapons. I'm not sure where you can lose in this scenario.

That being said, ME3 MP was the only system I didn't mind paying a bit more for. I practically got a free MP game out of just buying ME3 (which I never thought would work as I hate MP in general) and even when my weapons were poor (which they still are), your abilities matter more than anything else...unless you play as a soldier. Go talk to the real pros, who are no longer playing or on BSN, and they will use a level one, basic shotgun and clear out a platinum game at the top. I never saw microtransactions in this portion of the game, which were not needed at all and I went pretty far without giving in, as a problem. Plus, there were the weekend challenges that boosted you up with a good character/weapon or two.

In other games I guess it varies on the person/type. In this regard I agree with what Susan Arendt said in one podcat episode where, with microtransactions, you pay an impatience tax. Unless it's in-your-face, ie DA:O, or an almost requirement. Although honestly I haven't seen an example of the latter.

Yes! Yes! All my yes! Next time someone questions my dislike of ftp mmo's I can just link this! It doesn't matter it's optional or only cosmetic. Because if the devs did their job you will want it, even if just a little, and the option will always be right there. Even if you're initially OK with not having whatever the cash shop is offering... Every time you're beaten to the trough by someone with a cash shop mount, everytime you see someone with that neat cash shop cosmetic item, every time you just generally see anyone do better at anything because of a cash shop thing, that nagging desire grows. Even if you're not competitive at all, it's just a matter of time until you either indulge or start to hate the game and give up on it.

Not that it's completely unfair: you get to play for free after all. But don't make the mistake of thinking that automatically means you're getting a good deal.

Hence my golden rule on ftp: the only good ftp game is the one that can make you forget the cash shop is even there.

So far I've found exactly one such game: guild wars 2. And that one isn't even full ftp since the base game isn't free. So as far as I'm concerned it's only fair the base game is already quite good.
Team fortress 2 would've been the second game on that list, if it weren't for the crates, unusual hats and unusual weapons.

Let me get this straight. The "Fee-to-pay" games are terrible because they "test us psychologically"? Really? That's it? Everything in this fucking world tests us psychologically, and the biggest percentage of that is being tested psychologically for our money. That's the entire fucking purpose of a marketing company. It's regrettable that elements of that industry is emerging in our own, but really I don't see a problem with it. The ones that test the most don't cost $60 dollars, and the ones that do have more features of a more traditional game than not. You might have been able to pay for more salvage and better parts in Dead Space 3, but there wasn't an energy bar at the top of the TV that emptied and required you to turn the game off and let it refill before you played it again. Although, speaking from the perspective of one who's life is not completely immersed in video games, that isn't necessarily a bad thing either.

bliebblob:
Yes! Yes! All my yes! Next time someone questions my dislike of ftp mmo's I can just link this! It doesn't matter it's optional or only cosmetic. Because if the devs did their job you will want it, even if just a little, and the option will always be right there. Even if you're initially OK with not having whatever the cash shop is offering... Every time you're beaten to the trough by someone with a cash shop mount, everytime you see someone with that neat cash shop cosmetic item, every time you just generally see anyone do better at anything because of a cash shop thing, that nagging desire grows. Even if you're not competitive at all, it's just a matter of time until you either indulge or start to hate the game and give up on it.

Not that it's completely unfair: you get to play for free after all. But don't make the mistake of thinking that automatically means you're getting a good deal.

Hence my golden rule on ftp: the only good ftp game is the one that can make you forget the cash shop is even there.

So far I've found exactly one such game: guild wars 2. And that one isn't even full ftp since the base game isn't free. So as far as I'm concerned it's only fair the base game is already quite good.
Team fortress 2 would've been the second game on that list, if it weren't for the crates, unusual hats and unusual weapons.

Or you could just ignore those people, because if you're truly noncompetitive you won't care.

