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Star Wars Battlefront II

Discussion in 'Gaming and PC Discussion' started by Johnnyseattle, Apr 12, 2017.

  1. Agayek

    Agayek The Chosen One

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    Because it evidently does not self-regulate. Otherwise, 2017 wouldn't be the year of the lootbox, with basically every big name, full price release being stuffed to bursting with them, regardless of the damage they do to the games themselves.

    Lootboxes are fun, I'm in no way objecting to that. But they're fun in the exact same way a casino is fun. And there's a reason we regulate that to fuck and back: because it's inherently predatory, a not insignificant portion of the population is fundamentally incapable of engaging with it responsibly (be it because of immaturity, addiction, or simple lack of self control), and it's existence benefits literally no one but the asshole fuck who siphons money out of the people who engage with it.

    There's plenty of ways to leverage randomness and the psychological rush of gambling in games that aren't ludicrously predatory. Just make the lootboxes earned via gameplay, or make game challenges reward loot or any of a million other possibilities, many of which we've spent the last thirty years perfecting.

    The second you tie real money into it though, you've gone too fucking far. That shit needs to be regulated. Maybe not banned (though I would honestly prefer that), but at the very least it needs oversight and consumer advocacy. I've seen way too many people (and personally known two) utterly ruin themselves, spending hundreds of dollars they didn't have on this kind of shit, to ever shrug it off as harmless fun.
     
  2. Arthellion

    Arthellion Professor

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    The old WOW model is best for multiplayer.

    Buy base game. Pay monthly fee after ward to keep playing.

    It allows businesses to recoup the losses of keeping a server running and make a profit without being pay to win.
     
  3. Innomine

    Innomine Auror Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Yeah, but it requires people to play long term. These games are bought, played for a bit, then quit. It's a simple calculation of how much money you can extract in the period where it's most popular. When the maximum possible profit is the goal, this is the kinds of solutions you get. There's no long-term (sustainable) plan here.

    Same thing with how EA buys other companies, then makes the money of the game, then that's it. There's no real thought to the quality of the game, apart from getting people to play it in the first place. The only reason why the game is popular in the first place is because of the Star Wars IP. Imagine if this was an original universe, would it get anywhere near as much attention? Which is, of course, why EA bought IP rights to the universe.

    This, to me, is the biggest problem. The short-term profit motive precludes focus on long-term enjoyment and playability, and why people hate companies like EA. As the subcontracting companies (eg dice) said, they have no say in these things and are simply brought on board to create subsets of the game.

    Edit: Arguments that this is a good example of free market self-regulation are laughable at best.
     
  4. Agayek

    Agayek The Chosen One

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    You've got the nail on the head there @Innomine . Pretty much every single one of the issues in the game industry is the direct result of the business executives' complete inability to think in a longer timescale than the current financial quarter. For whatever reason, be it the stock market, blind greed, or just stupidity, they consistently sacrifice long-term profitability and sustainability for slightly greater short-term profits.

    That's why we've seen the rise of pre-order culture, season passes, content-empty dlc, ludicrous monetization schemes and yes, lootboxes. It's always blind pursuit of all of the money, right the fuck now, regardless of all other factors. Even over making even more money but over a longer period.
     
  5. Chengar Qordath

    Chengar Qordath The Final Pony Prestige

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    Part of it seems to be driven by executives underestimating just how bad the backlash was going to get. One of the common dismissive responses to all the outrage was "Yeah, but it'll still sell well because it's Star Wars" or "You're complaining, but you still pre-ordered the game with the full season pass."

    Basically, they thought they were guaranteed to make enough money to be immune to any bad publicity, and that nobody outside a small group of online critics really cared that much about microtransactions (or were the types who complained, but bought them anyway). Now they're finding out that yes, it is possible to piss off your customers with predatory lootboxes to the point where they don't actually buy your game. Not to mention they got in hot water with Disney for all the bad press tied to one of their most valuable IPs less than a month before the next movie comes out.
     
  6. Innomine

    Innomine Auror Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Ultimately it's just a case of the only focus/incentive being profit, and any company focused only on that will simply push along that line until something happens. This is hardly anything new. Push, push, push, reach a threshold, suffer a backlash. Then the company either fails, or is too big to fail, and simply becomes more subtle about the same tactics. Same pattern as the subprime mortgage crisis which led to the GFC, though on a much smaller scale of course.

    My point, is that this particular model of operation is harmful to consumers, and does not result in the best possible games. There must be incentives beyond profit. How many of what are considered to be the best games, those that stand the test of time, are driven purely by the profit motive? Very few. Quality comes from people who truly care about what they create, not from what makes the most money.
     
  7. Erotic Adventures of S

    Erotic Adventures of S Denarii Host

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    Is there any hard data on whether this game has actually been a financial bomb?

    Because at the end if the day, ratings don't count for shit, so long as people have the gane and they can flick on loot boxes later, they don't really care.
     
  8. Anarchy

    Anarchy Fourth Champion DLP Supporter

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    I'm doubtful that it's capable of bombing. It's a Star Wars game, and it's near Christmas, and many parents don't know better. Battlefront 1 sold like 15 million copies which is almost a billion dollars, and likely over a billion once you factor in DLC and such. So, even guessing that it took $300 million to make Battlefront 2, the game would break even at a paltry 5 million sales (though as the rumor goes, Mass Effect Andromeda is struggling to hit that mark on probably a similar budget). Once you factor in people still buying into dlc and microtransactions despite the gigantic shitstorm, it's still very likely going to make money. Perhaps we can hope that it doesn't make enough money to justify its existence, but who knows.
     
  9. Chengar Qordath

    Chengar Qordath The Final Pony Prestige

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    About all I've seen data-wise is that physical sales of the game are way down compared to BF 1, but it's hard to say how much of that is from physical sales themselves slowly dying out thanks to digital distribution.

