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[–]Supplycrate 356 points357 points  (33 children)

I'm impressed by how detailed and nuanced his grasp of the issue is, quite refreshing to see an elected politician so engaged with such a niche issue.

[–]bryan7474 100 points101 points  (13 children)

I think a ton of politicians are super old and outdated, but there's the odd one that gets that this isn't a different language. It's super simple stuff to understand if you take the time to try to understand.

[–]UCanJustBuyLabCoats 32 points33 points  (11 children)

Exactly. It's not that politicians aren't smart enough to understand (politics and law takes effort to understand too after all), it's that most don't want to or care.

[–]__itya 3 points4 points  (10 children)

Yup. Politicians are very smart people. They just don't bother to study things they seem ignorant about.

[–]Liedertafel 10 points11 points  (9 children)

Politicians are very smart people.

I don't agree with this at all. A lot of them are very stupid. Not just the obvious Bush/Trump, but someone close to me worked with dozens of UK MPs and was over and over astonished by their stupidity and ignorance and basic lack of understanding of the economy, science, etc.

[–]UCanJustBuyLabCoats 3 points4 points  (6 children)

Bush was not an unintelligent person, like at all. He may have used funny words while speaking, it would be unwise to put him in the same category as Trump.

[–]Liedertafel 0 points1 point  (5 children)

Bush was as dumb as a horse. Now Trump's as dumb as a starfish, but that doesn't make Bush a smart person.

[–]omgwaht 0 points1 point  (4 children)

Well, Bush Sr. was among the most intelligent US Presidents according to most estimates I've read. Bush Jr. wasn't at his dad's level, but he wasn't a moron by any standard. His IQ is likely in the 115-130 range (1-2 sigma above mean) and likely closer to the high side of that range.

People generally don't understand intelligence and conflate it with a lot of other personality attributes. Smart people can do shit you don't like, and smart people can be highly irrational. It still doesn't make them dumb.

[–]sal101 0 points1 point  (0 children)

With you on that, i think the only requirement to be an MP in the UK is blind loyalty to the party and that General IQ > 1.

[–]paladinsane 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I think it's simple to understand the problem itself, in terms of what the issue is and how it's problematic.

The complication with these things comes with the fact that a lot of policymakers don't understand any of the context regarding the internet or gaming, and hence it's difficult for them to form a nuanced opinion on what is appropriate and what is not.

That said, it's a temporary issue - once more people who are experienced with games and the internet are in positions of power/policymaking, the attitude and understanding will shift naturally.

[–]CeaRhan 14 points15 points  (1 child)

It might not have been him, but something like 2 years ago 2 senators or elected officials of some sort were asked to basically investigate what the heck Esports were about and they ended up making a solid job after asking people, going to IRL events and such.

[–]n3onfx 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Being French myself the government has been picking up on esports surprisingly fast, to the point that we now have officials in high-ranking places making tweets and sending official signed letters encouraging and congratulating French esports teams in various games. You'd have told me that would happen 3 years ago I wouldn't have believed you given how the government lagged behind on everything internet related.

[–]Herald_of_Ash 16 points17 points  (4 children)

The new president Macron made it a point on his political platform to renew the political class and introduce more 20-45y old from the private sector. This is the result !

One representative even explained to the french assembly and congratulated the french overwatch team who made it to the semi-finals in the world cup :) The same representative who said in interviews he was a big wow raider back in the days of vanilla.

[–]TangoJager 7 points8 points  (1 child)

That representative got laughed at by his colleagues however. We're not quite to a stage where saying this would get you a standing ovation.

[–]Pheace 10 points11 points  (0 children)

That representative got laughed at by his colleagues however. We're not quite to a stage where saying this would get you a standing ovation.

Jokes on them I guess. He 'wasted' his time raiding and he's still standing on the same stage as them xD

[–]m00nnsplit 6 points7 points  (0 children)

The new president Macron made it a point on his political platform to renew the political class and introduce more 20-45y old from the private sector. This is the result !

As far as I can tell, M. Durain worked for the state his entire life, was elected senator in 2014 (Macron hadn't created his party yet), and is part of the socialist group in the Senate ; Macron had little to nothing to do with it.

