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Lootboxes, Microtransactions, and [Gambling in Gaming]

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Posts

  • JragghenJragghen regular Registered User regular
    edited January 27
    As an uncle, this whole thing actually got me to go "yeah, no, I don't give a crap if she doesn't care about getting duplicates, I'm not getting those fucking LOL Surprise things" this past Christmas. They're gambling by worst definition, but even by the most lenient definition, they're normalizing gambling behavior to children.

    The corporate reaction to people pointing out how insidious this is is making me retroactively pissed about how much I spent on magic cards.

    Jragghen on
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  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus premium Registered User regular
    Echo wrote: »
    lazegamer wrote: »
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    In less evil news:
    https://www.pcgamer.com/fortnite-save-the-worlds-loot-boxes-will-let-you-see-whats-inside-them-before-you-buy/
    Fortnite's loot boxes will be changed so you can see what's inside them before you buy. I guess this changes them to more of a random per-user daily sale, which is a bit weird, but no longer gambling.

    I'm sure it's pure coincidence that they've announced this change to their loot box system the same day that Facebook's internal memos about purposefully targeting microtransactions towards children were made public.

    A company as large as epic doesn't make major decisions about their cash cow in a few hours based on a minor news story.

    Should be noted Save the World this is the original PVE Fortnite, not the tacked-on BR that is their actual huge cash cow.

    Oh so it's added to the "you pay to play this game even before talking about MTX" version of the game that probably has 1/1000th of the playerbase of the F2P Fortnite.

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  • AegeriAegeri regular Plateau of LengRegistered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    So, interesting note: there were RL lootboxes being sold by a vendor at PAX this year. They were themed for various games and properties (Star Wars, Marvel, Mass Effect, Minecraft, etc) and you got stuff inside valued somewhere from $10 - $100, supposedly. Jerry, in response to a question during Make-A-Strip, said that this was the first year they'd allowed it and asked the crowd whether they thought it was worth the money.

    Universal boos and cries of "hell no" from the audience. Jerry's response: "hmm. Noted..."

    so idk if we'll see them again.

    We have a group selling these at PAX Aus and other conventions for a while. I was very tempted to use some Khajits to buy a board game one, but everyone told me they were super disappointing and mostly excess stock style stuff (so nothing exciting).

    For example one box I looked at did have an RRP of 115$. The person was happy with it, but I didn't tell them those games and items were on sale with suppliers for almost 90% off. So they basically bought a bargain box of things nobody can sell normally.

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  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman regular Registered User regular
    edited January 28
    I got a Gears of War on awhile back. I set up the model lancer in front if my TV and I still use the pint glass to this day, but the rest of it, still in the box.

    Undead Scottsman on
  • Smaug6Smaug6 regular Registered User regular
    Goumindong wrote: »
    cloudeagle wrote: »
    Goumindong wrote: »
    To the last point yes. But that doesn’t make a 40% profit game a loss. EA just has insane profit requirements because every success has to be bigger.

    As an example. Andromeda, which had its DLC canceled, did one hundred and ten million dollars of sales (combined PC full game downloads/console sales) as of last July. It cost 40 million to make.

    No, that figure is just the amount of full game download sales EA had in the same quarter ME:A came out. I can't find anything on the game's actual sales figures, which suggests it wasn't great.

    It almost certainly did just fine. In order to break even it would need to hit about $46m worth of revenue (estimated 40m cost plus cost of capital at say, 7% over 5 years at 8m per year, this likely overestimates real cost since development costs are backend heavy and because the reported cost is likely to be a FV cost as it is). Or 1.5M sales to break even if they only got 30 dollars per copy. 60 dollars copy to 40M actual breakeven would have required only 670k sales.

    The reason it was considered a failure was because their target sales were 3 million in the first week and 5m in total for a profit margin of 95% to 650% depending on the total actualized revenue from the copies (the low value is [email protected]$30 vs 46M total cost the final value is [email protected]$60 vs 40M total cost. Which is ridiculous.

    Your profit margin can never exceed 100 percent. It can approach it as the limit, but that's it. At least in the US that is how it is discussed.

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  • lazegamerlazegamer regular Registered User regular
    discrider wrote: »
    dispatch.o wrote: »
    Seems like an awful lot of effort to try and pretend gambling is somehow not gambling. As though there's some sort of "spirit of giving" thing going on. Exploiting compulsive behavior like it's fucking M&Ms or a crappy magazine at a grocery store.

    The only form of this I've ever been okay with was comic book store grab bags. You'd end up with some pretty interesting comics that had a tangible value and if you wanted a specific comic there was an entire store to browse.

