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Reader Comments (61)

Posted: Sep 2nd 2010 6:13PM ChaosInc said

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Gee, looks like WoW gets by unscathed for "double dipping" with their cash shop. Yet so quick to point out everyone else who does. Biased much?

Posted: Sep 2nd 2010 6:20PM Scuffles said

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Whut you talkin bout batman, I called WoW on their CS on several occasions. Not to mention their TCG with in game "bonuses"
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Posted: Sep 2nd 2010 10:36PM (Unverified) said

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If you're talking about the article, you're being extremely ignorant. For one, it's a named article ABOUT CHAMPIONS, not about WoW, talking about a hot issue as it relates to one game only.

Even so, in this very article, Mackey talks about financial responsibility of developers, and early in the article points out other massively posts that talk about the controversy over cash shops in other games, including the amazing celestial steed article by Brennan.

And besides, Mackey is voicing support of the microtransaction cash-shop model for P2P MMOs under the circumstances that the items are reasonably priced and serve a function that isn't required to actually get 100% of the gameplay content, only cosmetic or account-related features.

Way to not actually pay attention to what's being discussed in the article.
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Posted: Sep 3rd 2010 12:13PM Anatidae said

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I don't understand why consumers are putting up with this. What is the point of a subscription? I thought it WAS to pay for ongoing development of content.

To address the OP - I think Blizzard is screwing people with their fee services. They already make so much money from the game, it is just corporate greed. But the suckers just buy into the extras anyway.

How is it that years and years of games have managed to produce ongoing content within the subscription rate and now suddenly that just won't cut it? How is it that games like Dragon Age blow any game from Cryptic out of the water with depth and content and are successful from box sales alone. Sure they sell expansion modules, but you also don't pay a subscription.

It is as if I paid a subscription to a magazine to receive it and find that if I want to read some of the articles each month I need to pay extra.


Some MT models I don't mind. Free games that sell things is a fine example. Turbine with a mix is nice too. Subscribers get monthly points for the store and access to lots of content without needing to purchase it from the store.


If consumers would just say no and not buy the store items, they would go away. If you just stopped subscribing the game until MTs go away, they would.
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Posted: Sep 2nd 2010 6:15PM (Unverified) said

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I have never had a problem with how micro-transactions are handled in any of MMO games I play (currently CO, WoW, NFSW, DDO and FE). I have purchased items for all of them except FE and I didn't feel pressured to do so with any of them. I think it is a solid business model and that it can cater to a wide variety of players, especially a game like DDO. I look forward to seeing more FTP and Premium +MT titles.

Posted: Sep 2nd 2010 6:17PM SiML said

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Developers need to understand that value for money is key here.

Unfortunately it seems double dipping is growing in popularity. Sw:ToR too will be a subscription with microstransactions. If the free updates with a game also get a fair share of free & inclusive new story content, cossie options and emotes - then i think a little extra on a certain theme is fine.

Champions Online did have waaay more socially-interactive, partying and dancing emotes in its free and inclusive 1st anniversary update than CoH has just announced in their £7.99 'party' super-booster.

As an MMO subscriber, I look at the standard vanilla version of the game and what is being added for free. If the value starts to wain - I am less inclined to pay for the extra stuff to be honest.

Posted: Sep 2nd 2010 11:16PM RogueJedi86 said

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Where's your source on SWTOR having microtransactions? BioWare's never said that. The only thing that hinted at that was their EULA mentioning BioWare Points, and since DAO and ME2 have come out we've seen that those points are intended as a currency that is equivalent to Microsoft Points in money-points conversion so BW can sell their games on PC and consoles for the same amount of points.

So no microtransactions in TOR, no siree.
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Posted: Sep 2nd 2010 6:33PM Scuffles said

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Hell if companies thought they could get away with it they would charge you

$60 for the game
$15 per month
$∞ for Microtransaction junk
$30 every expansion

..... oh wait they already are ......

See I guess I'm old school, but I stick to one or the other. You either get to charge me for the purchase of the game and a subscription and I get EVERYTHING. Or you don't charge me for the game and I will allot some funds for microtransacted goods.

