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Lootboxes, Microtransactions, and [Gambling in Gaming]

13468942

Posts

  • HefflingHeffling No Pic EverRegistered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    This really is a situation where we can effect change by just not buying this stuff anymore. We'll lose some games but simply avoiding the casino, as a community, will work.

    Keep in mind that, while innocuous appearing, the companies involved are preying on whales that will spend thousands or tens of thousands on their games because they are hooked on the addictive behaviour. You're basically arguing that we could eliminate the national epidemic with tobacco related diseases just by quitting smoking, or eliminate much of the national opioid epidemic by quitting heroin. It's not going to happen, because as you're not directly impacted by what's going on, you don't understand how detrimental this can be.

    And understand, I use the word addiction carefully. I know someone that spent over $5,000 USD on Kongregate one year, and over $7,000 on Kongregate the next year. They lived in a shitty one bedroom trailer, ate ramen for most meals, and found their only success in life through Kongregate. It was terribly self-destructive behaviour just as is seen with drug users. And when he tried to quit, he went through many of the same issues as someone quitting drugs. Addiction has huge psychological components that most people don't understand and can't sympathize with.

    And companies will shield themselves from public backlash by pushing the public perception to be not that my friend was addicted to Kongregate, but that he had impulse control issues and all Kongregate was doing was selling MTX to reasonable people who could afford it.

    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?
    milskiFeral38thDoecaligynefobCaptain InertiaKristmas KthulhuJuliusNyysjanYoshisummonsLord_AsmodeusSo It GoesAistanVeagleGennenalyse RuebenshrykeElldrenshoeboxjeddy
  • PolaritiePolaritie Sleepy Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    This really is a situation where we can effect change by just not buying this stuff anymore. We'll lose some games but simply avoiding the casino, as a community, will work.

    That probably won't work. Flare ups like Battlefront will be forgotten soon enough. The only real answer is regulation.

    We got here by buying the stuff. It's like this because we made it like this.


    Make it not like this.

    No, we aren't buying the stuff. The majority of the money is spent by a minority of the players. As long as there are whales in the sea... and of course the whales are generally the ones vulnerable to the psychological problems the systems exploit (which is how they become whales, or broke).

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  • PolaritiePolaritie Sleepy Registered User regular
    discrider wrote: »
    Enc wrote: »
    An hour and 15 minutes into this this, and I'm far from an expert, but I suspect it is more the gamification of gambling behaviors than the inherent odds of the games themselves.
    So, getting far afield, but the slot machines in Pokemon have made me less likely to gamble, just because it taught me to pick up on the shit that the machines do to prevent a win.

    When the screen blanked and your last slot didn't stop on a 7 it was time to switch to another slot.

    And so now when there's that slight input delay on the STACK'EM machine that prevents a major prize, or the claw doesn't have any power to pick up the plush toy, that's not a call to put in another credit, that's a call to walk away.
    And I expect the same happens on proper casino machines.

    Yes and no? I think proper casino machines are better at making it seamless. But the mechanisms are absolutely rigged - the payout rate is set by the casino and the software will guarantee (and is legally required to) that payout rate. There is no skill involved, but there isn't any cheating happening either. It rolls dice to determine the outcome and then displays a corresponding result, more or less (iirc).

    That's different from claw games and the like that are 100% rigged as fuck against the player. It's odd to be saying casinos are more honest than those... but I think they are. But only because the law keeps a very close eye on them.

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  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    edited November 2017
    Xaquin wrote: »
    dispatch.o wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    This really is a situation where we can effect change by just not buying this stuff anymore. We'll lose some games but simply avoiding the casino, as a community, will work.

    I agree, but you can't treat someone as a free willed customer if they have a compulsive behavior issue. Especially if you start considering some of it is bordering on addiction. The hope that for example, people will one day just stop buying cigarettes.

    I'm not sure what the solution is. If a solution is even something people care about.

    Edit: I know way too many people who hate HATE buying micro-content and quality of life DLC... but they can either give up their hobby or suck it up.

