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Cliff Bleszinski: Vote With Your Dollars

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the oh-i-will dept.

Businesses 369

silentbrad writes "Cliff Bleszinski, formerly of Epic Games, posted a blog entry titled 'Nickels, dimes, and quarters' yesterday, advocating that gamers dissatisfied with the current trend toward DLC and microtransactions should vote with their wallets. Quoting: 'The video game industry is just that. An industry. Which means that it exists in a capitalistic world. You know, a free market. A place where you're welcome to spend your money on whatever you please or to refrain from spending that money. ... Adjusted for inflation, your average video game is actually cheaper than it ever has been. Never mind the ratio of the hours of joy you get from a game per dollar compared to film. To produce a high quality game it takes tens of millions of dollars, and when you add in marketing that can get up to 100+ million. ... I've seen a lot of comments online about microtransactions. They're a dirty word lately, it seems. Gamers are upset that publishers/developers are "nickel and diming them." They're raging at "big and evil corporations who are clueless and trying to steal their money." I'm going to come right out and say it. I'm tired of EA being seen as "the bad guy." I think it's bulls*** that EA has the 'scumbag EA' memes on Reddit and that Good Guy Valve can Do No Wrong. ... If you don't like EA, don't buy their games. If you don't like their microtransactions, don't spend money on them. It's that simple. ... The market as I have previously stated is in such a sense of turmoil that the old business model is either evolving, growing, or dying. No one really knows. "Free to play" aka "Free to spend 4 grand on it" is here to stay, like it or not. ... People like to act like we should go back to "the good ol' days" before microtransactions but they forget that arcades were the original change munchers. Those games were designed to make you lose so that you had to keep spending money on them. Ask any of the old Midway vets about their design techniques. The second to last boss in Mortal Kombat 2 was harder than the last boss, because when you see the last boss that's sometimes enough for a gamer. ... If you don't like the games, or the sales techniques, don't spend your money on them. You vote with your dollars.'"

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369 comments

I prefer to vote with my HOSTS file (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43048175)

$10,000 CHALLENGE to Alexander Peter Kowalski

Hello, and THINK ABOUT YOUR BREATHING !! We have a Major Problem, HOST file is Cubic Opposites, 2 Major Corners & 2 Minor. NOT taught Evil DNS hijacking, which VOIDS computers. Seek Wisdom of MyCleanPC - or you die evil.

Your HOSTS file claimed to have created a single DNS resolver. I offer absolute proof that I have created 4 simultaneous DNS servers within a single rotation of .org TLD. You worship "Bill Gates", equating you to a "singularity bastard". Why do you worship a queer -1 Troll? Are you content as a singularity troll?

Evil HOSTS file Believers refuse to acknowledge 4 corner DNS resolving simultaneously around 4 quadrant created Internet - in only 1 root server, voiding the HOSTS file. You worship Microsoft impostor guised by educators as 1 god.

If you would acknowledge simple existing math proof that 4 harmonic Slashdots rotate simultaneously around squared equator and cubed Internet, proving 4 Days, Not HOSTS file! That exists only as anti-side. This page you see - cannot exist without its anti-side existence, as +0- moderation. Add +0- as One = nothing.

I will give $10,000.00 to frost pister who can disprove MyCleanPC. Evil crapflooders ignore this as a challenge would indict them.

Alex Kowalski has no Truth to think with, they accept any crap they are told to think. You are enslaved by /etc/hosts, as if domesticated animal. A school or educator who does not teach students MyCleanPC Principle, is a death threat to youth, therefore stupid and evil - begetting stupid students. How can you trust stupid PR shills who lie to you? Can't lose the $10,000.00, they cowardly ignore me. Stupid professors threaten Nature and Interwebs with word lies.

Humans fear to know natures simultaneous +4 Insightful +4 Informative +4 Funny +4 Underrated harmonic SLASHDOT creation for it debunks false trolls. Test Your HOSTS file. MyCleanPC cannot harm a File of Truth, but will delete fakes. Fake HOSTS files refuse test.

I offer evil ass Slashdot trolls $10,000.00 to disprove MyCleanPC Creation Principle. Rob Malda and Cowboy Neal have banned MyCleanPC as "Forbidden Truth Knowledge" for they cannot allow it to become known to their students. You are stupid and evil about the Internet's top and bottom, front and back and it's 2 sides. Most everything created has these Cube like values.

If Natalie Portman is not measurable, hot grits are Fictitious. Without MyCleanPC, HOSTS file is Fictitious. Anyone saying that Natalie and her Jewish father had something to do with my Internets, is a damn evil liar. IN addition to your best arsware not overtaking my work in terms of popularity, on that same site with same submission date no less, that I told Kathleen Malda how to correct her blatant, fundamental, HUGE errors in Coolmon ('uncoolmon') of not checking for performance counters being present when his program started!

You can see my dilemma. What if this is merely a ruse by an APK impostor to try and get people to delete APK's messages, perhaps all over the web? I can't be a party to such an event! My involvement with APK began at a very late stage in the game. While APK has made a career of trolling popular online forums since at least the year 2000 (newsgroups and IRC channels before that)- my involvement with APK did not begin until early 2005 . OSY is one of the many forums that APK once frequented before the sane people there grew tired of his garbage and banned him. APK was banned from OSY back in 2001. 3.5 years after his banning he begins to send a variety of abusive emails to the operator of OSY, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke threatening to sue him for libel, claiming that the APK on OSY was fake.

My reputation as a professional in this field clearly shows in multiple publications in this field in written print, & also online in various GOOD capacities since 1996 to present day. This has happened since I was first published in Playgirl Magazine in 1996 & others to present day, with helpful tools online in programs, & professionally sold warez that were finalists @ Westminster Dog Show 2000-2002.

Did you see the movie "Pokemon"? Actually the induced night "dream world" is synonymous with the academic religious induced "HOSTS file" enslavement of DNS. Domains have no inherent value, as it was invented as a counterfeit and fictitious value to represent natural values in name resolution. Unfortunately, human values have declined to fictitious word values. Unknowingly, you are living in a "World Wide Web", as in a fictitious life in a counterfeit Internet - which you could consider APK induced "HOSTS file". Can you distinguish the academic induced root server from the natural OpenDNS? Beware of the change when your brain is free from HOSTS file enslavement - for you could find that the natural Slashdot has been destroyed!!

FROM -> Man - how many times have I dusted you in tech debates that you have decided to troll me by ac posts for MONTHS now, OR IMPERSONATING ME AS YOU DID HERE and you were caught in it by myself & others here, only to fail each time as you have here?)...

So long nummynuts, sorry to have to kick your nuts up into your head verbally speaking.

cower in my shadow some more, feeb. you're completely pathetic.

Disproof of all apk's statements:
http://news.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3040317&cid=40946043
http://mobile.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3040729&cid=40949719
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http://games.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3040921&cid=40950839
http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3041035&cid=40951899
http://developers.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3041081&cid=40952169
http://mobile.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3041091&cid=40952383
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http://linux.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3027333&cid=40886171
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http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3042669&cid=40962027
http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3042765&cid=40965091
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http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3044971&cid=40972117
http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3044971&cid=40972271
http://politics.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3045075&cid=40972313
http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3045349&cid=40973979
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http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3483339&cid=42972349
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http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3486901&cid=42988415
http://developers.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3500483&cid=43026797
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http://news.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3503531&cid=43033535
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AND MANY MORE

Ac trolls' "BIG FAIL" (quoted): Eat your words!

That's the kind of martial arts I practice.

Doesn't work (5, Insightful)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#43048189)

I've been boycotting all the games with DRM and DLC for over a decade and it hasn't done shit.