So since most P2P games have jumped on the double dip buss, I've pretty much gone pure F2P. There are enough F2P games in the ocean to keep me entertained at minimal expense and at most I will allot what I would have payed in monthly fees for a P2P.

Unfortunately as someone pointed out in another blog, "Sensible people who vote with their wallets will always be outweighed by the idiots who buy imagine puppies in droves." or something to that effect.

Anyhow in the immortal words of me "Doubledippers can suck it"

Posted: Sep 3rd 2010 11:19AM (Unverified) said

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Where does something like server transfers or character renames fall on this spectrum, though? Even before the sparklepony debate came up, WoW was letting people transfer servers for a fee. It likely predates even that game.
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Posted: Sep 2nd 2010 6:34PM dudes said

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Greed corrupts. Greed, greed, greedy greed greed detected.

Posted: Sep 2nd 2010 7:19PM Its Utakata stupid said

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Conversely companies that double dip may also hurt their bottom line. That is, they neither get a my subscription or micro transaction. Just saying...

Posted: Sep 2nd 2010 8:54PM (Unverified) said

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Microtransaction's have proven to be highly beneficial to the bottomline.
With many, many players loving them.


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Posted: Sep 3rd 2010 1:33AM Its Utakata stupid said

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Care to share your evidence this has done such glowing wonders to CO?
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Posted: Sep 4th 2010 9:34AM (Unverified) said

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I think it has more to do with CO being a piece of crap rather than the "double dipping"
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Posted: Sep 2nd 2010 7:24PM Patrick Mackey said

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Oh man, one little bit of news I forgot to mention above: On Saturday and Sunday, the CO roleplaying community is doing this big huge anniversary event, open to everyone. Anyone who is interested can ask about it in the CORP global channel. The info threads on CORP don't actually explain where the event is, but I know it starts at 1 PST/4 EST on Saturday and Sunday.

If I had to guess, I think the location is at Carl's Gym (or Carlos' Gym) in Millenium City's Chinatown, but I actually don't know.

Posted: Sep 2nd 2010 10:42PM (Unverified) said

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Wish this had gotten a bump in the main article. Not sure anyone will see it down here. ;~;
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Posted: Sep 3rd 2010 6:53PM Patrick Mackey said

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I posted it in my anniversary article too, actually. So hopefully there will be more visibility there.
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Posted: Sep 2nd 2010 7:27PM Taawa said

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One way to look at item shops for subscription games, is they are a good way to give the developer and publisher incentive to produce new content. From an accounting perspective, it's really easy to attribute a $20 item shop purchase of a costume pack to a specific piece of work done by the developer. Business people really like clear metrics. Item shops, and other small paid content updates (like Mythic's RvR packs for WAR) could encourage people in suits to keep green-lighting content.

Posted: Sep 2nd 2010 7:30PM CitizenH said

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Paragon Studios are on a slippery slope with CoH. Not only are they double dipping, they are tripple dipping with the new expansion being barely out of the gate before pushing a new booster pack.

The devs said when these "packs" started that they would be made up of content they normally wouldn't be able to do, but was supported by sales of the pack. IE, you're paying extra for the extra work. Sounds reasonable, yes?

Well the dance and sports emotes in the just announced Party Pack are already in the game as part of Going Rogue NPCs. That's what they were done for. They were available to ALL players in the GR beta until the last minute. The Open Present emote in the pack has been in the game *five years*.

They're essentially looking to charge people $8 to add stuff that's already done and in the game, to the emote menu. Stuff that wasn't done on the side for the pack at all, and in one case, has been in the game for years already.

That's quite the 180 and is pretty cheap and cheezy in my opinion.

Posted: Sep 2nd 2010 8:08PM Patrick Mackey said

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I'd like to do a comparison with CO real quick:

When STO launched, a whole ton of emotes were made for STO. CO players didn't get them for a pretty long time (just recently in August). When CO players did get them, they were released for free as part of the summer patch.

The new millenium costume set reminds me of when CoX first started releasing costume packs, like the wedding, cyborg, and magic sets; it's brand new and looks good. In addition, we got a bunch of new costume sets in the summer pack for free.

I remember being really psyched about the magic super booster because of the costume change emotes. It's sad that CoX is going the nickel and dime route now, as I honestly did support their microtransaction store.
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