I’m not, and have at no point, tried to suggest the loot boxes are ethically correct.
Looking back on the article, the Journalist said that the gamers are overreacting because the cost of gaming has gone up.
If anything, we all understand that the development of a game can sometimes even be considered a huge risk, and needs appropriate funding and return-investment.
That said, this article just appears to me as a justification of EA’s loot box model - by claiming that something needs to help offset the cost, therefore gamers should not be outraged about it. In fact, they should be ‘glad’.
Taking my points from above, I think the analyst fails to grab the other reasons why gamers are angry while also failing to point out other successful methods instead of loot boxes.
Apparently even the Minister of Justice in Belgium agrees with my opinion, as they’re looking to ban all games with gambling aspects defined as “any purchase made where it’s not clear upfront what you will receive”
And it’s not like Europe is the first to do it, as China, South Korea and Japan already has certain laws in place (see gatcha games and such).
This is from the Dutch site, one specific thing the Gambling Commission noted:
NL: “Het vermengen van geld en verslaving, is gokken”
EN: “The mixture of money and addiction, is in essence gambling.”
I also think that this is a video that people should be watching before just blindly going along with the notion that games are “getting too expensive to make” since, as is pointed out here, for big companies (EA, etc) the recent trends point to the cost of development actually going down. Videogames by themselves are likely still profitable, just not as porfitable as microtransactions.
Never forget that in a business sense if something is “too expensive” it typically means that the people running the company’s finances and setting their budgets suck at their jobs.
What the focus needs to be on the next few years (possibly decade) is to streamline the current game industry and gamemaking, instead of focusing on making everything bigger, BIGGER, BIGGER.
Like with Crysis back in 2007. No computer could handle it back then, but, due to people focusing on optimising such graphics-heavy games, combined with hardware improvements, means that today, Crysis can be run by pretty much any PC build for at least half-decent gaming.
The same needs to happen now. Instead of making games bigger and more grand (and thus, spiking the costs), we need to streamline the proces of making and game (and thus, bringing the costs down again).
But I’m not an expert, so who knows, I might be completely wrong.
No-one is arguing against the problem that is lootboxes and gambling
The video literally says games are getting much more expensive to make, individually (though tries to obfuscate this by going on about “as a whole”), and also ignores the changing face of ongoing development and the cost of maintaining that.
The interesting question for me on this is whether gamers would accept the correction, and the change in quantity and quality of output that would involve. It’s all well and good for people like the dude in the video above to wax on about spreadsheets, yet the real world knowledge we have about development studios is that they’re on the edge. You only have to listen to developers stories to understand how hard they’re worked to produce this content under the budgets and timelines they have.
I’d love to see the process dialled back, I think it’d be healthier for those working in the industry. However I feel the first review after someone makes this correction would be “Not enough content, rip off”
Well, one example could be the Witcher 3, who already had a good game but sold additional content as payable DLC and was still successful.
Even if the cost of the game alone might not have been enough, I’m sure the DLC more than made up for it.
There are other examples out there, such as fighting games where extra fighters are sold for a price (or in a bundle). Which is interesting as you might just only be interested in the game using one fighter that comes with the base game, or one of the dlc characters only.
Take Tekken as an example, the storyline is mediocre at best (and short), but everyone loves to get better with their character, customize their favorite fighter and try to rank up.
I don’t think it’s helpful to look at witcher 3, it’s not a game that is predominantly online multiplayer. I think a lot of what gamers don’t get (see evolve) is precisely because they think the same efforts and processes that have worked for a very typical game development process should work for multiplayer titles. People keep citing it because it is convenient for them as gamers, yet we also know from experience that gamers also don’t like having to pay for content at the rate that a multiplayer game developer can, and needs to, produce it. Gamers don’t get the differences.
What about the old Call of Duty, NBA2K, FIFA games (before virtual payable currency or loot boxes were introduced) and were successful in their own right?
Again, Witcher 3 was simply put up as an example where a game can work where you sell payable DLC without any loot boxes.
Dead by Daylight I don’t believe has loot boxes, but also extra content you can pay for if you wish. Rocket League also has boxes, but at least you know what is in them and you only need to pay to unlock the box (like paying for a skin you want).
Fwiw, I’m okay with $60 base+$20mt/$80 flat cost for games. It’s a 30% jump bit if you get everything and all involved are compensated then I see it as a win.
If that’s too much, wait for a sale. No, you don’t get to play day 1 but you get to pay an amount you’re comfortable with.
Games should be $80-$90 to compensate. That would lower DLC and microtransaction pricing substantially, I think.
Isn’t that something publishers already do and call Deluxe edition?
No, that’s not, because I’m talking about base game. Deluxe editions come with exclusive digital content and… wait, when did this become about deluxe editions for games?
Well, Deluxe editions is basically the base game and any additional dlc for a price of 80-90 dollars.
What you are saying is that games should already be sold for that 80-90 dollars price with whatever content that could have been sold as dlc, included in the box as a full package.
The only difference is, is that the deluxe edition is a choice (otherwise pay base game for a lower price) VS no choice at all.
So as consumer, I would say more choice is better.
Welp, train has left the station.
Belgium and Hawaii have apparently officially declared loot boxes in SWBF 2 gambling. There is a video about it, I will post in a bit.
I’m just waiting for other Publishers to look at EA and go… you just had to ruin it for everyone
What’s interesting about it is that the Belgium gaming commission’s stance echoes the stance of the community in a manner of sorts:
‘If your ability to succeed in the game is dependent upon random success, in this case, the contents of loot boxes, then the commission will have to consider it a game of chance’. This means that games like Overwatch where the content of the lootboxes doesn’t affect gameplay, are basically a-ok.
Which is good cause other games getting swept up along with EA is not great.
At least Overwatch and Rainbow are safe…
Was this already posted?
You got lootbox ninja’d ! Yeah, I posted it in my last post