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Why we need to conquer our fear of micro-transactions

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EA's commitment to the model isn't the end of the world

Sometimes you have to wonder whether EA's mouth is on speaking terms with its brain. This morning's revelation (care of chief financial officer Blake Jorgensen) that all future EA titles will support micro-transactions might have been plucked from a handbook of ways to royally cheese off the internet (admittedly, his remarks were directed at an audience of investors, not consumers). It follows a series of PR blunders that began with the discovery of a micro-transaction system in Dead Space 3 - a feature EA could have unveiled itself in order to explore the ramifications appropriately and avoid the charge of harbouring guilty secrets, but instead chose to leave lying around in preview code.... read more

Why we need to conquer our fear of micro-transactions

Postby FishyGinger » 27 Feb 2013, 17:44

Good Article. I doubt those who would benefit most from a little restraint rather than posting "f**k EA" constantly will actually listen to any reason though. Turns out companies don't want to make games people want to buy and trying to monetize that, they want to rape you again and again until you sob uncontrollably and you have no choice but to buy these games.

And in case anyone was wondering, yes the Aero hot chocolate I had was lovely. Sadly there's dlc in the form of more hot chocolate available so my original 3 quid didn't include the whole story....the bastards.
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Re: Why we need to conquer our fear of micro-transactions

Postby Gazisdaman » 27 Feb 2013, 18:06

F**K EA! :evil:
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Re: Why we need to conquer our fear of micro-transactions

Postby msbhvn » 27 Feb 2013, 18:06

You're forgetting that when EA introduced Online Pass, it seemed reasonable. Multiplayer costs money to run, so people who buy second hand should contribute. Then they started putting it in single player games.

When they introduced day one DLC, it seemed reasonable. People aren't going to wait for DLC to come out after they've finished the game, so the DLC might stop them trading it in so quickly. Then they started hacking bits out of finished games for the express purpose of selling them for extra profit.

Now we have microtransactions. They seem reasonable now, you don't need to pay for anything in Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer or Dead Space 3 to progress. A few games down the line, however, it'll become more and more difficult to complete the game without paying.

What's the saying about fooling me once and shame? :wink:
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Re: Why we need to conquer our fear of micro-transactions

Postby Chameleon » 27 Feb 2013, 18:27

As the person who usually shouts "F*** EA!" as loud, if not louder, than the last person, I'm here to say DS3 equivalent microtransactions are fine.
I might not like a lot of EA's business practices, but current levels of microtransactions are not something I can call them out on.

I can't, of course, see EA sticking with this perfectly reasonable situation, and fully expect them to trample all over their victims.. sorry, no I meant mothers... No, no, wait... ah, yes - customers. I fully expect them to trample all over their customers when they work out how to rip every last penny from them in the form of microtransactions that are almost, but not quite, essential to finish the game. If you're god's gift to gaming, you can probably beat that last boss battle with a few well-aimed shots between the eyes from a 'standard' weapon. But if you're not quite up to MLG standards, you need a [400MSP] 'power' weapon... How long before this hits?

While it's not happening, I'm happy for people to pay for the resources that lets them not have to search the corners of DS3, but it COULD become a rather slippery slope.
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Re: Why we need to conquer our fear of micro-transactions

Postby Bezza89 » 27 Feb 2013, 18:32

msbhvn wrote:
What's the saying about fooling me once and shame? :wink:


Fool you once and it'll be a shame that many rotund people are dead now you didn't pay for your car insurance...
It's all in the game...
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Re: Why we need to conquer our fear of micro-transactions

Postby Plamsa wing » 27 Feb 2013, 18:43

I've no problem with how people spend their hard-earned money, buy yourself a "nice" hooker for all I care. But it's the people who will buying anything that's thrown at them, that I have a problem with and like I said in t'other topic, what happens when they go too far?

You've already got the likes of Capcom pushing the boundaries of DLC, in their own version of DLC. That's disc locked content, pretty witty isn't it. :wink:

From a business point of view, it's a seeminlgy good idea, but eventually those boundaries will be pushed. It's alright for free to play games, which are a different story all together, how else will they earn their money? But when you're shelling out £40 for a new game in most cases, only to find parts of it are "missing" or the difficulty is jacked up in such a way, you need to pay to even pass one level, what then?

Yes it may be the worst case scenario, but if said scenario does happen, I fear it may be too late. All in all, I think it's largely a double edged sword and neither party will come off it looking clean.
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Re: Why we need to conquer our fear of micro-transactions

Postby FishyGinger » 27 Feb 2013, 19:06

Hookers? You've been hanging around you know who too long.

EA will push it too far, like the parable of the scorpion and the turtle (it is a turtle right? or a fox, something with a shell either ways) it's their nature. They'll push it too far and people will eventually realise and they'll crash or realise what they're doing and scale it back. It's only natural like the mating/feeding habits of lemmings. If we as a race don't realise it then sadly we deserve everything we're getting but I for one won't complain now over something that isn't happening, certainly when it's a matter of games and not anything that important.
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Re: Why we need to conquer our fear of micro-transactions

Postby Bezza89 » 27 Feb 2013, 19:54

Plamsa wing wrote:I've no problem with how people spend their hard-earned money, buy yourself a "nice" hooker for all I care. But it's the people who will buying anything that's thrown at them, that I have a problem with and like I said in t'other topic, what happens when they go too far?



As Edwin says in his blog piece, if they did go too far there'd be uproar via loads of different social media bits, I honestly don't see the problem, there isn't one - people are just making problems up. Oh no they're charging me for something that I don't need to buy and is something that is given/gained through the progression of the game. Would I prefer they weren't there? Yes, I don't need them, but someone might benefit from them and who am I to restrict them from content?