    It's not like there aren't games without micro transactions

    There are also numerous games with microtransactions that you can play with out buying the latest skin

    Yeah, sure. It's just that while you or I may not need Mei's newest event skin, to the person with compulsive behavior even though they know they don't need it and hate themselves, they will buy boxes until they get it anyway. Behaviors which can be caused by medication side effects in totally normal people. The only way to avoid loot crates/boxes/bags/pods/whatever in current generation gaming is to only play things 6+ years old that have hopefully not had them backwards-implemented. It's not a logical behavior, but it's why gambling is fucking dangerous.

    It's extra insane because the cost to manufacture a model or skin is effectively 0$. Sure there's the original creation cost... but beyond that there's absolutely no reason to make certain bits more "rare" than other bits. They can't be traded, they can't be sold, they don't cost any additional resources to create. It's literally giving a company money in exchange for something you can never hold to value. At least casinos are up front about it and the law requires they pay out winnings in currency.


    If instead of paying out dollars, casinos gave you random single fancy socks that you can't wear out of the establishment or ever let anyone else wear.

    Edit: I've spent my fair share on videogames, dlc and expansions. Usually because I find the experience entertaining and it to be worth while. In specific cases I'll do a kickstarter or buy a gift copy for someone because I want to support the company. I think it's substantially different to buy additional meaningful content, though there has been a pretty fair share of companies willing to carve out already produced assets to then sell back later.

    dispatch.o on
    Julius
  • PhyphorPhyphor Building Planet Busters Tasting FruitRegistered User regular
    Heffling wrote: »
    Polaritie wrote: »
    Phyphor wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    Makes me think of the Borderlands 2 actual slot machines...

    Those didn't take real money though!

    BL series is a bit odd in that their actual game currency is nearly worthless

    I think the slot machines are literally the most useful thing you can do with it.

    That's not true at all. The most efficient way to farm legendaries was to check the vendors in the main city hub and possibly one or two other fast travel spots, then quit and restart. You needed cash for that.

    Of course, this is just a different, more advanced form of gambling.

    I don't recall seeing anything better than rare at a vendor

    Anyway, the actual best way to farm high quality weapons is to cheat. Make your profile read-only on PC and you get infinite golden keys since it can't write back the new value

    Magic Box
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  • milskimilski Their Will comes, at last, to Earth, to the Neath, as a storm crosses the sea. Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    This really is a situation where we can effect change by just not buying this stuff anymore. We'll lose some games but simply avoiding the casino, as a community, will work.

    That probably won't work. Flare ups like Battlefront will be forgotten soon enough. The only real answer is regulation.

    We got here by buying the stuff. It's like this because we made it like this.


    Make it not like this.

    The problem is that predatory lootboxes... don't care about most individuals? Freemium games, depending on how well they're made and how clever they are, are looking at a 2-5% player conversion rate into spending any money at all. I imagine Battlefront was hoping to leverage a big IP and sunk costs for charging $60 bucks to achieve more of that, so you could maybe expect the major majors to have 10% of players paying any money (same for Hearthstone and League, I'd imagine).

    Those people are whales propping up the whole industry, and may have a problem with compulsive gambling. Saying that self regulation can work is basically asking the people successfully targeted by systems that trigger compulsive purchases to... stop doing that? And if we expected that to work, we'd still have slot machines in supermarkets.

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  • DacDac Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    This really is a situation where we can effect change by just not buying this stuff anymore. We'll lose some games but simply avoiding the casino, as a community, will work.

    That probably won't work. Flare ups like Battlefront will be forgotten soon enough. The only real answer is regulation.

    We got here by buying the stuff. It's like this because we made it like this.


    Make it not like this.

    Unfortunately people are people.

    18j48weujcgewjpg.jpg

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  • danxdanx Registered User regular
    edited November 2017
    spool32 wrote: »
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    This really is a situation where we can effect change by just not buying this stuff anymore. We'll lose some games but simply avoiding the casino, as a community, will work.

    That probably won't work. Flare ups like Battlefront will be forgotten soon enough. The only real answer is regulation.

    We got here by buying the stuff. It's like this because we made it like this.


    Make it not like this.

