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Weekend Open Forum: Your thoughts on microtransactions, loot boxes & other pay-to-win...

By Shawn Knight ยท 44 replies
Nov 24, 2017
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  1. EA has come under fire in recent weeks over its handling of “pay-to-win” elements in Star Wars Battlefront II. The truth of the matter, however, is that microtransactions / loot boxes / other pay-to-win elements have become commonplace in gaming over the last several years.

    The general consensus seems to be that people are fed up with publishers’ money-hungry tactics but that opinion isn’t shared by everyone. One analyst, for example, recently said “undercharged” gamers are simply overreacting to the whole loot box fiasco and that people should be paying more money for the privilege to play games.

    With this week’s open forum, we’d like to hear your thoughts on the matter. Do you believe such tactics are harming the industry and should be eliminated or is it a viable business model that allows gamers to further support the titles they love? Can you cite examples of games doing microtransactions correctly? Feel free to share in the comments section below.

    Permalink to story.

  2. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 4,124   +2,547

    With words from Star Wars: they care about how big your pocketbook is.
    veLa likes this.

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,559   +670

    That s%*! pisses me off... I'd rather pay a SMALL subscription fee to play online than deal with that pay to play crap.
    psycros likes this.
  4. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,914   +540

    You guys should do your research. That was no ordinary analyst. He is involved directly in increasing EA shareholder value and has been outed as such.
  5. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,323   +1,936

    If dollar slot machines always paid out, let's say, a quarter, does anyone think that states would suddenly decide it wasn't really gambling? That's really all that needs to be said on that subject. As far as other pay-to-win schemes, they degrade the gaming experience completely, particularly in competitive gaming. And publishers want *every* type of game to be competitive in order to propagate the crack monkey, P2W mentality of mobile gaming to PC and console. Its no exaggeration to say that P2W is driving an ever-growing number of gamers away from the so-called AAA titles and into the welcoming arms of indie developers. The indie devs who have tried to soil their own creations with EA-style P2W have faced immediate pushback and seen their sales tank. Yes, people are fed up.
  6. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,931   +3,304

    Could $99.99 for a "crate of crystals", really be considered a "micro transaction"? To put it into perspective, that's more than a 256 GB SATA III SSD, plenty to buy an 8 GB set of RAM modules, or even a lower end motherboard.

    Since I've been led to believe that a gamer on a strict budget could possibly squeak by with a dual core CPU, here's the newest, fastest, Kaby Lake Pentium for..... you guessed it.... $99.99 ! https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819117736
    ETF Soldier, Burty117, Stark and 3 others like this.
  7. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,323   +1,936

    I wonder if someone could go full circle and mine crypto in order to pay for his P2W addictions?
    SalaSSin likes this.
  8. Brock Kane

    Brock Kane TS Maniac Posts: 234   +133

    I really believe that GREED has taken over in the gaming industry. Mainly because we keep buying their DLC's, and now 3 different versions of the game....Main game, Deluxe and Gold Editions!

    Gamers have to just stop buying this crap. Buy the base game people! If this is more common, they will have to stop this GREEDY practice!

    No more Loot Boxes! I will not ever purchase a Loot Box! If you do, you're giving in to these morons!

    No more micro-gouging! No more nickel and diming us! Stop it! Concentrate on a good story and nice graphics and we will keep buying games.

    The bottom line is, some people have more money than brains. That will not ever end. So, we need to convince those poor bastards to stop giving their money to greedy people, give it to charities instead!
  9. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,931   +3,304

    @psycros BTW, that Kaby Lake "Pentium" is actually the equivalent of a core i3, (2 cores x 4 threads).

    Well, as for mining crypto to support someone's gaming habit, if you could steal a GTX-1070, and were willing to either jump your electric meter, or tap into your next door neighbor's, I suppose, but just barely...:D

    But, there's one huge drawback. If you owned only one machine, you most likely wouldn't be able to mine and game at the same time.....enter the tortuous and severe gaming withdrawal symptoms, as you, panic stricken, frantically dig for more money.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2017
  10. EClyde

    EClyde TS Evangelist Posts: 1,591   +571

    It don't matter to me what others do with their money
  11. Kraemepoo

    Kraemepoo TS Enthusiast Posts: 44   +21

    I don't mind loot boxes or options to buy pets or skins, so long as they don't change the game. Micro-transactions in games like, WoW, CS:GO, Overwatch, or PUBG never bother me because I'm not forced to buy them to enjoy the game, they're just skins. Micro-transactions only bother me when it offers me in-game currency or to unlock high end weapons or characters for cash.
  12. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 10,799   +4,605

    I'll quote myself from another thread.
    GreenNova343 likes this.
  13. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,194   +2,429

    Ironically overwatch lootboxes, as pictured on the main page for this article, do not contain any pay to win element.
  14. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus Stone age computing. Posts: 3,618   +987

    It's no wonder that I will not buy an EA game.
    Darth Shiv, Stark, MoeJoe and 2 others like this.
  15. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 4,433   +2,889

    EA once was a premium game maker. Now they are just another soulless merchant willing to do anything to get your money. And to put this on young people is more than a sin, it's a crime; strongly moving these folks towards gambling, plain and simple.
    BSim500 likes this.
  16. Jeddo7884