    They did a surprisingly good job convincing people lootboxes aren't gambling, up to and including getting targets of their predatory practice to defend the practice as not gambling.

    Honestly, I think we as a society have normalised lootboxes as not gambling before videogames were a thing.
    Every carnival game, skill tester, collectible card pack, collectible possibly shiny plastic thing from Moose, etc, has just made cheap gambling seem like harmless fun.

    I mean.. most people in the US think gambling is cheap harmless fun because for most people it is. We should protect those with mental health issues that cause themselves (and those dependent on them!) devastating harm by gambling compulsively, but it's not an inherently harmful act.

    Surprise.
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  • Ninja Snarl PNinja Snarl P My helmet is my burden. Ninja Snarl: Gone, but not forgotten.Registered User regular
    lazegamer wrote: »
    discrider wrote: »
    dispatch.o wrote: »
    Seems like an awful lot of effort to try and pretend gambling is somehow not gambling. As though there's some sort of "spirit of giving" thing going on. Exploiting compulsive behavior like it's fucking M&Ms or a crappy magazine at a grocery store.

    The only form of this I've ever been okay with was comic book store grab bags. You'd end up with some pretty interesting comics that had a tangible value and if you wanted a specific comic there was an entire store to browse.

    They did a surprisingly good job convincing people lootboxes aren't gambling, up to and including getting targets of their predatory practice to defend the practice as not gambling.

    Honestly, I think we as a society have normalised lootboxes as not gambling before videogames were a thing.
    Every carnival game, skill tester, collectible card pack, collectible possibly shiny plastic thing from Moose, etc, has just made cheap gambling seem like harmless fun.

    I mean.. most people in the US think gambling is cheap harmless fun because for most people it is. We should protect those with mental health issues that cause themselves (and those dependent on them!) devastating harm by gambling compulsively, but it's not an inherently harmful act.

    The problem is the persistent and unrelenting attempts by gambling companies to defraud people by trying to convince them they're playing a game instead of gambling. Case in point, even something as "harmless" as claw games filled with stuffed animals are nothing but gambling games designed to trick kids out of money. It's not a lot of money, sure, but the average kid just isn't going to know that those games have random chance built into them (how could they, since the chance element is expressly hidden?).

    I've got zero issue with completely shutting down stuff like that. Gambling itself is no big deal, but gambling companies are ugly, nasty, sleazy pieces of work, and I wouldn't cry tears to see them put out of work in any venue except where they HAVE to explicitly show you're operating a gambling machine and it tells you the odds right there.

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  • HefflingHeffling No Pic EverRegistered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    So, interesting note: there were RL lootboxes being sold by a vendor at PAX this year. They were themed for various games and properties (Star Wars, Marvel, Mass Effect, Minecraft, etc) and you got stuff inside valued somewhere from $10 - $100, supposedly. Jerry, in response to a question during Make-A-Strip, said that this was the first year they'd allowed it and asked the crowd whether they thought it was worth the money.

    Universal boos and cries of "hell no" from the audience. Jerry's response: "hmm. Noted..."

    so idk if we'll see them again.

    I'm curious, but what do folks think of Pinny Arcade? They use both the collectability desire and have gambling in the form of blind boxes.

    I personally feel that PA has created a market here that targets specific psychological aspects of their target audience to sell them effectively a nonsense product. It's like Magic, except that there's no game supporting the product.

    If a movement doesn't have someone that can sit down opposite those in a position of power and strike a deal, how can that movement achieve success?
    mcdermott
  • BucketmanBucketman Call me SkraggRegistered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    So, interesting note: there were RL lootboxes being sold by a vendor at PAX this year. They were themed for various games and properties (Star Wars, Marvel, Mass Effect, Minecraft, etc) and you got stuff inside valued somewhere from $10 - $100, supposedly. Jerry, in response to a question during Make-A-Strip, said that this was the first year they'd allowed it and asked the crowd whether they thought it was worth the money.

    Universal boos and cries of "hell no" from the audience. Jerry's response: "hmm. Noted..."

    so idk if we'll see them again.

    They have these at C2E2 in Chicago every year, but this past year it was bad, like every single vendor had them. It went from one or two vendors who sold shirts and stuff doing them to like everyone doing them in about 4 years. And yeah some had themes you could pick. Its weird and I don't like it

  • Knight_Knight_ Dead Dead Dead Registered User regular
    Heffling wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    So, interesting note: there were RL lootboxes being sold by a vendor at PAX this year. They were themed for various games and properties (Star Wars, Marvel, Mass Effect, Minecraft, etc) and you got stuff inside valued somewhere from $10 - $100, supposedly. Jerry, in response to a question during Make-A-Strip, said that this was the first year they'd allowed it and asked the crowd whether they thought it was worth the money.

