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Awful videogame companies
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Author:  Pundabaya [ Tue Jul 02, 2019 1:14 ]
Post subject:  Re: Awful videogame companies

That fucking slimy arsehole ot the conference... "lets leave morality aside". Truly shocking.

Also shocking: the testimonies. The one about the guy who was belittled because he "doesn't have a real problem"...

Author:  Hearthly [ Tue Jul 02, 2019 8:48 ]
Post subject:  Re: Awful videogame companies

Yes they were hard to listen to. Speaking as someone who's suffered with crippling addiction issues in the past, the stories of these people effectively having to run from game to game (which they'd bought for full price), as the gambling mechanics were introduced and then proliferated, were horrible to hear.

The thing is of course, it's not an accident, the videogame companies are knowingly, deliberately, and systematically designing their monetisation systems to psychologically target those who are likely to be vulnerable to such abusive coercion.

They've had their chance to clean up their act voluntarily, swingeing legislative action is the only correct course of action now.

Author:  zaphod79 [ Tue Jul 02, 2019 10:42 ]
Post subject:  Re: Awful videogame companies

A reddit thread of a 'whale' and what it was doing to them (FF for mobile)

https://www.reddit.com/r/FFBraveExvius/ ... of_a_tale/

And a one year on post

https://www.reddit.com/r/FFBraveExvius/ ... ear_later/


And if you can stomach it - this is the full video of 'lets go whaling'


Author:  NervousPete [ Tue Jul 02, 2019 11:40 ]
Post subject:  Re: Awful videogame companies

Has anybody seen 'The Lost Weekend' by Billy Wilder and starring Ray Milland? It's a film about alcoholism, and it's a pretty effective horror movie at points too with some incredible delirium tremens sequences. It won Best Picture in 1945, one of those happy instances when the Academy gets it right, and it is a pretty wonderful film noir. It's also remarkably unflinching for its time, and in using a 'hard boiled' writer type for its main character, it sets out to effectively demolision the romance of the bourbon fuelled writer. It's also the first film to use the "staggering towards camera with neon bar signs floating past" trope, which is awesome. The big liquour business tried to surpress the film, writing letters to Paramount warning it would usher prohibition in again, and trying to bribe them with $5,000,000 to burn the negative. Director Billy Wilder quipped that he would have burnt the negative for them if they sent him the cheque. Great film though, quite Lynchian at points. Myself and Lord Rixondale watched it for our meal and movie, and we both agreed it was completely excellent.

As for Jim's video, I can well believe everything he says in this one and I'm glad he takes time to explode that pernicious myth of, "Well, if you set yourself limits..."

Oh, and can we stop calling them 'micro-transactions' when a lot of games are asking ten pounds or more for bits of tat?

Author:  Hearthly [ Tue Jul 02, 2019 11:56 ]
Post subject:  Re: Awful videogame companies

zaphod79 wrote:
And if you can stomach it - this is the full video of 'lets go whaling'


Wow, that's pretty evil, although not surprising.

Direct quote - 'Make sure that your games aren't too skill based, a game that's too skill based you won't get people to pay you, because there's no reason to.'

It'd be bad enough if just F2P games use this shit, but it's commonplace now in full priced Triple AAA games. (XP booster for the new Assassins Creed game, powerful gun that can only be got out of loot boxes in COD4.)

Attachment:
skillers.JPG

Author:  devilman [ Tue Jul 02, 2019 12:31 ]
Post subject:  Re: Awful videogame companies

NervousPete wrote:

Oh, and can we stop calling them 'micro-transactions' when a lot of games are asking ten pounds or more for bits of tat?


Sega Heroes is certainly bad for that. I think the cheapest pack I've seen was £4.99. These are the special offers at the moment -

Attachment:
Screenshot_2019-07-02-12-25-41-525_com.sega.puzzlerpg.png



Sod that. As a gambler who isn't gambling at the moment, I'm a prime target for this kind of business model, but I'm not paying a penny. In the past, I've chucked a few quid at stuff like Candy Crush, when it's been a few pence here and there to carry on playing rather than wait, but modern stuff is taking it much too far.

Author:  TheVision [ Tue Jul 02, 2019 12:41 ]
Post subject:  Re: Awful videogame companies

Wow... What would you get for that £28.99 Ryo pack and how do they work out the 5x value? That doesn't make any sense at all.