    Firstly we got here by a small portion of the player base buying the stuff. They spend enough to make it worthwhile to screw over game mechanics and general player satisfaction to make it worth it until now. Secondly loot boxes are in all sorts of games from $60 to free to play games at all kinds of production values and budgets.

    A consumer boycott might work on a Star Wars title if the license holder buckles at bad press or EA don't sell enough to cover initial costs but that would still leave a lot of free to play, mid tier and other AAA games all looking to directly or using peer pressure to recruit a social group in the hopes of hooking a whale. They added loot boxes to league a while ago to make even more money and it's working. You want people to stop playing league? Good luck!

    Riot has a daily limit to the number of boxes to "save user's from themselves" but also claim that if people buy too many boxes and don't get anything they want they experience buyer's remorse. At some point in the future emotes which are currently for sale directly will also be available in their crates which will 'help' with that but the daily limit will remain.

    Loot boxes are also only one type of monetisation scheme aimed at exploiting a small group of people. A sizeable chunk of EA's revenue comes from whales on their large free to play game portfolio. If they can't get people with loot crates they'll just go back to that sort of thing in premium products while continuing to expand their free to play portfolio and exploitation will continue.

    The industry has repeatedly failed to restrain and regulate itself so the only reliable way to combat this is regulation. If you want to see what a company will do with loot boxes and monetisation look at Valve. Valve have experimented with loot boxes and f2p more than anyone else (in the western world at least. I'm not familiar with systems in Asia). They had problems with fraudulent purchases and their resale market affecting purchases in Dota so they now put trading time limits on certain items from many seasonal boxes but some ultra rare items cannot be not traded at all (some rare/ultra rares can be traded). All sets/items in a a box containing N normal rarity items can be collected by buying N of those boxes. Purchases beyond that are random. Each treasure (box) can contain rare and ultra rare items which have only a chance to drop. Chances now increase on those boxes each time you don't receive a rare item but reset when you do.

    It's been fairly consistent for a while now but they do change the system and what restrictions are applied and changes to the system are not usually retroactive so old treasures have different mechanics. Really this is just a drop in the bucket to the other things they do. The addition of gambling mechanics to battle passes really soured me on the game. By the 2017 International Dota 2 Battle Passes had morphed into gambling machines. Levels increased by a limited number of quests or gambling on the outcome of your own games with a weekly reset of gambling tokens which increased with at certain levels (more successful or invested players are rewarded with more gambling by the increase in size of their weekly token pool). Levels rewarding shots at roulette wheel or other gambling games rewarding levels or items. Gambling rewarding gambling rewarding more gambling. They added the IO Companion Cube Arcana (essentially a special skin) which was available for a limited time and could be earned by leveling up (via a lot of matches and wagering on those matches) but if you didn't make it in time or wanted to be sure you could level up with cash. In order to earn it without buying more levels you had to play a ton of games all the while betting on your games (and doing daily challenges which rewarded a small amount). That's a ton of exposure.

    I don't mean to derail the thread by mentioning these particular companies, especially Valve which tends to evoke a very strong emotional response. I just wanted to point out the Battlefront thing is the tip of a very very large iceberg as far as these schemes go.

    danx on
    shryke
  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    Polaritie wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    This really is a situation where we can effect change by just not buying this stuff anymore. We'll lose some games but simply avoiding the casino, as a community, will work.

    That probably won't work. Flare ups like Battlefront will be forgotten soon enough. The only real answer is regulation.

    We got here by buying the stuff. It's like this because we made it like this.


    Make it not like this.

    No, we aren't buying the stuff. The majority of the money is spent by a minority of the players. As long as there are whales in the sea... and of course the whales are generally the ones vulnerable to the psychological problems the systems exploit (which is how they become whales, or broke).

    Battlefront 2 can't survive on whales alone!

    Maybe what we need to do is pressure the journalism side of things. Start classifying loot box gambling games as their own genre, regardless of what they claim to be. If we can get a sort of scarlet G attached to the titles they won't go away... but they will be reduced and maybe we can halt the creep into AAA titles.

