Don’t be too proud of the barrier to entry you’ve constructed; the ability to make in-game unlocks incredibly expensive is insignificant next to the power of angry consumers. An update after the latest furor over Star Wars: Battlefront II’s hero unlock prices sees the prices for these characters slashed by 75%, bringing Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader down to 15,000 credits, while Palpatine, Leia, and Chewbacca will run 10,000 credits and Iden will cost only 5,000 credits.
What EA doesn’t note in its blog post is that it also reduced reward payouts commensurately.
We’re sure the cost is one that’s still meant to provide a sense of pride and accomplishment, somehow. Whether or not this mollifies players who were rather justifiably miffed about the whole thing remains to be seen; what is already quite obvious is that this is not something that the target audience is taking lightly, so the next move is on Electronic Arts – and that move appears to be an AMA?
Here at Massively Overpowered, we generally try to avoid cursing, but there really are no two ways to put the Cliff Bleszinski quote from his latest interview on LawBreakers’ post-launch struggles. Let’s provide the whole thing, for context:
[The gaming press is] just looking for clicks, man. They’re just looking for ad revenue. We’re going to keep doing what we’re doing, and they’re welcome to print whatever they want – but as far as I’m concerned, they can fuck off. We’re going to keep making our game for our fans.
Bleszinski stresses that the game’s struggle is simply to get its concurrent user counts high enough to make matchmaking reliably and enjoyable, with repeated statements that the studio is focused on building the community over time and engaging with them. He also claims that any perception problems are a result of people being overly negative, citing the game’s high number of positive reviews on Steam.
Hey, gang, this is absolutely wonderful. Activision has filed and been granted a patent for software designed to push you into buying cash shop crappies through the most insidious means possible. The breakdown is fairly straightforward: Once you buy something, the game’s matchmaking software will push you to a match where that something would be very effective or where another player’s purchases would influence your purchases, thus creating positive feedback and inspiring you to buy more! Isn’t that grand?
For those keeping track at home, this is starting to cross the line from gambling over to extortion, which is not a pleasant road to be walking. If you thought microtransactions amounted to a cash shop wholly separate from gameplay and you never had to worry about it influencing anything else, you were wrong.
Activision’s official statement is that this was simply a patent filed for exploratory software and it has not been implemented in any games. Said statement does not include phrases like “will not,” of course, so draw your own conclusions about when and whether it will show up. You can also draw your own conclusions about how shady it is, but the answer is pretty decidedly “super shady.”
Sending someone a message containing the phrase “eat a bag of dicks” may feel good to type, but it raises a number of logistical questions about how that would even happen. So we should celebrate the fact that an anonymous EVE Online
player didn’t stop with just the letter; he sent the company a package containing two bags of gummy candies in the shape of a phallus, a package of glitter, a bag of confetti also in the shape of dicks, and a letter inviting the developers to eat aforementioned bags of dicks
Of course, all that attention to detail was made wholly irrelevant due to the laws regarding international shipments to Iceland; a customs invoice was required and not included, so as a result the gag was discovered by postal employees and did not actually reach the CCP Games headquarters. Let this be a lesson to people willing to spend a great deal of money on a particularly immature prank: before you artfully arrange decor in the shape of genitals because you don’t like something about a video game, make sure your shipment will actually get to its destination.
All right. The Oculus/ZeniMax lawsuit ended, ZeniMax was awarded $500 million in Oculus money by the courts, and while the plaintiffs got less than what they had initially asked for, they did get the satisfaction of winning. That’s enough, right? We’re done with this story?
Oh, not even close. No, John Carmack, CTO of Oculus, yesterday made a public statement on Facebook claiming that everything ZeniMax argued in court was a series of lies designed to obfuscate the fact that he had never done anything wrong at all. You can read the whole response on his Facebook page, which does little to change the outcome of a trial that has already concluded and is now being waged purely in the court of public opinion.
ZeniMax issued a brief statement in response, which may be summarized in brief as, “We won, you lost, STFU noob.” As Oculus plans to appeal the ruling, the battle over public opinion is relevant, but the fact remains that both sides are still sniping at one another in a somewhat passive-aggressive fashion. Break out the popcorn; this ride isn’t over yet.