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Forums - Gaming Discussion - MS CFO Tim Stuart defends throwing MTX into $70 games.

Pay 2 play mechanics in prenium games is probably the most assinine thing publishers have tried to push within the last generation ... and yet people took the bait easily :/ Most of those games are bugged down by design choices from the get-go to make the experience teddier to force more engagement out of a player ... but if you don't want to participate in the tedious process then pay to make the game's grind and bogus design more tolerable. Trying to justify this under the umbrella of "driving engagement to drive profits" is one of those modern philosophies as to why AAA games are nowadays incredibly shallow and isn't worth being supported for.



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Cerebralbore101 said:
DonFerrari said:
That is very pro-consumer....Now being less sarcastic. If a game can keep you interested in it for a full year so you won't buy 5 games, it isn't unreasonable to receive more than a single full purchase price from it. The problem is the lack of transparency and the dirty way they do it. If they come out and charge 200 or 300 for the game and you think it is fair sure go and buy, If they launch expansions or meaningful DLC for 30 bucks and you like it sure buy it... now to make the game obnoxiously grind to sell acceleration packs is shitty practice, worse imho than cosmetic overpriced DLC that even though we can argue is low cost and should be on the game already you don't really need to buy or get in the way of your enjoyment.Will wait to see how Phil Spencer or his advocates rephrase this interview.

The idea that getting somebody to play a game for 300 hours, must have meant that the devs put in a ton of work, and therefore need extra money in return doesn't always hold true.BTW, I do absolutely love how people try to defend cosmetic MTX as "Who cares, it's just cosmetic!" The number of free cosmetic customization options in GoW, Spiderman, and GoT is unmatched. 

Guess you haven't played Sunset Overdrive. 



The more engagement a game gets the less games are needed. Not surprise this is coming from MS, we all new GAAS was their strategy.



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Cerebralbore101 said:


Translation: We haven't announced it yet, but we're going to ask for $70 for all of our MS first party titles. 

Why would their first party titles all be $70? All of their first party titles this gen weren't $60. Also, aren't Sony and other publishers already charging $70?


Cerebralbore101 said:
Translation: Whatever price point gets the most users, while also getting the most money up front is the best price point. Because you want people hooked on a single game forever. If they are hooked on a single game forever, they will spend all of their money on the microtransactions. So we have to find a nice balance between charging as much as we possibly can for the initial game without lowering the userbase. That way we can design all our games to be grindy messes, and then offer MTX as the solution. This will maximize profits!

Again, isn't this how the business currently works? What publisher wouldn't love to have a strong fan base playing one game for years, constantly generating new revenue with expansions and microtransactions? How is this bad for a gamer? There have been countless games that tried to do this and for every failure there are plenty of Avengers and Anthem's. Please list for me an executive at any publisher, MicroSonyNintendo included, and tell me which of them wouldn't start drooling when being offered what you are describing. As long as the execution is good, this isn't an inherently bad business model.

Cerebralbore101 said:


Translation
: EA and Activision have found a way to sell people digital goods that costs next to nothing for them to produce, and they are making a killing off it. Let's face it. All games will eventually become this. And as a corporate shill I really like that idea! Good for them!

Oh man can you please source these costs? I enjoy math, I'd love to see what "next to nothing" is. Also, people have been blaring this "all games will come this!!!!" horn for like a decade it seems. Yet we're not closer to it now than we were back then.

Cerebralbore101 said:
Translation: These games cost a bunch of money to make. So much so that we need to charge as much as humanly possible, while still having MTX in our games, or else we'll go bankrupt! Not really, but I'm going to lie to you about that because I want to swim in money like Scrooge McDuck!

Another bizarre translation that comes off as whiny and anti-business and downright just silly and illogical. I'm all for consumer rights and pro consumer moves, but at some point you have to realize you've jumped the shark when it comes to consumer rights and are just being upset that all these publishers want to make money.

I don't get this idea that MS wants MTX in all their games and people talk as if they've been doing that all gen or something. The only game I remember it being an issue is Forza 7 and they fixed it. Their games aren't grindy or full of MTX. Sure you might have an outlier here or there but it's no different than Sony.

Equally confused as to why people are so set in stubborn ways against the idea of a good GaaS title. If done right, it's a great business model for consumers. For example I play Dead By Daylight. It came out in 2017 and I still play it daily. It cost me $30 to buy. Compare that to many $60 titles, and I would have been done with them in less than 30 hours. It monetizes the game in three ways:

DLC. Every three months or so, a new killer character, survivor character, and map are brought out. They cost anywhere from $8-10 altogether.
Battle Pass. Every other month or so a new rift comes out and you can play through the whole thing and earn cosmetics for free or pay $10 and unlock tons of stuff, plus your $10 back to buy the next rift.
Cosmetics. Buy all sorts of cosmetic items for killers and survivors. Laughably overpriced, or grind for them. Doesn't bother me, because they are cosmetic.

I've played this game for thousands of hours and whenever I finally find a SX, it will likely be the first game I download. There are plenty of good games like this that do content the right way, there's no need to mindless disregard everything associated with GaaS because you think your rights are at stake and that in the future every game will be a GaaS.

There will always be a place for strong single player games and games with a beginning and an end. No need to worry so much about it.