    AridholXaquin
  • milskimilski Their Will comes, at last, to Earth, to the Neath, as a storm crosses the sea. Registered User regular
    edited November 2017
    spool32 wrote: »
    Polaritie wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    This really is a situation where we can effect change by just not buying this stuff anymore. We'll lose some games but simply avoiding the casino, as a community, will work.

    That probably won't work. Flare ups like Battlefront will be forgotten soon enough. The only real answer is regulation.

    We got here by buying the stuff. It's like this because we made it like this.


    Make it not like this.

    No, we aren't buying the stuff. The majority of the money is spent by a minority of the players. As long as there are whales in the sea... and of course the whales are generally the ones vulnerable to the psychological problems the systems exploit (which is how they become whales, or broke).

    Battlefront 2 can't survive on whales alone!

    Maybe what we need to do is pressure the journalism side of things. Start classifying loot box gambling games as their own genre, regardless of what they claim to be. If we can get a sort of scarlet G attached to the titles they won't go away... but they will be reduced and maybe we can halt the creep into AAA titles.

    Battlefront 2 is a very specific example with a huge host of factors that made it into a tipping point, and I don't think that it is a generalizable example of how boycotts can work. Its a nakedly greedy, pay-for-power system by a much hated publisher on a much loved IP with huge, AAA development costs and a $60 initial pricetag. Boycotting Battlefront 2 doesn't mean the same sort of predatory systems will fall out of favor in freemium games, or in DotA, or regress to just selling lootbox skins like Overwatch. And yes, whales alone don't drive an ecosystem, but outside of AAA games they're practically the only target of these systems and the rest of the game is designed around not offending non-whales so much they leave before they can be converted/can win a multiplayer match against somebody who can be converted.

    E: Also, dumb analogy, but Battlefront 2 and other games can't survive on whales alone the same way the alcohol industry can't survive on alcoholics alone. It doesn't mean it isn't predatory or dependent on them for a vast majority of revenue.

    milski on
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  • DrascinDrascin Registered User regular
    milski wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    Polaritie wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    This really is a situation where we can effect change by just not buying this stuff anymore. We'll lose some games but simply avoiding the casino, as a community, will work.

    That probably won't work. Flare ups like Battlefront will be forgotten soon enough. The only real answer is regulation.

    We got here by buying the stuff. It's like this because we made it like this.


    Make it not like this.

    No, we aren't buying the stuff. The majority of the money is spent by a minority of the players. As long as there are whales in the sea... and of course the whales are generally the ones vulnerable to the psychological problems the systems exploit (which is how they become whales, or broke).

    Battlefront 2 can't survive on whales alone!

    Maybe what we need to do is pressure the journalism side of things. Start classifying loot box gambling games as their own genre, regardless of what they claim to be. If we can get a sort of scarlet G attached to the titles they won't go away... but they will be reduced and maybe we can halt the creep into AAA titles.

    Battlefront 2 is a very specific example with a huge host of factors that made it into a tipping point, and I don't think that it is a generalizable example of how boycotts can work. Its a nakedly greedy, pay-for-power system by a much hated publisher on a much loved IP with huge, AAA development costs and a $60 initial pricetag. Boycotting Battlefront 2 doesn't mean the same sort of predatory systems will fall out of favor in freemium games, or in DotA, or regress to just selling lootbox skins like Overwatch. And yes, whales alone don't drive an ecosystem, but outside of AAA games they're practically the only target of these systems and the rest of the game is designed around not offending non-whales so much they leave before they can be converted/can win a multiplayer match against somebody who can be converted.

    E: Also, dumb analogy, but Battlefront 2 and other games can't survive on whales alone the same way the alcohol industry can't survive on alcoholics alone. It doesn't mean it isn't predatory or dependent on them for a vast majority of revenue.

    A way to look at it that a developer told me is this:

    In a freemium multiplayer game, the whales and dolphins are your consumers. The free players are content. You need enough content for the whales to feel it's worth whaling, so you should make sure to not offend the free players too much (and this is where EA fucked up), but at the end of the day they're the NPCs, not the players you're targeting.

