The Daily Grind: Did EA do gamers a big favor with its monetization overreach?

Over the last couple of weeks as players fought EA and Disney turned on its own in the Star Wars Battlefront II mess, I’ve seen many gamers (and even a few relieved developers) suggest that EA has unwittingly done us all a solid. Not only has the most-hated video game company in the west rocketed the lockbox gambling debate into the mainstream and into the political spotlight, but it’s made it that much harder for other studios to get away with similar monetization antics. Scrutiny is high right now, and we’ve actually seen several online gaming studios large and small denounce the mechanics that got EA in trouble. And all because EA delved too greedily and too deep: If it hadn’t pushed so hard, the whole industry might have skirted by for years more with MMO players’ complaints subsumed beneath the thrum of business as usual.

Did EA do gamers a big favor with its monetization overreach? Or do you really believe that scrutiny and oversight will somehow end worse for gamers than it is right now?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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115 Comments on "The Daily Grind: Did EA do gamers a big favor with its monetization overreach?"

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Robert Mann

Mixed. It will run a bunch of nonsense that mitigates a little of the lockbox stuff, but they will continue to find work arounds. At the same time, government will look at video games, and the relatively low regulation, and start doing what government does best… gumming up the works.

I fully expect to see new game prices rise in the aftermath. I expect to see favoritism toward certain big studios, much like other entertainment related industries in our nation. At the same time, I don’t expect to see the industry simply die. But there will be pain for the industry and consumers both if government gets more involved. There always is.

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Peregrine Falcon

EA, like the Dwarves of Moria before them, delved too greedily and too deep. You know what they awoke in the darkness of government gambling commissions.

Their greed pushed things so far that, not only have they cost themselves $billions, they wreaked it for the entire gaming industry.

Thanks EA! :)

K38FishTacos
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K38FishTacos

Greed is a constant. I will just slither around until it finds a new way to strike.

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Zora

Oh gosh oh gosh… I’m late to the party. Ahem… /adjusts dress

I don’t know if they made us a favour other than providing outlets for discussion (which I appreciate as a distraction while I wait for bloody swtor to finish patching) but one thing that I learnt long ago is that people detaining power are easier to deal with when they growl, bark and snarl… because aside of the entertainment value it makes it easier for everyone to recognize them as “dangerous” and thus worthy to keep an eye onto.

And in today’s super-sensitive media-driven age, when you are under scrutiny you have a tougher time getting away with even brushing your teeth, let alone get up to shenanigans. Win-Win?

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Dug From The Earth

Its always been a game these big companies have been playing. Pushing things as far as they felt they could push without waking the bear. It was only a matter of time before someone pushed just a tad bit too hard.

Now the bear is awake, which undeniably is a good thing for gamers. Gamers and even people outside of the gaming community, are being informed on the way these companies are doing things. Thats a good start to a “world” that was spiraling downward for too long now.

Lets just hope the bear doesnt sniff for a few moments, and go back to sleep.

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Rolan Storm

*chuckles* We can’t win, can we? Oh, well.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

. . . EA delved too greedily and too deep . . .

Are you suggesting they found some ancient evil??? Run!

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A Dad Supreme

Not an ancient evil but a new, more combined powerful force…

It’s Amazon and LOTR… how bad can it really be?

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A Dad Supreme

Whenever a mass gun shooting happens in the US, it seems that 70-80% of the country is not only upset, but appalled, disgusted and angry. They immediately say what a tragedy it is that just happened, how laws should be “strengthened”, they demand someone “look into it”, and there is always the expectation that “this time will be different”. Most shootings, people were deluding themselves and just hoping on hope.

When Sandy Hook happened, almost everyone was sure that “something changed”. After all, innocent children were gunned down at school, in America, in broad daylight. There was no politician who would stand against this surely, and the wheels of justice would now turn and a massive backlash would happen against the NRA, gun lobby and firearms makers in the US. Everyone was so sure it was a “watershed moment”. Instead, we got the usual T-shirts, speeches, and black ribbons.

