Take-Two now to have microtransactions in all games going forward

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Avatar image for nicksmi56
#1 Edited by nicksmi56 (850 posts) -

Here's the story.

"We aim to have recurrent consumer spending opportunities for every title that we put out at this company. It may not always be an online model, it probably won't always be a virtual currency model, but there will be some ability to engage in an ongoing basis with our titles after release across the board".

"One of the things we've learned is if we create a robust opportunity, and a robust world, in which people can play delightfully in a bigger and bigger way, that they will keep coming back. They will engage. And there is an opportunity to monetize that engagement. There's a lot of room for growth. This is just the beginning."

I mean, it makes sense. Considering how many bucketloads of cash they made from GTA Online, why wouldn't they jump on the easy money train? It's made them billions upon billions of dollars from just one game.

Still, considering the loot box epidemic this year, it certainly makes me hesitant (at the very least) to purchase their stuff going forward.

Avatar image for dray2k
#2 Posted by Dray2k (884 posts) -

Seriously, what the fuck.

#followthemoney

Avatar image for mike
#3 Posted by Mike (17997 posts) -

Still, considering the loot box epidemic this year, it certainly makes me hesitant (at the very least) to purchase their stuff going forward.

I think it is safe to assume that this is the game plan of every major publisher. If you are hesitant about buying games from Take Two you should be hesitant about buying ANY game, because this stuff isn't going anywhere.

Moderator
Avatar image for theht
#4 Posted by TheHT (15875 posts) -

That first quote would sound like it's about anything from plain DLC to virtual currency stuff, if it weren't for the part where they say "but there will be some ability to engage in an ongoing basis," which definitely sounds like they're specifically talking about recurring microtransactions.

Second quote is fucking great though. "We've found if we create a delightful happy fun land that's big and robust, people will form a wonderfully lasting relationship with our work. *pushes up glasses* We've also found that this engagement presents a key opportunity for monetization strategies. This is just the beginning. *closes briefcase and jetpacks away*"

Avatar image for teddie
#5 Posted by Teddie (2157 posts) -

Every big publisher is going to be doing this, but it's somehow way worse just outright confirming it's going to be a thing in every game they publish.

The wording on that second quote is all kinds of grimy. Way to turn a positive thing (people loving your game enough to want to keep coming back to it) into marketing speak.

Avatar image for dray2k
#6 Posted by Dray2k (884 posts) -

@mike: This is true, my main gripe about the whole thing is that its an awefully transparent money making scheme and what it means to provide gameplay such as certain aspects added with updates or add-ons/DLC you've already paid for may be hidding behind another intrusive paywall. Of course thats just one of the many issues considering thats what GTA:O already does.

Not to mention it turned that game into UI hell.

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#7 Posted by Xeiphyer (5949 posts) -

Consumers have proved that they're willing to buy full price games with microtransactions in them, and that they are willing to spend money on said microtransactions. It makes complete business sense to not leave that money on the table unfortunately.

Hopefully as we have seen with the response to Shadow of War and the Battlefront 2 beta, they will limit the microtransactions on offer to strictly cosmetic changes. I imagine it'll take a few more missteps before we see them shift away from pay-to-win options though.

Also, regarding Battlefront 2 specifically, while obviously selling pay-to-win style upgrades is awful (and they have since stated they are redesigning this before the game comes out, so good on them for listening), I think it is important to at least consider in this specific example that EA/DICE are using the microtransaction profits from the loot crates to fund their Expansions/Map Packs. Personally I find merit in the idea of free map packs in exchange for optional loot boxes containing cosmetic only items. Hopefully other developers can find the right balance in the future, and it isn't just a gross cash grab.

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#8 Posted by hippie_genocide (2454 posts) -

"recurrent consumer spending opportunities"

My brain just let out an Alex-esque wooooooooooow

Avatar image for theht
#9 Edited by TheHT (15875 posts) -

@xeiphyer: I think Overwatch did it best. All cosmetic, gameplay stuff is free (heroes + maps), and you can get an in-game currency via drops or item dupes to use to buy specific cosmetic things that you want without having to spend a penny on loot crates (which you get at a fairly decent clip by levelling up your profile).

