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Why microtransactions are bad for consumers AKA free content can be sh*t

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RedDagger
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#121

Posted A week ago

I would say Gta Online style microtransactions are best, because you can get the same stuff as persons who want to use real money for them, Shark Cards that is of course. If you have been playing the game somewhat actively since lets say Heists or Xbone/PS4 release or even from the begining of Online back at 2013, you should be good. Especially if you don't need every possible toy money can buy. Gta Style is also good as it doesn't split the playerbase (or well it does but not in traditional way). I'm not personally big fan of Shark Cards and 99% sure I won't ever buy 1 but it's good way if somebody wants to pick up the game now. Also Gta style ain't pay to win imo.

I'm not sure if you read the OP, but the main point was that the content you get is awful even if it's technically universally available for "free". Inflated in-game prices and deliberate artificial time barriers to even get the shallow content does not a fun game make, and the grindy barrier of time instead of money is still a split to the playerbase, just not a traditional money barrier.

Especially if you don't need every possible toy money can buy.

It's funny, this is always brought up when defending microtransactions, even when this point hadn't been mentioned at all - it's a fairly clear demonstration that the content put on a pedestal as incentive for the whole microtransaction thing is faffy bullsh*t that's used entirely as the desirable goal - y'know, like collecting all the toys in a set - instead of the actual gameplay itself.

The game shouldn't rely on the belief that to have fun you need to own the thing, and to have the best fun you own all the best things, but that's where it is. No, you don't need to, but evidently the idea is prevalent enough that you kinda have to to have fun.

And so on, and so on, but that's all in the OP (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧
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Richard Power Colt
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#122

Posted A week ago

I don't think there's really any money making method in the game that I actually find enjoyable, not anymore at least. Well maybe some of the adversary modes have been alright, but they're kinda hit or miss and it's difficult to find any players for anything other than the newest mode. Also the payouts for adversary modes are really low even when it's a double cash event.

 

Heists were enjoyable the first time, but they have really poor replay value and it sucks how one bad player can f*ck things up for the whole team. Contact missions I remember having some really obnoxious AI that can spawn way too close to the player and has sniper level accuracy and range with every weapon. And all the free mode delivery stuff is frustrating, because of how easily other players can just kill you with their ridiculously powerful military vehicles. And playing them in an empty session means you're just gonna drive across the map with some sh*tty van, it's really boring. 

 

The only thing I actually wanna do in GTA Online, because it's fun is f*ck around in free mode and all the toys you can buy are a big part of that experience. So it really does feel like having to do a bunch of boring work to actually enjoy the game.


Luigi22
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#123

Posted A week ago

Would be interesting to know what percent of persons who bought RDR or Max Payne 3, did buy some DLC's too. Not counting RDR's Undead Nightmare into this as it had singleplayer content too. Also how many bought IV's DLC's before it came available as disc.

 

LA Noire ofc had DLC's too but as it was singleplayer only, not counting it too.

 

Maybe experiences of R* with games listed above have something to do with current model and ofc success of Online too.


Static
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#124

Posted A week ago

Why would you exclude Undead Nightmare and La Noire's DLC for being single player, but not IV's which were both mainly single player as well?


RedDagger
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#125

Posted A week ago

Microtransactions usually bring in far more money than traditional DLC models, for a relevant example R*/T2 have said that GTA IV's DLCs didn't sell as well as they'd hoped - this has been known for a while. That's why companies have been favouring microtransactions, because it generates more revenue for less investment. It's never been explicitly said but this is likely why GTA V's Story DLC was canned as they upped the focus to purely supporting Online instead.

It's a money thing, that's kinda the point.
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Luigi22
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#126

Posted A week ago

Why would you exclude Undead Nightmare and La Noire's DLC for being single player, but not IV's which were both mainly single player as well?

 

Wasn't there new gamemodes and lots of guns and vehicles in IV DLC's? Also it was year 2009 when these came out, number of people buying them must be increased since then.


Microtransactions usually bring in far more money than traditional DLC models, for a relevant example R*/T2 have said that GTA IV's DLCs didn't sell as well as they'd hoped - this has been known for a while. That's why companies have been favouring microtransactions, because it generates more revenue for less investment. It's never been explicitly said but this is likely why GTA V's Story DLC was canned as they upped the focus to purely supporting Online instead.

