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"Those who go mad are merely thoughtful souls who failed to reach any conclusions." - Bloodborne

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Hey fellow Gamers, stop being so fucking stupid. Please?

Let me ask you guys something... could we PLEASE stop supporting bullshit in the gaming industry already? Please? Let me explain.

In order to raise profits higher and higher, certain things have been and are being done to video games that are incredibly stupid. Things like real world ads inside of games, on disc DLC, crazy micro transactions, etc. You hear about a company's dirty dealings, mistreatment of their staff and all assortment of shady, greedy dealings, especially from companies like EA. But for some reason, none of this seems to matter. People keep supporting it. We've got to stop.

If we don't, I think we're going to take this industry down a very bad path. A good example is a soon-to-be-released, in North America anyway, 3DS game called Bravely Default. It's a cool looking game but there's a big issue. In the game you get "sleep points" by leaving your 3DS in sleep mode. Every (non-consecutive) eight hour period you do this, you get one SP up to a maximum of three. These are, apparently, used in battle to stop time. If you don't feel like waiting, you can simply by special "SP drinks" or some such in the eShop for real money that will instantly give you three.

Some people might just say "oh well that's optional, I just won't do it" or "I don't have time to earn SP so I'll just buy them that way." The problem with the first statement, is that things like this still affect the design of the game. Being able to buy power or wins, even if you don't HAVE TO sets a REALLY bad precedent. What incentive do the developers have to make earning SP fun, or at least not take forever, if they want you to buy it with actual money? The problem with the second statement is that things like that used to be called "cheats" in the form of codes or unlockables. Now instead of you entering a special code or finding a hidden area to unlock a cheat, developers are simply asking you to get out your credit card.

One defense of this stuff I've seen is "oh well all games will have it soon anyway" which is complete bullshit. The video games industry is perhaps the greatest example of the phrase "vote with your wallet" that exists. Some developers can go under if one or two games flop. The effect our purchasing decisions make is, in some cases, that dramatic. We can simply choose not only to not purchase the micro transactions, but to avoid the games that have them entirely.

The other defense, which is that games are so much cheaper now than they were before and cost more to make, so devs need the money. I'm to call bullshit on that as well. One way game companies have chosen to make games more profitable are with DLC. When done correctly, DLC can be a great way for the devs to make more money and for us, the gamers, to get more content for our games. I'm all for good DLC that actually adds to the game and is fairly priced, that's fine and is a great way for developers to add to their profits. Shady tactics like monetizing cheats and ridiculous micro transactions aren't necessary at all.

So here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to email the company that made Bravely Default and let them know that I won't be buying the game due to their micro transaction policies. Then, I'm going to not buy the game. Imagine the response if a game came out that had this type of shit, sold poorly but the devs got a hundred thousand "well we would've bought your game if not for those micro transactions" emails? Things would change pretty goddamn quick. We have that kind of power, we just need to be smart enough to use it.

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