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Star Wars Battlefront 2

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13 hours ago, Mark E said:

I just don’t see myself supporting anything EA does at this point. They just do nothing for me as a developer these days, except ruin companies I actually like :P

 

I'm fine not buying their products (although the cynic in me says we're in the extremely tiny minority compared to their consumer base).  I gave up on Madden ages ago, purchased their last college football game back in 2014ish, and been only getting free games via Origin.  I think the last EA game I purchased was Mass Effect 3, and I still haven't played the Mass Effect trilogy at all.  Their lack of support for the Switch is fine since I will be enjoying other company games.  

 

13 hours ago, Angry the Clown said:

I remember that brief Dead Space/Mirror's Edge era where I thought "hey, EA might just finally be turning a page".... then they just ended up setting fire to the book.

 

Do you suppose it had anything to do with the departure of  John Riccitello?  I feel like all that happened under him, and they quit on that strategy when he left.

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42 minutes ago, Dimness said:

Do you suppose it had anything to do with the departure of  John Riccitello?  I feel like all that happened under him, and they quit on that strategy when he left.

 

Hmmm.. I honestly don't know enough about the man and his time at EA to have an opinion on that. I think Dead Space and Mirror's Edge were both in development before he came back to EA. I could be wrong. 

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When your stock chart looks like this, they'll keep doing what they are doing. Again... the stock wouldn't look like this if the majority of consumers rejected their product.

 

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10 minutes ago, AlbertA said:

When your stock chart looks like this, they'll keep doing what they are doing. Again... the stock wouldn't look like this if the majority of consumers rejected their product.

 

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Yup. As Romier mentioned, the market has dictated that gamers (??) like to just pay to win. The backlash over this is fair, but in my opinion it's coming off a bit like a bunch of whiners. This is how EA has decided to monetize, and until the market says otherwise, they will continue to do so.

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1 hour ago, Josh said:

 

Yup. As Romier mentioned, the market has dictated that gamers (??) like to just pay to win. The backlash over this is fair, but in my opinion it's coming off a bit like a bunch of whiners. This is how EA has decided to monetize, and until the market says otherwise, they will continue to do so.

 The market won't change without the "whiners" calling for it. You call it whining, I call it making voices heard. Those voices exacted change in Battlefront 2 already based on the early access experience and the threat of lost sales but as you say  people need to follow through and put their money where there mouth is. The reality though is that Battlefront 2 will likely sell by the ass load and the only thing EA will learn is to mask their greed behind a better smile next time but hey - small victories and all of that!

 

Also, call him juvenile all you like as well, but Sterling has been one of the loudest voices for years now in calling out some of this bullshit and I'd prefer to have him out there (along with the Angry Joe's and others) doing so in their own way than not. It does matter that people are shedding light on it.

 

"Shut up and thank your corporate masters for the scraps they provide! Everyone else around you is apparently happy and their stock is doing swimmingly!" isn't exactly what I'd call a rallying cry for change.

 

 

 

 

 

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I agree 100% that the voices need to be heard here. I'm just commenting on how it's being, um, expressed by a lot of gamers.

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15 minutes ago, Romier S said:

"Shut up and thank your corporate masters for the scraps they provide! Everyone else around you is apparently happy and their stock is doing swimmingly!" isn't exactly what I'd call a rallying cry for change.

 

What a load of bullshit, who's advocating that? We are actually in agreement, hell we even posted the exact same sentiment minutes from each other.

 

I do disagree that Jim Sterling is doing any sort of service, when he presents the issue in a very juvenile and biased way that ignores the reality of the market and places blame entirely on the companies holding these properties - so yeah he does come across as a whiner when presented that way.

 

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24 minutes ago, AlbertA said:

 

What a load of bullshit, who's advocating that? 

 

Did I say anyone here was? It's the general perspective that I've read at a number of other places I happen to visit like reddit (where this Battlefront issue originated) where people are told to shut their mouths and deal with it, etc. Exactly for the reasons Sterling mentions - because people get tired of the "whining" and just want to play their games.

 

Take a deep breath, Albert. If I wanted to direct something AT YOU, trust me I'm not shy about doing so.;)

 

We'll have to agree to disagree on Sterling. He presents a very specific consumer perspective. Obviously you disagree with it but its completely biased and he doesn't pretend otherwise. The disservice would be if he were attempting to present it as something else entirely. He's not. He's completely coming at it from a pissed off, taken advantage of gamer. Others choose to go for a more nuanced view, etc. Both are entirely valid, IMO as long as you understand the core of the argument.

 

24 minutes ago, Josh said:

I agree 100% that the voices need to be heard here. I'm just commenting on how it's being, um, expressed by a lot of gamers.

 

I would change "gamers" to people in that statement. People are emotional and at times irrational, unfortunately. 

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3 minutes ago, Romier S said:

I would change "gamers" to people in general. People are emotional and at times irrational, unfortunately.

 

True, but what's the difference in this context? Not mutually exclusive. 

 

For every 1 gamer who downvotes an EA comment on Reddit, there are another 5 gamers happily opening their wallets so they can play as Luke Skywalker. I'm not saying it's good, but the market speaks in strange ways sometimes.