To me, this is how the Star Wars lockbox event is… everyone is “angry” and vow “never to buy EA games” again unless this changes or that changes. Players are running around patting themselves on the back that they “stopped EA”.

They call for boycotts, demand government action, and they get the same weak agencies who say “this doesn’t technically meet the standard of gambling”. You’re going to get the same exact treatment, CEOs won’t say lockboxes are good, they’ll just stay low and let the moment pass as it naturally will. Then they’ll make another “must have” game and people will forget, especially vloggers/bloggers who make money off of the system.

I don’t think EA did anyone favors but I also don’t think players will fare any worse. I think things will just go along like they usually have regarding lockboxes. They will always be sold and people will always start out buying cosmetic ones, sending a financial message they are open to them and slowly accept the P2W ones.

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Ken from Chicago

It’s the old tale of the frog in the pot. Dump a frog in a pot of boiling water and it’ll scream and immediately jump out but put a frog in a pot of room temperature water and *slowly* turn up the heat and the frog won’t notice as it’s being boiled to death.

Until EA comes along and dumps in a gallon of boiling water and frog jumps out screaming. ;-)

— Ken from Chicago

P.S. Ken from Chicago is not a … frogologist … and doesn’t know if frogs actually scream. ;-)

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Bryan Correll

Apparently they do indeed scream.

But modern frogologists generally agree that a frog will jump out of a heating pot long before it becomes dangerously hot. Unless you put a lid on the pot. And what kind of sick bastard are you for doing that to a poor frog?

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Arktouros

I don’t see any long term meaningful changes coming from this.

A lot of politics is posturing. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were politicized figures trying to hitup EA and other major companies for money to defend their point of view. America is the original pay2win game. More over politics moves incredibly slow as related issues have to be examined as well allowing both sides to milk the topic (and it’s donors) as long as they please. That slowness does no one any favors as companies are able to adapt and change their business models as needed making the topic eventually irrelevant. We’ve already seen this happen in other countries that have put laws in place to protect consumers that the companies then bypass by changing their business model.

My prediction is they’re going to continue to follow in the footsteps of MMOs and simply offer a benign cash shop up front that sells little to nothing but adds the infrastructure and then simply offer gamble boxes later on down the line once reviews are in.

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Robert Mann

America learned this behavior from millennia of rulers overseas, and actually started out with people in charge who avoided said behavior and were hoping that a few basic rules would keep that tradition going (naïve, certainly!)… but that’s the only thing I have to correct in this matter.

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neil shelton

Their overreach was the straw that broke the camels back.

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Jon Wax

Based on the fact that gaming is gonna bite the big one due to net neutrality issue, some day y’all will look back fondly on the days when the devs were the only ones fuckin us.

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Robert Mann

Biggest problem isn’t the net neutrality rules, it is the telecom/utility regulations and allowed monopolistic behavior. Technically net neutrality as written is also harmful (for example, Netflix slowed down a lot following it, as the equal bandwidth rules punished their few datacenters far more harshly than other things like Amazon. The difference between 15 million daily users streaming video and <2 million daily users ordering something is rather huge, they don't need equal bandwidth.)

My point is that there's a better position between the two spots here, if we could just get government to go there… but government likes their rich donor money, and their hot button issues that are relatively minor compared to the bigger problems.

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traja

They probably at least accelerated the possible change. EA picked the perfect combination for a controversy with bf2. They made the loot boxes p2w which is a great way to trigger gamers to start making noise, and everyone knows Star Wars. That includes all the parents and politicians.

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starbuck1771

What does Battlefield 2 have to do with this? J/K Anyways I think you mean SWBF2.

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Schmidt.Capela

It’s not just P2W. EA made lockboxes an integral and necessary part of progression.

Imagine if every new level in your favorite MMO you didn’t get guaranteed attribute increases and skills unlock; instead, you got a lockbox with random skill unlocks and bonuses. That is, roughly, what EA made with progression in both SWBF2 and the newest Need for Speed game, and why both games are getting low review scores (as the changes made the games far less enjoyable even if you disregard the P2W aspect).

xpsync
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xpsync

Disney has been brought into this, as it’s clear that EA is using their ip to introduce Gambling to Children. Pretty sure Disney is not pleased, something is going to happen. EA tarnishing their name like this, wow. On a bright note, it’s nice to have the weight of Disney on our side, and also that more main media is going to be aware of how evil and corrupt EA is.

