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#1 Edited by Seppli (9773 posts) -

It all depends on how *hardcore* a player you are. The *Mystery Box* nature of the microtransactions for ME3's multiplayer totally crosses the line, if you are a *hardcore* enough player. My N7 level is over 1000. I really like its coop gameplay, it's great. There's a big problem with it however. The unlock system is set-up in a way, that the more I played the game, the less rewarding it became - which is not gamedesign I expect to find in a game I paid 90$ for. *Mystery Boxes* belong in free 2 play games (and even in the realm of F2P games, Mystery Boxes are bottom-of-the-barrel design), and I'd argue, regardless of how EA has given out free multiplayer DLC, that Mass Effect 3 does not qualitfy as such.

To repeat myself: "ME3's Mystery Boxes get less rewarding the more you play (or pay)". At the pace I was unlocking ultra rare guns, I'd have had to spend more than 25,000 $ (or about a year of actual playtime) to get to play with the guns I wanted to play with the most. It's the most disgusting experience I had in gaming to date, and it's the main reason why I hate Mass Effect 3 so fucking much. I've quit SW:TOR for similar reasons. Bioware picking up F2P designs like the "Mystery Box" is the worst and most scary trend in gaming to date.

EA has already crossed the line guys. You just don't know it yet, because you aren't *hardcore* enough. Gamebreakingly disgusting things have already taken form, and ruined endgame progression for two Bioware games already, and I only expect it to get worse from here on out. Death to the Mystery Box!

#2 Edited by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

The worst is FIFA Ultimate Team, they make over 100 million dollars a year off it, they don't give you any new content, they just give you the right to use that player in your Ultimate Team, for example Messi and Ronaldo sell for over a million coins, on average you make about 500 coins a match in UT, so that's over 2000 games to even get close to affording one of those players and that excludes the fucking contracts you have to buy to keep on using your player, 450 coins for each player to be able to play 28 games. People are paying hundreds of dollars to buy coins ala WOW gold farming or you can spend real money on packs thats 99% of the time give you absolutely nothing, for 1200 coins you could buy a few gold packs or you could buy a decent XBLA game. But the absolute worse part of this is once the next FIFA comes out you have to start all over again with your Ultimate Team....

Mass Effect 3 wasn't that bad in this respect, you finish a Gold round you have enough to buy the most expensive pack, but I only played the MP for 2 weeks and really got some great weapons and classes.

#3 Edited by Seppli (9773 posts) -

@Bourbon_Warrior said:

The worst is FIFA Ultimate Team, they make over 100 million dollars a year off it, they don't give you any new content, they just give you the right to use that player in your Ultimate Team, for example Messi and Ronaldo sell for over a million coins, on average you make about 500 coins a match in UT, so that's over 2000 games to even get close to affording one of those players and that excludes the fucking contracts you have to buy to keep on using your player, 450 coins for each player to be able to play 28 games. People are paying hundreds of dollars to buy coins ala WOW gold farming or you can spend real money on packs thats 99% of the time give you absolutely nothing, for 1200 coins you could buy a few gold packs or you could buy a decent XBLA game. But the absolute worse part of this is once the next FIFA comes out you have to start all over again with your Ultimate Team....

That sounds fucking disgusting too. Not a FIFA player myself, so I didn't know. Truely, the more you are into a game, the more apparent such shady practices become. Too bad our enthusiast press colleagues don't play games in that way, or we'd see more blow-back on this shit.

I guess it's somewhat less agitating than what's happening in Mass Effect 3 though, because getting a new player doesn't really change the game - it's merely a statistical advantage. Gun and class unlocks however equal actual gameplay depth in Mass Effect 3. A fair free 2 play model let's the player unlock guns steadily - at a snail's pace - or buy them straight off the item shop.

That'd be way too fair a deal for EA and Bioware. They're acting like serial-ass-rapists with their fondness for the Mystery Box, and I feel like they're escalating slowly to full-blown mass murder - killing off one good developer after another with insane corporate mandates. It's monstrous, and it needs to stop.