Author:  devilman [ Tue Jul 02, 2019 12:48 ]
Post subject:  Re: Awful videogame companies

TheVision wrote:
Wow... What would you get for that £28.99 Ryo pack and how do they work out the 5x value? That doesn't make any sense at all.


You get 165 Ryo 'Shards'. You need 50 shards to unlock him as a character and then you can use the additional shards to promote him up to higher levels. I guess the 5x value thing is some nonsense about it being cheaper to buy it in this bundle than using gems to buy them. Which I suppose is true considering how much the gem packs are

Attachment:
Screenshot_2019-07-02-12-46-56-391_com.sega.puzzlerpg.png

Author:  devilman [ Tue Jul 02, 2019 12:50 ]
Post subject:  Re: Awful videogame companies

It's a decent game if you ignore all the pay-to-play crap. If it had been a one-off £10-£15 game to buy outright, I'd have paid that in a shot, but they're not getting a penny out of me in micro-transactions.

Author:  Trooper [ Tue Jul 02, 2019 13:16 ]
Post subject:  Re: Awful videogame companies

I’ve recently quit Hustle Castle after about 6 months of playing, along with loads of other folks after the recent update.
It’s always been p2w to get to the top of the leaderboards, which wasn’t something I was interested in but I chatted to people who used to spend some serious money on the game. The latest event it was literally impossible to grind to get even halfway through it, previous events the whales could pay to get the rewards, and other people could play normally without paying and get the lowest tier reward. The real hardcore players could grind for the top reward if they wanted to (6+ hours a day for a week). It’s crazy, but it was an option.
For the latest event, even if you played 24 hours a day for the week, you wouldn’t even get halfway to completing it. They tripled the requirements.
Collectively, all the active players seem to have said “fuck this” and left.

Author:  Satsuma [ Tue Jul 02, 2019 13:19 ]
Post subject:  Re: Awful videogame companies

I’ve bought DLC before (‘proper’ DLC - additional levels and maps for games) but have never purchased a single micro transaction or even a cosmetic for a game. Yay me, I guess.

Author:  DavPaz [ Tue Jul 02, 2019 13:38 ]
Post subject:  Re: Awful videogame companies

Satsuma wrote:
I’ve bought DLC before (‘proper’ DLC - additional levels and maps for games) but have never purchased a single micro transaction or even a cosmetic for a game. Yay me, I guess.

You are most people. They're not interested in us.

Author:  GazChap [ Tue Jul 02, 2019 13:58 ]
Post subject:  Re: Awful videogame companies

devilman wrote:
In the past, I've chucked a few quid at stuff like Candy Crush, when it's been a few pence here and there to carry on playing rather than wait, but modern stuff is taking it much too far.

I remember reading an article a few years ago where they tested Candy Crush and found that as soon as the player paid to play on, the game immediately ramped up the difficulty by a huge amount as they knew the player was willing to pay to play.

Such a shitty business practice :(

//edit: In fact, here it is.

Author:  Mr Chonks [ Tue Jul 02, 2019 13:59 ]
Post subject:  Re: Awful videogame companies

I think there’s a bell curve. A lot of people who’ve put maybe £5 in total to a game if they’re enjoying it. Very few whales and very few who have just ground away without paying a penny.

Some of us are probably in the latter category, but I bet there’s a fair few who have chucked a few quid at a freemium game.

Author:  Trooper [ Tue Jul 02, 2019 15:17 ]
Post subject:  Re: Awful videogame companies

I quite often buy the starter pack offer or a “get rid of ads” option if it’s a reasonable one and I have played the game for a couple of hours or so. £2-3 won’t break the bank and I do it to support the developers more than wanting to progress in the game.
Not sure if it actually makes a difference to the people who would care (developers, designers, etc…) as it wouldn’t surprise me if the shitty publishers never passed any cash on, or if the development house is just targeting whales and I’m pissing in the wind. I’m willing to be taken as a fool by those guys though, on the chance that occasionally it’s actually a single dev in his bedroom that actually sees my £2…

Author:  Pundabaya [ Tue Jul 02, 2019 15:19 ]
Post subject:  Re: Awful videogame companies

I bought a costume for Killing Floor 2, a prime Titan for Titanfall 2 and unlocked the two characters in Apex Legends. All for a "I've had a bunch of fun with this game, I don't need this but here you go".

I did notice I wasn't getting any "bits" for my most used character in Apex, but when I used the left over currency on loot boxes I suddenly got a ton of stuff...