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Castagere Shaikura

Agreed but for me i haven’t bought an EA game since they bought out Westwood. EA is money grubbing company and doesn’t give a crap about its gamers as long as they keep spending money long after the bought the game. They treat them like smokers that can’t quit. The gamers need to suck it up and stop buying their games or nothing will change. Its a really bad company.

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Robert Mann

I can’t remember if it was Westwood or Origin that I realized they were just ruining studios… but haven’t bought since long ago! :)

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Bannex

Besides motivate me to spend more time on other hobbies? No.

The reality is that this is the future of games. They just went for it too soon. Once net neutrality is give we can look forward to everything on and around the Internet being a monthly service.

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Robert Mann

My personal opinion is that the financial situation in our nation will end in a revolt here before long, enflamed by the animosity of the two parties toward each other… and those who want can finally try to get away from both sides with a third nation option (hopefully!)

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Bannex

Gone* not give, stupid auto correct

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Armsbend

Ugh I forgot about NN. Yeah, the party is probably over for everyone.

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Brother Maynard
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miol
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miol

There are some ISPs trying to defy that ruling, like this one in Portugal:

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Bannex

Sweet, that doesn’t help us Americans.

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Castagere Shaikura

Best to enjoy it while we can. Its going to suck using the internet in the Trump era make America great again. Yeah make it great for corporate America. Watch that Tax cut coming for Christmas.

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Veldan

Gotta love this. My local train company got in trouble because they were blocking porn from train wifi and it made the news because it was in violation of net neutrality.

(I believe they did succesfully defend it in the end, by saying they had to block all video material for bandwidth reasons.)

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Bannex

I really wish this site would cover the net neutrality thing more

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Armsbend

There is every reason for it too imo. The lack of knowledge by the general public is astounding, considering it’s potential impact.

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rafael12104

Hmm. Not really. No.

So, IF something does become of this, it is likely to swing the pendulum much too far. We are a guardrail to guardrail people before we eventually settle on something in the middle IF we settle on something at all.

So, this was going to happen, and soon, anyway. Because, EA is not the only one pursuing this model of profitability. Activision has patents on predatory business practices, for example ( not even kidding).

Would it have been as impactful if it were not for the Star Wars IP being a part of it? Hmm, maybe not. But I can’t be sure about that. We gamers are a noisy bunch.

What makes this particularly tasty for many of us is that it happened to EA. A company notorious for it’s shit brand and treating gamers and other devs with even less concern than what they have for their brand.

That makes this even more monumental for some of us, but the truth is, this was inevitable, just like the swing to the closests guardrail.

BTW, I’m on that swing and know it might hurt. But, I’m ready. The use of Wilson lootbox has to be stopped. I now realize the damage it has caused and will continue to cause.

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A Dad Supreme

EA, lockbox, Disney, Star Wars.. yep it was the perfect storm.

But like all storms, it will pass then people will realize nothing really changed in ten years other than “Hey, remember that really bad storm we had a few years ago?” and the other guy says “Not really, which one? We had a few of them.”

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blahlbinoa .

I hope the government does step in on this, and hard. These are gamble boxes, pure and simple and just as the Hawaiian lawmaker stated, it is geared towards the young and those with gambling addictions; their so-called whales. If they want gamble boxes in their games and other expensive DLCs that last for an hour, make the game 30 bucks then charge the stupid amounts of money.

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Schlag Sweetleaf

.

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Brother Maynard

In this picture we can observe that the straw is made of solid metal and that indeed we’re dealing with a camel and not a dromedary, as we can clearly see the two humps.

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Utakata

Oddly, it’s one that EA has sprung that they set up themselves. o.O

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Armsbend

A lot going on in this one :)

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Schlag Sweetleaf

“Difficult to see. Always in motion is the future..”

