MMOs are now Casinos.

maskedweaselmaskedweasel houston, TXMember RarePosts: 9,190
I remember several years ago when the Free to Play conversions started happening, the "freemium" options were really where we saw a lot of companies going. Free games, cash shops, and subscriptions.

Now, it's all RNG boxes.  Money spent on chances to get the items you want.  Quite literally in a game I've been playing they have an RNG box where you can get a "Jackpot".  

I don't think that when the western games began the Free 2 Play journey that any of us saw so many of these games adopting a pay to roll scenario.

So many people just say "well that's RNG, deal with it"  and others say "I would never buy those RNG boxes".

How do you all feel about the way monetization has ended up in MMOs and online games these days? 



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Comments

  • TokkenTokken Portland, ORMember UncommonPosts: 1,489
    Good point OP.  Gambling is a key part of many of the mmo's today.  Buying keys to open boxes in neverwinter got old quickly. I wasted too much money on the HOPE of geting something GOOD out of those boxes / chests.
    maskedweaselMadFrenchie
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  • RenoakuRenoaku Member RarePosts: 2,197
    Pretty much but given its like "Gacha" it bypasses U.S Laws when it comes to gambling which is why some Japan and people from foreign countries bring it into games and their business over to America where its legal because it was made illegal over there.
    maskedweaselTillerGdemami
  • BitterClingerBitterClinger Newark, DEMember UncommonPosts: 401
    I don't buy lottery tickets, and I don't pay for "a chance" to get something (ok, the occasional charity raffle).

    I spend a lot of money on video games, and I mean A LOT of money. But when I buy something, it's because I know I am getting what I'm buying.

    My first experience with RNG boxes was in Guild Wars 2. I think I bought keys a couple of times, and then realized what a terrible value they were. That was the end of that. I never paid to open boxes in Tera or Overwatch or any other game.

    Even when I first heard about H1Z1 allowing players to buy drop boxes, but then having to fight over it; that was a deal breaker for me. If I buy something, I want the thing... guaranteed.

    Just like lotteries and casinos, I think these RNG boxes target people who are terrible with money.

    maskedweaselOctagon7711MrMelGibsonThunder073rertez
  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 13,739
    Studios saw an opportunity to move RNG from the loot tables and monthly sub into microtransactions and cash shops. The RNG has always been there it was just well hidden behind systems that promoted the monthly fee. Now they're not as subtle about it.

    I've several conflicting feelings about how games are monetized. I liked the "do it once and out of the picture" feature of subscriptions (I still do). I don't like that I am renting a game and that all that I've spent means nothing if I don't give them more money next month.

    I like "buy to play". It's how I first paid for games so I'm familiar and comfortable with it. I don't have to buy it again unless the platform becomes obsoleted. That's frustrating, but then enter GoG.com and that approach works for me.

    There there are the microtransaction which I also don't mind in practice, but can end up fiddly with every aspect monetized. That's just busy and junky to me and detracts from the game play.

    Then enter loot boxes. Again I don't mind they exist. I mind that they become obtrusive, working against suspension of disbelief and immersion, and cranking up the cost of the game.

    Overall it's become about total cost of game, how much the studio/pub expects me to pay ongoing, and how pushy and in my face it is. Does it pull me out of the experience too often? There are no simple answers in my world. The loot boxes fall into this bigger context for me.
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  • BraindomeBraindome Member UncommonPosts: 958
    I feel that it has gone too far and it's over, I have no hope. Consumers have accepted it and i'll have no part of it nor have I for years, they get what they deserve for supporting it and I have no sympathy nor do I any longer care.  :D
    maskedweaseltort0429
  • RhoklawRhoklaw Ft. Bliss, TXMember EpicPosts: 5,005
    Part of the reason I will support subscription games over F2P any day of the week. Except of course ESO, as they really don't do the RNG crap, so they get my approval.
    maskedweaselGdemamiThunder073

  • Octagon7711Octagon7711 Chicago, ILMember EpicPosts: 5,326
    Haven't bought a loot box in many years.  Actually, haven't been in a casino in many years either.
    maskedweaselThunder073

    "Change is the only constant."

  • maskedweaselmaskedweasel houston, TXMember RarePosts: 9,190
    Rhoklaw said:
    Part of the reason I will support subscription games over F2P any day of the week. Except of course ESO, as they really don't do the RNG crap, so they get my approval.
    I haven't played ESO since launch, but a buddy of mine told me they recently added some kind of RNG box?  Is that not true? 