It's a money thing, that's kinda the point.

 

But is that problem, since shouldn't more money for Rockstar and other companies mean even better games in future?


RedDagger
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#127

Posted A week ago

GTA V cost a few hundred million, the next game isn't going to cost that much more - the money they gained from the sales of GTA V's initial release alone easily covered those since it's well into the billions. They will have planned for that mostly - the extra money getting squeezed out by microtransactions will just float about the top of the hierarchy of T2 and R*.

And, of course, if they account for the revenue of microtransactions then it just implies that future games will be gimped if they're monetised by microtransactions.

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#128

Posted A week ago Edited by Jason, A week ago.

More money doesn't equal better games. The reason being is that earn rates (exp, cash, etc) are being poisoned by the simple thing of microtransactions (pay to skip/speedup) existing in those games. The loot tables or exp/gold/cash/coins earn rates are tilted towards microtransactions. You can earn everything in game through playing, but it usually requires grinding several hours a day, every day just to keep up. In fact, it's so bad that in many cases it's actually more efficient to go to work, get paid and then spend your hard earned dosh in game for in-game goodies than it is to simply grind it out through playing. That's not a coincidence, by the way. Might have been at first, but it's not now.

 

Add to that the industry has been flooded with "games as service" type games. Games that the publishers want you to play over months and even years. One of the absolute best ways to get players to do that has always been to dangle a carrot on a stick in front of the player. It works, it always has and always will, we're suckers for it and publishers know it. Thus the content developers are ordered to make these days is of that variety - new types of carrots to earn and if you want the carrot sooner they conveniently offer a one time use version of one of these for some of your hard earned real world cash.

 

The result of all this is that carrot on a stick content has taken precedence over content that expands and refreshes the game when it comes to post-launch content updates. Publishers are also now looking at ways they can add carrots to to grind to single player games of all types, without a care in the world if it suits the game, and even less of a care if players don't like or want it. So it doesn't matter that developers might have bigger budgets or more time to create games. If they feature microtransactions the damage is already done.

 

tldr; video game publishers have turned into carrot farmers

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Nick1020
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#129

Posted A week ago

Great post. I used to say gta online had it easy with micro transactions, but then they kept releasing expensive content. And not to mention being forced to sell whatever in a public session and gain little return. Especially if you're playing solo.

And special mention goes to blizzard, for lowering the odds of getting dupes in Overwatch. Blizzard claims they did it because everyone was bitching about dupes, but I'm confident they did this mainly to get people to buy loot boxes. Scumy on their part.

Jason
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#130

Posted A week ago

And special mention goes to blizzard, for lowering the odds of getting dupes in Overwatch. Blizzard claims they did it because everyone was bitching about dupes, but I'm confident they did this mainly to get people to buy loot boxes. Scumy on their part.

 

In fairness, that's harsh. That thinking is a case of damned if you do and damned if you don't for Blizzard. I'm not saying we should heap high praise on them for that decision but they at least deserve something for making a change that makes loot boxes more valuable and useful to the customer.


Richard Power Colt
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#131

Posted A week ago Edited by Richard Power Colt, A week ago.

And special mention goes to blizzard, for lowering the odds of getting dupes in Overwatch. Blizzard claims they did it because everyone was bitching about dupes, but I'm confident they did this mainly to get people to buy loot boxes. Scumy on their part.

 

It got a lot of praise when they changed it and I think you're actually the first person I've seen say that it's a bad change. After the change, I don't think I've gained a single duplicate from loot boxes. Which means that I get way less credits than what I used to. I liked the old system better, because it made it easier for me to buy the stuff I want instead of just getting a sh*t ton of sprays that I never use. To be fair tho supposedly the update did increase the amount of credits you get per duplicate. So I imagine for some people who have played the game a lot more than me and own a larger portion of all the items in the game it could actually increase the amount of credits they get.


Nick1020
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#132

Posted A week ago

And special mention goes to blizzard, for lowering the odds of getting dupes in Overwatch. Blizzard claims they did it because everyone was bitching about dupes, but I'm confident they did this mainly to get people to buy loot boxes. Scumy on their part.

