Lootboxes, Microtransactions, and [Gambling in Gaming]

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  • FoefallerFoefaller Registered User regular
    edited July 2019
    HerrCron wrote: »
    Foefaller wrote: »
    HerrCron wrote: »
    HerrCron wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    HerrCron wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    Horizon: Zero Dawn exists, didn't rely on loot boxes, and was massively successful financially even when limited to a single platform.

    I am comfortable saying that loot boxes are not at all necessary to make a successful AAA title.

    Horizon: Zero Dawn exists to sell PS4s, and was funded by Sony to exactly that end.
    It's an entirely different proposition to making a multi format title, and comparisons between the two are limited at best.

    Got any proof the game cost more to find than to make? I don't care what the motives behind the funding are. I care whether or not it made more than it cost to make.

    It is estimated to have cost 45 Million USD, according to the games wikipedia page.
    I don't know if that helps you.

    Why would you bother even implying this argument if you have nothing to back it up.

    What on earth are you talking about?

    You dismissed the comparison of Horizon to games like FIFA because console exclusives are typically made to promote the console, and that it is therefore not nessisary for them to make a profit.

    Which is true, but in terms of High quality games being possible without lootboxes, is really only applicable if Horizon Zero Dawn did not, in fact, make a profit. But you made that statement without knowing one way or another if it did.

    I am sure I never said that.
    What I said it's a console exclusive is a different proposition to a multiformat game, and it is.

    That it makes a profit is secondary to promoting the sale of the hardware it is released on, Sony bankrolled it for exactly this reason. Therefore it doesn't map onto why multiplatform games are made.

    You might not have said it before, but you certainly did say it two sentences later.

    Yes, the fact that's primary purpose was not to make all the money in the world means that it wasn't made to make all the money in the world, but if still made a profit, it is arguably proof that you don't need to make a game that tries to earn all the money in the world to be financially sustainable, even on a $60 AAA console title.

    Foefaller on
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  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    HerrCron wrote: »
    Foefaller wrote: »
    HerrCron wrote: »
    HerrCron wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    HerrCron wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    Horizon: Zero Dawn exists, didn't rely on loot boxes, and was massively successful financially even when limited to a single platform.

    I am comfortable saying that loot boxes are not at all necessary to make a successful AAA title.

    Horizon: Zero Dawn exists to sell PS4s, and was funded by Sony to exactly that end.
    It's an entirely different proposition to making a multi format title, and comparisons between the two are limited at best.

    Got any proof the game cost more to find than to make? I don't care what the motives behind the funding are. I care whether or not it made more than it cost to make.

    It is estimated to have cost 45 Million USD, according to the games wikipedia page.
    I don't know if that helps you.

    Why would you bother even implying this argument if you have nothing to back it up.

    What on earth are you talking about?

    You dismissed the comparison of Horizon to games like FIFA because console exclusives are typically made to promote the console, and that it is therefore not nessisary for them to make a profit.

    Which is true, but in terms of High quality games being possible without lootboxes, is really only applicable if Horizon Zero Dawn did not, in fact, make a profit. But you made that statement without knowing one way or another if it did.

    I am sure I never said that.
    What I said it's a console exclusive is a different proposition to a multiformat game, and it is.

    That it makes a profit is secondary to promoting the sale of the hardware it is released on, Sony bankrolled it for exactly this reason. Therefore it doesn't map onto why multiplatform games are made.

    That's irrelevant. It was a AAA title, had zero loot boxes, and experienced wild financial success. It's demonstrative of any claims that loot boxes are necessary for AAA games to succeed are simply untrue.

    mrondeaudestroyah87CaedwyrFoefallerN1tSt4lkerEtiowsaDacLord_AsmodeusBullheadMegaMekDrezzepherinSolarnever dieshoeboxjeddyJazz
  • HerrCronHerrCron It that wickedly supports taxation Registered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    HerrCron wrote: »
    Foefaller wrote: »
    HerrCron wrote: »
    HerrCron wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    HerrCron wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    Horizon: Zero Dawn exists, didn't rely on loot boxes, and was massively successful financially even when limited to a single platform.

    I am comfortable saying that loot boxes are not at all necessary to make a successful AAA title.

    Horizon: Zero Dawn exists to sell PS4s, and was funded by Sony to exactly that end.
    It's an entirely different proposition to making a multi format title, and comparisons between the two are limited at best.

    Got any proof the game cost more to find than to make? I don't care what the motives behind the funding are. I care whether or not it made more than it cost to make.

    It is estimated to have cost 45 Million USD, according to the games wikipedia page.
    I don't know if that helps you.

    Why would you bother even implying this argument if you have nothing to back it up.

    What on earth are you talking about?

    You dismissed the comparison of Horizon to games like FIFA because console exclusives are typically made to promote the console, and that it is therefore not nessisary for them to make a profit.

    Which is true, but in terms of High quality games being possible without lootboxes, is really only applicable if Horizon Zero Dawn did not, in fact, make a profit. But you made that statement without knowing one way or another if it did.

    I am sure I never said that.
    What I said it's a console exclusive is a different proposition to a multiformat game, and it is.

    That it makes a profit is secondary to promoting the sale of the hardware it is released on, Sony bankrolled it for exactly this reason. Therefore it doesn't map onto why multiplatform games are made.

    That's irrelevant. It was a AAA title, had zero loot boxes, and experienced wild financial success. It's demonstrative of any claims that loot boxes are necessary for AAA games to succeed are simply untrue.

