The Morals of Micro Transactions

Discussion in 'Politics & Ethics of Technology' started by Davros, Nov 25, 2013.

  1. PeterAce

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    Other *potential* rip-offs are Season Passes. Several times I have purchased a season pass (expecting to receive all DLC content for a game only to find some so-called 'exclusive DLC' content is then an additional purchase! For example, the AC4 BF season pass does not get you the extra resource packs!

    Borderlands 2 does this the right way, the season pass gets you all DLC content (many extra ours of great gameplay).
     
  2. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    I was reminded of that after seeing the SWIV article on EG today. Games came with free cheats and shortcuts that the player used at their own discretion. I'd go so far to suggest devs had a poor handle on game balancing as many games were nigh incompletely without the cheats. Back then, if we hadn't time to master the millisecond timing to pass a certain part of a certain level, we could still experience the rest of the game, and for free.

    Modern shortcuts could be replaced with old-skool cheat codes. Use left-left-up-up-x-down-x-down to get 1 million credits in F5/GT6. Players who use the cheat unfairly would only affect their own experience, so there's no negative to this approach (except for players who lack self control).
     
  3. function

    function None functional
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    Yep. The idea that this kind of game skip / grind avoidance has to be paid for is a misdirection by people who have to justify pay-to-not-play mechanisms. It's bad when it happens at all, but worse when core gameplay mechanics are broken to nudge / coax / force people into paying to use the game as it should ideally work.

    And when it breaks game balance in multiplayer it's just filthy.
     
  4. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    Thinking of this from an indie developer POV, I was wondering what if you design a game with a very good progression arc with a reasonable intended playtime of n hours to unlock, as games have had for decades, and then slap a pay-to-progress option for numpties who are happy to break the game and rush to the end? If you make the conscious decision not to change the game style format from the original but add a pay option for a little extra revenue, and never give in to temptation to add grind, that seems acceptable to me in the fairness stakes.
     
  5. function

    function None functional
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    I think that would be a fair compromise. It would take some discipline not to allow the "unlock" revenue to influence game design and balance, but it could be done with no impact to the "pure gamer".

    Might not work with multilayer though, if it allowed early access to balance affecting kit e.g. weapons, cars, exp multipliers, larger magazines and more weapon slots.

    Pay to unlock costumes early though? Fine by me!
     
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