I must say I disagree with Mr. Sterling here. I will admit that I will view any game launched, that I pay for that also has microtransactions, with distinct distrust. That being said I don't think adding these things is inherently bad.
I find it interesting that you use Deadspace 3 and Mass Effect 3 as examples (while also lauding GW2 later on), as I think those are good examples of how you might do it. The only real problem I saw with the Deadspace 3 system was that I kinda felt like I got showered in resources so by the end I had far more than I needed and only in the early to midgame did I have to consider what to make as I did not have enough to make everything. Beyond that I did not find the microtransactions to be in any way invasive. In fact I am pretty sure that a lot of players may well have overlooked it entirely. So in Deadspace 3 it was not in your face, it was no-where near necessary to buy anything (you would have plenty) and it did not change you gameplay experience. Now I think you make references to you being able to make the little robot work faster. As I recall the amount of money that cost was far more than just buying resources directly. It would be a bad deal basically.
You also mentioned Mass Effect 3. I am guessing you are referring to the multiplayer part. Again I don't see the problem. He was a small part of the game that could easily be played without spending any money. I personally have spent a lot of time on that and have almost everything unlocked (2-3 ultra-rares still elude me). I have spent money but I think we are talking maybe 2-3 dollars. Left over EA bucks after buying various other stuff. Now we can talk about how you got your stuff (packs with random gear) being bad, but the micro transactions in no way changed the way the game played. A person that spent money would not have a better experience than one that did not. As an interesting aside: Mass Effect 3 had several (four?) DLC packs for multiplayer in the time it was supported. None of them cost anything. They were entirely paid for with the micro transactions. in this day and age I find that to be astonishing. With 15$ map-packs being something we as gamers can apparently accept then I find the notion of micro transactions, but free updates to be far more tractable.

I don't think that micro-transactions in games you pay for are bad. I think we should keep an eye on them and cry out when we see something really bad, but the examples you have given are not bad (the ones I know). Publishers are playing around with new ways to generate revenue and I don't blame them. I feel that far too often we gamers cry out in protest over things that are really not that bad. This, I think, is one of those things. The outcries I have heard against advertisement in games or even product-placement is another such thing. Games, however we may disagree, are actually fairly cheap. If we go back in time like 15 years we will see that games were far more expensive than they are today when taking inflation into account. So we are in a weird place where, the number of consumers have gone up, the price to develope has exploded and the price of games have gone down (again relatively speaking). In this environment they have to experiment with new revenues. If they use this one then I think it is fine. As long as it does not impact the experience of playing I am fine with it.

good article about how there is no such thing as a "micro" transaction written nearly 15 years ago: http://www.openp2p.com/pub/a/p2p/2000/12/19/micropayments.html

tl;dr

the decision of whether or not to buy something regardless of the cost is an economic decision, as such is inherently stressful and has "mental overhead" costs regardless of the amount

I happily paid for a retail pre-order for borderlands 2 and loved the game. I paid $30 for the season pass without reservations and paid $10 for krieg making my total spending $100. And I don't regret it at all.

However what will prevent me from buying any more content is the fact that the motherfuckers running gearbox think it is OK to advertise paid skins in the appearance change machine.

That breaks immersion, makes the game less fun, and will make me go somewhere else for my future entertainment needs.

You want to see micro transactions done right go play DDO, a truly FREE to play game.

Fappy:
Jim, what could they really sell you if they added such elements in a Dynasty Warrior game anyway? An ability to one-shot Lu Bu?

I'd...I'd pay a dollar for that.... >.>

:P Just kidding. Once again, Jimmy my boy, you've hit the nail on the head. To be fair in the case of ME3, the psychological warfare aspect that you bring up really isn't that tempting considering that even if you do cough up some real money to buy a couple extra Specter Packs, all the items are still completely randomized, so it's not like you can put in some money because you want a Black Widow and expect to get it just because you paid. But the overall point of intentionally watering down a game's gameplay just so you can charge a fee to remove a barrier - like in DS3 where you can wait for resources vs just buying them - is pretty disgusting.

uanime5:
This is really a non-issue because if no one buys the optional extras companies will see that it doesn't make money and stop using it. It also has an upside as games are becoming more challenging because there's a mechanic that allows people with no patience to skip the part of the game they don't like.

