Lootboxes, Microtransactions, and [Gambling in Gaming]

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  • DrascinDrascin Registered User regular
    Opty wrote: »
    Ignoring the psychological reasons for using a secondary currency, there's a couple of economic reasons as well: first is to limit the number of credit card purchases, since each one has fees associated with it (especially if dealing with foreign currency). Second is that it makes handling refunds super easy since you're just returning in-game currency instead of needing to return actual currency to a credit card (or the negative side of that: where it makes refusing refunds super easy, since you're not dealing with a real currency at that point). If you make using secondary currencies illegal then I doubt anything costing less than $5 would be worth selling.

    I dunno, Nintendo is managing to sell single buck costumes for Smash and the like without any secondary currencies and it doesn't seem to be losing them any money..

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  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    Opty wrote: »
    Second is that it makes handling refunds super easy since you're just returning in-game currency instead of needing to return actual currency to a credit card (or the negative side of that: where it makes refusing refunds super easy, since you're not dealing with a real currency at that point).

    In Australia, consumer law forces sellers to give refunds in cash for defective goods or goods sold deceptively, if the customer demands it.
    So trying to be smart with funbuck 'refunds' sounds like a good way to get the ACCC suing you to the tune of $Steam.

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  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    A number of gaming companies are psychological predators first and foremost. This is something that game developers are discussing actively, as some of us have better or worse ethics. The games industry is absolutely aware of this. We literally hire psychologists to figure out how to get past your mental defenses.

    As an aside, a lot of people weren't aware of this, but Blizzard hired an on staff psychologist (or was it a few?) to figure out how to make their games more addicting. Particularly WoW, which was gearing up for its first expansion.

    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
    ThawmusIncenjucar
  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus premium Registered User regular
    Valve has employed economists for similar reasons - to study the meta-economies of Steam and to figure out how to exploit them.

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  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    edited September 2019
    I mean, it's possible that 'economist' was shorthand for 'psychologist but studies a large number of people at once', but it always seemed to me that the Valve economist was hired because Valve had created a hat-conomy and was afraid they might break it somehow.
    And then the economist did not much.

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  • tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    discrider wrote: »
    I mean, it's possible that 'economist' was shorthand for 'psychologist but studies a large number of people at once', but it always seemed to me that the Valve economist was hired because Valve had created a hat-conomy and was afraid they might break it somehow.
    And then the economist did not much.

    Steam annual revenue is higher than the GDP of Sierra Leon. It has 3-4 different currencies between the various cosmetics trades, all of which were used for both money laundering and as alternative currency for illegal betting on eSports, a bunch of weird usage patterns (I own 200 games, 150 never installed, but I'm on my 23rd skyrim repaly), etc.

    They should have a whole team of economists studying different bits of the thing. How do you run it if you don't understand it.

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  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus premium Registered User regular
    discrider wrote: »
    I mean, it's possible that 'economist' was shorthand for 'psychologist but studies a large number of people at once', but it always seemed to me that the Valve economist was hired because Valve had created a hat-conomy and was afraid they might break it somehow.
    And then the economist did not much.

    The economist employed by Valve was literally made Minister of Finance for Greece after leaving Valve.

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  • redxredx I(x)=2(x)+1 whole numbersRegistered User regular
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    discrider wrote: »
    I mean, it's possible that 'economist' was shorthand for 'psychologist but studies a large number of people at once', but it always seemed to me that the Valve economist was hired because Valve had created a hat-conomy and was afraid they might break it somehow.
    And then the economist did not much.

    The economist employed by Valve was literally made Minister of Finance for Greece after leaving Valve.

    Can't win them all.

    This machine kills threads.
    bowenFANTOMAS
  • JazzJazz Fuck cancer. Un-UKRegistered User regular
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    discrider wrote: »
    I mean, it's possible that 'economist' was shorthand for 'psychologist but studies a large number of people at once', but it always seemed to me that the Valve economist was hired because Valve had created a hat-conomy and was afraid they might break it somehow.
    And then the economist did not much.

    The economist employed by Valve was literally made Minister of Finance for Greece after leaving Valve.

    Yup, Yanis Varoufakis.

    Fencingsax
  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus premium Registered User regular
    redx wrote: »
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    discrider wrote: »
    I mean, it's possible that 'economist' was shorthand for 'psychologist but studies a large number of people at once', but it always seemed to me that the Valve economist was hired because Valve had created a hat-conomy and was afraid they might break it somehow.
    And then the economist did not much.

    The economist employed by Valve was literally made Minister of Finance for Greece after leaving Valve.

    Can't win them all.

    He advocated for some pretty radical ideas that were soundly rejected by the EU, but you can't claim the man didn't try to help his country.

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  • halkunhalkun Registered User regular
    About two years ago I was at GDC, and they had booths where the actual product they were advertising was being a consulting firm for the maximization of in game transactions. Well, that and cryptocurrencies... so many cryptocurrencies!

    dA03mgx.png
  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    edited September 2019
    Ok, my bad, the TF2 economist did do things but never posted them to the TF2 blog:
    http://blogs.valvesoftware.com/economics/arbitrage-and-equilibrium-in-the-team-fortress-2-economy/

    That said, his model should be hats/guns/earbuds/keys/Max Heads, with earbuds/keys/Max Heads being currency and in equilibrium, and hats/guns being continuously injected into the game and so not in equilibrium.

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