    As long as going forward all AAA games exist only to sell consoles and will be promoted by the platform holders then sure.

    sig.gif
  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    HerrCron wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    HerrCron wrote: »
    Foefaller wrote: »
    HerrCron wrote: »
    HerrCron wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    HerrCron wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    Horizon: Zero Dawn exists, didn't rely on loot boxes, and was massively successful financially even when limited to a single platform.

    I am comfortable saying that loot boxes are not at all necessary to make a successful AAA title.

    Horizon: Zero Dawn exists to sell PS4s, and was funded by Sony to exactly that end.
    It's an entirely different proposition to making a multi format title, and comparisons between the two are limited at best.

    Got any proof the game cost more to find than to make? I don't care what the motives behind the funding are. I care whether or not it made more than it cost to make.

    It is estimated to have cost 45 Million USD, according to the games wikipedia page.
    I don't know if that helps you.

    Why would you bother even implying this argument if you have nothing to back it up.

    What on earth are you talking about?

    You dismissed the comparison of Horizon to games like FIFA because console exclusives are typically made to promote the console, and that it is therefore not nessisary for them to make a profit.

    Which is true, but in terms of High quality games being possible without lootboxes, is really only applicable if Horizon Zero Dawn did not, in fact, make a profit. But you made that statement without knowing one way or another if it did.

    I am sure I never said that.
    What I said it's a console exclusive is a different proposition to a multiformat game, and it is.

    That it makes a profit is secondary to promoting the sale of the hardware it is released on, Sony bankrolled it for exactly this reason. Therefore it doesn't map onto why multiplatform games are made.

    That's irrelevant. It was a AAA title, had zero loot boxes, and experienced wild financial success. It's demonstrative of any claims that loot boxes are necessary for AAA games to succeed are simply untrue.

    As long as going forward all AAA games exist only to sell consoles and will be promoted by the platform holders then sure.

    The vast majority of people who bought HZD didn't know or care that it was intended to sell PS4s. This had next to no influence on it selling well.

    What *did* make it sell well was being a quality game with an original setting and beautiful art that provided hours of enjoyable gameplay that didn't resort to manipulative tactics.

    mrondeaujungleroomxkimeLord_AsmodeusBullheadJeep-EepMegaMekzepherinshoeboxjeddyJazz
  • Inquisitor77Inquisitor77 2 x Penny Arcade Fight Club Champion A fixed point in space and timeRegistered User regular
    LOL literally does the exact same thing again.

    Elvenshaekime
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited July 2019
    It's not really relevant what the consumer thinks. The question here would be whether Sony cared that it made money or whether they simply dumped a bunch of money on it, including advertising, in order to move PS4s. Obviously this would be in conjunction with doing that to a bunch of games, since it's not a one-and-done strategy. I mean, they'd love if it made money as always but that's not the point.

    I'm not saying if that's what happened or not, I've no clue. But it's plausible that platform exclusives, especially ones near launch, are developed with less of an eye towards monetization and more of an eye towards selling consoles.

    As a theory it does strike me as being a bit too built around the idea that microtransactions and the like would be negatives for the consumer when it comes to buying a console, given that afaik they are generally cheap to add to a game so it's not a matter of it being too much investment. And the way companies have generally pushed game's development it does not seem to me that they consider adding micros to a game to be any sort of liability overall.

    But on the other hand, it's plausible it's a trade-off at work. Maybe their data shows that micros reduce overall sales numbers (compared to what it could have sold) but bring in the whales and thus bigger profits overall. And launch titles are all about units sold in order to move consoles.

    shryke on
  • FoefallerFoefaller Registered User regular
    HerrCron wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    HerrCron wrote: »
    Foefaller wrote: »
    HerrCron wrote: »
    HerrCron wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    HerrCron wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    Horizon: Zero Dawn exists, didn't rely on loot boxes, and was massively successful financially even when limited to a single platform.

    I am comfortable saying that loot boxes are not at all necessary to make a successful AAA title.

    Horizon: Zero Dawn exists to sell PS4s, and was funded by Sony to exactly that end.
    It's an entirely different proposition to making a multi format title, and comparisons between the two are limited at best.

    Got any proof the game cost more to find than to make? I don't care what the motives behind the funding are. I care whether or not it made more than it cost to make.

    It is estimated to have cost 45 Million USD, according to the games wikipedia page.
    I don't know if that helps you.

    Why would you bother even implying this argument if you have nothing to back it up.

    What on earth are you talking about?

    You dismissed the comparison of Horizon to games like FIFA because console exclusives are typically made to promote the console, and that it is therefore not nessisary for them to make a profit.

    Which is true, but in terms of High quality games being possible without lootboxes, is really only applicable if Horizon Zero Dawn did not, in fact, make a profit. But you made that statement without knowing one way or another if it did.

    I am sure I never said that.
    What I said it's a console exclusive is a different proposition to a multiformat game, and it is.

    That it makes a profit is secondary to promoting the sale of the hardware it is released on, Sony bankrolled it for exactly this reason. Therefore it doesn't map onto why multiplatform games are made.

    That's irrelevant. It was a AAA title, had zero loot boxes, and experienced wild financial success. It's demonstrative of any claims that loot boxes are necessary for AAA games to succeed are simply untrue.

    As long as going forward all AAA games exist only to sell consoles and will be promoted by the platform holders then sure.