    Universal boos and cries of "hell no" from the audience. Jerry's response: "hmm. Noted..."

    so idk if we'll see them again.

    I'm curious, but what do folks think of Pinny Arcade? They use both the collectability desire and have gambling in the form of blind boxes.

    I personally feel that PA has created a market here that targets specific psychological aspects of their target audience to sell them effectively a nonsense product. It's like Magic, except that there's no game supporting the product.

    don't like it.

    spent like 2 years chasing every pin that existed and i hated it a lot, but couldn't stop because collection addiction.

    thankfully i got out before the blind box thing started. i'm very susceptible to gambling.

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  • DoodmannDoodmann regular Registered User regular
    Oh man, the current pin bubble is going to make people very upset in a couple years. Unless you just like the pins you have.

    It's hard to figure out where this explosion originated, because basically those first couple of things that set it off are the only ones that are going to eventually be worth anything.

    At least...that's typically how collecting works. The only thing that is going to be worth money long term is if it has historical context and you already can't get it.

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  • PolaritiePolaritie Sleepy Registered User regular
    Doodmann wrote: »
    Oh man, the current pin bubble is going to make people very upset in a couple years. Unless you just like the pins you have.

    It's hard to figure out where this explosion originated, because basically those first couple of things that set it off are the only ones that are going to eventually be worth anything.

    At least...that's typically how collecting works. The only thing that is going to be worth money long term is if it has historical context and you already can't get it.

    It seems safe to assume anything sold as "collectible" isn't going up in value long term.

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  • DoodmannDoodmann regular Registered User regular
    Unless of course its a collectible for a spectacular failure that gets a second life some time down the line.

    Like...Jupiter Ascending merch or something.

    Whippy wrote: »
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  • CouscousCouscous regular Registered User regular
    Doodmann wrote: »
    Oh man, the current pin bubble is going to make people very upset in a couple years. Unless you just like the pins you have.

    It's hard to figure out where this explosion originated, because basically those first couple of things that set it off are the only ones that are going to eventually be worth anything.

    At least...that's typically how collecting works. The only thing that is going to be worth money long term is if it has historical context and you already can't get it.

    There is a pin collecting thing now like there was with comics and baseball cards and pogs?

    I guess that makes sense.

    Kayne Red Robe
  • PolaritiePolaritie Sleepy Registered User regular
    Doodmann wrote: »
    Unless of course its a collectible for a spectacular failure that gets a second life some time down the line.

    Like...Jupiter Ascending merch or something.

    Probably not going to work out as a great investment vehicle regardless.

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  • DoodmannDoodmann regular Registered User regular
    Couscous wrote: »
    Doodmann wrote: »
    Oh man, the current pin bubble is going to make people very upset in a couple years. Unless you just like the pins you have.

    It's hard to figure out where this explosion originated, because basically those first couple of things that set it off are the only ones that are going to eventually be worth anything.

    At least...that's typically how collecting works. The only thing that is going to be worth money long term is if it has historical context and you already can't get it.

    There is a pin collecting thing now like there was with comics and baseball cards and pogs?

    I guess that makes sense.

    yeah, I blame 90s throwback fashion and #pinstagram

    Although since you all haven't heard of it, maybe it hasn't hit full boar mainstream bubble yet.

    Whippy wrote: »
    nope nope nope nope abort abort talk about anime
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  • CouscousCouscous regular Registered User regular
    edited January 28
    Edit: Oops, wrong thread.

    Couscous on
    Incenjucar
  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    Couscous wrote: »
    I don't get why shipping companies bother to give people the tracking information given it just ends up being kind of infuriating.
    2xicdkrbulmf.png

    ... "this isn't chat"?

    Speaking of loot boxes and magic cards, I've been slowly going over my collection, looking to see what there is that might be worth selling, and ye gods the pricing of some of this stuff has changed.

    Not mentioned as a defense of physical lootboxes, simply an associated topic mixed with a pleasant surprise, further tainted with 'oh god, I'm going to be listing things on ebay forever'.

    First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKER!
  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    Heffling wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    So, interesting note: there were RL lootboxes being sold by a vendor at PAX this year. They were themed for various games and properties (Star Wars, Marvel, Mass Effect, Minecraft, etc) and you got stuff inside valued somewhere from $10 - $100, supposedly. Jerry, in response to a question during Make-A-Strip, said that this was the first year they'd allowed it and asked the crowd whether they thought it was worth the money.

    Universal boos and cries of "hell no" from the audience. Jerry's response: "hmm. Noted..."

    so idk if we'll see them again.