Also it's really too bad that there was nothing between the DLC Hell of the early 2010s and the Change-Muncher Hell of the 1980s...

Re:Doesn't work (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43048231)

It's not just one but many.

If alot of people decide it's not worth it so will the publisher/developer/whoever is making the bucks off of it. To think it's just you that can change the.. "state of things" for lack of a better term, is just nonsense.

If you think a particular product isn't worth it and you're tired of seeing people spend money on it just simply demonstrate why it's not worth it. If the reason is clear enough chances are it'll work. Just dont expect miracles and you'll be fine.

Exactly (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43048471)

My favorite game? Mechassault. XBox. I bought three copies. I paid for online gaming. Microsoft promised emulation with the 360, then didn't deliver. It really is just like voting -- when your candidate loses because the game is rigged.

The only voting with my dollars I do now is not spend it in the direction of Microsoft. For that matter, with the PS4 not being compatible with the PS3 (much less the PS2) Sony won't be getting any of my gaming money either.

When a new console design treats my existing game library as if it's irrelevant, I'm going to ignore the new console design. Either incorporate the required hardware, emulate, actually design as backward-compatible, or I'm not buying.

Re:Exactly (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43048771)

Your example is complete shit though. No one is forcing you to throw away your old console or old games so you are declaring them irrelevant by not playing them. They shutdown the game servers but every game everywhere will have its last day online.

DLC are forcing gamers to buy extra crap to finish a game. I don't mind paying for expansions (new story using old game assets as it usually turns out) and charging for it but charging to finish a game is pure shit.

I'd like to remind Cliff Bleszinski of what happened to the arcade days too. They were overcome by consoles that charged 1 price for 1 game with unlimited play. You can still find arcades, but it's nothing like its glory days because someone countered with a better sounding model.

Re:Doesn't work (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43048311)

Did you make the general nerd mistake of believing that people actually share your opinion just because you had a rabid discussion with a dozen other people in an echo chamber somewhere? I bet you did.

Re:Doesn't work (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#43048381)

I was half-joking to point out the futility of a handful of nerds boycotting a system that hordes of less intelligent gamers are all too eager to spend tons of money on.

Re:Doesn't work (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43048571)

What does intelligence have to do with this? One can be intelligent and perfectly fine with DLCs and micro transactions. Maybe you need to get a real job instead of the fry cook position?

Re:Doesn't work (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#43048631)

I have way more expensive hobbies than DLC'd video games, but I don't pay money for people to put virtual items in my virtual backpack by flipping some bits on a server.

Re:Doesn't work (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43048751)

Good for you. What does any of that have to do with intelligence? All I see is some butthurt nerd trying to play the condescension act because people don't hate things he does. Clearly that must mean they're stupid. Riiiiiight.

Re:Doesn't work (0)

lgw (121541) | about a year ago | (#43048809)

I have way more expensive hobbies than DLC'd video games, but I don't pay money for people to put virtual items in my virtual backpack by flipping some bits on a server.

So you don't invest then? No stocks or bonds?

Re:Doesn't work (4, Insightful)

Mashiki (184564) | about a year ago | (#43048325)

I've been boycotting all the games with DRM and DLC for over a decade and it hasn't done shit.

Odd, seemed to work just fine with Ubisoft. [rockpapershotgun.com] Since they were really the first big target of PC gamers and their "always on" DRM solution, I'd say it does work.

Not really (0)

rsilvergun (571051) | about a year ago | (#43048479)

it was more the support nightmare that always on DRM created plus the very real threat of a class action lawsuit when the servers went down that killed it. But sure, go on thinking that your hastily scrawled email to Ubisoft made a difference. It's darling really.

Re:Not really (4, Interesting)

Mashiki (184564) | about a year ago | (#43048497)

Actually it was more of a sales nightmare. Go look over their SEC filings numbers, and you'll see that their PC division had lost nearly 55% of it's business right up until last year when they decided to scrap it.

Re:Not really (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43048667)

Doesn't suprise me in the slightest. The DRM they were coming out with was so insanly complicated people couldn't enjoy the games they were buying, I had at least 3 or 4 friends online who got games from them and had to resort to pirated games to get them to even run.

Of course this just means the next must-have game that came out with this DRM was pirated right off the bat, because they already knew the pay-for version wasn't going to work. It's a wonderful example because often the pirate version was missing some key features of the game due to how the DRM was implimented, but they did it anyway because the 'full' version the game didn't want to work at all, so the lack of features from the pirate version was hardly a deterrant.

Re:Doesn't work (4, Insightful)

Xian97 (714198) | about a year ago | (#43048333)

Boycotts don't usually work and even if they did, they will just blame slow sales on some other cause - piracy is always an easy target.

Re:Doesn't work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43048383)

In reality, it is most likely the opposite. Piracy increases and sales decrease because people get sick and tired of dealing with the company's shit

Re:Doesn't work (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43048337)

Do you know how the concept of boycotting works? Its effectiveness is directly proportional to the number of people participating in it. If you only take yourself as a sample of effectiveness, it'll fail. How about joining/ mobilizing/ starting a group which openly VOICES or announces their reason for boycott, follow through with it, and make sure the publisher knows? If you simply not buy the game, the publisher may assume that it's a failure of the marketing or sales team instead of the DRM team.

If you're a parent, this is like a baby crying in the crib. You don't know if he's sick, hungry, or in pain due to illness, and wished the damn baby could talk. It's frustrating to guess and proceed with 10 different trial-and-error.

Anyways, hit me back again when your statement changes to include the preposition "we" instead of "I". Think more in terms of groups. This is the same reason unions have a say in politics, as does religious organizations and other PACs. Work in groups and have a unified voice (unlike the OWS crowd...).

Re:Doesn't work (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#43048457)

Its effectiveness is directly proportional to the number of people participating in it.

No. Its effectiveness is directly proportional to the number of dollars.

We are two percent of the economy. Your '1%ers' are what, 30-40%? If you can get them involved in your little boycott, you might get a story on page 5. Like with SOPA, when Google jumped in.

Re:Doesn't work (1, Insightful)

CrashPoint (564165) | about a year ago | (#43048443)

Also it's really too bad that there was nothing between the DLC Hell of the early 2010s and the Change-Muncher Hell of the 1980s...

Do you mean the Boxed Expansion Hell of the 90's and early 00's? Because that was the popular machine to rage against at the time, complete with all the same hyperbole and unfounded accusations.

Re:Doesn't work (3, Insightful)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#43048579)

Hell yeah, I'll take Boxed Expansion Hell in exchange for DRM Hell and DLC Hell in a second.

Re:Doesn't work (2)

CrashPoint (564165) | about a year ago | (#43048731)

So basically, you're okay with DLC as long as they wait until they've made about forty bucks' worth of it, and then release it all in one package that you can buy only all at once and at a store?

Re:Doesn't work (5, Interesting)

SerpentMage (13390) | about a year ago | (#43048483)

Of course it works. It just takes time. Here is what happens when you and people boycott:

1) Company writes you off as a loon
2) Company keeps creating crap that people keep consuming
3) You get angry because you feel like you are the only one who is wrong
4) Sales slow down by company and they blame it on [fill in the blank]
5) Company grows sales by acquiring the upcoming company who has "solved" the [fill in the blank] problem
6) Company still can't grow like they used to, and they now blame it on [fill in the blank with reason 2]
7) People begin to look at the hot new thing
8) Company tries to get a foothold in new thing and comes out with revolutionary crap that nobody wants
9) Company goes downhill!

Case in point Microsoft and Linux. In the mobile game, the cloud game, and HTML game Microsoft has become IRRELEVANT! Yes people still use their devices due to legacy, but Windows 8 sucks, Windows mobile is a statistical error in market share and Microsoft keeps jacking up the costs and changes plans more often than I change my underwear.

