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Harsin

Let's talk about Loot Boxes

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19 hours ago, K said:

Apparently, the UFC thing isn't quite as exploitative as it seems - the mode they're talking about above is the equivalent of Ultimate Team, and is siloed off from the other multiplayer modes. If you don't want to participate in the £1,000 wrestler mode - and god knows why you would - then you don't have to.

 

Part of their desire that literally every game should have an Ultimate Team style mode. Except in wrestling where it makes no sense as there is only about ten of them, so you end up packing things like stronger body parts. Ridiculous.

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3 hours ago, Nate Dogg III said:

 

Almost certainly a shutdown, yes, but it's nothing to do with this I don't think. If they were afraid of regulation or repercussions they'd keep selling right up until the last minute.

 

The PAD EU userbase is tiny, propped up by a couple of dozen massive spenders, and I guess it's just got to the point where the economics of updating and running the thing over here no longer make sense. The best we can hope for is a merger with the North American server, but current consensus is that it's just going to shut down. 

 

Boo. Well, at least I’ll get the time back for a more meaningful hobby.

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22 hours ago, Isaac said:

 

What bit of his argument do you disagree with? That loot boxes are manipulative gambling? That EA is the progenitor of this particular pay to win model? That EA is the publisher most reliant on this practice, crowbarring it into all their big releases? That the other AAA publishers survive without engineering loot boxes that directly affect gameplay? Or that we're likely to see regulators/lawyers step in?

 

I think all of those things are demonstrably true. 

 

None of what you posted, it's the bit of the video which you didn't mention this time, but I notice you did bring up in an earlier post on the matter. His claim that development costs for games hasn't gone up, going so far as to use inflation to make the gap look bigger, which he didn't choose to apply to the rest of the financial data for some reason...

 

The history of Ultimate Team was interesting, but when he chose to 'prove' that development costs for games hadn't gone up by either misunderstanding or willfully misrepresenting that particular bit of data, it annoyed me. Even at a basic level, anybody should be able to understand that if you need more people and more time to make something, you'd conclude it was going to be more expensive to do that thing, wouldn't you agree?

 

If YouTubers are going to do journalism, they should hold themselves to the same standards as real journalists, otherwise they are the equivalent of a talk radio host. He isn't the first YouTuber to claim dev costs aren't going up either, so I imagine, much like a lot of things taken as 'factual', many people will be repeating it in future, well we do have even heads of countries and news channels getting in on this sort of thing, so why expect anything else.

 

I agree Pay2Win is the real reason this shit has blown up, as practically any other implementation of MTX has gotten a pass with only minor resistance, even though as that video proves, Pay2Win has actually been accepted in side modes for years, just in games the internet crowd don't care about, and it was only when it was tried in a major brand in the primary game mode that people suddenly woke up to it.

 

Lootboxes are symptomatic of a problem, if nobody is interested in why they came about, apart from the pure greed angle, then there is nothing to really discuss.

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TL:DR version - Battlefront 2 sold 882k in the US compared to its predecessor selling 2.1 million. Whilst this figure doesn't account for people moving to digital it’s unlikely to cover that massive drop.

 

Analysts think it will get a boost from the film, but so glad consumers gave EA a bloody nose over this. I fear to think where they would have gone next if they thought they could get away with shafting customers this hard.

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Good. I love me some Star Wars but I'm not buying into the failed pay to win concept no matter how good the core game is. It'd be like paying cash for the golden gun in goldeneye then fighting a room full of casuals with throwing knives - unless you played as oddjob you could still probably win a few. 

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3 hours ago, Naieve said:

lulz, 'Skin Betting' sounds so terrifying 

 

Did you see that on the 10 o clock news last night? Skin betting...all the kids are doing it!

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On 12/1/2017 at 12:22, footle said:

 

Boo. Well, at least I’ll get the time back for a more meaningful hobby.

 

If you haven't played the 3DS version of Puzzle & Dragons, it's pretty great. Zero micro transaction bollocks.

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That's been a thing in CS: GO for ages, so Valve have been ahead of the curve for this sort of thing for a while. Some YouTubers got into trouble over promoting a site which facilitates the market for it a while ago, which they happened to also own.

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EA and co push it hard, see how far they can go, they go over the line, get justly criticised, back-pedal, making out they're the good guys and doing us paying customers all a favour by rolling back. It's about time consumers stopped buying the bullshit damage-limitation PR line.

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For the first time today my son asked if he could add money to his account in order to buy Overwatch loot boxes.

 

We had a chat about it for about an hour and I think he understands why it's a bad idea but I'll be keeping a close eye on how he plays for a while.

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https://www.vg247.com/2018/02/09/activision-blizzard-made-4-billion-microtransactions-2017-half-revenue/

 

Quote

During Activision Blizzard’s Q4 2017 financial results, the publisher revealed that it made $7.16 billion in revenue in the entire fiscal year, a record for the company.

