Jimquisition: Free To Wait

Kuredan

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Dec 4, 2012
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Amen to that! I got fed up with that garbage with Tiny Tower and I haven't played games like it since.
 

Jetsetneo

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Hot. Dayum. Dat Mic Drop. No truer words have I heard/read relating to the business in a long while. Thank god for jim indeed.
 

Racecarlock

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Something tells me that sources of criticism and consumer information in this industry need to be made way more public than they are. And I'm talking WAY more public. Television ads, flyers, whatever. We need to let consumers know that there are people on their side that are working to expose shitty, exploitative practices.

Because while we might be aware of this stuff because we're already on this site, there are many more people who aren't aware, meaning that companies can still get away with horrible business practices such as free to wait.

Critics are always on the consumer side, no matter what. They'll tell you the flaws in a game. They'll tell you whether it's a rip off or not. Whether it's gordon ramsay making sure shit food doesn't leave the kitchen or yahtzee and jim here frantically nit picking at games so that people know all the flaws before they get a game, making sure the consumer is informed is important. We don't like wasting our money. Critics help us not waste our money. More people need that kind of help.
 

Weresquirrel

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I can't help but wonder if people are actively spending money on the games that use free to play responsibly just to spite the people who make the shitty ones like Dungeon Keeper et all.
 

Morthasa

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I was really looking forward to and hoping for an episode like this one, ever since I saw the Dungeon Keeper Mobile Squirty Play.
 

loa

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It's a bit like the experience and ip boosts in league of legends only that league of legends holds relatively minor stat boosts ransom so you're on a slightly unequal battlefield when you're not on level 30 and don't have a full runepage while games like DK mobile hold the entire game ransom.
The next step beyond already annoying and despicable monetized skinner boxes.
Let's see if free 2 play can step even lower than that.

I'm not even mad at DK though.
It gave exposure to war of the overworld which looks to be the actual game dungeon keeper fans such as myself have been waiting for and the fact that it doesn't come from EA is only a bonus.
 

deathbydeath

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Jim, shut up. You have nothing but scorn for every single free-to-play game with time delays (and their developers) while there are games out there that are absolutely sublime and happen to use that model correctly and in an inoffensive manner. Have the dignity to properly inform yourself before you start spewing bile over an entire idea.

(For the record, the good games I was thinking of were Fallen London and Eliminate Pro, and while I don't play many FTP/mobile games both of them handle the "free-to-wait" model in two different and equally good ways)

xEightBitPlayerx said:
I hope this game model dies a quick death; Who would support something like this?
Because some games do it well (google "Fallen London" because all my links break) and the developers producing that content deserve money.

EDIT: The mike drop at the end made me squee a bit. Glad that's back.
 

Xellos14

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Surprised there was no mention of the rating filters supposedly put on the android version, where once you get out of the tutorial it asks if you think the game is a five, or anything else. Five ratings posts directly to the google page as a review and anything else redirects you to email EA. Though I'm not sure if that dubious practice is still there.

Great episode though, figured with everything happening in the last week that this fresh pile of EA bile would warrant an upload, even with the frequent episodes already.
 

contla

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xEightBitPlayerx said:
I hope this game model dies a quick death; Who would support something like this?
It can be done well."Triple Town" on IOS was essentially it's demo. You start with a certain number of moves. When you run out you can wait for some moves to regen or pay a dollar for more moves than you start off with or pay $5 for infinite moves and 3 other maps. It's developers like Ea and Activision who take advantage of it then other talentless studios rush to copy them. I can guarantee Glu,chillingo, or gameloft are this second making a free to wait flappy bird clone, and it sickens me.
 

GamemasterAnthony

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CAPTCHA: game is up

Truer words were never spoken, Captcha.

Honestly, this is the reason why I am glad for games like Maple Story and why games like Candy Crush are bollocks. I just want to play, damn you!
 

WarpZone

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Jimothy Sterling said:
Free To Wait

It's the business model that's sweeping the world, and it's absolutely disgusting.

Watch Video
All right.

Developers are beholden to publishers, publishers are required by law to be greedy bags of dicks, consumers are apparently too stupid to stop spending money on the goddamned things, and you and I don't matter.

How do we fix this?
 

Rad Party God

Party like it's 2010!
Feb 23, 2010
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Bravo Jimothy, bravo. Thank God for you indeed.

You pretty much nailed it, I belive in the good F2P model, like Path of Exile, Dota 2, Tribes: Ascend, Team Fortress 2, RIFT, TERA, Aion, Everquest 2... IMO, these F2P models are some of the best, if not the best there are (add Loadout in there just for completion, I haven't played it yet, but it looks like a lot of fun).

On the other hand, I look into my phablet and... ugh... that Simpsons game... I still regret installing that POS for wasting 30 minutes of my life.
 

Jimothy Sterling

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Congratulations Jim for that rage, you now know how a communist feels about capitalism, but while you'd rather focus on a small issue I'd rather focus on the big picture.
 

drizztmainsword

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WarpZone said:
Jimothy Sterling said:
Free To Wait

It's the business model that's sweeping the world, and it's absolutely disgusting.

Watch Video
All right.

Developers are beholden to publishers, publishers are required by law to be greedy bags of dicks, consumers are apparently too stupid to stop spending money on the goddamned things, and you and I don't matter.

How do we fix this?
Don't play the game. Fuck em. Support the games that you like and leave the rest.
 

irishda

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Holy shit, these free games are making me not play them. That's just the WORST! When you don't spend money to play a game that's really not all that immersive, and you don't get to play it all the time. I mean MY GOD. And then they take it to "AAA" games where they're like, "Hey, if you give us money we'll give you better stuff. You don't really need it, but it makes things go faster." As gamers, we can't be expected to THINK for ourselves or have any sort of consumer instincts or even have some fucking patience. We NEED gratification instantly! Otherwise we'd be building up an actual life skill or bettering ourselves somehow. Clearly the prominence of cheap little one off games we DON'T HAVE TO PAY A DIME FOR is the worst thing to happen to everyone. Even worse, it's infecting other media now. Did you know I have to wait a WHOLE WEEK for a new Walking Dead show? And I PAY for cable; it's not even free, like these games are.

I mean fuck's sake, Jim, it doesn't help the media perception of gamers as giant children when you're treating them as a bunch of lemmings or Family Guy's James Woods, who can't help but follow the trail of candy to wherever it leads because they have no concept of money or willpower. It's just pathetic now.
 

Fappy

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Damn, it's been awhile since you've torn someone a new asshole that savagely!

Also, off-topic, but damn man, it looks like you've lost a lot weight in recent videos. Good job! :D
 

rofltehcat

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Wait, can't all Brits do the Sherlock-thing?

Other than that. Yeah, "gamers" aren't really the core audience for the new mobile Dungeon Keeper. Their business practice is still despicable and I hope other games not resorting to this flourish whereas the others die.


captcha: are we there yet? :D
 

The Squid King

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It's kind of funny that these games still get an audience and even funnier that games like this get good reviews from exclusively mobile reviewers and terrible reviews from everyone else. Doesn't stop it from being depressing though. http://www.metacritic.com/game/ios/dungeon-keeper
 

Jimothy Sterling

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Apr 18, 2011
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Well said Jim. I mean there's good F2P Load out and TF2 and then there's this. I mean seriously, These aren't games they're payment portals.
 

-Dragmire-

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Mar 29, 2011
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Jimothy Sterling said:
Free To Wait

It's the business model that's sweeping the world, and it's absolutely disgusting.

Watch Video
If you don't mind, I have a couple of questions for you since you've played Dung(eon) Keep(er) Mobile.

If the microtransactions were taken out and the dig pacing was brought to that of Dungeon Keeper Classic, what do you think would be a reasonable price for the game?

Do you think a, "meet the corporate jerks half way" microtransaction plan could work? In this scenario, the game stays free to play but the only microtransaction is a $5 boost that brings the pace back to DK classic standard for a month. Still douchey, but better than the current implementation.

Lastly, if the game had DK classic pacing, would the game's content run out in less than an hour?
 

The Artificially Prolonged

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Jul 15, 2008
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Cannot agree with you enough Jim. It still boggles my mind that some people will quite happily spend money on these exploitative games without even a second thought. Dungeon Keeper Mobile was a new low in the level of sheer brazen money grubbing present in these "free" to play mobile games, and that is saying something given the low bar already set for these games.

I now try to recommend any good iphone and android games that don't use exploitative business practices, just to get the few that will listen to realise that there are many better games they could play on their phones while on the train. In fact the first thing I did when my younger cousin got a tablet was to install some android games I wasn't using from humble bundles on it just to make sure she wasn't playing dross like Tapped Out.
 

Jimothy Sterling

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Weresquirrel said:
I can't help but wonder if people are actively spending money on the games that use free to play responsibly just to spite the people who make the shitty ones like Dungeon Keeper et all.
I've put money into Path of Exile, because it is an excellent game and does F2P perfectly. And I don't even like ARPGs, much less MMOs.

And I'm considering giving Loadout a go, even though I can't stand multi-player FPSs. I just want to support the business model more than anything.

I did give War Thunder a try, and it was fun. Until I discovered it uses Starforce components and I had to scrub it off my hard drive. Pity that...

Oh, and I did buy Forza Motorsport 4 for the 360 to spite EA because they were bogarting the Porsche license that year. Then Turn 10 got the license and released a $20 Porsche pack. TANJ.
 

nevarran

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Fuck them!

The sad truth is - as long as there are fools out there, there will be someone willing to exploit them.
 

Catrixa

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While I don't have any official data to back this up, I get the feeling that this business model isn't one that can physically last forever. As you said, Jim, these games are the bottom of the barrel. If you're going from a history of earning progress through playing, they won't be compelling for you. If, however, you've come from a background of not having played games before, these silly titles will probably be amazing, but the second you find something better, you'll probably wonder why you liked them to begin with (akin to the "why did I spend so long paying for/playing this game?" feeling some people get after playing a lot of an MMO). Eventually, when more people who have played better games exist than not, these games will probably start disappearing. Our job, as people who know what good games are, is to tell anyone playing these things where to find a version of the same game without the time/pay wall.

When you start at the absolute bottom of the barrel, the only way to go is up.
 

castlewise

Lord Fancypants
Jul 18, 2010
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Yeah, its wierd though. If these are so bad (and they are) then why do the dominate the market so badly.

Edit: Maybe the skinner box stuff used in these games is acting like a disease. It hooks people and they spend a bunch of money. Eventually though (for most people) the spell breaks and then they are resistant to it. I suppose one can only hope.
 

Darth_Payn

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Blech. You're right, Jim. That is repugnant (Pinky & The Brain reference!). I'd rather they remade Dungeon Keeper as a FPS, like they did with Syndicate.
 

Diablo1099_v1legacy

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Dec 12, 2009
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While he's spot on about Free to Wait, I disliked how he ranted at the Devs towards the end.
I mean, you think they WANT to make shit like this? EA Mythic's Jeff Skalski would mostly likely gotten fired if he didn't back up the design choices of the EA Shareholders.
 

Jimothy Sterling

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As someone who works on these games I resent this video. If I cannot make an honest living working on these games I'll have to go back to selling heroin to children to make a living.
 

Gigano

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Oct 15, 2009
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...well, I'd think it the responsibility of adults to choose whether or not to play games which are mostly about how well you can remember your credit card number. I'll pass, but if others are up for it, fine by me.

And really now, who's to say that buying a magical sword with $5 of real money you earned on the job is any less meaningful than obtaining a magical sword you earned by using 3 hours of grind to kill 10,000 digital orcs beforehand?

Entertainment is pretty subjective, and if someone derive pleasure from owning a vast digital dungeon by virtue of spending $250 on it, that's pretty much their business. Certainly people have spent far greater amounts on things which are objectively equally worthless.
 

Thanatos2k

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I usually get mad when people say video games can't be art, but when you look at the absolute garbage like this you have to wonder. There is no art here, any more than there's art in a casino.
 

Flatfrog

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irishda said:
Holy shit, these free games are making me not play them. That's just the WORST! When you don't spend money to play a game that's really not all that immersive, and you don't get to play it all the time. I mean MY GOD. And then they take it to "AAA" games where they're like, "Hey, if you give us money we'll give you better stuff. You don't really need it, but it makes things go faster." As gamers, we can't be expected to THINK for ourselves or have any sort of consumer instincts or even have some fucking patience. We NEED gratification instantly! Otherwise we'd be building up an actual life skill or bettering ourselves somehow. Clearly the prominence of cheap little one off games we DON'T HAVE TO PAY A DIME FOR is the worst thing to happen to everyone.
But that's obviously missing the point. These *aren't* 'cheap little one-off games'. These are *incredibly expensive* games - if you actually want to play them as games. A Dungeon Keeper game where you have to wait 24 hours to dig out a brick is not a game at all. If you want it to be a game, you have to spend money. A *lot* of money. So these so-called games are devious excuses to persuade us to part with large sums of cash under the false pretence of giving us some kind of 'free' entertainment.

As others have said, I don't think this model is entirely impossible to implement fairly. I've mentioned Clash of Clans before as an example that seems to work pretty well - my son plays it a lot in the free mode, picking it up for a few minutes at a time every day, setting some things in motion and leaving it. My Singing Monsters is even better (and is one of the few games I've allowed him to spend some money on). But Dungeon Keeper does seem to have reached a real low point. And their ratings scam is frankly downright criminal.

Obviously some of the blame has to go on consumers too. We are far too unwilling to spend money on mobile games, making 'free' games the only workable business model. But I'd like to see more companies offering a simple 1-2-3 alternative: 1) Free demo; 2) Low-priced subscription or other incremental payment system; 3) higher-priced complete unlock. That seems to me a far more fair and transparent option.
 
Mar 18, 2012
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deathbydeath said:
Jim, shut up. You have nothing but scorn for every single free-to-play game with time delays (and their developers) while there are games out there that are absolutely sublime and happen to use that model correctly and in an inoffensive manner.
I agree this video is more of a rant but it's deserved in this case. Jim has often mentioned good free to play models that work - like Loadout in this video! It's not that F2P is a bad model it's just that it's being abused. Part of his/our anger, which was mentioned towards the end of the video, is that F2P can be a great model but is being completely abused by people like EA.

Catrixa said:
I get the feeling that this business model isn't one that can physically last forever.
I was talking about this the other night. I'm by no means an expert, but I notice the term "short term gains that aren't sustainable" coming up quite often. I imagine the shareholders in these companies demand short term profits and don't care if it's not sustainable as they'll just sell up.

WarpZone said:
Developers are beholden to publishers, publishers are required by law to be greedy bags of dicks, consumers are apparently too stupid to stop spending money on the goddamned things, and you and I don't matter.

How do we fix this?
Looks like the new big thing unfortunately.

http://www.gamespot.com/articles/free-to-play-games-ordered-to-address-misleading-exploitative-practices-by-uk-government/1100-6417471/

Let's hope this makes some difference (sorry I don't know how to hyperlink on this forum). Maybe if DK had a warning by the price tag "free, but costs £5bn to complete" it wouldn't look as good.
 

porpoise hork

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Dec 26, 2008
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You fucking nailed it this week Jim...

Sad thing is I know someone who forks over I shit you now $1-200 a month on shit games like dungeon keeper. I have tried repeatedly I might add to reason with and explain this weeks video to him, but he refuses to see just how much money he is wasting on absolutely nothing.


Oh and on the flip side he also wonders why he is always broke...
 

mjc0961

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Nov 30, 2009
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So how many gems is it to buy a "Thank god for me" at the end? I neeeeeeeed one!

As far as things not being games goes, I think Total Biscuit offered a pretty good view on that:


I would be interested to see what you have to say as well, Jim. I do agree that The Walking Dead and Stanley Parable are games. Hell, I'll even agree that Gone Home is, in fact, a game. A completely shit game that fails miserably at achieving its goal, but the word game was still in there.

Yeah Gone Home, you have to do more character building than "they are your parents" to make me feel any kind of fear for why they aren't around. C&C4 couldn't make me care about the main character's wife by just saying "SHE IS YOUR WIFE", inFamous couldn't make me care about Trish by just saying "SHE IS COLE'S GIRLFRIEND" (and then following it up by having her be a massive ***** to you all game which actually has the effect of making me care LESS about her than I did at the start when you tried the "SHE IS COLE'S GIRLFRIEND" card; maybe Cole cares about her, but I don't and I can't understand WHY Cole cares about her either), and Gone Home, you can't make me care about Katie's parents because "THEY ARE HER PARENTS". I obviously know what kind of horror they were attempting to illicit, but they completely failed to do so correctly and instead veered off to a story so bad that I've replaced "still a better love story than Twilight" with "still a better love story than Gone Home" for when someone tells a crappy love story.

But sure, it's still a game, it has some basic puzzles for you to solve, I guess. It's got more to offer for gameplay than "tap this block and wait 24 hours for it to be mined so you can tap another block and wait another 24 hours".

Also if it wasn't clear already, I wish games would stop substituting actual character development and depth with "THIS IS THE MAIN CHARACTER'S ____ AND YOU HAVE A _____ YOURSELF IN REAL LIFE THAT YOU CARE ABOUT, THEREFORE YOU SHOULD CARE ABOUT THE MAIN CHARACTER'S ______ TOO BECAUSE WHAT IF THIS HAPPENED TO YOUR REAL LIFE _____ HUH HUH HUH?". That's not my real life ____ game, that's a fictional character that exists in your fictional world, and you have to develop them in order to make me give a shit about them.
 