Justin Olivetti
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Justin Olivetti

I know that there’s fatigue about lockbox conversations right now, but I’m personally glad it’s getting so much attention at a higher level because it’s something that has needed to happen for a while now — and this might be our last, best shot at curbing predatory practices and pushing back against lockboxes. So bring it on, I say!

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Armsbend

“there’s fatigue about lockbox conversations”

Five days is exhausting for a gamer you are right. Better to just forget it. Maybe a Star Citizen ship sale to take our attention away from this problem.

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Veldan

This site sure would be less entertaining without Armsbend posting

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Schlag Sweetleaf

Dilly Dilly!

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

i learned this week that preordering 50-3500$ MTs that have clear gameplay power considerations for a gmae that has been in early access for 4 years and running with major milestones cut back and delayed heavily and eternally just around the corner is ok on reddit subs that get steamed that ark sold a $20 content rich dlc in early access and pubg add valve hat economy while in early access “because it’s funding the game and i’ve only spent $30 years ago and have never even bothered to play and have already written it off if it never comes out” without even being to obtain those ships through normal gameplay until some vague future date mentioned in passing.

:D

good times.

also $650 multicrew ship with more turrets than any other with optimal turret arcs far more than any other isn’t pay2win because it will someday be obtainable in game and equal footing on day 1 is no longer a reasonable expectation. :D

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Brother Maynard

Judging by the evolution of their ship prices, the $650 Hammerhead will cost $1000+ by the time the game launches and the in-game price will be correspondingly high, requiring players to spend months grinding credits just for this ship…

Over the past 1-2 years CIG has started making new ships almost exclusively for their biggest backers. The time when the Constellation was bordering on the whale category with its $200 price tag is long gone. I wonder how CIG want to attract new regular players with this philosophy…

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Jon Wax

Diversity > Equality

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

maybe maybe not. but let’s not pretend their revenue model isn’t entirely pay2win and isn’t treated that way by many of us backers.

i know i make my purchases in their store with that in mind across a variety of activities.

and i do so with an acute awareness that i will be ahead of my friends i plan to play with in teh grand scheme of things of the progression and able to augment their progression verus guilds that don’t do more than basic starter packages as a rule.

and even amongst my guildies that are at the cheapest levels of backing i have receomended heavily they still get the arurora ln/lx upgrade for an extra $10 for *BASELINE* viability. because for the entire run of early access the game has been playable the basic starter ships have never been viable at anything at all that is playable.

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Space Captain Zor

They would be if the appropriate method of progressing that starter ship was fully in place. Take mission, get monies, buy parts, etc. Fact is, it’s not fully implemented (but it’s going to be eventually). So while CURRENTLY your suggestion makes sense for the alpha, it really doesn’t if your friend(s) simply plan to wait when the game is feature complete and they can upgrade that starter ship after a few hours of running missions or whatever with the economy properly functioning. Such as it was in Privateer or Freelancer, or whatever fill-in-the-blank example of a properly finished game you’d like to reference.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

if in the launch product the basic starter points are still nonviable it doesn’t really matter if they can on paper progress because in practice they won’t be able to.

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Space Captain Zor

Only if you’re assuming some kind of parity with the current starting experience/economy/missions and the launched starting experience/economy/missions, to which I can’t see any logic in assuming. Iteration is ongoing.

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Pandalulz

Meh, like all other video game regulations, it’ll get a sticker on the box that everybody ignores, just like the ESRB ratings are now.

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Armsbend

ESRB is self regulation though. Government has more and sharper teeth.

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Utakata

It’s elected head has a run off with the mouth issue…but that’s a different topic for another day. o.O

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Vincent Clark

The sad part, there wouldn’t be a need for legislation if the companies who push out the loot-boxes led by example and did the right thing. I realize I’m being naive in thinking that a corporation would ever think of people as actual people instead of $$, but it’s a sad state of affairs if the norm in the gaming industry has now become work less and on the cheap so we can get more $$. It makes me thankful for games like WoW and FFXIV who stay sub only and avoid loot-boxes like the plague.