    I'm curious, but what do folks think of Pinny Arcade? They use both the collectability desire and have gambling in the form of blind boxes.

    I personally feel that PA has created a market here that targets specific psychological aspects of their target audience to sell them effectively a nonsense product. It's like Magic, except that there's no game supporting the product.

    Blind boxes are gambling to the extent that you might not pull a complete set with the money you spend, but they're different in that there's a base value for a set of pins that is higher than the price of the box, and they're tradeable so you're never stuck with trash.

  • BucketmanBucketman Call me SkraggRegistered User regular
    Heffling wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    So, interesting note: there were RL lootboxes being sold by a vendor at PAX this year. They were themed for various games and properties (Star Wars, Marvel, Mass Effect, Minecraft, etc) and you got stuff inside valued somewhere from $10 - $100, supposedly. Jerry, in response to a question during Make-A-Strip, said that this was the first year they'd allowed it and asked the crowd whether they thought it was worth the money.

    Universal boos and cries of "hell no" from the audience. Jerry's response: "hmm. Noted..."

    so idk if we'll see them again.

    I'm curious, but what do folks think of Pinny Arcade? They use both the collectability desire and have gambling in the form of blind boxes.

    I personally feel that PA has created a market here that targets specific psychological aspects of their target audience to sell them effectively a nonsense product. It's like Magic, except that there's no game supporting the product.

    This brings up an interesting sort of question. Are blindboxes technically gambling? I mean you can see what the possibilities are on the side of the box. Are Magic The Gathering and Pokemon cards gambling? You know whats in a set.

    Personally I've always found that sort of stuff kind of exciting, but actual gambling lackluster and boring, even when I win its just like "Oh ok better stop now before I lose it all".

    I guess we need to ask ourselves collectively where the line is drawn

    Edit: I like pins, but I have a little collection at work that I stick in my cube wall

  • Ninja Snarl PNinja Snarl P My helmet is my burden. Ninja Snarl: Gone, but not forgotten.Registered User regular
    Yes, they're gambling. You're paying money to get a reward of variable value (getting useless dupes versus something useful/rare), and you don't know what you're getting beforehand. Just because a slot machine tells you the possible outcomes doesn't make it not gambling.

    I can guarantee that if Magic and the like was required to simply sell their cards as known packs and had to ditch booster packs/blind boxes, they'd make a hell of a lot less money because of all the people they wouldn't be able to exploit.

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  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    Yes, they're gambling. You're paying money to get a reward of variable value (getting useless dupes versus something useful/rare), and you don't know what you're getting beforehand. Just because a slot machine tells you the possible outcomes doesn't make it not gambling.

    I can guarantee that if Magic and the like was required to simply sell their cards as known packs and had to ditch booster packs/blind boxes, they'd make a hell of a lot less money because of all the people they wouldn't be able to exploit.

    Pin dupes are never useless though.

    Bucketman
  • AiouaAioua Ora Occidens Ora OptimaRegistered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    Yes, they're gambling. You're paying money to get a reward of variable value (getting useless dupes versus something useful/rare), and you don't know what you're getting beforehand. Just because a slot machine tells you the possible outcomes doesn't make it not gambling.

    I can guarantee that if Magic and the like was required to simply sell their cards as known packs and had to ditch booster packs/blind boxes, they'd make a hell of a lot less money because of all the people they wouldn't be able to exploit.

    Pin dupes are never useless though.

    Eh. Pins have utility from displaying them and trading them. Unless you really really really like some pin design then a dupe doesn't have much display value. Trade value is relative like all things. Even among PA it Disney pins that have robust collector communities there's always the dud pins that nobody wants.

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  • Inquisitor77Inquisitor77 2 x Penny Arcade Fight Club Champion A fixed point in space and timeRegistered User regular
    Bucketman wrote: »
    Heffling wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    So, interesting note: there were RL lootboxes being sold by a vendor at PAX this year. They were themed for various games and properties (Star Wars, Marvel, Mass Effect, Minecraft, etc) and you got stuff inside valued somewhere from $10 - $100, supposedly. Jerry, in response to a question during Make-A-Strip, said that this was the first year they'd allowed it and asked the crowd whether they thought it was worth the money.

    Universal boos and cries of "hell no" from the audience. Jerry's response: "hmm. Noted..."

    so idk if we'll see them again.

    I'm curious, but what do folks think of Pinny Arcade? They use both the collectability desire and have gambling in the form of blind boxes.

    I personally feel that PA has created a market here that targets specific psychological aspects of their target audience to sell them effectively a nonsense product. It's like Magic, except that there's no game supporting the product.