PunkRex

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Darth_Payn said:
Blech. You're right, Jim. That is repugnant (Pinky & The Brain reference!). I'd rather they remade Dungeon Keeper as a FPS, like they did with Syndicate.
'A Bile Demon has become angry as it has no chest high walls'

OT: My brother plays Simpsons Tapped Out, he doesn't spend money on it, he just opens it every morning, has his little chuckle at the recycled jokes and gets on with his day. Personally, I can see the appeal of having a little daily routine game, like a Tamagotchi or the daily events in Pokemon but the moment developers start holding it out of reach is the point I immediatly drop that shit. There are so many great games out there I can't understand why some folk would waste their time with this stuff.
 

Andy Shandy

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Jun 7, 2010
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Damn, Jim, your best episodes are when you're angry and you were like a goddamn tidal wave of righteous fury in this one.

Nothing else to say except that you're right as usual, Jim. So bloody right. And that mic drop at the end? Glorious.
 

Jimothy Sterling

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i honestly wouldnt put it past them to stick something in the game description about this video "As mentioned on the jimquisition on the escaptist magazine!"
 
Jan 27, 2011
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I overwhelmingly agree with Jim here.

Locking players out so they can't play unless they pay is despicable...UNLESS it's done properly, which is next to impossible.

There are games where it's done right (Fallen London does it well), and in most of those games, the wait times are both reasonably small and the game is designed to be at its most entertaining when played in small, spaced out bursts so you don't mind not being able to play more for a while. Then you come back in a half hour or so, play some more, etc.

But the overwhelming majority of games that use free-to-wait are absolutely awful.

For example, I played Spiral Knights, a Free-to-Wait MMO for a while. At first I was massively annoyed at it because you only get 100 free energy per day (slowly over time) and it costs 10 energy to go down one floor in the dungeons. So I stopped.

Then I picked it up again and found that it wasn't that big a deal, really. When I was out of energy, I usually felt done with the game. I even let the use-energy-to-revive mechanic slide since if you played with other people they could revive you for free anyway.

THEN, I got far enough into the game that I really needed to craft stuff. And then I found out that crafting equipment requires energy. But alright, I decided to use my off days when I couldn't play to craft equipment. It was here that I started getting really really annoyed.

And then, I hit the point where it takes MORE than 100 energy to craft stuff. I asked on the forums if I literally could not progress any farther without paying and was told to use the in-game currency to buy the Paid Currency (crystal energy) via the player-run market in order to forge stuff. And of course, getting the amount of in-game currency to buy one shot (100 CE) of paid currency requires multiple (At least 6) dungeon runs, or several runs of this one boss that drop a ton of currency (I think you can guess what dungeon run is the most popular).

That did it. That was the thing that finally killed it for me. I just could not put up with it anymore.

It also doesn't help that the market for Crystal Energy is entirely player dependent, so rates fluctuate weirdly. Although the trend seems to be that CE is going higher and higher over time, which just makes the whole problem worse...

The devs DID try to mitigate this a bit by letting you "pay the tab" of other players at elevators so you could carry them with you on your energy supply, and other stuff like that, but overall...It just made me really weary of the whole thing.

If Energy wasn't required to craft shit, I'd probably still be playing Spiral Knights even WITH the limited amount of playing time per day. Because I really liked it. Once in a blue moon I'll load it up to do a run, but unless things change seriously, I don't think I can ever play it seriously again.

In the meantime, I've gotten into League of Legends, which does Free to play well. I can play as often as I want, as much as I want, and even playing only one match a day, I've gotten enough in-game money to unlock basically any character I want at the moment. I literally only bought ONE champ with real money in the past 6 months, and the rest I earned with in-game money. Now I have a decent enough champion pool that I don't really feel the need to buy more.

As for Dungeon keeper...24 hours to mine ONE GODDAMN BLOCK? What kind of [email protected]#$wit thought that would make for a fun game?
 

bluegate

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Those really are the worst kind of games out there, but the sad thing is; a lot of people play that kind of shit.

For the life of me, I can't understand how people can become addicted to those kind of games...
 

sageoftruth

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irishda said:
Holy shit, these free games are making me not play them. That's just the WORST! When you don't spend money to play a game that's really not all that immersive, and you don't get to play it all the time. I mean MY GOD. And then they take it to "AAA" games where they're like, "Hey, if you give us money we'll give you better stuff. You don't really need it, but it makes things go faster." As gamers, we can't be expected to THINK for ourselves or have any sort of consumer instincts or even have some fucking patience. We NEED gratification instantly! Otherwise we'd be building up an actual life skill or bettering ourselves somehow. Clearly the prominence of cheap little one off games we DON'T HAVE TO PAY A DIME FOR is the worst thing to happen to everyone. Even worse, it's infecting other media now. Did you know I have to wait a WHOLE WEEK for a new Walking Dead show? And I PAY for cable; it's not even free, like these games are.

I mean fuck's sake, Jim, it doesn't help the media perception of gamers as giant children when you're treating them as a bunch of lemmings or Family Guy's James Woods, who can't help but follow the trail of candy to wherever it leads because they have no concept of money or willpower. It's just pathetic now.
I'm just going to say, I don't think waiting 7 days to watch a 30 minute episode can be compared to waiting a day to play a game for 5 seconds (or in my case, waiting 30 days to watch 10 minutes of an abridged series). Maybe I just don't know how to appreciate that style of game. Still, you do raise the important question, where do you draw the line between customer responsibility and company responsibility? Unfortunately, I haven't yet decided on that part.
 

AznaktaX

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So, I'm only a few seconds in, and for a moment I was afraid you totally lost it.

castlewise said:
Yeah, its wierd though. If these are so bad (and they are) then why do the dominate the market so badly.
Not quite sure, but I have two guesses.

1. These games have something in them that tries to make you addicted. In some cases, it succeeds.

If you have already used a sum of money in one of these fee to pay games, say f.e. Shakes & Fidget (and yes, I'm a victim), you might eventually realize "Oh, f**k, this game sucks after all. But now, I'm already so far into it, there's no turning back."

In my case, I don't give any more money to Shakes & Fidget, but I have made a few friends in it, I'm already pretty high level, so I still continue to play.

Don't know how long it will last though.

2. The casual market is big right now.

And....no offence, but new gamers these days, regardless of age, seem to be more likely to play a game that basically holds their hand.

Give it to them "for free", and it's easy to bait them in.

It's a huge chance for game companies who want to give us less and less for as much money as possible.


Btw, all you need is a concept that will look interesting to gamers.

The world doesn't have to be ready for it, and it doesn't happen only in mobile gaming.

The Kinect is an example of a non-mobile gaming concept that suckered gamers in, despite many games not functioning properly.

And it doesn't happen only in gaming.

Movies have 3D.

It's an interesting concept that yet causes huge eye strain, and in some cases it's completely unnecessary, the world is obviously not ready for it, yet movie companies keep using it, so they can charge you (I don't remember) double prize for the ticket.

But I digress.

You get my point, I hope.


P.s. Oh, I know what will break Jim.

A f2p Aliens game. :p

*sees everyone in the forum glaring at him, preparing their Load out guns*

I'm just kidding, I'm just kidding, don't shoot. XD
 

Sheo_Dagana

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Good... good... let the hate flow through you, Jim!

No, seriously. Let it ride. You're absolutely right and I am always saddened every time I see one of my friends getting tricked into playing one of these 'games.' I had heard of the Simpsons game but didn't know about that Dungeon creator one.

Bravely Default actually has a mode exactly like that, except that instead of currency, you collect street passes to get more workers. So it's either social interaction or wait it out. I guess I'll be leaving my 3DS on all the time now...
 

shteev

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*Are* there loads of free to play games worth playing, Jim?

I ask genuinely because I can't find any. I'd love to play some.
 

Flatfrog

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I think I've worked out what the dividing line is on these Free to Wait games and I think it's that microtransactions should never be for consumables. I don't mind paying money for something that makes the game run faster *for ever*. What makes thinks like DK despicable is that they make you pay a fairly considerable amount just to get past *this bit* - and then it's done. And then you have to wait some more. That's what makes it feel like being held to ransom. But a game where I can pay to make it *better* seems perfectly fair. Paid upgrades - good. Paid consumables - bad.

Obviously for multiplayer games that's still a problem because Pay to Win is pretty despicable too, so for multiplayer there's an additional stricture that you should only be asked to pay for things that have a purely aesthetic effect - costumes, decorations etc - or that are shared between all players - new level maps, weapon drops etc.
 

Sanunes

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Even though EA made this piece of garbage of a "game" I can't see it being any worse then Square Enix with their Final Fantasy price gouge or the over inflated price of their "remakes" of classic Final Fantasy games or any of the people that just make these games to treat people like a walking wallet. Personally I have never found any of the "games" that require me to wait or pay money to go faster to attract my interest at all, there might be good versions, but like anything in life people will exploit it.
 

deathbydeath

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JimmyPage666 said:
I agree this video is more of a rant but it's deserved in this case. Jim has often mentioned good free to play models that work - like Loadout in this video! It's not that F2P is a bad model it's just that it's being abused. Part of his/our anger, which was mentioned towards the end of the video, is that F2P can be a great model but is being completely abused by people like EA.
No, he isn't hating on free-to-play games, he's hating on free-to-play games with time delays/free-to-wait games. Loadout is not a free-to-wait game, it's ftp with inoffensive microtransaction options. I have seen two types of successful ftw games (the aforementioned Fallen London and Eliminate Pro), and I peruse those kinds of markets far less than the "casual" gamer, let alone someone like Jim Sterling.

Laying out these sorts of blanket condemnations despite evidence to the contrary is simply bad practice, especially for someone with a voice as loud and as heard as Jim's is. I don't doubt that the examples he used in the video are deserving of the verbal thrashing they've been given, but merely saying something is wrong is useless unless you provide ways to do it right.
 

GAunderrated

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I love this video jim and I am very glad you had the balls to call out the developers on being apart of this shit. I don't like the fact that people are willing to give developers a pass because the big bad EA and other publishers are "forcing" them to exploit customers. I always felt that as a cop out excuse and pathetic.

I have spent over $100 on Dota2 cosmetic items and I don't feel like I was ripped off at all. I've played over 800 hours of fun on that game and every purchase I made was completely optional. Where I did try Simpsons tapped out due to a gf who enjoyed it and I couldn't play it for longer than 20 minutes without requiring a purchase to continue the "gameplay". I never spent a dime on that game and pity those who lack the willpower or foresight to not waste money on a reverse ATM.

It's all the allure of a slot machine without the promise of a small chance of return.
 

kajinking

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Warframe to me is just the best F2P model I've ever seen. I downloaded that game on a whim since it looked decent back in July and figured I'd play it a while, get bored, and go off to something else like I always do. 6 Months and 306 hours of gameplay later I've gladly paid around $30 for some cosmetic stuff but the fact of the matter is that I could have not spent a single cent and still had all that entertainment for FREE.

95% of Warframe's store stuff can be earned in game if you wait long enough meaning you end up paying for convience like you're supposed to in these type of deals. I want a new helmet? My options are pay for it, or wait till the RNG throws it up for free to be earned in-game. Plus they even make getting the premium currency (platinum) stupidly easy to get by by offering random coupons as log in rewards (going as high as 75% off for 24 hours).

This is how you do F2P, use great gameplay to lure people in then let them make the choice of what they WANT to spend without making them feel like they HAVE to.
 
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shteev said:
*Are* there loads of free to play games worth playing, Jim?

I ask genuinely because I can't find any. I'd love to play some.
League of Legends and DOTA 2 have reasonable Free to pay setups.

Tribes Ascend and Team Fortress 2 also do it well. I think there's also Path of Exile and Warframe...But I haven't played path of Exile yet, and I haven't touched warframe in months...

So yeah, good free to play DOES exist. It's just becoming more and more rare as everyone and their CEO jumps on the bandwagon and tries to ride it full speed off a cliff.

If you're looking for good "free-to-wait" games...The only one I know of that's good is Fallen London.
 

Jimothy Sterling

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shteev said:
*Are* there loads of free to play games worth playing, Jim?

I ask genuinely because I can't find any. I'd love to play some.
Are you kidding man? They are every where. Just looking at my desktop icons I've got League of Legends, Blacklight Retribution, Warframe, Path of Exile
 

Lunar Templar

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That 'addressing the devs making these 'games'' bit...

That was a thing of beauty Jim, it's been to long since we've seen such righteous fury and these fools deserve to be bent of a rail like that.
 

TheMadDoctorsCat

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Jim, for once we completely agree. Mobile games are the "populist" option now - for many people who wouldn't otherwise play videogames - and it's just disgusting that they're exposed to this when they first get into them. It just sickens me that some people will be so short-sighted in their outlook that that they'd bring down the credibility of themselves and the business that they're in for a quick payday.

What I really want to say, though, is th

[TO READ THE REST OF THIS COMMENT, PLEASE SEND $79 VIA WIRE TRANSFER, CHEQUE OR CREDIT CARD BALANCE TRANSFER, TO TMDC MEDIA ASSOCIATES INC.]
 

Megacherv

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Sep 24, 2008
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I can't say I agree with that last sentiment. Developers work at a studio doing what they're told. It's a job, they're people living in a society that requires money to survive, so they'll carry on doing what they're told. They won't necessarily like it, but if they don't do it the higher-ups that make these awful decisions will stop paying them, and then those developers won't be able to support themselves or their families. Please don't shout at the developers for this.
 

Jimothy Sterling

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TheMadDoctorsCat said:
[TO READ THE REST OF THIS COMMENT, PLEASE SEND $79 VIA WIRE TRANSFER, CHEQUE OR CREDIT CARD BALANCE TRANSFER, TO TMDC MEDIA ASSOCIATES INC.]
No thanks. I'll just check back in 23 hours 48 minutes. ;)

Megacherv said:
I can't say I agree with that last sentiment. Developers work at a studio doing what they're told. It's a job, they're people living in a society that requires money to survive, so they'll carry on doing what they're told. They won't necessarily like it, but if they don't do it the higher-ups that make these awful decisions will stop paying them, and then those developers won't be able to support themselves or their families. Please don't shout at the developers for this.
One, working as a developer for EA has a ridiculously short life expectancy anyway.

Two, I agree with Jim regardless. I've personally walked off jobs that asked me to work against my ethic. Sure, it wasn't easy. But there are always options available. No one is stuck in a job in a free market unless they want to be.
 

Lvl 64 Klutz

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Apr 8, 2008
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contla said:
xEightBitPlayerx said:
I hope this game model dies a quick death; Who would support something like this?
It can be done well."Triple Town" on IOS was essentially it's demo. You start with a certain number of moves. When you run out you can wait for some moves to regen or pay a dollar for more moves than you start off with or pay $5 for infinite moves and 3 other maps. It's developers like Ea and Activision who take advantage of it then other talentless studios rush to copy them. I can guarantee Glu,chillingo, or gameloft are this second making a free to wait flappy bird clone, and it sickens me.
I was going to post something like this, but then I realized that Jim's point still holds water. Yes, some games offer expedited waiting for really cheap, and others with a stamina system let you play for 90 minutes+ and recharges stamina at a decent rate, but the fact still remains the games are using a hostile system for getting the player to spend money. His argument is that a good Free to Play model uses incentives to reward players for supporting the developer rather than punishing players that don't.
 

Living_Brain

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Feb 8, 2012
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There's a bigger problem than the developers: The c***s that eat this shit up, throwing their money at these corporations and f***ing liking it that way.
 
Sep 24, 2008
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Megacherv said:
I can't say I agree with that last sentiment. Developers work at a studio doing what they're told. It's a job, they're people living in a society that requires money to survive, so they'll carry on doing what they're told. They won't necessarily like it, but if they don't do it the higher-ups that make these awful decisions will stop paying them, and then those developers won't be able to support themselves or their families. Please don't shout at the developers for this.
I'm sorry to pick you out, but you touch on a point in a way that I'm curious about. I can understand your opinion. it's one shared by a lot of people even on this very site. But this side issue that has popped in my head after reading your post made me curious about something that you didn't even touch upon, but I still want to ask the question to the Escapist because of it.

I wonder why we offer such leniency to Developers who produce game tripe just because they are told, but we as gamers as a large majority have nothing but vitriol and disdain for Game reviewers who need to eat just as bad as these developers? They were told by their upper ups to give a ten out or ten for an average game because that game paid to be plastered all over their gaming site. At large, we jump on that reviewer for not having the credibility to possibly lose his job and go hungry.

It's not like his or her company will say '... we support you for sticking by your moral constraints. We're going to get sued, but we're going to back you a hundred percent for having the balls that we didn't have when we accepted the money'. No. He or she will be fired. And probably won't be able to find another job for a while because even though people want good writers, they want people to follow the rules of the company.

And lest we forget, The game pr team didn't go to the reviewer, they went to the company. They gave that reviewing company the money and said give us a good review. But we give the reviewer equal amount if not more hate as we give the reviewing site as a whole. Why is that, Escapist?
 

Johnson McGee

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I'm surprised there was no mention of the "5-star rating or else we pester you" or the "only way to unsubscribe is in grey-on-black german text" crap with Dungeon Keeper as well.
 

shteev

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Sseth said:
shteev said:
*Are* there loads of free to play games worth playing, Jim?