    Jeddo7884 TS Rookie

    I dont have anything about micro transactions at all but in all honesty some are just blatantly robbing people. I remember the days when you play a game you want to beat it so you can get more characters or skins or weapons. unlike today if you want to play that character you gotta pay. if you want that map you gotta pay. greedy but then again its a business.
  17. Scshadow

    Scshadow TS Evangelist Posts: 539   +175

    I get tired of talking about this. There are always enough fools who will buy the game anyway. It costs next to no money to create a micro transaction system. The risk analysis for these gaming companies boils down to such, the money they loose to people not buying their games due to microtransactions has to be greater then the money they make on people willing to pay those microtransactions. If you buy the game and don't pay for microtransactions, then you are a complete non-factor. You are literally doing nothing to curb microtransactions. I have no room in my life for modern games and their microtransactions.
  18. Danny101

    Danny101 TS Guru Posts: 530   +203

    If the game is free to begin with (like mobile), then I don't mind so much the micro-transactions. If it's a AAA title that has to be bought to begin with, then micro-transactions ruin the experience of the game. It may be a response to piracy as a way to ensure profit. I don't know. But appropriate pricing and episodic add-ons could be a decent compromise. A fair wage and a fair product is my stance. http://www.tweakguides.com/Piracy_1.html .
    Stark and mrtraver like this.
  19. trgz

    trgz TS Addict Posts: 255   +68

    A mug's game for any and all games free or otherwise. I avoid them like the plague and may now not bother with a couple of AAA titles that were on my wishlist (even though I'd've been playing them for the SP campaig)
    BSim500 likes this.
  20. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,666   +1,133

    If you pay 60 for a game it should have no micro transactions, lootboxes or anything of sort. If the game is free, cosmetic stuff is ok and it shouldn't be annoying and intrusive. Lootboxes shouldn't exist anywhere because that is pretty much gambling.
    psycros, mrtraver, m4a4 and 1 other person like this.
  21. Greg S

    Greg S TechSpot Staff Posts: 1,489   +436

    I don't buy games with pay to win elements in them. In my opinion, that's the only way to solve the problem. Just stop buying games that engage in practices you don't like.

    Cosmetic items are perfectly fine. Things like CS:GO and PUBG skins that don't affect gameplay are perfectly okay with me because I won't have a disadvantage if I don't pay for them.
    psycros, trgz and Nobina like this.
  22. Brock Kane

    Brock Kane TS Maniac Posts: 234   +133

    You are kidding right? You're part of the problem! You don't mind them, huh?

    So, in the not so distant past...Gamers used to have to get to upper levels to get upgraded weapons and skins. It was a sense of accomplishment. Now, are gamers that lazy, that they have to buy these upgrades to enjoy the game? I think not.

    But as soon as one does, then the developers think, hey, wow, these guys are suckers. We'll just develope half a game now and sell it for $60. Then we'll slowly release the rest of the game in "Microtransactions" of say oh, $14.99 for about 4 more times after slicing the remaining 50% of the game into 4. So we can get another $60. Totalling $120 for a full game. But there's more, if you buy the Deluxe or Gold addictions for $70 or $100 respectively, we'll give you all these great items upfront! What a joke! Please!!!!!

    Wake the "F" up people!! Let's make the developers, create a great game without thinking of ways to screw the gamers! We have the power! But if people like KraemerPoo think this is ok, this practice will never end!

    The Devs are thinking about how they can break the game up into pieces, instead of building a great game! It's about them, not the Gamers! That is very unfortunate! And just a dirty dirty practice!
    ShagnWagn and MoeJoe like this.
  23. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,235   +760

    If there are progression lootboxes/IAP's in a F2P game, I won't blame them (and if I put dozens of hours into the game, I'll buy some as a "thanks"). If it's cosmetic lootboxes/IAP's in a F2P game, then I'll respect them more (and will buy some sooner if I like it). But I generally don't play these games because of the grind.

    However, the second there are lootboxes in a full price game, I am against it. I don't care if it's cosmetics, I already bought the "full" game, don't put content behind a wall that also can be bought (because there's always more grinding to encourage gambling $$$).

    One time purchase content (DLC) I might buy if it's actually worth it. But if I suspect it was cut out of the main game for selling later, then I stop caring.
  24. ET3D

    ET3D TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,586   +274

    I have no problem with microtransactions in general, such as for cosmetic items. I did buy some cosmetic items in Everquest 2 when I played it. It helped some of the roleplaying aspects.

    I also don't have a big problem with 'pay to win' in the context of single player or co-op playing, such as in an MMO or mobile games. If I want an easier time in a game, to skip levels or get better gear, and that doesn't impact others much, then I don't see a big problem with that.

    I do have a problem with 'pay to win' in a purely competitive environment.

    When it comes to loot boxes, I agree that it's gambling, so is against the law, and gaming companies shouldn't be able to get away with it.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2017
  25. BigMack70

    BigMack70 TS Booster Posts: 34   +25

    I actively avoid nearly all games that use loot boxes. A cancer on the games industry... I cannot stand games with progression designed around trying to fleece players and empty their wallets. I would have likely bought Shadow of War, AC: Origins, and Battlefront 2 if not for the inclusion of lootboxes (and they would have been better games too). I got turned off of Gears 4 and stopped playing in part because of its loot boxes. The only game that has loot boxes which haven't bothered me is Halo 5 and that's because I don't play Warzone.
    bolski, BSim500 and Stark like this.

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