    I think most of us here would put the definition of "profitable" to include covering for the advertisement costs/Sony's investment in the project, as well as the cost for development.

    steam_sig.png
    QuidElvenshaeLord_Asmodeus
  • jungleroomxjungleroomx Whoops! P.A.T.W.N.S.E! Whoopsie doodle! Registered User regular
    Yeah it doesn't matter what a game was intending to do if its successful and sells a lot of copies and makes people money.

    The idea that modern AAA titles aren't feasible without monetization because they aren't profitable enough feels really weak.

    P.A.T.W.N.S.E claims another.
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  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    At this point the big players in game publishing operate like companies that produce "Bath Salts". It's technically legal because legislation moves slowly and even though it's dangerous and addictive they figure if they just change it a tiny bit when laws catch up...

    All transactions need to be in real currency. No tokens or parallel money exchange systems.

    All transactions are fully refundable for up to a week.

    Watch it all fall apart because of the basic ethics every business model has to follow.

    Jeep-Eep
  • BurtletoyBurtletoy Registered User regular
    Horizon came out in 2017 and the PS4 in 2013

    Not sure that counts as launch window?

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  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Yeah it doesn't matter what a game was intending to do if its successful and sells a lot of copies and makes people money.

    The idea that modern AAA titles aren't feasible without monetization because they aren't profitable enough feels really weak.

    It's the opposite. It doesn't matter what the game actually does, what matters is what the developers/publishers/etc think it will do and thus how they develop the game to meet their needs given their assumptions. Because all those decisions are made before anyone knows if the game succeeds or not.

    If publishers think that lootboxes and microtransactions make more money and thus better insure the profitability of their investment, they will push for them to be added. It's entirely up to their belief, based in some amount of previous experience and assumptions and so on.

  • tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    Horizon Zero Dawn sold more than 10 million copies. It was a very profitable game. As were games like Uncharted 4, the new Doom and many other games of all categories and platforms.

    Lootboxes allow companies to make MORE money while spending less money.

    "That is cool" - Abraham Lincoln
  • jungleroomxjungleroomx Whoops! P.A.T.W.N.S.E! Whoopsie doodle! Registered User regular
    edited July 2019
    shryke wrote: »
    Yeah it doesn't matter what a game was intending to do if its successful and sells a lot of copies and makes people money.

    The idea that modern AAA titles aren't feasible without monetization because they aren't profitable enough feels really weak.

    It's the opposite. It doesn't matter what the game actually does, what matters is what the developers/publishers/etc think it will do and thus how they develop the game to meet their needs given their assumptions. Because all those decisions are made before anyone knows if the game succeeds or not.

    If publishers think that lootboxes and microtransactions make more money and thus better insure the profitability of their investment, they will push for them to be added. It's entirely up to their belief, based in some amount of previous experience and assumptions and so on.

    No see, what I'm saying is factual accounting, and what you're saying is modern capitalist greed being hand waved because it's the norm and predatory gambling being legalized via loophole is fine because of some RoI garbage.

    And again, a weak argument. Were not talking about "maximizing shareholder value", we're discussing whether studios can survive just on sales alone. And it kinda seems like they can.

    jungleroomx on
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  • evilmrhenryevilmrhenry Registered User regular
    tbloxham wrote: »
    Horizon Zero Dawn sold more than 10 million copies. It was a very profitable game. As were games like Uncharted 4, the new Doom and many other games of all categories and platforms.

    Lootboxes allow companies to make MORE money while spending less money.

    I do wonder about the effects on game flops; less Uncharted 4, and more Haze. A game studio can release about one good game every two years at a minimum. If they manage to mess up that game that's years of revenue down the drain. (And I'm not just talking about game quality. Maybe they release next to a more popular competitor, or develop for the wrong platform, or nobody buys what is otherwise a very good game.) Many studios aren't big enough to absorb a loss at that scale, and I can see the appeal of having your last blockbuster game still pulling in income month after month.

  • -Loki--Loki- Don't pee in my mouth and tell me it's raining. Registered User regular
    tbloxham wrote: »
    Horizon Zero Dawn sold more than 10 million copies. It was a very profitable game. As were games like Uncharted 4, the new Doom and many other games of all categories and platforms.

    Lootboxes allow companies to make MORE money while spending less money.

    I do wonder about the effects on game flops; less Uncharted 4, and more Haze. A game studio can release about one good game every two years at a minimum. If they manage to mess up that game that's years of revenue down the drain. (And I'm not just talking about game quality. Maybe they release next to a more popular competitor, or develop for the wrong platform, or nobody buys what is otherwise a very good game.) Many studios aren't big enough to absorb a loss at that scale, and I can see the appeal of having your last blockbuster game still pulling in income month after month.

    The internet and social media make this even more dangerous. If a group decides they don’t like the game for whatever reason, it’s not hard to get a snowballing negative attitude happening which can kill sales of a perfectly fine game.

  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited July 2019
    If aaa games can't exist without lootboxes, which my copy of Witcher says isn't true, fuck it, we don't need AAA games

    The 40 billion dollar industry can sink into the sea, somehow unable to exist without hundred million dollar game budgets and 400% roi, I'll play Indies and kickstarters

    The AAA industry only provides value in so far as it holds IPs I care about hostage, and even in this mythical world, Sony, Ms, and Nintendo still make AAA games

    override367 on
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  • -Loki--Loki- Don't pee in my mouth and tell me it's raining. Registered User regular
    Kickstarted games are having their own ethics crisis at the moment.