Also Blizzard is already making games in separate parts, yet charging you the full price for each game (such as a Starcraft 2).

Except that's impossible because some people will buy anything and even a very small portion of people buying the micro-transaction bullshit will likely make it profitable, like how much could it cost to put content behind a pay-wall? Only if people avoid buying games that do that sort of bullshit will they stop, since only then will it actually cause a loss....Too bad gamers are ridiculously horrible at any sort of boycott.

You're sorta confusing challenge with tedium. Having pay features doesn't encourage true challenge it encourages tedium, there's a reason you unlock faster resource gathering instead of easier game modes (which by the way, the people with no patience who want no challenge can easily do)

Games are allowed to have expansion packs. Like, it took three years to make heart of the swarm, and it's not as if expansions are a new thing entirely.

Fappy:
Jim, what could they really sell you if they added such elements in a Dynasty Warrior game anyway? An ability to one-shot Lu Bu? The ability to climb ladders faster? Mounting horses in midair like in the opening sequence?

Like he said, upgrading your character. He said the new dynasty warriors allows you to spend gold to upgrade your character and he was complaining that he felt the need to say you earn the gold in game.

Its called cheat engine, you want that stuff use cheat engine. Or purchase the game then torrent it and get the "premium" content. Honestly though consumers just need to decide not to buy this shit, but no people want their shit games, why try and change anything.

Yep, Dynasty Warriors 8 is very crispy.

bdcjacko:
So what is the solution? Don't buy Dead Space, I already did that?

To offer a dececenting opinion, I can't help but think thing will balance out. Publisher do have to make money so they will do things to make money. The consumer can only afford to pay x amount and will flock to games that they can afford and satisfy them.

The solution is to keep not buying the Dead Spaces of the world. Yeah, publishers need to make money, but that doesn't mean we should feel obligated to give it to them just because they need it. If their idea to make money is to try and milk us dry, fuck 'em. Let them not make money. Especially if the reason that they need to make so much money in the first place is because they can't budget properly (I can't stress enough how important the Dark Souls and Dark Sales episode is).

I've been saying this a lot lately because I've been getting told a lot lately that I should just buy every game that comes out because publishers need money: It's not my responsibility to buy everything every publisher puts out just so they get money. I work hard at my job to earn my money, and if any video game publishers want it, then they too need to work hard to earn it. I am not a goddamn ATM for publishers to walk up to and just withdraw from as they please. If they want my money, they can earn it by putting out products I want to buy with business practices that treat me with the respect that I and every other customer deserves rather than as cows and potential thieves who need to be milked and monitored as much as possible.

As far as I'm concerned, there's two things that the EAs and Square Enixes of the industry can do right now:
1. Wake up and realize that their current strategies aren't making them any money or fans, and change to business strategies and proper budgets that will better allow them to make money.
2. Keep on going the way they currently are and eventually join THQ in death.

Doesn't matter to me either way. The actual talent behind the games will find new jobs or new publishers should #2 happen (see again THQ), so I'm not worried about them. And I damn well don't care what happens to the crappy execs who will be out of work due to their own stupidity beyond hoping that they don't get new jobs within the game industry.

I agree that Dead Space 3 stuff was a total load of crap. It didn't even make the game scary!
So what did Assassin's Creed have to do with this issue? Was it just having multiplayer? The DLC extra missions and their rewards?

Oh hey, look over here...
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BribingYourWayToVictory
Yes, there's a trope for that.

Here's the core of the problem.

In the old 'Games as a finished product" model. The driving force behind the developers and publishers was "How much could we pack into the game in order to encourage them to give us their money?"

In the new cash shop model it's "How much can we get away with leaving out of the game in order to use that to get them to give us more of their money?"

Does anyone else see the root problem here?

Ukomba:
I bought two copies of both Mass Effect 3 and Dead Space 3 so I could play them with my wife.