Author:  MaliA [ Tue Jul 02, 2019 15:24 ]
Post subject:  Re: Awful videogame companies

https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/uk ... 0-16517133

Author:  Doctor Glyndwr [ Mon Jul 08, 2019 13:40 ]
Post subject:  Re: Awful videogame companies

Re: G2A

These are definitely the actions of a straight-up legit company

https://twitter.com/SomeIndieGames/stat ... 7141756928



Author:  Hearthly [ Sun Jul 14, 2019 18:00 ]
Post subject:  Re: Awful videogame companies

Ubisoft releases creator tool for players to create their own quests in Assassins Creed Odyssey.

Players create quests that give loads of easy XP to alleviate the grind of the game.

(Ubisoft sell XP Boosters in the game, having deliberately made the game grindy to encourage extra spend on top of the full price purchase.)

Ubisoft Bans Player-Made Assassin's Creed Quests That Compete With Its Microtransactions.


Author:  Bamba [ Sun Jul 14, 2019 21:41 ]
Post subject:  Re: Awful videogame companies

In fairness, having user created stuff that rewards loads of XP would arguably fuck up the balance of a game; to my mind the mistake was not limiting it in the first place.

Author:  Bamba [ Sun Jul 14, 2019 22:30 ]
Post subject:  Re: Awful videogame companies

Also, I'm not sure I'd actually describe the game as grindy. I'm nearly half way to what was the original level cap and there's no way I'm even close to halfway through the actual game. In fact I feel that levels pop pretty quickly. Granted, I'm doing a decent number of side quests and whatnot, but that's what it's all about to me.

Author:  zaphod79 [ Mon Jul 15, 2019 14:09 ]
Post subject:  Re: Awful videogame companies

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-48925623

Quote:
'My son spent £3,160 in one game'

Author:  KovacsC [ Mon Jul 15, 2019 14:18 ]
Post subject:  Re: Awful videogame companies

I hate the way the games and manufactures can do this

Author:  Hearthly [ Tue Jul 16, 2019 17:04 ]
Post subject:  Re: Awful videogame companies

zaphod79 wrote:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-48925623

Quote:
'My son spent £3,160 in one game'


Disabled 22 year old, specifically.


Author:  GazChap [ Tue Jul 16, 2019 19:30 ]
Post subject:  Re: Awful videogame companies

There's a thread about this on the UK subreddit, and I'm shocked at just how many people are blaming the players and how many are defending the developers (well, let's be honest, the publishers)

Author:  KovacsC [ Wed Jul 17, 2019 6:16 ]
Post subject:  Re: Awful videogame companies

I had never thought it as gambling before. Quite interesting.

Author:  DavPaz [ Wed Jul 17, 2019 7:01 ]
Post subject:  Re: Awful videogame companies

KovacsC wrote:
I had never thought it as gambling before. Quite interesting.

And so are blind bags, Pokémon cards and Panini football stickers

Author:  Hearthly [ Wed Jul 17, 2019 8:12 ]
Post subject:  Re: Awful videogame companies

Please don't tell me you're using the same argument that the slimy EU executive did when vomiting up lies to the UK Parliamentary Committee.

Author:  devilman [ Wed Jul 17, 2019 8:29 ]
Post subject:  Re: Awful videogame companies

DavPaz wrote:
KovacsC wrote:
I had never thought it as gambling before. Quite interesting.

And so are blind bags, Pokémon cards and Panini football stickers


I guess some of these are looked upon more favourably as you're always getting something in return, just not always what you might be hoping for. And I think with videogames, publishers seem to soften the blow by giving some stuff for free. For instance, in Rocket League, since I've started playing the Xbox version, it's probably given me about a dozen loot crates, but only one key. Probably hoping that after the 'thrill' of opening one crate for free, I might stump up some money for more.

Author:  Pundabaya [ Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:36 ]
Post subject:  Re: Awful videogame companies

The thing about "it's just like MTG boosters or panini cards" or whatever the industry-apologists use is they're different in several key ways: 1) they are physical objects that can be resold to recoup funds 2) it is very obviously a business transaction that involves a person handing over real money to receive something in return. The lootbox games deliberately abstract this as much as possible, with the the real money transformed into bullshit currency that is almost always one of several other bullshit currency. Its just a different type of moondust.
3) MTG boosters don't play dramatic music and flash lights in a pleasing fashion when you open them.

Author:  Hearthly [ Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:43 ]
Post subject:  Re: Awful videogame companies

And as an extension of number 3 above.

4) Literally mimic the exact behaviour of ACTUAL SLOT MACHINES when you're opening the loot boxes.

