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Op Ed

Eurogamer - Shooters: How Video Games Fund Arms Manufacturers.
While the benefits of using licensed weaponry are clear for the game maker, the benefits to the gun maker - aside from the licence fee - are less obvious. However, just as cigarette companies used confectionery to market their products to children, so gun makers can use video games to increase awareness of their products amongst those too young to buy them. As Vaughn puts it: "Video games expose our brand to a young audience who are considered possible future owners."

GameFront - Dead Space 3′s Microtransactions Set A Dangerous Precedent.
The worst part of all of this is the dangerous precedent it sets. I’m willing to give Visceral Games the benefit of the doubt and believe that Dead Space 3′s crafting resource drop rates aren’t tooled to encourage players to keep their credit card handy. But if the practice of including these kinds of microtransactions becomes commonplace, then it won’t be long before publishers clue into the fact that they can build psychological devices into a game to extort money from players — see Jamie Madison’s blog, The Psychology of Gaming, for frightening insight into how developers can and have manipulated us into playing longer, paying more, and keeping us as repeat customers. There isn’t a wide chasm between a CEO posing the question, “What content in our game can we allow players to pay to skip?” and, “What can we include in the game that players will want to pay to skip?”

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9 Replies. 1 pages. Viewing page 1.
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9. Re: Op Ed Feb 1, 2013, 09:48 gray
 
There’s a lot of players out there, especially players coming from mobile games, who are accustomed to micro-transactions. They’re like “I need this now, I want this now”. They need instant gratification. So we included that option in order to attract those players, so that if they’re 5000 Tungsten short of this upgrade, they can have it.

That may be the poorest statement I've ever heard...

You are exploiting human behavior to make a quick buck, no one is fooled. Just say it like it is John, you'll feel better.
 
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8. Re: Op Ed Feb 1, 2013, 08:46 Beamer
 
I'm going to start this by saying I think that microtransactions like this IS a dangerous precedent, and I think that once developers and publishers (yes, both sides) see the money rolling some, if not most, would be unable to prevent their design from being swayed.

In a perfect world, though, it would have made perfect sense. Create a game as you would, then let people pay to make it easier. I'm not saying you change the game to incent that, you just take advantage of people that have more money than patience.

Take, for instance, BL2. If they let you buy legendary weapons, even at just a quarter apiece, they probably would have made at least an extra buck per sale. Given that legendaries are randomized, some people would have spent $5 just to get a 94% Sham. People are already duping these like crazy, so it wouldn't really change the game. It just would have added a revenue stream for Gearbox without really harming anyone.

But, the flip side, is given how low those damn legendaries drop now, everyone would accuse them of having rigged the game for cash. We would have been certain of it. Convinced. And we'd hate Gearbox for it.
In that way, it's better not to burn that goodwill (fairly new for Gearbox) and create that suspicion.

And I don't think any of us doubt that Randy would see the extra several million bucks of pure profit and not think "hmm, maybe a 0.25% drop rate for the Sand Hawk is too high. Next time, 0.025%!"
 
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7. Re: Op Ed Feb 1, 2013, 02:17 jdreyer
 
I can sort of see the point about not having real guns in games since it's a form of marketing. One of the things I love about BL & BL2 is all the fake gun manufacturer names: Torgue, Atlas, Dahl, etc.

However, when I'm playing a realistic shooter, I want reality. So, yes, please keep putting Colt, Sig Sauer, Kalashnikov in those kinds of games. If parents want their kids to avoid that marketing, they shouldn't let them play those games.
 
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"Microsoft is the absent minded parent of PC gaming" - Verno
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6. Re: Op Ed Feb 1, 2013, 02:13 jdreyer
 
Well, I suppose that's what reviews are for. If you pay full price for a game which then requires another $10-20 to be playable, that's a game I'm just going to skip, or buy the GoTY edition a few years down the road.

If you want me to buy at shipping, make it a full goddamn game.
 
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"Microsoft is the absent minded parent of PC gaming" - Verno
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5. Re: Op Ed Jan 31, 2013, 23:53 Asmo
 
I kinda agree with Cutter. I'll be the first to admit that I've dropped cash to bypass "the grind" (ie. content you should be playing because you enjoy it... ironically) in some games. XP boosts, chances for unlocks in MP (ME3) etc. I don't feel extorted, I feel like I had a choice and had disposable income to make that choice.

If people want to bypass crafting in Deadspace III, g'luck to em, but it's neither new nor arm twisting.
 
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4. Re: Op Ed Jan 31, 2013, 22:10 PropheT
 
Cutter wrote on Jan 31, 2013, 21:46:
God forbid anyone excercise some willpower and self-restraint. Extort money from players? Cereal?

I'd agree with you, but once you've already spent $50-$60 for a game it's not hard to get to the point where it might seem like a good idea to spend another $5-$10 to make that original investment worthwhile. It doesn't have to snag all that many players to be effective.

Take Diablo 3 as an example. I never bought anything from the AH, gold or real money, but I'd bet that a pretty good chunk of people (including many who aren't even playing the game anymore) did because it was the only way to keep progressing in the game.
 
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3. Re: Op Ed Jan 31, 2013, 21:46 Cutter
 
God forbid anyone excercise some willpower and self-restraint. Extort money from players? Cereal?
 
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"Bye weeks? Bronko Nagurski didn't get no bye weeks, and now he's dead… Well, maybe they're a good thing." - Moe
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2. Re: Op Ed Jan 31, 2013, 20:48 PropheT
 
But if the practice of including these kinds of microtransactions becomes commonplace, then it won’t be long before publishers clue into the fact that they can build psychological devices into a game to extort money from players

It -is- commonplace. Dead Space 3 is far from the first game to have done this, so I'm a little curious as to why it's even getting the attention it is. I still remember being a bit blown away by the amount of day-1 DLC that Gears of War 3 had, and it wasn't even the first to do it.
 
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1. Re: GameFront - Dead Space 3&#8242;s Microtransactions Set A Dangerous Precedent Jan 31, 2013, 20:35 Fletch
 
"I’m willing to give Visceral Games the benefit of the doubt and believe that Dead Space 3's crafting resource drop rates aren’t tooled to encourage players to keep their credit card handy."

I'm not.
 
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