#4 Posted by buft (3298 posts) -

I play both those games(still active) and I agree, specific lightsaber colors in swtor are only available in the mystery box and although as a sub i got points free i still haven't managed to get one, the alternative is paying a ludicrous amount of in game currency to someone else who got one, the amount of money that i would have spent in the store had the cartel coins not been free is around $30 which is ludicrous, too date for all the big ticket items these boxes offer i havent got a single good item, just a bunch of terrible xp boosts and 3 of the same low rent mounts.

As for Mass Effect 3 the studio thats running its multiplayer have at least been quite good in pumping out new content for the game on the back of the microtransactions which is something i cant say for star wars, all they ever seem to add is new things to purchase.

#5 Posted by Raven10 (1600 posts) -

I think they did it decently well in Dead Space 3 at least. According to Brad you can get plenty of resources without paying. That's the way it should be. You should be able to play the full game without months of grinding but if you want to really speed it up you can pay some money and do so. In a situation where it is all but impossible to earn enough in game currency to purchase what you want, then the microtransactions have ruined the game. EA has really done some shady things when it comes to DLC. It's a shame because a lot of their games are pretty decent. Hard to want to support a company that does things like this though.

#6 Edited by Blimble (302 posts) -

A long long time ago we had these things called cheat codes. Some could give you loads of money or items in a game, you didn't have to pay extra. This meant if you need to speed up getting through a game you could just cheat,no more money is spent on that game you just paid a load for and you don't have hey buy shit popping up on the screen all the time

The only reason EA isn't doing that is greed

In multiplayer microtransactions shouldn't exist at all as it just makes it who can spend more rather than who has got good enough at this game to earn it

#7 Edited by Seppli (9773 posts) -

@Blimble said:

A long long time ago we had these things called cheat codes. Some could give you loads of money or items in a game, you didn't have to pay extra. This meant if you need to speed up getting through a game you could just cheat,no more money is spent on that game you just paid a load for and you don't have hey buy shit popping up on the screen all the time

The only reason EA isn't doing that is greed

In multiplayer microtransactions should exist at all as it just makes it who can spend more rather than who has got good enough at this game to earn it

The Mystery Box however is not it. It's an asshole business scheme.

#8 Posted by KaneRobot (1268 posts) -

DLC crossed the line right out of the gate with horse armor, which wasn't even EA. They're just finding ways to fuck us harder.

#9 Posted by Raven10 (1600 posts) -

@Blimble: True. EA is a business though and you can't blame them for wanting to make customers pay for something like that. Not that I support it, but I don't blame them for it. They aren't a very successful company these days so any sort of extra money they can squeeze out of games they try to. It's just a factor of rising costs and lowering sales.

#10 Edited by Ekpyroticuniverse (142 posts) -

@Raven10:

But at what point does this make less business sense. I would have paid full price for Dead space 3, 1 and 2 were two games I have replayed a few times and really enjoyed, paid full price for both no issue. When they announced dead space 3 I was ready to put down £40 day 1 but now they get nothing because they added into the game a system to try and nickel and dime players. Not something I want to play day 1 anymore and now I will wait till the game is on sale or something. Reading forums I am not the only one who feels this way and it is getting worse as time goes on. At some point players will stop buying the games on mass enough that any increased revenue from this kind of microtransactions will be lost to the fact that fewer and fewer people buy the game. I would rather pay day one for a great game that I can just hand over cash and be on my merry way than a game that constantly tries to get more cash out of me after I have already paid. On the podcast they discussed the issue of free-2-play models i.e. microtransactions in games you have already paid an entry fee for and how for some including Vinny this is not ok and never will be. I agree with this, either make the game free and then get cash by microtransactions or have a fee. Doing both just puts me off.