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  • HeatwaveHeatwave Come, now, and walk the path of explosions with me!Registered User regular
    Australia so far has two differing views on loot boxes

    Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation says its gambling but out of their jurisdiction

    https://www.reddit.com/r/Games/comments/7emmyz/i_contacted_the_victorian_commission_for_gambling/

    I'm a bit confused with this one as the products are being physically sold in the country and EA has servers here somewhere as well.

    Anyway, Queensland's Gambling and Liquor Regulator however says lootboxes are not considered gambling according to current legislation

    https://www.kotaku.com.au/2017/11/queenslands-gambling-regulator-doesnt-think-loot-boxes-are-gambling/

    It sounds like in order for any action to be taken the legislation would need to be amended to include micro transactions such as loot boxes

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  • ElkiElki get busy Moderator, ClubPA mod
    I don't have a strong opinion on how to regulate lootboxes, but I hate them because I love to gamble. No cards or slots, but I enjoy putting down the occasional bet on sports; when I am betting on sports, though, it's something that I'm doing intentionally. So when I start playing some video game, and it gives me a lootbox and makes me ride that familiar gambler's rollercoaster of emotions and presents me with the option of paying to do it again, I resent it. Gambling isn't what I came for, but they made me do it anyways.

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  • caligynefobcaligynefob DKRegistered User regular
    Heatwave wrote: »
    Australia so far has two differing views on loot boxes

    Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation says its gambling but out of their jurisdiction

    https://www.reddit.com/r/Games/comments/7emmyz/i_contacted_the_victorian_commission_for_gambling/

    I'm a bit confused with this one as the products are being physically sold in the country and EA has servers here somewhere as well.

    Anyway, Queensland's Gambling and Liquor Regulator however says lootboxes are not considered gambling according to current legislation

    https://www.kotaku.com.au/2017/11/queenslands-gambling-regulator-doesnt-think-loot-boxes-are-gambling/

    It sounds like in order for any action to be taken the legislation would need to be amended to include micro transactions such as loot boxes

    Yeah, I took a look at the current gambling regulation in Denmark as well due to this thread and the legal definitions just doesn't cover lootboxes.

    The EU is very consumer friendly, so I think there will be a push to regulate this on a supranational level (like it has been seen with microtransactions in mobile games).

    PS4 - Mrfuzzyhat
  • tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    To me the correct answer seems to be that every game listed on any ‘real’ app store should exist in one of two price groups.

    Group 1

    Price today
    Maximum out of pocket lifetime

    So, for example, Wolfenstein 2 might be...

    $50 today
    $200 Maximum out of pocket lifetime

    Group 2

    Monthly subscription price
    Maximum monthly payment

    So, world of Warcraft might be...

    $12 a month
    $20 maximum monthly payment

    A freemium game like candy crush might be...

    $0 a month
    $20 maximum monthly payment

    There should then be a cap on all categories other than the initial price. I’d probably shift zero monthly payment games into their own section of the store, and have a filter put in place that would prevent you from seeing them unless you turned it off.

    "That is cool" - Abraham Lincoln
  • Captain InertiaCaptain Inertia Registered User regular
    edited November 2017
    It's less the prices and more exploiting people attuned to addictive/compulsive behavior and taking all their money.

    Sorry, not a very productive comment. This is just incredibly personal for me. It's very obvious so many aren't affected like me because they keep seeing the issue as one of "gambling" and "price" while I see it as greedy evil people enabling addicts (including whole data science teams dedicated to optimizing spend!), without care for the ruinous effects because profit.

    Captain Inertia on
  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    An out-of-pocket maximum would be exactly what the game companies *don't* want because they make their money off "whales" (addicts.)

    DelmainV1mshrykeJeep-Eep
  • BurnageBurnage Registered User regular
    An out-of-pocket maximum would be exactly what the game companies *don't* want because they make their money off "whales" (addicts.)

    It'd absolutely fuck some business models, although one way to look at things is that if a game can't survive without taking advantage of addicts then maybe it shouldn't survive.

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  • tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    An out-of-pocket maximum would be exactly what the game companies *don't* want because they make their money off "whales" (addicts.)

    Yes, I'm saying we explicitly need to stop that. It's bad for the health of gaming, bad for the people being preyed upon and is without question unregulated gambling.