I dunno if that's changed any in Overwatch, but they moved that model over to Heroes of the Storm and it was fantastic there as well.

Fair point about Battlefront 2. It's a nice move having the gameplay-relevant additional content be free, and if cosmetic loot crates and such help mitigate them making that move then it's fine by me. As long as the gameplay environment itself remains unspoiled of course. Presumably they're course-correcting on that with Battlefront, based on what you've said, so that's good.

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#10 Posted by paulmako (1958 posts) -

Really, I would be surprised if they didn't.

Every company has been looking at Overwatch and EA's Ultimate Team modes. Where people buy a full price game and then pour more money into it. And see that those games are incredibly popular. It shows that plenty of people are just fine with having that in their game, provided they like the game.

If you're the person looking at the spreadsheets then this is absolutely something you want to be part of.

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#11 Posted by Slag (8159 posts) -

as long as they don't mess up Firaxis games...

they are going to completely ruin Civilization and XCOM aren't they?

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#12 Posted by MezZa (3052 posts) -

@slag: You want those cool aesthetic customizations for your soldiers? They now provide you with the opportunity to earn them through a loot box! Also look forward to unlocking new leaders from historical civilizations through an exploding box.

Avatar image for whitegreyblack
#13 Posted by whitegreyblack (1980 posts) -

I mean... of course they are. I think a lot of people saw the writing on the wall already. It's going to be real lousy to see how many games continue to have terrible implementation of these new-ish practices. Some will get it right, but so many games are going to be pushed past some people's line of what's acceptable (it's happened already for several games with me).

Good gravy, corporate shareholder speak is so gross. Nothing makes you feel like more of a complete rube than to see how companies refer to you, as a customer.

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#14 Posted by DinosaurCanada (938 posts) -

So I guess I don't want Bully 2 anymore.

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#15 Posted by _Brojangles_ (138 posts) -

I'd be willing to bet microtransactions and blindboxes win 2017's "Please Stop" category for GOTY. This stuff is getting way out of hand.

Avatar image for shindig
#16 Posted by Shindig (4963 posts) -

So I guess I don't want Bully 2 anymore.

Nothing could be more Bully than emptying your literal pockets of lunch money. Back of the box feature right there.

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#17 Posted by Wandrecanada (1011 posts) -

This is a great year for me to decide that there's plenty of fish in the sea. Lots of great indie games and publishers who don't make shitty microtransactions a part of their corporate structure.

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#18 Posted by spraynardtatum (4384 posts) -

Operant conditioning is very very profitable.

Avatar image for nicksmi56
#19 Posted by nicksmi56 (850 posts) -

@mike said:
@nicksmi56 said:

Still, considering the loot box epidemic this year, it certainly makes me hesitant (at the very least) to purchase their stuff going forward.

I think it is safe to assume that this is the game plan of every major publisher. If you are hesitant about buying games from Take Two you should be hesitant about buying ANY game, because this stuff isn't going anywhere.

If that's the case, then I think I'll just keep riding that Nintendo and indie train until they fall into the corporate pit as well. And after that, I guess I'll be digging through Amazon and GameStop for games to play on my old systems that don't feel the need to dip their hand into my wallet every 2 seconds.

If this is the direction the industry wants to take, I guess new games and I had a good run, but all good things must come to an end.

Avatar image for nodima
#20 Edited by Nodima (2636 posts) -

GREAT. I predict that within the next five years I will no longer enjoy playing video game basketball at all. Bear in mind I am not anti-Michael Transactions by default, I find the way Sony San Diego Studios handles them in MLB The Show perfectly fine and fair to the consumer, but my interactions with Take Two's micro systems in NBA 2K and Grand Theft Auto have been nothing short of terrible. NBA 2K's MyTeam mode comes off as openly antagonistic towards the player and his/her time. I don't touch the MyPlayer, but it became the poster child of this autumn's debate for a reason.

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#21 Posted by someoneproud (624 posts) -

If they ruin Red Dead with this bullshit I am literally gonna shit. I'll hold it 'till then.