 
In fairness, that's harsh. That thinking is a case of damned if you do and damned if you don't for Blizzard. I'm not saying we should heap high praise on them for that decision but they at least deserve something for making a change that makes loot boxes more valuable and useful to the customer.
Don't get me wrong. They do deserve credit for addressing this, but at the same time, made it much harder to get coins to buy skins. I was able to get at least 3k coins or more before their month event ended. Now, I hardly get any coins at all. To me, it's more of a mix blessing.
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zoso80
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#133

Posted A week ago Edited by zoso80, A week ago.

So the question becomes, as this new economic reality settles into gaming - will the consumer stay with it for the long haul as content becomes more shallow and grindy?

 

There are many people playing GTA:O for the social and muscle memory of it. They've been doing it so long, they keep on doing it.  Red, do you see a tipping point where the toys are so cumbersome and grindy to acquire that the new people will slow down coming in and the social crowd will over time dissipate?

 

Curious your thoughts on this.

 

Microtransactions usually bring in far more money than traditional DLC models, for a relevant example R*/T2 have said that GTA IV's DLCs didn't sell as well as they'd hoped - this has been known for a while. That's why companies have been favouring microtransactions, because it generates more revenue for less investment. It's never been explicitly said but this is likely why GTA V's Story DLC was canned as they upped the focus to purely supporting Online instead.

It's a money thing, that's kinda the point.


RedDagger
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#134

Posted A week ago

I see it appealing to a different crowd, personally. Mobile gaming has been doing this kind of thing, to the extreme, for years - games that are almost devoid of actual gameplay value and instead can rely purely on addictive feedback loops. It'll displace the fans of more traditional gameplay models, but honestly they're more of a minority at this point...there's no end to those who lean more "casually" who are willing to slot money in for the reward without having to go through the gamey parts for it. In general, it's pretty likely the consumer as a general whole will stay, and a company like Rockstar isn't going to oversaturate their games with roadblocks to the point of managing to drive away a majority of their consumers. It'll be able to continuously draw people in - the sales over the past 4 years have proven that - to displace those who stop playing, and again it'd take a monumentally stupid decision to single-handedly disrupt that balance.

A lot of the old crowd has already dissipated, the newer crowd is gonna be floating around for a while.

Although, it's gonna be interesting seeing what happens with GTA 6, and maybe RDR2 depending on how big they're planning on that being - GTAO had microtransactions slowly taking over the gameplay, which made it a lot more bearable for people. If a game starts out with the current intentions, well, it might turn out differently...probably not though since people eat this stuff up lmao
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MostWantedMVP
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#135

Posted A week ago Edited by MostWantedMVP, 6 days ago.

I know there have been mentions of letters going to parliment.


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#136

Posted A week ago

Microtransactions in the forms we know them today (loot boxes, pay to skip etc) aren't going away anytime soon, but I do genuinely think that we will see games purposefully avoid adding them and using that as a selling point. I've said it in another thread, but there is success to be found in simply not having microtransactions in your game given the increasing negativity surrounding them. Maybe not for the mega franchises where they are getting more deeply embedded by the year but there's definitely a growing audience of people who will take up an interest in your game if you avoid loot boxes and the like.


MostWantedMVP
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#137

Posted 6 days ago Edited by MostWantedMVP, 6 days ago.

https://petition.par...etitions/201300


Luigi22
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#138

Posted 5 days ago

I see it appealing to a different crowd, personally. Mobile gaming has been doing this kind of thing, to the extreme, for years - games that are almost devoid of actual gameplay value and instead can rely purely on addictive feedback loops. It'll displace the fans of more traditional gameplay models, but honestly they're more of a minority at this point...there's no end to those who lean more "casually" who are willing to slot money in for the reward without having to go through the gamey parts for it. In general, it's pretty likely the consumer as a general whole will stay, and a company like Rockstar isn't going to oversaturate their games with roadblocks to the point of managing to drive away a majority of their consumers. It'll be able to continuously draw people in - the sales over the past 4 years have proven that - to displace those who stop playing, and again it'd take a monumentally stupid decision to single-handedly disrupt that balance.

A lot of the old crowd has already dissipated, the newer crowd is gonna be floating around for a while.