#11 Edited by Funkydupe (3293 posts) -

I love the concept of SimCity (more like Towns but still) and the synergy around regions of cities. However, like a lot of people have mentioned elsewhere is that the game is setting up to be filled with DLC, anything from specific buildings to Building Kits/Styles. I just hope the game is worthwhile and fun out of the box so that the DLC becomes something you buy for Extras and not something Essential that you really should have for the core experience to be interesting.

I look forward to the game, there aren't many good city builder games out there, but yes I must admit the microtransactions are a constant concern.

#12 Posted by TwoLines (2762 posts) -

@Raven10: No way man, it's like a phone game. You have a robot guy that has a 10 minute timer, and you can upgrade him for money to shorten the timer? Ugh. Am I playing a browser game or an action game?

#13 Posted by Ekpyroticuniverse (142 posts) -

Oh well seems for dead space anyway it doesn't matter since someone worked out how to get unlimited resources http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/02/06/dead-space-3s-microtransactions-exploited-away-already/

#14 Posted by Demoskinos (13927 posts) -

So, don't buy it then?

#15 Posted by Jothel (893 posts) -

They're treating $60 games as if they were free to play games and it suuuuuuuucks

#16 Posted by Funkydupe (3293 posts) -

@Demoskinos: The essence is: Players don't like that content that should have been part of the boxed game is cut up and sold piecemeal on top of the 60 dollar retail price. The thing is that we never know the deal we're entering before we try it. Well, unless you stop buying games on release day as a rule.

#17 Posted by Ekpyroticuniverse (142 posts) -

@Demoskinos: I wasn't going to. That was my point, they lost out on a sale of £40 in order to get a couple of £3.99 sales in microtransactions. My point was someone needs to look at the maths of this and decide which is more worthwhile.

#18 Posted by Demoskinos (13927 posts) -

@Ekpyroticuniverse said:

@Demoskinos: I wasn't going to. That was my point, they lost out on a sale of £40 in order to get a couple of £3.99 sales in microtransactions. My point was someone needs to look at the maths of this and decide which is more worthwhile.

This obviously. So they lost out on some money with you but there is some dolt out there that will pump tons of money into this thing because they are either lazy or stupid. And then they make that back up easily. If anything for the general public iOS games have trained people already to this kind of thing. We can look at it and go "Wow, that's kind of disgusting." but most people just shrug their shoulders because they aren't the kind of consumers who can't discern that this thing isn't the norm with $60 games. You aren't going to see this buisness model in more niche games like Ni No Kuni because those games don't have a wide swath of an audience. The general public doesn't pay attention to them. The general public pays attention to what EA and Activision do and that audience is so wide that there are going to be juuuuuust enough idiots that buy this stuff that it makes it worthwhile to put it in every game they sell.

#19 Posted by Funkydupe (3293 posts) -

@Demoskinos: Meh. You have a point. But I still don't like where this is going. *shakes fist*

#20 Posted by coakroach (2478 posts) -

A haiku on EA's micro transactions and EA games in general

*clears throat*

Do not buy those games

There are lots of other games

Buy those games instead

#21 Posted by Ekpyroticuniverse (142 posts) -

@Demoskinos: I totally agree but I don't think that EA have done the sums on this. I don't think they have any idea how many sales microtransactions inclusion are lost. I think they are playing an uncertain game. Also I don't know if I would include dead space as a wide franchise in the same way that warrants this kind of thing under your argument. Its an R rated horror game, we are not talking Halo or COD numbers and so I still don't think anyone knows if it makes good buisness sense to include microtransactions or not. I think there is as much chance of this losing them money as gaining and I don't see any referenced sources yet to this having made them money over, against money lost from sales.

#22 Posted by Nekroskop (2786 posts) -

I'm gonna do exactly what I did with DMC, RE6 and Hitman; vote with my wallet.