Oh yeah, they're just like Panini football stickers :roll:

That line of argument has been systematically destroyed by enough folks to not even entertain it TBH. And, y'know, is the exact same bullshit that the videogame companies are trying to hide behind.

(They've tried to make an equivalence with Kinder Eggs as well, because people routinely spend thousands of pounds on those, right? I remember Kinder Egg addiction was a big deal when I was at school. People going hungry and all sorts of crazy shit.)

Author:  Bamba [ Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:10 ]
Post subject:  Re: Awful videogame companies

At the lowest level I do have some sympathy with the Panini sticker argument. Leaving aside flashy animations and whatnot the concept is exactly the same and I certainly remember as a kid getting the rush of dopamine when opening a packing and getting a shiny sticker or whatever. The thing for me though is that the way the gaming industry has taken that concept and weaponised it to the max using all the research that has since been done on exactly how to make this stuff the most compelling, addictive and dangerous version of itself. It's like saying that because people enjoy a beer in the pub then shops should be able to market crack to children because it's basically just the same thing right?

And all that aside, even if we consider loot boxes and football stickers to be exactly the same thing, there's still tons of evidence of micro-transactions in games fucking people over so who gives a shit what else it's 'like'? That's not a defence against actual damage being caused to people. It just fucking isn't. If football stickers were bankrupting people I'd quite happily ban those as well.

Author:  DavPaz [ Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:12 ]
Post subject:  Re: Awful videogame companies

No they're exactly the same. I agree with the videogame companies. Kinder eggs are loot boxes wrapped in chocolate. Why can't you see that?

Author:  Kern [ Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:14 ]
Post subject:  Re: Awful videogame companies

One difference is that unless you live in a corner shop, there's an amount of effort you need to make to get your Kinder Egg/Panini fix. With electronic stuff, it's just a case of 'press button-get stuff'.

Author:  Hearthly [ Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:21 ]
Post subject:  Re: Awful videogame companies

Kern wrote:
One difference is that unless you live in a corner shop, there's an amount of effort you need to make to get your Kinder Egg/Panini fix. With electronic stuff, it's just a case of 'press button-get stuff'.


And has been noted above, you never spend real money on the actual loot boxes, there's always the abstraction of a 'pretend currency' between you and the loot boxes, they never, ever give you a real cash figure that you're spending.

Author:  MaliA [ Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:35 ]
Post subject:  Re: Awful videogame companies

Hearthly wrote:
Kern wrote:
One difference is that unless you live in a corner shop, there's an amount of effort you need to make to get your Kinder Egg/Panini fix. With electronic stuff, it's just a case of 'press button-get stuff'.


And has been noted above, you never spend real money on the actual loot boxes, there's always the abstraction of a 'pretend currency' between you and the loot boxes, they never, ever give you a real cash figure that you're spending.


Like going on holiday!

Author:  Grim... [ Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:51 ]
Post subject:  Re: Awful videogame companies

Hearthly wrote:
And has been noted above, you never spend real money on the actual loot boxes, there's always the abstraction of a 'pretend currency' between you and the loot boxes, they never, ever give you a real cash figure that you're spending.

That's not true. Counter-Strike charges money directly, for example.

Author:  Hearthly [ Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:33 ]
Post subject:  Re: Awful videogame companies

Oh well in that case the whole thing's fine and everyone should just stop moaning.

Author:  Bamba [ Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:47 ]
Post subject:  Re: Awful videogame companies

Grim... wrote:
Hearthly wrote:
And has been noted above, you never spend real money on the actual loot boxes, there's always the abstraction of a 'pretend currency' between you and the loot boxes, they never, ever give you a real cash figure that you're spending.

That's not true. Counter-Strike charges money directly, for example.


Eh, you need to buy keys first, then keys open loot boxes so there's arguably still a level in between (though it's a one-to-one mapping between keys and containers so not much of an abstraction I realise).

Author:  devilman [ Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:48 ]
Post subject:  Re: Awful videogame companies

At least with football stickers, there was just a flat chance of getting any sticker, as apparently Panini say it's all random, with the exception of avoiding one packet containing two of the same sticker. When it's loot boxes, the odds are far more vague. I just checked Sega Heroes and on the plus side, it does display the odds on stuff -

Attachment:
Screenshot_2019-07-17-11-41-56-019_com.sega.puzzlerpg.png


Tyris is a 'legendary' character in the game, but I'd be pretty pissed off if I just ended if I ended up with just 3 shards from the purchase. Although the theoretical maximum of 28 shards is still not great considering the above purchase costs a whopping £38.99. And you need 65 Tyris shards to unlock her. I've got 24 so far, but acquired via the free methods.