I ask genuinely because I can't find any. I'd love to play some.
Are you kidding man? They are every where. Just looking at my desktop icons I've got League of Legends, Blacklight Retribution, Warframe, Path of Exile
Ok, right, sorry, I was lost in my own little bubble there for a second. There are indeed good free to play PC games. I haven't found a good mobile one since Triple Town tho.
 

GAunderrated

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Megacherv said:
I can't say I agree with that last sentiment. Developers work at a studio doing what they're told. It's a job, they're people living in a society that requires money to survive, so they'll carry on doing what they're told. They won't necessarily like it, but if they don't do it the higher-ups that make these awful decisions will stop paying them, and then those developers won't be able to support themselves or their families. Please don't shout at the developers for this.
I completely disagree. There is always another option. Those developers choose to make this product fully knowing what kind of company EA is and what type of game they are making. People need to be held responsible for their actions, stop blaming it on "society", "corporations", or the "government" forcing them to work these jobs.

They have every right to sell out their ethics and integrity to support their families, but that does not mean they are somehow immune to being called out for it.
 

Vedli

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deathbydeath said:
Jim, shut up. You have nothing but scorn for every single free-to-play game with time delays (and their developers) while there are games out there that are absolutely sublime and happen to use that model correctly and in an inoffensive manner. Have the dignity to properly inform yourself before you start spewing bile over an entire idea.

(For the record, the good games I was thinking of were Fallen London and Eliminate Pro, and while I don't play many FTP/mobile games both of them handle the "free-to-wait" model in two different and equally good ways)

xEightBitPlayerx said:
I hope this game model dies a quick death; Who would support something like this?
Because some games do it well [fallenlondon.storynexus.com] and the developers producing that content deserve money.

EDIT: The mike drop at the end made me squee a bit. Glad that's back.
You know in future maybe instead of acting like a crying six year old you could show examples about how "free to wait" can be done well because by starting out by being rude and telling someone to "shut up" and to "inform themselves" when the vast majority of this model (to an outsider like me anyway) does indeed seem to be quite exploitative, makes you look like an hysterical moron who's opinion shouldn't be taken seriously (I'm assuming you are someone who get a little too emotional over the subject and posted something from a place of passion rather than logic). I don't type this to be mean or lash out but you really did hurt your own argument by lashing out rather then calmly showing examples of the model done right.

Secondly though I would ask the question, Would either of the games you mentioned be any worse of if they removed the timers?
 

Jimothy Sterling

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The only response to the uses this business model has been put to is sheer blind indignant rage. You nailed it Jim. These games are an insult.
 

geier

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Well Jim what is so bad in this game type?
It's only going to affect idiots who pay, not you, me or any other sane person.

This would be the right time for a indy studio to create a "cell supervisor, vault guard, torture chamber steward, oubliette superintendent" game. The gamplay consists of little magical beings (gremlins, urchins, devilings) that maintain said structure underground and are guided by a supernatural entity. Switch the chicken for little piglets and we are set.

It's a free market Jim. With the outcry created by EA this game gets much free publicity. Don't get to upset about idiots and their games, you will live longer.
 

IamLEAM1983

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Aug 22, 2011
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The sad thing is this is going to take an absolutely massive surge at the BBB or, well, your local equivalent, before market authorities prod the publishers on the shoulder and go "Y'know what? That's kind of a low blow. Stop that shit or get ready for some class-action suit awesomeness."

Until an economist actually sits down and demolishes this business model, the App Stores and Google Plays of this world will keep behaving like the freaking Wild West.
 

Citizen Graves

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The simple fact of the matter is simply that most people are stupid, and I don't mean this in a cynical or mean-spirited way.

That's just the whole truth behind it. Most people, normal people, are ignorant, uninformed, weak of mind, afraid and generally too preoccupied with their own life to realize it.

That goes for adults as well as for children (who apparently make up a large percentage of the consumer-base of mobile and F2P games).

Most people live the in their little rat-cage that they call life, doing their little rat-race, without ever realizing how they are being exploited.

What? You think Electronic Arts is doing something that other companies (like the Tobbaco Industry) haven't figured out years ago?

Most people are dumb and it could be argued that the morally right choice here is to protect them from their stupidity.

But protecting the dumb masses is so, so, so much more difficult than exploiting them.

And much less profitable, too.


Captcha: dream big
 

hentropy

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I'm perfectly aware that there are "good" F2P games out there, at least relative to the metric shittons of crap out there, but at the same time I started boycotting them years ago and have found no real reason to go back.

Even if, as I said, there are some games that do it well, F2P will always produce games that are designed around trying to milk the customer of more money. Even if it is just "aesthetics" and give you no strategic advantage, it's still simply not a business practice any gamer should support, if for no other reason than it encourages people to abuse the system.

That's why I suggest a full-on boycott of every free-to-play game of any stripe. This scam must end before it becomes to norm, and expected, and that doesn't necessarily mean that the current "good" F2P games have to go, they can just offer demos and/or a trial for the game and make all those nice "aesthetic" things you had to pay for rewards for playing well, instead of ransoming content for more money. End it all, right now, and maybe then we can avoid a crash, if there is one to be avoided, but above that, we can maintain the integrity of medium.
 

irishda

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Flatfrog said:
But that's obviously missing the point. These *aren't* 'cheap little one-off games'. These are *incredibly expensive* games - if you actually want to play them as games.
>play them as games
>>as games
>>>GAMES

A Dungeon Keeper game where you have to wait 24 hours to dig out a brick is not a game at all. If you want it to be a game, you have to spend money. A *lot* of money. So these so-called games are devious excuses to persuade us to part with large sums of cash under the false pretence of giving us some kind of 'free' entertainment.

As others have said, I don't think this model is entirely impossible to implement fairly. I've mentioned Clash of Clans before as an example that seems to work pretty well - my son plays it a lot in the free mode, picking it up for a few minutes at a time every day, setting some things in motion and leaving it. My Singing Monsters is even better (and is one of the few games I've allowed him to spend some money on). But Dungeon Keeper does seem to have reached a real low point. And their ratings scam is frankly downright criminal.

Obviously some of the blame has to go on consumers too. We are far too unwilling to spend money on mobile games, making 'free' games the only workable business model. But I'd like to see more companies offering a simple 1-2-3 alternative: 1) Free demo; 2) Low-priced subscription or other incremental payment system; 3) higher-priced complete unlock. That seems to me a far more fair and transparent option.
I'm inclined to believe that's the crux of the matter right there. People want to treat these games as they have with other games, but, if you decide it doesn't have to be like that, then what power does their "buy this for extra time" have on you? These are two different game models, and it only seems unfair if you go in with Jim's locked perspective of "this is how you play games and this model roadblocks that".

Yet, your son, who's playing the same model as Jim, probably doesn't feel this is the worst thing to happen to gaming ever, because he doesn't treat THAT game like you would with other games. I myself like to play Avengers Alliance (even though the PVP is bullshit), yet don't find myself frustrated because "Oh, I'd have to buy more energy to keep going or just wait half an hour."

I'm not giving a game like Dungeon Keeper a pass here, though. It doesn't sound like a very good game at all. But let's keep this in perspective. Lots of people paid ACTUAL money to find out Colonial Marines wasn't good. With Dungeon Keeper, approximately no one paid money to find out it was shit. If they wanted to spend money after the fact is on them. By that margin, I'd dare say the FtP model is better than the standard one. EVERY game is a demo that never expires and goes forever, and you can decide to spend money on it at any time.
 

Yuuki

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As long as consumers keep fueling this model and keep it profitable, it's here to stay.

Also I really hope EA stays on this track and wins most hated company in US for the 3rd year in a row. We're only 2 months into 2014 and they have already managed to fuck up so many things! That is what you call dedication.
 

deathbydeath

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Vedli said:
You know in future maybe instead of acting like a crying six year old you could show examples about how "free to wait" can be done well because by starting out by being rude and telling someone to "shut up" and to "inform themselves" when the vast majority of this model (to an outsider like me anyway) does indeed seem to be quite exploitative, makes you look like an hysterical moron who's opinion shouldn't be taken seriously (I'm assuming you are someone who get a little too emotional over the subject and posted something from a place of passion rather than logic). I don't type this to be mean or lash out but you really did hurt your own argument by lashing out rather then calmly showing examples of the model done right.
... You call me out for opening a post with an insult/petulant comment and yet you do the same thing that I did. High five, bro. (Clarification: The first three words were written in something like an exasperated sigh; if I were speaking it, then I would have used the same tone and phrase to address my uncle when he gets drunk and starts ranting about the gays again)

Vedli said:
Secondly though I would ask the question, would either of the games you mentioned be any worse off if they removed the timers?
I have no clue how Fallen London would work if you removed the timers, but it would most likely cease being fun and cause players to get extremely bored extremely easily. Eliminate Pro, on the other hand, would remain pretty much exactly the same, except the devs wouldn't be able to make any money from it. I suggest you try them both; they are free, after all.
 

deathbydeath

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geier said:
Well Jim what is so bad in this game type?
It's only going to affect idiots who pay, not you, me or any other sane person.
Actually, it kinda does. In the Dungeon Keeper 2014 example, the game is essentially unplayable in the long term for whoever refuses to shell out cash to make it move at a reasonable pace. It's not like Team Fortress 2, where you have viable alternatives to not paying.
 

CarbonJames

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Gamers need to embrace this model, not reject it.

Why? Because big pubs are screwing you. They are pulling back and not giving you demos of games like they should anymore.

I'm an oldschool dev. I remember Doom shareware. I remember demos. That's what F2P can be.

Do not rail against F2P in general. Get mad at shitty F2P that exploits players. But there are those of us that see it as a way to lay all our cards on the table. My game, AirMech, lets you play the whole game for free. You like it? You can "buy" it, unlike most F2P games. You'll get all the gameplay updates for life.

The way we make it better is by making more fair products so that players can reject the cashgrab manipulative bad examples.

Even things like Early Access, it's actually going in the wrong direction. Now you pay even BEFORE you get access to the finished product. Proper F2P says "here, check out our game, if you like it then you can buy it" and not put you on a hamster wheel where $100 doesn't even get you anywhere.

You can fix this. Spread the word about positive examples, then players will see there are alternatives.
 

Jimothy Sterling

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Jimothy Sterling said:
It's the business model that's sweeping the world, and it's absolutely disgusting.
Business models are bad because they generate money.
deathbydeath said:
geier said:
Well Jim what is so bad in this game type?
It's only going to affect idiots who pay, not you, me or any other sane person.
Actually, it kinda does. In the Dungeon Keeper 2014 example, the game is essentially unplayable in the long term for whoever refuses to shell out cash to make it move at a reasonable pace. It's not like Team Fortress 2, where you have viable alternatives to not paying.
You don't HAVE to play it.
 

Trishbot

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For the hassle, annoyance, and disrespect EA's new Dungeon Keeper has towards its players, I expect them to pay ME to play their awful cash-in desecration of a once-beloved property.
 

lord.jeff

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The moment I read your review on Loadout I knew this was going to be the topic for the week and I cant agree more.
 

BrownGaijin

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Oh silly, silly Jim. The real reason why you're not having any fun with this game is that you're not play... hrm... you're not playing... heeeegggg... you're not playing it the right wa-


(smiles)
 

Snotnarok

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People whine about Team Fortress 2 and Flappy Bird when one can be played with spending no cash, allowing you to find or trade any of the guns you want (I know because I've done it- and the other, Flappy Bird was free that was ad supported.
No reason to be mad at either- well unless you bought TF2 the day before it went free I guess, but Dungeon Keeper and all this shit? I have no idea how they're around still. I don't know who's the worst here, the dev, the store allowing it to be sold, or the people supporting it.

Mind boggling.
 

geier

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[/quote]You don't HAVE to play it.[/quote]

Thats what i ment. There are so many games out there, let EA run this game with this scheme against the wall, who cares? Sure, it's sad to see a great game remade to shit.
When you are mad about the new game, do what i do when i get mad about the shitty Lord of the rings movies:
Ignore them and read the books again. Remind yourself of the good original.
So, buy the original Dungeon Keeper, play it and feel like a kid again.
 

MB202

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Since when has something the Games Industry done NOT disgusting? Though yeah, I think Extra Credits talked about this; waiting for something to restore (unless you paid actual money for it) made sense on Facebook because it was assumed that you would have other things to do on Facebook to pass the time. Not so with every other game made NOT on Facebook since.
 

Mahoshonen

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So the message is "fuck you if you worked on a bad F2P game"

Next week on Jimquisition, the gaming public is chastised for saying mean things to a developer.

Jim Sterling, Who You Crappin?
 

IamLEAM1983

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Aug 22, 2011
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What really scares me is what might come next. Say they decide to make a bigger Mass Effect transmedia push. They want the ME universe on phones and tablets in a bigger way. Guess what?

"Here comes Mass Effect: Corsair! Pilot your own ship during the events leading up to the Reaper War! Crush your opponents, expand your fleet! Earn your spot as a named War Asset in our new re-edition of Mass Effect 3!"

Then, we learn that everything takes anywhere between a second or two to an entire day to complete. Want to upgrade your ship and crew? Minerals are required. You can mine for minerals, but why spend so much time collecting a few dozen Eezo points at a time when you can snag yourself five hundred thousand points for JUST 69.99!

If they reach that point, they'll burn themselves. There's no freaking way in Hell the Mass Effect fanbase will let that slide.
 

Leemaster777

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Thank you, Mr. Sterling. I was hoping you'd throw some well-deserved hatred at this topic this week. That was some quality, enjoyable bile.

I'm not one who usually enjoys shitting on someone specific like this, but this whole Dungeon Keeper fiasco has left me really fucking insulted that someone like EA would stoop to these blatant, despicable levels to milk cash out of the gaming community. Dungeon Keeper mobile is appalling, and there cannot be enough hatred thrown at everyone involved in it's creation.

Beetlebum said:
On the brighter side, it has given us one of the most accurate image ever:
The irony is palpable.
 

Darklupus

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I dunno, Jim. Phoenix Wright is a game as Tapped Out is a game. Sure, the reason Tapped Out uses the FreeToWait model is because it's based on the Simpsons television show and because of that the "game" fits the show. The way the "game" works is by having each Springfield citizen animate differently for a designated amount of time. True it's not very much. Okay, it really does suck. However I like it: I like the animations, the dialogue, the pixels...etc. So, I think it can be salvaged. Just add a game to it and you're done.
 

jpoon

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Damn good video Jim, I concur on every single point. I will never touch a game of this shitty merit and hopefully no one else on this forum (and hopefully the rest of the world) will either.

Time to run shit devs like these into the ground.
 

Canadamus Prime

Robot in Disguise
Jun 17, 2009
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Wow, I don't think I've seen Jim so pissed off. He's right though, this practice is utter shite and should die in a fire along with every developer/publisher that utilizes it.
 

CarbonJames

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canadamus_prime said:
Wow, I don't think I've seen Jim so pissed off. He's right though, this practice is utter shite and should die in a fire along with every developer/publisher that utilizes it.
You sound pretty enraged about it. I would appreciate your critique of how AirMech fits what you describe. AirMech Prime for $20 lets you buy the game. The free part lets you try it out. This is a good thing for gamers...
 

Canadamus Prime

Robot in Disguise
Jun 17, 2009
14,334
0
0
CarbonJames said:
canadamus_prime said:
Wow, I don't think I've seen Jim so pissed off. He's right though, this practice is utter shite and should die in a fire along with every developer/publisher that utilizes it.
You sound pretty enraged about it. I would appreciate your critique of how AirMech fits what you describe. AirMech Prime for $20 lets you buy the game. The free part lets you try it out. This is a good thing for gamers...
I haven't played that one. Although I have played a couple of games on Kongregate that use that business model. Although calling them games is being more than a tad generous since there is absolutely no gameplay whatsoever. This one called Time World is the worst. While technically you don't have to pay anything, all you do is sit on your ass and do nothing while you wait for your buildings to upgrade or your ships to be built or some other damn thing. And even when you get into the story the battles consist of sitting there watching ships shoot at each other with 0 involvement on your part. And of course you have the option to pay real world money to recruit additional heroes and presumably speed up building/research times and whatever. Ugh!
 

Reyold

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Jun 18, 2012
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That righteous rage at the end was marvelous.

I'm so sick and tired of this AAA bullcrap. I really, REALLY hope it ends up blowing up in their faces one day.
 

Branindain

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Jul 3, 2013
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Imperator_DK said:
...well, I'd think it the responsibility of adults to choose whether or not to play games which are mostly about how well you can remember your credit card number. I'll pass, but if others are up for it, fine by me.

And really now, who's to say that buying a magical sword with $5 of real money you earned on the job is any less meaningful than obtaining a magical sword you earned by using 3 hours of grind to kill 10,000 digital orcs beforehand?

Entertainment is pretty subjective, and if someone derive pleasure from owning a vast digital dungeon by virtue of spending $250 on it, that's pretty much their business. Certainly people have spent far greater amounts on things which are objectively equally worthless.
I noticed you and a couple of other people invoking people's right to free choice here, and that's fair enough. No-one wants to stamp on anyone's freedom. But I would say there's a grey area here.