    FANTOMASRMS Oceanicmcdermott
  • HevachHevach Registered User regular
    edited July 2019
    -Loki- wrote: »
    Kickstarted games are having their own ethics crisis at the moment.

    Kickstarted games have been having a chain of ethics crises since the big boom in them a few years ago. From the one that got funded several times over splitting into two games and kickstarting the second half, or the Mighty Number 9 guy going back for more kickstarter money before launch to make another game to do what he promised and ultimately didn't deliver on the first, or the outright scams and pretty much scams, or the high profile failures, or every scandal that has followed Star Citizen for the last thirty five years that it's been making more in crowd funding than it ever will as a finished product.

    The new one is pretty galling but it's hard to even call it the worst, because at least they're selling out through normal industry channels in a way that might help them become sustainably self-funded.

    Hevach on
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    Yeah it doesn't matter what a game was intending to do if its successful and sells a lot of copies and makes people money.

    The idea that modern AAA titles aren't feasible without monetization because they aren't profitable enough feels really weak.

    It's the opposite. It doesn't matter what the game actually does, what matters is what the developers/publishers/etc think it will do and thus how they develop the game to meet their needs given their assumptions. Because all those decisions are made before anyone knows if the game succeeds or not.

    If publishers think that lootboxes and microtransactions make more money and thus better insure the profitability of their investment, they will push for them to be added. It's entirely up to their belief, based in some amount of previous experience and assumptions and so on.

    No see, what I'm saying is factual accounting, and what you're saying is modern capitalist greed being hand waved because it's the norm and predatory gambling being legalized via loophole is fine because of some RoI garbage.

    And again, a weak argument. Were not talking about "maximizing shareholder value", we're discussing whether studios can survive just on sales alone. And it kinda seems like they can.

    No dude, it's not. I frankly don't know wtf you think you are saying here.

    Because we can't see the future, game design decisions are not based on how the game actually performs, they are based on the assumptions and expectations and intentions of the people making them.

    It doesn't matter if lootboxes are necessary. All that is required is that the people making games think they are. If they think they need them, they will put them in the game.

  • FANTOMASFANTOMAS Flan ArgentavisRegistered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    Yeah it doesn't matter what a game was intending to do if its successful and sells a lot of copies and makes people money.

    The idea that modern AAA titles aren't feasible without monetization because they aren't profitable enough feels really weak.

    It's the opposite. It doesn't matter what the game actually does, what matters is what the developers/publishers/etc think it will do and thus how they develop the game to meet their needs given their assumptions. Because all those decisions are made before anyone knows if the game succeeds or not.

    If publishers think that lootboxes and microtransactions make more money and thus better insure the profitability of their investment, they will push for them to be added. It's entirely up to their belief, based in some amount of previous experience and assumptions and so on.

    No see, what I'm saying is factual accounting, and what you're saying is modern capitalist greed being hand waved because it's the norm and predatory gambling being legalized via loophole is fine because of some RoI garbage.

    And again, a weak argument. Were not talking about "maximizing shareholder value", we're discussing whether studios can survive just on sales alone. And it kinda seems like they can.

    No dude, it's not. I frankly don't know wtf you think you are saying here.

    Because we can't see the future, game design decisions are not based on how the game actually performs, they are based on the assumptions and expectations and intentions of the people making them.

    It doesn't matter if lootboxes are necessary. All that is required is that the people making games think they are. If they think they need them, they will put them in the game.

    And if they are legislated out the games, they will find a way to survive as all those other games that surive without them. They are harmfull and not needed, thats all we need.

    jungleroomxHybridJeep-EepLord_Asmodeus
  • jungleroomxjungleroomx Whoops! P.A.T.W.N.S.E! Whoopsie doodle! Registered User regular
    edited July 2019
    shryke wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    Yeah it doesn't matter what a game was intending to do if its successful and sells a lot of copies and makes people money.

    The idea that modern AAA titles aren't feasible without monetization because they aren't profitable enough feels really weak.

    It's the opposite. It doesn't matter what the game actually does, what matters is what the developers/publishers/etc think it will do and thus how they develop the game to meet their needs given their assumptions. Because all those decisions are made before anyone knows if the game succeeds or not.

    If publishers think that lootboxes and microtransactions make more money and thus better insure the profitability of their investment, they will push for them to be added. It's entirely up to their belief, based in some amount of previous experience and assumptions and so on.

    No see, what I'm saying is factual accounting, and what you're saying is modern capitalist greed being hand waved because it's the norm and predatory gambling being legalized via loophole is fine because of some RoI garbage.

    And again, a weak argument. Were not talking about "maximizing shareholder value", we're discussing whether studios can survive just on sales alone. And it kinda seems like they can.

    No dude, it's not. I frankly don't know wtf you think you are saying here.

    Because we can't see the future, game design decisions are not based on how the game actually performs, they are based on the assumptions and expectations and intentions of the people making them.

    It doesn't matter if lootboxes are necessary. All that is required is that the people making games think they are. If they think they need them, they will put them in the game.

    I dont even know what you're arguing for. This is about the legal status of loot boxes and other gambling mechanics and whether they're actually necessary (they arent) for a company to survive in the modern era.

    You're talking about, again, the psychology of modern capitalism and, yes, I absolutely agree that the people making the games think they're necessary. They also think it's necessary to work people to death and then fire them unexpectedly when a project is done, and they also think it's necessary to dress women in a few eye patches and a half yard of material in their games, and they ALSO think it's necessary for every single game protagonist to be Grizzled White Dad Dude.