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#22 Posted by Sackmanjones (5595 posts) -

Games are expensive, instead of raising the default price I would rather them do this as a "tip jar" if I dive deep into a game. That being said, when this shit starts to truly affect gameplay and they are necessary to get the best experience, that is where I draw the line. I like the multiplayer games are now receiving free maps most of the time and instead, you just buy things like cosmetics or emotes. There is always a line to cross through and it sounds like this year it sounds like a few games have begun to dip their toe across that line.

Online
Avatar image for applegong
#23 Posted by Applegong (427 posts) -

From the latest Ubisoft earnings report, they say they earned more from online microtransactions than actual sales of games. No wonder they hold onto this strategy as the way of future.

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#24 Edited by FlashFlood_29 (4452 posts) -

Long live the affordable, creative indie market.

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#25 Posted by spraynardtatum (4384 posts) -

@sackmanjones: I don't think microtransactions are as innocent as a tip jar. It's a fair analogy until you consider the incredible amount of time and focus that is put into manipulating human behavior to make the "tip jar" more profitable than the entire restaurant.

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#26 Posted by CJduke (1035 posts) -

This is better than them raising the price of games to $70 or $80 so whatever.

Avatar image for rebel_scum
#27 Posted by Rebel_Scum (1442 posts) -

Can't blame the publisher if they're only responding to the current market. People love to blame the publishers but really you should be pointing the finger at the people who buy MT's and loot boxes. If people didn't do that, they wouldn't spend money & resources making them. Sad but true.

Avatar image for spraynardtatum
#28 Posted by spraynardtatum (4384 posts) -

Can't blame the publisher if they're only responding to the current market. People love to blame the publishers but really you should be pointing the finger at the people who buy MT's and loot boxes. If people didn't do that, they wouldn't spend money & resources making them. Sad but true.

I don't know...It's a chicken and the egg scenario. The customers wouldn't be buying this stuff if it wasn't available to buy but the publishers wouldn't offer it if the customers weren't buying them.

I really think it's more complicated than pointing fingers. This is the exploitation of human behavior to gain profit in a new and very successful way. Exploiting each other for profit has always been around but we need to decide how acceptable this is. We need to decide a designated line and policy needs to be put in line to protect those that are more vulnerable to these psychological business tactics.

I don't think it's fair to blame, or point the finger, at lab rats for acting the way they're designed to act.

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#30 Posted by Panfoot (333 posts) -

This is a great year for me to decide that there's plenty of fish in the sea. Lots of great indie games and publishers who don't make shitty microtransactions a part of their corporate structure.

Yeah, over the past...probably 3 or 4 years, I've been buying way less fully priced AAA games (this year was just RE7 and Evil Within 2) and now even less AAA games in general, even on sale. On the other hand I still get tons of indie and smaller studio games and run into this stuff much less. Couldn't be any less interested in the whole "games as a service" model, really the only micro-transaction games I can think of that I gave any time too are TF2, Overwatch, and Payday 2(which for a large portion of it's life didn't have any, then got some, and eventually made them not quite as bad after a really negative reaction).

Can't say this is surprising at all though. I tried GTA online for about 2 hours before completely giving up on it after seeing all the layers of crap you had to get through to do just about anything.

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#31 Posted by OurSin_360 (6200 posts) -

As long as it doesn't put everyone else playing at a disadvantage i don't mind, there are decent ways to do microtransactions. That said i dont trust them to actually do it that way, so i am glad i have almost zero interest in any if there stuff anymore.

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#32 Edited by Random45 (1807 posts) -

Christ, micro-transactions are a cancer that just became terminal.

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#33 Edited by Torrim (409 posts) -

Well SOMEONE is buying them

*eyes the whole room*

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#34 Edited by BeachThunder (15167 posts) -

This truly is the best time to be playing video games...

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#35 Edited by Newfangled (303 posts) -

@slag said:

as long as they don't mess up Firaxis games...

they are going to completely ruin Civilization and XCOM aren't they?

