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VincentNZ

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Thursday, October 19th 2017, 12:42am

With season passes it was a kind of gamble as well. Do you trust the devs enough to give them additional 60? I also preferred that system although some season passes were indeed a letdown for me, or in general.

You are right, that we do see a shift towards these games as a service thing, where additional revenue comes in through small transactions over a longer period of time.

Single-player, linear, story-focused games are indeed a thing of the past, for large publishers that is. Indy studios and publishers that do not have the pressure to sell a million copies, will still push these gems out. In a highly competitive AAA market though, where games cost a lot of money they do need more revenue which does indeed demand aggressive DLC/transaction/price policy.
However in the lower shelfs of even EA there are things you would not expect, and while you can say a lot of bad things about EA, sometimes they do dish out a game, that is still more experimental, fresh and more worthy of being a piece of electronic art than the regular portfolio. Mirror's Edge is an example for this. But generally EA and Activision duke it out within themselves and let the more creative/experimental stuff get tested by others.

Still I do not know if the payoff is indeed so irresistible big to just imitate the current working meta and release a game that will be irrelevant in a couple of months, or let a franchise like Dead Space and a whole studio with it get destroyed for the sake of sales. Is this really an economic use of everyone's time and investment, or wouldn't it not also work to create something unique or at least distinctly different? I mean look how different BF and CoD evolved.

ViperFTW

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Thursday, October 19th 2017, 1:05am

We're gradually witnessing probably the biggest shift in the gaming industry since 2007. In 2007, games became more and more about online multiplayer. Now, they're becoming more and more about being grindy open-world sandboxes with RNG crates/microtransactions.


Well, at least they aren't making stupid fucking rogue-likes :P
But seriously though I agree, it's a shift and it's not in a good direction. Games are becoming more and more expensive in the long run but not particularly better. As you say, though, the indies are a different kettle of fish...Well, they are once you pull the proper games out of the endless fucking torrent of shitty motherfucking rogue-like games... :D

To be honest, I preferred season passes. At least that's a one-time purchase that isn't gambling.

I also preferred that system although some season passes were indeed a letdown for me, or in general.


I feel Vincent has kinda said what I was going to: Some season passes are fine in that you know what you're getting and it'll likely save you a bit on what you might be certain you'll end up buying anyways. Most, however, seem to be the Battlefield 4 or (to a lesser extent) Fallout 4 variety in that you kinda know what is coming but not really until you get more info on it further down the line, usually right before release and long after purchase. I bought Season Passes for both games, in the case of Fallout 4 I ended up pleased overall, for Battlefield 4 I still feel like it was one hell of a mistake. Of course that's all preferential and this is just my opinion.
This continues, in my view, to the micro-transactions. Most companies have now (mercifully) seen the light in that all of or the majority of their micro-transactions are cosmetics or objectively inconsequential to the gameplay itself. Again this is based on my opinion but I generally don't mind those in a lot of cases and I don't honestly mind forking out a little bit extra for stuff every so often; I might buy a small gaggle of loot boxes at the end of an Overwatch event (although I'm seriously starting to think they're taking the piss now between the event frequency and the fact that me and Nick estimated the mechanics of the randomness within them. There's potential for a whole thread on that so I'll leave it), or I might buy keys for boxes in Killing Floor 2 (which I honestly feel a lot less bad about, especially since they still technically indie and the game is one of the greatest I've ever played!).

The line blurs however. Are Season Passes just expensive micro-transactions in their worst form; literally carving off gameplay and credible content (IE weapons, maps, etc) behind another pay wall?