You have, on one hand, a guy randomly scanning the app store on the way to work with his mind on auto-pilot. On the other hand, you have a company which has paid lots of money to people with expensive degrees who have refined psychological manipulation into a science. (Seriously, if you research it, these companies put an insane amount of effort into understanding and utilising people's subconscious triggers.) And let's not forget the company also has brazenly falsified user reviews on their side. Free choice can be corrupted, is what I'm saying.

Now, a GENUINE free choice scenario would be that you look up the game on the app store and in the details it shows you a burgeoning, full-sized dungeon and tells you that you can have it for either $300 or 18 months, or any combination of the two. If someone makes that choice, eyes open, then I agree with you 100%. But EA knows that's not a realistic business model so they manipulate, and free choice is tarnished.
 

Valagetti

Good Coffee, cheaper than prozac
Aug 20, 2010
1,112
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geier said:
Well Jim what is so bad in this game type?
It's only going to affect idiots who pay, not you, me or any other sane person.

This would be the right time for a indy studio to create a "cell supervisor, vault guard, torture chamber steward, oubliette superintendent" game. The gamplay consists of little magical beings (gremlins, urchins, devilings) that maintain said structure underground and are guided by a supernatural entity. Switch the chicken for little piglets and we are set.

It's a free market Jim. With the outcry created by EA this game gets much free publicity. Don't get to upset about idiots and their games, you will live longer.

Simply put, hes probably invested in the Dungeon Keeper franchise. And second this is a cancer, they are getting away with it. Theres other things about this game that are HIGHLY UNETHICAL, like when poorly reviewing them game, on the ios store it navigates you away so its harder to finish the reivew!
 

kuolonen

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Nov 19, 2009
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geier said:
Well Jim what is so bad in this game type?
It's only going to affect idiots who pay, not you, me or any other sane person.

This would be the right time for a indy studio to create a "cell supervisor, vault guard, torture chamber steward, oubliette superintendent" game. The gamplay consists of little magical beings (gremlins, urchins, devilings) that maintain said structure underground and are guided by a supernatural entity. Switch the chicken for little piglets and we are set.

It's a free market Jim. With the outcry created by EA this game gets much free publicity. Don't get to upset about idiots and their games, you will live longer.
Were that we lived in a world of infinite resources that would be true. But alas this is not so, and when this pay to win scenario bubble bursts, as people like Jim keep telling it will, it will hurt the entire industry. If you see a person standing next to you using 100 tons of TNT as bonfire, will you just say: "oh well, that wont affect me"?

Also money siphoned out of our misguided gamer brothers/sisters will not only bloat the bubble to come, but will also mean less money on games you too would probably like to see succeeding. Also free publicity really only can be good so far, I don't think that EA likes the "free publicity" of having been voted worst company in america for example.
 

Snacuum

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Nov 10, 2013
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Lets not forget guys that the whole reason we use the friendly and catchy term of "Free to Play" is because it's a contraction from an ambiguous detractor; as in: "Free to play... but this bit costs X"

There are lots of totally free games that are of course 'free to play' and in fact most games we buy ahead of time are in a way 'free to play' once bought. But we don't call them that because there's no reason to praise how 'free' they are. The no. 1 thing publishers want you to know about these F2P games is that's you can play them now! No, Money Down!

The only F2P game I've enjoyed is Hawken and I'm still upset that it's F2P when I originally thought it was a traditional purchase. The grim matter of it is that every single F2P game is designed to compromise gameplay in ways to encourage spending. In my opinion they are little more than Gambling Machines; made to suck as much money from anybody they manage to addict.

We need to keep buying the game and playing the game separate. Traditionally gamers never paid to play games (except like arcade games, and although I despise that too, it's a bit more like renting the system for x minutes) but instead we paid to get into the position to play.
If the big issue is getting more accessible free games into the hands of players before they're convinced to spend then I'm all for more demos and game trials. Trials is the best option to me because it gets the proper experience in the hands of players ASAP and then with the same fun and addictive gameplay the players are convinced to purchase the game.

Also I don't mind the rage at developers like this. This is the 21st Century and if we want to advance as a society we can't let the fact that people need money become an excuse for unethical business practice. I see it the same way as Japanese Whalers: the workers on the boat are probably just experienced fishermen that work their job, but they're still the ones firing harpoons into defenceless animals, fully aware that it's unsustainable and wrong.
 

Blade_125

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Sep 1, 2011
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One of the few times I will say caveat emporium. If you are willing to pay money so you don't have to wait then you deserve the crappy game you are playing.
 

C14N

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I played the Simpsons Tapped Out for few days and I wholeheartedly agree with this video. What I found particularly atrocious about that game was the currency conversion from real money to game money. The entire point of the game is to make a little Springfield by buying buildings. The average cost of a premium building is about $8-10 though which is insane. There are dozens of these things that you can buy and they have it all set up so that you can drop $100 in one go. For a freaking mobile game. You could buy 10 actual games on Steam for the same price as buying some decorations for this non-game. The majority of Tapped Out's content is behind this paywall too. Almost all of the in-game characters and buildings can ONLY be gotten by paying an absurd price, only the bear essentials are parts of the game.

I'm happy to spend money on games (I probably spend more than I should on them) but I've basically decided to stay away from anything that just looks like a bottomless pit for me to drop my cash into. Once I buy a game, I would rather just be able to live in a consequence-free environment and not have to worry about losing even more money.
 

NuclearKangaroo

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i think Metro GameCentral put it best

"Dungeon Keeper is not a video game, not any more. Instead it?s just a virtual beggar, constantly demanding your spare change and offering nothing in return."

i read their review, it was even more damming that Jim's and every single fucking word in it was true, i like this kind of thing, when publishers act like this, professional reviewers should tell it like it is


so yeah, fantastic work for both you Jima and David Jenkins from Metro GameCentral
 

MrHide-Patten

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Warframe as much as I love it, is guilty of this shit as well. When I've gone to all the effort of getting all the resources, why do I have to wait to use the thing I've constructed, but oooh I could spend 5 bucks and get it now!
I'm good Digital Extremes, thank you.

I suppose their only saving grace is that you can actually make all the weapons and so forth by doing the hard yards in game, and actually feels more satisfying to have "made" the content yourself.
 

CarbonJames

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Feb 10, 2014
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canadamus_prime said:
I haven't played that one. Although I have played a couple of games on Kongregate that use that business model. Although calling them games is being more than a tad generous since there is absolutely no gameplay whatsoever. This one called Time World is the worst. While technically you don't have to pay anything, all you do is sit on your ass and do nothing while you wait for your buildings to upgrade or your ships to be built or some other damn thing. And even when you get into the story the battles consist of sitting there watching ships shoot at each other with 0 involvement on your part. And of course you have the option to pay real world money to recruit additional heroes and presumably speed up building/research times and whatever. Ugh!
For what it's worth I completely agree with you. What I am doing to try to help is use the model of free to try in a fair way, in the hopes that people no longer tolerate shitty games that do those things.

I think that pure rage at F2P hurts things because there's plenty of devs that feel the same way, and all it does is keep them from trying to help solve the problem. Instead they just keep making games for the big pubs for $60, refuse to put out demos, and now microtrans is infecting full price games--now THAT is something to rage at.

Devs are making evil F2P games because they can, and people are playing them. With enough quality alternatives (several have been mentioned in this thread) eventually (hopefully) people will reject that crap and demand fair games.

It's kind of a "don't throw the baby out with the bathwater" situation. The model can be great for gamers when done right--for example if someone doesn't like AirMech after playing it, no problem! I didn't take your money, no hard feelings either way. As a gamer myself I hate purchase regret, and really like the fact that I know people who do spend money in our game are doing it because they want to support us.

For reference, here's AirMech. Early access, but as F2P you don't have to pay to play--remember back when beta tests were free? http://store.steampowered.com/app/206500/ Doing F2P right means you're operating a demo essentially. Players can grind if they really want, or put down the price of a normal indie game to get all the gameplay bits, plus all the perks from lifetime VIP. Sorry if that sounds like too much self-promotion, but I'm really proud of what we offer and honestly do welcome any criticism of how we can become the perfect example of how to do F2P "right".
 

Joshtopher_Biggins

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Feb 11, 2014
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So why don't you just not play the game? Instead of immediately realizing it's a pay-to-play pile of crap and uninstalling it you went and told everyone about it. Now a bunch of people are going to download it and if even one of those people spends money in it you just did EA a favour. You're supposed to ignore it and let it die.
 

Mooboo Magoo

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Aug 22, 2011
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deathbydeath said:
Jim, shut up. You have nothing but scorn for every single free-to-play game with time delays (and their developers) while there are games out there that are absolutely sublime and happen to use that model correctly and in an inoffensive manner. Have the dignity to properly inform yourself before you start spewing bile over an entire idea.

(For the record, the good games I was thinking of were Fallen London and Eliminate Pro, and while I don't play many FTP/mobile games both of them handle the "free-to-wait" model in two different and equally good ways)

xEightBitPlayerx said:
I hope this game model dies a quick death; Who would support something like this?
Because some games do it well [fallenlondon.storynexus.com] and the developers producing that content deserve money.

EDIT: The mike drop at the end made me squee a bit. Glad that's back.
It is absolutely hilarious that the link you provided is a 404 error.
 

Blaze the Dragon

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Jan 8, 2010
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Joshtopher_Biggins said:
So why don't you just not play the game? Instead of immediately realizing it's a pay-to-play pile of crap and uninstalling it you went and told everyone about it. Now a bunch of people are going to download it and if even one of those people spends money in it you just did EA a favour. You're supposed to ignore it and let it die.
Because if just one person who didn't realize this doesn't play the game because of what he's said, he's done the world a favor.

Free2Wait is a model that preys on people that don't know any better. There's no real gameplay, so no skill is ever involved with the game, meaning that literally anyone and their grandma can play it. They start out with very low paywalls that are about a dollar or less, so that they feel okay with spending some money on the game to wait less, plus the game was free to begin with, so where's the harm in that?

I caught my mom playing a free2wait game for awhile, and she spent over 2 hundred fucking dollars on it. if you just ignore this kind of thing, more people will keep playing the game and companies like EA win. since when has ignoring the problem ever been a good idea?

This is literally the same logic as slots. They nickle and dime you slowly, with occasional light rewards, sometimes maybe giving you a net gain, but almost always totally a loss overall. They just found a way to do it to minors and other people from the comfort of their own home, sometimes without them realizing. It's just vile.
 

Rabidkitten

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Give Path to Exile some love. Totally optional cosmetic micro-transactions which actually straight up calls micro-transactions.

I do agree that all this harping on about Dungeon Keeper is doing no one any favors. You are simply giving that game free press. The minute I saw Mobile F2P I was aware of what it was going to be and simply ignored it.
 

DementedSheep

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Is this really a scam? It not like you can't see what it is and it's sneakily taking money from your account. If people are buying it they are getting something out of it personally or they are just stupid. Either way how much money they spend on these things is on their heads and I don't see why we should care.
 

JCAll

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Darklupus said:
I dunno, Jim. Phoenix Wright is a game as Tapped Out is a game. Sure, the reason Tapped Out uses the FreeToWait model is because it's based on the Simpsons television show and because of that the "game" fits the show. The way the "game" works is by having each Springfield citizen animate differently for a designated amount of time. True it's not very much. Okay, it really does suck. However I like it: I like the animations, the dialogue, the pixels...etc. So, I think it can be salvaged. Just add a game to it and you're done.
Phoenix Wright is just a point and click adventure. No different from something like Monkey Island.
Tapped Out is a money pit and I see no comparison between them.
 

Joshtopher_Biggins

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Blaze the Dragon said:
Joshtopher_Biggins said:
Some words
Because if just one person who didn't realize this doesn't play the game because of what he's said, he's done the world a favor.

Free2Wait is a model that preys on people that don't know any better. There's no real gameplay, so no skill is ever involved with the game, meaning that literally anyone and their grandma can play it. They start out with very low paywalls that are about a dollar or less, so that they feel okay with spending some money on the game to wait less, plus the game was free to begin with, so where's the harm in that?

I caught my mom playing a free2wait game for awhile, and she spent over 2 hundred fucking dollars on it. if you just ignore this kind of thing, more people will keep playing the game and companies like EA win. since when has ignoring the problem ever been a good idea?

This is literally the same logic as slots. They nickle and dime you slowly, with occasional light rewards, sometimes maybe giving you a net gain, but almost always totally a loss overall. They just found a way to do it to minors and other people from the comfort of their own home, sometimes without them realizing. It's just vile.
Yeah good point. But I think maybe it's a better idea to educate these kinds of people about f2p scams instead of shouting to the world "Hey game x is terrible! Here's a bunch of footage. Definitely don't play it." If we go around finding every individual scammy f2p game and excessively publicly criticise it we'll never fix the problem. You asked me when has ignoring a problem ever been a good idea, I would argue that the problem is that these games aren't being ignored. Educate your mother and others who don't know any better to be wary of free games. Let them know about games (f2p or otherwise) that are actually good.
 

EndlessSporadic

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May 20, 2009
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The fact that Jim is so upset as to not even give an outro is saying quite a lot.

If anything, I am more pissed at the people who support this garbage.
 

Canadamus Prime

Robot in Disguise
Jun 17, 2009
14,334
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CarbonJames said:
canadamus_prime said:
I haven't played that one. Although I have played a couple of games on Kongregate that use that business model. Although calling them games is being more than a tad generous since there is absolutely no gameplay whatsoever. This one called Time World is the worst. While technically you don't have to pay anything, all you do is sit on your ass and do nothing while you wait for your buildings to upgrade or your ships to be built or some other damn thing. And even when you get into the story the battles consist of sitting there watching ships shoot at each other with 0 involvement on your part. And of course you have the option to pay real world money to recruit additional heroes and presumably speed up building/research times and whatever. Ugh!
For what it's worth I completely agree with you. What I am doing to try to help is use the model of free to try in a fair way, in the hopes that people no longer tolerate shitty games that do those things.

I think that pure rage at F2P hurts things because there's plenty of devs that feel the same way, and all it does is keep them from trying to help solve the problem. Instead they just keep making games for the big pubs for $60, refuse to put out demos, and now microtrans is infecting full price games--now THAT is something to rage at.

Devs are making evil F2P games because they can, and people are playing them. With enough quality alternatives (several have been mentioned in this thread) eventually (hopefully) people will reject that crap and demand fair games.

It's kind of a "don't throw the baby out with the bathwater" situation. The model can be great for gamers when done right--for example if someone doesn't like AirMech after playing it, no problem! I didn't take your money, no hard feelings either way. As a gamer myself I hate purchase regret, and really like the fact that I know people who do spend money in our game are doing it because they want to support us.

For reference, here's AirMech. Early access, but as F2P you don't have to pay to play--remember back when beta tests were free? http://store.steampowered.com/app/206500/ Doing F2P right means you're operating a demo essentially. Players can grind if they really want, or put down the price of a normal indie game to get all the gameplay bits, plus all the perks from lifetime VIP. Sorry if that sounds like too much self-promotion, but I'm really proud of what we offer and honestly do welcome any criticism of how we can become the perfect example of how to do F2P "right".
Oh I see. AirMech is a game you've personally worked on. Well to be clear I'm not against free to play as a concept. I like the idea of having games I can play for free and, if I want to, buy extra bits that enhance the game but aren't strictly necessary. Like I enjoyed playing Star Trek Online for a while till I got bored and I had no problem plunking down a bit of cash for some novelty items like a unique ship or uniforms. That's how I think F2P should be done. Provide a more or less complete gaming experience which can be enhanced with microtransactions, but make it so those who choose not to buy into the micrtransactions aren't missing out on anything substantial (IE no Pay to Win).
 

Remus

Reprogrammed Spambot
Nov 24, 2012
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Agree on all points, and I especially loved the Homer lip sync at the end, making the point with a game that's one of the worst examples of this kind of pay-to-win gameplay.
 

Adam Locking

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Joshtopher_Biggins said:
So why don't you just not play the game? Instead of immediately realizing it's a pay-to-play pile of crap and uninstalling it you went and told everyone about it. Now a bunch of people are going to download it and if even one of those people spends money in it you just did EA a favour. You're supposed to ignore it and let it die.
It already has free advertising due to it being near the top of the app store (thanks to its borderline-fraudulent rating "system"). People who regularly look for new games are going to find it, Jim's giving them the heads up before they do.
 

Canadamus Prime

Robot in Disguise
Jun 17, 2009
14,334
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DementedSheep said:
Is this really a scam? It not like you can't see what it is and it's sneakily taking money from your account. If people are buying it they are getting something out of it personally or they are just stupid. Either way how much money they spend on these things is on their heads and I don't see why we should care.
You should care because as long as incredibly stupid people buy into this crap then more of this crap will continue to be made. And in the worst case scenario it'll come to a point where you'll have no choice but to buy into it yourself because it'll be the only thing available. That's why.
 

KR4U55

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Mar 12, 2012
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At first I thought Jim lost it, then he did a reference to Sherlock then, OMG, a british dude did a reference to a british show popular over the pond! Frikkin' hilarious!

I hadn't really given my time to any of those games. I don't want to wait 24 hours for pseudo-gameplay and I don't want to pay to do anything!