Slightly different business model, but just look at Paradox's strategy. DLC collections deep into three-figure territory.

Avatar image for ripelivejam
#36 Edited by ripelivejam (13227 posts) -

I wonder how Shadow of War's microtransactions did. Haven't sunk a dollar in it and won't ever, game is perfectly fine and fun for me.

Avatar image for shorap
#37 Posted by shorap (439 posts) -

Gotta echo the same sentiments as those who are losing interest in AAA games, in part because of this form of gambling as microtransactions. Then you got open world game design being shoehorned in too many games (botw being the only one that truly benefited from it), patch sizes (especially on Xbox One) being ridiculously big, incessant remasters, and the death of B-tier games have all lead me to being burnt out and not that engaged with MS and Sony's consoles this gen.

The Switch actually reinvigorated my interest in games when I got one in September and am seriously considering just dumping the other two all together.

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#38 Edited by Rebel_Scum (1442 posts) -

@spraynardtatum said:
@rebel_scum said:

Can't blame the publisher if they're only responding to the current market. People love to blame the publishers but really you should be pointing the finger at the people who buy MT's and loot boxes. If people didn't do that, they wouldn't spend money & resources making them. Sad but true.

This is the exploitation of human behavior to gain profit in a new and very successful way. Exploiting each other for profit has always been around but we need to decide how acceptable this is. We need to decide a designated line and policy needs to be put in line to protect those that are more vulnerable to these psychological business tactics.

I don't think it's fair to blame, or point the finger, at lab rats for acting the way they're designed to act.

The majority of people that are purchasing them aren't people who are being exploited though. They're making a logical (in their eyes, me I think they're nuts) decision to purchase something they want. If they're going overboard on buying these things, then for the majority (yeah I get some people have mental illnesses that may make them more susceptible to these tactics) they need to exert their own self control imo.

Don't get me wrong though, what I'm not saying is that publishers cannot or shouldn't be held accountable for these. It's just what everyone seems to be focusing on is the publishers in this issue. I'm only producing other discourse here.

Avatar image for darson
#39 Posted by Darson (557 posts) -

It could be actual DLC? Like, remember that guys? DLC? Anyone? Hello... :(

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#40 Posted by BaneFireLord (3570 posts) -

So this explains why their stock price jumped $11 in one day.

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#41 Posted by finnith (54 posts) -

Ongoing revenue model could just be DLC, but it could also be microtransactions.

It's wishy-washy management talk designed to appease simply by being imprecise. I know cause I've used it a bunch.

Recall that investors are likely seeing the success of the loot box model elsewhere and asking CEO's/CFO's why they aren't doing more of that thing. In an age of activist stakeholders it's really important for management to get in front of this stuff.

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#42 Posted by Justin258 (15689 posts) -

@cjduke said:

This is better than them raising the price of games to $70 or $80 so whatever.

No.

It isn't.

I don't want the price of games to rise above $60. I really, really don't, and I do not buy the idea that AAA publishers need to either implement microtransactions or raise the price of games for them to be possible. That's all bullshit, always has been. But I would much, much rather see games go up in price than see them become glorified gambling machines. I want to buy a game and that's it. That's all. If my choices are a $100 game that will never bother me for more money again, not even with a little thing in the corner of the screen, or a $50 game that's going to constantly beg for more out of me, I'm going to lean towards the $100 mark. Unfortunately, I'd be willing to bet that at some point we'll be expected to spend $100 on a AAA game full of microtransactions. And I'm not doing that shit.

Ideally, AAA developers would figure out how to make the profit they want to make without fucking over us customers anymore. But that ain't the way it works.

I do really hope that this is just executives trying to assure investors that they're on top of this whole microtransaction/loot boxes thing.

Fortunately, as others have mentioned here, we have a thriving indie market, we have Nintendo, and we have CD Projekt Red. And we have Bethesda, Sony, and Square Enix, all of whom have recently produced or have announced games that I'm looking forward to without microtransactions, but I wouldn't be surprised if they fell down this same hole after this year. As much as I like huge worlds, top-notch graphics, excellent cut-scenes, and good voice work, I'll gladly let all that go in favor of good games that don't bug me for more money afterwards.