Dead Space 3 Micro Transactions are completely unnecessary, I never even considered buying even a single micro transaction. It was never needed and it didn't slow us down at all. I feel bad for anyone who did buy any since I don't think they got even a time bonus out of it.

Mass Effect 3 I must admit I did buy the occasional Multi-player pack. Mass Effect though was kind of insulated from it in that the purchased packs were an optional part of an optional mode. Playing the main game all the way through it wouldn't even come up, it was just for the hard core multi-player crowd. Given where these elements were and how it was done it never bothered me. It was just something to spend left over points on.

More annoying is origins system for buying points. how can they list an item for 7.50, but only let you buy points in 5 or 10 dollar bundles!?!?!?!? That's a scuzzy business practice right there.

Just want to point out that multiplayer is not an optional mode of Mass Effect 3. It's mandatory if you want to get the best endings, as there aren't enough resources in the single player campaign to get them with the default 50% readiness you have from not playing MP. It's also mandatory if you want all the achievements or trophies in the game.

I have to hand it to BioWare for being so clever about it. The single player is built in such a way that playing the multiplayer just a little is mandatory for anyone who actually cares about finishing their Shepard's story (and most players do). And the multiplayer is built in such a way that trying to earn weapon unlocks by playing is frustrating because you need good weapons to do well and until you unlock good weapons (which are completely random; most of the time you unlock garbage), you don't earn enough points to be able to buy more weapon packs to unlock good weapons quickly. It tries to frustrate you into spending real money so that you can finally get a good weapon that will allow you to earn more points to unlock more stuff with in-game currency. I only played it long enough to get the previously mentioned mandatory multiplayer achievement, I fucking HATED the multiplayer, but even I considered buying a weapon pack or two with real money just so I could try for a gun that wasn't a useless pea shooter. And they've set this all up in such a way to try and trick people into thinking it's not mandatory. And it worked as evidenced by your post. Bravo, Bioware. Bravo.

Now if only they'd directed a bit of that cleverness at the ending. :(

faefrost:
Here's the core of the problem.

In the old 'Games as a finished product" model. The driving force behind the developers and publishers was "How much could we pack into the game in order to encourage them to give us their money?"

In the new cash shop model it's "How much can we get away with leaving out of the game in order to use that to get them to give us more of their money?"

Does anyone else see the root problem here?

Everyone except for the publishers sees the root problem here.

I'm surprised that anyone can believe the developers when they claim that microtransactions were their idea and that the publisher gave them full creative control. Game design suffers greatly from the everything that the publishers make developers do in order to make even more money. It's so painfully obvious, only a first class moron would believe that it was all the developers idea.

Javik from Mass Effect 3 comes to mind. Official story is that Bioware didn't have the time to put him in the game. OK, fine. But why didn't they release him as a free add-on? Why did they sell a freakin' prothean character for extra $10? It doesn't take a genius to come to a conclusion that they literally cut that content from the full game in order to sell it.

This episode kind of made me warm and fuzzy, thinking of the Final Fantasy XIV open beta starting soon and how Square has vowed to stick to the subscription model, for the sake of making sure they can produce a quality game :-) I'm just hoping later on down the line they don't go the way of WoW and give that up.

irishda:
That's the entire fucking purpose of a marketing company.

It's one thing to make a game, and then market it. It's another thing entire to make a game that is at its core is a tool of marketing. To make a game designed to constantly pressure the player to spend money completely changes the goal of the game and all of its elements. The game is no longer designed to be engaging, or tell a story, or to offer a certain kind of escapism. The game is being designed with the goal of forcing the player's wallet open. Yes marketing forces have always been at work in the video games industry, that's how they've always sold. But now they're resorting to arcade-era tactics of forcing the player to always want more and to willingly shove more money at it. The problem with that, of course, is in cases like Dead Space we aren't paying arcade game prices. We're paying full-game prices, and so we deserve the full game.

