Jimquisition: Fee-to-Pay and the Death of Dignity

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Fee-to-Pay and the Death of Dignity

Jimquisition revisits the subject of Fee to Pay, because Jim's in a bad mood and feels like kicking at unscrupulous, utterly undignified videogame publishers. Again.

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I don't have the same faith in the market you do, but if all these bubbles do burst and these fat bloated companies do suffer for it it'll be a very good day indeed.

Don't give up Jim, fight the power man. I ultimately agree the market will fix itself, unless it works and then it will be sad.

I think this is one of those times that Nintendo's bubble that it makes for it self really helps. I don't see them even attempting this kinda shit.

Actually agree with everything you said there. There's literally nothing I disagree with there, except that I think that bubble will crash in quite a while, rather than sooner unfortunately.
I actually think the Xbox One looks like a decent piece of kit - just that all the games pre-fitted with those micro transaction shenanigans makes me be a little bit sick in my mouth.
Good show.
Could only add to it but I'm bored of ranting on this subject.

Also... I can see why that Alien cuddly toy is everything to you. I want one too.

[edit] Hang on! How did I not know about The Dismal Jesters! I was refreshing the Podtoid page for like the last month.

Let's not forget that this ass-hattery being felched upon us by the game manufacturers is so transparently fake and greedy that it will only serve to "legitimize" the illegal pirating industry. I firmly agree that pirating is illegal and cannot be morally or ethically justified - but the more the "legal" options are revealed to be a scam and an inconvenience, the less surprised I'll be when pirating takes over.

I find it interesting that in a discussion panel recently the former president of THQ and Naughty Dog Jason Rubin said that Nintendo is no longer relevant when it comes to hardware and should just publish on other platforms. The same was said by a few others, Pachter being one of them as well. They seem to be one of the few companies not delving into this sort of practice of micro transactions or DLC that's made from the start of the game's development. Maybe it's a sign of the times where this sort of thing should just be expected and it's bull. I can only hope that Jim is right and this bubble will burst, so far the games on ps4 and xbox one don't look to change this.

Dragon's Dogma had in game ads? They couldn't have been very effective, because I seem to have mentally blocked them out.

Really Jim? Every free to play game forces the player into micro transactions? Tell that to Angry Birds which just shows some very short stupid ads before it starts and is otherwise freely enjoyable. Or League and Dota which provide years of challenging MP fun without needing to spend a dime.

I do agree that implementing free to play elements alongside a 60$ game is idiotic. Almost as idiotic as paying triple the price of a bluray for a game is anyway

Personally I hope more companies crash and burn like THQ, so I praise Fee-to-Pay as a possible herald of the end of those fuckheads. Not going to happen, but I can dream.

Wow... I knew about Ryse, but I didn't think it was that bad. Like Jim said, people eventually reach their breaking point. I've reached mine with the AAA industry. The 4 games I've been playing the most recently have been Mario 3D World, Payday 2, Civ 5, and Pokemon X. Not a single micro-transaction to be found.

Speaking of, I remember playing through Mario 3D World and joking to myself all of the ways they could have worked in microtransactions. Need more green stars? get the Captain Toad level packs and Mystery House bundle! The main 4 not doing things for you? Preorder and get the bonus character! Beat the game? Pay $5 for Star World! It all just reminds me of Capcom selling cheat codes as DLC: unlockables and secrets just aren't in games anymore. We have to buy them. As others have said, it's times like this that I'm glad Nintendo's off in their own little world instead of trying to shove this down our throats.

Also, thanks for summing up my thoughts into a nice word. Instead of typing long paragraphs about why I buy company X's games and not company Y's, I can just say "because X's games have some dignity."

Still, knowing that the racing genre is so easily filled with this shit makes me worry about Mario Kart 8...

I don't mind the concept of having microtransactions in non free to play games as long as the base game doesn't cost more than 10-20 bucks, and the microtransactions are cheaper than most free to play micro transactions.

but publishers are too stupid and gluttonous to ever do something like that, so what could have been a alternative to free to play is probably going to vanish once consumers stop buying fee to pay games.

