loot boxes that have only cosmetics i couldn’t give a shit whether they’re earned, bought, hacked or whatever. When i see someone with a garish pink and gold skin that they paid for, i don’t feel annoyed, i feel pity. That sucks for the people who put time in to those things to earn them as it devalues their achievement, but that’s for them to have thoughts or feelings about. The ones paying money are ‘funding game development’ (clearly not the case, they’re funding publishers and their share prices). When i see someone else using them it doesn’t ruin my enjoyment of the game; if it did i think i’d reconsider whether i enjoyed that game enough to be playing it.
Expensive versions of games doesn’t bug me either; it’s not new, it’s just you get more than the game now. SF2 on the megadrive was 65 quid at launch in '93, that’s around 110-120 quid with inflation, for a single game with no future support, no additional content (you have to buy a new copy of the game for that). It was the first one that high (60 quid had happened), and wouldn’t stay the most expensive (virtua racing was 70 quid).
The issue with kids ‘gambling’ on lootboxes, that’s not a videogame issue, videogames are just a more recent medium for this behaviour. When you were a kid, as now, you could buy things where the contents were random and there was a marketed desire to collect all of the things. You might not have collected them, but the ‘exploit the children’ behaviour is unchanged.
If you are a listed company, you have one product, your share price. Everything else is marketing; whatever form of stuff to get people to see your company as successful and raise it’s value accordingly. This applies to all industries that make things, including videogames, so the same behaviours will be present.
Expecting greed to stay out of any industry is unrealistic; greed is human culture, so it’ll be a driving part of everything we do. If you can change that, i suggest making whatever sacrifice you can to do so, but I can’t so I don’t spend much time hung up on it; the demographic most publishers choose to target now is much larger and more profitable than any containing myself so I’ve no way to effect change.
BF shortcut kits i have no issue with; they have been delayed until after launch like Pip says and they don’t provide anything particularly game changing; as Reno mentioned in the BF5 thread, in BF1 the guns are sidegrades at best, there isn’t a ‘better’ kit you can buy, just more choice.
Trying to change the industry won’t do shit because you’ll still have the same people with the same behaviour; both those willing to exploit, and those willing to pay them for being exploited. And we’ll always have children/stupid people around to be exploited. Any decisive action would need to be undertaken across multiple nations and cultures, so that’s extremely unlikely to happen.
I guess my suggestion would be we all stop giving a shit about it and just focus on finding things we can enjoy playing, but i respect some people want to put a lot of effort into discussing but not doing anything about the problem, especially all the people that think typing their opinion on the internet makes them some kind of journalist (yes you, gawker/future), and have a vested interest in trying to wind people up so they can claim what they wrote was revelatory or of significance or some kind of public service when they’re really just trolling the public to get their jollies.
DLC works fine for me, we had addons in the past with physical media and DLC allows more flexibility for the same. If stuff gets taken out of what should be a core game and you have to pay extra it depends what the total cost is i guess; as with SF2 and every ‘expensive’ game in the following 25 years, it’s all relative and down to what you feel a game is worth.
Games as a service is tricky; subscriptions can be overpriced. No way WoW cost blizz anywhere near that per player account per month, but by launch had a large sunk cost to cover the development, and has continued to develop content for years. Other stuff is harder; F2P games need monetisation somewhere so they can afford to run infrastructure, and one time purchases aren’t guaranteed to provide funding for hosting theirs . It would suck to buy a game, enjoy it, only to found out it sold poorly so the servers get taken down while you’re still playing it. You can’t expect whoever’s making a profit to sacrifice their profit for your entertainment, and you agree that you’re okay with that when you make a purchase.
I suspect there are actually plenty of communities that avoid these issues entirely, ZiiP happens to be in the space where we’re larger than most games provide groups for (3, 4, 5 players seem to be the ideal target but can be insufficient for us), but not large enough to warrant our own servers for things (we can’t populate a 60 player BF/Arma server effectively), but there are clearly games which do support communities operating ‘behind closed doors;’ as it were, to avoid all the grief you get when you interact with the general public and so that (where supported) they can run servers in accordance with the way they want to play the game. Few of these are FPS shooters though, so we have little interest in playing them, or we need to try and fit into someone elses server/ideal of how they want to play the game.
I agree with you on titanfall having a very solid model, if only the skill level in the multiplayer for pilot combat didn’t have a ridiculously high ceiling I’d probably play it more. I’m fine with BF1 too as the boxes are cosmetics (ignore) and there’s no pay to win. Premium makes it costly, but not beyond reason. Overwatch is another solid example; there’s a lot of cosmetic stuff and the emotes that i’m not fussed about, while the game is solid, and you get the whole thing for the single (reasonable) fixed price.
I think a lot of people care a lot more than I do, but i also feel like these are all symptoms of how people behave in general, it’s just gaming is now large enough exhibit them wholesale and we still remember when it was niche enough not to. You’ll find the same in any hobby/industry/thing that involves enough people for someone to have noticed and thought ‘i could profit from that’. Consider when cars were what people had just invented, then became things that hobbyists worked on, before becoming widespread based on profitability. same with aircraft, tv broadcast, pre-prepared food, lightbulbs, radio, books etc. I have no expectation that gaming would be any different because it’s still humans running the show, making it inevitable.
I apologise for my wall of word thoughts.