    What a game dev team thinks is "necessary" is a footnote. They're seeing nothing but benefits for it while its causing actual people harm. So, honestly, fuck what the game devs want and let's keep pushing to legislate lootboxes out of existence.

    jungleroomx on
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  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited July 2019
    I'm sure companies wouldn't be able to survive if we banned lootboxes and they changed zero practices

    Shit, they wouldn't be able to survive if we banned working employees to death if they changed zero practices.

    That's not how anything ever works though, when we banned child labor, factories didn't cease to exist, despite the fact that if you ran the numbers I'm sure you could reasonably conclude that, based upon their revenues and costs, banning child labor would bankrupt them.

    It turns out capitalism is actually fairly well suited to continuing to fulfill demand when constraints are put on it, it doesn't just stop functioning, and if you put no constraints on it every video game would come with a free heroine sample that gave you gamecoins every time you took a hit

    override367 on
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  • DacDac Registered User regular
    edited July 2019
    I'm not even sure that's the case.

    EA was pretty clear to their investors when they pulled mtx lootboxes from Battlefront 2 that it wouldn't have a material detriment on their business.

    Everything suggests that lootbox money was gravy on top. EA and Activision would be fine. The biggest shock would be to their stocks. (Hell, their stocks have already plummeted like a stone after governments started looking at lootboxes.)

    Dac on
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  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    If aaa games can't exist without lootboxes, which my copy of Witcher says isn't true, fuck it, we don't need AAA games

    The 40 billion dollar industry can sink into the sea, somehow unable to exist without hundred million dollar game budgets and 400% roi, I'll play Indies and kickstarters

    The AAA industry only provides value in so far as it holds IPs I care about hostage, and even in this mythical world, Sony, Ms, and Nintendo still make AAA games
    How could I forget Nintendo? A console platform almost devoid of predatory loot box mechanics. Their mobile market is hot garbage, but the switch has been pretty clean if the worst practices.

    ElvenshaeDrovekHeffling
  • jothkijothki Registered User regular
    zepherin wrote: »
    If aaa games can't exist without lootboxes, which my copy of Witcher says isn't true, fuck it, we don't need AAA games

    The 40 billion dollar industry can sink into the sea, somehow unable to exist without hundred million dollar game budgets and 400% roi, I'll play Indies and kickstarters

    The AAA industry only provides value in so far as it holds IPs I care about hostage, and even in this mythical world, Sony, Ms, and Nintendo still make AAA games
    How could I forget Nintendo? A console platform almost devoid of predatory loot box mechanics. Their mobile market is hot garbage, but the switch has been pretty clean if the worst practices.

    Even when they experimented with classical "free to play" paywalls, they still couldn't resist capping the purchases at $30 unlocking everything.

    Elvenshaezepherin
  • OptyOpty Registered User regular
    The AAA lootbox churn is not built on paying for the game you're playing but instead is built for paying for the next game that will be made so that new game can be bigger and make more money so the next game can be bigger and make more money, etc. If at any point a game doesn't pull in enough lootbox revenue then the next game in the chain gets retooled to make more profit at the expense of mechanics. They're following the shareholder's bullshit expectation of infinite growth and "have" to put in these mechanics to keep their shortsighted idiot financial overlords happy. As long as they're legal, those shareholders will say "why aren't you maximizing profits by manipulating people via gambling and addiction? We're going to take our money out of the company if you don't do this unethical-but-legal thing."

    Personally, any anti-lootbox law that only targets digital blind boxes is not going far enough. Walk down any department store's toy aisle and you'll see dozens of blind box toys, all relying on gambling to ensure that you buy more in the hopes that you'll get what you want. Toys that have rarities, where 1 out of 20 of the toys in a brand new box is gold or whatever and there's no way for you as a consumer to know if someone picked it up already, so you may be spending your money for nothing.

    I say if companies want to have random mechanics to "enhance" the purchasing process, then they also need to offer a means to identify exactly what's inside before purchase so people who don't want to play that game can just get what they want and go. The first few sets of blind box/bag toys had ID numbers stamped on them that let you identify the contents due to the manufacturers being new to the whole blind box thing at the time and fucking it up, but I'd say those sorts of things should be legally mandated and make a return.

    Jeep-EepFANTOMASzepherin
  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    Opty wrote: »
    The AAA lootbox churn is not built on paying for the game you're playing but instead is built for paying for the next game that will be made so that new game can be bigger and make more money so the next game can be bigger and make more money, etc. If at any point a game doesn't pull in enough lootbox revenue then the next game in the chain gets retooled to make more profit at the expense of mechanics. They're following the shareholder's bullshit expectation of infinite growth and "have" to put in these mechanics to keep their shortsighted idiot financial overlords happy. As long as they're legal, those shareholders will say "why aren't you maximizing profits by manipulating people via gambling and addiction? We're going to take our money out of the company if you don't do this unethical-but-legal thing."

    Personally, any anti-lootbox law that only targets digital blind boxes is not going far enough. Walk down any department store's toy aisle and you'll see dozens of blind box toys, all relying on gambling to ensure that you buy more in the hopes that you'll get what you want. Toys that have rarities, where 1 out of 20 of the toys in a brand new box is gold or whatever and there's no way for you as a consumer to know if someone picked it up already, so you may be spending your money for nothing.

