Microtransactions: the Future of Games? (LootBoxes and Gambling)

Discussion in 'Console Industry' started by Crayon, Dec 29, 2007.

  1. BRiT

    BRiT (╯°□°)╯
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    Details on EA's changes to StarWars BattleFront II -- https://www.windowscentral.com/ea-d...battlefront-iis-progression-pay-win-gone-good

    The backlash against EA's aggressive pay-to-win strategy for Star Wars Battlefront II has succeeded, as the company details sweeping shift to cosmetic-only loot crates.

    Today, EA revealed the revamped progression system which finally adds a linear-style progression system for in-game abilities, as was requested by fans early on in the game's beta last year. Loot crates will return, but will take an Overwatch-style cosmetic-only approach, rewarding players with new skins, emotes, and other types of flair to show off your character.
    • With this update, progression is now linear.
    • You'll keep everything you've already earned and unlocked.
    • Crates no longer include Star Cards and cannot be purchased.
    • Starting in April, you'll be able to get appearances directly through in-game Credits or Crystals.
     
  2. iroboto

    iroboto Daft Funk
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    I hope it works out for them but
    can't help but think this is...

     
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  3. Tkumpathenurpahl

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    Yup, just in time for everyone to have stopped playing. Good, timely work there guys!
     
  4. Malo

    Malo Yak Mechanicum
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    Note that EA stated they couldn't do cosmetic-type microtransactions due to canon. In spite of doing exactly that with BF 2015.

    Pink Vader only $99.95!
     
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  5. CSI PC

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    And they still managed to sell 9 million copies up to the end of 2017, quite unbelievable.
     
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  6. Grall

    Grall Invisible Member
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    I would have bought this game for the singleplayer if it wasn't for origin. With pay-to-win gone, I would even have considered trying my hand again at online multiplayer, except last time I did (around when retail Overwatch launched), my mousehand developed SEVERE carpal tunnel-like ache in less than 15 minutes due to the increased tension; it was so uncomfortably painful I had to bow out of the game I was in and I haven't been back since.

    Money well spent for that Collector's Edition box! lol At least I got a battle pet in WoW out of it... ;)
     
  7. CSI PC

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    I think you were lucky not to buy it tbh.
    The singleplayer is meant to start strong but falls down badly midway onwards.
     
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  8. Grall

    Grall Invisible Member
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    Well, maybe so, but it's Star Wars, and I haven't played through a single Star Wars game since friggin' Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight (which had a really strong story btw, I friggin loved that game! FMV rocked too...) So, my body is ready, I feel. :p

    Not ready for friggin' origin, though... :(
     
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  9. Tkumpathenurpahl

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    ?

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. BRiT

    BRiT (╯°□°)╯
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    Caught this on IRC that was caught from ResetEra Thread.

    TL;DR: The Netherlands Gambling Authority has declared some lootboxes to be gambling. They have 2 months time to adjust their game or start facing fines or having the game banned. Other work continues across Europe to further investigate the issue.

    "They're designed to be gambling games and give the player the feeling that they almost won. There are all kinds of audio- and visualeffects when you open a lootbox. This gives a player the urge to keep going." - Marja Appelman, Director of the gambling authority.

    English Translation of findings, Study into loot boxes A treasure or a burden? -- https://www.kansspelautoriteit.nl/p...r_loot_boxes_-_een_buit_of_een_last_-_eng.pdf

    From the first page of the study findings:

    Summary
    The Netherlands Gaming Authority has completed its study of loot boxes, also known as ‘crates’, ‘cases’ or ‘packs’. Loot boxes are a type of treasure chest that are built into a growing number of games. Loot boxes in games create a mixing of games of chance and games of skill. Although the outcome of games is determined by skill, the outcome of loot boxes is determined by chance. Players usually has to pay for a loot box. The prize that they can win with loot boxes may also have a monetary value. This fact gave rise to the question of whether loot boxes are permitted on the grounds of the Betting and Gaming Act (Wet op de kansspelen). The Netherlands Gaming Authority was also interested in whether addiction risks are associated with opening loot boxes.

    Reason for the study
    The Netherlands Gaming Authority studied loot boxes after concerns were raised by gamers, parents and addiction care.

    Findings of the study
    The study revealed that four of the ten loot boxes that were studied contravene the law. The reason is that the content of these loot boxes is determined by chance and that the prizes to be won can be traded outside of the game: the prizes have a market value. Offering these types of games of chance to Dutch consumers without a licence is prohibited.

    The analyses that are currently available indicate that all of the loot boxes that were studied could be addictive. Loot boxes are similar to gambling games such as slot machines and roulette in terms of design and mechanisms. There are, however, no indications of loot boxes being opened on a large scale by problem players and/or addicted players. Socially vulnerable groups, such as young people, are being encouraged to play games of chance.
     