MMOs can get away with it, I like star trek online, not so much neverwinter(both by cyptic/PW) but its not a bad agame, both games work the same all content free bar vanity bits and a few items that walk the tight line of play to win(mainly mounts/ships, crew/followers). Can grind everything if you put time in or get it quicker if you spend real money. Heck the summer event that just finished gave you a ship for 5mins work for 25/35 days(and yes you could get it sooner with real money and yes people did). But with in game gruind you could trade for store currency and not actually ever use real world money but have almost everything anyhow.

Not sure where i was going beyond saying I agree with the Jim Almighty, ftp has its time and place and its not in the $60/40 AAA games i buy for my ps3. Its for team fortress' hats, the mmo scene and a few others.

martyrdrebel27:

Jimothy Sterling:
Snip

I have found one Free to Play game that actually feels like spending real world cash is just an option. Spartacus Legends. Although not a great game, it is servicable enough for an F2P. What they get right though is the money system. Without exception, F2P games are built on a dual currency mechanic. One currency that you get as a reward in game, and another currency that can only be obtained with real money (after the obligatory first small lump they give you to show you how great it is to have that currency.)

However, Spartacus Legends GIVES you that secondary currency everytime you level up, and the gear that was available for the paid currency eventually becomes purchasable through the standard in-game currency.

This method should be recognized more for it's consumer-friendly approach. Too bad it's just attached to such a sub-par fighting game.

Star Trek Online. You can pay to win it if you really want, but it hits diminishing returns very fast. All the gear in the world will do nothing if you can't pilot, and you'll still need a full team do to end game content.

Even then, no content is inaccessible to anyone geared with the remoteness amount of competency, and skill is every bit as important(gear goes white, green, blue, purple, and maxes out at Mk XII, I've seen good players do endgame content with white Mk IX gear, just because) the free ships are just as good as the pay for ones (If missing the gimmicks) and you can earn a steady income of the paid currency though ingame actions without serious grind.

Just another example of how potentially great games are getting destroyed by their publishers. We all give EA a lot of shit for this, but almost all of the major publishers do this to their games now. I feel like the only ones that don't shorten the leash at all are 2K and anything from Konami that's Kojima Productions related.

Take Metal Gear Rising for example; this game really came out of left field for me. It would be so simple to add micro-transactions the same way Dead Space and Mass Effect did. Pay a certain amount and get a certain about of BP (the points necessary to purchase Raiden's skills, bonus costumes, and upgrades) to spend in the game as use see fit. But because they let Platinum do pretty much whatever they want (outside of story getting approve and what not), the game turned out pretty amazing for my part.

I didn't mind when you could pay a certain amount and get like a bonus costume or something, but making me pay for shit that I should be able to get in game is pretty weak. It's a shame - I bet Dead Space 3's crafting system would have caught a lot of praise if left alone. But... who knows.

Free to play done right is path of exile. It's the first F2P game that i have WANTED to give the devs money for their hard work.. and surprisingly enough, i ended up giving them about what you would pay retail for a game. None of the items change gameplay AT ALL. The closest thing to game changing is buying a bigger stash to keep items in. Not needed, unless you are a hoarder. But it's convenient.

Everything else is cosmetic. The game is just that good and enjoyable that i wanted to support a small dev and help them help me by being able to keep updating content, and give me more game.

I'm constantly amazed by the amount of people that buy the "Diamond Supporter Packs" that are $1000. You get some neat stuff with it and it was a great idea.

Anyways, F2P is not a bad thing if done right. But fuck paying full price for a game, and then being manhandled into paying more in game for shit to make the game fun. If the game isn't fun straight out of the box, it's broken and not worth my time.

Hm, I didn't actualy notice the "pay to get stuff" system in Dead Space 3.

Then again, I had pre-order guns with me, so they were pretty powerful. But I could craft the things I wanted in DS3 anyhows... so that system wasn't really needed imo.

The whole point of "free to play" games is that they fight you. They're designed to test your patience against the tightness of your wallet

This is why I can't stand any free-to-play game. No matter how "right" people seem to think some games do it, the fact is the developers have to put thought and resources into making the games frustrating enough to get you to pay something. I've said similar things and always got nasty responses from the f2p fanboys about how "untrue" that is.