[–]ToonCrazy44 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Um, Jerome Durain is from the Socialist Party. Macron is a neoliberal centrist. I think the only reason Macron would do this is to appeal to the young people and also further cement his popularity abroad (while his domestic popularity is tanking)

[–]AirPhforce 210 points211 points  (152 children)

This is pretty intense. I knew the 'lootbox' trend would eventually reach a head, but I guess I'm still surprised it's happening now.

You know it's really bad when multiple government officials are asking for public comments.

[–]Scramme 52 points53 points  (150 children)

I'm a little torn. On one hand, I'm not a big fan of lootboxes in general. I've strayed away from MP games in the last few years, but even then it wouldn't surprise me to see them in more SP games going forward.

On the other hand, if they go away...publishers won't just say, oh well, so long huge portion of our revenue. They're going to find another way to replace it. Increased game prices, more paid dlc (and more cut content sold as dlc), more things like Activisions recent patent. There's a lot of places this could go, and I'm afraid most of them won't be better for us in the long run.

I don't know, it's a tough situation.

[–]xkforce 132 points133 points  (25 children)

There is no point where publishers will give up on finding new ways to squeeze money out of gamers loot boxes or not.

[–]Platypuslord 88 points89 points  (15 children)

Correct so we need to remove the shitty options that resemble gambling from their toolbox.

[–]Red_Inferno 34 points35 points  (14 children)

that are indistinguishable from gambling from their toolbox.

FTFY

While it does not match gambling laws in many locations the difference is honestly just the wording. When 4/5 items in a lootbox are shit to you I would say that nothing of value is gained most of the time.

[–]The_Dirty_Carl 16 points17 points  (13 children)

Loot boxes are definitely distinguishable from gambling. Notably, you can't cash out.

Don't get me wrong, loot boxes are scummy and exploitative. I'll never but one, and I'm going to avoid games with them as long as I can. There's still a big difference between loot boxes and actual gambling though.

[–]Red_Inferno 7 points8 points  (5 children)

The need to cashout does not make gambling no longer gambling, if anything it's just a ripoff otherwise.

[–]ibuyhorses 4 points5 points  (4 children)

The need to cashout does not make gambling no longer gambling

Yes it does. Gumball machines you put a quarter in are not gambling. Neither are baseball cards.

[–]Red_Inferno 1 point2 points  (3 children)

When you put money into a gumball machine you are expecting a gumball and you get a gumball, color does not really matter as it's the same flavor in most cases. It's not random what you actually get. If you mean random prize games then yes, you are gambling.

[–]Tegernako 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Are crane games gambling? They are rigged to depressurize the crane to only dispense a prize every x plays. How about the little machines where you can theoretically win an ipad or whatever? They suffer from the same issues.

[–]Onnanoko- 6 points7 points  (5 children)

You can't cash out in some games, but you certainly can in others. The TF2 crate/key/hat economy has been around for over five years and commands stupid amounts of real money for cosmetic items.

[–]B_Rhino 13 points14 points  (4 children)

You can't cash out in TF2. You can get free video games, you're not going to throw more money on top of losses trying to try and break even, because your children cannot eat video games.

[–]AwakenedSheeple 3 points4 points  (0 children)

There are, or used to be, websites in which you could trade your items for real-world money.
Some of the rarest CSGO knives were sold on these sites because the demanded price is higher than the Steam marketplace will allow.

[–]Techercizer 2 points3 points  (0 children)

You sell someone an unusual hat or rare AWP skin, they pay you in paypal money, how is that not using those items to cash out? Transactions like that happen all the time, I don't think it's a serious stretch to say every day. There's a whole market economy built up around using verified middle-men to sell these items for real world cash.

Whether or not Valve is willing to compensate you monetarily for your possession of those items, they have real value as much as anything else in this world does, because people will pay established amounts of real-world currency in exchange for them.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

It's not particularly difficult to sell games or keys for real cash online.

[–]Nanaki__ 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Loot boxes are definitely distinguishable from gambling. Notably, you can't cash out.

At least in Belgium that does not seem to be able to protect them from the rules, they define gambling as:

Games of chance are defined in Article 2 of the Act as any game by which a stake of any kind is committed, the consequence of which is either loss of the stake by at least one of the players or a gain of any kind in favour of at least one of the players, or organisers of the game and in which chance is a factor

Seeings that they are looking into loot boxes currently it's going to be interesting to see what they do.

