Ubisoft: "If Players Didn't Buy Loot Boxes/Crates, They Would Not Be Added"

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by Megalith, Nov 18, 2018.

  1. N4CR

    N4CR 2[H]4U

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    Hah! Was a similar choice for me, spend shitloads on DDR4 doing a full upgrade (want at least 64gb this time around) or spend it on something for the race car. What's that M112 in?

    And lol you like to break games too, EvE was great for that as it was steered mostly by whatever the players did typically.. will have to try FC4. And 3-1 (barely touched 1).
     
  2. Prisoner849

    Prisoner849 Gawd

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    Don't like dirty air? Stop breathing.
     
  3. M76

    M76 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Everything.
     
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  4. RPGWiZaRD

    RPGWiZaRD [H]ard|Gawd

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    I've played several games with loot boxes, I've never and probably never will purchase some ingame transaction stuff. I'm curious as to others, is it because the ingame skins or whatever you purchase makes your gaming experience that much better or why do people pay for loot boxes. I just don't get it and want to understand why ppl spend money on this crap (5-7 yo kids who just got their phone and don't have any self control I can understand but I'd think parents also try to stop the kids from doing that) for someone who boycotts loot system. If everyone would be like me the system would disappear quickly.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2018
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  5. DeathFromBelow

    DeathFromBelow [H]ardness Supreme

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    Monetization of cosmetics inevitably gives way to removal or monetization of modding without actually improving the product.

    Madoc hit the nail on the head:
    This is is a deeper issue that reaches further than trivial complaints about the latest video games. Unchecked greed harms society in a variety of ways, just look at the American health care industry. Triumph of Justice over Avarice for the public good was an important development of Renaissance philosophy and was enshrined by the early European merchant republics as well as the later American revolutionaries.

    I'm getting off the rails here, but I find the widespread incorporation of gambling mechanics into 'AAA' video games (and the pathetic response from industry and the ESRB) to be particularly disgusting.
     
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  6. Patton187

    Patton187 Gawd

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    You get a like for the use of 'raped to death'
     
  7. Dekoth-E-

    Dekoth-E- [H]ardness Supreme

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    Talking pure cosmetics only. I will absolutely not play any came that is P2W.
     
  8. Youn

    Youn [H]ardness Supreme

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    Is there some sorta game morality chart, that sorts games based on crappy things loot boxes, etc... I wanna clearly avoid the crap without having to read too many reviews... would be cool if they gave awards to those games who have good morality standing

    fortunately I've been able to avoid such games but the thought of accidentally coming across these things makes me fearful... let us not be duped, please, I feel I can't even trust most reviews anymore because we might be slowly becoming complacent!
     
  9. Rizen

    Rizen [H]ardForum Junkie

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    P2W games aside, I don't really understand the concern over loot boxes.

    I've spent money on Overwatch loot boxes (probably $100). I understand what I am buying, and it's purely cosmetic content that doesn't impact the way the game plays for anyone else. I know that some people have some concerns over the gambling nature of loot boxes and that's a valid/fair complaint, but unless developers are paywalling maps, weapons, characters, or other functional components of the game, I don't really see a problem.
     
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  10. Rizen

    Rizen [H]ardForum Junkie

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    And regarding the monetization of games, most games haven't gone up in price since the 90s - or cost less. SNES and N64 games I regularly paid $70 for back in the 90s. PC games I usually was paying $50. Most PC games these days cost $60 on release, despite the fact that development teams are far larger and costs are far higher, plus inflation. Yes, the market is larger and many games are cross platform, but if games tracked with inflation they would be a lot more expensive than they are today. Gamers don't want to pay that increase, so the money is being raised elsewhere.

    The financial aspect of game development is more complex than a lot of people acknowledge.
     
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  11. vegeta535

    vegeta535 2[H]4U

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    Ubi been generally fine with MT in recent time but EA hasn't been. If it is just cosmetic and can also be unlocked with out forcing a huge grind then fine. EA has studies and stuff on how too entice people to spend money.
    How about just letting people buy what they want? It is retarded that you could drop $100 and not get the skin you want. Sure you might be able to buy it after all the duplicate skins get turned to coins but still bullshit. It is predatory tactics to make you spend more then you should.
     
  12. DrBorg

    DrBorg Gawd

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    True, True.