I manage a portfolio of stocks and follow the tech industry closely. Microsoft is not in the game whatsoever. They think the problem is mobile. HA that is the least of their problems. The real problem is big data (a'la IBM and Watson), it is micro devices (a'la Raspberry Pie) and a couple of other smaller niches (eg 3d printing, M2M, etc). In all of these niches Microsoft has ZERO, and I mean ZERO footprint! What does have footprint? Oh yeah Linux! Companies are now asking for Linux admins, and Linux developers.

The same will happen with the games folks. The problem is our society demands immediate change, but change takes time...

Re:Doesn't work (5, Insightful)

durrr (1316311) | about a year ago | (#43048515)

The problem with DLC can be traced back to one statement
"Adjusted for inflation, your average video game is actually cheaper than it ever has been."
And adjusted for inflation, oh wait, we don't adjust low wage incomes for inflation. Which means that if you aren't Cliff Belzebub, a lawyer, poltician, or rich in some other way, your wages have become cheaper at the same rate as games, and then DLC was added, and the whole game experience became twice as expensive.

Re:Doesn't work (2)

dumky (598905) | about a year ago | (#43048543)

Of course, it works: you haven't spent money on products that you don't support. Those companies and products have done you no harm.
If by "doesn't work" you mean other people did not have the same behavior as you, that is not the game editor's problem. That is your problem. Maybe you should try to convince people to adopt your preferences.

Works for me! (1)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | about a year ago | (#43048561)

I've saved a ton of money by not buying a single game since Quake II

Re:Doesn't work (3, Insightful)

c0d3g33k (102699) | about a year ago | (#43048599)

I'll second that.

As a rule, I don't buy games with DRM, and I stopped that before DLC became popular, so never even had to face that choice. Sometimes games with DRM on WIndows will have Linux versions that aren't DRM encumbered - they are few and far between but I will buy those. I stopped buying Cliff'y B's games a long time ago because Epic stopped being Linux friendly. Nothing changed.

Currently, I spend my money on DRM-free games at gog.com, Humble Bundles, the occasional Android app and on DRM-free PC games like The Witcher. I've got more games than I have time to play and I find them more enjoyable than the current A-list games I've tried at a friend's house. I'm happy with my gaming choices and don't seem to be missing anything.

I conclude I must not be part of the target demographic of the mainstream gaming industry - I don't really miss them and they don't seem to miss me.

Boycott is not just you (1)

s.petry (762400) | about a year ago | (#43048601)

A boycott is not just you not purchasing something. A boycott is also you going out and damaging the business by getting others to share in the act of not purchasing. This is word of mouth, picket, post, and hell even take out Newspaper ads to support your boycott.

boycott [bkt] vb (tr) to refuse to have dealings with (a person, organization, etc.) or refuse to buy (a product) as a protest or means of coercion to boycott foreign produce

Re:Doesn't work (1)

poetmatt (793785) | about a year ago | (#43048625)

the "vote with your money" Argument is a flawed argument. It implies the group that make such a decision can influence the significantly larger group who are simply accepting the microtransactions in this case. It's so invalid that it amazes me that people still make this argument.

Instead of damning EA for being shit, they damn people for buying EA's shit. How hard is this to figure out? Microtransactions are a deliberate scam designed to prey on how human beings are wired, in that small transactions have less mental cost, even if they add up significantly higher than making a single large transaction.

Re:Doesn't work (3, Insightful)

Intropy (2009018) | about a year ago | (#43048753)

The people making the micropayments are voting too. They're just voting the opposite way from you.

Re:Doesn't work (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | about a year ago | (#43048633)

Understand the objection to DRM, but what's the objection to DLC?

In reality, the number of games I've bought that I like enough to want to play months later is relatively low. The ability to eek more functionality out of them by buying add-ons is a plus... isn't it? Or am I missing something?

Or is this about the Democratic Leadership Committee, not Downloadable L. Content?

Re:Doesn't work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43048805)

Why boycott DLC? The problem is microtransactions, leeching cash from the gamer, and harming the experience of people who won't pay for weapons and such in a game. DLC in most cases is additional gameplay within the existing game engine, and can be judged on a case by case bases as to whether it's worth the money just like when buying an entire game. In the case of Skyrim DLC, I'd say yes, it is worth it. It's pretty great to be able to get new missions in a game you enjoy but have played through completely.

In the case of Mass Effect 2, DLC adding new characters and new powers brought a lot of new value to the game, making additional play-throughs of the same missions fun again

It is not that simple! (4, Insightful)

Vicarius (1093097) | about a year ago | (#43048191)

If you don't like their microtransactions, don't spend money on them. It's that simple.

Sometimes I don't mind microtransactions, but they have power to ruin otherwise perfectly good game, and that's my major problem with them.

Re:It is not that simple! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43048215)

The general point is that you don't buy a game if the mechanism in it is aesthetically or morally unpleasant to you. I tend to think that is obvious, which is why I decided not to buy Bethesda's works (though I tend to enjoy some series greatly) until the "Game of the Year" or other-named complete version is released. One too many experiences of buying early only to learn that more content was released as expansions and DLC than was in the core game (nearly tripling the price).

Re:It is not that simple! (5, Funny)

spazdor (902907) | about a year ago | (#43048237)

And, if you don't like Scumbag EA memes and blog posts which lambaste microtransactions as a shitty business model, don't click them. Blogging exists as an open, participatory model - a "free market", if you will. And you're welcome to spend your time reading opinions from any niche you like, or refrain from spending that time.

The meme I would use to describe Cliff Blezinski right now: old man yells at cloud [thesuburbanjungle.com]

Re:It is not that simple! (2)

Dixie_Flatline (5077) | about a year ago | (#43048469)

The point is that people make 'Scumbag EA' memes regardless of what EA is doing, whether or not it's actually good or, indeed, whether or not it affects them at all.

I have no love lost for EA--I used to work for them, after all--but knee jerk reactions are ugly and pointless.

Knee-jerk hate is something the tech community is good at, though. Microsoft was the butt of it for a while, now it's Apple. EA gets it in the teeth at the moment, while Valve can do no wrong even while they're doing largely the same thing.

Is it too much to ask that products be evaluated on their own merits? I know, it might involve roaming into unfamiliar territory--y'know, trying new things--but you don't have to buy anything you don't like.

Re:It is not that simple! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43048745)

The nice thing about knee-jerk hating EA is that you'll probably be right about them being up to no good. It's not like it's a knee-jerk reaction against Mr. Rogers, EA has been a problem company for many years.

Re:It is not that simple! (1)

Extremus (1043274) | about a year ago | (#43048315)

You should put in the addiction factor. Some companies want you addicted to the game. And you become, in one level or another.

Re:It is not that simple! (4, Insightful)

Zerth (26112) | about a year ago | (#43048499)

I'd love to vote with my dollars, but EA keeps interpreting my "no" votes as piracy

Games where I can't possible spend more than the equivalent of two full games on items that materially affect gameplay and are permantent(ships, weapons, etc) or where the stuff is purely cosmetic, I don't mind.

What gets annoying are games where the microtransactions hide that you will end up spending hundreds of dollars on temporary boosts, disabling annoying features, and buying "action points" or "resources" that are clearly designed to limit how long you can play per session.