[–]Nanaki__ 50 points51 points  (16 children)

you say that like it's one vs the other, when publishers have been taking the 'why not both' route with monitization. $60 and microtransactions, no wait sorry gambling boxes

[–]B_Rhino 5 points6 points  (15 children)

Prices will go up past $60. Season passes in multiplayer games will be 100% back.

[–]Nanaki__ 15 points16 points  (13 children)

Both of those things are less scummy than pseudo/actual gambling.

[–]Isord -3 points-2 points  (12 children)

Yeah but more people will be impacted. I'd never pay more than $60 for a game so if that becomes the norm it's back to torrenting for me.

[–]iTomes 2 points3 points  (6 children)

So what you’re saying is you want them to get cheaper every year as they would never be allowed to adjust their price for inflation. If they ever dared to do so you’d be cheap about it and just steal them instead.

That sounds pretty silly to me tbh.

[–]Isord 6 points7 points  (5 children)

It is what it is. I do what I can afford and make no apologies or excuses otherwise.

[–]Omega357 0 points1 point  (4 children)

Why not just buy cheaper games or waiting for a price drop? Hell, you could buy used. But no. I suppose you can only afford to not pay at all when games are at the cheapest they've ever been.

[–]Isord 5 points6 points  (3 children)

I do buy games that are cheaper. I am just saying I am not going to be buying $80 or $100 games. Not sure why this is so bizarrely complicated for you to understand.

[–]Nanaki__ 2 points3 points  (4 children)

how are you managing to play these torrented multiplayer games online?

[–]Isord -4 points-3 points  (3 children)

I'll just stop playing those multiplayer games entirely, as will many others. $60 is already quite expensive.

I am personally a fan of offloading the cost of my multiplayer gaming on stupid rich assholes with more money than sense.

[–]Nanaki__ 2 points3 points  (2 children)

Sorry I'm trying to work out the logic here.

You claim you were torrenting games because they were more than $60 in fact they have not really risen above the marker unless you count all the 'special editions' (something that has not stopped because of microtransactions)

Now when the above poster mentioned that multiplayer games would become more expensive you said you'd go back to torrenting games, games that you cannot torrent becuase of the multiplayer component.

So it appears you are lying to try to make some sort of point.

[–]Isord 1 point2 points  (1 child)

You claim you were torrenting games because they were more than $60 in fact they have not really risen above the marker unless you count all the 'special editions' (something that has not stopped because of microtransactions)

I made no such claim, I am saying I'd go back to torrenting if they started going above $60, I never said that is why I use to torrent games. Single player only obviously. Multiplayer games I'd just skip.

[–]rW0HgFyxoJhYka 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Season Passes in single player games are a common thing already, who said multiplayer games that season passes were dying?

[–]-shiryu- 19 points20 points  (36 children)

the idea is for them not to go away but to be regulated so they are fair and less predatory

[–]EnderFenrir 7 points8 points  (8 children)

Fuck it. We aren't in a good place and it will only get worse if something isn't done about it. If prices go up, people will be far more selective about what and when they buy.

[–]ifandbut 5 points6 points  (7 children)

If prices go up, people will be far more selective about what and when they buy.

And that is a bad thing?

[–]EnderFenrir 3 points4 points  (0 children)

No, that's me saying it's a good thing. Hence "Fuck it".

[–]GoodFellahh 3 points4 points  (5 children)

It might be. Some categories/genres will suffer and my instinct tells me it won't be the blockbusters.

[–]WhyattThrash 0 points1 point  (4 children)

Which categories/genres are you thinking of?

[–]ItsSnuffsis 1 point2 points  (3 children)

Horror, for starters. It is already suffering as it is.

[–]WhyattThrash 1 point2 points  (2 children)

How would that genre suffer from removing microtransactions/loot boxes? Do horror games even have them?

[–]itskaiquereis 2 points3 points  (1 child)

He’s saying that if the industry as a whole brings up the prices, there will be genres that will suffer because with the current prices they do sell as well as others. For example he used horror, a genre that is not selling as well as others now with the tag at $60 if it goes to $80 there will be more of a wait until it goes down to a lower price thus the developers losing money on that product, and maybe decided that the genre is dead. Idk if that will be the case, it seems very likely tbh, but there’s also the chance that the genre could be like dark souls which I personally think is a niche genre that publishers still support because let’s admit that genre isn’t really as popular as the big ones. I think the actual problem will be that there will be less varieties of games, for example in the 2000s there were different types of games and more risks were taken, until FPS became popular and everyone started doing that, now it’s turning back to creativity again even in the shooter market; if the prices go up the most popular games will sell more and it might lead to more games looking like the popular to make more money; because there might be even less gamers who will justify $80 or $100. The whole thing needs to be analyzed before the increase, and I hope it doesn’t go up not because I won’t be able to afford but because I think games will end up more similar. Hope you understand what I’m saying, it’s not much sense since I just woke up.

