The ongoing loot box and microtransaction discussion...

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Alex79uk
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The ongoing loot box and microtransaction discussion...

Post by Alex79uk » December 7th, 2017, 3:42 pm

Just a thought (that I totally stole off Flabyo).

If anyone is getting bored of reading about it, it could all happen here and save the rest of the forum from having to filter though to find the posts they want to read!

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Re: The ongoing loot box and microtransaction discussion...

Post by DomsBeard » December 8th, 2017, 2:44 pm

:) Yes

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Todinho
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Re: The ongoing loot box and microtransaction discussion...

Post by Todinho » December 8th, 2017, 3:57 pm

And the best moment of last night's game awards goes to:


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Re: The ongoing loot box and microtransaction discussion...

Post by Flabyo » December 14th, 2017, 8:05 am

The UK Gambling Commission on where they stand and who actually gets to decide what happens in the UK.

The tl;dr is:

"Parliament decides what gambling is, but we can make recommendations for them to consider. We're conducting research but don't yet believe we have enough solid evidence to suggest intervention"


The UK parliament is... kinda busy for the next few years (especially after last night, there's a reasonable chance of another general election in the spring now...) so not much is likely to happen from their end any time soon.

The gambling commission have a couple of years of survey data now from speaking to 'actual teens'. They want more data, more research, before they commit to an opinion. I think that's probably the best approach, I want people actually trained in finding this stuff out to build a solid case for legislation, one that no-one can argue with and that if legislation is required it isn't easily circumvented because its poorly worded.

The two worrying things in the piece for me are that no-one from the video games industry is really attempting to engage with the commission even in a 'where is the legal line right now?' way, and that many people in the gambling industry itself think its a none issue cause 'lol video games amiright?'.

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Beck
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Re: The ongoing loot box and microtransaction discussion...

Post by Beck » December 14th, 2017, 9:29 am

I'm super bored of Pretty Good Gaming and their crap constantly appearing on my YouTube suggestions. Before the Micro transactions shit hit the fan I thought they were doing well but since it kicked off they have been saying the same shit daily and often not listening to any of the arguments for and against.

I think I'd prefer to see the prices of games go up opposed to games becoming fruit machines.

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Re: The ongoing loot box and microtransaction discussion...

Post by nickturner13 » December 14th, 2017, 2:13 pm

Basically this cartoon sums up the whole situation quite nicely...

We need more consumers to take a stand otherwise we will keep getting fleeced, unfortunately.

Hopefully the Battlefront 2 situation has helped change things, but I doubt it will last.

http://www.dorkly.com/post/65536/how-ev ... g-was-born

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Re: The ongoing loot box and microtransaction discussion...

Post by ThirdDrawing » December 16th, 2017, 3:16 am

http://www.indiedb.com/games/i-cant-bel ... t-gambling

Want a game just about lootboxes? Here you go!

Edit - Here's a gameplay video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=roSrSuA ... nel=tr1ppa

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Re: The ongoing loot box and microtransaction discussion...

Post by Todinho » December 18th, 2017, 7:48 pm

Great video of Jim Sterling on the "It's just cosmetic" argument:

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Re: The ongoing loot box and microtransaction discussion...

Post by Michiel K » December 19th, 2017, 12:26 pm

I really sympathise with people affected by and upset with lootboxes and microtransactions and find the practice fairly dubious, but I guess I just don't play the games where this is an issue. I don't do games that are heavy on grinding and/or massive multiplayer online games, so I haven't felt that anger myself.

Though I do admit I get annoyed with just how much in-game fight money and all out grinding is required to unlock characters and stages (don't care too much about the costumes) in SFV. I guess we should be happy that not having to pay for them is an option, but I already spend a fair sum on a copy of the game itself to begin with and I don't intend to spend more to get the extras that I want.

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Re: The ongoing loot box and microtransaction discussion...

Post by ratsoalbion » December 21st, 2017, 4:01 pm

"App Store now forces games with loot boxes to disclose item odds:"
http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2017- ... -item-odds

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Re: The ongoing loot box and microtransaction discussion...

Post by KSubzero1000 » December 21st, 2017, 4:28 pm

Certainly a step in the right direction, as far as I'm concerned.

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Todinho
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Re: The ongoing loot box and microtransaction discussion...

Post by Todinho » January 29th, 2018, 7:05 pm

Jim Sterling just says it all really about the subject and some recent "dev backlash":


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Re: The ongoing loot box and microtransaction discussion...

Post by Flabyo » February 10th, 2018, 7:20 am

Bear in mind that they own King, so around half of that figure is from their portfolio (candy crush etc...) so this isn’t all Hearthstone, Call of Duty and Overwatch.

A few other EU countries are now looking at loot boxes, mainly to see if they come under already existing legislation in those places. I think there’s at least once place looking at microtransactions as a whole, which seems a step too far for me as it would also ban the practice we used to call shareware.

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Re: The ongoing loot box and microtransaction discussion...

Post by Todinho » February 12th, 2018, 11:05 pm

In relation to this jim sterling once again speaks my mind in his latest video about AAA culture and their "need" to keep adding this shit in games:

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Re: The ongoing loot box and microtransaction discussion...

Post by Flabyo » February 13th, 2018, 7:13 am

I don’t think I can get behind anyone saying we should charge the same as we did for product in 1998 when literally no other entertainment media does so. Inflation is a thing that apparently the games industry isn’t allowed to add on.

And this whole ‘war’ between Jim and Extra Credits is dumb and everyone involved should feel dumb.