    I say if companies want to have random mechanics to "enhance" the purchasing process, then they also need to offer a means to identify exactly what's inside before purchase so people who don't want to play that game can just get what they want and go. The first few sets of blind box/bag toys had ID numbers stamped on them that let you identify the contents due to the manufacturers being new to the whole blind box thing at the time and fucking it up, but I'd say those sorts of things should be legally mandated and make a return.

    I've never understood the allure of the blind-box toys. I get it with CCGs and the like, where there are chase cards you're hoping for, but the value of those cards is largely dependent on their use in the larger game. The rare toys in a run of blind-box figurines are just less common. But unless you're buying piles of the things, what does that even mean? If you care which toy of the set you get when you open the box, why not just buy a non-blind-box toy where you can see what you're getting?

    But yeah, I'd be happy to see all randomized products marketed to children either cease to exist or be forced to change their business model, both digital and physical.

    PSN,Steam,Live | CptHamiltonian
  • HefflingHeffling No Pic EverRegistered User regular
    Opty wrote: »
    The AAA lootbox churn is not built on paying for the game you're playing but instead is built for paying for the next game that will be made so that new game can be bigger and make more money so the next game can be bigger and make more money, etc. If at any point a game doesn't pull in enough lootbox revenue then the next game in the chain gets retooled to make more profit at the expense of mechanics. They're following the shareholder's bullshit expectation of infinite growth and "have" to put in these mechanics to keep their shortsighted idiot financial overlords happy. As long as they're legal, those shareholders will say "why aren't you maximizing profits by manipulating people via gambling and addiction? We're going to take our money out of the company if you don't do this unethical-but-legal thing."

    Personally, any anti-lootbox law that only targets digital blind boxes is not going far enough. Walk down any department store's toy aisle and you'll see dozens of blind box toys, all relying on gambling to ensure that you buy more in the hopes that you'll get what you want. Toys that have rarities, where 1 out of 20 of the toys in a brand new box is gold or whatever and there's no way for you as a consumer to know if someone picked it up already, so you may be spending your money for nothing.

    I say if companies want to have random mechanics to "enhance" the purchasing process, then they also need to offer a means to identify exactly what's inside before purchase so people who don't want to play that game can just get what they want and go. The first few sets of blind box/bag toys had ID numbers stamped on them that let you identify the contents due to the manufacturers being new to the whole blind box thing at the time and fucking it up, but I'd say those sorts of things should be legally mandated and make a return.

    I strongly disagree with the bolded. The AAA lootbox churn is built on maximizing profits from a given game, period. It's not there to pay for the next game, or anything else even remotely altruistic. It's to make rich people richer.

    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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  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Indie devs not making phone games adding them in might be using it to fund game development, but if you're talking AAA lootboxes, yeah, absolutely. It's to put into stock dividends and executive bonuses.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    bowen wrote: »
    Indie devs not making phone games adding them in might be using it to fund game development, but if you're talking AAA lootboxes, yeah, absolutely. It's to put into stock dividends and executive bonuses.

    I don't think I've seen an actual indie game with microtransactions. Admittedly I don't play a whole ton of phone games so maybe they're out there and I've just missed them, but the microtransaction/lootbox offenders generally seem to be churned out by the bigger publishers and/or whatever shady companies are the ones who churn out endless clones of popular games with extra monetization added in.

    PSN,Steam,Live | CptHamiltonian
    38thDoekime
  • Jeep-EepJeep-Eep Registered User regular
    bowen wrote: »
    Indie devs not making phone games adding them in might be using it to fund game development, but if you're talking AAA lootboxes, yeah, absolutely. It's to put into stock dividends and executive bonuses.

    I don't think I've seen an actual indie game with microtransactions. Admittedly I don't play a whole ton of phone games so maybe they're out there and I've just missed them, but the microtransaction/lootbox offenders generally seem to be churned out by the bigger publishers and/or whatever shady companies are the ones who churn out endless clones of popular games with extra monetization added in.

    Armello.

    Which is a special kind of stupid, as it took aussie media board money, and that ain't a good look when the Australians are getting twitchy about it...

    I would rather be accused of intransigence than tolerating genocide for the sake of everyone getting along. - @Metzger Meister
    Phoenix-D
  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    edited July 2019
    Jeep-Eep wrote: »
    bowen wrote: »
    Indie devs not making phone games adding them in might be using it to fund game development, but if you're talking AAA lootboxes, yeah, absolutely. It's to put into stock dividends and executive bonuses.

    I don't think I've seen an actual indie game with microtransactions. Admittedly I don't play a whole ton of phone games so maybe they're out there and I've just missed them, but the microtransaction/lootbox offenders generally seem to be churned out by the bigger publishers and/or whatever shady companies are the ones who churn out endless clones of popular games with extra monetization added in.

    Armello.

    Which is a special kind of stupid, as it took aussie media board money, and that ain't a good look when the Australians are getting twitchy about it...

    Care to expand on this? Who is the Aussie Media Board? Why are they giving people money? What precisely are Australians getting twitchy about?

    Like, I can Google up terms, but at least linking an article citing the who's and why's here would be helpful.

    The Wiki page about the game doesn't even include those words. It notes Screen Australia and Film Victoria providing resources, but has nothing to say about any controversy that I saw on a cursory glance.

    Edit: I should note that while the term 'microtransaction' is used in many posts, generally the emphasis seems to be on lootboxes/random elements. Not to speak for the thread, but I haven't seen a lot of outrage at being able to purchase skins/characters/etc in non-random form. Buying a few skins to support the Killing Floor devs, or a fiery cloak in Warframe won't be for everyone, but it worked well enough for me. I mention this because I don't believe Armello has lootboxes, and while I'm aware of there being substantial dlc characters/stuff, I don't recall anything terribly shady (day one dlc style) about their later additions/expansions to the game.