Cerebralbore101 said:
BTW, I do absolutely love how people try to defend cosmetic MTX as "Who cares, it's just cosmetic!" The number of free cosmetic customization options in GoW, Spiderman, and GoT is unmatched. Having different costumes to find in a game has been a staple of the industry for years. And it was all free. Now they are trying to charge you for those formerly free costumes. And the kicker is that all it takes is a dude working for $30 an hour for 4-5 hours to make a new skin or costume. And in exchange for that roughly $150 investment the company gets to sell thousands of copies of that skin for $2-$5. They could sell these skins for a nickle a pop, and still make boatloads of money. Charging $2-$5 for this cosmetic crap is just pure greed no matter the way you slice it.

Maybe you just don't understand how business works? I don't know, seems like it.

Also just like all your other hot takes in this thread, this one isn't well thought through and paints every situation with the same brush.

Cosmetics costing money gets shit on even in GaaS all the time, too. It all depends on how the game is designed. Look at Evolve, for example. $60 game with a day one season pass and a day one store loaded with expensive cosmetics while the base game had, IIRC, two skins to unlock for each character. Gamers rejected it, game crashed and burned. There are plenty of other games that give you plenty of skins and also let you unlock more and also let you buy others. Those are the types of situations where no one cares, because the MTX are all cosmetic.

Also thanks to the amount of money these publishers are making off of cosmetics and stuff, a vast majority have abandoned charging for map packs, etc, another big positive for gamers.



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I’ll just say that if you make a single player only game you beat once and never touch again, that’s quite different then a game with a heavily supported multiplayer component. It really depends on post launch support and if that’s the case, then there has to be more compensation on top of the original purchase price.

That’s why I’ll play via Game Pass and if a game is taking up a lot of my time, I’ll buy extras to show my support.

Take Horizon Zero Dawn vs Gears 5. Both have campaigns. But only one has MP and got great post launch support (Gears 5 just got a free major update today). This kind of free post launch support warrants a MTX store for the devs effort. Again it’s all cosmetic and not pay to win. Same goes for Sea of Thieves. Tons of free updates and content. 

Last edited by sales2099 - on 17 November 2020

He isn't wrong. When the PS and Xbox audiences have proven to be more than willing to put up with microtransactions, then why shouldn't publishers continue to price and design their games accordingly?



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RolStoppable said:
He isn't wrong. When the PS and Xbox audiences have proven to be more than willing to put up with microtransactions, then why shouldn't publishers continue to price and design their games accordingly?

This. It's the norm now with the odd game breaking away from this new tradition. Mtx in fact has been the norm for nearly 5 years. But I think I know why this thread was created...



Cerebralbore101 said:
DonFerrari said:
That is very pro-consumer....Now being less sarcastic. If a game can keep you interested in it for a full year so you won't buy 5 games, it isn't unreasonable to receive more than a single full purchase price from it. The problem is the lack of transparency and the dirty way they do it. If they come out and charge 200 or 300 for the game and you think it is fair sure go and buy, If they launch expansions or meaningful DLC for 30 bucks and you like it sure buy it... now to make the game obnoxiously grind to sell acceleration packs is shitty practice, worse imho than cosmetic overpriced DLC that even though we can argue is low cost and should be on the game already you don't really need to buy or get in the way of your enjoyment.Will wait to see how Phil Spencer or his advocates rephrase this interview.

The idea that getting somebody to play a game for 300 hours, must have meant that the devs put in a ton of work, and therefore need extra money in return doesn't always hold true.

It holds true if the game gets frequent post launch content and support 

It doesn't take that much for a game to keep somebody interested for a full year. They just need to design the game in order to make it compelling, instead of fun. Take the +100 score you get for killing somebody in a CoD game. That +100 that pops up is a little piece of reward for your brain. It trains your brain to keep going back to CoD, whether you truly enjoy CoD or not. When you find yourself going back to a game over and over again, even though said game makes you rage, that is a sign of addiction.

It takes a ton of effort to keep somebody interested in one game. There’s so many games to play these days our attention span is so small. You can do compelling and fun at the same time.

But yeah, the way that they try to confuse the consumer with season passes, MTX, and 5 different "Digital Deluxe Editions" of a game is even worse, like you say. I don't think the $70 price of games is justified, but I'd take that if it meant no more content carving, and no more MTX. I'd take the $70 price tag if it meant we went back to good meaningful DLC ala Fallout's Broken Steel Expansion, or Witcher 3's DLC. Or Torna.

IMO $70 is warranted purely due to inflation. We have been paying $60 for over 20 years. 

BTW, I do absolutely love how people try to defend cosmetic MTX as "Who cares, it's just cosmetic!" The number of free cosmetic customization options in GoW, Spiderman, and GoT is unmatched. Having different costumes to find in a game has been a staple of the industry for years. And it was all free. Now they are trying to charge you for those formerly free costumes. And the kicker is that all it takes is a dude working for $30 an hour for 4-5 hours to make a new skin or costume. And in exchange for that roughly $150 investment the company gets to sell thousands of copies of that skin for $2-$5. They could sell these skins for a nickle a pop, and still make boatloads of money. Charging $2-$5 for this cosmetic crap is just pure greed no matter the way you slice it.

Gow, Spiderman, and GoT have no multiplayer component. Please show me their competitive multiplayer. Games that require little post launch support from devs VS games with a actual multiplayer component with frequent free content updates are not the same thing. 

If nothing else you listen to, listen to that. You can’t compare a single player only game to a GaaS or game with a campaign and competitive multiplayer that is supported for years after launch. 



I don't mind paying more for games to have everything unlockable how it used to be instead of all this MTX bullshit. Unfortunately that will not be the case.(And if you have to grind a game out for 300 hours to get the unlockables you can buy with MTX that doesn't count)



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