I barely watch any of the gaming YouTube’s I used to cause they’re all the same tired arguments batted back and forth forever with no attempt at actually finding a solution to anything.

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Re: The ongoing loot box and microtransaction discussion...

Post by KSubzero1000 » February 13th, 2018, 8:51 am

Flabyo wrote:
February 13th, 2018, 7:13 am
I don’t think I can get behind anyone saying we should charge the same as we did for product in 1998 when literally no other entertainment media does so. Inflation is a thing that apparently the games industry isn’t allowed to add on.
Personally, I'd be fine with raising the price of AAA titles to better reflect production costs if it meant cutting down on dubious monetization practices. I also think that there should be a place for AA or mid-budget titles for around 40€. You hardly see games like God Hand anymore that were clearly made on a below-average development budget, and when you do they're digital only (like Hellblade). Having two "official" pricing tiers for physical releases would be an interesting solution, I think. Instead of the current giant gap between uber-expensive AAA and indies.

As for Sterling, I find his presentation style so grating that I never manage to watch any of his videos all the way to the end. I don't know how much of it is due to his affected internet persona, but it's just too much for me, even when I do agree with the broad lines of his argument.

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Re: The ongoing loot box and microtransaction discussion...

Post by Todinho » February 13th, 2018, 1:34 pm

Flabyo wrote:
February 13th, 2018, 7:13 am
I don’t think I can get behind anyone saying we should charge the same as we did for product in 1998 when literally no other entertainment media does so. Inflation is a thing that apparently the games industry isn’t allowed to add on.
That's funny because as he points out in the video the CEO of EA was saying 5 years ago that AAA games should cost less then 60 dollars as did several others, so apparently they were fine with not keeping up with inflation.

The biggest problem I and Sterling think when it comes to the "Oh just increase the price of games that will fix things" mentality is that it assumes that corporations are honesty actors, well they are not ,they only care about making the most amount of money possible and that's it.

But let's assume that the argument that games are too expensive to make and because the publishers cant raise the price the poor downtrodden souls inside EA and Activision had to resort to these monetization schemes like DLC,Microtransactions and lootboxes. Does anyone actually believe that if publishers were able to increase the base price they would stop doing these shitty pratices? Of course not, they would still do it and the only difference would be that you'd be paying more for it, some people might say that it would improve the survivability of linear story driven single player games but it wouldnt because the financial incentive would still be on microtransactions and games as "live services", the only thing that would change is the consumer would get more screwed and a shareholder would make little bit more money, we all know none of this would go to improve the terrible work conditions of devs that's for sure.

We can think of whatever solution we want but that wont deter publishers from simply pursuing the most profitable venue to make money, they have no moral no interest in gaming as an art form or even in keeping a healthy industry, their bottom line is all they care about. You could come up with the best solution there is for publishers and consumers alike and it wouldnt matter because they are already commited to taking as much as possible.

You know what bothers me the most out of all of this though? It's this false debate or rift between devs and consumers, where you have the "consumer side" and the "Dev side" , we have thousand of devs all around the world that can make games and sell them at the 60 price or even less at times and still do well, CD-Projeckt red, Larian Studios, Ninja Theory,In exile,Obsidian,Bethesda,etc. Im not a game dev and Im sure many devs think they are advocating for them and their peers when they say that the price should raise and so on, but I think they have just internalized the mentality of the corporate structure they are a part of, they know that their work is hard and getting harder with less security then maybe ever before so of course they look for something that will increase that and make their lives better, so the conclusion that "Oh if we increase the prices the company will be have more resources and therefore they wont fire me at the end of a project or they wont cancel the game Im working on" is appealing but it's also wrong, whatever price increase or whatever solution you find it wont improve the conditions of devs because corporations dont care.

I do have have one suggestion, one that might actually give devs more security and improve their work conditions, Unionize. You may complain about gamers being entlited and always wanting to pay less or being shitty and uncaring online but they are not the ones making devs work terrible crunch hours, getting shitty pay and having no job security. The ones doing that are the fucking companies, to me pointing at the consumers and saying that it's their fault that the industry is where it's at it's right wing scapegoating of pointing at the people with no money and no power and saying it's their fault. No, the fault lies with the people with all the money and all the power, the CEO's, Board of directions and shareholders and the only way they'll change their behavior is if the people actually working in this industry force them to, to me consumers and devs shouldnt be adversaries in this "debate" but allies and go after the ones that are actually screwing all of us.

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Re: The ongoing loot box and microtransaction discussion...

Post by Flabyo » February 13th, 2018, 1:45 pm

I’ll tell you one thing, it’s fucking hard to get out of bed in the morning to make video games when all you see is a constant stream of ‘devs are evil’ on twitter and YouTube and forums.

Ain’t no union going to fix that.

(The ‘shitty working practices’ thing is part of the reason I don’t do AAA console dev anymore, mobile is actually a far nicer place to work to be honest. But almost no one on this forum thinks that entire industry has any value either, so I wonder why I even come here anymore some days)

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Beck
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Re: The ongoing loot box and microtransaction discussion...

Post by Beck » February 13th, 2018, 1:46 pm

Has it surprised anyone else that Capcom didn't follow suit with the microtransaction / loot box chaos with Monster Hunter World? I honestly expected Capcom to at least follow suit if not find an even lower point to hit. I believe Monster Hunter World has microtransactions but I've not had them shoved in my face or a mechanic to force feed me them. It's surpringsly refreshing to have a game with so much content that is available for the retail price, hopefully more companies follow suit.

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