The "Fee to pay" crap is even worse. This macro is increasingly prophetic.

image

Gah! Stop taking Final Fantasy The Bravest out of the chained up trunk we sent off the side of the Brooklyn bridge! Just seeing it does mental damage.

I love the fact that Jim refuses to call himself a "videogame journalist", yet is one of the few people who actually do some critical digging in the industry, has stopped doing previews and refuses to play ball with shitty publishers. (Ok, I don't wanna insult other journalists, a lot of the escapist people and a few others scattered around the wed are doing great, but Jim's a gem)
You might not call yourself a journalist, but you are raising the standards of videogame journalism non the less.

I think one of the saddest things about the industry is that when it comes to AAA studios I'm now most excited to hear about publisher's failing and Devs pulling an Avelone.

Colt47:
Gah! Stop taking Final Fantasy The Bravest out of the chained up trunk we sent off the side of the Brooklyn bridge! Just seeing it does mental damage.

Would you like to use our patented "Brain wiper"? Guaranteed to make you forget the worst images your brain has likely created or seen.

Selective application to certain types of memories are "optional" as separate purchases.

OT: Well Jim it seems the thorns of industry has once again incited you with it's widespread leeching business tactics.

I guess terms like "Gold" and "Gems" or whatever sounds above the standard used currencies in games has, at this point really been cemented with Real money currency as an almost synonymous word. While these practices are appalling their are still people who will overlook this, probably for alot of reasons, most likely they can easily ignore it and think nothing of it in which case good for them, i think, or they really, really! like that game.... or brand to name a few. Of course they think everyone should ignore it like them.

I don't remember the saying "Ignore it until it goes away" as very effective advice on how to fix a problem, at best the people behind this will think they need to increase "appeal" to get people to actually buy stuff from the MT store.....
That doesn't sound very reassuring.

I like to hear exactly how "well" the games industry would progress because of allowing these kind of practices to continue from the people who don't really think much about it.

You're praises of Dynasty Warriors are incidentally the same reason I love Anti-Idle. With the whole game based around grinding, and additions like daily quests or the elusive blue coins, it seems like a recipe for disaster. However, there's absolutely no pay-2-win involved. You're limited solely by how much you "play" it (inasmuch as leaving a computer on overnight counts as playing). It basically takes the premise of most crappy IOS games and makes something beautiful.

I understand that, in games you pay for up front, micro-transactions are a corrosive element. Games with a story (the best kind) are worsened by the uncomfortable break in immersion micro-transactions present.

However, I disagree that micro-transactions are always bad. In mobile gaming they are the norm and can actually be fun to use. In some online multiplayer games (good examples are TF2 and DOTA 2) they are mostly just for aesthetic. Sure, I've spent too much money buying paint for my hats. But while there is pressure to do so, that pressure has nothing to do with gameplay. My gaming enjoyment isn't being held ransom. I'm not uncompetitive because I'm using default weapons or locked out of servers because I don't have the right skins. The only pressures I'm tackling are those that affect consumers everywhere.

F2P has psychological studies saying that people are pressured into buying more things. Fine, but consider the gruen transfer at your local shopping mall. Advertising shouldn't be banned because it makes you want things.

Micro-transactions, generally speaking, shouldn't be done away with either. There are times when they are out of place, but those times will be defined by public opinion and sales just like everything else in the market.

geizr:
The biggest take-away I got from this episode was at the end where Jim talks about how the developers, at least the ones he spoke to, themselves don't like all this stuff but are forced to build it into the games, that the developers are not able to make the kind of game they would like and enjoy making. The developers would prefer to just make a good game and sell it, very simple.

I have sometimes said some not-so-nice things about game developers in my past posts. But, this got me to thinking maybe I should give some apology to the game developers and reserve my ire for the publishers instead.

All those developers which now belong to a few publishers weren't forced into taking their money when they let themselves become owned and taken over by them.

They all saw dollarsigns and ignored the fine print.

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