Although, it's gonna be interesting seeing what happens with GTA 6, and maybe RDR2 depending on how big they're planning on that being - GTAO had microtransactions slowly taking over the gameplay, which made it a lot more bearable for people. If a game starts out with the current intentions, well, it might turn out differently...probably not though since people eat this stuff up lmao

 

We all know for fact that AAA games are becoming more and more expensive over the years. Devs need to seek for other ways to generate money than increasing price of actual game you buy. I'm not personally big fan of Gta style microtransactions either but what would be better for game like Gta then?. Microtransactions affecting cosmetic side of the game (clothes, weapon tints etc.) wouldn't work in game like Gta, as big part of the game is ability to customize, not for everybody but for big enough part of the community. Traditional Dlc's would be also bad for game like Gta as it would split playerbase really badly.

 

The question I have is what kind of model you would prefer?


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#139

Posted 5 days ago

Yes, but the games are recouping the costs as they've always been doing, otherwise they wouldn't have been releasing them in the first place.

Traditional DLCs don't need to split the playerbase, there's plenty of ways to package up content into a one time purchase and how the content is accessed. Cosmetic style microtransactions would also work in GTA, just having rarer/more special cosmetics being locked behind some sort of purchase would work fine since there's little in terms of customising the items themselves, only choosing between presets. While that would be kinda sucky and likely mess with the visual style of the game, it would be a lot less negative than the current system so hey

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#140

Posted 5 days ago Edited by D9fred95, 5 days ago.

I don't fully get the whole "DLC splits the playerbase" argument. If we're talking CoD map packs then yeah, the split is obvious. But something in the vein of EFLC wouldn't since the content it's adding will only be experienced by the player, nobody else. If the argument is that it adds DLC that others may not be able to buy and thus are missing out or "being split" then that's just silly. Otherwise we could say not owning a CoD weapon skin is "splitting the playerbase".

 

It's just a shame SP DLCs are being passed up. Devs don't necessarily need to make multiplayer DLC's, but those are the money makers it seems.

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#141

Posted 5 days ago

Seriously f*ck Activision.

 

Gist of it is a microtransaction-oriented matchmaking; that is, you will get matched not according to your skill or ping, but according to the perfect way to get you to purchase ingame microtransactions. Things like pair you up against players who have paid, and thus are stronger; if you just bought something, pair you up against sh*t players so you get a couple of wins and feel happy with your purchase; and many other shady stuff.

 

f*ck this. f*ck all of this. To the people saying "oh, but loot crates are optional! you don't need to buy microtransactions! it's not as bad as X!", well, this is what your attitude takes us.

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scalliano
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#142

Posted 3 days ago

I don't fully get the whole "DLC splits the playerbase" argument. If we're talking CoD map packs then yeah, the split is obvious. But something in the vein of EFLC wouldn't since the content it's adding will only be experienced by the player, nobody else. If the argument is that it adds DLC that others may not be able to buy and thus are missing out or "being split" then that's just silly. Otherwise we could say not owning a CoD weapon skin is "splitting the playerbase".

 

It's just a shame SP DLCs are being passed up. Devs don't necessarily need to make multiplayer DLC's, but those are the money makers it seems.

Whilst traditional MP expansion packs do split the playerbase in that they have the potential to water down the player count, what microtransactions do is split it into the haves and have-nots. Of course, skins and such are merely for show, but much of GTAO's actual gameplay is gated behind absolutely exorbitant amounts of ingame currency and mandatory multiple purchases which a lot of players have neither the time nor the real world cash to accumulate, hence there are aspects of the actual game that many players will never get to enjoy. And that's before we get into the fact that all of the rich kids are running around in armoured cars and fighter jets making the regular players' lives miserable.

 

Which leads me nicely into Activision's latest stunt mentioned above - psychological coercion. The idea of matching a new player with a veteran with the sole motive of letting them get their arse pureed by a player with a better loadout in order to persuade them to part with money for a stat boost is just about the single, most brazen act of unmitigated avarice I have seen from a publisher. And this is coming from someone who got the whole "we've adjusted your GTA $ because reasons, have 15% off a Shark Card" message a few weeks ago.


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#143

Posted 2 days ago Edited by fashion, 2 days ago.

Whether the activision matchmaking scam is true or not, you'd have to be f*cking stupid to actually fall for it.

"Oh this guy who killed me has a pink 420 weapon skin, I go and buy hundreds of lootboxes now!"

Obviously aimed at kids who don't understand finances yet.
It sucks for those who enjoy the MP of CoD and are put at a disadvantage against more buffed players. Never buying a CoD again. Didn't buy since MW3.




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