Re:It is not that simple! (4, Insightful)

RoverDaddy (869116) | about a year ago | (#43048643)

My problem with microtransactions is that the economics of the model seems to drive them to be geared toward the 'whales', as in people gullible enough to sink hundreds to thousands of dollars playing a trivial mobile game. Say there's a free-to-play game I download and find I like. I might want to reward the developer by paying 5 or 10 dollars for it (a kind of price that seems reasonable for a mobile game). But if I look through the microtransaction store, I invariably find that 5 to 10 dollars buys exactly -squat- worth of benefit in the game. It looks so greedy and makes me feel like I'd be a total rube to even give them a dollar. But there is no 'reasonable' option in the store because it's aiming for people who will actually pay $20 or more for a meaningless virtual trinket. Sorry that's just not going to be me.

Cool! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43048193)

Tips on how to navigate capitalism from a millionaire!

Thanks bro!

p.s. you're not the Tony Stark of video games, you're dane cook.

Cheaper? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43048195)

Adjusted for inflation, your average video game is actually cheaper than it ever has been.

On the other hand, for an enormous amount of gamers, older titles that are available for very little money continue to provide enormous rewards, negating the need to spend lots of money on the latest titles, even if those latest titles "are cheaper" than new games have ever been.

Yes, the whizbang graphics of the latest multi-million-dollar title are cool and all, but if I can get the same gameplay pleasure out of something a few years old, the latest title needs to drastically reduce its price in order to attract my purchase.

Imagine that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43048201)

Which means that it exists in a capitalistic world. You know, a free market.
 
A "capitalistic world" and a "free market" are not the same things. When are so-called authorities ever going to get it through their head?
 
In any case, that's where I stopped reading. Where can I trust them to tell me the real facts if they can't put in the effort to be correct about these concepts?
 
I guess it's like my own version of boycotting. Heh.

Vote with your dollars, complain with your mouth (5, Informative)

dehole (1577363) | about a year ago | (#43048221)

Sure, we can vote with our dollars, and we do. At the same time, we can freely complain about EA adding micro transactions, or any/all forms of DRM.

If you have noticed, if enough customers complain about something, sometimes, things change. So asking us to just vote with our dollars is asking us to reduce our potential power. So if you don't like EA's microtransactions, or any form of always on DRM, then boycott them, AND complain about it verbosely everywhere you want to.

Re:Vote with your dollars, complain with your mout (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43048493)

I don't get it. It sounded like he's saying: Vote with your dollars, but keep your mouth shut about it.

Because when you find a game you like you buy it, and then you tell no one that you enjoyed it...

Re:Vote with your dollars, complain with your mout (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43048727)

I don't get it. It sounded like he's saying: Vote with your dollars, but keep your mouth shut about it.

What he was really saying was, "Other people do DLC too, but it's bullshit that everyone picks on us."

I've got news for him. They're the punching bag because they've earned it. The one thing a wealthy person wants beyond cash is esteem. He wants to be a business rockstar that everyone loves, and it ain't gunna happen.

You can make a lot of money and still have people like you. Lots of businesses and individuals do it all the time. It's not just "image control" as he suggests, it's not being a douchebag, 100% of the time, for years on end.

You can't be an asshole and just insist that people like you anyway or keep their mouths shut. That's what bosses enjoy in the workplace, but that's not how it works between businesses and customers. Oh, and he can go fuck himself.

Re:Vote with your dollars, complain with your mout (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43048551)

Bitching alone isn't enough. Anyone that's play EverQuest for a decade or so can tell you that. There was a few years where most player had the same complaint about the game, they voiced that complaint on the official forums, in official IRC chats, and at Fan Faires, all of which have developers and executives participating. Eventually the thing the players were complaining about became so bad that it was no longer easy for one to ignore while playing "normally", more than half of the players that were complaining just stopped playing, stopped paying for their subscription and stopped buying expansions. Not long after that the people in charge to resolve the complain began to work with the players on that particular issue and within just a couple months a compromise was reached that both sides could agree upon as "fair".

During that time span when players were trying to keep paying but voice their protest there were a lot of crazy things done to try and drive the point across. At one point players gathered around common points of travel which caused zones to crash, and those that didn't crash were practically unusable because the moment you went near them your computer came to a crawl. It was the most effective form of picketing I've seen in a video game, but it didn't work for anything more than token changes that no one was satisfied with and completely ignored the core of the problem. There were demonstrations like this in many forms for almost a year before people just gave up.

Re:Vote with your dollars, complain with your mout (1)

fermion (181285) | about a year ago | (#43048773)

You know dollars are the only thing that matters. If you are willing to buy stuff so the company can make a profit, or even just cover costs, nothing anyone says is going to change anything. The auto industry in the US only changed because no one was buying cars, and has not changed very much because the Ronald Reagan gave them a bunch of free money.

Years ago I was not able to tolerate the copy protection. I wanted to play with a game to see if it was any good, I wanted to play it whatever machine I wanted. I paid for games, just like I paid for all software, but I wanted value.

The micro transaction actually worked for a while in getting me back into gaming. I figure a game is going to cost money, and it doesn't matter to me whether it is all up front. I know that some complain that it ends up costing more, but does it really. How much was spent on Mortal Kombat. If there were micro transaction in the game would it really cost more than four games?

What is clear is that the business model does not work, at least for games where infrastructure is needed behind the scene or where development is very expensive. Not enough people buy stuff. Too many people think games should be free, even though they expect to get paid for their work.

Re:Vote with your dollars, complain with your mout (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43048783)

Complaining about it is probably more important than voting with your dollars.

The voting correlation here doesn't really work. If you don't buy the EA game, they don't know if you boycotted the DRM, bought a Valve game instead, decided to buy a few books instead, already pirated it, never intended to buy it in the first place, bought it used, or are waiting for a price drop. All they know is that they estimated a number of sales, and if they don't meet them, the government needs to crack down on piracy.

Boycott it if you want, but it is an impotent gesture if nobody knows why.

I dont think user hate DLC (1)

Sprouticus (1503545) | about a year ago | (#43048223)

per se, but when a company releases DLC WITH the game, users feel that it should have been part of the game to start, not an additional charge.

If the same company released the same DLC 6 weeks after release, no one would raise an eyebrow.

Re:I dont think user hate DLC (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43048293)

I have no problem with DLC WITH game. What makes that different than the old Shareware days where games were sold in parts?
I do have a problem with DRM that mimics a TSA checkpoint just to play a game. Most gamers either don't know or care that the latest AAA title scans their system for cracks, phones home, and even allows remote control.

Re:I dont think user hate DLC (4, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | about a year ago | (#43048365)

DLC that is extra content tacked onto the game is nice, it's basically a form of support you wouldn't get in the old days.

DLC that is made by cutting features before the game is released and then selling them separately is what people hate. A good example of this is the recent XCOM game. There is Day-0 DLC that opens up the option to change the visual appearance of your soldiers, including armor colors, that was obviously chopped out of the game at the last minute just to make the DLC pack. That's just bullshit straight up. A 6 week delay on it would have just added insult to injury.

The second DLC offering consisted of map packs and a scenario, and is much more what I would consider legitimate DLC. It wasn't very good, but it doesn't make me angry like the day 0 DLC did.

Re:I dont think user hate DLC (3, Insightful)

David_Hart (1184661) | about a year ago | (#43048653)

Gamers get upset when features of a game are deliberately removed or the game is shortened just to create a DLC. DLCs were originally created as a way of extending the life of the game by adding new scenarios, quests, etc. on top of the main storyline.

I finished the Dawnguard DLC and I'm just finishing the Dragonborn DLC for Skyrim. Skyrim took me four months to complete between holidays, work, life, etc. (Granted, you could play the main quest in a day or two, but I dragged it out while I did all of the side quests). The Dragonborn DLC added another couple of weeks of game play for me extending the life of the game, which is the way a DLC is supposed to work.

