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Default Opinion - 6 Worst Gaming Trends

October 18th, 2018, 11:55
Cultured Vultures shared their opinion on the 6 worst gaming trends of this generation.

1. Loot Boxes

Easily the trend that’s received the most publicity even outside the realm of gaming is loot boxes. Although it seems to be dying down again now that legal action was taken in some countries, it’s still very much a trend. Without any guarantee of getting anything worthwhile, loot boxes are annoying enough when purely for cosmetic purposes, so that only those who have enough money and a few other lucky people will have the cool skins and the like. That’s a problem by itself, but it’s not the main problem behind loot boxes and the whole reason for the fuss behind them.

The main problems arise when you get a situation like with Star Wars: Battlefront 2, where loot boxes are filled with items that help you progress. The game becomes not only pay-to-winbut RNG-based pay-to-win, where the wealthiest always has a massive head-start. You could argue that that makes the game more realistic but that really is beside the point. The point is that companies using loot boxes to make players pay out of their arses to have a shot against those who maxed out on day one by doing so is absolutely unacceptable, and it hasn’t been a major problem before this generation of consoles.

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October 18th, 2018, 11:55
No doubt this post will stir some serious rage, which is fine.
BUT.
What we see right now in the video games biz, is…
"Evolution, Morpheus, evolution. Like the dinosaur. Look out that window. You had your time. The future is our world, Morpheus. The future is our time."

Well, I'm not that literate as Agent Smith, so my observation is pretty blunt:
Games are becoming the Coke and Doritos of the digital culture. So let it be.
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October 18th, 2018, 12:19
Number 3 is nonsense. Just because a developer has plans for adding future content doesn't mean they're intentionally limiting the scope of the game. Many DLC are only viable because they are planned separate from the base game.

5 is purely nolstalgia driven. I can make three arguments for why digital distribution is an improvement

1. It's cheaper
2. It's more convenient
3. It's environmentally friendly
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October 18th, 2018, 13:13
Digital distribution is a blessing. Nowadays I can give a try to a game and return it for a refund if I do not like it.
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October 18th, 2018, 14:25
Originally Posted by Silver Coin View Post
Number 3 is nonsense.
It's an obvious fraud - selling halfbaked product only to nickle and dime the content cut out. And thanks to people like you, it's still happening instead of boycotting such practices and marking those as avoidware till the game is fully released.
Anyway, you bought last Tomb Raider right? It has 7 DLC deliberately removed from the release version. Well, I adored the first two ones but they won't see a dime from me till the third one is completed and maybe not even then.

100% agreeing with each point of the article except partially with the #5 one, no physical is IMO good for ecology and you can read the manual on your phone.
On the other hand plastic box with only a paper containing a game key is horrible, that needs to stop.

But I have to add one more thing that is still happening:
Atrocious phonescrolling menus, horrible k+m controls with no k+m tooltips and no remapping whatsoever in games on PC.
This includes mushrooms emulation mapped on ijkl and failed designs like clickfest where to save a bloody game you need to click half a dozen times. We have F5 on PC, use it while making a game already!
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October 18th, 2018, 14:47
Originally Posted by joxer View Post
It's an obvious fraud - selling halfbaked product only to nickle and dime the content cut out. And thanks to people like you, it's still happening instead of boycotting such practices and marking those as avoidware till the game is fully released.
Anyway, you bought last Tomb Raider right? It has 7 DLC deliberately removed from the release version. Well, I adored the first two ones but they won't see a dime from me till the third one is completed and maybe not even then.
The way I look at it, if 3 DLC are announced before release, and they won't be released for another 6 months (*cough* PoE2) then they're essentially telling me that the full game will be out in 6 months and sold for the price of $80, but, if I'm in some major rush to play an incomplete game for some bizarre reason, I can feel free to buy the incomplete version for $50 now, play it 6 months early, and probably act as an unpaid beta tester too. Strangely, some people will actually take them up on that offer. Not me. I'd buy the complete game when it's out for $80 and play it then. It is lame, but as long as you know what's going on and act appropriately, you're unaffected, so I'm not sure it's worth complaining too loudly about?