Similarly Star Wars: The Old Republic is F2P, but it is insanely frustrating to play as a F2P user or even Preferred Status. The game's pretty solid, F2P locks titles, unifying colours and the number of arenas, flashpoints and stuff you can do in a day, but it becomes stupid when it also locks Crew Skills (crafting) and powerful loot from being worn! (purple loot is unavaliable for F2P users) You can't buy powerful pieces, buy you can't use them if you don't pay.
 

Jimothy Sterling

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C14N said:
Almost all of the in-game characters and buildings can ONLY be gotten by paying an absurd price, only the bear essentials are parts of the game.
As someone that has played tapped out to the level cap, currently level 38, I can say that you are wrong in the regard of the paywall setup.

The following characters are completely free (not counting those that are only available during specific even like Halloween or have no actions). This is is going to be long

We have the entire Simpsons family, The Churchy Joes (sans Maude Flanders as she was free to all during the 2013 Halloween event),Mr. Burns and Snake form the villains group, the School workers minus Otto, Civil Servants minus K9 (was that Officer Scratch?), The Business Owners minus Lugash,of the C-List Charecters we have Kent Brockman and Arnie Pye,of the B-List we have McBain and Krusty,of the Oddballs, all but Frink and Handsome Pete, of the kids all but Sherri and Terri, of the Toughies we have Nelson and Dolph, all three Wise Gus, Don't recall if Barney Gumble was a special event or not, Of the Doctors we have Dr. Herbert, of the Plant Workers we have all save Mindy who is Valentines 2014, We have Mrs. Skinner, we have the Bouvier Family, Kurt Van Houten, and Judge Snyder.

That is a lot of free characters that are available to EVERYONE. You will also notice that for the most part the premium characters are barely tertiary characters (save for Hans Moleman who is awesome)

As far as buildings go, you actually are better off with the standard buildings that you can get in the game normally (assuming you are at high enough of a level.)

I should probably add that I only put money into the game well after hitting the level cap. What I mean by that is that you can continue to "level up" after hitting the level cap. The only thing that happens is that you can get 1-3 free donuts.

I do however expect to be ignored by many here because I challenge their preconceived notions with some actual backing.
 

Arawn

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3:10 pretty much sums up any F2P (free to play) game, not just mobile or tablet games. I mean those PC F2P and console games too. You're given money that's almost useless by the truck full, and covet the token that one must pay to acquire. For the most part I'll play most F2P games up to the point where said bought currency is REQUIRED to progress. At that point the game is over. It's almost a game I play within in such games; how long will it let me pay before making me buy pretend money. For most the shadow looms over me fairly quickly in others it's the elephant in the room that blend in with the grey paint; I know it's there, but don't care since I can't see it. The games that do F2P (in this case free to pay) well make the game itself enjoyable even though some content it hidden behind that pay wall. These forced waiting games pretty much build the wall brick by brick as you play slowing trying to coax you towards their storefront.
 

viranimus

Thread killer
Nov 20, 2009
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Thats what you get for playing a game with microtransactions. Would you go walking alone down dark alleyways around 225th street in NYC at 2 in the morning and expect to not be mugged/stabbed/raped? Then why hang around F2P games that you know will be funded by microtransactions? Everyone knows that is how the operate. Plus the more they are successful the more they will push that envelope. Even starting an account with a F2P, you are just asking for it, and as long as you do, they are going to be more than happy to oblige.
 

Chicago Ted

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I'll call it Free2Wait (F2W) to make it simple, but there are a few I have on my phone that I play from time to time. In my mind, this is just one of those situations where, like almost all practices, it can be used horribly, and in this case, it seems that there's been a bit of a market flood of it.

Anyways, the four F2W games I have on my phone currently are You Don't Know Jack, ScrambleWithFriends, TinyTower, and TinyPlanes. In each of these games, waiting until you can play next can serve as a major limit to the game. But it doesn't at all bother me. Why? Because I play these things when I commute. Everyday I normally have to take a 20 minute trip to my University. Most of that time is spent on the train. When I get on it, I'm not looking for a game that'll be wanting me to sink a good chunk of time into. I want something quick and simple to pass the time for a bit, and each of these deliver. Whether I'm answering trivia questions, playing boggle, or managing my virtual skyscraper or airports, I can normally get one of these set of tasks completely done in the time that it takes to get from point A) to point B), walk away, then have something to do again either on the way home, or the next day to keep me going.

Now, I haven't played games like Dungeon Keeper, or that Simpsons one, but if they're shit games, they're shit games. It doesn't mean that just because they are bad, the entire model for them is bad. What F2W games are great for are ones where you're only going to be playing them in short bursts a few times throughout the day, before doing the same tomorrow. That way, the next time you log in, there's some new stuff for you to do to waste your time with. Ideally, the best ones should have a way for you to earn the in game currency through gameplay (In the case of TinyTower for example, by dropping people off on the correct floors) as well as an option to buy the currency directly. But honestly, that can be said for virtually every F2P game out there on the market.

Essentially, in my eyes, F2W games are like potato chips. They're great to snack on, but, if I'm wanting to sit down and have a full, three course meal, I wouldn't be looking at it to serve as the main course in the first place.
 

thepyrethatburns

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canadamus_prime said:
DementedSheep said:
Is this really a scam? It not like you can't see what it is and it's sneakily taking money from your account. If people are buying it they are getting something out of it personally or they are just stupid. Either way how much money they spend on these things is on their heads and I don't see why we should care.
You should care because as long as incredibly stupid people buy into this crap then more of this crap will continue to be made. And in the worst case scenario it'll come to a point where you'll have no choice but to buy into it yourself because it'll be the only thing available. That's why.
That strikes me as an issue with gamers/magpies with money.

"Well, I have to play this because it's the only thing coming out."

So the Rapture happened and everything gaming-related from the Amiga to the Xbox360 got called home to heaven. No? Well, then there are enough games out there that you will ALWAYS have the choice not to buy into it. The only reason that gamers would have to buy into it is because of decades of being conditioned to buy the latest thing as soon as it comes out. Only "incredibly stupid people" would feel that they have no choice but to buy into something that they don't want to.

Even if the Video Game Rapture happens and it sucks everything but free-to-wait games up to heaven...

Y'know, there are other things to do with your life.
 

Spambot 3000

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Aug 8, 2011
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CrossLOPER said:
Jimothy Sterling said:
It's the business model that's sweeping the world, and it's absolutely disgusting.
Business models are bad because they generate money.
Yeah, man and you know what else, why does everyone give those snake-oil salesmen heaps? They're just making money!
 

Therumancer

Citation Needed
Nov 28, 2007
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Good one Jim, if only we could have Jimquisition every day.... It's usually pretty cool even when I disagree with it. :(

That said I think a lot of the problem is that developers need to start getting hammered by fans a lot more. At the end of the day publishers don't really care what you think of them as long as they are making money. Indeed I wouldn't be surprised if some of them literally feed on the anger. The Devs on the other hand are the ones who take the money from the publishers and do what they are told. What's more is the developers who consciously make the choices to sell out to companies like EA or Activision and put the IPs they have control of under those banners and management. Without the compliance of the talent the publishers have absolutely nothing.

See, at the end of the day the argument against getting on the case of the developers more assertively is that these guys need to work, in order to survive. At the same time though, the pursuit of money is no more noble for them than it is for the publishers, typically the devs do what they are doing because of the sweet deals they make with publishers at least in the short term. A company like EA can offer to pay developers more money and let them live more comfortably than if they remained independent, basically amounting to the devs willfully deciding to sell out, and screw all of us fans and customers in exchange for their own direct benefit. Besides which, there is a point at which doing a specific job becomes unjustifiable, unless your life is literally in danger, you can always go find another career, or simply choose to not screw people over for your own benefit. On a lot of levels I have more sympathy for Nazi camp guards (who have been hunted down like dogs after World War II). For a lot of the camp guards the bottom line was that their "just following orders" came along with the simple fact that they were military and not following orders meant they could be killed and the families made to suffer harsh penalties for it. In some cases one could argue the Nazis actually forcing jews into an execution chamber were facing a very literal "him or me" situation. With a game developer it's not like Bobby Kotick is going to execute you with a shotgun out behind the Activision offices, and force your wife and kids into what amounts to slavery. Pretty much the worst thing a developer faces is having to go to unemployment, and perhaps find another career. That's not a nice prospect for sure, but when your dealing with an industry that has increasingly become less about producing the best possible product for the least amount of money and using it to run a business, to seeing how much you can screw the customers by how crappy and how expensive you can make things. Just because the publishers are paying you for it, makes you no less complicit in the end result or the effect on the industry as a whole.

Of course I'd also like to say that I blame IP holders for some of these problems as well, half the point of say "Trexels" or "Tapped Out" are the licenses attached to them. Viacom (which ultimately holds Star Trek) and Fox (who I believe controls The Simpsons) should have more standards about what kinds of products they allow their IPs to be used for. Without those IPs the central draw to these soulless cash grinds wouldn't exist... and really it seems the worst ones are nostalgia based properties aimed at aging nerds. Sadly not much could be done about "Dungeon Keeper" because EA pretty much owns that IP flat out, as opposed to the other two "infamous" games I mentioned where the IP had to be licensed.

The point I'm getting here is that we as gamers need to stop just going after the publishers whose basic attitude is "huh, what was that? I can't hear you over the sound of the dozens of machines counting all my money..." but going after the developers who decide to work for those publishers, instead of treating them like rock stars and passing the buck. After all these guys can't really justify screwing you over for money, which is what they are doing, pretty much any of them could choose to go indie, or take up a new career like being a Barista at Starbucks or whatever. The old excuse of "well if we didn't do it, someone else would" wouldn't matter if anyone in the same position gets the same treatment. I mean honestly, if you actually took money to make "Dungeon Keeper Online", you obviously knew what you were doing, and as a developer you share responsibility, you can't just pass the buck for that one upstairs, it's not like the publishers were going to murder you for saying "no", all you had to do was hold out, let them fire you for refusing to basically be complicit in scamming people, and then collected your unemployment for however many months while looking for another job either as an indie developer or in another career.

I know a lot of people won't agree with this, as I've said it before and few do, but honestly I think publishers are not a group that can really be attacked. What's more simply not buying games is of limited effectiveness, especially with the lowest human denominator involved. Jim always goes off on the hatred of "real gamers" for the "filthy casuals" as he puts it, but let's be honest... it's the casual gamers that have created this kind of garbage which is why people haven't wanted them involved. It's games like Farmville that sold the model, and at the end of the day no matter what thousands of serious gamers, and fairly smart people say, there are going to be ten times our number of casuals lapping this stuff up, which is why at the end of the day EA hasn't actually done much about "Dungeon Keeper Mobile" and "Trexels" and "Simpson's Tapped Out" are still running. Indeed if enough AAA games are crashed we might just wind up destroying that part of the industry (as much as I support not buying some of the horrible AAA titles out there for their own reasons), you'll just see the industry push even further in the direction it's already going, which is casual-oriented shovelware, since really it's become a goldmine. A lot of hostility towards the "casual" and "casual games" was more or less that exactly this kind of thing was going to happen. It's why there were so many gamers hating on things like Farmville and that entire demographic (which arguably started this) and appalled that companies like "Zynga" were being mentioned alongside real game developers and efforts were being made by the gaming media to welcome this crowd into the fold and shelter them... and well... here we are... "pay to wait" has now become an industry standard. It's actually become a problem where the "everyone is a gamer, even if they just play Farmville" crowd is beginning to come around and see... "hmm, yes, now that it's everywhere I do see why this isn't a game... watching a timer slowly move, and being offered the option to remove the timer with real money is not a game".

I'd have to check some old Jimquisitions and see if he actually defended Farmville players and such in the past (I know he's defended casual gamers), it will be interesting to see if his attitudes change, and if we see Jimquisition becoming less casual-friendly. Of course at the same time, I don't expect Jim has made the same connections I have, we do tend to think a bit differently. On some levels I'm in "I told you so" territory over this whole thing though I rarely just say "I told you so" like I just did twice now. :)
 

xrogaan

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Mar 10, 2012
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Well, there is absolutely nothing to stop them from trying. I don't believe there is a law against this kind of scam. And if there is one, good luck to define what is a game and what is not.

The best cure would be to be smarter. And I hardly see it coming.
 

geier

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Oct 15, 2010
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kuolonen said:
geier said:
Were that we lived in a world of infinite resources that would be true. But alas this is not so, and when this pay to win scenario bubble bursts, as people like Jim keep telling it will, it will hurt the entire industry. If you see a person standing next to you using 100 tons of TNT as bonfire, will you just say: "oh well, that wont affect me"?

Also money siphoned out of our misguided gamer brothers/sisters will not only bloat the bubble to come, but will also mean less money on games you too would probably like to see succeeding. Also free publicity really only can be good so far, I don't think that EA likes the "free publicity" of having been voted worst company in america for example.
I disagree. Yes, when the bubble explodes it will take down many studios and many people will lose their jobs. But in the end it will only affect the big budget games, or the bloated mobile market. Don't forget, the games market had already one crisis.
Imagine: A indy studio creates a Dungeon Keeper clone (like i said in my first post) and every site/reviewer that tore the mobile Keeper game a new one tells the fans about it. Not as a ad or for money, just to show the gamers a good example of how to bring a PC game to a mobile device.
 

MeChaNiZ3D

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I'm a bit conflicted. I play Warframe, which in my opinion is largely a very fair free to play game - you can make and find practically everything you need, and the cheapest thing in the game as far as the in-game currency is concerned is slots, allowing frugal players like myself to still play virtually unimpeded, at least until a discount. However, it does have plenty of that time shit. Warframes take 84 hours - 3 and a half days - to build optimally, weapons generally take 12 - 24, and clan research takes 3-4 days. Additionally, the warframes and weapons are fucking expensive to buy outright, but naturally when they released a new warframe that required clan research, individual part research AND assembly, a bunch of people I know bought it anyway. Frustration is not a good game mechanic, and there are other ways to encourage people to buy currency.

Imperator_DK said:
And really now, who's to say that buying a magical sword with $5 of real money you earned on the job is any less meaningful than obtaining a magical sword you earned by using 3 hours of grind to kill 10,000 digital orcs beforehand?
In the first case, it's not a reward for playing the game, it's a reward for having money. You could have found $5 on the ground and it wouldn't have made a difference. You can't assume there was work behind that $5, and even so, it has nothing to do with gameplay. You don't deserve a better sword in a game for having money, you would deserve it for putting time and effort into the game with the sword you have.
 

Jimothy Sterling

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Diablo1099 said:
While he's spot on about Free to Wait, I disliked how he ranted at the Devs towards the end.
I mean, you think they WANT to make shit like this? EA Mythic's Jeff Skalski would mostly likely gotten fired if he didn't back up the design choices of the EA Shareholders.

Well, maybe the poor guy at the bottom of the foodchain who just writes lines of code is not at fault, but hey, even them could stand for a bit of basic human dignity. I mean, from all accounts, game developing is already underpayed and overworked as it is, and a deeply ungrateful endeavour. So if the choice is between doing this drivel for not enough money and doing somethng else, why not equate their options? We all have to earn our keep, fair enough, and I can empathise, but our keep should not be earned from scamming other people out of theirs.

That said, developers are to blame both for the "free to wait"'s state and for the state of gaming in general. Whenever shit hits the fan, it's not the publisher who lies, but, more often than not, the devs and designers of these games.

"One of the important data points we're looking at is our store ratings and downloads. At the time of this interview, App Store ratings currently sit at 4 out of 5 stars and Google Play ratings sit at 4.5 out of 5 stars."
Jeff Skalski said that, nevermind the fact that the game itself blocks you from fating it anything lower than a 5. And that is enough to make me have no sympathy for the man.


After all, and looking as a whole, it was devs who said that Dead Space 3's shift in game play that drawned out corridors and shifted resources so that suddenly what started as a survival shooter was now a grindfest was not intended to sell microtransactions; it was devs who said that the broken, bug ridden Sim City was working as intended before eventually patching (a year later) in the offline mode they said would never be possible; it's devs who say that the practice of forcing you to pay to unlock extra cars in Forza 5 or Ryse are, again, "working as intended"; it's devs who openly acknowledge that Arkham Origins has game breaking bugs who prevent your progression in the game, yet openly state they are not planning to do anything about it; it was Randy Pitchford from Gearbox who openly defended not only Aliens: Colonial Marines (and DNF), but actually lied in statements about the severity of the bugs in said games. Many, if not all of these cases were backed by comments from the games designers and lead developers. Sure, they may have the corporate publishers breathing down their neck and demanding they step up to the firing squad, but they're still openly lying to our faces. And in the process being twice the scumbags for muddying their studios good name and therefore endangering the livelihood of those working for it.

Because quite frankly, right now I am at the point where I personally blacklisted studios like gearbox, and developers like Randy Pitchard or Cevat Yerli. Why should I support or feel any respect for those who make a living out of trying to scam me?
 
Jan 27, 2011
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MeChaNiZ3D said:
However, it does have plenty of that time shit. Warframes take 84 hours - 3 and a half days - to build optimally, weapons generally take 12 - 24, and clan research takes 3-4 days.
You can still play when that shit's going on, right? Then yeah, it's annoying, but at least you can still play the game.

Unlike freakin' Spiral Knights, where the slowly-regenerating resource for forging was the same as the resource you needed to go into the dungeons. :s So if you forge anything, you can't go dungeoneering the rest of the day. It gets worse when the high tier stuff takes MORE than the regenerating resource cap.
 