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VincentNZ

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Thursday, October 19th 2017, 12:26pm

Yeah Viper is right, the quality of season passes and their contents can vary greatly. The maps of BF4 were mostly shit in the season pass, but other parts of content were rather cool. Still I was glad to have the season pass even with only one good map per DLC, because the game was great. in Fallout 4 I bought the Season Pass for 30 right away, but I have not played a single piece, because it did not serve my needs, apart from Far Harbour. The settlement building and workshop stuff is just nothing that gets me going. I consider it a timesink. I do not regret it, though, because for a game like Fallout I am willing to give the devs money as investment to use in this and other games. Although it might send the wrong signal that I want more radiant quests, more settlement building and other mini-games etc., which is definitely not the case. I spend money on Fallout and Bethesda because I want more Fallout and TES feeling in the games for nostalgic reasons.

The BF3 season pass was definitely worth the money although End Game was pretty shit map wise and set the stage for the upcoming map design. The rest was very well designed though. I thoroughly regret buying Premium for BF1 though, even at 30. BF1 did not in any way satisfy my needs for a thousand reasons and eith every addition the do not address the gameplay and map issues I have enough to justify spending more time on this game.

However, I am still more prone of buying large content packs, like a DLC than I am buying small things. I would have never bought a weapon for a dollar in any BF game, and I have never spent a dime on a cosmetic item in any game. The system is totally lost on me. As of now, I have made 40 on selling PUBG stuff on the steam market. I am not sure if I would ever pay for maps, either, not after I had a chance to analyse if I totally liked it. To be frank, in order to spend money on a small piece of content, it needs to convince me that it is worth the money much more than a large piece for more money.

And of course this opens up a whole new can of worms, when they sell better stuff at random like in BF2. However I guess national law will soon put a kind of stop to this, when it is finally considered as gambling.

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Thursday, October 19th 2017, 3:19pm

And of course this opens up a whole new can of worms, when they sell better stuff at random like in BF2. However I guess national law will soon put a kind of stop to this, when it is finally considered as gambling.


I smiled at this before realising you live in a much more sensible country than me :P

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VincentNZ

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Friday, October 20th 2017, 10:36am

And of course this opens up a whole new can of worms, when they sell better stuff at random like in BF2. However I guess national law will soon put a kind of stop to this, when it is finally considered as gambling.


I smiled at this before realising you live in a much more sensible country than me :P


Yeah? i was actually thinking about China, who already have some laws for more transparency if I recall coorectly and more on the way, since they have a major problem with these kind of things, and also your country the UK, because you guys are tendencially faster on the upkeep concerning internet things.

We here are usually incredibly slow to react anything as abstract as online-gambling. However I am really wondering that our rather strict youth protection laws do not apply here (yet), we go down rather hard on gambling, even online, so this should be just a matter of time. We Germans tend to do it slow, but right, if you know what I mean. ;)

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Saturday, October 21st 2017, 5:50pm

I strongly suspect we will see RNG regulated under gambling laws in the next 5 years.

It operates on the exact same premise as gambling machines. The government hates when people compete with their other lucrative/regulated game industry. Or in socialist places where the gov outright owns and operates the gambling industry locally.

VincentNZ

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Thursday, October 26th 2017, 4:32pm

Yeah this is true, in many countries there is also a real interest in youth protection laws and general gambling restrictions. Basically in the same way as putting a tax on alcohol and tobacco. Potentially harmful things can be diminished in use through restriction by tax.

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Thursday, October 26th 2017, 8:16pm

The ESRB has already came out and said that loot boxes are not considered to be gambling.

VincentNZ

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Thursday, October 26th 2017, 8:27pm

The ESRB has already came out and said that loot boxes are not considered to be gambling.


Well, then they are clearly wrong. It is like the NRA saying anything about gun control. :D

Does the ESRB have any legitimacy though? As far as I know it is simply a self-regulatory institution of publishers.

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Thursday, October 26th 2017, 10:14pm

It's pretty much the authority on games even if it is made up of self regulating publishers.

Unless we get a ruling over their head out of the blue then the matter is considered settled and legally loot boxes aren't gambling.

Now I believe England is currently investigating into the legal status of loot boxes and gambling and we tend to cite each other's rulings for precedence so maybe we might see something in the future but as it is now loot boxes are here to stay and remain unregulated.

Unfortunately :/