    That said, even if the game doesn't become an outright bomb, it massively underperforming will be seen as an issue. After all, the whole point of this was for EA to make more money, not less.
     
  10. Agayek

    Agayek The Chosen One

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    No. EA doesn't publicize those numbers. All we have is an EA talking head saying to shareholders that the controversy "won't affect quarterly projections", which is corporate-weasel-speak for "We're fucked, but please don't take your money and run. Please please please."

    We'll have to wait for the quarterly earning report and see what their earnings look like then.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2017
  11. KHAAAAAAAN!!

    KHAAAAAAAN!! Troll in the Dungeon Prestige DLP Supporter

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    I'm fairly certain that sales are way WAY down across the board. There were still dozens of copies in the Battlefront display case at Target on Black Friday around 7 pm (almost every other new game/dvd was cleared out).

    That's pretty telling of how much this whole nasty business has penetrated into the consumer consciousness. It won't be enough to make it flop, because Star Wars anything will sell like hotcakes, but it's definitely not moving like they wanted it to.
     
  12. Seratin

    Seratin Proudmander Prestige DLP Supporter

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    All in all, this is probably ly the best case scenario long term.

    EA would have kept getting away with this strategy but they made the fundamental mistake of doing it with a Star Wars game.

    Disney don't like bad press. They hate bad press. With a new SW movie about to roll out the last thing they want is controversy attached to the brand name.

    They're one of the only companies with enough clout to really bring EA to heel and word is they're absolutely raging at this clusterfuck.

    FFS the game has a user rating of 0.8 on metacritic.
     
  13. Immet

    Immet Seventh Year

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    I don't understand this analogy.

    Are you saying that if you go to the same restaurant twice and order the same food there's a chance you get a completely different meal each time? What is the point of restaurant reviews if it's all down to chance?
     
  14. Agayek

    Agayek The Chosen One

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    No. A more accurate comparison would be if you go to a restaurant and order "today's special". Every day you'll get something different, and you don't know what it is ahead of time, but it's still a meal and is of roughly comparable value.

    The problem is that that comparison falls apart when you realize something like 80% of almost every lootbox's possible loot is random junk only the creepy obsessives give even the slightest of fucks about, and that by design each lootbox has a wildly different inherent value.
     
  15. KHAAAAAAAN!!

    KHAAAAAAAN!! Troll in the Dungeon Prestige DLP Supporter

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    It really depends on the system for vanity lootboxes. Some are clearly imbalanced and keep rates of "rares" low, and others don't. But semantics aside, when all is said and done, if you pay for a vanity, and get a vanity, I can't call that gambling, as no win-lose scenario has been established beyond the confines of personal value.

    If you are paying for vanities with extremely low "rare" rates, I would just call that willfully getting ripped off.

    So yeah, again I feel like lootboxes are only "gambling" when there is a p2w aspect.
     
  16. Immet

    Immet Seventh Year

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    I think it comes down to what people consider gambling. To me, it is being able to spend a limited resource (monetary or placeholder) to get a chance for a reward.

    As such, lootboxes you can buy with in game credits or real money are gambling because you are spending a limited resource to get a chance for a good reward from the lootbox.

    Of course, this definition gets blurry in terms of investments- investing in a kickstarter which may fail or in a company that may go bankrupt would be gambling under this definition. Which in some ways it is- many of the same drives are there and potential investors get warned about the same risks of getting addicted to the stock market as gambling (only invest as much money as you can afford to lose, set a clear limit to the time you spend investing, etc). But the definition can probably be clarified to something like if you have less than a certain % chance of a reward it is gambling.
     
  17. Agayek

    Agayek The Chosen One

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    The problem with that is that it's dependent on the idea that all vanity shit has the same value. It doesn't.

    To draw a parallel, if we look at Overwatch as an example, a spray does not have the same value as a skin. Period. Yet you can get a lootbox which is nothing but sprays, and another that is nothing but skins. There's zero consistency to the reward, and the "lose" state you mention cones right down to getting a draw of low or minimal value.

    You "lose" when you get a box with just sprays and voice lines, say, and win when you get a skin, you know, the one or two pieces of available loot that anyone not creepily obsessed with the game actually wants.
     
  18. Gengar

    Gengar Polymagus Prestige DLP Supporter

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    No. You win less. Especially since those sprays will likely give you credits that go towards getting the skin you want.

    It actually ties in really well with why I have a tiny bit of sympathy for EA, and why I'm bemused by the 'Fuck yeah Disney' camp.

    I will bet (heh. Now this is gambling) my left nut that BF2 originally was gonna go with a cosmetic loot box system like Overwatch when they announced free DLC for the game, to which Disney said 'fuck no, don't you dare put a sombrero on Kylo Ren', putting EA in a - frankly - impossible situation.

    I'd be SO okay with Battlefront costing $40 with a shit load of cosmetic naff like in Overwatch. I'd suspect a lot of others would too.

    Games (in America) are too cheap while the cost of making them is sky rocketing. Without even taking inflation into account, we're paying less for games now than we did thirty years ago, while the teams are tens or even hundreds of times larger. It's insane.

    The end game here, I think, is single player games or games with an expected life of less than two years will just cost more out the gate, while 'Games as A Service' games like Overwatch and LoL will remain unchanged. That, or like we saw with Visceral being shut down, EA just won't make those kinds of games anymore.
     
  19. Arthellion

    Arthellion Professor

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    I'm afraid it will probably be the latter.

    Personally, I"m more than willing to pay 100 dollars for a solid single player game like Skyrim or the like.
     
  20. TheWiseTomato

    TheWiseTomato Tactical Tomato DLP Supporter

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    The market for them is also substantially larger.