[–]WhyattThrash 3 points4 points  (0 children)

He’s saying that if the industry as a whole brings up the prices, there will be genres that will suffer because with the current prices they do sell as well as others....

Why would that happen though? Why would studio A removing lootboxes from game B affect studio X with their completely unrelated game Y? If studio A raises their prices, wouldn't that just make studio X's games more attractive with their lower price point?

[–]Solo59 4 points5 points  (0 children)

If you think about it though they are always going to find new ways to monetize games regardless of what happens. Like how dlc packs became normalized and now publishers are putting in loot boxes along with those dlc packs in fully priced games. If loot boxes ever became normalized then publishers will still find a new way to monetize players along with loot boxes.

[–]inputfail 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I would rather pay more upfront for games than have micro transactions. Because at least the game is still fun even if I’m paying more.

[–]HazelCheese 0 points1 point  (2 children)

On the other hand, if they go away...publishers won't just say, oh well, so long huge portion of our revenue. They're going to find another way to replace it.

Everything has a cost. Right now we're just outsourcing that cost to people who are vulnerable to predatory tactics.

[–]Isord 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Or are we outsourcing it to rich people?

[–]HazelCheese 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I doubt it. More likely people who feel compelled to engage in such a system regularly already don't make the best financial choices.

[–]Zingshidu 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Good, I'd rather be able to buy the shit I want instead of buy a chance to get it

[–]MisterChippy 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I don't see it that way.

After all with the way companies are acting right now I fully believe they are trying to squeeze every last penny out of their players that they can. If they came up with some new way to make games worse for more money they'd do it in a heartbeat, lootboxes or not.

[–]thekbob 0 points1 point  (0 children)

And we reject those, too, either on principal or actual regulation if they're on the same level as lootboxes.

Games as a product and games as a service can both exist and don't have to be predatory or hostile to the consumer. Cosmetic micro-transactions are fine and having paid subscriptions to content can be incredibly lucrative.

It's not the majority of the console/PC gamer crowd, that "core audience," that publishers raced to the bottom on mobile and crashed out the market where only free to play Clash of Clones titles can fight for micro-transaction dollars.

[–]meatball402 0 points1 point  (0 children)

On the other hand, if they go away...publishers won't just say, oh well, so long huge portion of our revenue. They're going to find another way to replace it. Increased game prices, more paid dlc (and more cut content sold as dlc), more things like Activisions recent patent.

Even if loot boxes aren't handled at all, they'll start looking for other ways to squeeze more blood from the stone anyway.

[–]Kynmarcher5000 -3 points-2 points  (24 children)

Well, pretty much all DLC is content that was cut from the game, but not in the way you're probably thinking. Developers aren't looking at their 'complete' game and slicing off pieces that can be sold back to you later. Look at the Sims 4.

All of those expansion and DLC pack features? They were likely planned to go into the base game originally, but the team behind that game (Maxis) did not have enough time to include all of the features before ship date. So the features that they couldn't finish were put to the side, a post-launch release and marketing schedule was made, and those features that were cut during development eventually found their way back into the game.

If we were in the years before DLC became a thing. This wouldn't have happened. We would have gotten the base game that is the Sims 4 and maybe a couple of expansions but that would have been it. The rest of the content that became DLC? Would have just fallen into an abyss, only to be seen by modders who cracked open the game files and found pieces of the content floating around, but unused.

That's actually what happened with KotoR 2. Obsidian had a significant amount of end-game content for that game, but not enough time to finish it and test it before release. So they walled it off behind a hastily made ending. It was never worked on again officially by Obsidian, it remained walled off (because DLC at that point wasn't a thing) and it was only discovered by modders who after a few years opened up the content with a fan-made patch.

If DLC had been a thing when that game went live? Then that ending would have been turned into a DLC pack, likely provided for free, or for a small amount of money.