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    Jeep-Eep
  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    Burnage wrote: »
    An out-of-pocket maximum would be exactly what the game companies *don't* want because they make their money off "whales" (addicts.)

    It'd absolutely fuck some business models, although one way to look at things is that if a game can't survive without taking advantage of addicts then maybe it shouldn't survive.

    Then don't buy them. I don't.

    Xaquinspool32
  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    I'd have to go looking for the article, but I recall reading one 'behind the scenes' talk from a developer of a mobile or Facebook game that touched on the whale phenomenon. It went on to say that not only were whales a substantial portion of their business model, but that they actively targeted them directly. In one case, to the degree of doing what they could to find out who the person was in order to learn more about them, what their favourite sports team was in order to have an event or item or sale that utilized that knowledge to hopefully induce the player to pay more.

    My point being, it's not just 'they cast a wide net and some poor souls get caught in it to the tune of hundreds or thousands of dollars a month', but that if you're a big enough fish in that particular pond you might be actively hunted. It's not just happenstance that some of these people might get swept up, that's the system potentially working as intended.

    To touch back on the absurdity of these 'microtransactions' in mobile games, how about some examples from one of the bigger ones going right now; Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes.

    Are you a bit behind on a few characters? Why not get 6% of the resources you need to get them to the peak of one of several power curves for a mere $14?

    3nep4dpy3i2v.jpg

    Or maybe you need to get ahead of the game for a new mode they just introduced (which isn't remotely properly tested, has a pile of bugs, and appears to be overtuned in difficulty to an absurd degree)? Note, the expensive one only contains ~16% of the resources necessary for that same step towards '7 stars' (again, one of 4 methods of increasing a character's power). Oh, and that same pack contains those 'shards' for 2 different characters, one of which is hot off the presses, the other has been available for years. Meaning a substantial portion of the 'value' is likely wasted on many players, especially those dedicated enough to even consider that kind of expense.

    4yjhs3swnvek.jpg

    Or how about one that gives you that same 16% but across 6 different characters (note; you can only use 5 at a time). Totally a 'micro' transaction.

    g5p4jm4e24lu.jpg

    I doubt many people here need to be told how obnoxious in app purchases have gotten, we've known of the 'lawl kid spent like a thousand dollars on smurfberries' tales going back years, but you can spend literally hundreds of dollars and only get incremental improvements to those characters. Again, for the price of a brand new fucking game console, you can provide small improvements to at most a dozen or so characters in a game that has nearly 140 of them, and adds more on a regular basis. A game that, according to google/Reddit, may well be earning them a quarter million with In App Purchases every day. If true, that's ~$90 million dollars a year for a mobile game.

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  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    those fucking prices

    are those real?

    I'd be ashamed as a company and a human being to make shitty DLC cost more than twice the price of the actual game

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  • NyysjanNyysjan FinlandRegistered User regular
    Burnage wrote: »
    An out-of-pocket maximum would be exactly what the game companies *don't* want because they make their money off "whales" (addicts.)

    It'd absolutely fuck some business models, although one way to look at things is that if a game can't survive without taking advantage of addicts then maybe it shouldn't survive.

    Then don't buy them. I don't.
    Most don't.
    But the addicts do.
    So either we regulate gambling in games, including lootboxes, or we say "fuck addicts, not my problem".

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  • DacDac Registered User regular
    Xaquin wrote: »
    those fucking prices

    are those real?

    I'd be ashamed as a company and a human being to make shitty DLC cost more than twice the price of the actual game

    Of course they're real.

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  • Captain InertiaCaptain Inertia Registered User regular
    I spent over $15k on 3 mobile games.

    So...

  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    edited November 2017
    Xaquin wrote: »
    those fucking prices

    are those real?

    I'd be ashamed as a company and a human being to make shitty DLC cost more than twice the price of the actual game

    Oh, those aren't for Battlefront 2.

    Those are for Galaxy of Heroes, a game that is "free 2 play".

    Sure, it's free to download and start up... but they totally want people to pay a hell of a lot more.