#23 Edited by Seppli (9773 posts) -

@Demoskinos:

I am not talking about Dead Space 3, since I have not played that yet. I'm talking specifically of Mass Effect 3's and Star Wars : The Old Republic's endgame progression systems, which work via "Mystery Boxes", which can be bought both by in-game currency and real-life money. You don't know what you specifically get out of these boxes, there is no set progression.

"Mystery Boxes" don't respect my time, nor my money - and EA and Bioware are extremely fond of it, because they can generate infinite sales potential from limited assets. It's a scam and should be forbidden by the law. At the very least, people with integrity at the studios and in corporate EA have to reign this shit in - because it positively wrecks the endgame of their products for the most avid players.

It's assrape without lube, and in the longterm, that can't be good business. I've really come around to liking EA around 2008 - and now I'm almost hating it as much as the worst irrational haters out there - specifically because of the shit EA has been pulling with "Mystery Box" microtransaction schemes, which has ruined games for me. How sloppy its final crop of games for this generation has been didn't help with my increasingly tarnished image of EA either.

#24 Posted by Rafaelfc (1287 posts) -

Microtrasactions in a game you pay full price upfront is insulting and disgusting, people should stop buying these games NOW!

#25 Posted by MooseyMcMan (9795 posts) -

Is it weird that I came here expecting this to be about Dead Space 3?

Oh, EA... For shame!

#26 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (4282 posts) -

Yeah sure but it doesn't make this any better especially in a game that likes to say how immersed you are in the universe due to its UI elements....it's cool that they ruin just that with that stupid DLC button.

#27 Posted by mordukai (7093 posts) -

Where's Walter Sobchak when you need him.

#28 Posted by Demoskinos (13927 posts) -
@Seppli Its not a scam. What you are buying is clearly labled. If they were obfuscating what you were buying THEN there is a legal argument against them. I dont understand why this has "ruined games" for you as you dont have to participate in it at all. And in both cases of Deadspace and Mass Effect you can earn these packs via in game through play. You can find them disgusting if you want but they aren't going anywhere nor should you be affected by them.
#29 Posted by Funkydupe (3293 posts) -

@coakroach: Yeah, there are plenty of Battlefields and SimCitiy clones around that we can buy instead.

#30 Posted by DetectiveSpecial (445 posts) -

@coakroach said:

A haiku on EA's micro transactions and EA games in general

*clears throat*

Do not buy those games

There are lots of other games

Buy those games instead

Bravo, sir. *snaps fingers, sips latte*

#31 Posted by Demoskinos (13927 posts) -
@Ekpyroticuniverse Well most business moves are all gambles. Also, Dead Space being M-Rated is not even an issue here. Look at some of the biggest franchises. Assassins Creed, Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto etc.... all M-Rated titles. And the direction of Deadspace skewing shooter is directly a move to appeal to a wider audience. Its obviously working for them or they would have abandoned the tactic.
#32 Posted by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

@KaneRobot said:

DLC crossed the line right out of the gate with horse armor, which wasn't even EA. They're just finding ways to fuck us harder.

As much as it was overpriced., it was actual new content, these packs EA seems to put into every game now just gives you the privilege for using something that is already in the game

#33 Edited by Tennmuerti (7726 posts) -

@Demoskinos said:

@Seppli I dont understand why this has "ruined games" for you as you dont have to participate in it at all. And in both cases of Deadspace and Mass Effect you can earn these packs via in game through play. You can find them disgusting if you want but they aren't going anywhere nor should you be affected by them.

Regarding the above:

Except that you ARE affected by them. At least as far as ME3 multiplayer unlocks went. The unlock/progression system is designed in such a way as to accommodate the lure of the microtransactions first, and good gameplay second. The randomness and the artificially very very extended progression of gun quality ensures that you either spend an insane amount of time grinding to get the good stuff or pay money. Designing such systems directly impacts even the non paying people, as their progression is affected as well.

Microtransactions like these may not necessarily affect the player directly but they do affect them through simple game design choices that are now made to accommodate them and make them seem more lucrative. This topic has already been bough up and discussed in more thorough detail (where i provided a better longer breakdown of the problem) back when ME3 was a bit more relevant, but it's kind of a pain in the ass to find those threads in the bloat now.

