The urge does depend on the person, and if someone feels compelled to get a skin that’s only available during an event, they will feel the need to spend on loot boxes. It’s wrong to differentiate loot boxes based on content of the box, because it is the loot box mechanic that illicits the gambling effect.
It’s still a step in the right direction, though. Little victories, man. Little victories.
We got governments to take action. I call that a victory however small.
"The sweet, sweet irony of all this is that EA has essentially gotten itself stuck back in the stone ages, where you sold a game for $60, and that was it. "
“I feel bad for DICE, but it is almost too delicious to see EA get its just desserts here, forced to try and move copies of a $60 title with no extra bells and whistles, and nearly no way to re-introduce an ongoing revenue stream without throwing fuel on a still-burning fire. Get out your popcorn, because the next few weeks sure are going to be interesting.”
Muhahahaha… grabs popcorn
Poor DICE. They don’t deserve this. They like, literally can’t re-monetize the game without massive public backlash. It’s sad, really.
The ridiculous thing is that gamers will somehow be happier paying this 2-3 year $60 per game cycle than having the choice to pay effectively the same amount at most under MTX. Gamers are dumb.
I’m not following. Doesn’t sound any different than how games used to be sold 10 years ago. Take games like Cuphead or Shenua’s Sacrifice, who spend long years in development and thought it would take more than a half a year to even out (while still putting the price tag at 20-30$ for their game).
Instead, just by advertising a good, new original game by simply showcasing the gameplay, they managed to outdo their expectations and even make revenue.
Gamers don’t look that dumb to me, rather they reward hard work when they see. EA has gotten too greedy, and finally the whole lootbox system is coming under investigation as it deserves.
If nothing had happened but a minor boycott of MTX until the credit rates were fairer and/or the loot boxes were changed so that you could purchase progression more directly (for example) then what we’d have is the following…
- Buy SW:BF2 for $60.
- Probably buy maybe $10-$20 of stuff to quick-step your way to the items and bits you want
- Regardless of whether you spend more at 2, now grind and enjoy the game
- More content gets released, everyone enjoys new maps, new modes and twists on modes, new challenges and arcade scenarios.
If this gamer in this scenario paid like above then they would be paying $80 for one year of play, or $40 per year for two years, or $20 per year for three years, or (skipping for maths simplicity) $10 per year for six years of play.
So right now, assuming that the crazy hadn’t happened, a gamer could enjoy 6 years of development (hypothetically, not saying EA would have gone that route but I believe they would have if the MTX provided them with the ongoing stability of finances they are looking for) and for that 6 years only have paid somewhere in the region of $80 on the game. Hell, they could have waited for a sale and got the game for $30 and never bought an MTX and just do the grind for all that time, absolute bargain.
Now, while gamers are hailing victory, for EA to make their money on an expensive license they’ll need to release SW:BF3, probably in 3 years time. The dev team will go from one that is excitedly working with a community on new content to one being put under crunch after crunch to deliver a new title that is just different enough to warrant buying it. The game will come out again at $60, and so after 6 years of play (3 years on each game) the gamer pays $120.
The gamer has lost out on multiple levels, the dev teams are worked in a more negative way, the support for the game moves from a guaranteed ongoing practice to one that doesn’t matter because the focus is on the next release (roll on SW:BF4 after that, after all) and gamers that were enjoying SW:BF2 get left behind as everyone migrates to a new game instead of everyone pooling and growing a community on one.
The dumbest. Ever.
Also wanted to just come to this too, seperately. These games were both published by the developer. Much more freedom, much more return directly to themselves as part of the process of selling the game.
And, of course, they’re not MP focused games, so naturally it makes sense that their business model stays true to methods that have worked and will continue to work for single player experiences going forward.
I still advocate that multiplayer games without microtransactions can work. And even if MTX need to be implemented, it could have been in a way that is just more acceptable for people like cosmetic items in a store.
How do you explain games then like CoD Modern Warfare 2 or 3, where the only MTX came from additional map packs they sold (but hardly anyone bought them - because you could only play with people who bought the pack as well). Those games sold well. But look at games now. Virtual currency in football games like FIFA? What the hell.
I despise EA loot box system because it introduces a grind that was unneccesary. The game could have worked without star cards and revenue could’ve been made through different kind of MTX but the publisher decided differently. THAT is why gamers are angry.
Think however you feel Nia. In the end, you’ll have to come to terms that there is no stopping this rage train and that Battlefront II is not going to be able to rack in more players AND make the investors happy.
Do gamers just want games that sell well, and not ones that are supported and developed? I mean, gamers are even dumber than I already credit them for if that’s the case.