    Edit: and as noted, it's not just DLC, that's for a fraction of a character. Hell, it might not even be enough to 'unlock' them, as has been the case in some instances in the past. Meaning you could piss away $20 or more and have literally nothing usable in game to show for it. For what might well be the price of a Triple A title during a Steam sale (or a whole bunch of them).

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  • SpawnbrokerSpawnbroker Registered User regular
    It's easy to say "don't buy something" when you're not personally affected by a compulsive behavior. It's similar to telling a heroin addict to not buy heroin; it's not really that simple.

    And when these games are free to download, what's stopping an existing addict from trying it out just this one time?

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  • DacDac Registered User regular
    It's easy to say "don't buy something" when you're not personally affected by a compulsive behavior. It's similar to telling a heroin addict to not buy heroin; it's not really that simple.

    And when these games are free to download, what's stopping an existing addict from trying it out just this one time?

    Yeah, I was going to say. The answer of 'just don't buy them' on loot boxes, for the vulnerable, is like constantly sliding drinks in front of an alcoholic and saying they don't have to buy them.

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  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    edited November 2017
    Nyysjan wrote: »
    Burnage wrote: »
    An out-of-pocket maximum would be exactly what the game companies *don't* want because they make their money off "whales" (addicts.)

    It'd absolutely fuck some business models, although one way to look at things is that if a game can't survive without taking advantage of addicts then maybe it shouldn't survive.

    Then don't buy them. I don't.
    Most don't.
    But the addicts do.
    So either we regulate gambling in games, including lootboxes, or we say "fuck addicts, not my problem".

    If no-one else played them, neither would the addicts, because ghost towns are no fun.

    Everyone is leaping on me saying that I'm blaming addicts. That's not the point I was making. I was talking about people with moral objections to the game.

    CelestialBadger on
  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    Forar wrote: »
    Xaquin wrote: »
    those fucking prices

    are those real?

    I'd be ashamed as a company and a human being to make shitty DLC cost more than twice the price of the actual game

    Oh, those aren't for Battlefront 2.

    Those are for Galaxy of Heroes, a game that is "free 2 play".

    Sure, it's free to download and start up... but they totally want people to pay a hell of a lot more.

    Edit: and as noted, it's not just DLC, that's for a fraction of a character. Hell, it might not even be enough to 'unlock' them, as has been the case in some instances in the past. Meaning you could piss away $20 or more and have literally nothing usable in game to show for it. For what might well be the price of a Triple A title during a Steam sale (or a whole bunch of them).

    ugh

    Fry
  • daveNYCdaveNYC Why universe hate Waspinator? Registered User regular
    Not to mention that the game that kicked off this thread is a AAA $60 game based on a famous and popular IP. Unless something changes there's no reason not to think that the use of lootboxes will expand even further. Saying that some people will just need to avoid piles F2P games is one (not very good) thing, but including large chunks of all video games into that is pretty messed up.

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  • Captain InertiaCaptain Inertia Registered User regular
    Thats why they have shifted to using known franchises, such as Final Fantasy and Star Wars.

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  • Bliss 101Bliss 101 Registered User regular
    Elki wrote: »
    I don't have a strong opinion on how to regulate lootboxes, but I hate them because I love to gamble. No cards or slots, but I enjoy putting down the occasional bet on sports; when I am betting on sports, though, it's something that I'm doing intentionally. So when I start playing some video game, and it gives me a lootbox and makes me ride that familiar gambler's rollercoaster of emotions and presents me with the option of paying to do it again, I resent it. Gambling isn't what I came for, but they made me do it anyways.

    I'm the same way. It's why I had to uninstall the aforementioned Galaxy of Heroes. It's entirely possible to play and (slowly) progress in that game without paying anything, but I eventually found the lure of the boxes irresistible and quickly found I had spent more on it (a fairly tedious and simple mobile game) than I normally would on an AAA game on PC. And would have kept spending more, so the game had to go.

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  • NyysjanNyysjan FinlandRegistered User regular
    Nyysjan wrote: »
    Burnage wrote: »
    An out-of-pocket maximum would be exactly what the game companies *don't* want because they make their money off "whales" (addicts.)

    It'd absolutely fuck some business models, although one way to look at things is that if a game can't survive without taking advantage of addicts then maybe it shouldn't survive.