    In my defense, I have weapons with both; the Cetme has a magazine, the shotgun is a clip. (detachable, No feed lips)
     
  13. purple_monster

    purple_monster Limp Gawd

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    its gambling. they make money off little kids gambling with parents money.
     
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  14. hlfbkd420

    hlfbkd420 Limp Gawd

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    I'll be one of those guys.... I buy Keys in Rocket League every once in awhile.. But then again.. I only paid $9.99 for the game in 2016... Spent about $75 on boxes.... $85 on a game over 2.5 years isn't making me lose sleep...

    It is the only game I have ever bought 'crates' from though...
     
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  15. kirbyrj

    kirbyrj [H]ard as it Gets

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    For all your sophistry about artistry, no AAA game is made simply for artistic value. It is made to make fucking money. It's really that simple. Why do you have a new "Call of Duty" every year, but you only ever had one "Shaq-Fu"? Because COD makes money, and not even Shaquille O'Neal could save Shaq-Fu. Now the individuals making the game are artists in their own way, but they are getting paid by a company that is trying to make money. If the company didn't pay them, they wouldn't do it. They aren't hawking their wares on the corner of streets or selling on Etsy. Video games are a business. If they ceased to make someone money, no one would make them. The artistic value and care taken to increase playability and visuals isn't strictly for your enjoyment. It is to sell more games. You don't like it? Don't buy their games.

    I don't buy games to give people money, I buy them for my enjoyment. That being said, I'm not naive enough to believe that people are making them out of the kindness of their hearts because they want to express their creative visions. Be more realistic.
     
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  16. Domingo

    Domingo [H]ard as it Gets

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    Every time I see the phrase "vote with your wallet" I roll my eyes.
    Literally every single time that phrase has been used it has been a lost cause.
     
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  17. kirbyrj

    kirbyrj [H]ard as it Gets

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    That's because it's used by a vocal minority. The passive majority just goes with the flow. Case in point: Nvidia. Nobody likes their business practices. Nobody likes their pricing. But people buy their stuff anyway because it's somewhat better than their competitor rather than "voting with their wallets."
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2018
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  18. Rizen

    Rizen [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Yeah, I agree, that would be a better solution that would be a lot more fair to consumers.

    I really think the Path of Exile model is the best I've seen for selling cosmetics. It's exactly as you describe.
     
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  19. tetris42

    tetris42 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Actually it's working exactly as intended. Whoever spends the most money has the most influence. With microtransactions and lootboxes, now there's not much of a limit for how much individuals can spend. In the old days, all people could do is buy a copy of the game, so they had to appeal to masses. Now they just have to appeal to people with the most money. It's the "vote with your wallet" end game.
     
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  20. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    Three words:

    Lowest Common Denominator.
     
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  21. Pieter3dnow

    Pieter3dnow [H]ardness Supreme

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  22. Advil

    Advil [H]ard|Gawd

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    In short, charge what the game costs up front. If the game needs recurring revenue, charge a subscription or make it clear you are selling in game items and list their prices.

    If the game can't survive doing that, then it isn't good enough to exist.

    When you have to resort to creating gambling addicts to make a game popu
    I've owed Rocket League a little more money for a while now. I've played... a lot of games of RL. So I have no problem giving them some money to keep the servers up and the lights on. But opening the crates just pisses me off. I have hundreds of crates.

    I was fairly happy when they released the last season pass. I could still care less about almost all the cosmetics but it let me pay them straight up another $10... for a a set of items that was mostly listed and known and I could be assured that I'd get those items if I played the game. There's still too much unknown in the list and ? (unknown until you unlock it BS) but it was a step in the right direction.

    I played Mechwarrior Online for a while. That had it's own issues and the mechs cost way, way too much money when the sales weren't on but all of us who played understood it was a niche market game. We all bought a few mechs per year to keep the game alive. It was a form of voluntary subscription and we all knew it. Stop buying from them entirely and the development stops and the servers go dark. I fell away from that game only because I didn't care for the way they were adding content ad not because I couldn't tolerate the model. It was a little bit P2W depending on which mechs the meta favored at the moment, but they actually tried to make sure there were always free mechs that could stand toe to toe with the paid variants.
     