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Robert Mann

I’d counter that with “If people would just buy from the other companies instead, leaving these games virtually dead and the people who would buy the lockboxes for their epeen uninterested.”

Alfredo Garcia
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Alfredo Garcia

I would point at child labor, women’s suffrage, and slavery as just a few examples of why legislation is going to always be needed to help blunt the force of humanity’s most harmful inclinations. Predatory practices in gaming are a pale shadow of an outrage compared to those issues, but slopes tend to be slippery when it comes to greed and overreach. The sooner people push back the less likely a situation will get totally out of hand.

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Schmidt.Capela

but it’s a sad state of affairs if the norm in the gaming industry has now become work less and on the cheap so we can get more $$.

That has always been the norm.

It sometimes backfires, though, and occasionally in such impressive way that it causes lasting consequences; for example, in the early 80s Atari thought just slapping the name of a successful movie in a game cover would guarantee good sales, so they attempted that with the ET movie and a game that was, to put it mildly, unfit for consumption; the fallback harmed Atari enough it greatly scaled down its involvement with games.

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Armsbend

I do not believe this is true. 15 years ago if you didn’t put in maximum effort it showed – and you bombed. For an example we all know about: Blizzard absolutely busted their ass to put out what they thought was the best example of an MMORPG they could possibly put out there. Even today they agonize over their games. Titan is a good example. They didn’t think it was fun – so they canned it. After 1000s of hours of work and millions lost.

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Schmidt.Capela

What exact you don’t believe is true?

The ET game fiasco? That one is very well documented. After all, it’s not every day you see a game bomb to such an extent it almost drags down a console maker.

Companies making shovelware? Ever saw the amount of crappy movie-based games from the 80s and 90s? For a while just about any game that had a famous movie character in the cover was a cheaply made, crappy game meant to just grab a quick buck, with a few notable exceptions (like anything by Lucasfilm Games/Lucasarts).

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Armsbend

That it is the norm. But now that I re-read it…you said the word ‘norm’. I suppose it is the norm with so many poor developers out there.

Carry on!

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Schmidt.Capela

That isn’t just for games, mind. Figuring ways to work less and spend less money so you can bring home more profits is the rule for almost any economic activity.

In a capitalist model competition is supposed to keep the worst abuses in check, so if one company cuts corners their customers can move to other providers, but that doesn’t always work due to monopolies, cartels, and exclusivity deals.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

wow and ff14 have both had MT’s for a long time, if not lootboxes. :P their cash shops aren’t necessarily all that bad mind you, but they aren’t sub only :P

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Vincent Clark

FFXIV allows you to play to level 30, but from there it’s sub only. You can’t even log into the game after that point without a sub. And there is a vast difference between putting items directly on the store for sale (majority of which is fluff, cosmetics, etc.) than including loot-boxes with raid comparable gear and other items that affect game play.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

just because it’s largely cosmetic items on their cash shops doesn’t mean they aren’t there. just because they don’t have loot boxes doesn’t mean there isn’t a cash shop.

alot of the games i’ve played the past year or so have had cash shops of this nature without lootboxes but my group doesn’t pretend the cash shop isn’t part of the game. and most of those games didn’t even have subs despite relying on at least a centralized match making server if not more than that.

and most games with loot boxes the loot boxes are entirely cosmetic as well and don’t affect gameplay aside from bling factor. that doesn’t mean that people still don’t gamble for that .00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001% drop rate unicorn mount in those games.

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Vincent Clark

I never said they weren’t there. In fact, I never mentioned micro-transactions at all because the issue being discussed is loot-boxes. Two entirely different things. Honestly, I’m not sure what you are going on about. /shrug.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

you said wow and ffxiv are sub only. they’re not.

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Chosenxeno .

Governments just want their cut. They’ll probably just tax lootboxes. Just like they tax gambling earnings, Alchohol, Tabbaco, Soda(atleast where I am). The Governments aren’t interested in stopping any vices. They, instead; look to monetize them.