    Then don't buy them. I don't.
    Most don't.
    But the addicts do.
    So either we regulate gambling in games, including lootboxes, or we say "fuck addicts, not my problem".

    If no-one else played them, neither would the addicts, because ghost towns are no fun.

    Everyone is leaping on me saying that I'm blaming addicts. That's not the point I was making. I was talking about people with moral objections to the game.
    So the few, informed, caring about societal issues, people should stop.
    Leaving only gambling addicts, kids and people who don't care, or know, about the problem loot boxes cause.

    Yeah, this sounds lot like fixing drug epidemic by just telling people to quit doing drugs.
    Technicly it would work, but in reality it will never happen and trying to make a policy out of it is, at best, very silly.

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  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    Keen gamers are a more influential market sector than you might imagine.

    If you are a fan of single-player games, you never need to choose a game with "micropayments" to have fun because there are still plenty of them that don't have them, or have them as a cosmetic afterthought. Multi-player games are, of course, a different story.

  • NyysjanNyysjan FinlandRegistered User regular
    Keen gamers are a more influential market sector than you might imagine.

    If you are a fan of single-player games, you never need to choose a game with "micropayments" to have fun because there are still plenty of them that don't have them, or have them as a cosmetic afterthought. Multi-player games are, of course, a different story.
    Do the keen gamers give a crap about loot boxes and gambling?
    Enough to stop buying?
    I'm going to guess no. And the new gamers entering the consumer base will be even less likely to give a shit because for them, this is normal.
    They'll grumble, they might boycot and individual game, then they'll stop giving a shit and buy the next one.
    Probably from the same publisher, of the same series, with the exact same shit, only slightly toned down if even that.

    This is not going to be fixed without legislation.

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  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    Nyysjan wrote: »
    Keen gamers are a more influential market sector than you might imagine.

    If you are a fan of single-player games, you never need to choose a game with "micropayments" to have fun because there are still plenty of them that don't have them, or have them as a cosmetic afterthought. Multi-player games are, of course, a different story.
    Do the keen gamers give a crap about loot boxes and gambling?
    Enough to stop buying?

    They used to, when these things first appeared (horse armor!) but they got used to it over time.

    dispatch.odestroyah87spool32
  • NyysjanNyysjan FinlandRegistered User regular
    Nyysjan wrote: »
    Keen gamers are a more influential market sector than you might imagine.

    If you are a fan of single-player games, you never need to choose a game with "micropayments" to have fun because there are still plenty of them that don't have them, or have them as a cosmetic afterthought. Multi-player games are, of course, a different story.
    Do the keen gamers give a crap about loot boxes and gambling?
    Enough to stop buying?

    They used to, when these things first appeared (horse armor!) but they got used to it over time.
    You pretty much summed up the part of my post you cut off.
    They'll stop giving a crap.

    destroyah87
  • destroyah87destroyah87 Registered User regular
    edited November 2017
    And using Horse Armor as an example perfectly illustrates why saying "just don't buy it" isn't a tenable option.

    For as much as the internet outcry against it, Horse Armor still sold. I tried looking up sales numbers (didn't find any of course) but I did find comments from two years (2009) after the game's launch that talked like it sold pretty well. Relying on people to make an informed choice and not spend money on something like cosmetic-only content isn't a long-term solution.

    And yes, I bought horse armor when I was playing Oblivion. And I can't say that I might or might not do it even now, heck, I bought some cosmetic armor to use in FF14 just last night.

    As far as that goes, in my opinion, Horse Armor and all similar cosmetic purchases aren't anywhere as scummy as lootboxes and the predatory psychological practices to encourage and drive player spending. Cosmetic paid dlc and microtransactions are at least upfront on both cost and received item. Unless they're a paid box for a chance at the item, then it can die in the same fire that's burning real-money lootboxes.

    Source:

    destroyah87 on
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  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    I remember an ad on my Xbox's dashboard once proclaiming "Oblivion DLC on sale! Horse armor now more expensive."

    I shit you not. They raised the price of the horse armor while discounting the actual story content stuff.

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