[–]eldomtom2 11 points12 points  (22 children)

Piss off with this. DLC makes far too much money to not be planned out in advance.

[–]Radulno 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Of course, it's planned in advance but is that a bad thing ? All businnesses have visibility beyond their current project, it's normal to know what they'll do after and have a plan to support the game. If that's not developped in advance and cut from the game, planning it before isn't a problem IMO.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

All of those expansion and DLC pack features? They were likely planned to go into the base game originally, but the team behind that game (Maxis) did not have enough time to include all of the features before ship date.

This isn't true though, and actually Sims games have had pretty similar expansions since the beginning. There's always the "adult-ish" one, there's always the pet one, there's always the fantasy/magic one, etc. They change them up but Sims fans know pretty well what the expansions will look like for a new game and there was no chance ever that these would be included in the base game.

If we were in the years before DLC became a thing. This wouldn't have happened. We would have gotten the base game that is the Sims 4 and maybe a couple of expansions but that would have been it. The rest of the content that became DLC? Would have just fallen into an abyss, only to be seen by modders who cracked open the game files and found pieces of the content floating around, but unused.

The original Sims had 7 expansions. Also instead of paid DLC we had fan-created add-ons that were free and incredibly expansive. It was much, much better for the player.

That's actually what happened with KotoR 2. Obsidian had a significant amount of end-game content for that game, but not enough time to finish it and test it before release. So they walled it off behind a hastily made ending. It was never worked on again officially by Obsidian, it remained walled off (because DLC at that point wasn't a thing) and it was only discovered by modders who after a few years opened up the content with a fan-made patch.

That's a much better example.

[–]tonightm87 1 point2 points  (0 children)

When they talk about voters becoming younger and wanting to get involved in politics, it's a smart politician who is up to date on issues (whatever they are) of young people.

A lot of people are worried about the gaming industry targetting underage people (18 in my country) with basically predatory practices. Something you can go to prison for if you let underage people partake in gambling.

There are no universal gambling laws and every country will have different ones, but EA and the like cant be immune from the law when talking about underage people.

Not even going to the point of just protecting people in general whatever their age. The gaming industry at the minute is free to do whatever they like when talking about lootboxes. Something say like a casino cant do.

They have rules to follow when they set up games of chance. EA should be no different moving forward.

[–]Artfunkel[S] 37 points38 points  (5 children)

This was not sent to the President of France as my original post claimed. Sorry for the confusion, everyone.

[–]recruit00 8 points9 points  (0 children)

I'd hope Macron wouldn't be wasting his time on something stupid like this

[–]-Niernen 1 point2 points  (3 children)

Looks like the post was removed, might want to message the mods

[–]Artfunkel[S] 6 points7 points  (2 children)

It hasn't been approved yet. Automoderator is filtering anything related to Battlefront or loot boxes at the moment. Thanks though. :)

[–]ifandbut 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Jesus...why?

[–]AirPhforce 21 points22 points  (0 children)

Mega spam and lots of bad information going around. Basically every blog/yt channel/news outlet has multiple items a day hitting now, allowing it all would make this sub look like r/videos when that United Airlines thing happened. Aka all but two things on the main page would be regurgitating the same story or false info.

[–]Megabobster 47 points48 points  (17 children)

I'm going to be honest... I'm personally not really a fan of even cosmetic only microtransactions. Games still hit that gambler's impulse for people without loot boxes and without an advantage over others. Games where you die to random chance that was possibly manipulated (endless runners, match three games, zombie survival games, etc) and "oh man that was bullshit, but 50 cents and I'm back in because that death was bullshit." Oldschool arcade games can be similar.

I think every game with microtransactions is designed to hit the gambler's impulse in one way or another. And I think that taking advantage of other people like this in any way is deplorable, as naive as some people find that viewpoint. Yes, I don't like casinos, too. And yes, I'm aware there are many much more significant social, political, and environmental issues.

[–]StarshipJimmies 29 points30 points  (4 children)

Micro transaction doesn't mean it has to have loot boxes.

I'd be happy to purchase a cosmetic directly in many games over having loot box cosmetics.

[–]nourez 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Hell, I actually kinda like buying the odd cosmetic here and there for games I really like. I think of it almost like a tip to the developers/publishers for making a game I enjoy, and occasionally you get some cool looking costumes too.