Avatar image for sinusoidal
#43 Edited by Sinusoidal (3608 posts) -

Oh video game industry trying to prove Roger Ebert right one publisher at a time. Online only, paid loot, time wasters have made me ashamed to call you my hobby. I've been playing more indie and small publisher games than triple-As for over a year now. Looks like a trend that's going to continue.

Avatar image for ripelivejam
#44 Posted by ripelivejam (13227 posts) -

Apparently I'm the only person able to ignore this stuff, it seems.

Avatar image for upperdecker
#45 Posted by UpperDecker (572 posts) -

Here's my two cents.

I had the most amazing time with friends on GTA5 playing multiplayer missions, etc. I did not take part of the online play where you "Pay to win" to kill people.

We never spent a dime on the shark cards. But we did grind missions and got lots of money. We bought the shit we were interested in. As long as they don't make the online content "pay to win" i'm fine with them making content people pay for.

Avatar image for hermes
#46 Posted by hermes (2629 posts) -

Now I feel ashamed of myself for the part I played by buying the ocasional Overwatch loot box.

At least we will always have the indie space.

Avatar image for frodobaggins
#47 Posted by FrodoBaggins (2104 posts) -

Yes this is a thing.

Avatar image for thepanzini
#48 Edited by ThePanzini (744 posts) -

@justin258 said:
@cjduke said:

This is better than them raising the price of games to $70 or $80 so whatever.

No.

It isn't.

I don't want the price of games to rise above $60. I really, really don't, and I do not buy the idea that AAA publishers need to either implement microtransactions or raise the price of games for them to be possible. That's all bullshit, always has been. But I would much, much rather see games go up in price than see them become glorified gambling machines. I want to buy a game and that's it. That's all. If my choices are a $100 game that will never bother me for more money again, not even with a little thing in the corner of the screen, or a $50 game that's going to constantly beg for more out of me, I'm going to lean towards the $100 mark. Unfortunately, I'd be willing to bet that at some point we'll be expected to spend $100 on a AAA game full of microtransactions. And I'm not doing that shit.

Ideally, AAA developers would figure out how to make the profit they want to make without fucking over us customers anymore. But that ain't the way it works.

I do really hope that this is just executives trying to assure investors that they're on top of this whole microtransaction/loot boxes thing.

Fortunately, as others have mentioned here, we have a thriving indie market, we have Nintendo, and we have CD Projekt Red. And we have Bethesda, Sony, and Square Enix, all of whom have recently produced or have announced games that I'm looking forward to without microtransactions, but I wouldn't be surprised if they fell down this same hole after this year. As much as I like huge worlds, top-notch graphics, excellent cut-scenes, and good voice work, I'll gladly let all that go in favor of good games that don't bug me for more money afterwards.

This has nothing to do with the price of games $60 or otherwise microtransactions present an unlimited customer spend cap and a potential to earn revenue well after a game has been released, just recently 40% of Ubisoft revenue was microtransactions from games released prior of March 2017.

Take-Two are not just talking loot boxes but DLC & season passes etc which both CDPR & Nintendo have been doing and its worth pointing out CDPR have been hiring alot of folks with multi-player experience Cyber Punk will have MP and probably something similar.

Microtransactions are earning more money than the games themselves unless your will to spend $300/400 a pop an extra $20/40 won't do jack.

Video games have often been criticized for earning most their cash the first month unlike movies which have much longer tails from cinema, blu-ray, streaming and TV etc gaming has fortunately/unfortunately found its model.

Avatar image for soulcake
#49 Edited by soulcake (2818 posts) -

Get this sick Gandhi make peace not war skin for Civ.

I wonder how long it takes before bethesda the only big publisher who seems to ignore this shit ( for now ) falls to greed. It's probably as soon as those Skyrim remakes stop selling.

O yeah i totally forgot about "creators club"....

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#50 Edited by ThePanzini (744 posts) -

@soulcake: Bethesda's last three games all single-player bombed and Wolfenstein 2 isn't looking so hot either.