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Reader Comments (100)

Posted: Sep 10th 2011 3:45PM Irem said

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I'll drop money on a game/company I really love, that has a model for MTs I can respect (like Guild Wars).

I will not spend money to "skip ahead," because I don't believe in rewarding developers for leaving in the crap people hate and then profiting off ways to make the game bearable.

If a game really contains so much grind or whatever that I feel my limited lifespan slipping away into the void while playing it (something that's happening with increasing frequency as I get older), I just won't play it. Want to sell me cool clothing skins? Be my guest, as long as you're not charging me a sub fee. Want to sell me ways to relieve the soul-crushing result of your bad design decisions? Sit on something uncomfortable and spin.

Oh, and get off my lawn.

Posted: Sep 10th 2011 4:09PM Germaximus said

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That doesnt even make the tiniest bit of sense to me.

Ive been gaming for 20 years and the more i see these cash shops implemented into games that also require a subscription the more it pisses me off.

Older gamers would know that patches and "DLC" used to be free.

Ridiculous article.

Posted: Sep 10th 2011 4:53PM Furdinand said

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@Germaximus There was no real DLC in the past, they were called expansions and games like EQ expected you to buy one every year. DLC is just a different medium for the same thing.
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Posted: Sep 10th 2011 5:35PM Eric Francis said

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@Germaximus

The whole MMO genre has gone mainstream and now the corporate suits are sharking in and doing the same things they did to mom and pop stores, rock music, hiphop, etc etc etc.... just dilute it till it barely resembles its original form, where the purpose of the operation is to milk the most money out of people possible.
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Posted: Sep 10th 2011 7:42PM Saerain said

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@Germaximus

That pisses me off as well, but this is not an opinion piece or an anecdotal impression.
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Posted: Sep 10th 2011 4:20PM Seffrid said

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This biased study flies in the face of my experience and that of my friends. Older gamers tend to be veteran gamers, and veteran gamers tend to despise cash shops as much as they despise the instant gratification crowd that generated them along with the dumbing down that most cash shop games represent.

I'm in my 60's and therefore qualify as an older gamer, and whilst I have spent cash shop points I have been given for free as a subscriber in hybrid games I very much prefer subscription-based games to cash shop ones, partly because they're better but also because I prefer the concept of paying a fixed amount for the whole game and rewarding the developer properly for producing it rather than trying to get away with playing as much of the game as possible for as little as possible.

Posted: Sep 10th 2011 7:46PM Saerain said

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@Seffrid

I think that's a weird way to look at cash shops.

Compare it to paying admission to an amusement park versus paying only for the rides that you actually use. Or an all-you-can-eat buffet versus just paying for the meals you want.

Maybe I've been playing the wrong games with cash shops to understand your perspective, but for me, it has never been about advancement, but a more specifically tailored experience and a great way of showing the developers what people actually feel is worth their money.
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Posted: Sep 10th 2011 5:03PM NeoWolfen said

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Well for my own thoughts Id have to say I pretty much agree with the study. As an older gamer I know "if" I can get something I want in an in game store/microtransaction rather than having to grind or game for it I will probably buy it outright.

Im a big fan of cosmetics and mounts from game stores as well as things like extra character slots etc... things like that always tend to get my cash.

Temporary buff, xp increasing items and all that sort of thing though... nope wouldnt pay for them. I don't look to make my gaming experience easier or faster I just look to buy things that make it more interesting.

Posted: Sep 10th 2011 5:48PM FrostPaw said

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The trouble with paying money for xp advancement is you are essentialy paying money to skip playing the game and get bored sooner.

Posted: Sep 10th 2011 7:38PM Saerain said

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@FrostPaw

That sure says something about how enjoyable that “play” is.
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Posted: Sep 10th 2011 6:22PM Graill440 said

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The article is on Mobile social gaming, Isnt this the Big H's pervue?

MObile social gaming, the article, are not MMO's by definition. I know of no mobile device capable of hosting a massively multiplayer online game let alone a persistant population over 10000 people, and twenty or thirty folks is not massive. I agree the study, like all the expert wonderkin graft are useless, ceated and then the blanks are filled in to satisfy the needed results, for whomever is paying or whomever is trying to get published or represented.

The point of time advancement in a mobile app game that handles on average 5 to 30 folks is laughable, the actual real time interaction is even less in real time situations. Who cares if player b in some mobile app is grinding their mobile device and then decides to pay x amount of dollars to speed things up, it does not address the real MMO demographic.

They continue to further genericaly group all games into the "grind", describing it in a way that is telling they know nothing about what they are typing, again, info is gathered second hand and filled into the blanks.

This article has nothing to do with the MMO's we play and everything to do with someone and their company that does not know what they are typing about.

Posted: Sep 10th 2011 6:34PM Utakata said

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I guess they didn't survey me. Lol!

...and speaking of old timers:

"They call it value added services. I call it a ripoff!" - my Dad.

Posted: Sep 10th 2011 6:36PM Bladerunner83 said

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Another obvious and pointless study. The article states:

"Gamers between the ages of 13 and 34 represent more than 80 percent of smartphone game time. Young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 spent the most time gaming, which accounted for 32 percent of total time. At the next age group, 25-34, time gaming dropped slightly to 29 percent.
But money spent to skip the grind skyrocketed in the older group. Nearly 50 percent of 25- to 34-year-olds reported they spend real money on freemium games, compared with only 16 percent in the younger group."