  23. iissmart

    iissmart [H]Lite

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    I'd be fine if they sold cosmetics in an in-game market. But by bundling them into loot boxes and not telling the user what they're getting, it's gambling and I hate it.

    Forza 7 recently removed loot boxes from the game entirely. I don't think enough people wrote articles about that rare moment.
     
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  24. DNMock

    DNMock Limp Gawd

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    https://www.nasdaq.com/symbol/ea/financials?query=income-statement

    Yup, they totally need to raise their prices and try and siphon out every penny they can cus those rising production costs are gonna put them out of business....

    I think prices are just fine, if anything they could stand to come down a bit.
     
  25. Aioeyu

    Aioeyu [H]Lite

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    Haven't bought a game from EA, Activision, or Ubisoft in years. Have several titles I got from them for free laying around, and still don't play them. I wish more people would vote with their wallets, but we're trained to be consumer sheep who don't think about spending from an early age. I routinely watch my friend's kids spend hundreds of dollars per month on mobile gambling, i.e. loot boxes, and the parents are so oblivious they don't even notice, and still think it's harmless when I point it out to them. Some have come to me after their kids spent hundreds of dollars on loot boxes asking how to stop their kids from blowing their cash, since I'm their "tech savvy friend." My first inclination is to respond "parenting," but since I don't want my friends going bankrupt over loot boxes, I show them how to set up parental controls. I don't have kids, I just borrow theirs, so who am I to judge.
     
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  26. Rizen

    Rizen [H]ardForum Junkie

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    What is your point? That EA is a profitable business? No shit.

    They are profitable because:

    1) They take very few risks.

    2) They monetize the shit out of all of their games.

    Think about most big AAA games now vs the 90s/00s, and you're basically making my point. It costs a lot of money to produce a modern game, because of development costs, and the less mainstream appeal the game has the worse it's going to sell. Gamers won't pay increased prices to support that, so here we are, where most AAA games are sequels of existing franchises, or take very few risks in gameplay.
     
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  27. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    This is very true. Back in the 90's you didn't have an orchestra recording your soundtrack, it was some guy programming midi. You didn't have a cast of voice actors, all you needed was a guy typing text. Coding and artwork were also simpler as the the hardware of the time was limited as to what it could run.

    On the flipside - however - the market is also orders of magnitude larger today than it was in the 90's. The same amount of effort goes into developing a title whether 1,000 or 10,000,000 people buy it. Today because of digital distribution the costs of selling the titles is also very low.

    I'm not convinced that continuing to produce games the old fashioned way with a single upfront cost is necessarily not possible anymore. I think the sales volumes across multiple platforms make up for the added project scope and costs of developing a title. I just think the studios see free money, and are going for it. Their philosophy is probably that if people are stupid enough to pay real money for virtual in-game items, let them.

    I hate it, but you can't fix stupid :(
     
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  28. DNMock

    DNMock Limp Gawd

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    I'm just saying that studios aren't good guys because they haven't raised their prices on games lately. They are doing quite fine with the current standard sale price.

    As for risk taking, no company ever takes risks they don't have to, so no big name developer is gonna do anything innovative unless they are forced to. Hell, look at AMD and Intel. Intel hasn't had to take any major risks for a while and they haven't. AMD did. AMD rolled the dice and the industry is moving forward. It wouldn't matter if AAA developers sold an identical number of games at 1,000 per title, the innovation wouldn't happen anyway. Push their back against the wall though and that innovation may well spring forth.
     
  29. Krenum

    Krenum [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Yeah, and outlawing gambling worked too.....:rolleyes:
     
  30. dgz

    dgz [H]ardness Supreme

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    Well, I certainly agree in principle. Any business will naturally go where the money is. Problem is, money seems to be in loot boxes these days. And that sucks.
     
  31. aliraz

    aliraz n00b

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    If you legitimately have a problem buying purely cosmetic lootboxes akin to gambling or crack, then the real asshat idiot who needs a major intervention in their life and has completely failed society is not the company selling them, it's you. You're the problem.

    Stop being a loser, snowflake, and man the F up. You will not make it in this world if a purely cosmetic lootbox is crack for you. Please step away from the internet, anything tasty, good food, art, the preferred sex, and everything else. You can't handle it. Somewhere, your parents failed you, miserably. Seek help immediately.
     
