My 2 cents on In-Game Monetization:

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MY2CENTS ON IN-GAME MONETIZATION:

To many, an in-game monetization model is a dirty term and in some cases, they really make a good point. Especially if you have taken notes  over the past few years where things went horribly wrong. You would’ve noticed all  the controversy around it, some gaming companies like EA, Activision, 2K Interactive and Bethesda made some very, very ludicrous decisions in regards to these microtransactions which caused a world wide protest amongst gamers alike. They went in no time from Pay 2 Win time saver to Loot-Box gambling. And from full-fledged customization packs DLC’s to recolored skins and pathetic tiny little $1 dollar red dots.

I also  have been  voicing out strong opinions against  these practices, in some  cases, I even had heavy discussions  with those that defended or voiced out excuses to justify these actions. And while I personally do not have anything against in-game shops in particular. I do have something against mechanics who may harm very vulnerable individuals such as children and gambling addicts, or, to their own reference to “whales” a practice clearly aimed to attract, retain and generate revenue from these people.

Ms. Hopkins refusing to use the term ”loot boxes” in favor of ”surprise mechanics”, compares them to ”Kinder Eggs”!

Essentially ”whales” are a very small percentage of players that may end up spending hundreds, up to hundreds of thousands of dollars making in-app purchases. In fact,  0.15% of mobile gamers make up to 50% of their in-game  revenue. Fundamentally, if they can lure big spenders to their games, they have already secured a fairly steady income for their company. When you look through the eyes  of these company executives and investors it makes   somewhat sense that they  venture this model into the triple-A gaming market. However, with this, they forgot to take into account how a large chunk of their costumers would react!

The gamers, those who actually pay and play these games were openly denouncing these practices. A Free 2 Play monetization model in full priced games was clearly a step too far. Even for me, a person who doesn’t mind paying the occasional extra buck ended  up frowning his  eyebrows when these so-called loot boxes ”surprise  mechanics” and so-called  time-savers popped up.

To me, I had  something like “fuck the  whales” let  them  have their time savers, whatever. On  the other hand, I really felt that these mechanics were a potential hazard to children and more particularly the young adults, and or already gambling addicts. Granted, tiny mechanics are built-in for parents to turn certain options on or off but still, I do not think it is fair  to  put all the responsibility on the  parents or gambling addict. Developers and publishers are to me equally responsible to create a safer environment for everyone, after all, our games  are supposed to be about fun, and not to be a potential danger to our wallet!

Don’t get me wrong, even when I have these concerns I don’t think that in-game monetization needs to be a bad or an evil thing. I have only one Game to back this up on record which is ”Warframe” but looking to this game it seems clear to me that they may have done this correctly.  Aside from that I also have a few personal experiences with games such as, Tera Online, Gwent,  Final Fantasy XIV Online and Path of Exile who to my knowledge seem to have done in-game monetization fair enough in my book.

You always have pros and cons, and you have those that like and dislike for various reasons, I therefore strongly believe that the truth often lies  within one individual experience. And  while I have never been a  gambler or a big enough spender  to categorize myself as a whale either, I really do  think that this doesn’t have to  mean that I can not empathize with gamers that do struggle!  

I consider myself one of the lucky ones, carefree, I  can open any game and play without the necessary feeling that I have to pitch in money to enjoy myself. However, I  did come across a few other  annoyances due to the implementation of these in-game purchases. Such as ingame startup notifications turning into outright  advertisements for in-game items, wardrobes or other game releases with similar game mechanics with hands down  ”Ubisoft” in  the lead. They  literally  managed to  annoy me with these ads in such  a way that  it killed my  enjoyment for games I  considered  good  such as Origins or Anno 1800!

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ROLL THE DICE!

SINCE WE ARE ON ABOUT GETTING A CHANCE TO WIN SOMETHING. I WILL GIVE YOU THE OPPORTUNITY TO ROLL SOME DICE, THIS IN RELATION TO MICORTANSACTIONS. WE WILL CONDUCT A LITTLE EXPERIMENT HERE WHERE YOU WILL HAVE THE CHANCE TO MAGACILY TURN SOMEONE INTO A VERY HAPPY PERSON! YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT YOU WILL GET OUT OF IT UNTIL YOU SMASH THAT VERY TEMPTING BUTTON. 

NO WARRANTIES WILL BE GIVEN!

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September 2020
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