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1 minute ago, Josh said:

 

True, but what's the difference in this context? Not mutually exclusive. 

 

For every 1 gamer who downvotes an EA comment on Reddit, there are another 5 gamers happily opening their wallets so they can play as Luke Skywalker. I'm not saying it's good, but the market speaks in strange ways sometimes.

 

I suppose there is little difference in context. It's more an effort to not put gamers on a separate pedestal from any other group of consumers even though its amazing how valuation of product differs so significantly from other media industries but then that's a whole separate conversation. 

 

On the second point, I agree and that's the issue. The best form of expression here to speak with your wallet as usual and while the market does speak in strange ways, it also has a habit of self-correcting given enough time. I've bought a number of games that have loot boxes integrated into them such as Destiny 2 for instance but have never felt that their existence has caused me issue. I've never bought a loot box nor have I ever felt the need to to be competitive. I've also never felt as though those games were wanting in content or that the existing content was placed behind a pay wall. So I have no problem in spending $60 on those titles. When games like Battlefront 2 come along? It's a real easy choice not to support it and people have to make that judgment call for themselves. We go as the masses go like it or not.

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2 hours ago, Angry the Clown said:

 

Hmmm.. I honestly don't know enough about the man and his time at EA to have an opinion on that. I think Dead Space and Mirror's Edge were both in development before he came back to EA. I could be wrong. 

 

It's also worth nothing that the "turnaround" era for EA when they were producing new IP and taking chances on "good practices" was met with indifference in the sales of their new fangled titles. The original Dead Space was successful in that it sold 2 million copies in two years. It was enough to get two sequels, the last of which needed 5 million copies sold to break even and today the franchise is dead. Mirror's Edge? We got a sequel by the grace of someone saying yes to a game that made no financial sense given how the original sold. To Albert's point earlier - the gaming community is not only culpable in continuing these practices but they yelled loud and clear that they had little interest in what EA was selling back then. That's a damned shame.


I brought up TitanFall 2 earlier and its yet another example of a game that sold "ok" while putting its best foot forward to the gaming community with the "right" consumer approach. If you're EA and you're greenlighting TitanFall 3 - why wouldn't you fill it to the brim with loot crate bullshit? 

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From what I'm gathering based on what I've read (which isn't too much), one of the major problems (outside of the straight ickiness of charging for characters and what-not in game) with the BF2 loot boxes is that the content contained within causes balance issues.

 

Is that right? If so, that's pretty gross. From what I know about the loot boxes in Destiny 2, the objects contained within don't cause as much of a balance issue. I could be very wrong there. That said, I was turned off by the suggestions to go to the PlayStation store and buy silver while in game in Destiny 2. Did not like.

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I think all these forms of monetisation are at a fork in the road. Whilst they're technically not new, they're now more prevalent in non mobile gaming than we've ever seen before, so we've yet to see how players will respond in the long term, and there are clearly some games that apply micro transactions fairly, so it's not even necessarily a methodology that needs to die an immediate death.

 

We're seeing a lot of sequels going after these additional dollars, so plenty of people are coming to them off the basis of franchise familiarity alone, so the sales are going to be there if they're not clued up on what they're suddenly getting, and that is perhaps why the backlash with Battlefront 2 is so strong because it is quite a radical switcheroo over its predecessor in terms of how they are regulating players ability to access additional content. I do think there is also a serious argument to be made with regards to these schemes having sinister addictive undertones many have likened to gambling.

 

Eccentric the delivery may be, but I came to find a fondness for Jim Sterling's videos because beneath the bravado seems to be someone of good moral integrity who, in this instance in particular, is asking a lot of good questions and highlighting a lot of problems in the world of gaming today.  

 

 

 

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17 minutes ago, Romier S said:

I brought up TitanFall 2 earlier and its yet another example of a game that sold "ok" while putting its best foot forward to the gaming community with the "right" consumer approach. If you're EA and you're greenlighting TitanFall 3 - why wouldn't you fill it to the brim with loot crate bullshit? 

 

I almost got the sense that 2 was "sent to die" in a sense because EA knew they didn't have any forms of monetisation to fall back on to justify spending many millions on PR, but that could just be my "boo, EA Evil" bias in action in blaming them for Titanfall 2 not being the success it deserved.  It's one of the best games I have played in years, one of the few I have every intention of playing through again in the not too distant future too, but there are a lot of questions about why it floundered. 

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10 minutes ago, AlbertA said:

Jonathan's Blow take (it's a series of tweets not just this one).

 

 

 

That opens up that big can of worms about game valuation and the perception of value I mentioned above. That could go to interesting places.:D

 

 

26 minutes ago, Josh said:

From what I'm gathering based on what I've read (which isn't too much), one of the major problems (outside of the straight ickiness of charging for characters and what-not in game) with the BF2 loot boxes is that the content contained within causes balance issues.

 

Is that right? If so, that's pretty gross. From what I know about the loot boxes in Destiny 2, the objects contained within don't cause as much of a balance issue. I could be very wrong there. That said, I was turned off by the suggestions to go to the PlayStation store and buy silver while in game in Destiny 2. Did not like.