But I have to add one more thing that is still happening:
Atrocious phonescrolling menus, horrible k+m controls with no k+m tooltips and no remapping whatsoever in games on PC.
This includes mushrooms emulation mapped on ijkl and failed designs like clickfest where to save a bloody game you need to click half a dozen times. We have F5 on PC, use it while making a game already!
That should have been first on the list.
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October 18th, 2018, 14:52
Regarding number 3: There are DLC's (horse armour) and there are DLC's (Add-ons). For instance the Dragonborn and the Dawnguard DLC's of Skyrim were huge, comparable to the size of the good ol' addons. And given the enormous size of Skyrim (and the independent storie of the DLC's) you can hardy accuse Bethesda of cutting out stuff that should be in the original game. Not saying anything about the quality, just pointing at the diffrences.

Whether you should announce the DLC's before the release of the main game or not - I dont' know. It doesn't seem like a good marketing move to me. However,
at least for some, those who choose not to play a game untill all addons are in place, knowing what to expect from the start is preferrable. It depends a bit on how independent the addon is.

Regarding number 5: I do miss the physical boxes, and by that I mean the old big boxes with manuals and sometimes lot of extras. Not the DVD-cases. OTOH, even if they still existed, I probably would buy most of my games on-line, for convenience.

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October 18th, 2018, 15:00
Originally Posted by joxer View Post
100% agreeing with each point of the article except the #5 one, no physical is IMO good for ecology.
Disagree. You are buying a virtual product, where the virtual product's price roughly equals to a real product's -- and why's that?

Brace yerselves, economy 101 will follow.

Any given product's price is calculated by four big cost factors:
- development,
- manufacturing (mass production),
- distribution (logistics, retailing),
- marketing

For the physical, you pay for all four.
Since digital has no manufacturing and distribution, you won't pay for these -- only for development and marketing.

Yet, the digital's price roughly equals to the physical's -- which means, the publisher has silently inflated the prices while reducing costs, and you, My Dear Customer, happily pay extra for nothing.

Definitely not good, and if you advocate 100% digital, you advocate a legit consumer ripoff practice.

Just sayin'

(… and I haven't even mentioned a nasty side effect of this illicit practice: market saturation!)
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October 18th, 2018, 15:07
Originally Posted by duerer View Post
Since digital has no manufacturing and distribution, you won't pay for these -- only for development and marketing.
Digital still has distribution cost, bandwidth, server cost, rack space, power are not free. It may be less than that of physical.
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October 18th, 2018, 15:15
Originally Posted by duerer View Post
Disagree. You are buying a virtual product, where the virtual product's price roughly equals to a real product's -- and why's that?

Brace yerselves, economy 101 will follow.

Any given product's price is calculated by four big cost factors:
- development,
- manufacturing (mass production),
- distribution (logistics, retailing),
- marketing

For the physical, you pay for all four.
Since digital has no manufacturing and distribution, you won't pay for these -- only for development and marketing.

Yet, the digital's price roughly equals to the physical's -- which means, the publisher has silently inflated the prices while reducing costs, and you, My Dear Customer, happily pay extra for nothing.

Definitely not good, and if you advocate 100% digital, you advocate a legit consumer ripoff practice.

Just sayin'

(… and I haven't even mentioned a nasty side effect of this illicit practice: market saturation!)
The cost of developing and maintaining the digital distribution platforms that are typically used (Steam, Origin, Uplay, etc) is akin to the "manufacturing" and "distribution" sections in your argument. It's not like all that is free. Steam takes a 30% cut of all sales. Granted, 30% is still a bit less than you'd lose from making a physical copy and selling it at retail (I've heard 45% for that) so your overall point is valid, I just don't think the whole thing is as clear-cut as you're making it out to be.
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October 18th, 2018, 15:17
Originally Posted by lostforever View Post
Digital still has distribution cost, bandwidth, server cost, rack space, power are not free. It may be less than that of physical.
… which is the problem of Valve (Steam), Apple (iOS) or Google (Android).
But not the problem of EA, UBI, Tencent, Acti, etc, etc, etc.

These digital distributors simply ask for a minor percent of the publisher's income for their service, and that's it. Mind you, this percent is relatively small, and cannot be compared to e.g. the running costs of a mass production factory, or a world-wide logistics operation.
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October 18th, 2018, 15:20
Originally Posted by duerer View Post
… which is the problem of Valve (Steam), Apple (iOS) or Google (Android).
But not the problem of EA, UBI, Tencent, Acti, etc, etc, etc.