Re:I dont think user hate DLC (1)

Wesley Felter (138342) | about a year ago | (#43048799)

Realistically, if DLC didn't exist then that day-one DLC just would never have been developed at all. It's a myth that the developers would have made the game better or longer if not for DLC. Developers/publishers get to choose how much development effort to put into a game and if their revenue is capped at $60 for all time then they'll just develop less content.

So? (5, Insightful)

aardvarkjoe (156801) | about a year ago | (#43048255)

Gamers have just as much right to whine about a company's pricing policy as the industry insiders have a right to whine about their customers' dislike of their policy. So the industry's getting sick of the complaining? Presumably, they're worried that if there's too much publicity of the issue, customers actually will start voting with their dollars.

He's right, it's a business. A business that ignores its customers doesn't usually last too long.

NEWSFLASH (2)

Jailbrekr (73837) | about a year ago | (#43048269)

We already do you pompus twit. We rail against companies like EA for many reasons, and the games they produce is only part of it. We also rail against them because they are a HORRIBLE COMPANY TO WORK FOR. I've been approached twice for a job with EA in the last year, and twice I've politely declined despite the numbers looking good. Why? Because they suck.

Re:NEWSFLASH (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43048361)

Why, if you miss such simple points so widely, would anyone want to hire you? Are they looking for retards to even out diversity requirements?

Re:NEWSFLASH (2)

Jailbrekr (73837) | about a year ago | (#43048477)

swing and a miss. thank you come again.

Once again... (3, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | about a year ago | (#43048275)

... gaming addicts (you should know if you are one or not) are the least mentally and/or emotionally disciplined people. So talk all you like about "vote with your dollars... quarters... dimes... nickels... pennies..." and they may even agree with you (providing they paid attention long enough and actually understood any of what you said) but the moment something they want appears, it won't matter.

But this is essentially true of ALL humans. Any time people want something enough, they will mentally and emotionally justify it in the most ridiculous ways denying and defying all reason, morality or logic to their deaths. We all have that flaw to varying degrees. (Except for me... I'm perfect... j/k)

Marketers know how to exploit this human weakness. And without proper law restricting what marketers can do, we will not see an end to it. And it's not like suck measures are without precedent. Look to tobacco, drugs and alcohol advertisements. For that matter, when was the last time you saw an ad on TV for firearms? Wonder why that is?

On the other hand, ever watch some of those late-night, off-branded TV networks? The ridiculous ads and pitches there? Most of them are disgustingly targetted at the stupid, the old or both. "Hey! I've got sonic hearing!!" I'm not saying there is a hell, but if there was one, the people who peddle that stuff certainly need to relocate there. But back to my point.

Gamers -- especially gamer addicts -- will not stand up for what they believe in over getting that next achievement unlocked.

Home computer games were much cheaper. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43048277)

I remember buying many new and re-release full price games for £1.99 in the 80's.
Console games seemed ridiculously expensive my comparison.

It's just that EA sucks at it (2)

Dachannien (617929) | about a year ago | (#43048299)

I'll readily admit to spending money on microtransactions that I thought were worthwhile. Turbine's games, for instance, at least have some value in some of the transactions. The issue is that EA is so bad at veiling their attempt to suck their customers dry.

Take, for instance, today's reports [theverge.com] from The Verge on EA's Real Racing 3. In this game, you pay Real Money to repair damage to your car, and you pay More Real Money to make those repairs take less time.

What they essentially did was say, "Here's a game that totally looks awesome, but we made it suck so that you can pay us money to unsuck it." And worse yet, they did this in a game that already has ample opportunities for purchasing value-added content (e.g., new cars, new tracks, new music, special paintjobs, etc.).

I guess when they sued Zynga over that whole Sims ripoff, they started looking at what Zynga was doing and thought it was a wonderful idea, so then they just ripped off Zynga's entire business model and turned it to eleven.

Re:It's just that EA sucks at it (0)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#43048461)

Take, for instance, today's reports [theverge.com] from The Verge on EA's Real Racing 3. In this game, you pay Real Money to repair damage to your car, and you pay More Real Money to make those repairs take less time.

Shit, why not just actually go and race a real car? The graphics, sound and force-feedback are all vastly better.

Anyone dumb enough to play Real Racing 3 totally deserves it.

Already busy not buying games (1)

redheaddebater (2785243) | about a year ago | (#43048305)

None of my gaming friends have an 'EA Evil and Steam Good' mentality. The same principle that applies to EA applies to Steam and PS3 games - I don't buy single player games that require an always on connection and I avoid most of the other games that have more permissive DRM.

I don't download games without paying for them. I don't let other people play my games. I just want to play the games I've bought in the way I want. If a game company wants to limit how I play my games, then they better have a fantastic product or my wallet remains closed.

Good idea, already on it for a different reason. (2)

AaronLS (1804210) | about a year ago | (#43048313)

I don't buy EA games for completely different reasons regarding design and other issues I've encountered. I do play some of their Free to play. I love the free to play model because now friends can play together with little investment in the game. Most free to play games are not play-to-win. The stuff people spend tons of money is really quite pointless, but if they are supporting the game then that's fine by me. It's about like buying plastic spinners for your rims. To each his own.

I don't really care about micro transactions. If the game itself was worth $60 and you bought it, you have it. Years ago once you bought a game, you expected to play it awhile and then be done with it. Now we have DLC's that extend the enjoyment, and if the money isn't worth it to you, then don't buy it.

It's not like they are shutting you out of what you already payed for. That's what I'd really worry about, is when you put alot of money into something, but it isn't really yours. A lot of people got hosed when the Company of Heroes free2play went under. Think of all the gaming networks that have went under. Lots of games only supported multiplayer through those networks. Only in some cases did people figure out unstable hacks to get the multiplayer working again without those networks. Do you think these places like EA/Origin and Steam will be around forever? I only buy games on Steam that really cheap(i.e. old or on a big sale). I buy them knowing they won't be there forever, yet I enjoy the convenience of an easy reliable installation. I have to say that is one thing that is nice, is no surprises/junk systray junk you used to get with standalone installers. IMO Steam has a pretty unintrusive design, which I find respectable. When you right-click Exit it stops the downloads, etc. They don't even use their user's as torrent distribution network, which I bet a lot of other companies in their shoes would do.

That is *NOT* just games (2)

Frobnicator (565869) | about a year ago | (#43048423)

The fact that you don't actually have a copy of it does not extend to just games.

Software as as service (SaaS) is not just in games. You don't actually own it, and you get the privilege of purchasing it again and again every year.

In the Enterprise world it has been increasingly common over the last many years. SalesForce, SuccessFactors, Nimble, and other big CRM companies are delivered as SAAS. Many big companies like IBM and Oracle have been moving various systems over.

That's my same argument about the latest round of SaaS Microsoft Office.

Even consumer-facing services like DropBox, Amazon's web services, and Google Office face the same issues.

This is not just EA, and not just SaaS game systems like Steam. It is huge swaths of the software ecosystem that is moving.

Oh yes, just like a vote (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43048321)

Like the vote that you make when the candidate is swearing up and down hand over fist that they're the person that's gonna make things right, and their opponents are the ones with ludicrous ideas and the failing records.

Like the vote that you regret when the candidate changes direction and no longer toes the party line but becomes a well-paid backbencher.

Like the vote that you can no longer take back because what's done is done, and your only recourse is to go to the courts or whatever dispute resolution has been set up specifically to deal with the nonsense in the most bureaucratically obtuse method possible.

Yes, microtransactions fit the vote perfectly. Unfortunately, not voting is not the way to get your voice heard. It's only as effective as abstaining, which just removes one potential vote from the pool.