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  11. Shifty Geezer

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    So if they can't be traded outside the game, it's not gambling.

    I consider this a lose. It means the psychological manipulation is deemed okay and legal.
     
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  12. ToTTenTranz

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    The current verdict is if it can be traded outside the game then these games (reportedly PUBG, DOTA2, FIFA and Rocket League) are already going against the law. The devs were given a deadline to change the game or to change its product type into an online casino game, which means paying the same kind of taxes and getting the same kind of regulation as casino games (i.e. they have to send the source code for review to auditors every time they change as much as a coma), and of course they will all become adults-only games, possibly being barred from being sold in many retailers and even e-shops.


    But they also acknowledge that loot boxes in general are creating dopamine releases on youngsters, leading to early gambling addicts, so law change propositions are already under way to make games with loot boxes to automatically become adults-only titles. Regardless of the content found in said loot boxes being purely cosmetic or not.


    They also said there are 3 other countries in the E.U. that are about to show the same conclusions from their own reports.
    This means it's just a matter of time before the law changes and their enforcement are adopted E.U.-wide, IMO.


    We're probably looking at the beginning of the end of loot boxes in mainstream games. The current golden-egg goose for multiplatform publishers will end, and it will apply to pretty much all current-gen giants like FIFA/Madden, CS:GO, DOTA2, Overwatch, CoD, Battlefield/Battlefront, PUBG, Assassin's Creed, etc.
    It's impressive how loot boxes have slowly crawled their way into pretty much all known AAA franchises to date, even in 1st-party Microsoft titles like Forza 7 and Gears of War 4.

    Sony's 1st-party AAAs seem to steer away from them, but that may be because they're selling like crazy, though.
     
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  13. Jupiter

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    I checked Battlefront II and now I really need experience points for each class before I can upgrade them to a certain level. Before I could have unlocked everything with a single character or game mode. One didn't even have to rely on lootboxes because everything could be upgraded with another ingame currency. Now I can never upgrade characters I personally don't like to play or find too weak yet. I am forced to play every class laboriously so that I can upgrade them....

    Before I could for example fully upgrade the spaceships without flying them now I have to play with the spaceships to be able to upgrade them. Hero spaceships are rare and how am I supposed to get so many ep? I hate this progression system.

    Now I have to suffer because of all these people who get upset about lootboxes and don't even play the game even now since DICE removed the gameplay relevant lootbox stuff.
     
    #513 Jupiter, Apr 21, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2018
  14. BRiT

    BRiT (╯°□°)╯
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    It's not the fault of the other people who rightfully complained about the Gambling aspects, so your hate is misplaced. The hate for the gambling and the new "replacement" mechanics is strictly the fault of the publisher and developers. They didn't have to replace the gambling with a horrible slog of a grind-fest mechanism. They could have done something different, like allow you to earn experience anywhere/anyhow and apply the experience to anything.
     
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  15. Jupiter

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    I played the Hero vs. Villians mode so often that I could fully develop the heroes I take (since cards could also be upgraded in a targeted manner). If I take these now I won't get ahead with other characters and classes. I want to play what I enjoy most and unlock everything. Now I seem to have to grind every character and class each for many many hours.

    In my opinion DICE should have preferred to focus on something else.
     
    #515 Jupiter, Apr 21, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2018
  16. CSI PC

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    The ones at fault are the publisher who pushed for the lootbox design to be integral to the game mechanics/structure, now they are backing out it shows just how much of a mess and integral the studio/publisher are making such mechanisms to games to entice consumers to spend cash in a consistent and persistent manner.
    The problem lies fully with the publisher and dev studios (only games where they get a say in this).

    The loot mechanism in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor showed how badly it can influence in a negative way the core game design-structure; not sure it fully fixed the nemesis system/story/engagement with Orcs when they removed it from that game as well.
     
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  17. Shifty Geezer

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    You should contact EA and tell them they've materially changed the game you bought and it no longer works the way you like and you either expect them to change it to work the way you want (collect XP you can spend anywhere I guess), or they should refund the game.

    The whole 'lets change the product after they've bought it' thing is bullshit and companies can't be allowed to act with impunity if they change it for the worse for some of their owners.
     
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  18. Jupiter

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    You're right and I was just a little angry when I saw it. Of course I still think it's a horrible system where I even liked the old one better. I'll think about what I'm going to do next.
     
  19. Malo

    Malo Yak Mechanicum
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    It continues...

    Video game loot boxes are now illegal in Belgium. Even ones that don't have any material value like Overwatch.
    https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2018...-now-considered-criminal-gambling-in-belgium/

     
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  20. Jupiter

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    They should just allow it from the age of 18. Now they can forbid the Kinder Surpise and some card games. Or the publishers simply exclude Belgium as it was sometimes done in Germany for certain games (there are over seven times as many people than in Belgium).
     
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