    There can certainly be issues, like selling map packs that split the user base (I believe CoD has done this a bunch of times?), but unless the DLC characters are obnoxiously overpowered, and thus Pay2Win, I don't consider having some paid dlc characters to be on the same level as 'gamble real money for hats'.

    Forar on
    First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKER!
  • jungleroomxjungleroomx Whoops! P.A.T.W.N.S.E! Whoopsie doodle! Registered User regular
    bowen wrote: »
    Indie devs not making phone games adding them in might be using it to fund game development, but if you're talking AAA lootboxes, yeah, absolutely. It's to put into stock dividends and executive bonuses.

    I don't think I've seen an actual indie game with microtransactions. Admittedly I don't play a whole ton of phone games so maybe they're out there and I've just missed them, but the microtransaction/lootbox offenders generally seem to be churned out by the bigger publishers and/or whatever shady companies are the ones who churn out endless clones of popular games with extra monetization added in.

    Path of Exile?

    P.A.T.W.N.S.E claims another.
  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    Clicker Heroes... (2 doesnt have mct through). There are plenty of indy games that have/had mct

    wbBv3fj.png
    shryke
  • evilmrhenryevilmrhenry Registered User regular
    Goumindong wrote: »
    Clicker Heroes... (2 doesnt have mct through). There are plenty of indy games that have/had mct

    Most (though not all) Idle/Clicker games have reoccurring microtransactions, and Clicker Heroes 2 made headlines specifically for rejecting them.

    I think the actual deal here is that reoccurring microtransactions only work if you can get players invested for a really long time, and you usually need an actual team in place to create enough content for that. Idle/Clicker games, however, are usually designed to require weeks, months, or even years to "beat", while being able to be developed by a small team. This makes them a good fit for reoccurring microtransactions.

    Lootboxes in an indie 2D platformer make about as much sense as lootboxes in a AAA 6 hour FPS; the relevant reason isn't the indieness of the title, but that it's a contained experience, with a defined ending.

  • Jeep-EepJeep-Eep Registered User regular
    edited July 2019
    Forar wrote: »
    Jeep-Eep wrote: »
    bowen wrote: »
    Indie devs not making phone games adding them in might be using it to fund game development, but if you're talking AAA lootboxes, yeah, absolutely. It's to put into stock dividends and executive bonuses.

    I don't think I've seen an actual indie game with microtransactions. Admittedly I don't play a whole ton of phone games so maybe they're out there and I've just missed them, but the microtransaction/lootbox offenders generally seem to be churned out by the bigger publishers and/or whatever shady companies are the ones who churn out endless clones of popular games with extra monetization added in.

    Armello.

    Which is a special kind of stupid, as it took aussie media board money, and that ain't a good look when the Australians are getting twitchy about it...

    Care to expand on this? Who is the Aussie Media Board? Why are they giving people money? What precisely are Australians getting twitchy about?

    Like, I can Google up terms, but at least linking an article citing the who's and why's here would be helpful.

    The Wiki page about the game doesn't even include those words. It notes Screen Australia and Film Victoria providing resources, but has nothing to say about any controversy that I saw on a cursory glance.

    Edit: I should note that while the term 'microtransaction' is used in many posts, generally the emphasis seems to be on lootboxes/random elements. Not to speak for the thread, but I haven't seen a lot of outrage at being able to purchase skins/characters/etc in non-random form. Buying a few skins to support the Killing Floor devs, or a fiery cloak in Warframe won't be for everyone, but it worked well enough for me. I mention this because I don't believe Armello has lootboxes, and while I'm aware of there being substantial dlc characters/stuff, I don't recall anything terribly shady (day one dlc style) about their later additions/expansions to the game.

    There can certainly be issues, like selling map packs that split the user base (I believe CoD has done this a bunch of times?), but unless the DLC characters are obnoxiously overpowered, and thus Pay2Win, I don't consider having some paid dlc characters to be on the same level as 'gamble real money for hats'.

    The controversy isn't there, yet - honestly, it's bretty slimy, but it went under the radar, as they tried to do an Overwatch on the cheap . And yes, they have lootboxes.

    Tried to refund on steam on account of that; my free trial prevented that, much to my irritation.

    Edit: Quoting Professor Micheal on the Jimquisition discord on the subject (formatted for readability):
    As you probably know, Armello had a Kickstarter to fund it. And one of the backer incentives were a set of playable characters that would not be available to the general playerbase. This created an obvious balance problem for a competitive multiplayer game, since characters have different traits and such. Their solution, after supposedly discussing it privately with their backers (I wouldn't know, I didn't back the game because I didn't know about the Kickstarter or the game back then), was to release it as a paid DLC pack.

    This basically gave the game pay to win shades, and what was worse was the pricing was pretty steep. The base game was $20, and the backer character pack was HALF of that, at $10.
    But then it got worse when they released their first open character pack for the same price. You see, they had not balance tested this one, and one of the characters at the time was grossly overpowered. Full pay to win mode was active (up until they finally patched it a few months down the line).
    This was about the time they introduced lootboxes into the game, FYI.