Tho i do think Seppli is being a bit over melodramatic here. And yes FIFA is even worse by orders of magnitude.

(and arguably those microtransactions in ME3 multiplayer have enabled a huge amount of post release mp content for free, so they have also affected the game positively in a way)

Dead Space 3 I would actually say is less dirty in pure monetary/time consumption terms. As there is much much less grind involved then ME3 MP. It's sin lies elsewhere imo: in the blatant "buy DLC" labels in the ingame menus that were originally designed and touted as very immersive by being in the game world itself (and were one of the features praised by critics and players alike) fully allowing to loose yourself in the setting. Yet another example of how such things negatively affect even players that have no interest in the microtransactions.

#34 Posted by Ekpyroticuniverse (142 posts) -

@Demoskinos: True, but dead space is not as big as those games, and those games would suffer too from the microtransaction inclusion. My point is this, by including it they have lost a sale. A sale worth £40 today, now to make up for that at say £4 each they need ten microtransactions. however they have no idea they lost my sale so to them if they Just get 1 microtransaction they get £4 more than they would be aware of. i don't think they know how much this has lost them. lets say 100 people have decided to not buy dead space, thats £4000 in lost sales (ball park here as sales tax etc they wouldnt get all that anyway) will they make that same £4000 in microtransactions from the 100 people who did buy the game and maybe will but maybe wont buy a microtransaction bundle. I don't think anyone knows the maths on it and I think they should think hard about it. You said dead space is moving to a wider audience with the action slant to it and I think thats fine and didn't really bother me going from 1 to 2 but has does including microtransactions make the game more accesible to wider audiences? I don't think they have enough metric data on microtransactions to say it is working for them. EA as a company is losing stock value has active bycotts running against and is viewed as one of the most hated companies in america. I wouldn't say this tactic is going all that well and they are also not implmenting it in all games they are publishing either so I don't see any evidence that this is a good way forward or an economically sound one either.

#35 Edited by Tennmuerti (7726 posts) -

@Ekpyroticuniverse said:

@Demoskinos: True, but dead space is not as big as those games, and those games would suffer too from the microtransaction inclusion. My point is this, by including it they have lost a sale. A sale worth £40 today, now to make up for that at say £4 each they need ten microtransactions. however they have no idea they lost my sale so to them if they Just get 1 microtransaction they get £4 more than they would be aware of. i don't think they know how much this has lost them. lets say 100 people have decided to not buy dead space, thats £4000 in lost sales (ball park here as sales tax etc they wouldnt get all that anyway) will they make that same £4000 in microtransactions from the 100 people who did buy the game and maybe will but maybe wont buy a microtransaction bundle. I don't think anyone knows the maths on it and I think they should think hard about it. You said dead space is moving to a wider audience with the action slant to it and I think thats fine and didn't really bother me going from 1 to 2 but has does including microtransactions make the game more accesible to wider audiences? I don't think they have enough metric data on microtransactions to say it is working for them. EA as a company is losing stock value has active bycotts running against and is viewed as one of the most hated companies in america. I wouldn't say this tactic is going all that well and they are also not implmenting it in all games they are publishing either so I don't see any evidence that this is a good way forward or an economically sound one either.

Sadly they do appear to have the data. And it's $ positive. The amount of moolah they made on FIFA microtransactions is insane and ME3 multiplayer keeps getting free content updates because they keep making money on the microtransaction part of it. (DS3 can be considered an experiment of theirs to try doing it in a purely singleplayer environment). The tactic is doing well for them in terms of short term profits at the very least. But as you say it may be affecting them (or their image) now long term. Time will tell.