Canadamus Prime

Robot in Disguise
Jun 17, 2009
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thepyrethatburns said:
canadamus_prime said:
DementedSheep said:
Is this really a scam? It not like you can't see what it is and it's sneakily taking money from your account. If people are buying it they are getting something out of it personally or they are just stupid. Either way how much money they spend on these things is on their heads and I don't see why we should care.
You should care because as long as incredibly stupid people buy into this crap then more of this crap will continue to be made. And in the worst case scenario it'll come to a point where you'll have no choice but to buy into it yourself because it'll be the only thing available. That's why.
That strikes me as an issue with gamers/magpies with money.

"Well, I have to play this because it's the only thing coming out."

So the Rapture happened and everything gaming-related from the Amiga to the Xbox360 got called home to heaven. No? Well, then there are enough games out there that you will ALWAYS have the choice not to buy into it. The only reason that gamers would have to buy into it is because of decades of being conditioned to buy the latest thing as soon as it comes out. Only "incredibly stupid people" would feel that they have no choice but to buy into something that they don't want to.

Even if the Video Game Rapture happens and it sucks everything but free-to-wait games up to heaven...

Y'know, there are other things to do with your life.
Ok let me rephrase that. In the worst case scenario you'd have no choice but to buy into Free to Wait if you wanted to play anything new.
 

Jimothy Sterling

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Those responsible for this game are ultimately the publisher, but the development side blame rests with the senior production staff like Jeff "4 out of 5 stars" Skalski. Those in the trenches probably have little idea how a game's final monetary economy is going to take shape until a project is almost over and most likely feel supremely uncomfortable with what they have made.

A BIG problem is industry culture, the publishers are tyrants who underpay and abuse very talented and highly qualified people. If you speak up the line is always "You're lucky to be working in the games industry, shut up or leave" and it drives many away. I've had some experience in the engineering industry and people who have the same technical skills, 3D modeling, project oversight etc are paid much more highly, have better job security and much better working conditions.
 

Megacherv

Kinect Development Sucks...
Sep 24, 2008
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GAunderrated said:
Megacherv said:
I can't say I agree with that last sentiment. Developers work at a studio doing what they're told. It's a job, they're people living in a society that requires money to survive, so they'll carry on doing what they're told. They won't necessarily like it, but if they don't do it the higher-ups that make these awful decisions will stop paying them, and then those developers won't be able to support themselves or their families. Please don't shout at the developers for this.
I completely disagree. There is always another option. Those developers choose to make this product fully knowing what kind of company EA is and what type of game they are making. People need to be held responsible for their actions, stop blaming it on "society", "corporations", or the "government" forcing them to work these jobs.

They have every right to sell out their ethics and integrity to support their families, but that does not mean they are somehow immune to being called out for it.
Sure, there is that, I just don't agree with the level of vitriol that he's slinging their way. The developer probably won't be very happy with what they're doing, and they may be currently looking at another job already, but they still need money at that point in time and finding a replacement job can take time depending on the role in question, and once they've found it they have to make sure they've got the job first before quitting. Even then, if they've got a comfortable paycheck and they're in debt (which a lot of developers will be in a lot of, for example, after going through University), they're going to want to feel better not having to live in the fear of becoming bankrupt. Remember that these are people, humans with emotions, they won;t necessarily like what they're doing but they're doing it knowing that their lives will be fine.

Furthermore, you can blame it on the 'corporation', because they're the ones making the business and design decisions. A programmer, for example, won't be the one who decided that it should be F2P, they'll simply be the ones implementing it.

ObsidianJones said:
I'm sorry to pick you out, but you touch on a point in a way that I'm curious about. I can understand your opinion. it's one shared by a lot of people even on this very site. But this side issue that has popped in my head after reading your post made me curious about something that you didn't even touch upon, but I still want to ask the question to the Escapist because of it.

I wonder why we offer such leniency to Developers who produce game tripe just because they are told, but we as gamers as a large majority have nothing but vitriol and disdain for Game reviewers who need to eat just as bad as these developers? They were told by their upper ups to give a ten out or ten for an average game because that game paid to be plastered all over their gaming site. At large, we jump on that reviewer for not having the credibility to possibly lose his job and go hungry.

It's not like his or her company will say '... we support you for sticking by your moral constraints. We're going to get sued, but we're going to back you a hundred percent for having the balls that we didn't have when we accepted the money'. No. He or she will be fired. And probably won't be able to find another job for a while because even though people want good writers, they want people to follow the rules of the company.

And lest we forget, The game pr team didn't go to the reviewer, they went to the company. They gave that reviewing company the money and said give us a good review. But we give the reviewer equal amount if not more hate as we give the reviewing site as a whole. Why is that, Escapist?
That's actually an interesting point, I'm kinda glad you nudged me about it. I will sat that unless it's Greg Miller, I don't actually know who reviewers actually are, I often see them as a corporate entity when I come across their reviews. It's odd.
 

Jimothy Sterling

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CarbonJames said:
Gamers need to embrace this model, not reject it.
I appreciate your participation in the discussion but I disagree with your suggestion.

I too grew up during the "Golden Age" of shareware and the like. You could get a taste of a game that a friend copied to disk, and if you liked it, you bought it. If you didn't like it, you wouldn't have anything else to do with it.

In the F2P model, gamers invariably have to sign up for an account or register in some way before receiving the "demo". And once a person's e-mail is registered in the system, the spam will flow.

As such, I'm far more likely to look at a game with a demo (Car Simulator 2013 just released one) than a F2P title (I was interested in AirMech at one time, but I honestly can't remember why I didn't try it, sorry). Mostly because a demo doesn't require pulling teeth to get off an e-mailing list.

For the record: Wargaming.net was actually pretty cool about removing me from their system. But others, such as Perfect World, required threat of legal action and outright refutal of their EULA before they, reluctantly, took action.
 

LordMonty

Badgerlord
Jul 2, 2008
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Jim seems upset and quiet passionate about this, I w8ill go buy loadout in response.
 

Ohlookit'sMatty

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Man, this topic really got underneath Jims skin // I will say this in Dungeon Keepers favor thou, it does look really pretty // The effort that went into it's style, the different kind of floor tiles and walls as well as the creatures is commendably

It's business mode is, however, not

-M
 

tzimize

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Mar 1, 2010
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Beetlebum said:
On the brighter side, it has given us one of the most accurate image ever:
Wahahahahah! Nice one :>

OT: Because of stupid crap like this I've more or less written off "free" games. I'd rather just pony up the dough for a decent product and be done with it. That said, even "regular" products nowadays are plagued with endless DLC garbage...*sigh*
 

Mahoshonen

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Surprised no one else has noticed the hypocrisy on display here.

According to Jim, it's okay for him to call the developers of games he disapproves of cancers of the industry and if they are offended by that message, 'fuck you.'

But when anyone else gets personal and confrontational, they're driving out all the creative talent in the industry and the gaming public deserves whatever shallow, samey games we are left with. [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/jimquisition/7955-Im-Going-To-Murder-Your-Children]

So Jim Sterling, before you get up on your reinforced soapbox, ask yourself two questions:

1. Is the wet sensation on your rear from me kissing my ass too much, or did you just crap myself?

and,

2. Who You Crappin'?
 

Milanezi

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I only disagree with one thing: I don't see this business model growing at all, I mean, there are a handful of strong games that are thriving from it but that's all, all others are rip-offs of the successful one and, most of the time, games that "PC/console gamers" aren't really into...

I really wish I could argue the "good sense" point of view here as well, but that'd be wasted. The point exists (you make the gamer play through something or wait through something to get the goods, but give him the option to pay cash to get it faster) but, as we can all see, is of no interest to most companies, they just rather put such loooong waiting times that, as Sterling put, you have to actually pay to see progression (to pay again).

I don't complain about the price that Square Enix charges for their Final Fantasy games on iOS anymore (the true FFs, not the strange mobile only crap), I'd rather pay more for a complete version than zero and get extorted through the whole game.

Ps: guess my mom is safe from this, she plays that Hay Day and every time she was asked to buy something she bolstered "I'm not buying anything to speed up, what's the fun in that?". Yep, somehow she understands that part of the game's joy is in waiting hahahaha
 

Milanezi

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tzimize said:
Beetlebum said:
On the brighter side, it has given us one of the most accurate image ever:
Wahahahahah! Nice one :>

OT: Because of stupid crap like this I've more or less written off "free" games. I'd rather just pony up the dough for a decent product and be done with it. That said, even "regular" products nowadays are plagued with endless DLC garbage...*sigh*
At least the DLC is (usually) truly optional, I mean you can enjoy the true essence of Skyrim and not need any DLC (other than patches, which, even though are free, shouldn't be around: the game should be as near perfect as possible upon release)... Whilst those games, many times (specially the crappy ones), put such amount of obstacles and impossible challenges in our way that we either pay to get through or, well, we don't.

Case in point: Candy Crush has some nigh impossible moments, but sooner or later you'll get through, no need to buy anything (and when you're 100+ and run out of lives you'll actually welcome the resting period hahah); recently I downloaded that Papa Pear thing, hell, there are some stages in which they're almost screaming at me "if you don't buy the bomb you'll never get through"...
 

Lightknight

Mugwamp Supreme
Nov 26, 2008
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I understand the free to play model. I just wish these games also had a fee to unlock option. One fee that generally gives me what I need. I will never shell out money for these games for individual things. But I would consider a single payment and done option as if I were buying the game.
 

Atmos Duality

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CarbonJames said:
Gamers need to embrace this model, not reject it.

Why? Because big pubs are screwing you. They are pulling back and not giving you demos of games like they should anymore.

I'm an oldschool dev. I remember Doom shareware. I remember demos. That's what F2P can be.
While I understand the sentiment behind your point, it can never quite be how shareware was.
Because you could keep the demo, while F2P games as designed and marketed as an ongoing service.

This is problematic because F2P games bank on user investment; time and/or money, which in turn, is (among other things) driving the market further and further away from selling full games. Instead, the business is shifting towards selling disposable thrills. Or services that penalize the player with time wasting bullshit...even when they're ponying up the cash.

In any case, with service-centric games, the holding company for that game is eventually going to fold, or move onto something newer to recapture the attention of a market with an rapidly decreasing attention span. All that time, money and effort you put into the F2P game will only be a memory. (this has happened to me with a F2P MMO before, and it's still the most soul-crushing thing I've ever experienced in my 25 years of video gaming.)

Worse, this cycle is going to intensify as F2P games become more popular, with more frequent releases all competing for the attention of the masses. Heavier and more "mercenary" monetization tactics are going to take over as each game has less and less time to turn a profit. (until the silent majority finally rejects the model en-masse, causing that part of the market to crash)

By now, I'm anticipating you or someone reading this to quote me with something like "Well, the model isn't for everyone."
While I concede that is true at a conceptual level, I do have a couple of parting comments about it:

If you're a gamer just looking for some time killing filler or a quick thrill, then the F2P or "Freemium" model is tailor-made for you. Congratulations, you're currently relevant to big business gaming. I hope that you don't experience the sudden snap-back I did, but given the current state of mainstream gaming and the direction it's going, it seems likely.

If you're a gamer who is just looking for a good game without artificial time wasting or over-monetized bullshit, well, you had better go indie or go away because the primary market has little to no need of you (and ever less need of you each year). Consider a new hobby. I know am.
 

maddawg IAJI

I prefer the term "Zomguard"
Feb 12, 2009
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deathbydeath said:
Jim, shut up. You have nothing but scorn for every single free-to-play game with time delays (and their developers) while there are games out there that are absolutely sublime and happen to use that model correctly and in an inoffensive manner. Have the dignity to properly inform yourself before you start spewing bile over an entire idea.

(For the record, the good games I was thinking of were Fallen London and Eliminate Pro, and while I don't play many FTP/mobile games both of them handle the "free-to-wait" model in two different and equally good ways)

xEightBitPlayerx said:
I hope this game model dies a quick death; Who would support something like this?
Because some games do it well (google "Fallen London" because all my links break) and the developers producing that content deserve money.

EDIT: The mike drop at the end made me squee a bit. Glad that's back.
Fallen London is less of a game and more of a "Click here, then here, then here and we'll see ya tomorrow" moment.

A game should be enjoyable and accommodating to the player and shouldn't force the player to either wait or force the player to be their marketing team for them. Not to mention that the game requires several actions to finish a single storyline or mission and the prices for items are extremely high for no reason. Long story sort, Fallen London may not be as bad, but it is still a poor excuse for a free to play model when I can just boot up League of Legends, Team Fortress 2, Swtor or even WoW.
 

Vedli

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Jul 5, 2013
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deathbydeath said:
Vedli said:
You know in future maybe instead of acting like a crying six year old you could show examples about how "free to wait" can be done well because by starting out by being rude and telling someone to "shut up" and to "inform themselves" when the vast majority of this model (to an outsider like me anyway) does indeed seem to be quite exploitative, makes you look like an hysterical moron who's opinion shouldn't be taken seriously (I'm assuming you are someone who get a little too emotional over the subject and posted something from a place of passion rather than logic). I don't type this to be mean or lash out but you really did hurt your own argument by lashing out rather then calmly showing examples of the model done right.
... You call me out for opening a post with an insult/petulant comment and yet you do the same thing that I did. High five, bro. (Clarification: The first three words were written in something like an exasperated sigh; if I were speaking it, then I would have used the same tone and phrase to address my uncle when he gets drunk and starts ranting about the gays again)

Vedli said:
Secondly though I would ask the question, would either of the games you mentioned be any worse off if they removed the timers?
I have no clue how Fallen London would work if you removed the timers, but it would most likely cease being fun and cause players to get extremely bored extremely easily. Eliminate Pro, on the other hand, would remain pretty much exactly the same, except the devs wouldn't be able to make any money from it. I suggest you try them both; they are free, after all.
Which only proves my point doesn't it? By surrendering the high ground and opening with a insult/petulant comment I undermined my own argument. The point I will admit was a bit clumsily delivered. And this isn't your drunk uncle here. This a man who has been a champion for the mobile market in the past who has seen a favorite property from the past ruined in order to make a quick buck. You can see why this would leave Jim very angry? If you disagree then thats fine but (if you would excuse another clumsy analogy) you don't get to be the good guy just for fighting the bad guy, not if you use his same methods (not calling Jim a bad guy or anything, calm down everyone).
 

NuclearKangaroo

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Arawn said:
3:10 pretty much sums up any F2P (free to play) game, not just mobile or tablet games. I mean those PC F2P and console games too. You're given money that's almost useless by the truck full, and covet the token that one must pay to acquire. For the most part I'll play most F2P games up to the point where said bought currency is REQUIRED to progress. At that point the game is over. It's almost a game I play within in such games; how long will it let me pay before making me buy pretend money. For most the shadow looms over me fairly quickly in others it's the elephant in the room that blend in with the grey paint; I know it's there, but don't care since I can't see it. The games that do F2P (in this case free to pay) well make the game itself enjoyable even though some content it hidden behind that pay wall. These forced waiting games pretty much build the wall brick by brick as you play slowing trying to coax you towards their storefront.
false

dota 2 and TF2 have no such currencies

in path of exile and loadout premium currency is only used for cosmetics

in league of legends you can buy all champions without using the premium currency and Lord of the Rings Online allows you to earn premium currency for free



and those are only the ones ive played



from my lmited knowledge, it seems that mobile games and facebook games are the most guilty of abusing the F2P model
 

Arawn

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Dec 18, 2003
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NuclearKangaroo said:
false

dota 2 and TF2 have no such currencies

in path of exile and loadout premium currency is only used for cosmetics

in league of legends you can buy all champions without using the premium currency and Lord of the Rings Online allows you to earn premium currency for free



and those are only the ones ive played



from my lmited knowledge, it seems that mobile games and facebook games are the most guilty of abusing the F2P model
That's still 2 types of currency. One of these currency you have to purchase. And there are items or products that can only be obtained with that purchased currency. Yes, some games do allow you to earn the purchased currency for "free" in game, but at a much lower rate than buying directly. Marvel puzzle quest on Steam does that. Other games let you earn them by clicking ads,doing surveys, subscribing to newsletters, etc. Not saying those games are evil because of it, just that I hate that system of play. Forced waits to test your resolve to no purchase a speed up or unlock that new shiny mcguffin. It seems stupid to call a game free to play when microtransactions are pretty blatant.Again, not calling the games stupid, but the system employed.
 

CarbonJames

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Atmos Duality said:
This is problematic because F2P games bank on user investment; time and/or money, which in turn, is (among other things) driving the market further and further away from selling full games.
I see things differently. My very first job in the industry I was lucky enough to be hired by Epic Games shortly before they released Unreal Tournament. I was inspired by Epic's passion to make the game great, and double inspired by watching Tim and Mark do battle against our publisher to release the "Bonus Packs" as free content. Smaller devs would have given in and just moved onto the next project, but Epic wanted to continue to not only patch bugs and improve the experience, they wanted to add new content.

I know, I was working on that stuff, and I was paid to do so. I added the Skaarj Hybrid and the Relics (art stuff) which wasn't something we were obligated to to. We did it because we believed it would make the game better, and help the game continue to sell and spread. Epic spent money to continue to develop UT after release, way beyond bugfixing. Looking back at it, UT could have been great for F2P when done by a respectable developer--the core game is free, and if you want skins and stuff they can be purchased. You get a huge community, and people can pay what they are comfortable with.

