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Reader Comments (41)

Posted: May 21st 2010 7:05PM Ghede said

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You have stronger willpower than I. The second my cash gets turned into funnymoney, I piss it away on anything that catches my fancy. It's why I have the castle crashers premium theme on my 360.

Posted: May 21st 2010 7:10PM Russell Clarke said

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Cats are worth their weight in Station Points!

Ermmm...how much does a virtual cat weigh?

Posted: May 21st 2010 7:15PM Orvidos said

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But. . .you're a journalist! You're allowed to be a hypocrite!

(I kid.)

I think this will either;
A. Eventually become the norm ('This' being microtransactions for shiny stuff)
or
B. I might have to start playing EQ2 again.

Wait. . .damnit.

Posted: May 21st 2010 7:16PM Orvidos said

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I'd also forgotten about "The Count Censored"

Heheheheh.
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Posted: May 21st 2010 7:20PM Lateris said

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I totally understand because I loved SWG. And as soon as the card game shafted crafters....I had to cancel. Leave SOE. Come to Eve or Hyboria.

Posted: May 21st 2010 7:27PM karnisov said

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well like i said in comments for the "sparkle pony" oneshot last month, other companies would start copycatting. and they did.
http://www.massively.com/2010/04/24/one-shots-my-little-sparklepony/comments/27414491/

Posted: May 21st 2010 7:32PM (Unverified) said

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I think this is a better headline for your article- "Sony testing
stupidity of their players by releasing a virtual mount for $25.00!"

And sadly players are showing Sony just how dumb they are with their
credit cards....cha ching

Dont give in, dont buy the mount! Every person that buys the mount just enables and creates a market for these high priced items.

Posted: May 21st 2010 7:37PM Nef said

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WoW and EQ2 aren't the only games with expensive mounts, BOI has 30 dollar mounts you can get. (Though, they are two seaters and offer nice buffs.) The difference with BOI being the game is free. A pretty big difference.

I'm don't see myself getting any of them -- I could get a nice hardbound sourcebook for that money -- and with more likely being on the horizon, I find myself caring less and less. If there's people that want them, might as well fill that want.

Of course, I wouldn't mind seeing the general player base benefiting from these types of transactions. With more sparkly mounts being produced and sold, perhaps we can get cheaper subscriptions? I'd gladly buy into that idea...

Posted: May 21st 2010 7:43PM (Unverified) said

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Shinycat is shiny.

Several years from now, I imagine we'll probably be moaning about how mounts used to be so cheap at $25. And then maybe European board games will actually look affordable.

Posted: May 21st 2010 7:58PM (Unverified) said

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I laughed heartily at your claims of "double standards" in the article about WoW's greed steed, since it was patently obvious that the people who spew their hatred of microtransactions into every discussion, and the people who were buying the horse, were NOT ACTUALLY THE SAME PEOPLE.

Yes, a game with 11 million players has enough players to have multiple opposing points of view all strongly represented amongst the player base. It's not one hive mind that is hypocritically buying sparkly horses after ranting that RMT and cash shops are evil.

But in this case.. yes. If you buy a cash cat after posting that intemperate rant about WoW's horse, you most certainly would be a colossal hypocrite.

Posted: May 21st 2010 8:21PM Seraphina Brennan said

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Sure, there is the likely chances that people who spew venom at the mention of microtransactions and the people who bought the horse are not the same people. But I bet you that more than a few of them were. People who could easily spew venom at other games until it comes to their own.

Why can I say that? Well, I experienced the same thing today. I spewed venom at that horse, but I was still really considering buying the mount in EQII -- the exact same thing. It's always easier to scream at another game when you have no stake in it.

So I wouldn't say it's "patently obvious." The probabilities are actually on my side on this one, as I very much doubt that these two populations don't intermix at all. However, I did not say that all of Warcraft was a hive mind. I stated that I saw an unusually high number of people defending the horse compared to normal when microtransactions hit games. That does not mean "all of Warcraft." Heck, it doesn't even mean "a large number of Warcraft players," it just means I noticed an unusual trend. That's all.
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Posted: May 21st 2010 8:04PM aurickle said

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Does it hurt anyone for the mount to be there?

The person who has the money to burn? Nope. It's worth it to him or he wouldn't buy.

The person who doesn't have the money? Not really. She can still get a mount in-game without spending a penny of real-world cash.

The person who hates these microtransactions? Nope. He doesn't have to buy and it doesn't affect his game play at all that someone else does.

I really don't see any point in getting up at arms about this sort of thing -- so long as there's a valid in-game alternative. Frankly, this mount in EQ2 is much better than those expanded bags in Allods. It's not all that hard to get a mount in EQ2. It's very, very tedious to get a bag in Allods.

Posted: May 21st 2010 8:25PM Seraphina Brennan said

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Actually aurickle, it's really not about those who don't like the practice of microtransactions at all -- it's about the people who do.