What is this called? A culling.

You are very right Jim, there are some really bad Fee-to-Pay business practices out there that are jumping on short-term profits without regard for the long term.

These companies will no doubt reach a breaking point and hopefully the better companies will still be around. I bought two Telltale game bundles this weekend. I only recently caught on to these amazing games; and maybe my experience is a sign of things to come for other people and other series.

The only sad thing is that these companies are gonna drag our beloved old franchises through the dirt. I hope we reach appoint where new franchises learn from today and produce games economically.

Ryse is not gonna be one of them, luckily I hear that game sucks anyway.

When "micro-transactions" cost as much, or more than the game itself, can we just stop using the word "micro" at that point?

Honestly, I love that they're doing all of this. Not because it's a good idea, fuck no, but because the greed and the opulence is SO blindingly obvious that people are forced to stop and reconsider their purchase-to-value ratio.

Selling full-priced AAA games, along with the usual DLC/Season Pass bullshit and on top of that adding hundreds of "micro" transactions... Either it's a full priced game or it's free-to-play, pick one. With all the in-game advertising and sponsoring deals Forza went through, it could easily have supported a free-to-play model, which would probably have been better received.

Feel better Jim.

There is a game I play a hell of a lot of, Crusader Kings II, that has more DLC than I care to count (something around 30 different pieces of DLC) and being perfectly honest they could dangle anything infront of me as DLC ("GET A NEW UI!") and I'd probably buy it immediately.

To a point it is because I've spent more time on that game in the last three years than I have on almost every other franchise I've played since I first picked up a sega controller, and I don't mind throwing money at them. To put what I'm trying to say into context, I don't think its unreasonable to allow a end-user the ability to gladly spend more money on a product they enjoy and some games do just that.

While the "Fee-to-Pay" model is frustrating and genuinely fucking retarded, I still remember how much running into that DLC vendor in Dragon Age killed that game for me, I don't agree that companies should just throw out a title and then expect no profits beyond what it made by selling the disc itself.

EDIT: Its worth noting that the company making the game are continuing to support it with new patches that fix bugs and add content for no extra cost if all you bought was the base game, and in a recent case adding support for various Steam features it previously didn't have.

There is only one game where I can stand microtransactions- Steam
I recently bought feature called Batman:Arkham City, for a few $
And I think it was worth the price

Havn't we already covered this?
*sees description*
Oooooh, okay Jim, if it makes you feel better.

I have absolutly no interest in the Xbone or PS4. Not only am I as poor as Oscar the Grouch right now, I just couldn't give a crap about any of the launch games, any of the features or just about anything to do with this whole bloody thing. That might change in the future, but I have a 3DS and a WiiU, not to mention I still have a 360 and a PS3 so... i'm fine, i'm good Sony and Microsoft, maybe i'll join in later next year after all of... THIS is over with.

Also, I really hate to imagine a world with no women. Just a hairy, smelly, gross world full of miserable men... why are men so damn ugly compared to women? I know this isn't always the case but... yeah, men suck. Imagine a world with no Tara Strong!?...

We'd still have Tom Hiddleston but he wouldn't last 5 minutes... that tight butt and charming smile... what was I talking about?

Jasper van Heycop:
Tell that to Angry Birds which just shows some very short stupid ads before it starts and is otherwise freely enjoyable.

He did mention Angry Birds and its ridiculous amount of shit to buy.

Going even more into Jim's point. I am personally waiting to see how this console generation develops before (and even if) I buy a console. Forking over 500 bux, for a system, 50-60 bux for a game and then turn it on and being asked for 5 bux for a sword or costume or whatever is frankly insulting. It's like buying a car and the dealer trying to haggle on the branded floor mats. makes you lose confidence in the overall product. I drifted out of consoles maybe 2 years ago to full PC. (I used to buy my more action-y games on console) This development is not at all convincing me to go back. And I doubt I am alone...

