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Reader Comments (33)

Posted: Jan 28th 2010 1:38AM (Unverified) said

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"And while we're decrying the greedy capitalists at Blizz (*snark*) let's also note that large chunks of their profits from their microtransactions are going to CHARITY."

Were.
From one product.
For the first couple months after it launched.
To defuse the obvious source of fanrage.
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Posted: Jan 21st 2010 2:14PM (Unverified) said

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Is that best you have against me?Really?I never said they had no eye toward profit and yes I do think there are artists out there that love their product to this day but those guys want a profit for their work in some form too and the most acceptable form is money.As i said it's also up to consumers to draw the line at where profit turns to consumer exploitation.Something which consumers are becoming or are to complacent to do these days.

I don't care about their profit line only the value I'm getting.Their profit line is their concern.If my interests and those cannot coincide I do not give them my money.If enough enough people feel the same way then that business venture will fail as it is supposed to in a free market.Consumers sympathizing and making excuses for companies to do what they want and putting up with any profit practice undermines the system.

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Posted: Jan 22nd 2010 8:16AM starka1 said

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Your point to MacAllen on microtransactions only being content you want to buy fails since each of the MMOs mentioned here release paid expansions in addition to microtransactions. What BS. Please, tell me from the games mentioned above how much of that a la carte content really extends your gameplay? That's right, it's mostly just fluff and the real content still comes from updates or paid expansions.

Also, more gamers balk at the idea of paying monthly for a game than those that accept it. Just look at consoles. Your arguments come off saying we should be happy to have access to their servers even if it is just a blinking cursor on the command line. You go ahead and pay for that. I want a solid core game before I consider any fluff the company wants to pawn off on me.

When I see companies like Valve release free content such as updates to Team Fortress 2(not an MMO I know but I still think it is a good example), I just can't accept your argument I should be happy to be milked for more than the subscription fee. Compared to games like that, I am already paying a premium and you think we should pay more??? Screw that, I'm happy with whatever free updates are provided and the occasional paid expansion. I'd be stupid to go with what you are advocating because I would actually spend MORE. The average expansion is what, $30-40? Given what I've seen of the microtransactions offered so far, that amount can easily be spent on just a few items. Now, looking at paid expansions you already get more fluff items such as new costume sets(see CoH booster packs) PLUS you get new powersets, possibly a new zone, new enemies, missions and maps for the SAME price as you would if you just bought a few items from the MT store. I'd be stupid to follow what you are advocating. When I can buy a new powerset and not the new zone, then you have an argument.
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Posted: Jan 21st 2010 2:55PM (Unverified) said

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Being in it for the moeny is only good if the product is of quality would I spend my money on it. But as the old saying goes "we all have to make a living ". Greed in its own right is not good profit if its a good product is but sadly in most cases with mmo's lack of subscribers are the only way we can vote for what we disagree with or what is lacking in a mmo outside of protesting and typing out intelligent forum requests and well worded concerns to devs.

Posted: Jan 21st 2010 4:21PM EdmundDante said

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There is a line between making a profit and exploiting the game player. When a game company goes over that light, it rarely leads to success in the long term.


Posted: Jan 21st 2010 5:41PM ployer said

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I think it depends on the perspective you are looking at this from. For example if you look at a developer directly I think he does his job because he/she enjoys making video games and its great that they can earn a living doing that. In order to continue to keep doing what they enjoy they have to do it well, which in a lot of cases will require them to please the customer. I don't think they are all like this but i suspect a great deal are. Now if you look at a top level executive they are looking how to make the biggest profit for the return on investment to shareholders or investors. That doesn't make them evil, thats just the way capitalism is. I'm not happy or sad they are in it for the money, I just accept that they are. I am happy however when something comes out that I want to play and along as myself and others are willing to pay for whatever in whatever way we are willing to pay for it these things will continue.

Posted: Jan 21st 2010 7:18PM (Unverified) said

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The part of RMTs on top of a subscription that cheeses most people off isn't that it's "for the money". We KNOW it's for the money, that's why we pay a sub!

But adding nickel and dime transactions for content and abilities that could very well be included in the sub is viewed (especially by me) as mousetrapping players into spending money they didn't expect to. It creates a dynamic where one player buying advantage through RMT can force other players to do the same "to keep up".

But we're told that this is necessary because "the subscriptions don't bring in enough money". I have a question. Why is 15.00/month the magic number for a sub? Who determined that? The industry? The players? As far as I can see, it's a number that was pulled out of a hat, embedded in spreadsheets across the industry, and is now sacrosanct due to sheer sheeple behavior on the part of game companies.

I would absolutely pony up 5 bucks more a month, every month, in order to have a game with no microtransactions and yearly expansions for free. I'm already putting down the equivalent of a pizza a month (!!) for the subscription. I'm ok with throwing in a couple sixpacks of soda to boot.

Posted: Jan 22nd 2010 8:35AM starka1 said

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I agree dainsmail-1. I just don't get the attitude of people to readily dismiss the monthly subscription fee as inconsequential to amount of content a company provides. As long as we show we are willing to pay extra, the companies will continue to let us believe they could not include that extra content in an update or paid expansion. I think that allows for a more lax attitude in what is provided outside of microtransactions.
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Posted: Jan 22nd 2010 12:50AM cray said

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When it comes to entertainment, it's imperative any company doesn't let it's marketing department control the creative department. You can't have too much marketing, otherwise you turn off consumers who are usually drawn in by the companies creativity.

You don't play an brand new MMO because it's cheap or there's some sale going on. You play the game because it interest you...it's creativity draws you in.

When company starts begging for you money at every turn, then it's letting it's marketing take over the creativity of the game. Consumers feel used and ultimately leave.

Creativity must shine, as this how a company shows they care.

Posted: Jan 24th 2010 1:31PM (Unverified) said

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That quality is being produced for one reason: to get players to continue to give them money.

Posted: Jan 24th 2010 1:48PM macallen said

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Oh, welll you mean the REALLY old days, like AoL and Compuserve! :D

Posted: Jan 27th 2010 7:40PM (Unverified) said

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I think Eliot posted the article as a social experiment - to see what kind of reaction he would get, and how many people would actually understand a libertarian argument on market forces.

Posted: Jan 30th 2010 2:47AM (Unverified) said

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Lots of games have content updates and whatnot that are offered for free. Blizzard does it with WoW, NCSoft with CoH, Lord of the Rings...the list goes on. However when a game has only been out a few months and added content is going to cost, looking at you Champions online, while a lot of the game is still broken, then they truly are only in it for the money. Not saying the others are not also wanting the money, but at least give up something for it and make the game truly better. Blizzard is really going a little to far with it's other stuff like transfers and other things. Charging as much as they do while making millions of dollars a month from subscriptions is a little to much of the leaning towards "in it for the money only". Give me a break, if they can go about free transfers when a server is too populated, then why can't they also offer the service for a lot less instead of restricting what is transfered and charging 25 bucks for it. 5$ a transfer would be nice to see, since they do it for free at times. People would crap themselves if they knew how much money Blizz cleared in a month, myself included, cause it's gotta be way up there.

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