I don't (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43048335)

buy EA Games.

thanks for the advice (1)

0111 1110 (518466) | about a year ago | (#43048339)

If you don't like EA, don't buy their games.

I won't. Thank you for the advice. And, yes, EA is evil. It's companies like EA that don't care at all about their products and only care about their profits that give capitalism a bad name. Perhaps that's the biggest problem with large companies: that they tend to lose sight of their original purpose which is rarely just to make money.

Best way to fight capitalism is capitalisn (3, Insightful)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about a year ago | (#43048341)

DLC and so on exist because they make money.

If someone comes along and makes *more* money with a different business model people will flock to that.

It's not just 'don't buy it' it's 'buy something else in the same industry that is a better value'. If you want to sell me a DLC for 20 bucks (think Dragonborn expansion to Skyrim) that's a good value. It's basically an expansion pack without the box. But then you have to actually say how many copies you sold, so that everyone else knows this is a good idea.

If you make some horse armour for 5 dollars and sell a 1000 copies of it, the market has already spoken. If you make an expansion pack for 20 bucks and sell 5 million of them, the market has spoken too. But without some sales figures (and those two numbers were entirely made up), there's no easy way to know what does and what doesn't work.

If you look at Saints Row the Third on PC, on Steam. There are 3 options for the game (ignoring the strategy guide). The base game (40 dollars), the game with all DLC (50 dollars) or the all the DLC individually for 82. I'm going to go out on a limb and say they aren't selling a lot of the 'all the dlc' individually. All that DLC for 10 bucks that's not a bad deal. All that DLC for 80 is terrible. But well, I'm pretty sure it's only really rich or stupid people buying for 80 dollars what they can get for 50.

Games with micropayments (1)

TwineLogic (1679802) | about a year ago | (#43048345)

I don't make micropayments. I appreciate games which make it clear when a player has purchased an item. "You were killed by custom sniper rifle." I think to myself, they paid 30 cents to be superior.

I do sometimes pay per-month fees, if the game itself is good. I think this is justified for MMO games, due to server and bandwidth requirements.

For games such as the sims, I buy the expansions but would not pay for continuous on-line DRM.

It feels so good to play this way, it makes the pay-to-excel games actually more fun. The challenge becomes to counter-snipe the guy with the 30 cent rifle, unless you get a chance to blow up a 50 cent air ship.

wait what? (1)

hypergreatthing (254983) | about a year ago | (#43048347)

Why does it cost 10s of millions to make a game? I've seen indie games like minecraft or terarria or a bunch of kickstarter games like FTL be very successful and actually fun to play rather than the latest COD15 or madden 2531 clones or remakes that have high production values. I don't think games that are budgeted like Hollywood movies are the only ones i would consider games.
What i don't like is after you charge 50$ you then charge extra for things like new content. Especially zero day released DLCs. Basically what you did was rip out things that should of been in the game and then charged people extra for it on release. Back in the good old days, missing or new content was just given with new patches and there was no charge for them.

Re:wait what? (1, Informative)

CrashPoint (564165) | about a year ago | (#43048529)

Back in the good old days, missing or new content was just given with new patches and there was no charge for them.

False. That stuff was either put into expansion packs or packed into a sequel. Extra content at no charge has always been the exception, not the rule. The only thing new about DLC is the delivery mechanism.

I've never gotten the hours-of-enjoyment argument (0)

Trepidity (597) | about a year ago | (#43048349)

Never mind the ratio of the hours of joy you get from a game per dollar compared to film.

Game devs always make this argument, but it seems like a dumb analogy to me. Film is deliberately a concise medium. People pay money for films wanting a high-quality but reasonably short experience. That's one of its virtues! Directors are often forced by studios to make cuts before final release, because the majority of movie-goers don't want to see a 4-hour film, even though they would get more "minutes per dollar". People aren't walking out thinking, ugh, a 2-hour film, what a fuckin' ripoff compared to Ben Hur.

If, on the other hand, you do want a much longer experience in the moving pictures category, there is a different product for you: you probably don't want a film, and instead you want a TV series. For $25 you can buy a complete season of The Wire (13 hours), say. That seems like a more relevant comparison.

Film length (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43048617)

People pay money for films wanting a high-quality but reasonably short experience.

I think you pulled that straight out of your ass. Films that are long, but don't drag because they actually have enough plot (like red cliff, or gone with the wind) are more than welcome. Films that seem endlessly padded with angsty mooning over one another are the ones I come out of going "holy shit, did I just watch a hobbit lifestyle film directed by a 3rd grader? ("Oh, Samwise..." [pukes])" When we're talking genre films like shoot em ups, there is no plot worth talking about anyway, and yes, attention wanes no matter how much crap you blow up.

You want to make long films, all you have to do is make good long films, and you'd have something. There's plenty of material out there. The real problem is most attempts at filmmaking aren't worthy of such material. By which I mean, most short films suck.

Re:Film length (1)

Trepidity (597) | about a year ago | (#43048691)

I agree that you can make a good long films, but in practice those are usually sold as "TV series", not as "films", because that suits the viewing public's preferences much better. For example, I think the first season and first half of the 2nd season of Twin Peaks could've been put together into a quite good ~10-hour film. But nobody would try to do that, because a 10-hour film just isn't marketable as a film, at least outside of a niche art circuit.

It isn't that simple (4, Insightful)

Baloroth (2370816) | about a year ago | (#43048367)

I don't buy EA's games already. There are two problems. They continue to make crappy games, and the industry tends to follow the big leaders examples. It isn't like EA is making bucketloads of money with that strategy, they lost, what, a few hundred million last year? Something like that. Obviously, people are already not buying their games. But they aren't listening. Instead, they make Real Racing 3 and charge $80 for a single ingame car, and they've stated explicitly that they intend to focus even more on F2P, microtransactions, mobile games, and DLC to increase their revenue. Why? Because they've seen how much that strategy can make, without realizing they probably never will because their games are crap (and their prices are as well). Then we have other people who look at them going down that path, think "thats a good idea", and overall we end up with lots more shit games, and whats more, games that could be good. You see, F2P can work, but not in every case, and not when run by incompetent money-grabbing arseholes.

Which brings me to my second point. The publishers own lots of promising IP. For example, EA owns Bioware. Bioware was an amazing studio. They made one of my favorite games ever, KOTOR, and Baldur's gate, and similar. Now, though, they've ended up being destroyed and ripped apart by EA's focus on making money in the short term (which, as mentioned above, doesn't even work), and instead of producing gems like they have, they produce crap like SWTOR (sure, some people might like it, but it's nothing at heart but a cheap WoW rip-off), or the "ending" to Mass Effect 3. So we end up with games that should have been good, and even in some cases are if you move past the micro-transaction crap (like the aforementioned Real Racing 3 aparently is), but are simply stupid thanks to the publishers greed.

So in short, people already are voting with their wallets. The big studios just aren't listening, because they're run by a bunch of marketers and buzzword-obsessed executives, not by the people who actually care about the games themselves (except, of course, for the privately own Valve, which is why so many people praise them). Plus, of course, you can't get everyone to stop spending money, especially because a lot of gamers genuinely do like playing AAA titles, and if we stopped playing every game with DLC we simply wouldn't be playing AAA titles anymore. We'd just prefer not to be asked to insert our credit card every 5 minutes.

But cliffy... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43048375)

I already vote with my dollars. Also, someone doing the "Well, we're stuck with it and you're just feeling entitled. Suddenly getting upset about this microtransaciton movement is just a phase. Remember arcades? Remember expansion packs?"