As for cosmetic loot boxes, I'm not necessarily opposed to them, but I don't find the concept entertaining enough to invest money in. If publishers are upfront about the fact that lootboxes are basically gambling and are required to post odds, I'm okay with it as a middle ground. You don't NEED to invest any additional money into the game in order to become competitive, but the option is there to serve as a revenue stream.

[–]thekbob 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Loathe lootboxes, would actually spend more money in online games I like if they allowed me to buy the skins I actually want.

[–]thefezhat 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I'd have spent more on Overwatch if it let me do this. Fuck paying real money for only a chance of getting what I want.

[–]artuno 5 points6 points  (2 children)

Titanfall 2, you pay a couple bucks for cosmetic bundles, they're not lootboxes, just packs of skins and banners that you have to keep all of them. I wish more devs did this, you pay for the content you want. Though that's no way to make money, why have people pay 5 dollars once when you can make them pay 5 dollars 10 times so they can get what they want....

[–]Shrubberer 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Or Rocket League! Imagine you couldn't customize your car like you can now without the need to pay extra. Even just paid cosmetics make a game worse than it could be. People just take it as necessary evil to support the dev without even questioning if support is necessary.

[–]Crash_86 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Go back ... further back ...

Borderlands 2 had cosmetics as well. That you only saw on the loading screen, because everything else was first person.

[–]DoAUWFoWSc 13 points14 points  (2 children)

I get downvoted all the time for saying this. Cosmetics are important to me, and some games like to make you look as shitty as possible unless you spend money on cosmetics. Path of Exile for me is one of the big ones there, even if people praise it as the best F2P game of all time. Plus they make their armor sets ridiculously expensive (25$).

Warframe on the other hand, you still look good without buying cosmetics so I can accept their system more (although their progression is awful and locked behind slots aka $ so not a fan of that game either).

Overwatch was also frustrating to me with their lootboxes. I never managed to get the skins I wanted so the only option was to grind forever or give up on them.

[–]Rielesh 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Exactly and this is true especially in RPGs and MMORPGs

I can't believe that people are fine with cosmetic only lootboxes in games and especially MMOs. I played so many f2p / b2p mmos and everything revolved oh you want to look pretty?

There's box for you just try your luck, while the game got barely any updates to in game content everything focused on store.

I am currently playing WoW and while it might have few side transaction, the 12$ month let you farm anything you want either by skill, exploration, achievements, group activities, pvp. Anything you can think of instead of just swipe the card.

This is something I wouldn't replace with any f2p MMO where 10 lootboxes that likely gives you nothing but some shoort XP boost will cost as much as 1 month in WoW.

[–]EmeraldPen 9 points10 points  (0 children)

I agree. Honestly the "cosmetics only" excuse seems to be little more than a line from publishers which has been well-received by fans than an actually decent practice. It appeals to the hardcore gamers thst are the loudest in forums, who are always posturing to be the most serious gamers and as a result rush to point out how hardcore they are because they "totally don't care about silly items that don't affect the game"(while they quietly feed money into Overwatch hoping for that new Mercy skin).

People have the memory of goldfish and forget that 10 years ago cosmetics WERE and ARE content in a lot of games. MMOs in particular. There's a reason why everyone in WoW fucking HATED BC-era armor and why WotLK was careful to keep armor sets more sensible. And just generally it's a shame, and it diminishes the entertainment value of a game, for the majority of the cool and interesting skins to come out on a store. GW2 is a prime offender due to the sheer volume of work that goes into gem store cosmetics, and the importance of Fashion Wars as an endgame element. My favorite looking medium armor set, for example, is just the Magitech armor. I did nothing interesting for it except open a daily reward box every day until I had enough gold to convert to gems and buy it. Exciting memories. Meanwhile back in my EQ heyday I would proudly levitate in PoT with a Skeleton illusion and people would turn their heads because Magicians don't have levitation or illusion spells. They were clear indicators that I had managed to grind Quillmane for a Pegasus Feather Cloak, and that I very heavily participated in a particularly memorable Halloween event. Those are the kinds of memories of games that still stick with me well over 10 years on.

I miss the days where the most interesting cosmetic stuff were items that had stories and challenge attached to them. These days it tends to be found in a store, where your biggest challenge is trying to find the right Credit Card.

[–]Quirkhall 14 points15 points  (2 children)

I'm personally not really a fan of even cosmetic only microtransactions.