#36 Posted by Ekpyroticuniverse (142 posts) -

@Tennmuerti: I don't doubt it makes money, I do doubt they know how many lost sales they have though by including it, its the same with lost sales due to bycotts. It's why bycotts rarely work because companies have no way of knowing how many sales they are losing unless they have something to compare to, New coke is a good example where Coke introduced a product and were able to see the drop off in sales and therefore how many they were losing and hence they went back to teh old coke. With EA and dead space 3 they don't have anyway to track my lost sale or anyone elses

#37 Edited by Tennmuerti (7726 posts) -

@Ekpyroticuniverse:

The point is that the money they make on microtransactions (in games like ME3 or FIFA) more (way more) then make up for the lost sales, for now.

It's a simple mathematical exercise. They know what their expenditures are, they know their past sales of the same franchises or comparable games. They do in fact have a way to track relative potential sales. For example the previous Dead Space games sold a set number of units each, they know from that approximately how much the third one would be expected to sell (this is not that difficult). Lets say (for sake of example) previous 2 games sold 2mil units apiece; DS3 sells 1.5mil (i doubt the actual % difference is that big); they now know a stable franchise sold less and how much, relatively to the previous entries. Now they monitor the microtransactions and see if that makes up.

FIFA is not even in question, the sales for that franchise are already huge (tho they have stopped increasing now) and maxing out all the potential demand there is. And their microtransaction profits with FIFA completely eclipsed actual sales many times over. How many sales they lost is insignificant in the grand scheme of profits. At least for the past.

What I'm saying is that how much sales they loose is irrelevant to them as long as the bottom line is that they made more money then they would have overall. So far this has been the case. DS3 is yet to be seen if that pans out, but rest assured the smart people cracking numbers have the data they need to make very very good educated estimates on how many sales they potentially lost. They have past data, and they will have the current numbers.

#38 Edited by Seppli (9773 posts) -

@Tennmuerti said:

@Demoskinos said:

@Seppli I dont understand why this has "ruined games" for you as you dont have to participate in it at all. And in both cases of Deadspace and Mass Effect you can earn these packs via in game through play. You can find them disgusting if you want but they aren't going anywhere nor should you be affected by them.

Regarding the above:

Except that you ARE affected by them. At least as far as ME3 multilayer unlocks went. The unlock/progression system is designed in such a way as to accommodate the lure of the microtransactions first, and good gameplay second. The randomness and the artificially very very extended progression of gun quality ensures that you either spend an insane amount of time grinding to get the good stuff or pay money. Designing such systems directly impacts even the non paying people, as their progression is affected as well.

Microtransactions like these may not necessarily affect the player directly but they do affect them through simple game design choices that are now made to accommodate them and make them seem more lucrative. This topic has already been bough up and discussed in more thorough detail (where i provided a better longer breakdown of the problem) back when ME3 was a bit more relevant, but it's kind of a pain in the ass to find those threads in the bloat now.

Tho i do think Seppli is being a bit over melodramatic here. And yes FIFA is even worse by orders of magnitude.

(and arguably those microtransactions in ME3 multiplayer have enabled a huge amount of post release mp content for free, so they have also affected the game positively in a way)

Dead Space 3 I would actually say is less dirty in pure monetary/time consumption terms. As there is much much less grind involved then ME3 MP. It's sin lies elsewhere imo: in the blatant "buy DLC" labels in the ingame menus that were originally designed and touted as very immersive by being in the game world itself (and were one of the features praised by critics and players alike) fully allowing to loose yourself in the setting. Yet another example of how such things negatively affect even players that have no interest in the microtransactions.

Exactly. Progression is broken by the Mystery Box design of it. The feedback loop gets worse and worse, regardless if you are playing or paying more. However you look at it, it's EA/Bioware flipping their most avid customers/players the bird. Either way, there's better and more fair ways to design a F2P-style marketplace, and there's no denying that pacing of progression suffers from it. It's handled extremely poorly in the games I've mentioned. Most pure F2P-games handle this sort of thing more evenhandedly and fair than especially Mass Effect 3.