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Armsbend

Heavily taxing lootboxes would be a fantastic method. Tax them as you do any vice to where they become obsolete. I am heavily in favor in a heavy taxation of lootboxes. To the point it isn’t worth it.

Lootboxes are not gasoline. You don’t need them to get to work. Lootboxes are not cigarettes – they don’t kill you and you do not become physically addicted to them. In other words, if they are too expensive people will simply abandon them and quickly. Taxes are a very effective tool in doing this.

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Chosenxeno .

That could be effective but people still Drink, Smoke, Gamble, ect. Despite heavy Taxation. I remember Cigarettes costing $2 a pack. Now they cost $10 and people still have kept up with their smoking.

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Robert Mann

^. What that would likely do, is make the next booming ‘gold seller’ industry via people selling lockboxes without the normal taxes.

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Armsbend

A fraction of the amount of people smoke compared to the 1990s in the US. It is the de facto example of taxation used to influence society. If you raised taxes on alcohol $10/bottle the same thing would happen. If you put a tax on every flip of the dice the same thing would happen.

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Armsbend

I just don’t trust the companies to do anything about it all. Or if they do, I see them focusing down a more insidious and less dodge-able scheme. I sincerely think this has become a US vs. THEM issue. And I do not think we waged the war – the companies waged a war against the consumer a long time ago. They have proven time and again to not be willing to listen to our complaints and suggestions – and instead do whatever they want to.

I don’t think this would create a poor tax. I think if they charge any more for a lootbox it will become unpalatable for rich and poor alike. I personally think if they raised prices on boxes anymore – a vast number of people wouldnt see value. They go back to selling things piecemeal -which would be a slight improvement. Or get rid of it altogether.

Sidenote: sugar free pop has it’s own issues so I’m not sure you can tax one without the other. I think taxation does both things – it raises revenue while curbing vice – vice for consumers and companies.

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Schmidt.Capela

Taxation also gives the government far more awareness and control than an outright ban.

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Armsbend

Correct again Schmidt!

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

ultimately it ends up becoming a poor tax as well as a lucrative market for organized crime.

or in the case of tobacco as well for natives. tho alot of smokers refuse to give up their prefered taxxed brand.

i personally have and even tho there'[s threat of fines if i were to get fined multiple times a year for untaxed tobacco posession i’d still be saving so much with smokes from teh reserve it’d be worth it.

borghive
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borghive

Nope, addicts out there will still buy these silly boxes, it really only takes a few whales buying these to make them worth while for a dev to spend time making them.

Gamers need to just stop buying these games in the first place. I think this is the only way these studios will get the hint. Also, they just need to raise the box price of new games already. I don’t think paying $80-$100 for a new game is that big of a deal.

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Chosenxeno .

That’s a slippery slope. What about when they jump to $200? How’d that work out for The Neo Geo:) (god, I’m so old now lol)

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yoh_sl

Well, that depends on the results.
If people go ahead and buy SW:BF2 despite all the negative press, and EA still manage to make a profit after all this, and nothing changes, then no they did not.
Because then that just proves no matter how damn terrible they are, idiot consumers are still going to buy their shit no matter what.

But if on the other hand it tanks, then other AAA developers are going to look at that and think twice about being greedy asshats. They probably still will be, but at least this will give them pause.
Of course in either case should legislation come about that forces this stuff to stop, then it would be worth it.

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Robert Mann

Agreed excepting the legislation, which I believe would be both ineffective and end up punishing the gamers who don’t buy them (because government doesn’t tend to stop at one point.)

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yoh_sl

Well, t o be clear your probably talking about US government, to which I agree, they are fuckups.
Many other countries however aren’t as corrupt or ineffectual.

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Robert Mann

My experience in government actions around the world (travel, news, industry, international friends, etc.) say otherwise. Governments tend to be corrupt and ineffectual everywhere.

That said, there’s purpose to them for things, and there is a need for at least a minimum of government.

Polyanna
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Polyanna

If not us, it would be someone else. Why not us?

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Tobasco da Gama

I think it remains to be seen whether this PR debacle of EA’s actually leads to any major changes in the long run.