    Meanwhile they had issues on another front - their Kickstarter had promised full releases for multiple digital platforms, including both Steam and GOG. Except that they had tied online matchmaking in the Steam version to the Steam DRM, which posed huge issues with the GOG release (since, you know, GOG is DRM free).
    Their solution was to market a "special GOG edition" which did not have online matchmaking or the ability to crossplay with the Steam version. This was the point where people started getting pissed off, to the point where League of Geeks (the company behind Armello) were stuck having to offer refunds for the GOG version.
    And while all this was going on, they were getting a little too big for their britches in another way. You see, they were planning to release expanded universe content for Armello - things like novels, comics, short stories, and so on. If you combine that with the lootboxes and other aspects, you start to see why I brought up Overwatch - these guys were aping the same model. Basic online gameplay fueled by microtransactions, an expanded story outside the games...

    And given the timing (again, this wasn't in the initial release), it's not hard to look at it and think that they saw specifically what Overwatch was doing, and they were copying it. And being an indie studio without the same level of resources that Blizzard had, their effort to use the same model looks worse because they drew on government grants, Kickstarter money, and Steam's network support instead of doing it all themselves.

    Jeep-Eep on
    I would rather be accused of intransigence than tolerating genocide for the sake of everyone getting along. - @Metzger Meister
  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    Upon further Google'ing, they do indeed have lootboxes. That's a shame.

    I'm still curious where this Aussie outrage is coming from, and who the Australia Media Board is. That didn't sound like a 'flying under the radar' element to the tale.

    The post regarding what they've been up to is not ideal, and clearly the team had some missteps, but 'uh, we can't force Steam and GoG versions to work together' seems like it's out of their hands (and if they promised to make this work previously, that would be rather naive, imo).

    I kind of roll my eyes at the complaint about the cost of the Kickstarter characters. Let me guess, where they Kickstarter Exclusive characters? Because if they were (and yes, this is a whole other 'thing'), Kickstarter backers will lose their fucking minds if you make an 'exclusive' openly available. Some won't mind, many won't give a shit either way, but it's all but guaranteed that a small but vocal group will go full Lord of the Flies in the comments. They will publicly and repeatedly shit on everything with a goal of burning your business to the ground for the slight against them.

    Frankly I'm surprised they were willing to take the risk of selling them at all. And if it's not just skins (as it seems to be in this case), as a regular Kickstarter user myself, I applaud the choice to do so. If it's just a unique mini, skin, or 'upgrade from wooden doodads to metal doodads', who cares, but actually locking away game mechanics as KS Exclusives is kind of shitty, and I wish companies would stop doing that.

    First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKER!
  • OptyOpty Registered User regular
    Heffling wrote: »
    Opty wrote: »
    The AAA lootbox churn is not built on paying for the game you're playing but instead is built for paying for the next game that will be made so that new game can be bigger and make more money so the next game can be bigger and make more money, etc. If at any point a game doesn't pull in enough lootbox revenue then the next game in the chain gets retooled to make more profit at the expense of mechanics. They're following the shareholder's bullshit expectation of infinite growth and "have" to put in these mechanics to keep their shortsighted idiot financial overlords happy. As long as they're legal, those shareholders will say "why aren't you maximizing profits by manipulating people via gambling and addiction? We're going to take our money out of the company if you don't do this unethical-but-legal thing."

    Personally, any anti-lootbox law that only targets digital blind boxes is not going far enough. Walk down any department store's toy aisle and you'll see dozens of blind box toys, all relying on gambling to ensure that you buy more in the hopes that you'll get what you want. Toys that have rarities, where 1 out of 20 of the toys in a brand new box is gold or whatever and there's no way for you as a consumer to know if someone picked it up already, so you may be spending your money for nothing.

    I say if companies want to have random mechanics to "enhance" the purchasing process, then they also need to offer a means to identify exactly what's inside before purchase so people who don't want to play that game can just get what they want and go. The first few sets of blind box/bag toys had ID numbers stamped on them that let you identify the contents due to the manufacturers being new to the whole blind box thing at the time and fucking it up, but I'd say those sorts of things should be legally mandated and make a return.

    I strongly disagree with the bolded. The AAA lootbox churn is built on maximizing profits from a given game, period. It's not there to pay for the next game, or anything else even remotely altruistic. It's to make rich people richer.

    Where'd you get altruistic from what I wrote? When they want to use it to pay for a new game, they want that new game to provide the same sort of loot boxes but with the bonuses of costing an additional $60 up front and clearing out your inventory so you need to buy and/or grind out everything all over again. They will repeat this cycle as much as they are able, using the money from one game to fund the next, hoping that the next is closer to Fortnite than it is to Battleborn.

  • Jeep-EepJeep-Eep Registered User regular
    edited July 2019
    Forar wrote: »
    Upon further Google'ing, they do indeed have lootboxes. That's a shame.

    I'm still curious where this Aussie outrage is coming from, and who the Australia Media Board is. That didn't sound like a 'flying under the radar' element to the tale.

    No outrage right now, but ' made extralegal gambling mechanics with taxpayer's money' has the potential to be.... explosive. Edit: and with their loot horseshit, I am a whole lot less willing to give League of Geeks any benefit of doubt on P2W shenanigans.

    Jeep-Eep on
    I would rather be accused of intransigence than tolerating genocide for the sake of everyone getting along. - @Metzger Meister
  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    What taxpayer money? Like I get you imply something happened. The rest of the world has no idea what you are talking about.

    It doesn't make any sense to me within the context provided?

    Does Australia give money to game developers and then require certain standards be met? Is it like that weird TV tax that pays for the BBC?

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