 

It is, yes. Players that pay will have a distinct advantage out of the gate over those that "grind" to attain the same cards, etc. It's essentially a pay to win mobile app economy in a multiplayer competitive title which is why it's so odious in a premium $60 title. One that has gated even more key content behind that pay wall.

 

You are correct on Destiny 2 by the by. The loot crate stuff in that game was mostly superficial. Though Bungie should be taken to task for making custom clothing colors part of that monetization scheme when they were regular drops in the original game - it's a relatively "minor" level of monetization that doesn't disrupt overall gameplay balance, etc.

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50 minutes ago, Josh said:

For every 1 gamer who downvotes an EA comment on Reddit, there are another 5 gamers happily opening their wallets so they can play as Luke Skywalker. I'm not saying it's good, but the market speaks in strange ways sometimes.

I would argue that many of those 5 gamers are younger, with far less experience in the value of money and what they should get in return.  I'm going to have to find some reason to explain to my son that this game wants to gouge him for content.  Heroes and Villains was his favorite mode from BF1, and BF2's version looks wrecked if it's going to take many months of play to unlock all of those characters.

 

It already happens in the free to play model, where he wants to buy cosmetic crap all the time.  You know, it's just $5, then just $5, then just $5 more.  

 

If game companies think they aren't making enough money, a sentiment I can't argue with, then at least be up front about the cost.  I wouldn't buy a car, then want to buy the back seats later when I have a kid.  I'd just want the whole car at once(I realize that analogy isn't perfect, but close enough).  

 

What the game companies know is that people aren't going to pay much more than that $60 for said game.  Base game sells X amount of copies, DLC sells Y amount less than X.  So they do this underhanded crap, and it gets old.  Which is why you get the whining.  

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12 minutes ago, Romier S said:

 

That opens up that big can of worms about game valuation and the perception of value I mentioned above. That could go to interesting places.:D

 

There was one question I heard posed recently, I think in an Easy Allies video, where someone flippantly threw the question out there about who was honestly asking for games to cost as much as they do, I think citing an example about R&D being poured into realistic character hair and so on, as if to ask whether it is even worth spending money on things (though impressive) that players would not notice if they were never there to begin with.

 

There is generally a sensibility with the major developers now though that echoes the contemporary Hollywood model where mid 30million dollar budget movies are a thing of the past in the studio system, because now studios would sooner spend $200 million, and half that or double again on marketing, with the belief that stands a better chance of making the money back. Does the same thinking effectively apply in AAA game development? The indie gaming scene is far more lively and lucrative than it is in movies, so I don't know if the games industry and movie industry comparisons can be said to mirror one another entirely, but the driving incentives behind these enormous budget titles that overwork development teams fascinate me.

 

 

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I should add that I skipped Shadow of War (despite really loving Mordor) after discovering they gated the real ending of that game behind their loot crate monetization (Once you "beat" the game, it opens up another Act that requires you to grind for endless hours to get the "real" ending or you can just buy crates that give you Orcs!). That was another easy scratch off the list game.

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3 minutes ago, Josh said:

Remember the horse armor controversy from, what was it, Oblivion?

 

We were so innocent then.

lol indeed.

 

I'll readily admit that I was part of the problem. I shelled out for that armor, too and to this day I am ashamed of it and regret it.

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22 minutes ago, Angry the Clown said:

I do think there is also a serious argument to be made with regards to these schemes having sinister addictive undertones many have likened to gambling.

 

Oh it is absolutely gambling. I don't let my kids get those type of games in their ipads - the slime is even worse in that space. But are kids the majority of consumers for BF2? Hasn't the demographic shifted to adults for a while now? Maybe I'm mistaken there.

 

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11 minutes ago, AlbertA said:

Oh it is absolutely gambling. I don't let my kids get those type of games in their ipads - the slime is even worse in that space. But are kids the majority of consumers for BF2? Hasn't the demographic shifted to adults for a while now? Maybe I'm mistaken there.

 

 

 I'm sure there is some demographics study out there that can inform us but speaking purely from an anecdotal perspective, my recent online travels have been filled with kids. Freaking Friday the 13th The Game was FILLED with yound kids in the 10-13 year old range! Every room I was in had at least 1 or 2 and I was damned shocked by it. Not only that they were so prevalent but that they're parents were letting them play Friday the 13th with strangers online! Same with Destiny 2 when folks actually chatted. I can only imagine something as universal as Star Wars would have a healthy youth contingent hopping online.

 

They are some foul mouthed little bastards, too I might add.

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22 minutes ago, Romier S said:

 

That opens up that big can of worms about game valuation and the perception of value I mentioned above. That could go to interesting places.:D

 

 

Right , one example lumping single player campaigns and online multiplayer on the same $60 package. Is one subsidizing the other? I would guess that if they were to separate these... single player would fade even faster than the current trend.

 

On the other hand, when I "vote with my wallet" for those packages... am I lumped into the same category as the persons that want the online multiplayer? It would be fascinating to see these analytics. 

 

 

 

 

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