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Utakata

You could look at it that way. But I like to think of as EA in their glaring incompetence created a fallout of such a spectacular fashion that it may have blown the lid off the shady monetizing dealings within the industry. It was the unintentional consequence of EA’s bungling that in the end may have given the consumer the advantage, but it was no favor to anyone. As it was never EA’s intention to help anyone but themselves.

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Armsbend

Yes, but I also expect gamers to forget about this as soon as some pittance is given to them – or the next piece of drama hits. Liken it to the next time someone in the US kills massive amounts of people and gun control about a 10 day span of attention before a new celebrity gets pregnant, a new touch screen device comes out or a new shooting – to take the attention away from the matter at hand. It’s the nature of information today, until it all goes away with a major war. Which by the way, we are due for any year now. Seems like the time is ripe now.

Anyway back on task – as I’ve said before I think an industry wide shake out is due. Everything destroyed in order to rebuild it. So I hope the fallout continues and is far reaching.

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Archebius

Like so.

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deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

we still haven’t finished the last war tho!

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Armsbend

“major war”. Everyone involved – gamers turning into soldiers and the like – death that touches everyone not just volunteers and their families. Since history has been recorded I’m not sure we’ve gone this long without one. The setting seems ripe. *shrug*

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

i’d say our adventures in the middle east for the past 16 years constitute a major war. it certainly has for the nations we’ve murdered to death in that time. and certainly for our service members and their families and the random people gunned down ridden down and stabbed in various countries that we get news of just about every week it seems.

the afghanistan war against the taliban is the longest running war in US history btw for a few years now. i know people forget we’re even there anymore it seems. i’m not even sure if canada has boots on the ground there anymore or not.

seems the shift in propaganda tail wagging has been turkey isis and iran in the past few years and forgetting that we’re still active in both afghanistan and iraq in very big ways, with daily drone strikes across the middle and far east, which was bad enough under obama for civilian kill counts without trump already having gone above obama’s 8 year total since he’s been in office (which i have been told each drone strike is a presidential authorization).

i mean certainly we’ve got our sunny ways distractions from these wars in various areas of our awareness and it doesn’t seem like they are major burdens on our economies even tho the US budget for them alone is cosmic in size compared to any other thing that our news media tells us is excessively wasteful of the gov to spend on on a regular basis.

but chances are those homeless men we pass on the way to work or to shop for consumer goods are war ravaged veterans these days. but easier to look away from them and put them out of mind and pretend that we live in peaceful times and there isn’t major warfare happening with our direct involvement.

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Schmidt.Capela

the afghanistan war against the taliban is the longest running war in US history btw for a few years now.

And that one is a truly American mess, as it was the US that armed and trained the Taliban in the first place; the movie Rambo 3 even has Rambo working side-by-side with Taliban warriors to rescue a friend who was, under orders of the US government, helping make the Taliban into a credible fighting force.

But then, of course, that wasn’t the only time US international meddling backfired spectacularly. Saddam Hussein was put in power with the help of the US to prevent Iraq from electing a religious (Islamic) government; ISIS started as a coalition of Suni militias armed and trained by the US to depose Syrian president Bashar al-Assad; Fidel Castro’s revolution was successful in large part because the previous Cuban president was an US-backed corrupt politician that didn’t care, at all, for the people; and those are just some of the most visible of the messes the US got into.

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Armsbend

I think it is a major war to the middle east but not to the west. Something to watch on television and argue about. It’s a matter of opinion I won’t argue about it here any longer. cheers

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Archebius

I’ll second your comment, deekay.

At the end of the day, no one wants war, not once we have it – and when it’s over, no one wants the consequences.

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Modrain

If anything, I trust politicians to get from an extreme to another one, as usual when it’s about technology. From complete (tacit) authorization to complete interdiction, without middle ground of acceptable practices.

There are many cases in which it won’t hurt, quite the opposite. Plenty of games that uses lockboxes or gacha mechanics are just being greedy, it’s nowhere near vital. F2P games lived before those mechanics were introduced to the masses.

