Trick or Treat Activision
Have a seat Activision! Do you like making your consumers happy? Of course, you do, because video games make people happy and by those assumption developers and publishers intentions are to bring joy to those that want to be a digital warrior. I mean, there is nothing like grabbing a controller and pressing that start button to be put in a world where you can be anything and earn experience through your own skill. Granted not everyone has the ability of many skilled gamers, but should that open up a world of deception? Oh, don’t be so shocked by the word, since it has recently been revealed of such acts that we had to go back and think of said games we played…DO YOU DENY THIS? (silence) Oh, not talking huh? We are going to look through this thoroughly, so sit tight.
Sorry for the theatrics gamers, but I wanted to start things off as if I had Activision in an interrogation room as if we found their “Watergate Scandal”. Today Rolling Stone just revealed something interesting to the masses about Activision’s patented plans to use tricks in order to push low skilled gamers into buying in-game content to be at the same level of high tier players. Messed up right? Here is an image
Now, I am thinking back to Black Ops 3 and Infinite Warfare that features some microtransactions to obtain better gear. I mean yes, you can obtain the gear naturally and since many of my colleagues played quite well, it was weird that the drops were not rewarding. However, I did cave once and paid for some credits to get a higher tier box and behold I obtained higher end gear and weaponry. Also, as a colleague that will remain nameless stated, “I remember a lot of times see low levels with 1000 or close prestige on bo3”. I am getting tired of dismissing or understanding certain business tactics, because some may feel that they are alienating a particular demographic, but in doing so you are alienating another skilled demographic.
“For example, in one implementation, the system may include a microtransaction engine that arranges matches to influence game-related purchases,” according to the patent. “For instance, the microtransaction engine may match a more expert/marquee player with a junior player to encourage the junior player to make game-related purchases of items possessed/used by the marquee player. A junior player may wish to emulate the marquee player by obtaining weapons or other items used by the marquee player.”
Pretty much, we few that are top tier were walking in-game advertisements for those low-level players that would like to get good. It also seems to deduct potential customers in a game.
“In a particular example, the junior player may wish to become an expert sniper in a game (e.g., as determined from the player profile),” according to the patent. “The microtransaction engine may match the junior player with a player that is a highly skilled sniper in the game. In this manner, the junior player may be encouraged to make game-related purchases such as a rifle or other item used by the marquee player. “
Honestly, I only see this working in a Free-to-Play environment where you can encourage players to buy certain items or equipment to be a better player. However, all that still doesn’t make a better player which will show in any match with a low-tier vs. a high tier. I mean, it all comes down to skills people and this goes into other territories outside of this that I have addressed. Though I do get it when you have high skill players using certain items that as I recall I don’t remember purchasing just earning. You want to endorse the idea that if you have the same gear as them by buying said tokens or coins to get the gear. You will become a top-tier player, but again without the skill that gun or character you just bought will just make you frustrated and you will feel betrayed.
In the article, they also stated that even though this is meant for First Person Shooters, it can be used in other ways in other games. This brings me to the thought of Destiny leading to Destiny 2. You see it was originally with High Moon Studios then went to Activision, but at the end of Destiny, they implemented some in-game microtransactions with silver that you can purchase better emotes and sparrows. This idea went on into Destiny 2 with buying bright engrams. Now you remember those shaders we had in Destiny 1 that we could keep and didn’t run out? Well, in Destiny 2 they made it so that you can purchase them and yes they will run out which was in bad form if you ask me.
“Activision recently courted a bit of controversy with in-game purchases and Destiny 2. The Bungie-developed, Activision-published game stirred some player anger after its release with the way the game’s Shaders work. In the original game, a player could find or purchase for real money, a shader that could be used an unlimited amount of times on weapons and armor. In Destiny 2, the Shaders can still be purchased or found, but players feel they’re too hard to find and now, once used on a single item they vanish.”
That was kind of a d*ck move if you ask me. Now here is where you start blocking your giblets since Activision reported a nice earning of $3.6 billion from in-game sales in 2016 which is a boost from 2015 which only earned $1.6 billion. I think some companies are already using this idea since I spent a lot of money on Shark cards in GTA V online feature in which I realized that I am buying items that I can’t use in missions and there is no raid style mode that will lead me into benefiting from purchasing said items. The industry prey’s off of those that don’t have that kind of dedication anymore to spend hours on a game to earn things properly so we bite the bullet and buy the content we need. I.e Street Fighter V’s Content that you can earn or just flat out buy for an extra $30.
Is this fair? No, of course not, but that is the business we are falling prey too sadly. It is sad that some of us grind in games and get rewarded with crap, especially since we paid for the game to enjoy an experience versus someone who just gets the game and buys what they need and gets lucky with high-end gear. I know Halloween is coming up, but this is not a trick that I can just shrug off. – Beast Out –