I’ve always had a Bad Feeling About This!
With our latest developments in the Gaming Industry we’ve been virtually being slapped in the face, the day that we paid around the 40€ and 60€ gap for a game has been history for a while now, but, we went from free to play games to full-fledged priced games with microtransactions and loot-boxes pored into them in a matter of years and people seem to be dangerously willing to defend it and to take them in like they are candy.
It feels like Gambling “
Correction Gaming” publishers like EA, Warner Bross, and Activision and alike seem to mock our intelligence at a constant pace, and it looks like we have reached a breaking point where the customers ends Up finally having enough of it!
Over the past years, pre-orders and season passes have rapidly become the new normal for our beloved Gaming Industry, some of you will arguably put themselves into defense in front of the Pre-Orders and Season passes model while others are strongly voicing against it for a little more than a decade by now.
To sum it up, from the publishers down to the retailer’s pre-orders were a massive bonus, it locked customers onto their purchase and guaranteed their income, however, the end user never gets any guarantee whether they would or whether they would not receive a quality product at its initial release, with the season pass deals era on top of that, we entered in a new level of uncertainty where this business model would’ve largely been discussed many times over by both sides of the camp.
I always have been highly skeptical about the Pre-Ordering era where certain content was being left out to then to be sold later under the banner of the DLC, but I am equally guilty because I sadly ended up being too selfish to stand off of it either way.
I’ve finally given up on any pre-order and season passes, since the release of No Mans Sky, I promised myself that I will wholeheartedly swear, to step away from this contra productive habit, and I am not regretting it one bit!
Now I’ve finally shaken off that habit I see yet another, but, much larger exploitive business model rising up in our beloved gaming industry, one which will not only spoil Gaming as a whole but one that would be able to exploit the weaker mind to some form of a gambling addiction, which we all know by now as “loot-boxes“, and while we can’t technically call it gambling “yet” we CAN unarguably claim that this mechanic is aimed to be exploitive towards its consumers.
The greater concern, for me at least, is, that there is a huge potential risk towards children and young people, even weak-minded people who aren’t strong enough when they are being exposed to a mechanic, which is clearly aimed, to lure, people, into some sort of a vicious circle to purchase these in-game items.
I’ve been discussing this to death, and my stand in this is fairly clear, if it was up to me, Loot-Boxes and microtransactions are in dire need to be banned from our gaming industry altogether!
Foremost there is a big no-no, and I can not stress this out enough when it comes to the high potential to expose underaged kids to this! The argument that it is “ok” when they are only cosmetics is in my opinion flawed and highly hypocritical from those that think that it won’t affect their Game experience or wallet at all.
Loot Boxes like in overwatch have a similar RNG system like in Star Wars Battlefront II, which will hold items in Common, Rare, Epic, or Legendary quality! Maybe you’ll nab a shiny new Skin or celebrate a hard-won triumph with a new Victory Pose.
With four items in each Loot Box, you’re sure to be pleased with your assortment of Overwatch goodies.
When you read this over and over it is for me clear that, that’s what they are aiming for, the people who take those loot boxes with the hope that they will get the items they had in mind, and if they don’t get it right away, they will have the option to purchase 5, 11 to even 24 or 50 boxes in a pack until they get what they want!
As long if you do not know what you are getting, this type of mechanic strongly leans to gambling, and it is beyond me that we are still in the need to explain this to anyone who seems to be sane enough to comprehend what is going on!
The naked truth, that certain games have monetized loot-box systems into their Game Platform, should be seen as troublesome, for me at least, it doesn’t matter whether this is in the form of a cosmetic or a Game incentive like in Battlefront 2, which gives you a clear lead towards other competitors in the game, if you throw in enough money towards it.
The fact that such a system exists in any game is exploitive and offers the possibility for those that are the most vulnerable to pay real money and roll the dice for those items.
It gives most importantly a totally wrong impression towards the most vulnerable group in our society and those are our children, they may feel social pressure within their direct circle or even their gaming communities to purchase those boxes because the boy or girl next to them did the same thing!
Electronic Arts, has shown its dark side, it backlashed in such a way that even Government officials took notice, and even when I am strongly against this type of explosive mechanics in our games I would’ve prefered self-regulation over anything else, but when even self-regulative entities like the ESA & ESRB turn their back towards us, then there will be no other option to accept the Lawmakers interference in this matter.
As it stands, it is clear that EA made a mess of it, not only for the Gaming Industry as a whole but, from the perspective of a Gamer I am a little thoughtful, about the possibility of Government Interference, now, we only can hope that common sense will take place before anything drastic happens but, when it backfires, then, this will be a direct result of the lack of the Gaming Industry regulating it selves!
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