This affects the people who like buying these types of things from the store at a reasonable price. I believe the $25 price point is too high for this sort of item, and would like to see it brought into check. Say, for example, $15. $15 is still high to me, as it is the cost of a monthly subscription, but I think it's more in the range of what the utility and "fun factor" of the mount is versus keeping it high enough to sustain it as a luxury item.

And sure, there is a valid in-game alternative that we can all consider. But, if we really want that cat (and I must say, I like the design of the cat) we can't get it in game. We need to pay that price point which I would be happy to pay if it was more reasonable.

Of course, there are always sales.
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Posted: May 21st 2010 10:15PM aurickle said

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Oh, I definitely understand where you're coming from. I think $25 is too high, myself. But the fact is that it is the customer that ultimately determines the worth of something.

If you walk into a 7-11 and buy a candy bar for $1.00 that you could have gotten for 50 cents by going to the grocery store instead, who determined that the candy bar was worth a buck? It wasn't the 7-11; that was merely what they asked for it. You made the determination by purchasing it there that it was worth a dollar to you.

The same thing really holds true with these mounts. If it's worth $25 to enough people then that's where SoE will keep the price. Odds are, though, that it will become like any software purchase. Initially the price is high, but after there are no longer enough people who think it's worth $25 SoE will slowly drop the price.

But that's really an aside. My impression concerning those complaining about these microtransactions is not that they're upset about price much at all. They're mostly just upset about the principle of microtransactions in addition to a subscription fee. It wouldn't matter to them if the mount was $5, they would still be irate just because it's not included with the subscription itself. Which is why I made my previous post. I really wasn't meaning to debate the cost of the item, but rather to address the people who would argue about the principle of the item itself. :)
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Posted: May 22nd 2010 8:49AM HackJack said

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A virtual good's value doesn't vary like a real good's value. Why? Because even if only 5 people buy the mount they profit while if only 5 people buy the candy bar they don't ("they" being the "producers").

Real world prices vary according to the supply/demand graph. Virtual worlds have infinite supply and that makes ANY amount of demand acceptable.

Now you still think this is cool with you?

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Posted: May 22nd 2010 10:46AM aurickle said

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There is unlimited supply, yes. But there's still resources invested in creating the item and implementing it within both the game and the store which they wish to earn back.

SoE is a company. They want to make money. An item that only sells 5 copies tells them there's no demand. They then change the price point or discontinue the item. All that infinite supply means is that the price could be really low. It's still up to the consumer to determine the value of the item, which they will do by buying or not buying the product.

Please tell me why you oppose this item? I go back to my original question: Does it hurt anyone for the mount to be there? Does it hurt you, personally? If so, how?
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Posted: May 21st 2010 8:26PM Sephirah said

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"Sony Online Entertainment has introduced a line of cat mounts into their microtransaction shop for the price of -- you guessed it -- 25 dollars"

Can we please stop defining "microtransaction" paying 25 dollars? It's about twice the monthly fee for an average MMORPG.

Posted: May 21st 2010 8:31PM Beau Hindman said

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WoW certainly did not copyright mounts for cash. You shoulda' seen the crazy talk when Wizard 101 came out with theirs, and charged what they charged. Games have been offering things like this for a long time.

If anything, EQ2 could have copied any number of games BUT WoW. I can assure you that the idea is pretty much common. Maybe they copied Perfect World? Perhaps Mabinogi? (15 dollar mounts.)

Beau

Posted: May 21st 2010 8:38PM Egobrane said

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Fight the power!

Posted: May 21st 2010 9:09PM (Unverified) said

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Seraphina, your argument that we vote with our wallets just doesn't hold any water. It's obvious there are plenty of people, despite all the public protesting and venom, that are willing to spend and spend and spend. Gold farming wouldn't be the multi-million dollar industry it is if this wasn't true.

In fact, a more mathematically inclined person could probably give a rough estimate of what percentage of the playerbase of subscription based games actually buy gold despite the vehement protests against the practice based on the fact that it is a multi-million dollar business. I'd be willing to go out on a very short limb and predict it's a pretty hefty percentage of the playerbase. I'd say the person withholding their wallet makes not one lick of difference. It certainly doesn't seem to do so in the realm of gold farming.

Frankly, it amazes me that companies like Blizzard and SOE haven't come to this realization earlier and started charging the bajezzus for items in an itemshop. And in case it wasn't blatantly obvious, the realization being that the vast majority of their playerbase ARE hypocrites, and only pretend outrage against RMT. It saddens me, because it also marches along with the practice of pathetically anemic DLC at silly prices that we are seeing more and more with video games in general, which-coincidence or not-seems to also march along with the more and more mediocre games we seem to get. Profit margins are all good and fun, but I fear we're starting to go a little to far on the margin part.

In conclusion, yes the prices are blatantly ridiculous, but considering the multi-million dollar gold farming industry, it's equally obvious that there is a huge segment of players who have no problem spending oodles of cash on a video game. I don't know where the market will end up balancing out, but I suspect we're a far way, price-wise, from that point and worse is yet to come.




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