    This brings up an interesting sort of question. Are blindboxes technically gambling? I mean you can see what the possibilities are on the side of the box. Are Magic The Gathering and Pokemon cards gambling? You know whats in a set.

    Personally I've always found that sort of stuff kind of exciting, but actual gambling lackluster and boring, even when I win its just like "Oh ok better stop now before I lose it all".

    I guess we need to ask ourselves collectively where the line is drawn

    Edit: I like pins, but I have a little collection at work that I stick in my cube wall

    I mean, you always have some idea of what you're getting, otherwise the box is some kind of quantum anomaly that manifests the instant you open it.

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  • destroyah87destroyah87 regular Registered User regular
    Bucketman wrote: »
    Heffling wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    So, interesting note: there were RL lootboxes being sold by a vendor at PAX this year. They were themed for various games and properties (Star Wars, Marvel, Mass Effect, Minecraft, etc) and you got stuff inside valued somewhere from $10 - $100, supposedly. Jerry, in response to a question during Make-A-Strip, said that this was the first year they'd allowed it and asked the crowd whether they thought it was worth the money.

    Universal boos and cries of "hell no" from the audience. Jerry's response: "hmm. Noted..."

    so idk if we'll see them again.

    I'm curious, but what do folks think of Pinny Arcade? They use both the collectability desire and have gambling in the form of blind boxes.

    I personally feel that PA has created a market here that targets specific psychological aspects of their target audience to sell them effectively a nonsense product. It's like Magic, except that there's no game supporting the product.

    This brings up an interesting sort of question. Are blindboxes technically gambling? I mean you can see what the possibilities are on the side of the box. Are Magic The Gathering and Pokemon cards gambling? You know whats in a set.

    Personally I've always found that sort of stuff kind of exciting, but actual gambling lackluster and boring, even when I win its just like "Oh ok better stop now before I lose it all".

    I guess we need to ask ourselves collectively where the line is drawn

    Edit: I like pins, but I have a little collection at work that I stick in my cube wall

    I mean, you always have some idea of what you're getting, otherwise the box is some kind of quantum anomaly that manifests the instant you open it.

    It could be anything! It could even be a boat!

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  • HamHamJHamHamJ regular Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    Yes, they're gambling. You're paying money to get a reward of variable value (getting useless dupes versus something useful/rare), and you don't know what you're getting beforehand. Just because a slot machine tells you the possible outcomes doesn't make it not gambling.

    I can guarantee that if Magic and the like was required to simply sell their cards as known packs and had to ditch booster packs/blind boxes, they'd make a hell of a lot less money because of all the people they wouldn't be able to exploit.

    Pin dupes are never useless though.

    A slot machine that always paid out a penny on a loss would still be gambling.

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  • HefflingHeffling No Pic EverRegistered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    Heffling wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    So, interesting note: there were RL lootboxes being sold by a vendor at PAX this year. They were themed for various games and properties (Star Wars, Marvel, Mass Effect, Minecraft, etc) and you got stuff inside valued somewhere from $10 - $100, supposedly. Jerry, in response to a question during Make-A-Strip, said that this was the first year they'd allowed it and asked the crowd whether they thought it was worth the money.

    Universal boos and cries of "hell no" from the audience. Jerry's response: "hmm. Noted..."

    so idk if we'll see them again.

    I'm curious, but what do folks think of Pinny Arcade? They use both the collectability desire and have gambling in the form of blind boxes.

    I personally feel that PA has created a market here that targets specific psychological aspects of their target audience to sell them effectively a nonsense product. It's like Magic, except that there's no game supporting the product.

    Blind boxes are gambling to the extent that you might not pull a complete set with the money you spend, but they're different in that there's a base value for a set of pins that is higher than the price of the box, and they're tradeable so you're never stuck with trash.

    What do you mean when you say "there's a base value for a set of pins that is higher than the price of the box"? Because if that statement were true, you could just buy blind boxes, open them, and sell the contents to print cash for yourself. Which, since nobody is making a living doing so, tells me that the total value of the contents of a blind box are less than the price of a blind box.

    And I absolutely disagree with the statement that "tradeable so you're never stuck with trash." If you look at the blind box I linked, they list the drop rates most of the pins. The commons are one in 8, while the rare is one in 50. Nobody would take even a large number of the commons in trade for the rare, because the ratio of the value of the commons to the rare is near zero. You yourself described these pins as "trash". Nobody wants trash.

    Furthermore, look at the drop rates and pins listed:

    pins_armadeaddon05.jpg?v=1520393371

    We aren't even given full information on what the possibilities are. There are two pins that are part of this set, but we're not given any information regarding what they look like. And there are two pins in the set where we aren't given drop rate information.