First of all, the target groups are not even equal. The younger group 18-24 has a 7 year dipping pool, while 25-34 has a 10 year dipping pool. Additionally, total game time only dropped 3%, so if you take into consideration the 3 year extension on the older crowd, the total gaming time would be equal.

As for the spending of money, well that one is just plan obvious. You make more money and have less time, your more than likely going to spend to get what you want. And vice versa for the poor person with lots of time on their hands. Me personally, I would never spend my hard earned money of virtual goods. I would pay my subscription just like every other service I pay for and use up my time in moderation. Even though I believe F2P is the dirge of the MMO gaming world, it is a good model for some people. But what makes it good? You can try it out without spending money. You can buy things to advance faster than other people. You can buy cute outfits to wear. And at the most extreme you can buy things to destroy your competition. It seems like a lot of buying, when all I have to do is pay $15 a month; And I have an equal advantage to everyone else in the game. So I guess it all comes down to your skill/effort/time vs. your wallet.

Posted: Sep 10th 2011 7:29PM Jeromai said

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Shrug. Speaking for myself only, the older I get, the more willing I am to spend a reasonable amount of money on things I like.

Usually that means things like maintaining multiple subs (even if I'm not actively playing the MMO at the moment) to support games I'm fond of, vanity items or initial outlay into F2P games to unlock more content and options.

Or buying a ton of games from Steam and Good Old Games with the vague good intention of playing them someday.

But to save time? To skip "grind" though? Nope. Strikes me as stupid backwards to race faster through a game. Either I like the game (especially if I liked it enough to spend money on it) and want to spend time playing it...

...or the game isn't fun and I should stop playing it and go play one of the other 538 games clamoring for my attention.

Games don't get more fun when you reach the end. Most of the "grind" is the actual gameplay that is meant to be enjoyed. If developers are foolish enough to stretch that to lengths of boredom, assuming people will pay to skip it, even more people won't even bother to get there because the game is obviously not respectful of their players' time and is just a shallow addictive 'achievement' construct meant to milk money.

One just reaches boredom and burnout faster by skipping ahead madly. And as an old fart getting older every year, I've had enough of burnout to last me a lifetime. Give me games I enjoy playing, and I will pay reasonable amounts to support them.

Posted: Sep 10th 2011 8:12PM Seffrid said

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@Saerain

Taking your amusement park analogy as an example, would you want to pay per ride if the total cost of the rides you want to use is greater than the single price of an inclusive admission charge? Why would you want to have to keep forking out money each time you queue up for a ride instead of just being able get on it because you had already paid an inclusive admission charge that covered the rides?

Also, what about the hybrid model? If you've already paid a hefty charge to enter the amusement park do you really want to have to pay additionally to go on the rides?

I understand that for some people the ability to limit the expenditure to the bare essentials makes them worthwhile, but other people including me prefer to pay a reasonable amount by way of a single inclusive monthly charge and not have a cash shop thrust in our faces every step of the game - as it is in LoTRO for example every time you complete a deed.

It's a purely subjective thing, some like cash shops, some don't. Personally I think they're a large part of the dumbing down of the genre and I'd much rather not have them.
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Posted: Sep 11th 2011 10:54AM Saerain said

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@Seffrid

“Taking your amusement park analogy as an example, would you want to pay per ride if the total cost of the rides you want to use is greater than the single price of an inclusive admission charge? Why would you want to have to keep forking out money each time you queue up for a ride instead of just being able get on it because you had already paid an inclusive admission charge that covered the rides?”

Indeed, this is why I liked Realtime Worlds' model with APB, being free to choose whichever method you concluded was most efficient for your play habits. Because, of course, for some, including myself, the lump sum is the wisest choice.
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Posted: Sep 10th 2011 9:20PM badpenny said

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time is money

Posted: Sep 10th 2011 9:24PM drunkingamebar said

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Not this cat, so sick of this f*cking industry!

Posted: Sep 10th 2011 10:46PM Tizmah said

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When people are paying to skip parts of your game, you've made a poorly designed game. What's funny, is that you've also made an additive game. Your players have already devoted time into something they found fun. Then, you lead then into a slow grind, making objectives longer and take much more time. Now you got them in the right spot. Now you offer boosts and what nots to make it fast, bringing them back to how the beginning of the game was and renewing their spirit. Then...you rinse and repeat. That = profit.

I don't think all games are skinner boxes...but some get close...and are.

Posted: Sep 10th 2011 11:05PM (Unverified) said

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I'm an older player with a lot less time to spend gaming than I had when I was younger.

But I can't imagine ever dropping money in a cash shop to buy an
"experience booster" to "save time".

One of the effects of having less gaming time is that I've gotten a lot choosier about my games. I don't have leisure time to waste on a game that is only "kinda" fun. Either I'm really enjoying it, or I'm doing something else. I'm certainly not chasing after some illusionary carrot - "oh, this game is boring NOW, but if I spend some money to quickly get to level cap, it will be fun THEN." Nuh uh, I'm not falling for that one.

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