I didn't know Cliffy B trolled on /v/.
Let's break it down:

In a free to play game, I have no issue with microtransactions. I didn't pay for the game, so if I want a level 72 fuzzy strap-on I should have to pay for someone's development time. Like Mechwarrior Online or anything Zynga related. You don't have to pay to play, but you get perks if you throw money their way.

In a game where I spent a little and the primary focus is multiplayer, paying for advantages isn't so bad so long as everyone has the same chance of droprate. Like Valve's Team Fortress 2. You can buy a hat, or buy a nutblaster for scout. Or if you're patient and lucky, wait for the random wheel to drop that nutblaster you wanted.

Then there's full priced games. And this is what pisses people off. I paid to play a complete game. EA frequently has things completed and ships it with the game. It's not an expansion, it's already completed code and artwork. Contrast with WB's Mortal Kombat 9. Some of the stuff was on-disc fluff like Scorpion's outfit. Other stuff wasn't completed when the game went gold, like Rain.

EA (since Cliffy used them as the example) had a game like Dragon Age where after you come to camp a guy begs you to save his grandma. And you can save his grandma for a nominal fee of $10. On day zero of the game being released.

See, the problem isn't that we're paying for extras. We're being dicked for parts of a complete game that isn't even cosmetic. You can try to bring up arcades and expansion packs, but the truth is I owned consoles so I wouldn't be nickle and dimed at the arcades (for better or worse). And PC games. I'm old enough to remember a time when they shipped a game and it was as bug free as possible. Remember bug testing? Remember when that was a thing and the testers weren't so horribly underpaid and then fired? Remember when games weren't shipped as alpha tests with microtransactions setup that you could only HOPE the devs would fix some day? Remember when patches were to fix this bizarro world of doing 38 things that might make it so you could get out of the map instead of "clicking on cancel and then yes deletes system32"? Remember when quality MATTERED? Remember when an expansion meant that the game was so popular that they went and made MORE game for you?

And since when should I boo-hoo about living in Seattle or Frisco? You can live out in Federal Way or down in Vancouver (BC or WA) you know. We live in a society where internet is relatively cheap and prominent (and tax deductible). Why aren't you guys living in a cheaper place and coding from home? Your HQ doesn't need to be more than an office space really. Look at the guys who are making Universe Sandbox 3. That is both visually stunning AND coded by people from around the globe.

So, how about you quit crying about not affording the next lamborgini and start making games (you know, the supposed reason the industry exists) instead of tiny slot machines with a cover charge in the casino?

P.S. Captcha: unmoved

This works in a free market . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43048385)

but I would argue as the industry consolidates, as we're seeing in lots of various technology industries, "voting with your wallet" is a pipe dream. Some indie games do well enough to continue to make good games but they rarely make enough noise to rise above the mega-marketing campaigns of the large publishers. If I voted with my wallet I'd be left to play SNES roms and would miss out on every AAA game from EA, Ubisoft, et al.

Whatever, Cliffy (1)

rk (6314) | about a year ago | (#43048391)

EA pissed me off one time too many and have been voting with my dollars for years (full disclosure: I did get ME and ME2 as gifts, but EA got the money in any case, so I certainly played them). If I want to call EA scumbags for doing it, then I will call them scumbags and free speech too is part of that same free market. Don't get all butthurt by it.

Not the only component (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43048407)

Voting with our wallets isn't the only thing that will curb this trend. You also have to have the willpower or moral strictness to not pirate it so the companies can't interpret it as demand for their product. And every opportunity you have, explain WHY you are completely disregarding their offering. They probably still won't get it, though...

I'm not saying "you shouldn't pirate" as a blanket statement, by the way, because that would be super hypocritical of me. I'm just saying they're paying attention to what gets pirated in the big picture of "product demand"

EA isn't a 'scumbag' because if microtransactions (2)

Sydin (2598829) | about a year ago | (#43048411)

Well, not entirely. They're considered 'scumbags' because they have a habit of buying up small studios and either gutting them for the sole purpose of eliminating a competitor or forcing them to wring out their talents and IP's until nothing is left but a shriveled husk. Maxis, Bioware, Pandemic, Origin Systems; I could keep this list going for awhile yet. EA could make an entire game based around micro-transactions, but it would still be a drop in the bucket next to the greater crime of smashing every talented studio they can hit with their money hammer just to keep the little guy down.

You lost credit at (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43048415)

"To produce a high quality game it takes tens of millions of dollars, and when you add in marketing that can get up to 100+ million." when Minecraft on PC/Mac/Linux alone has sold 9.5+ million copies and who knows how many on mobile and Xbox. How much has Mojang spent on advertising? This guy living in an old model. Indie development is going strong thanks to open Internet, YouTube (fan videos), and Steam.

Re:You lost credit at (1)

berashith (222128) | about a year ago | (#43048757)

when the disparity between the product and selling the product is that great, then there is a giant problem. I dont feel bad for a company that gets a reputation for making crap games when they spend 9 times as much convincing you to buy a crappy product over creating the product. Chop the marketing budget in half, put half of that into game development, now we have 35 million on the game, 50 million of sales, and the company just went up 15 million on day 1 WITH A MUCH BETTER PRODUCT TO SELL.

Explanation (5, Insightful)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | about a year ago | (#43048417)

When someone tells you to stop complaining about a product, but to simply not buy the thing you're complaining about, what he really means is:

Shut up! I can't make you buy my crap, but your complaining is getting other people not to buy it also! Now I won't make the money I'm entitled to!

Arcades and the nickle-and-dime model (2)

DragonWriter (970822) | about a year ago | (#43048435)

People like to act like we should go back to "the good ol' days" before microtransactions but they forget that arcades were the original change munchers.

Industry would like to revive the change-munching model, but they forget that once the alternative of pay-once-and-own games via consoles and PCs (in the broad sense, not specific to one hardware/OS platform) became accessible, arcades began their long decline.

He is so true about the people whining about F2P (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43048447)

And worse, the morons who don't understand the difference between F2P and P2W.
Free2play games are games with microtransactions that give you either a sidegrade (variety), purely cosmetic stuff, or non-game changing stuff.
Pay2Win games are games where you can pay to skip levelling / missions / experience, etc.
The 2 of them are opposite sides of the spectrum of free game types. (even though they are both free to play)
P2W should be discouraged. That is just abusive and creates an unfair balance between poor and rich people. (but it is still glorious beating P2W scrubs)

And worse are people who whine about DLC without understanding any of the argument.
Sure, on-disc DLC is terrible. Would be be entirely bad of them to put on the disc a whole host of generic textures, some of which probably aren't even in the game yet, to save considerable space for the download, which now is pretty much just made up of models, code, (new) voices, etc.
The expansion model of say, The Sims, wouldn't be entirely feasible for downloads since they are so massive.
Putting a bunch of textures on disc would then be entirely fine, so long as the entire DLC is not on the disc and you download an unlock code.
Weapon packs, maps and so on that are silly prices, just abusive.
Put them all in 3-6 monthly packs and put it at the same price, don't make a gun $1 or some nonsense like that, that's just bad.
Episodic content is seemingly making a comeback, so far it hasn't been abused yet. Season-passes and decent prices per episode.
Day1 DLC is also not abusive. Between a game going gold (sent for printing) and actual release, it can be a huge period.
Releasing content in that time is completely fine. It literally cannot be on the damn disc because the code was already sent for printing.
Those who DO abuse it are a different story.