If there was ever a point like AC2 where segment 12 and 13 were 'damaged' and could only be accessed via dlc and this became the norm we either wouldn't buy the game or would share our distaste.
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Re: Why we need to conquer our fear of micro-transactions

Postby Muppetman51 » 27 Feb 2013, 20:20

I wonder if the fear of micro-transactions isn't more about just how much more of your information it requires you to sign over without thinking?

Scene: Shooter a la Borderlands, 2017. Guns, guns, guns. Loot, loot loot. Guns and loot and guns and wait....more loot and guns. And a story that is for most gamers, not possible to get past without micro-transactions, a system by now accepted and if not universal then fairly widespread.

Meanwhile, at the Legion of Doom:

Gimme more guns and that big shiny thing that looks like it'd tear the devil a new one while I'm at it.

Certainly sir, that'll be your inside leg measurement, mother's credit history and pets' medical records for the final two years of their life.

Wait, why do you need that?

So we can suggest purchases and upgrades next time you come back. As well as tailor made stupidity for your avatar.

But I only need to do this little bit and I only want a few things then I'm done.

Ah yes, but Sir hasn't seen just how @#~!£$* inept he is when it comes to the multiplayer, and we would humbly suggest that he needs all the help he can get. And with a complete history of your personal faux pas, internet search preferences and, well, everything we can get our hands on from your online life we can guarantee no-one will laugh at you for about 10 minutes.

Yes but what are you going to do with all my information, hackers are very good at blowing raspberries to security these days?

Ah but Sir, with our help, you shall climb our leader-boards with shiny, satan-bothering kit and besides we will publish it all next to your gamertag anyway, along with the most embarrassing photo we have of you on file. You know sir, the one where which you made your family swear would never be made public if you were kidnapped/ran for anything/died tragically young.

But all I wanted was to maybe complete this game. No. You can't. I'll try it without all your fancy guns. Goodbye, I'm not interested.

Ah but sir we already have. Now, if you would sign this standard release to allow us to film your gaming activities and post them Youtube under the title: "Look at this Chump", she is only waffer thin. Or we can have Kinect do it anyway.

I'm not saying it'll come to this but isn't that what bothers us more? The fact that micro-transaction might actually work or the fact that the real price will not necessarily just be hard earned melvins?
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Re: Why we need to conquer our fear of micro-transactions

Postby Bezza89 » 27 Feb 2013, 20:34

Muppetman51 wrote:Crazy Nonsense


Who is this guy? I like you sir, you're my kind of crazy. Or ma'am.
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Re: Why we need to conquer our fear of micro-transactions

Postby FishyGinger » 27 Feb 2013, 21:51

you've smoked some bad granola, muppet.
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Re: Why we need to conquer our fear of micro-transactions

Postby Thos. » 27 Feb 2013, 21:55

Bezza89 wrote:As Edwin says in his blog piece, if they did go too far there'd be uproar via loads of different social media bits,


Except that won't do anything. The internet is not most people. The vast majority of console gamers are oblivious to online debate. Best selling game in the UK? Aliens: Colonial Marines.

The cost of CoD DLC has gone from £7.99 to £15 in a couple of years because the majority of players are willing to pay - the idea of an organised boycott is laughable.

Anyone thinking EA aren't going to push micro-payments to being as close to essential as they can get away with is, frankly, an imbecile.
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Re: Why we need to conquer our fear of micro-transactions

Postby Bezza89 » 27 Feb 2013, 22:21

I think the mass effect ending shows people wont just take stuff they don't agree with, unless you think that people will think being unfairly charged at every opportunity isn't as bad as changing a few plot holes...

Aliens is a big property, I'd assume film fans not into games too much bought it not based on reviews, and those that did couldn't cancel preorders because the embargo only lifted the day retailers dispatch items for online sales. Of course this would only accound for a small percentage probably, but I think the furore over it's quality is proof that people will complain loud enough to be heard when they don't agree with the quality of service they are getting product wise.

I think being charged at every opportunity would enrage most customers, enough to boycott products, make a stand etc much in the same fashion as other stuff like ME ending. People aren't that retarded.
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Re: Why we need to conquer our fear of micro-transactions

Postby Muppetman51 » 27 Feb 2013, 23:17

FishyGinger wrote:you've smoked some bad granola, muppet.


Heh heh, yeah. I saw things man. And stuff. :oops:

I just don't think money will be the only thing you will eventually have to stump up in order to get the most from micro-transactions if you choose to take part in the system. I don't know what else it'll be but it won't be flippant or irrelevant. But I think that it'll be sneaked in under the cover of the outrage at the more tangible and immediate sacrifice of yet more cash.

Might even be bad enough to inflict a thousand yard stare on a few people.

You weren't there man, you weren't there...

/Cue CCR Fortunate Son.
/Jump into Huey....
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Re: Why we need to conquer our fear of micro-transactions

Postby PCG The_B » 27 Feb 2013, 23:31

I think for me there's a degree of wondering why a lot of the vitriol seems to imply as if this - and EA's statement about more transactions going forward - has come out of almost-nowhere, and as if EA are the only ones to be doing it. As Ed says in the piece, they've been around for a while, yet there didn't seem to be anywhere near as much controversy when SSX allowed you to buy credits to buy better equipment and better snowboards, or Assassins Creed allows you to buy credits to allow you to buy skills that you'd otherwise have to grind to level 50 in the multiplayer to get.

Saying that, I took part in an AC survey today where most of the questions implied that nobody seemed to understand or notice any of the multiplayer nuances there, so I wonder if the publishers are just not clear at explaining them to folks unless they're right under their noses.
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