It would be merely disgusting, if it didn't affect pacing of progression gamebreakingly, but it did - so it's not just disgusting, it's breaking the game I've paid 90$ for on purpose, so that they can squeeze more money out of me - yet it's not set-up to actually let me pay them for what I want out of the game either. It's a malicious buttfuck, and I don't see how anyone can defend such tactics - unless you're playing the game for just a couple of hours, then by all means the RNG of it can be mildly exciting. If only you knew how it feels a couple of hundred hours in...

#39 Edited by Grixxel (758 posts) -

Stop fucking supporting EA games instead of complaining about it. Problem solved. People have been shitting bricks over this company for years now and they keep buying their products anyways.

#40 Posted by mordukai (7093 posts) -

Not that I am justifying this but why is everyone on EA's ass when they are just following a trend? At least they were upfront and honest about it as apposed to Blizzard and the shit they pulled with the loot drop and the AH. That was just despicable. Sometimes I really wish games had a central governing body that would take these companies to task. Right now publishers really have an no rules when it comes to this subject.

#41 Edited by Tennmuerti (7726 posts) -

@mordukai: And Blizzard got taken to task for that too by gamers, one only need look at a few threads back around when it came out. While i don't think you can say EA is only following the trend, they're at the forefront of it if anything, they've been doing microtransactions and related stuff for a long while now.

#42 Posted by Ekpyroticuniverse (142 posts) -

@Tennmuerti: but they don't. I have studied economies of scale for my degree and trust me this shit is complicated, you can't just guess this stuff. Look lets say dead space 3 sells less than 2 did right, now we can't just say oh x number of people choose not to buy the game this time around because of x reason. the reasons are too complicated, maybe it's because the person lost thier job, maybe it is because the persons xbox died or they moved to a different platform, maybe its because the person got hit by a car, maybe its because of the economy or maybe its because we added in a shitty microtransaction system and people bycotted the game. What I am saying is yes if the game sells more ea are sure to be happy but that doesn't mean they made the best possible buiness decision. They have no way of knowing why a given consumer makes the decision to buy or not and therefore they could well be missing out on sales without knowing. Lets say dead space 3 sells 2 million and ea are very happy with this but it could have sold 2.5 million without the microtransactions they have no way to tell that the other 0.5 million sales where going to happen, because of the complexities in the choices of those 0.5 million people. It doesn't matter if dead space 2 sold 2.5 million or not because all they can say is oh this game sold less than the last, they have no way of working out why. And this is my point they have no way of telling if the microtransaction has lost them sales or not and therefore they have no metric for working out if it made good buisness sense. In other words dead space 2 might hypothetically have raised 2 million profit and dead space 3 with microtransactions made 3 million, that look likes a win but they have no way to tell if dead space 3 could have equally made that 3 million or more without the microtransactions.

#43 Posted by Funkydupe (3293 posts) -

EA is definitely testing the waters, who wouldn't.

#45 Edited by Tennmuerti (7726 posts) -

@Ekpyroticuniverse said:

@Tennmuerti: but they don't. I have studied economies of scale for my degree and trust me this shit is complicated, you can't just guess this stuff. Look lets say dead space 3 sells less than 2 did right, now we can't just say oh x number of people choose not to buy the game this time around because of x reason. the reasons are too complicated, maybe it's because the person lost thier job, maybe it is because the persons xbox died or they moved to a different platform, maybe its because the person got hit by a car

When talking about economies of scale any and all these individual reasons are irrelevant. Even mentioning them is counterproductive to your argument.

maybe its because of the economy or maybe its because we added in a shitty microtransaction system and people bycotted the game

Trends in the economy and more importantly trends in game purchasing decisions can be and are accounted for especially in hindsight. There are teams of people with full time jobs in these massive companies who's sole task is account for these things estimating, predicting and eventually feeding all that info back when new information comes in, in a constant cycle. THQ might have failed at that. But so far EA hasn't, not with the products being discussed here, they're a big boy on a whole other level together with Activision.