    If someone is a compulsive completionist, which many in the gaming community are (look at people with lots of 1000/1000 games on Xbox or platinum trophies on PS), then at $9 a pin it's you'd have to spend on average $450 in boxes to get one of the two unknown pins. You can't even argue that someone might be chasing this pin really hard because they really really like how it looks because we're specifically given no information on how it looks. It exists purely for the Pinny Arcade whales to chase after.

    If a movement doesn't have someone that can sit down opposite those in a position of power and strike a deal, how can that movement achieve success?
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  • discriderdiscrider regular Registered User regular
    edited January 28
    lazegamer wrote: »
    discrider wrote: »
    dispatch.o wrote: »
    Seems like an awful lot of effort to try and pretend gambling is somehow not gambling. As though there's some sort of "spirit of giving" thing going on. Exploiting compulsive behavior like it's fucking M&Ms or a crappy magazine at a grocery store.

    The only form of this I've ever been okay with was comic book store grab bags. You'd end up with some pretty interesting comics that had a tangible value and if you wanted a specific comic there was an entire store to browse.

    They did a surprisingly good job convincing people lootboxes aren't gambling, up to and including getting targets of their predatory practice to defend the practice as not gambling.

    Honestly, I think we as a society have normalised lootboxes as not gambling before videogames were a thing.
    Every carnival game, skill tester, collectible card pack, collectible possibly shiny plastic thing from Moose, etc, has just made cheap gambling seem like harmless fun.

    I mean.. most people in the US think gambling is cheap harmless fun because for most people it is. We should protect those with mental health issues that cause themselves (and those dependent on them!) devastating harm by gambling compulsively, but it's not an inherently harmful act.

    Yeah... I don't know where the line is, nor even if there is a line.
    It seems to me the main difference between a claw machine and a lot box is the amount of money you can sink into them, because the loot box is easier to buy, or is more visible to other people, or is more expensive, or has worse odds for the best loot, and so on.

    It seems to me to be a matter of scale.
    And that makes me wonder whether a blanket approach is appropriate, as drawing a line may be too difficult.

    discrider on
    Steam Community page: http://steamcommunity.com/id/discrider/
    Oh hey! A knife!
    Bucketman
  • mRahmanimRahmani regular DetroitRegistered User regular
    Huh, I think I was dimly aware of the Pinny Arcade loot boxes but hadn't looked at them closely. I like the idea behind the pins, but I'm not a collector... Just have one Automata pin because I liked the design.

    PA using the same loot box mechanic as video games isn't strictly surprising, but definitely feels gross.

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  • Fartacus_the_MightyFartacus_the_Mighty Brought to you by the letter A.Registered User regular
    Yes, they're gambling. You're paying money to get a reward of variable value (getting useless dupes versus something useful/rare), and you don't know what you're getting beforehand. Just because a slot machine tells you the possible outcomes doesn't make it not gambling.

    I can guarantee that if Magic and the like was required to simply sell their cards as known packs and had to ditch booster packs/blind boxes, they'd make a hell of a lot less money because of all the people they wouldn't be able to exploit.

    I don't know if they still make/sell them, but for awhile (around 2006-ish) you could buy prepackaged winning tournament decks. That is to say, you could just buy the exact deck that [tournament winner] used to win his tournament.

    The catch, and I'm about 90% sure it failed to mention this on the box, is that every card had the winner's signature printed on its face. So basically it'd get you laughed out of a game during 5th grade recess, let alone anything more serious than that.

    Doodmann
  • NobodyNobody regular Registered User regular
    Yes, they're gambling. You're paying money to get a reward of variable value (getting useless dupes versus something useful/rare), and you don't know what you're getting beforehand. Just because a slot machine tells you the possible outcomes doesn't make it not gambling.

    I can guarantee that if Magic and the like was required to simply sell their cards as known packs and had to ditch booster packs/blind boxes, they'd make a hell of a lot less money because of all the people they wouldn't be able to exploit.

    I don't know if they still make/sell them, but for awhile (around 2006-ish) you could buy prepackaged winning tournament decks. That is to say, you could just buy the exact deck that [tournament winner] used to win his tournament.

    The catch, and I'm about 90% sure it failed to mention this on the box, is that every card had the winner's signature printed on its face. So basically it'd get you laughed out of a game during 5th grade recess, let alone anything more serious than that.

    Some of the decks also had different card backs from normal to render them invalid for tournament use

    Hahnsoo1HefflingFartacus_the_MightyshrykeJragghenDarkPrimusFryBucketman
  • MegaMan001MegaMan001 CRNA Rochester, MNRegistered User regular
    They should absolutely bring that stuff back for us casuals. I've got zero interest in collecting or building decks myself, but I would buy the top four every year to play with friends.