However, there are games completely built around lockbox/gacha mechanics, that are 100% reliant on it to their core (I’m primarily thinking about mobile games such as Fire Emblem Heroes, Fate G/O, etc). Whether you’re fine or not with the mechanic, there are well-appreciated games that could suffer from it, if not completely disappear.

So, it could be good, but I’m wary of the bite back.

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Robert Mann

Aye, and likely government will do it in a way that hurts other gaming practices most of us like… they have a terrible track record when it comes to actually fixing something, instead of just creating another problem.

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MesaSage

I just hope lootcrate.com and all those subscription services are next. I mean, you pay a fee and you never know what you’re going to get. Who wants surprises in life? Where’s the control on that? And then go after digital currency, too, because that’s obviously a scam.

Tizmah
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Tizmah

Oh by the way. Everyone who subs to loot crate gets random stuff, but everyone gets the same random stuff. Except that one special person who gets the mega crate.

Tizmah
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Tizmah

Hey that’s exactly why I quit subbing to them and others! Junk in box!

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

usually there’s just enough of them that are good each year to bring out those anecodtal testimonials.

either the old “man i wish i was subbed for that month’s box!” or the old “man i’m so glad i am subbed to this because look at what this month’s box has!”

but almost every person i’ve seen give those testimonials when they are subbed the rest of the year complain that it’s trash and they are planning to unsub.

only ofc to regret unsubbing when they see the word of mouth in such circles to have interest in lootcrate et al get a box with “the good stuff” in it.

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Schmidt.Capela

What I like about the Humble Monthly (which operates as a subscription loot crate) is that it reveals ahead of time one of the games in the box. So, if I like it, I subscribe; if not, I unsubscribe.

But then, it’s not uncommon for the single game revealed ahead of time in the Humble Monthly to already be worth the price of the subscription. If that wasn’t the case, there would be no chance, at all, I would ever subscribe to it.

(The current one isn’t worth it, BTW. H1Z1 + 2 lootboxes for it. I always value bonus lootboxes in those packages as worth nothing, and the H1Z1 base game costs less than half the price of the subscription.)

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Shiro Madoushi

What we need is for the gaming media to start helping with the fight. Major points lost in reviews for predatory microtransactions (p2w) and lockboxes and maybe a new site that only covers games without predatory microtransactions and lockboxes. Perhaps universal logos that say “certified lockbox free” or “certified p2w free” or other things that games that are doing the right thing can be awarded.

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Armsbend

Maybe you’ve found your calling?

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Jeff

I’m kind of mixed. It takes someone overreaching for something to be done but I’m sure there were also be unintended consequences with whatever is used to fix this. Will attempts to stop loot boxes effect other things like Magic the Gathering, baseball cards, and Kinder eggs? Maybe that is good maybe that isn’t.

Tizmah
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Tizmah

Depending on what governments decide, this could be worse or better for gaming. Governments can provide solutions, but not necessarily good ones. It’s not a win yet.

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

Capitalistic exploitation drive consumers to seek government regulation.
Legislative measures taken with a well-meaning effort to protect consumers.
Legislative entities slowly fill with representatives friendly or beholden to the industry they are tasked to regulate.
Through consumer apathy and targeted misinformation, original abuses are implemented and allowed although now legitimized through government agency.

~A tale as old as time, a song as old as rhyme…

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MesaSage

Don’t forget the money part. G-man needs his benjis.

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Darthbawl

Oh this is more than a mere “mess,” more like a fiasco or as some might say, totally screwing the pooch. LOL

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BalsBigBrother

I honestly think that the green grass folks are seeing at the moment when they ask for legislation isn’t going to stay green for very long. Government agencies will find a way to screw things up even worse, that along with taxes and death is one of life constants.

My opinion may mellow once the coffee to blood ratio is in a better balance but that is all you are getting out of me for now ;-)

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Hirku

Or do you really believe that scrutiny and oversight will somehow end worse for gamers than it is right now?

This. There’s no happy ending here either way.

wpDiscuz