Edit: I think it’s also constantly annoying to hear these comparisons to games of the past where clearly the marriage of business plan and gamer satisfaction was not working. I’m not at all claiming EA have it right here at all, but gamers sitting around saying anything that makes them think they have “won” here is silly. If the “win” is to go back to antiquated pricing structures then we all lose, and the publishers still win.
The answer was, and always will have been, to focus purely on criticising and boycotting the microtransactions and not the whole game. Gamers haven’t forced anything other than to ruin the experience of those who wanted to give the game a go, and to mean that gaming in the star wars universe now is less satisfying and more expensive for gamers as a result. If gamers can’t learn that they have to work towards something, not just against something, then gamers are the only people that’ll lose out.
I already have come to terms with it, just as I’ve come to terms with the fact Trump is the president, that Brexit is “happening”, and that a tragic record breaking terrorist incident in Egypt is less reported than a false alarm incident in my own country. I’ve very much come to terms with the fact that morons are ruling the planet and guiding it’s way down illogical, harmful and ridiculous paths. (this isn’t an invitation to comment or debate any of these)
Real mature. Just because people think differently or have different opinions than yours doesn’t mean that they’re dumb. Like…does this make me dumb for thinking the way I think?
Proof. Show me proof that the business model of before does not work in today’s standard. Or perhaps it does, but it just doesn’t earn enough in the publisher’s eye.
Although the arguement that MTX would allow more content in a game for the same pricetag, I don’t see it as a bad thing for publishers to now warrant to charge for it. In the end, that becomes consumer’s choice. Much like people didn’t need to pay for the extra Hunters/Monsters in Evolve, and they didn’t need them either to enjoy the game. In that regard, Evolve felt better compared to BFII. Imagine if Evolve put lootboxes with charge upgrades but made earning credits more difficult. I wouldn’t be happy with that, at all.
Yes it’s sad that this is how it will lead to in the end. But also shows why people now just want a different publisher to take care of the IP rather than EA. Not to mention that a good game can come out, even with lesser bells and whistles, just by exciting gameplay alone. Quality over quantity.
If anyone thinks that forcing publishers to the regular old CoD cycle of making their money on game releases is a win, then they are not thinking logically. I gave the reasons above why it hurts gamers and game development compared to a model that provides reliable and ongoing income.
It’s the same reason that Netflix is better for people who like to watch movies than having to rent from a video store on an ad hoc basis. Except it isn’t even as much of a commitment because in gaming large paying supporters of a game subsidize those who don’t wish to pay much, if anything.
Also, yet again, multiplayer focused AAA games are a new thing. CoD was primarily a single player game. It is a false equivalence to look at these older games and say that they were profitable so these modern MP only games must be able to be profitable (and engaging/successful in a non monetary sense) too. The oldest multiplayer focused games that could even be described as close to AAA are mmorpgs and they started out from the get go as subscription based games because the $60 up front model wouldn’t have worked for them.
Hey there SW B 2 players … quick Q and A…
Does this game suffer from the same player drop that the first one did?
It was profitable enough that newer titles were released. And although the first CoD titles were indeed primarily played just for the story, that was not the case for the later titles.
I remember this article two years ago from PCGamer: http://www.pcgamer.com/steam-popular-unplayed/
My favorite stat is the total of played hours divided by game mode, more specifically the separate multiplayer clients of the Steam versions of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Black Ops. The single-player campaigns for each respective title sits modestly within the mid-20-hour range, but the multiplayer side balloons well into the hundreds of hours. It’s a pretty obvious indicator of where the biggest chunk of popularity resides in FPS gaming.
Let’s look at best selling CoD titles by units: https://www.statista.com/statistics/321374/global-all-time-unit-sales-call-of-duty-games/
In the graph it shows that Modern Warfare and Black Ops were among the best selling titles for CoD. But why is Infinite and Advanced Warfare so low despite being more recent?
The series has had microtransactions since 2012’s Black Ops II, allowing players to purchase funky weapon camos for their guns, or unlock more weapon loadouts. But these were all cosmetic upgrades—that is, nothing provided players with an extra advantage.
That’s not the case in the latest game Infinite Warfare, though. It seems like the entire game is designed to push players towards spending more money just to level the playing field.
I still find servers instantly on PC. They’re horribly laggy right now, but EA is looking into it.
I feel we’re discussing two slightly different things here. I’m not denying that older games weren’t profitable enough for their own business model at the time, however that does not mean that they were a) reliable revenue streams or b) comparable in their development or overarching business model and strategy to something like Evolve or SWBF2.