Whilst I generally agree on the points made in this video, there is one case I would like to point out one case where microtransactions in a fully priced game served (at least in my opinion) to improve the experience:

In Mass Effect 3's multiplayer, players acquired new characters, weapons and power-ups by purchasing booster packs containing random items of varying rarity. These boosters could either be bought by spending in-game credits (which were gained by successfully completing MP missions) or by directly spending Bioware points (purchased through real-life moolah).

Whilst this did exemplify the traits which Jim described in his previous video on the subject (i.e. testing the players' patience in order to tempt them to take the "quick way" towards getting the goods), it did have a positive consequence: the multiplayer had several DLC expansions which added a great quantity of new content and kept the game alive; all 5 of these expansions were released free of charge.

In conclusion, whilst I do not doubt that the vast majority of non free games with microtransaction elements are plain money grabs, I think that, at least in some cases, the practice can be justified.

Jasper van Heycop:
Or League and Dota which provide years of challenging MP fun without needing to spend a dime.

League is a pretty poor example to be honest considering most of the actual game is locked behind an exorbitantly expensive pay wall or a grind so unbelievably lengthy no sane person will ever actually accomplish it. Dota2 is a better example since actual things that are important to gameplay are all available immediately.

I agree in general that some free to play games do it right. Most don't though. And quite a few games you purchase are adding in the worst elements lately.

minimacker:

Jasper van Heycop:
Tell that to Angry Birds which just shows some very short stupid ads before it starts and is otherwise freely enjoyable.

He did mention Angry Birds and its ridiculous amount of shit to buy.

I think he means the original Angry Birds, not the racing game spin-off. He seems to have frogtten the eagle thing you can buy for it.

If this is what the launch titles are like, how bad is it gonna get?

@ Jim - I may have been watching too much of your show because when you revealed the tongue thingy (because I really don't want to say tongue action) of your new alien toy I fully expected you to start making out with it. What have you done to my brain?!

Content? A+ as usual.

What I really wanted to comment on though was the fact that I love the drug-fueled, unstable performance. Jim, though I do wish you all the best in your health, I'd just like to put it out there that if you happen to have minor outpatient procedures just prior to creating content as a semi-regular thing... it would be worth it for the lolz you've brought with this episode.

Also on that note, you're looking healthier and more vibrant than normal lately, whatever you're doing, keep it up ;)

Lono Shrugged:
Going even more into Jim's point. I am personally waiting to see how this console generation develops before (and even if) I buy a console. Forking over 500 bux, for a system, 50-60 bux for a game and then turn it on and being asked for 5 bux for a sword or costume or whatever is frankly insulting. It's like buying a car and the dealer trying to haggle on the branded floor mats. makes you lose confidence in the overall product. I drifted out of consoles maybe 2 years ago to full PC. (I used to buy my more action-y games on console) This development is not at all convincing me to go back. And I doubt I am alone...

A lot of the problems are arising from issues inherent with the publisher model thanks to the rising costs involved with game development. The publishers want to keep their profit margins high, but at the same time they also realize they can't just choke out their studios since the studios actually make the products, so instead of rebalancing the formula, they are electing to try to find ways to increase the profitability all around via DLC and season passes. A lot of game developers get 10% or less of any profit made from a title, so it's really no mystery why Kickstarter and indies are taking off now.

Edit: I also jumped ship from Xbox 360 about two years back and haven't looked back.

Did you really have to keep the Nathan Drake picture up for so long? I get enough awkward glances as it is Jim. I don't need your help.

Mr. Omega:
Speaking of, I remember playing through Mario 3D World and joking to myself all of the ways they could have worked in microtransactions.

They probably sell maps individually and/or in bundles. What they did for Fire Emblem: Awakening (btw, keep that game away from Jimmy).

Wait a minute. Ryse has microtransactions? I...what for? How does that work?

Gah. This is why I hope the PS4 does well. I don't want the Xbone to crash and burn (Just kinda struggle) and I don't hate people who buy it, but I DO want the PS4 to outsell it. Because I haven't heard anything about DLC from their games and the one game that does have DLC is going to have FREE DLC, thank you Killzone Shadowfall for taking a step in the right direction.

Thank God for Jim. You pretty much summed up why I have stopped buying AAA games. Not because the content is getting a bit stale (which it is) but because I am tired of paying money to be advertised too constantly.