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  32. theBrownLlama

    theBrownLlama Gawd

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    not this again. Sale numbers have offset any issues caused by rising development cost. You have to look into the ROI and the profit figuers . (ROI might be 2x, but that 2x could be USD200m) but the corporate side of the gaming industry is insane right now. Investors want to see continued increase in profits y-o-y. They don;t care if they have made double over costs, they don't care if they have made enough to make two new games out of the profit....

    On indie development costs, it has been calculated and presented clearly on Kickstarter , and none of those made any justification for raising product prices.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2018
  33. rudy

    rudy [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Why is it a problem they essentially bank roll the games for us. As long as lootboxes are cosmetic only I don't care, in fact I invite them I think its great that some person who cares is blowing $200 on lootboxes. My favorite example is fortnite, they game is completely free and yet completely profitable. You can enjoy the game fully for free as a no skin. How is that not an amazing time for gaming?
     
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  34. rudy

    rudy [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I personally have bought lootboxes for my kids. Part of the reason is because in this day and age that is what they enjoy the most. I mean what other item are you going to buy them a Barbie? Is that really any better?

    Second I don't have a problem with it because I am rational enough to understand that people pay for all sorts of equally material and consumable items and that is just a fact of life. Every time you see a starbucks loaded with people buying coffee its just a consumable. Every time you see people go to a movie or rent one, its just a consumable, what about a museum, park, etc.... The question is not is something consumable or useful its more how much money are you spending in exchange for how much enjoyment. And to be fair $20 in lootboxes or vbucks is really really really cheap entertainment and will last them for months or maybe longer in the game. The dollars per unit of emotional entertainment and value is very cheap.
     
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  35. rudy

    rudy [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I think one of the most ignorant things you can say is that, assuming the person is stupid. I don't know the first thing about your life however I bet if I did I could point to several consumable items you spend money on that have no long term value and are really no different virtual goods in games. The mistake is assuming that people who do this are ignorant or stupid, sure some may be but many have actually thought about what they are doing and decided that the price and risk is worth the reward to them. Assuming they are not destroying their family or financial security its not a problem and they aren't stupid.
     
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  36. Laowai

    Laowai Gawd

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    I certainly don't speak for him, but I don't think anyone really cares about cosmetic items in general. However, if you have cosmetic items in loot boxes which are random...that's a no-no. Not because of the items but because of paying for randomness. If you want to buy a Hat of Stupidity and the game is supported by micro-transactions, you should be able to buy just that. You shouldn't have to buy shitloads of loot boxes until you get said hat, if ever. Hence, the core problem with loot boxes is that it's an awful lot like gambling.

    Hell, there are games like Hearthstone that are nothing but money grabs based on loot-box gambling mechanics and unlike actual physical items, you own exactly nothing. They spit out expansions and new cards at a high rate regularly. That game is a f'n goldmine like nothing else I've seen.

    That said, I don't think anything should be banned or made illegal. Let people do what they want. That includes their right to spend so much money on virtual items of very subjective value until they lose their damn house. Do what you want, but pay the price for poor decisions.
     
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  37. Tsumi

    Tsumi [H]ardForum Junkie

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    There are a few examples of well done games with lootboxes, though I still firmly believe that you should be able to pick and choose what you buy. In this sense, I like the World of Warships model, where crates earned in game can net you premium stuff, while you're still given the option of buying the premium stuff outright.

    On the other hand, there are plenty of games that don't do it right. I believe the majority of the outrage stems from taking beloved franchises and turning them into lootbox money making machines. See Diablo and Command and Conquer for the most recent examples.
     
  38. Youn

    Youn [H]ardness Supreme

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  39. Youn

    Youn [H]ardness Supreme

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  40. Cerulean

    Cerulean [H]ardForum Junkie

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    All it takes is tapping into the hedonistic aspects of people and then money shall be made. With shortened attention spans due to conditioning from the performance improvements in technology and from cash cow business operation, an addiction is there to be taken advantage of! The only way not to play the game is ditch the games that are considered "fun" but the majority, and take to games that require longer attention spans, intellect, and thought (ie. chess). Good old fashioned games!

    The reason the industry has continued to go the way it has is because people HAVE been voting with their wallet. So all y'all who have been saying 'vote with your wallet', you're request has been granted! Take the butthurt and flush it. :D Go find something else to do.