For our game AirMech, we have players who spend money just to say thanks and support us. It's actually really hard to spend a lot of money--the big spenders actually redistribute their wealth to others, doing giveaways and helping out new players. It's really heartwarming to watch.

Games as a service are a good thing as long as the devs aren't overly greedy. New players and new spenders pay for more content and more dev time. We are constantly adding features and content to AirMech that make the game better--not just cosmetics. Our only limitation is funding. As the game gets bigger, we invest more back into the game, and longtime players have a game that stays fresh and keeps getting better.
 

deathbydeath

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maddawg IAJI said:
Fallen London is less of a game and more of a "Click here, then here, then here and we'll see ya tomorrow" moment.

A game should be enjoyable and accommodating to the player and shouldn't force the player to either wait or force the player to be their marketing team for them. Not to mention that the game requires several actions to finish a single storyline or mission and the prices for items are extremely high for no reason. Long story sort, Fallen London may not be as bad, but it is still a poor excuse for a free to play model when I can just boot up League of Legends, Team Fortress 2, Swtor or even WoW.
The game was designed to be played during coffee breaks (or whatever your equivalent is), and it's just fine when played that way.

You seem to be judging FL as a game where you sit down and play it for several hours in the evening, and in that regard yes it is a terrible example of a FTW/FTP game. However, saying that LoL/TF2/TOR/WoW is better than Fallen London is like saying that a microwave is better than a toaster, and vice-versa. Sure, you can't sit down and fill an entire evening with a Fallen London session, but you can't fill a coffee break with a League match, either. Other things LoL/TF2/TOR/WoW don't have but FL does include: sheer novelty, really good writing, Lovecraftian horror, Victorian-era England, tiger wrestling, orphan chimney-sweeps, and Mr. Eaten.
 

deathbydeath

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Vedli said:
Which only proves my point doesn't it? By surrendering the high ground and opening with a insult/petulant comment I undermined my own argument. The point I will admit was a bit clumsily delivered. And this isn't your drunk uncle here. This a man who has been a champion for the mobile market in the past who has seen a favorite property from the past ruined in order to make a quick buck. You can see why this would leave Jim very angry? If you disagree then thats fine but (if you would excuse another clumsy analogy) you don't get to be the good guy just for fighting the bad guy, not if you use his same methods (not calling Jim a bad guy or anything, calm down everyone).
So because one of Jim's favorite IPs has been fucked over he gets to omit examples to the contrary and disregard an entire payment model for video games? If that's true than I'll go ahead and say that Rockstar is a shit company filled with shit people who make shit games with shit writing because Max Payne 3 was a terrible successor to MP1&2.

Also, you were the first person to bring morality into this. I claimed no moral high ground, so please don't say I did unless you want this to get nasty (that wasn't really intended to be a threat, that kind of false moral shaming just pisses me off really easily).
 

Evonisia

Your sinner, in secret
Jun 24, 2013
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The fury and the mic drop, truly Jim's passionate about this subject, and it shows.
 

Atmos Duality

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CarbonJames said:
I see things differently. My very first job in the industry I was lucky enough to be hired by Epic Games shortly before they released Unreal Tournament. I was inspired by Epic's passion to make the game great, and double inspired by watching Tim and Mark do battle against our publisher to release the "Bonus Packs" as free content. Smaller devs would have given in and just moved onto the next project, but Epic wanted to continue to not only patch bugs and improve the experience, they wanted to add new content.
I cut my modding teeth on Quake 2, UT99' and Command & Conquer.
Those relics were amazing at the time (random spawning on nodes was quite the trick back when ChaosQ2 did it), and inspired more than a few fan works (Technolog Pack).

For our game AirMech, we have players who spend money just to say thanks and support us. It's actually really hard to spend a lot of money--the big spenders actually redistribute their wealth to others, doing giveaways and helping out new players. It's really heartwarming to watch.
That's a nice feelgood story; (I'm not being sarcastic, I mean it), but it's a complete irregularity.
Which is what I'd expect in a market that is almost entirely profit-driven.

Games as a service are a good thing as long as the devs aren't overly greedy.
Depends who you ask.
If you're a developer, it's great, because it means the potential for long term revenue and continued relevance.
If you're a player, well, it can be plenty fun, but don't get too attached.

Services come with additional dependencies and design criteria (for better and worse...in my experience, mostly worse).
Developers are dependent on regulars to cover maintenance costs, users are dependent on the developer for basic functionality (before you get to anything involving design or content).

New players and new spenders pay for more content and more dev time. We are constantly adding features and content to AirMech that make the game better--not just cosmetics. Our only limitation is funding. As the game gets bigger, we invest more back into the game, and longtime players have a game that stays fresh and keeps getting better.
Until it becomes infeasible to maintain. Then it all disappears in one fell swoop.

It's already happened to me before...(a few times now that I think about it)
Now I admit it's just my bias speaking, but pardon me for not thinking fondly of service-centric games when hundreds of hours of my life disappeared without warning.
 

thepyrethatburns

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canadamus_prime said:
thepyrethatburns said:
canadamus_prime said:
DementedSheep said:
Is this really a scam? It not like you can't see what it is and it's sneakily taking money from your account. If people are buying it they are getting something out of it personally or they are just stupid. Either way how much money they spend on these things is on their heads and I don't see why we should care.
You should care because as long as incredibly stupid people buy into this crap then more of this crap will continue to be made. And in the worst case scenario it'll come to a point where you'll have no choice but to buy into it yourself because it'll be the only thing available. That's why.
That strikes me as an issue with gamers/magpies with money.

"Well, I have to play this because it's the only thing coming out."

So the Rapture happened and everything gaming-related from the Amiga to the Xbox360 got called home to heaven. No? Well, then there are enough games out there that you will ALWAYS have the choice not to buy into it. The only reason that gamers would have to buy into it is because of decades of being conditioned to buy the latest thing as soon as it comes out. Only "incredibly stupid people" would feel that they have no choice but to buy into something that they don't want to.

Even if the Video Game Rapture happens and it sucks everything but free-to-wait games up to heaven...

Y'know, there are other things to do with your life.
Ok let me rephrase that. In the worst case scenario you'd have no choice but to buy into Free to Wait if you wanted to play anything new.
In which case, you don't.

That's the point that I'm making. We, as a consumer base, have the option to not buy into this. If that's the only thing new coming out, then play some of the games that you missed this generation (If you can say that you have played every good game on PC/Wii/PS3/360 that came out during this generation, then you REALLY need to get some sun.) and wait out that phase of game development.

I try not to bring this up a lot but I am skipping this console generation entirely. Despite this, I'm still going to have new experiences just because of the sheer number of games that I've never finished. I have games that go all the way back to the NES that I haven't finished. Last year, I thoroughly beat Rogue Galaxy (a PS2 game) for the first time. Currently, I'm playing through Sacrifice (2000 PC game) and beating all the campaigns for the first time.

Yes, maybe some developer/publishers will collapse if gamers dust off their older consoles rather than buy games they hate. Hell, we might have an even worse replay of the 1983 crash where developers/publishers crash, stores close, sites shut down, and Jim Sterling makes a video entitled "Please start buying Buy-To-Wait games. I need this job."

But meaningful change demands sacrifice. If that's what it would take to steer gaming back to a more consumer-friendly, then so be it. The power is in the hands of the consumers. We just tell ourselves that it's not because it's harder to make changes in our "I gotta have all the shinies" attitude than it is to just kvetch about the situation.


This video applies to both sides of the equation. On the publisher/developer side, this is the mentality of the people trying to pressure you into buying worthless swampland.

But it also applies to gamers. To paraphrase:

If you're willing to wield the power, it's yours. If you're not, I have no sympathy for you.

It doesn't matter what you think other people will do. That's just an excuse to avoid action.

It doesn't matter what the developer/publishers are going to do. They're the ones trying to convince you to buy into this.

All that matters is what you can do about the situation. If you don't like the direction that the industry is going, stop buying their product. It's that simple.
 

CarbonJames

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Atmos Duality said:
Until it becomes infeasible to maintain. Then it all disappears in one fell swoop.

It's already happened to me before...(a few times now that I think about it)
Now I admit it's just my bias speaking, but pardon me for not thinking fondly of service-centric games when hundreds of hours of my life disappeared without warning.
Lots of valid points in the non-quoted parts, but I wanted to comment on this in particular since it's something we've had in mind from day 1. Our game is very cheap to operate when it comes to servers and infrastructure. I did not want to build one of those house of cards that needs 20 devs just to keep the servers up. We are now at 9 devs and that's with actively expanding the game. We plan to support user generated maps. Maintaining the game probably would need 2 devs.

Our next planned project (a successor to Fat Princess, codename Cake) uses the same tech, so we can operate 2 games while keeping the core engine supported and continually improved.

We are the oddball though. If you are EA, you don't make games like this. You don't even approve games that don't project to make a billion dollars. For us, we just want to make enough to keep making games, and throw some mud in the eyes of companies exploiting players, showing that there is a better option. We don't have execs to pay and marketing machines to run. Carbon is devs making games for players, cutting executive management and marketing out of the loop. The end result (we hope) is a better value for everyone.
 

Atmos Duality

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CarbonJames said:
Lots of valid points in the non-quoted parts, but I wanted to comment on this in particular since it's something we've had in mind from day 1. Our game is very cheap to operate when it comes to servers and infrastructure. I did not want to build one of those house of cards that needs 20 devs just to keep the servers up. We are now at 9 devs and that's with actively expanding the game. We plan to support user generated maps. Maintaining the game probably would need 2 devs.
Well, sounds like you have a longer term game established and it seems your heart is in the right place.
Best of luck.
 

Vedli

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Jul 5, 2013
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deathbydeath said:
Vedli said:
Which only proves my point doesn't it? By surrendering the high ground and opening with a insult/petulant comment I undermined my own argument. The point I will admit was a bit clumsily delivered. And this isn't your drunk uncle here. This a man who has been a champion for the mobile market in the past who has seen a favorite property from the past ruined in order to make a quick buck. You can see why this would leave Jim very angry? If you disagree then thats fine but (if you would excuse another clumsy analogy) you don't get to be the good guy just for fighting the bad guy, not if you use his same methods (not calling Jim a bad guy or anything, calm down everyone).
So because one of Jim's favorite IPs has been fucked over he gets to omit examples to the contrary and disregard an entire payment model for video games? If that's true than I'll go ahead and say that Rockstar is a shit company filled with shit people who make shit games with shit writing because Max Payne 3 was a terrible successor to MP1&2.

Also, you were the first person to bring morality into this. I claimed no moral high ground, so please don't say I did unless you want this to get nasty (that wasn't really intended to be a threat, that kind of false moral shaming just pisses me off really easily).
Okay Kid, I was just trying to help you make a better argument since I thought you had a good one and maybe understand why Jim was so angry and how anger can lead to mistakes because thats how emotions work, when you get angry about something you will often omit things if you are attacking something, not because of some sinister agenda but just because your not thinking clearly. Thats why I brought up "morality" as you put it. If Jim is all angry your arguements are more compelling if you keep calm and don't resort to petty comebacks. Although yes, telling someone to shut up is not exactly the worse thing you could of done still it's not the best counter point in the world unlike your later one with examples of F2W done well but hey your nearly 15 years old you know everything (I know I was like that). And yes that last part was a joke :p

sigh, teenagers (I look forward to your future angry response).
 

Something Amyss

Aswyng and Amyss
Dec 3, 2008
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So does this mean people are going to stop claiming Jim's okay with this particular model in Free 2 Play games, or amI still going to have to argue this point?
 

CarbonJames

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Zachary Amaranth said:
So does this mean people are going to stop claiming Jim's okay with this particular model in Free 2 Play games, or amI still going to have to argue this point?
But Jim in the context of this video is a character, it's not the real human Jim that must know there's good and bad implementations of F2P.

It's a shame that doing videos like this just helps promote them (even bad press is good press) where the real way to affect change or damage EA is to just boycott and ignore them. Find the good examples, praise them.

But that's not as funny. (I love Jim's character myself, it's only reflecting on this later that I come to this conclusion)
 

NuclearKangaroo

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Arawn said:
NuclearKangaroo said:
false

dota 2 and TF2 have no such currencies

in path of exile and loadout premium currency is only used for cosmetics

in league of legends you can buy all champions without using the premium currency and Lord of the Rings Online allows you to earn premium currency for free



and those are only the ones ive played



from my lmited knowledge, it seems that mobile games and facebook games are the most guilty of abusing the F2P model
That's still 2 types of currency. One of these currency you have to purchase. And there are items or products that can only be obtained with that purchased currency. Yes, some games do allow you to earn the purchased currency for "free" in game, but at a much lower rate than buying directly. Marvel puzzle quest on Steam does that. Other games let you earn them by clicking ads,doing surveys, subscribing to newsletters, etc. Not saying those games are evil because of it, just that I hate that system of play. Forced waits to test your resolve to no purchase a speed up or unlock that new shiny mcguffin. It seems stupid to call a game free to play when microtransactions are pretty blatant.Again, not calling the games stupid, but the system employed.
none of the games i mentioned use that, each of those games either offer all gameplay content for free or a huge amount of it for free

just play any of those games before reaching any conclusion, they are free and they are good, TF2 is my favorite online FPS of all time, Loadout is an enjoyable online shooter, Path of Exile is one of the best ARPGs avaliable at the moment, i enjoyed LoL quite a bit, i hate Dota 2 and its community but i seem to be a minority there, and in my limited experienced with MMORPGs, Lord of the Rings Online wasnt half bad
 

Something Amyss

Aswyng and Amyss
Dec 3, 2008
24,760
0
0
CarbonJames said:
But Jim in the context of this video is a character, it's not the real human Jim that must know there's good and bad implementations of F2P.
The previous people talking about this were using a prior Jimquisition to justify it, so it's in-character vs in-character.
 

mindfaQ

New member
Dec 6, 2013
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Not sure if this has been posted here already, but it is relevant to this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=RHC-uGDbu7s
basically EA uses every bad tactic in the book and it illustrates the basics of microtransations in general.
 

Canadamus Prime

Robot in Disguise
Jun 17, 2009
14,334
0
0
thepyrethatburns said:
canadamus_prime said:
thepyrethatburns said:
canadamus_prime said:
DementedSheep said:
Is this really a scam? It not like you can't see what it is and it's sneakily taking money from your account. If people are buying it they are getting something out of it personally or they are just stupid. Either way how much money they spend on these things is on their heads and I don't see why we should care.
You should care because as long as incredibly stupid people buy into this crap then more of this crap will continue to be made. And in the worst case scenario it'll come to a point where you'll have no choice but to buy into it yourself because it'll be the only thing available. That's why.
That strikes me as an issue with gamers/magpies with money.

"Well, I have to play this because it's the only thing coming out."

So the Rapture happened and everything gaming-related from the Amiga to the Xbox360 got called home to heaven. No? Well, then there are enough games out there that you will ALWAYS have the choice not to buy into it. The only reason that gamers would have to buy into it is because of decades of being conditioned to buy the latest thing as soon as it comes out. Only "incredibly stupid people" would feel that they have no choice but to buy into something that they don't want to.

Even if the Video Game Rapture happens and it sucks everything but free-to-wait games up to heaven...

Y'know, there are other things to do with your life.
Ok let me rephrase that. In the worst case scenario you'd have no choice but to buy into Free to Wait if you wanted to play anything new.
In which case, you don't.

That's the point that I'm making. We, as a consumer base, have the option to not buy into this. If that's the only thing new coming out, then play some of the games that you missed this generation (If you can say that you have played every good game on PC/Wii/PS3/360 that came out during this generation, then you REALLY need to get some sun.) and wait out that phase of game development.

I try not to bring this up a lot but I am skipping this console generation entirely. Despite this, I'm still going to have new experiences just because of the sheer number of games that I've never finished. I have games that go all the way back to the NES that I haven't finished. Last year, I thoroughly beat Rogue Galaxy (a PS2 game) for the first time. Currently, I'm playing through Sacrifice (2000 PC game) and beating all the campaigns for the first time.

Yes, maybe some developer/publishers will collapse if gamers dust off their older consoles rather than buy games they hate. Hell, we might have an even worse replay of the 1983 crash where developers/publishers crash, stores close, sites shut down, and Jim Sterling makes a video entitled "Please start buying Buy-To-Wait games. I need this job."

But meaningful change demands sacrifice. If that's what it would take to steer gaming back to a more consumer-friendly, then so be it. The power is in the hands of the consumers. We just tell ourselves that it's not because it's harder to make changes in our "I gotta have all the shinies" attitude than it is to just kvetch about the situation.


This video applies to both sides of the equation. On the publisher/developer side, this is the mentality of the people trying to pressure you into buying worthless swampland.

But it also applies to gamers. To paraphrase:

If you're willing to wield the power, it's yours. If you're not, I have no sympathy for you.

It doesn't matter what you think other people will do. That's just an excuse to avoid action.

It doesn't matter what the developer/publishers are going to do. They're the ones trying to convince you to buy into this.