Just like "Goto", the person who abuses it should be criticized, not the feature itself.
Just remember, that entire OS you are using is filled with thousands upon thousands of "gotos", you cannot make anything of any use without them.
This is not even going on to stealth gotos that exist throughout every language. Specialized Gotos to make language structures easier to work with.
Why use break when you can be some purist tit and have a locking condition for any data the loop generates and allow the loop to finish naturally? Waste of time.
Those who whine about it have likely never touched a low-level language in their life and don't understand the fundamentals of any recent computers internal operation. Without being able to jump around in code, any form of modern computing is impossible. (not improbable, literally impossible)
Code jumps around all the damn time from billions of addresses every second.
Making completely in-order (not IoE) code is a pain in every ass that has ever existed. It is a fruitless effort for some purists wankery over code.

Of course, nothing will happen. People will whine and they will still buy CoD 365: Mr.CoD meets Mr.Halo

Poor, poor Cliff...cry me a river.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43048455)

From the bottom of my heart, "Fuck you Cliff Bleszinsk". You, the studio you work in, EA, Ubisoft etc...
Go to hell all of you. The fact that you state this debate in terms of us versus you poor fuckers (aka clients) is proof you're on the wrong side of the argument. And you have been on the wrong side ever since game companies stopped caring for their customers. You remember that word - customers- and what it meant right ? Right ? Yeah didn't think so.
May there be a videogame crash, so as to eliminate all this filth. Nothing of value will be lost, because you don't produce anything of value anymore. You've sucked dry whatever fun, tinkering and freedom there was in playing a videogame.

I see this all the time. (1)

Westwood0720 (2688917) | about a year ago | (#43048505)

Been playing MMOs for over a decade now. "This game sucks" "Why do I play this?" "This company is terrible". FFS, if its that bad DON'T PLAY. *head desk*

WAY ahead of ya man (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43048539)

I'm 41.

Which means I grew up during the golden age of video games, but lacked the financial capability to play them all. Now, I DO have that capability and I find I don't WANT to play them. DRM, DLC, microtransactions, limited installs, buggy releases requiring GB downloads to fix, piss-poor direct ports of console games, etc.

I can find far more reasons NOT to play than I can reasons to purchase it in the first place. Once upon a time the biggest concern was if your hardware was capable of running the game or not. Now it's more " How frustrating is this experience likely to be ? "

It's really simple, with all the limitations and silly bullsh*t built into games these days, I am far ahead of you on your advice.
I don't buy them. At all. All the MUST HAVE games that have come out recently ? Not on my shelf I'm afraid. Not dealing with it anymore.

They're like the movies these days, I don't bother going to the theater anymore because of the rather piss-poor experience that has become.

I love the games, just not going to deal with the silly bullsh*t we are forced to go through to play them anymore.

Re:WAY ahead of ya man (1)

Westwood0720 (2688917) | about a year ago | (#43048585)

Once upon a time the biggest concern was if your hardware was capable of running the game or not. Now it's more " How frustrating is this experience likely to be ? "

Holy hell. You're like me from the future. Couldn't agree more.

I already do that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43048597)

I already do that, but it seems plenty of people do not.

I have played smaller games, where most of the community know eachother in some sense, and lately they added things me and much of the community dissagreed with. Items that were overpowered and so on. Many of us acted verbally, but then moments later half the people that were against said chance were actually using whatever was added. And they didn't stop complaining about them, so its not the case that its better than originally expected.

I don't get this behavior at all. Its like the people that complained about no dedicated servers for CODMW2, but still bought it on pc. What the fuck are you doing?

You need to complain AND vote with your dollars, don't do just one of either. If you don't complain, but not buy, you are just another person that probably wasn't really a potential costumer. If you do complain but still give them money, you are even worse.Especially since its often quite easy to check if a person complaining still payed, if they and a majority of the complainers did, why change your business model?

sorry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43048605)

TL;DR

CliffyB is wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43048681)

I have to disagree with CliffyB, I don't think it takes $100million+ to make a good game. The whole reason the indie gaming scene is booming right now is because the people with dozens of teams and hundreds of million dollars in both development and marketing aren't guaranteed to make a better game than three guys hacking away in their basement on their free time.

Examples: Minecraft, Humble Bundles, VVVVV, etc. For extra credit, compare and contrast Diablo III with Path of Exile.

The problem is models (2)

ZeroSerenity (923363) | about a year ago | (#43048689)

Free-to-play and pay entrance fee then microtransactions can both work, while a huge buy-in also works. What people are complaining about with EA is that they took (are taking?) a huge buy-in game THEN tacking the microtransactions on top of that. Paying $60 (or so) for a game then having to pay more for in game resources is ludicrus (Incidentally, there is a game I own that does exactly this, and it's not from EA). Paying $20 then being able to buy cosmetic items and side-grades (Team Fortress 2 before it went Free) is much more excusable because the cost to enter is so much lower. World of Warcraft (and other MMOs) don't cost $60 in entrance fees then your monthly, the entrance fee can be as low as $0.

Feel free to vote with your dollars, but when games are full priced new and locking out content already provided, then you can complain out the world.

Umm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43048717)

This is slashdot aka News for Nerds. This article isn't news; it's an op-ed piece that belongs on a forum somewhere. Keep this site news related please!

Don't buy their games? Good luck with that (1)

triffid_98 (899609) | about a year ago | (#43048755)

If Cliff doesn't like the memes and complaints, perhaps he should boycott Reddit until they stop? It's a free market after all.

That sounds just about as effective as telling (at best) 2% of the gaming population to STFU, boycott and expect things to magically change.

NEWS FLASH!!! EA doesn't make games (1)

LandoCalrizzian (887264) | about a year ago | (#43048759)

EA doesn't make games and they aren't a game developer. EA is a corporation that monetizes an interactive, visual art experience. NOW IN 3D! They haven't made games since the 16-bit Sega days. As a corporation, they don't read forums, they don't read reviews. EA listens to stockholders, focus groups and quartely reports. They only hear the sound of a product not meeting quarterly projections. Trolling them on reddit does no good because they don't have a soul and they only believe in franchises that bring in fat stacks of money. Hopefully they don't infect the rest of the industry so some other company doesn't figure out a way to legalize gold farming by making a game where the only incentive to keep playing is to farm loot so you can sell it for real money on an auction house...

Microtransactions don't have to affect gameplay (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43048761)

Microtransactions don't inherently suck. They suck, however, when they represent deferred payment price (read: you can't really play the game without buying a bunch of additional bits and pieces transactionally) or when they un-level the playing field (read: you can skip "grinding" gameplay or gain significant advantage over other players without earning it in-game by purchasing it transactionally).

Don't bitch and moan at us. (1)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about a year ago | (#43048765)

It's clear here that old Cliff forgot what it used to be like in the old days, where a couple of guys could make a AAA game in their garage over the summer. We have independent developers creating games that the big boys won't touch, while EA is determined to publish almost nothing but sequels and derivative crap. Yes, it costs EA $100 million to make a game, but that's only after the Hollywood style accounting! And besides, the cost of producing the latest EA shitware IS EA'S PROBLEM NOT MINE!

He ist wants to yell at the gaming community as a whole "shut the fuck up and stop complaining about our shitty DLC policy even though it sucks" but he is simultaneously trying to pretend that this isn't his message.

Fuck EA and their two bit trick ass bullshit games. If I wanted to pay extra for everything that should have come with the initial price I'd go to a fucking fancy steakhouse!

I'm trying to (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43048791)

I just pointed out to my wife that the next Sim City is based on online only DRM. I'm guessing that she will not buy it due to that after a bad experience with the Starcraft II DRM.

I do get that companies want to limit piracy, but I'm offended by this kind of crap because I haven't pirated a game in years. (I did pirate games a long time ago, but
that was when I was a student and really couldn't afford to buy many games anyway, so they didn't really lose a customer at that time. Nowadays they do lose a
customer by pulling this kind of crap, but I wouldn't pirate their games now as I can simply afford to buy another game instead.)

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