Avatar image for squidracerx
Posted by squidracerX (1061 posts) -

Bombcast 582 - they are discussing the Randy Pitchford, (Gearbox - Borrderlands 3), meltdown on Twitter about how Game Informer "fucked him"; when in fact they were just clearing up that he misspoke. He said the game would have "no micro-transactions", when it in fact does.

He then called Game Informer "fuck wits" saying "you knew what I meant".

Now he honestly may not have thought paid cosmetics were micro-transaction, (they are), and as a CEO in the game industry that would really make him look like an idiot - but I had a president of a company I worked for walk out with me on a tour to his hourly employees that he had forced to move start times from 6am to 3am (HUGE change), and he forgot and said "I know coming in at 6am is tough..." - so the higher ups can be very out of touch - If Randy was really just taken out of context he should have just owned up to that - or what I think the real scenario is was that he was being a manipulative slime.

He wanted to redefine the word "micro-transaction" to make y'all less angry... Get that micro-transaction money, but not the hate that Mortal Kombat 11, Battlefront 2, and others had just experienced.

This topic has been a horse whipped to death - but Ben plays right into the rhetoric that Randy was using during the podcast - Ben starts defending; "well loot-boxes are micro-transactions..." And Jeff corrects him, "no the very first micro-transaction that got people mad was horse armor, which was cosmetic only". Time has started making us less mad at "cosmetics only" because these slimy game companies have pushed their micro-transactions bar further and further, (to the point that governments are now regulation them as gambling for Gods sake), we've been so beaten down by micro-transactions that we just accept them as matter-of-fact now; and thats a bad thing that guys like Randy love - you just let him redefine the word that at one time we still realized was a very shitty thing in many games we already dropped $60 on.

Its like your dog shits on your floor a lot, then she starts biting you a few months later, so the next time a friend sees the dog shit all over and says something about it, you defend it with "well at least she isn't biting me"; NO! Neither is good!

As soon as you let CEO's define the word "micro-transaction", which lets them try to fleece you but keep you calm about it - you've done a disservice to all gamers. They want to pull as much money from you as possible, and yet steer clear of politicians and parents being angry. But they still want to make you pay for as much extra content as possible. Content that could be free (and is in some games). That's literally the definition of micro-transaction - PAY - the same item can be free and suddenly its not a micro-transaction anymore. Pay for it - magically it falls under "micro-transaction" again.

Words have specific definitions. But Ive seen many people argue that "DLC and micro-transactions are the same thing". No they are factually not. You can look at these and pull them apart like compound words, look at the word anatomy. They are separate words, that do overlap often, but can be completely separate and need to be clearly defined. (And not by Randy Pitchford). And the words really are easy to take apart. One has to do with downloadable nature, one has to do with a small transaction. Simple.

Borderlands has lootboxes too though right? They are free though, the key things? You have to watch Randy's Twitter for them, and open a box and get random stuff. But Randy said Game Informer KNEW he was talking about lootboxes? But these lootboxes arent micro-transactions by definition because they are free - (you cant buy them right?), as far as i know you just wait for them.

Yet Fornite which may be the king of cosmetics is full of what any intelligent person would call micro-transactions, or "small transactions", (it had loot boxes but they are savvy enough they pulled back from that into "season passes" so they would skirt any regulation and ire).

And a game like Animal Crossing New Leaf - it had free DLC in the "camp grounds expansion" - so DLC does not have to be paid - it can totally be free. Monster Hunter had tons of free DLC too. In those cases DLC does not overlap with micro-transaction because the definition of micro-transaction requires extra money to change hands. DLC just needs to not be on the disc and requires an internet connection to download it. its right in the words :)

Many big DLC packs are free - or too expensive to be considered "micro".

And some micro-transactions arent DLC either - there are many cases (seems to be rarer these days since many times the GAME isnt even on the disc anymore, but still happens), where the content is on the disc already - the Lego superheroes in some of the Lego games I remember being controversial for being all on there and complete before the game ships - its not DLC - but you must pay a small fee to unlock the content already on your disc. You want Spider-man 2099 or Aquaman? Well thats $.99. Its not DLC because you literally didn't download anything extra. But you did pay a micro-transaction.

Animal Crossing New Leaf has this again - so it had free DLC that got you new areas and furniture for free, (so not a micro-transaction), but it had micro-transaction that you didn't download as well! Perfect game to illustrate this! AC:NL had cards you went to the store or on ebay to buy for like $1 a piece, (so micro-transaction), and you swiped that card on the data reader on the 3DS, and the character who was already in the game was now just unlocked to be able to move to the town whenever you wanted.

This 100% should have been free, and would have just been a feature i would have liked, (since I hated certain animals), and the only reason I got hooked into it was my 6 year old niece had her 2 favorite animals move away and she was in TEARS. So I had to go on ebay and find her two "friends" so she could always get the animals she wanted back into town. It almost felt manipulative. (She was actually angry at ME when one of her favorites left her town and showed up in mine - they do that as a function of the game when you visit each others towns. She was mad at me!!!).

So dont let Randy redefine words. Micro-transactions are simply any small content items that you pay for - be it unlimited ammo in RE5, or a clown hat in Fornite, a pilot in Star Link, or a paid loot box (not a free one!) - if that same clown hat is free then its just called DLC instead. Downloadable Content is just data you need to download. Telltale episodic games, you could buy the whole game at one time, no micro-transactions - but it did have DLC as the disc you bought had only one chapter - you need servers and an internet connection to download the rest. Those may be big enough content packs that they move from "DLC" to "Expansion Packs", but I think the term "downloadable" really gives you information in how you are going to need to procure this content.

Most micro-transactions are in fact DLC as well since you do have to download them most times, they are not necessarily mutually exclusive terms. (Something can be BOTH a MT and DLC). But with many examples like Amiibo, Animal Crossing cards, Star Link ships, paid codes, Disney Infinity coins, and items already on disc you just unlock; there are certainly times that micro-transactions are not DLC.

If my buddy just bought Monster Hunter World, and he said "how do i get that cool guy dance, and that Palico bumblebee suit?'

And I said "the dance is a micro-transaction, the bumblebee suit is just DLC you get for playing in Spring Festival", you know what I meant. So they do have different definitions. You know the dance is paid for, the bee suit was free in March.