All that matters is what you can do about the situation. If you don't like the direction that the industry is going, stop buying their product. It's that simple.
Ah, but you weren't listening. I didn't say that that's what's happening now. I said that that would be the worst case scenario of what could happen if idiots kept buying into this Free to Wait bullshit.
And you can talk all you want about voting with your wallet and whatever, but the fact of the matter is as long as enough people are buying it it's not going to go away and could possibly get worse. Am I going to buy into this Free to Wait? Fuck no! But are significant numbers of other people? I would bet money on that.
Also do you really have enough faith in your fellow gamers to sacrifice their entertainment for the sake of change? 'Cause I certainly do not.
 

Atmos Duality

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canadamus_prime said:
Also do you really have enough faith in your fellow gamers to sacrifice their entertainment for the sake of change? 'Cause I certainly do not.
Sorry to butt in here, but I get the feeling that when folks talk about another "Crash", they're thinking of the moment when shit like this goes too far and becomes too common for even the idiots to sustain it.

While a total crash won't occur (it can't; not while there's good alternatives across the market as a whole), there is a "bubble" growing for the specific part of the market that pulls this shit. The worst offender was Zynga, and while they enjoyed entirely too much profit for their shitty grinders at the hands of casual idiots, eventually they too fell.

Some day, these "magpie gamers" will, either through chance or word of mouth, encounter a game that's so much better than this crap that it'll blow their mind. And when that day comes, the bubble will pop, and that fickle ***** named "relevancy" will move on.

Until that day comes, those of us who know better will have to sit here and sigh.
(as long as there are good games available anyway)
 

Redlin5_v1legacy

Better Red than Dead
Aug 5, 2009
48,837
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The worst part is that there are parents who will feed their children's addiction to games microtransaction wagons without much thought. Sure the five bucks a day to keep your kid happy seems insignificant during the moment but over time you'll end up spending far more than you would for a real handheld system and half a dozen games.

Mic drop indeed sir. Mic drop indeed.

[sup][sup]I'm not saying there are no good mobile games... It's just that so many of them use this model that I personally don't take it seriously as a platform anymore.[/sup][/sup]
 

Canadamus Prime

Robot in Disguise
Jun 17, 2009
14,334
0
0
Atmos Duality said:
canadamus_prime said:
Also do you really have enough faith in your fellow gamers to sacrifice their entertainment for the sake of change? 'Cause I certainly do not.
Sorry to butt in here, but I get the feeling that when folks talk about another "Crash", they're thinking of the moment when shit like this goes too far and becomes too common for even the idiots to sustain it.

While a total crash won't occur (it can't; not while there's good alternatives across the market as a whole), there is a "bubble" growing for the specific part of the market that pulls this shit. The worst offender was Zynga, and while they enjoyed entirely too much profit for their shitty grinders at the hands of casual idiots, eventually they too fell.

Some day, these "magpie gamers" will, either through chance or word of mouth, encounter a game that's so much better than this crap that it'll blow their mind. And when that day comes, the bubble will pop, and that fickle ***** named "relevancy" will move on.

Until that day comes, those of us who know better will have to sit here and sigh.
(as long as there are good games available anyway)
I didn't say anything about a crash, although at this stage one would be desirable. It was thepyrethatburns that mentioned the crash of '83.
No my biggest fear when it comes to gaming is that there are more than enough "magpie gamers," as you call them, to show the bean counters that shit like Free to Wait is actually sustainable and thus shit like that will become the norm. I don't want to see that happen The industry has already devolved into a dilapidated mess that I barely want to have anything to do with and I don't want to see it get worse.
 

Jimothy Sterling

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Meanwhile: Bravely Default comes out, uses Free To Play concepts, and is the BEST FUCKING GAME EVER EVERYONE GO BUY IT.
 

Nazulu

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It doesn't look professional when you just swear up a storm. I know it's to make your stance clear, but I think it only works when it's funny in some way, otherwise it's usually obnoxious.

However, I agree with you Jim. This is a different type of swindling. Paying for fluff that doesn't improve anything and quickly runs out, including that there are 10 times better games out there. These developers/publishers can lick the insides of my *** **** ***** ***.
 

kuolonen

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geier said:
kuolonen said:
geier said:
Were that we lived in a world of infinite resources that would be true. But alas this is not so, and when this pay to win scenario bubble bursts, as people like Jim keep telling it will, it will hurt the entire industry. If you see a person standing next to you using 100 tons of TNT as bonfire, will you just say: "oh well, that wont affect me"?

Also money siphoned out of our misguided gamer brothers/sisters will not only bloat the bubble to come, but will also mean less money on games you too would probably like to see succeeding. Also free publicity really only can be good so far, I don't think that EA likes the "free publicity" of having been voted worst company in america for example.
I disagree. Yes, when the bubble explodes it will take down many studios and many people will lose their jobs. But in the end it will only affect the big budget games, or the bloated mobile market. Don't forget, the games market had already one crisis.
Imagine: A indy studio creates a Dungeon Keeper clone (like i said in my first post) and every site/reviewer that tore the mobile Keeper game a new one tells the fans about it. Not as a ad or for money, just to show the gamers a good example of how to bring a PC game to a mobile device.
Fair enough. Personally I think your prediction is way too optimistic. It's not like I will cry myself to sleep if my assumption of the wholesale collapse of industry will not come true. In fact I would prefer to be wrong.
 

lukesparow

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While the people making these games are indeed pigs, the people supporting it are even worse!
Who in the right mind would support a game that abuses this model?
 

WarpZone

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lukesparow said:
While the people making these games are indeed pigs, the people supporting it are even worse!
Who in the right mind would support a game that abuses this model?
People with more money than brains. We're in a global recession right now, remember? If you overcharge rich people and scare away normal people, you come out ahead. Or at least that's the prevailing wisdom among the suits, hacks, pimps and patent trolls.

Is anyone who's not an asshole making any money? If so, it'd be nice to hear about that, just for a change.
 

klaynexas3

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irishda said:
Holy shit, these free games are making me not play them. That's just the WORST! When you don't spend money to play a game that's really not all that immersive, and you don't get to play it all the time. I mean MY GOD. And then they take it to "AAA" games where they're like, "Hey, if you give us money we'll give you better stuff. You don't really need it, but it makes things go faster." As gamers, we can't be expected to THINK for ourselves or have any sort of consumer instincts or even have some fucking patience. We NEED gratification instantly! Otherwise we'd be building up an actual life skill or bettering ourselves somehow. Clearly the prominence of cheap little one off games we DON'T HAVE TO PAY A DIME FOR is the worst thing to happen to everyone. Even worse, it's infecting other media now. Did you know I have to wait a WHOLE WEEK for a new Walking Dead show? And I PAY for cable; it's not even free, like these games are.

I mean fuck's sake, Jim, it doesn't help the media perception of gamers as giant children when you're treating them as a bunch of lemmings or Family Guy's James Woods, who can't help but follow the trail of candy to wherever it leads because they have no concept of money or willpower. It's just pathetic now.
Except the difference between having to wait for a TV show and waiting in these little mobile games is this: You can't pay extra to get the TV show early, where as with the mobile game you pay to unlock something you would have gotten over time anyway, and then all that does for you is put you in a place where you have to pay again to unlock a little something else and repeat the process. It gets you no further in any actual gameplay, it just holds it behind a pay wall that you have to pay at every 3 seconds to continue on in the game. It's a shitty model to use in games and makes for shitty games. If we want the media to take us seriously, maybe we should take ourselves seriously first and to do so we need to stand up for ourselves at the times when we perceive something to be outright bullshit.

If you want an accurate comparison from TV to these games, it'd be likened to getting to watch a minute of an episode, and then either have to pay for the next minute of the episode or wait a few hours and do this every time. It's a disgusting business practice that shouldn't be accepted in its current form.
 

lukesparow

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WarpZone said:
lukesparow said:
While the people making these games are indeed pigs, the people supporting it are even worse!
Who in the right mind would support a game that abuses this model?
People with more money than brains. We're in a global recession right now, remember? If you overcharge rich people and scare away normal people, you come out ahead. Or at least that's the prevailing wisdom among the suits, hacks, pimps and patent trolls.

Is anyone who's not an asshole making any money? If so, it'd be nice to hear about that, just for a change.
The folks at Naughty Dog see to be making plenty!
 

Jimothy Sterling

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The other big company in this picture is Supercell. They made $464 in profit last year despite employing less than 150 people. Their games follow this 'free to wait' model and whilst they are well made examples their skinner box structure is still designed to keep people 'playing' in the same troubling way.

We should stop heaping praise on these cow clicker producing morons. The ability to make the most easy profit is not the only measure of a gaming company. Whilst they seem like decent people their use of a revenue system akin to a casino makes them part of the problem.
 

Jimothy Sterling

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GamemasterAnthony said:
CAPTCHA: game is up

Truer words were never spoken, Captcha.

Honestly, this is the reason why I am glad for games like Maple Story and why games like Candy Crush are bollocks. I just want to play, damn you!
And this is the company in ownership of Bioware. Ha, Ha, Frak you, EA. Indeed, Battle Nations isn't this idiotic! Captcha: Autism Speaks Yes, yes it does.
 

Dreiko_v1legacy

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I never even knew of dungeon keeper before this mess and I am annoyed, I can't imagine what the fans of the series who took so long to get a sequel must feel. I assume it's something like SE finally giving us a new Chrono Trigger but making it a phone game where you have to buy your way through the time shifts and where every single attack is Gill Toss and you need to buy gill with real money.
 

Jimothy Sterling

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aegix drakan said:
MeChaNiZ3D said:
However, it does have plenty of that time shit. Warframes take 84 hours - 3 and a half days - to build optimally, weapons generally take 12 - 24, and clan research takes 3-4 days.
You can still play when that shit's going on, right? Then yeah, it's annoying, but at least you can still play the game.

Unlike freakin' Spiral Knights, where the slowly-regenerating resource for forging was the same as the resource you needed to go into the dungeons. :s So if you forge anything, you can't go dungeoneering the rest of the day. It gets worse when the high tier stuff takes MORE than the regenerating resource cap.
Since no one has replied directly, yes, Warframe does not stop while you are crafting stuff. You can still use your existing frame and weapons, unlock new areas, earn credits and farm more resources while you're waiting for the new whatsit to build.

You don't really need to look into crafting for the first few player ranks anyway, the early weapons (I'm thinking Braton, Lex and Sicarus) can be outright bought for credits, no crafting required, and they can be made to be useful for a very long time.
 

Sofus

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It's only going to get worse. I have been against the concet of free to play for almost a dcade now, but the majority of the people I have talked to just don't care.. they assumes that it won't infect normal games.

Just wait a few years and I have no doubt that we will begin to see tripple A games that use some twisted version of the free to play concept. If publishers don't go broke on that, then it's only a matter of time before we have to pay the usual 60 euro just to download free to play games.

Remember the store in Dead Space 3? Imagine if you will, that the devs hadn't added resources for the play to collect. I expect the future of gaming to be alot like that.
 

TheTinyMan

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So I've got a pretty unpopular opinion - so far I've been having a lot of fun with the Dungeon Keeper mobile game, and I haven't paid a cent into it. Most of the criticisms I've seen seem completely unfair.

The game doesn't *prevent* anyone from giving it a bad rating. It's *asking* people to give it 5 stars. If someone says "no" to that, they have every freedom to go to the actual store (where they'd have to go to rate any other app) and rate it one star. It's definitely a behavior that skews the ratings, but so is showing a message that says "if you like us please rate us." After all, this way, users that aren't tech-savvy enough to go to the store to rate it but want to rate it badly don't understand the power they have, and users that have that degree of tech-savviness who want to rate it *highly* have an easy way to do so...so that's skewing the ratings a bit more, but I don't think I'd call it dishonest. If you hit "no, I don't think you deserve 5 stars," their response isn't "well fuck off," it's, "tell us why." Now...we ARE talking about EA, so I'm not exactly filled with trust that they'd respond to that feedback well, but it's encouraging to me that they're asking for it.

"Digging one square takes 6 hours." I only started playing this in response to seeing all of the criticism of it, so there might have been balancing patches since most of that criticism was formed...but it takes 3 seconds to dig out most squares. I have two imps, and when I sit down just to dig, the two of them are completing their 3 second timers just a little bit after I'm ready to click on a third dirt square. There are two other types of squares - one that takes 4 hours to dig through, and one that takes 24. The game is perfectly playable without digging through those. Yeah, I have to dig through a bunch to get to some extra resources, but so far I think I'm about 1/3 of the way through the game and I have loads of space left in the area I can clear out quickly. By the way, there are *zero* squares that can't be mined out, I think - and the PC games had several of those. Is a 24 hour dig time really worse than a square you can't dig through at all? Now, I am starting to encounter some pretty hefty building construction times - 6 hours or so. I just don't *do* those tasks unless I'm about to go to work or go to bed. Oh, by the way - divide any "duration" by two if you're actually playing, because you can double your imps' work rate consistently. It has to be refreshed every half hour but it costs you nothing to do so.

Jim has also griped that there is nothing to do during these egregiously long wait times. I didn't run into any moments where I had NOTHING to do until I was a couple of hours into the game (and was facing a 15 minute wait time). Between rearranging my dungeon, buying minions, attacking other dungeons, and buying quickly-built traps, I had plenty to do. I had to keep one imp free to rearrange my dungeon if I wanted to dig, or to buy traps, but that's just resource management. I have downtime in Starcraft too, if I'm managing my resources badly. Much less of it when I make a mistake I suppose, but I can cancel any task in DK and unless I'm canceling building a room (or maybe a trap also? I haven't tried that yet.) it don't cost me any money to do so.

Now...the pace of Dungeon Keeper has *just happened* to fit perfectly into my life in the last week. I've had 10-15 minutes at a time to game, followed by long stretches of time where I'm at work, or hanging out with the girlfriend, or doing something else. (Mostly being at work. :p) If I tried to sit down with it and just play, play, play for a four-hour stretch, I couldn't do that. But that's not what this game is trying to be.

It's funny that people keep listing Warframe as an example of a F2P game that feels better, because I played two or three missions in Warframe and got bored and quit. I could see all of this delicious content, and it was all behind paywalls - and meanwhile I wasn't having fun with what struck me as the very repetitive gameplay and uninteresting abilities available to me. I played it the first or second month that it was released on Steam, though, so maybe it's changed by then - and maybe I'm just not the target audience.

I had a very similar experience with LoL, too. All of these neat characters, and I only get to play a few of them, and none of the free ones (at the time) really grabbed me. I did wind up shelling out some cash for a character during the four or five matches I played. Wound up not liking that character either, and I said, "well eff this, I'm not going to spend money to find things I don't like" and stopped. I think that the UI gave me a lot of issue, though - I hate Diablo II and III too, because the pont-and-click interface just doesn't do it for me for an action game where I only control one character.
 

CarbonJames

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TheTinyMan said:
...the pont-and-click interface just doesn't do it for me for an action game where I only control one character.
Have you tried AirMech? Disclaimer, it's my game, but I'm honestly curious what you think of our F2P model. Plus it's sort of like a Dota game except with direct control PLUS you can build and order units around, so what you said there makes me think you might like it.
 

Britisheagle

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I am surprised that the mobile game "Marvel: War of Heroes" isn't mentioned on any of these lists. I mean Final Fantasy at least you know what you are paying for, in Marvel you are expected to fork out a shit ton of money for what is effectively a chance at something worthwhile. But that is how trading card games are, I hear you say. Yes but trading card games are far cheaper and do not feature a heavily influenced pay - to - win scheme. There are people on there that have paid $1000's. Thousands. On a mobile game. I will let that sink in.
 

TheTinyMan

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CarbonJames said:
Have you tried AirMech?
Not yet, but it looks like fun in the video. ...did I just see a little Google Chrome-ship?! I love it, haha! I'll try to check it out this weekend if I find the time. :)
 

CarbonJames

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TheTinyMan said:
Not yet, but it looks like fun in the video. ...did I just see a little Google Chrome-ship?! I love it, haha! I'll try to check it out this weekend if I find the time. :)
Yes, we have that from our Chrome launch of the game. I'd suggest the PC or Steam version as a first pick for playerbase and performance, but it is pretty cool we were able to make the whole thing in the browser too. Definitely made the initial porting work to Android much easier...

Also, that video is absolutely ancient. We need to do a new one as we approach the end of beta.
 

WarpZone

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lukesparow said:
WarpZone said:
lukesparow said:
While the people making these games are indeed pigs, the people supporting it are even worse!
Who in the right mind would support a game that abuses this model?
People with more money than brains. We're in a global recession right now, remember? If you overcharge rich people and scare away normal people, you come out ahead. Or at least that's the prevailing wisdom among the suits, hacks, pimps and patent trolls.

Is anyone who's not an asshole making any money? If so, it'd be nice to hear about that, just for a change.
The folks at Naughty Dog see to be making plenty!
Meh. I suppose. I can't maintain a rage-on for Naughty Dog. The worst thing they're guilty of is decently functional play mechanics tied to lukewarm original IP. The only thing they've done that I found offensive was the critical acclaim surrounding The Last of Us which prevented me from realizing the story was intended to be subversive. And that was hardly their fault.
 

shadree

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I was actually thinking about this yesterday having played Puzzle Quest: Marvel Dark Reign. It seems an especially stupid idea considering I can buy a whole playable game from $2 these days, why would I want to pay $2 to simply continue playing one?
 

GamerFromJump

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All the Bravest will go down in infamy as the day Square sold its soul to the microtransaction devil.