Then you're a very sensible person. There are some of us who remember when "cosmetic" changes to video games were made for free by the community. You know the kicker? This was actively encouraged by the developers who would often create the mod tools required. It pains me that 90% of the community is seemingly unaware of this fact.

In terms of the treatment of its consumers, this industry pretty much fell apart with the beginning of the seventh console generation.

[–]MumrikDK 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Remember downloading stupidly high res skins for OG Counter-Strike?

[–]Quirkhall 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Actually I never did a lot of CS modding. I was more of a Quake and Jedi Knight series guy.

[–]MumrikDK 2 points3 points  (2 children)

I'm generally with you.

It's also an issue that seems to not be discussed much in most of these threads - if we're attacking this whole angle of gambling or playing to addictive patterns, then cosmetic lootboxes and pay-2-win lootboxes simply are the exact same thing. It's only when we look at whether they make the game suck or not that the distinction even can be relevant.

[–]Megabobster 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Inherently, any method of monetization that comes after the initial sale compromises the honest quality of the game.

I'm going to define microtransaction as any repeatable purchase for a game. If you can only purchase it once, it's DLC or an unlock or whatever. And I'm also going to make one additional clarification that pisses me off. "Free DLC" is just a content update. GTA Online and Witcher 3 got free content updates. DLC implies you're paying. Video games that make money do so in one of three ways:

  1. At time of purchase, from the player. This can inherently only be done once, and many games forego this to draw in players and monetize them later.

  2. After time of purchase, from someone other than the player. This would be in the form of advertisements or data mining. This is usually a continuous income source, unless the title has an option to make a purchase to turn this off.

  3. After time of purchase, from the player. This can be either continuous in the form of microtransactions, or there can be a number of DLC and unlocks available for the player to purchase. AAA titles have been doing non-repeatable after-sale purchases for a long time, and are just starting to pick up on repeatable purchases.

On mobile platforms, you can see titles that optimize for all three major sources of income.

  1. Games that have "high" sale prices, but also high quality. These games usually don't have any way to make money after the initial sale. They make their money by making the high investment cost worth it to the player.

  2. Games that have very low quality, but are inundated with advertisements. All the bootleg superhero and GTA games are like this, they make money off of advertisements and don't need to have a quality game behind it because there was no initial investment by the user. They've optimized for minimum quality, maximum advertisement because there's no reason to do anything else.

  3. Games that have middling quality to keep you around, but have those gambling hooks to keep you wanting to make repeatable purchases. Often these games are free and also contain advertisements, but more and more you'll see them without any other than the occasional nag that "hey, there's an in-game store, why don't you check it out." Ultimately, anything that doesn't maximize the gambler's impulse in players will be cut out of these titles.

I think that it's important to keep all that in mind, as well as the whole "businesses optimize towards maximum money" thing. If businesses want to keep making more money while keeping consumers and regulators happy, they should probably find ways to either lower their margins (lower budget titles, incentivize digital consumption, etc), or raise prices. Indie games have been doing the lower budget thing for a while, and prices have been capped at $60 (in the US) for pretty much ever. Expensive ROM based media notwithstanding.

edit: and I'm definitely casting shade on Overwatch, here. They've made a science of both incentivizing their cosmetic only loot boxes and getting their playerbase to defend them as cosmetic only.

[–]Z0MBIE2 0 points1 point  (0 children)

DLC

Literally means "downloadable content". It says nothing about the price.

[–]CombatMuffin 6 points7 points  (0 children)

In the lettet, a very special statement is included: While he doesn't believe it merits new legislation (yet), he does believe it is a growing concern for consumet protection.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: It doesn't matter if it is gambling or not. Whatnia important is that consumers are first and foremost informed and protected from predatory business models.

There are similarities to gambling, that much we all agree on, and Mr. Durain acknowledges that a convergence is closing in. Europe is moving faster than the U.S. is on this issue, and I applaud them for that.

[–]Ikuorai 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Get 'em Jérôme. This is a great thing he's done.

[–]dr_robinson 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This post was a story directly on my Google news home page. I did a double take when I clicked on the headline expecting to wind up someplace like Forbes and instead got a Reddit post.

[–]thekbob -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

See, we're making progress. Thanks, Eurobros. We're a bit tied up for a moment across the seas, but we'll do what we can over here.

If we could get CA or NY to weigh in on the matter, it would make a large impact.