What I am saying is yes if the game sells more ea are sure to be happy but that doesn't mean they made the best possible buiness decision.

And you never do (outside of complete runaway success like FIFA) regardless if it's microtransaction related or not. The point is not to make the best one (altho it would be nice sure), the point is to make a decisions to keep increasing the profits compared to what you did before. Which they so far have done.

Lets say dead space 3 sells 2 million and ea are very happy with this but it could have sold 2.5 million without the microtransactions they have no way to tell that the other 0.5 million sales where going to happen, because of the complexities in the choices of those 0.5 million people. It doesn't matter if dead space 2 sold 2.5 million or not because all they can say is oh this game sold less than the last, they have no way of working out why. And this is my point they have no way of telling if the microtransaction has lost them sales or not and therefore they have no metric for working out if it made good buisness sense.

Oh but they do. You are falsely assuming that concrete numbers of lost sales and information is required for this to classify microtransactions as a good business decision. It's not. All that is required is that:

  • Game A required X amount of investment, made total of Y profit.
  • Game A2 required Xn amount of investment, made total Yn profit.
  • (assuming same franchise games, with remotely similar investments obviously)
  • If the ratio of Xn:Yn is better then ratio of X:Y then they did better then before and therefore made a good decision, or at least one that brought them more profit

The theoretical lost sales are really not required to be known. As I already have repeated 3 times at this point. Again this is of course all only talking about short term profits.

In other words dead space 2 might hypothetically have raised 2 million profit and dead space 3 with microtransactions made 3 million, that look likes a win but they have no way to tell if dead space 3 could have equally made that 3 million or more without the microtransactions.

And they don't need to. It's still a win.

A win they have, over a theoretical win they might or might not have had. A win they have had time and time again in an overall struggling game market.

#46 Posted by Rafaelfc (1287 posts) -

the rule of thumb should be:

free to play = microtransactions

full priced game = no microtransactions

#47 Posted by White_Silhouette (468 posts) -

@rebgav said:

@coakroach said:

Do not buy those games

There are lots of other games

Buy those games instead

...and nothing more ever needed to be said on the subject.

#48 Posted by Tennmuerti (7726 posts) -

@White_Silhouette said:

@rebgav said:

@coakroach said:

Do not buy those games

There are lots of other games

Buy those games instead

...and nothing more ever needed to be said on the subject.

Shallow drivel of an argument that has been dismissed time and time again.

Simply saying to not buy a product is not a valid reason to not criticize it.

Don't like these discussions don't read them, there are plenty of other topics and threads to read.

#49 Posted by granderojo (1773 posts) -

The problem with complaining about micro-transactions is that I look back on the free to play landscape and DLC era...and I can't help but admit I've had far more positive experiences from it than negative. It may not be the same as before but I've had plenty of rewarding experiences.

That said I'd rather talk about the game in question here. The story of the Dead Space series is such a trite boring thing, as far as space horror fantasy goes it's about as boring as possible. I too have consumed all of it at this point, just like Brad. It's not good.

#50 Posted by Ekpyroticuniverse (142 posts) -

@Tennmuerti: sorry economies of scale includes principles of uncertainty and complexity and therefore the points I raised are not irrelevant. You seem to mistake my point. I agree with you in that to EA none of this matters, as long as the profit is increased against the outgoing of the game then they don't care. What my point is, is they should care because for all they know they could have made more money. And yes these companies employ people to map this all out and make predictions but they are not very good at it, as if they were EA would not be losing money and losing market value. Equally they employ people to do alot with numbers including prediciting review scores but because of the complexities involved they are often wrong, hence games scoring worse than expected. Its the same here the complexities involved means they can make a guess but they can never say with 100% certainty how the market will behave or how consumers will react. What my point was is that including microtransactions for all anyone knows may have cost them more profit through lost sales than it raises and they have no way of accurately working this out, not that they care about this, but that this is the reality of it.