    I am in the business of saving lives.
    ShadowfireElvenshaeJragghenJaysonFourBucketman
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Nobody wrote: »
    Yes, they're gambling. You're paying money to get a reward of variable value (getting useless dupes versus something useful/rare), and you don't know what you're getting beforehand. Just because a slot machine tells you the possible outcomes doesn't make it not gambling.

    I can guarantee that if Magic and the like was required to simply sell their cards as known packs and had to ditch booster packs/blind boxes, they'd make a hell of a lot less money because of all the people they wouldn't be able to exploit.

    I don't know if they still make/sell them, but for awhile (around 2006-ish) you could buy prepackaged winning tournament decks. That is to say, you could just buy the exact deck that [tournament winner] used to win his tournament.

    The catch, and I'm about 90% sure it failed to mention this on the box, is that every card had the winner's signature printed on its face. So basically it'd get you laughed out of a game during 5th grade recess, let alone anything more serious than that.

    Some of the decks also had different card backs from normal to render them invalid for tournament use

    Wow. That's pretty blatant as far as revealing the core of their business, ain't it.

    IncenjucarNobodyMegaMekkimeMatevBullheadFryMan in the MistsBucketmannever dieJeep-EepshoeboxjeddyDrovek
  • Martini_PhilosopherMartini_Philosopher regular Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    Nobody wrote: »
    Yes, they're gambling. You're paying money to get a reward of variable value (getting useless dupes versus something useful/rare), and you don't know what you're getting beforehand. Just because a slot machine tells you the possible outcomes doesn't make it not gambling.

    I can guarantee that if Magic and the like was required to simply sell their cards as known packs and had to ditch booster packs/blind boxes, they'd make a hell of a lot less money because of all the people they wouldn't be able to exploit.

    I don't know if they still make/sell them, but for awhile (around 2006-ish) you could buy prepackaged winning tournament decks. That is to say, you could just buy the exact deck that [tournament winner] used to win his tournament.

    The catch, and I'm about 90% sure it failed to mention this on the box, is that every card had the winner's signature printed on its face. So basically it'd get you laughed out of a game during 5th grade recess, let alone anything more serious than that.

    Some of the decks also had different card backs from normal to render them invalid for tournament use

    Wow. That's pretty blatant as far as revealing the core of their business, ain't it.

    That had more to do with Hasbro trying to keep the whole thing afloat at that time. Interest was dipping and having the past decade's worth of tourney winning decks was a shot in the arm. It gave people new to the hobby (and more than a few who had been struggling with the newly introduced mechanics) a pattern to work from on their own original decks. It has been credited with making things far more competitive than it had been in the past few years.

    Topps, on the other hand is totally blatant with this stuff. This past year the autograph to get was the rookie of Shohei Ohtani. While there were thousands, possibly tens of thousands, available the Bowman's superfactor went for something north of thirty-grand when it was finally found. His cards have been all highly prized and stupidly pricey. But back to that part where Topps is blatant about soaking as much money out of collectors.

    For those who want to bypass the whole random chance thing Topps prints up short, short runs of cards, puts them on their site, and sells them direct to the public. This includes autograph and relic cards. One Shohei card this past summer retailed for eight thousand dollars. They printed five of them. At eight grand apiece, at retail, direct from the manufacturer. They all sold in a matter of minutes, of course.

    There's no way that card will ever be worth that much on the secondary market even if he makes the HOF. By that time the market will have so many more copies of his autograph, on unique or close to one of a kind cards it really won't make that much of a difference to most.

    All opinions are my own and in no way reflect that of my employer.
  • HefflingHeffling No Pic EverRegistered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    Nobody wrote: »
    Yes, they're gambling. You're paying money to get a reward of variable value (getting useless dupes versus something useful/rare), and you don't know what you're getting beforehand. Just because a slot machine tells you the possible outcomes doesn't make it not gambling.

    I can guarantee that if Magic and the like was required to simply sell their cards as known packs and had to ditch booster packs/blind boxes, they'd make a hell of a lot less money because of all the people they wouldn't be able to exploit.

    I don't know if they still make/sell them, but for awhile (around 2006-ish) you could buy prepackaged winning tournament decks. That is to say, you could just buy the exact deck that [tournament winner] used to win his tournament.

    The catch, and I'm about 90% sure it failed to mention this on the box, is that every card had the winner's signature printed on its face. So basically it'd get you laughed out of a game during 5th grade recess, let alone anything more serious than that.

    Some of the decks also had different card backs from normal to render them invalid for tournament use

    Wow. That's pretty blatant as far as revealing the core of their business, ain't it.