The game's industry new method of making money is ironically saving me money because I have 0 interest in the current gen business models.

It's really disappointing that they shat microtransactions all over crimson dragon making the gameplay suffer.
I wanna see more panzer dragoon games again but not like this.

Next up he should tackle why reviewers completely ignored the fact that Forza 5 has half the content of Forza 4 yet still gave that shit top honors.

I get why they trashed Killzone. No mechs, less classes, less dynamic maps. It deserves those 6's and 7's. But Stripping the usually good Forza of mainstays like Nurburgring as well as a shit load of cars only to sell you it later should automatically half Forza's scores.....

Or maybe not. Either way, I find the subject a bit more interesting than the dead horse beating done in todays video. I don't agree with Jim often but when I do, it's usually when he rants about industry bullshit.

Mr_Terrific:
Next up he should tackle why reviewers completely ignored the fact that Forza 5 has half the content of Forza 4 yet still gave that shit top honors.

I get why they trashed Killzone. No mechs, less classes, less dynamic maps. It deserves those 6's and 7's. But Stripping the usually good Forza of mainstays like Nurburgring as well as a shit load of cars only to sell you it later should automatically half Forza's scores.....

Or maybe not. Either way, I find the subject a bit more interesting than the dead horse beating done in todays video. I don't agree with Jim often but when I do, it's usually when he rants about industry bullshit.

I forgot to bring it up (forgive me, I was high on meds) but I did want to mention that I plan to make sure all future Escapist reviews mention when stuff like this is part of the experience. It's important, to me, that reviewers make it plain when DLC is woven so integrally into the game.

Morthasa:
Whilst I generally agree on the points made in this video, there is one case I would like to point out one case where microtransactions in a fully priced game served (at least in my opinion) to improve the experience:

In Mass Effect 3's multiplayer, players acquired new characters, weapons and power-ups by purchasing booster packs containing random items of varying rarity. These boosters could either be bought by spending in-game credits (which were gained by successfully completing MP missions) or by directly spending Bioware points (purchased through real-life moolah).

Whilst this did exemplify the traits which Jim described in his previous video on the subject (i.e. testing the players' patience in order to tempt them to take the "quick way" towards getting the goods), it did have a positive consequence: the multiplayer had several DLC expansions which added a great quantity of new content and kept the game alive; all 5 of these expansions were released free of charge.

In conclusion, whilst I do not doubt that the vast majority of non free games with microtransaction elements are plain money grabs, I think that, at least in some cases, the practice can be justified.

Oh I disagree completely with the Mass Effect 3 analogy. I thought Mass Effect 3 multiplayer was awful because you had to grind for random packs that usually contain crap that you don't want. It seemed like the prices for the different packs were so high that it wasn't worth grinding up to the more pricy packs. That is the first game I noticed had horrible microtransactions for the multiplayer. If I could actually spend my in game money on what I wanted it wouldn't be so bad, but the fact that every pack was random and most of the time you just get 1 use items was terrible. I didn't even stick around long enough for any of the dlc.

I have been playing Order & Chaos Duels, which is a card game on tablets and phone and it has a similar structure where you spend in game cash (or real cash) to get random card packs, but at least the game was free. I spend $40-$50 dollars on ME3 and still had to grind in multiplayer just to get more then like 3 races and 3 classes.

saxman234:

Morthasa:
edit

edit

Sorry I pressed quote instead of edit. Trying to figure out how to delete this now. Hmm, I don't see a place to delete posts? Sorry mods for this double post.

It's really crazy that these companies are getting away with selling literally nothing with these micro-transactions (remember folks, DLC is content, micro-transactions are time skips at most). I will not buy an Xbox One if this is how they're designing their first party games.

If you're ever glad to have micro-transactions to skip passed boring content, remember that it was the developer who deliberately put that content in there to force you to pay up. Videogames designed around micro-transactions are fundamentally compromised on all levels to accomidate the business model, and that's absolutely unacceptable (outside of games that start out as free, though 99% of those are terrible anyhow).

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