So what if CoD was profitable? That doesn’t mean that they knew that the next game wouldn’t somehow be a flop for some reason. Their fiscal cycles are rooted in the past performance of the games they’ve created, combined with any budgets that may or may not be inflated to create the next in the series, and then balance on performance at release.
What you’ve posted above doesn’t necessarily show companies getting greedy, it shows companies trying to take the chance out of the equation. It doesn’t necessarily show them doing it well, but if they’re sitting on data that says that people play and engage with MP vastly more than single player, then of course the natural route to try and create a more sustainable income is to tap that resource.
You then get in to the mess that is gamer perception vs whatever business reality may or may not exist with a need for an upfront cost as well as the MTX model that goes with it. I also don’t think that, given what we’ve seen with SWBF2 and Evolve, you can say there is any evidence that MTX models couldn’t be more profitable if it weren’t for the very vocal campaigns carried out by a minority of gamers with a lot of time on their hands. I remember the outcries about the CoD games as they added more MTX, I remember the efforts made to try and get the games boycotted. These games, as with SW and Evolve, get review bombed, even without the controversy this seeds doubt in the product in an unfair manner to people that may not have any qualms with the business model.
It does not matter, at the end of the day, if the old way was profitable AS GAMERS because AS GAMERS that old way is actually a terrible consumer situation to be in. The old way could be more or less profitable, but as gamers we should be encouraging publishers to come up with the right way to make their games a) fiscally sound over multiple years so that b) they can be supported and nurtured for multiple years.
As a gamer I do not want to be in a situation where I have to pay $60 every few years to continue to enjoy a game series, because if I don’t the playerbase will die off as it moves without me. I don’t want to be in the situation where the conventional gamer thing to do is to leave a game after a year or two “because it’ll be dead soon anyway”. I don’t want to be in the position as an ethical gamer where my purchasing practices are encouraging developers to be worked to the bone on crazy deadlines, possibly to be laid off afterwards, as part of a revolving door industry of trying to get the big titles produced for less and less money as time goes on.
Take Evolve, I wanted that game to last and last, I wanted it to have a 5-10 year lifespan where the developers were excited to explore their own universe and keep creating content for it, where I knew that my money was going to sustaining the product I love (directly and indirectly in terms of what it means to the publisher) rather than just ensuring that shareholders can breathe a sigh of relief, draw down their dividend and then pressure the publisher for their next big windfall. I didn’t want to be looking over my shoulder for an “Evolve 2” that forced other players to doubt it’s longevity and consider other games after a while, I wanted it to be a game where the community lived and thrived over those years because there was a solid foundation for supporting it that wasn’t in doubt.
But here we are, living under conditions that are set by a set of gamers that are incapable of changing their perspective to deal with a new way of having to develop games, because they’re hung up on concepts like the base price of a game and the “day 1” value of said game, and have a complete us vs them mentality with publishers (and developers by extension) that limits what should be a symbiotic relationship between the two that means high profits are the result of a good game and shouldn’t be frowned upon.
I’m tired of hearing “money grabbing” and such nonsense in regards to this stuff because at the end of the day if what the publisher is selling isn’t good enough the relationship between gamer and community should be one that finds a path. Credit drop too low, system too much like gambling, progression feels bogged down? There should be an easy way to resolve these problems. This blame doesn’t lie all at the feet of the reddit-esque gaming community of course, publishers are idiots for not testing their desired plans out with more amenable (but able to be objective) gaming groups, something like loot crates shouldn’t have made it past some focus groups before any public beta. But I will say the blame lies mostly with gamers because it is they that are creating this atmosphere of distrust within the development community that any kind of engagement or conversation won’t be treated in a childish manner.
The bottom line is that all of this talk about profitability and success is only made to obfuscate a seriously vitally needed conversation about the future of how games are developed and supported. I don’t care for those people who want their game to be a $60 drop and then no other cost, because those people are going to kill the possibility of ever having a community focused high-end MP only game produced that fulfills the “live service” dream that currently only the MOBA (and arguably MMORPG) community are enjoying.
The choice being made here isn’t about ethics, or about what is acceptable business practice. It happens to coincide with a genuine issue on loot boxes which I’m more than happy to see getting progress, but I think it is naive to believe that the majority of gamers getting riled up about this genuinely care about whether some person with a gambling problem living on their own in Estonia gets into huge financial trouble because of over-buying loot boxes, I 100% guarantee the same community would hang any such person out to dry as an idiot that should “know better” because gamers seem to be especially blind to mental health issues.
No the choice actually being made here, whether or not the pitchfork of gamers can see it or not, is about whether or not games should be produced as if they are going to die in 2 years or not, and currently… somehow… in this fucking crazy upside down time we’re living in, the gamers are winning in making that 2 year death cycle happen.