These digital distributors simply ask for a minor percent of the publisher's income for their service, and that's it. Mind you, this percent is relatively small, and cannot be compared to e.g. the running costs of a mass production factory, or a world-wide logistics operation.
The digital distributors (Steam and GOG at least) ask for 30%. That's minor and small?
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October 18th, 2018, 15:22
Originally Posted by lostforever View Post
Digital still has distribution cost, bandwidth, server cost, rack space, power are not free. It may be less than that of physical.
Originally Posted by Stingray View Post
The digital distributors all ask for 30%. That's minor and small?
If you are an industry heavy (say, EA), you won't fork out 30%. The exact cut is "negotiable".
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October 18th, 2018, 15:22
Originally Posted by duerer View Post
… which is the problem of Valve (Steam), Apple (iOS) or Google (Android).
But not the problem of EA, UBI, Tencent, Acti, etc, etc, etc.
Of course it is. Steam et al are will pass their cost onto E, UBI etc.

Originally Posted by duerer View Post
These digital distributors simply ask for a minor percent of the publisher's income for their service, and that's it. Mind you, this percent is relatively small, and cannot be compared to e.g. the running costs of a mass production factory, or a world-wide logistics operation.
Contrary to popular believe physical products don't cost too much more than digital. This is where economics of scale kicks in. The marginal cost of physical products are so small they are the same as digital products. There was nice article about this as to buy digital books cost the same as paper books. The marginal cost are the same.

Edit - this was not the original article but it explains why physical books are not that expensive to make. Same reason applies to games too

https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/ebooks…ve-real-books/
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October 18th, 2018, 15:23
Originally Posted by duerer View Post
If you are an industry heavy (say, EA), you won't fork out 30%. The exact cut is "negotiable".
It doesn't matter what the % is. Steam will pass their cost onto the publisher… or the consumer. Someone pays…
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October 18th, 2018, 15:23
Originally Posted by duerer View Post
If you are an industry heavy (say, EA), you won't fork out 30%. The exact cut is "negotiable".
The industry heavies don't use Steam, they create their own platforms like Origin, Uplay, Battle.net, and Bethesda.net. Which presumably have the same costs of development/maintenance that Steam does, likely even higher actually, since they don't have the same economy of scale that Steam does. (ie: developing an equivalent platform that will generate less sales, due to less games for sale on it)
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October 18th, 2018, 15:29
Also, even if you wanted to throw up your own "ghetto" digital platform to sell your game on (for example just providing an FTP URL to download the game to your customers), from what I understand when you agree to have your game sold on Steam, you also agree to not undercut the Steam price for your game. So you couldn't sell a digital version cheaper on your own ghetto platform even if you wanted, unless you don't sell your game on Steam - and that's just going to result in less revenue overall due to less exposure.

Meaning, if you had a cheaper platform (ie no 30% cut) to sell your game on, you'd be forced to "ripoff" people anyway and sell it for the same price on that much cheaper platform.
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October 18th, 2018, 15:32
Originally Posted by Stingray View Post
Also, even if you wanted to throw up your own "ghetto" digital platform to sell your game on (for example just providing an FTP URL to download the game to your customers), from what I understand when you agree to have your game sold on Steam, you also agree to not undercut the Steam price for your game. So you couldn't sell a digital version cheaper on your own ghetto platform even if you wanted, unless you don't sell your game on Steam - and that's just going to result in less revenue overall due to less exposure.
This is true but people work around this. For example Assassin Creed Odyssey is Ł50 on both Steam and Uplay stores. However, you can very easily get it for Ł40 on uplay as they offer these 20% discount vouchers for members etc.
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October 18th, 2018, 15:34
Originally Posted by Stingray View Post
The industry heavies don't use Steam, they create their own platforms like Origin, Uplay, Battle.net, and Bethesda.net.
True. They create their own service, by renting servers and infrastructure from Google and Amazon. If someone wants to make the whole whizbang on its own, it usually ends in a disaster, as happens with UBI's UPlay. Their server infrastructure is simply too small. Don't worry, eventually they'll rent servers from Google.

OR, they might start silently forming joint venture businesses to spread the costs (see: Activision Luvs Blizzard because of Battle.net).
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October 18th, 2018, 15:37
I agree with five out of the six, the one I differ on is the digital distribution that we have nowadays. I believe this to have been a monumental shift, sure we lost the physical manuals, and that was a huge blow, but what we gained far outweighs that loss. Except for the included manuals, I don't miss a single thing about the physical editions.
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