Disclaimer: I'm not trying to argue whether or not monetizaton and/or F2P game design in paid live service games is inherently good or bad, I'm just curious in figuring out how the gaming industry got to this point.
Also, I tried to cut the rambling as much as possible, but I still feel like I didn't do that enough; wrote this when I was tired.
By AAA retail live service games, i mean games with a price tag that play like an F2P game, like GTA Online (which, as one person on this sub once put it, "monetized bullying") and The Division 2, which is once again going through some negative feedback regarding yet another exceptionally grindy, repetitive mechanic that's currently in the works – amongst a few other negatively received changes over the past year, mainly pertaining to things normally locked behind premium credits.
I'm reminded of this post on thedivision, who puts what I've observed over the years better than I could:
Loot is not getting fixed because it would break their game's economy. What is game's economy? It is based on attention economy and behavioural economics. Also known as player engagement.
When you are having fun, you buy less. Unless you are being tricked into buying more to still have fun. Best way for them is that you don't even realize you are being tricked into buying more to still have fun. Or you think is harmless(e.g. it is only cosmetics, MTX). They know more about you than you know about yourself.Загрузка...
Ironically, this user is nowadays regarded as some sort of conspiracy theorist on the rare occasion he posts (much less brings up the quoted topic again), which brings me to the question I pose in the title. I get the feeling willful ignorance by Western consumers is what allows AAA retail live service to get away with these game design/monetization decisions – as far back as I can remember, Asian F2Ps were generally the butt of many a "real gamer" joke and/or rant, so I can only imagine nobody cared to know the inner workings of one, or the cultural and economic reasons behind such decisions.
I get why such game design decisions are made – as the saying goes, "a fool and his money are soon parted" – but I don't know how the industry as a whole got to this point. Maybe I'm just overthinking things and it's as simple as publishers fitting a square peg into a round hole and hoping it works.
edit: I'm gonna go ahead and say this comment and this comment make some sense ("because the competition's doing it" and "because technology", respectively), along with a general sense of "because the average gamer doesn't really care" from the rest of the comments.
I still think the phenomenon's due to ignorance rather than indifference – you can't be indifferent of something you're not aware of (see my comment on NBA 2K20), but I can understand where the other perspectives come from.
Source: Original link
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