Author:  Pundabaya [ Wed Jul 17, 2019 12:25 ]
Post subject:  Re: Awful videogame companies

Grim... wrote:
Hearthly wrote:
And has been noted above, you never spend real money on the actual loot boxes, there's always the abstraction of a 'pretend currency' between you and the loot boxes, they never, ever give you a real cash figure that you're spending.

That's not true. Counter-Strike charges money directly, for example.


Can you buy packs of keys for the crates at a discount? Like 10 or 50?

If so, then same difference.

Author:  Grim... [ Wed Jul 17, 2019 13:04 ]
Post subject:  Re: Awful videogame companies

Hearthly wrote:
Oh well in that case the whole thing's fine and everyone should just stop moaning.

I only mentioned it because you said "never, ever" :)

Author:  Grim... [ Wed Jul 17, 2019 13:05 ]
Post subject:  Re: Awful videogame companies

Pundabaya wrote:
Grim... wrote:
Hearthly wrote:
And has been noted above, you never spend real money on the actual loot boxes, there's always the abstraction of a 'pretend currency' between you and the loot boxes, they never, ever give you a real cash figure that you're spending.

That's not true. Counter-Strike charges money directly, for example.


Can you buy packs of keys for the crates at a discount? Like 10 or 50?

If so, then same difference.

Hell if I know, I've never bought any :)

Author:  Bamba [ Wed Jul 17, 2019 14:04 ]
Post subject:  Re: Awful videogame companies

Pundabaya wrote:
Grim... wrote:
Hearthly wrote:
And has been noted above, you never spend real money on the actual loot boxes, there's always the abstraction of a 'pretend currency' between you and the loot boxes, they never, ever give you a real cash figure that you're spending.

That's not true. Counter-Strike charges money directly, for example.


Can you buy packs of keys for the crates at a discount? Like 10 or 50?

If so, then same difference.


I'm trying to make sense of the economy from reading wikis but given the depth it goes into I'd argue that it's its own kind of pernicious. During normal play you can earn cases/crates/containers (I'm not sure if these have a specific meaning or if they're interchangeable) which contain weapon skins and stuff. But earning it means squat because it's locked and you need a key to open it. The correct type of key out of the many available because of course. Keys can't be earned, only bought; which is where the real money shit comes in. Trading and selling all the types of items seems to be doable on shedloads of website and not just via the official store (i.e. Steam) so there's a massive grey market economy on not just buying and selling this stuff but somehow also betting on it(?).

So it'll basically award you different types of blind box that you then need to buy an in-game currency with which to open said blind box. It's the same as all the other shit to my mind but with the added horseshit addition of all the grey market sites that trade and sell stuff as well.

Author:  Grim... [ Wed Jul 17, 2019 16:45 ]
Post subject:  Re: Awful videogame companies

I dunno, I've often moaned that I can't sell duplicate items in PS4 games like I can on Steam.

Author:  LewieP [ Thu Jul 18, 2019 11:21 ]
Post subject:  Re: Awful videogame companies

https://esports-news.co.uk/2019/07/17/y ... behaviour/

Author:  Grim... [ Thu Jul 18, 2019 11:24 ]
Post subject:  Re: Awful videogame companies

I have those headphones.

Author:  DavPaz [ Thu Jul 18, 2019 11:29 ]
Post subject:  Re: Awful videogame companies

LewieP wrote:
https://esports-news.co.uk/2019/07/17/yogscast-turps-inappropriate-behaviour/

Diggy, diggy hole!

Author:  Doctor Glyndwr [ Tue Jul 23, 2019 21:25 ]
Post subject:  Re: Awful videogame companies

KovacsC wrote:
I had never thought it as gambling before. Quite interesting.

Legally, it isn't.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-49074003

Quote:
The UK gambling watchdog has told MPs that it does not currently oversee the purchase of in-game content like Fifa player packs and video game loot boxes.

This is because there is no official way to monetise what is inside them.

A prize has to be either money or have monetary value in order for it to fall under gambling legislation.

Author:  Cras [ Tue Jul 23, 2019 22:08 ]
Post subject:  Re: Awful videogame companies

So for games like KF2 on Steam, where you can sell the stuff you get from opening loot boxes on Steam marketplace, that would be covered?

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