Of that, $4 billion was generated by in-game purchases. Activision owns King, makers of Candy Crush and other mobile, microtransactions-heavy games, but even when you separate King’s share, valued at $2 billion, you’ll still be left with $2 billion from PC and console in-game purchases.

 

So just to confirm, micro transactions (and pre-order tiers, etc.) are necessary to keep the absurd costs of "AAA" development alive, and here's a specific example where they accounted for over half of Activision's revenue. Which means there is either a gaping hole in the costs required to make big games, or someone's pension fund is doing well.

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Ironically enough, Activision-Blizzard are probably the one big publisher which doesn't have to rely on MTX to make a decent profit, they were doing perfectly fine before it became widespread (~$800+ Million net profit annually since 2011 and their merger, it helps they have some of the biggest sellers and did a Disney on their output), unlike the other majors. But Bobby doesn't miss a trick to keep ahead of the competition, and their games don't even generate much of a backlash when they began experimenting with monetisation either years ago.

 

Subtract their costs of ~$5.7 Billion and the abnormally high tax bill, the actual profit is actually very low this year, at a mere $273 Million, if that was Microsoft or Intel, somebody would be getting fired for that abysmal performance.

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1 hour ago, mushashi said:

Ironically enough, Activision-Blizzard are probably the one big publisher which doesn't have to rely on MTX to make a decent profit, they were doing perfectly fine before it became widespread (~$800+ Million net profit annually since 2011 and their merger, it helps they have some of the biggest sellers and did a Disney on their output), unlike the other majors. But Bobby doesn't miss a trick to keep ahead of the competition, and their games don't even generate much of a backlash when they began experimenting with monetisation either years ago.

 

Subtract their costs of ~$5.7 Billion and the abnormally high tax bill, the actual profit is actually very low this year, at a mere $273 Million, if that was Microsoft or Intel, somebody would be getting fired for that abysmal performance.

 

How does someone manage to write those two paragraphs - they’re one of the publishers that don’t need to do it, and are just trying it on; they aren’t very profitable - in succession?!

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Because both happen to be true? If you read the the text, the reasons why would have been revealed. If they didn't have their oddly high tax bill this year, they'd be ~$1 Billion in profit, which is normal for them.

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2 hours ago, mushashi said:

Because both happen to be true? If you read the the text, the reasons why would have been revealed. If they didn't have their oddly high tax bill this year, they'd be ~$1 Billion in profit, which is normal for them.

 

$4 billion from in-app purchases, $2 billion not from King. That’d swiftly be a $1 billion loss then, on revenues of $5 billion.

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1 minute ago, footle said:

 

I think I didn’t.

 

Not following the maths then...

 

Unless I've misunderstood your point - their figures suggest they do need MTX to support their development costs so apologies if thats what your trying to say - I agree

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29 minutes ago, dreamylittledream said:

 

Not following the maths then...

 

Unless I've misunderstood your point - their figures suggest they do need MTX to support their development costs so apologies if thats what your trying to say - I agree

 

That’s my point. They’re not one of the publishers who don’t need to do it...

(obviously, no publisher needs to do it, if they’ve got a better idea, but none of them currently seem to)

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They were making more money years before they bought King and before MTX took off, so it doesn't follow that including King would mean they suddenly fell to a loss if you looked at just Activision and Blizzard without King, you forget King itself has running costs which are now included in the results. King Digital previously did over $2 Billion in revenue and had a net profit of ~$500 Million so that would be the rough figure to subtract if you want to exclude King from Activision-Blizzard. They'll likely post a profit well in excess of ~$1 Billion next year as the tax stuff is a one-time hit, that is certainly their forward forecast.

 

ATVI have been consistently profitable for years now, due to them being the gaming equivalent of Disney, they have their equivalent of Star Wars, Marvel and Pixar, unlike the other publishers who don't have multiple big earners. The rest actually do have some valid reasons to lean on MTX.

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Hawaii pushing forward with loot box legislation.

 

https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2018-02-13-hawaii-introduces-landmark-legislation-against-loot-boxes

 

Quote

Hawaiian state representative Sean Quinlan has affirmed support of his colleague's efforts to "curb the proliferation of gambling mechanics in games that are marketed to children", saying he expects other states to follow Hawaii's lead in the "absence of strong signals from the industry that they will deal with the issue internally". 

In December last year, Quinlan said that regulation would be a "slippery slope" and that the industry should self-regulate. 

"When I was a teenager, a senator by the name of Joseph Lieberman tried to regulate the content of violent video games," Quinlan told GamesIndustry.biz. "His attempts to conflate video game violence with real world violence did lasting damage to the image of video games and certain publishers. 

"I want to make it clear that we are only regulating a mechanism, not the content of the game itself. I would hope that any further legislation dealing with video games would similarly only look at particular mechanisms and not content itself.

"We live in an age where behavioral psychologists have discovered certain triggers and strategies that are extremely efficient at separating people from their money at a frightening pace. If even mature and intelligent adults are falling victim to these mechanisms, how are kids expected to respond?"

 

 

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