    It opened up to many casual players the option to play very specific decks that could potentially include a number of high value rare cards that they would otherwise not have had access too. Their main revenue stream is from selling magic packs, so their desire to disallow these in the "professional" setting is understandable. Also, it prevents WotC from effectively taking over the secondary market simply by reprinting discontinued high value cards that could be easily obtained.

    I don't see this move as evil at all.

    If a movement doesn't have someone that can sit down opposite those in a position of power and strike a deal, how can that movement achieve success?
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar Audio Game Developer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Evil intent is not required for harmful action.

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  • discriderdiscrider regular Registered User regular
    edited January 29
    Heffling wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    Nobody wrote: »
    Yes, they're gambling. You're paying money to get a reward of variable value (getting useless dupes versus something useful/rare), and you don't know what you're getting beforehand. Just because a slot machine tells you the possible outcomes doesn't make it not gambling.

    I can guarantee that if Magic and the like was required to simply sell their cards as known packs and had to ditch booster packs/blind boxes, they'd make a hell of a lot less money because of all the people they wouldn't be able to exploit.

    I don't know if they still make/sell them, but for awhile (around 2006-ish) you could buy prepackaged winning tournament decks. That is to say, you could just buy the exact deck that [tournament winner] used to win his tournament.

    The catch, and I'm about 90% sure it failed to mention this on the box, is that every card had the winner's signature printed on its face. So basically it'd get you laughed out of a game during 5th grade recess, let alone anything more serious than that.

    Some of the decks also had different card backs from normal to render them invalid for tournament use

    Wow. That's pretty blatant as far as revealing the core of their business, ain't it.

    It opened up to many casual players the option to play very specific decks that could potentially include a number of high value rare cards that they would otherwise not have had access too. Their main revenue stream is from selling magic packs, so their desire to disallow these in the "professional" setting is understandable. Also, it prevents WotC from effectively taking over the secondary market simply by reprinting discontinued high value cards that could be easily obtained.

    I don't see this move as evil at all.

    I mean, it just highlights that the normal inaccessibility of cards both is where the money is and is counterproductive to actually playing the game.
    So, the move is not evil, it's the everything else before it that necessitated the move that was evil.

    discrider on
    Steam Community page: http://steamcommunity.com/id/discrider/
    Oh hey! A knife!
    shryke
  • Ninja Snarl PNinja Snarl P My helmet is my burden. Ninja Snarl: Gone, but not forgotten.Registered User regular
    Yeah, it's a system built on nothing more than creating artificial scarcity and then trying to force people into buying a lot of random cards in the hopes of getting what they're looking for.

    It's basically why I absolutely refuse to even look at Magic-style card games. If you won't straight-up sell me the cards I want to build a deck, your game is just a veneer for the gambling apparatus you're using to squeeze people for money.

  • jothkijothki regular Registered User regular
    edited January 29
    It's interesting to compare that sort of thing to the model of games like Diablo, where you're just sold the entire gambling apparatus up-front. Can that be considered to be still exploiting addiction?

    jothki on
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Heffling wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    Nobody wrote: »
    Yes, they're gambling. You're paying money to get a reward of variable value (getting useless dupes versus something useful/rare), and you don't know what you're getting beforehand. Just because a slot machine tells you the possible outcomes doesn't make it not gambling.

    I can guarantee that if Magic and the like was required to simply sell their cards as known packs and had to ditch booster packs/blind boxes, they'd make a hell of a lot less money because of all the people they wouldn't be able to exploit.

    I don't know if they still make/sell them, but for awhile (around 2006-ish) you could buy prepackaged winning tournament decks. That is to say, you could just buy the exact deck that [tournament winner] used to win his tournament.

    The catch, and I'm about 90% sure it failed to mention this on the box, is that every card had the winner's signature printed on its face. So basically it'd get you laughed out of a game during 5th grade recess, let alone anything more serious than that.

    Some of the decks also had different card backs from normal to render them invalid for tournament use

    Wow. That's pretty blatant as far as revealing the core of their business, ain't it.

    It opened up to many casual players the option to play very specific decks that could potentially include a number of high value rare cards that they would otherwise not have had access too. Their main revenue stream is from selling magic packs, so their desire to disallow these in the "professional" setting is understandable. Also, it prevents WotC from effectively taking over the secondary market simply by reprinting discontinued high value cards that could be easily obtained.

    I don't see this move as evil at all.

    It's literally a direct and abject demonstration that the entire point of the endeavor is to get you to gamble for cards.

    Why change the cardback other then to make you have to gamble for that set of cards via the normal system? Why invalidate the ability to just buy the deck outright?

    Fartacus_the_Mightyshoeboxjeddy
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