  • PemminPemmin Member UncommonPosts: 424
    i saw it coming
    the switch from p2p to f2p was basically deregulating the industry and i was adamant about f2p being a bad idea for the consumer.

    that being said.... cash shops containing only cosmetics, 1 time purchase dlc, and pay for convenience items don't really bother me.

    what i don't like are pay2win and gacha boxes. i feel they ruin the game in a lot of cases. look at archeage for example.....the general consensus was that most enjoyed the alpha, but once it went live and p2w was in full swing....most couldn't justify playing it.
    maskedweaselAnthur
  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 13,739
    Rhoklaw said:
    Part of the reason I will support subscription games over F2P any day of the week. Except of course ESO, as they really don't do the RNG crap, so they get my approval.
    Except ESO does do the RNG crap, you're just ignoring because they make it fairly easy to do so. A few games make it easy to do so. I don't mind that, but they're there, sub or no sub.

    In SWTOR I pretty much never think about or consider them. I buy their results from the GTN because Bioware is awesome and lets people sell that stuff. It makes getting cash shop items easy from the perspective of not having to deal with the cash shop directly. I always sub when I play TOR so that may be a factor.

    In LotRO every once in a while you get a key or lockbox drop but again, you can ignore them because they're essentially useless and easily sidelined.

    SWL I get a ton of the lockbox drops but they stack, I can sell them for useful currency, and I get a free key a day as a subscriber so I don't care about them.

    Neverwinter, they make it nearly impossible to ignore. In GW2 it feels like they're always there (not like Neverwinter though) because what do you do with them and keys are spendy (in my opinion).

    In the end it feels like the fruit of a problem and not the root of it in and of itself. The industry couldn't make it on subs alone. They couldn't make it on cash shops alone. Now they hit you from all angles (alpha/beta/EA buy ins, box/dlc fees, cash shop, and subs) and they are cranking up the prices wherever they can. At least it feels that way in the last year or so.
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  • BitterClingerBitterClinger Newark, DEMember UncommonPosts: 401
    Pemmin said:
    ...snip...

    that being said.... cash shops containing only cosmetics, 1 time purchase dlc, and pay for convenience items don't really bother me.

    ...snip...

    Convenience... players are pretty generous with their definition of convenience these days. RNG loot boxes notwithstanding, there is a high tolerance of pay-to-win mechanics in MMO gaming.
    maskedweaselbcbully
  • TillerTiller Member RarePosts: 6,060
    Renoaku said:
    Pretty much but given its like "Gacha" it bypasses U.S Laws when it comes to gambling which is why some Japan and people from foreign countries bring it into games and their business over to America where its legal because it was made illegal over there.
     
    maskedweaselMrMelGibsonMadFrenchie





  • AmatheAmathe Miami, FLMember RarePosts: 2,846
    OP makes a valid point. There are quite a few casino elements to buying a RNG loot box. 
    GdemamiOctagon7711maskedweasel

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  • IselinIselin Vancouver, BCMember LegendaryPosts: 9,686
    Yes they are.

    They're obnoxious as hell when they're in your face and drop like candy as in SWL and they're more tolerable when they're tucked away in a shop you need to open to purchase as in ESO.

    But either way they cheapen the game experience and like all cash shop offerings they can't help but take away from the game: not only do developers have to divide their attention and effort into game play /cash shop items, they actively pull items from games or nerf in-game equivalents to make the cash shop versions more attractive.

    ESO, for example, has had the same rather limited choices of hair styles on character creation since release. But they have added many different alternate hair styles to the cash shop. A game that doesn't sell hair cuts for cash would have instead updated the available choices a long time ago simply because it's needed.

    In ESO the RNG chests even take things away from the regular cash shop by making many mounts and costumes exclusive to the RNG chests only. It's actually sort of humorous that they not only nerf in game things but they also nerf the cash shop itself to make RNG crates more attractive. They even have loot crate "seasons" with different possible RNG loot so they can also entice you with the old tried and true "limited-time" gimmick which they now also frequently apply to cash shop items, not just loot crates.

    Just imagine what they could do with the game if they didn't have to devote large chunks of their planning and development time to all this shit.
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  • Slapshot1188Slapshot1188 Boca Raton, FLMember EpicPosts: 7,083
    Torval said:


    In the end it feels like the fruit of a problem and not the root of it in and of itself. The industry couldn't make it on subs alone. They couldn't make it on cash shops alone. Now they hit you from all angles (alpha/beta/EA buy ins, box/dlc fees, cash shop, and subs) and they are cranking up the prices wherever they can. At least it feels that way in the last year or so.
    The industry was just fine on subs.  The problem was that in order to compete with the WoW juggernaut companies decided to essentially give their games away and try to lure whales in to pay big bucks.  The problems is that devalued the MMORPG commodity.  It set expectations with people that they should not even have to pay anything for a product, as though somehow they were doing the world a favor by playing it.   Instead of people looking at a $15 sub and going "Wow I can play for 100 hours a month which comes out to 15 cents an hour!!!", they go "Why should I pay $15 when the other ones are free".

    "F2P" is the scourge of gaming.



    IselinGdemamiKyleranNilden

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    Starvault's reponse to criticism related to having a handful of players as the official "test" team for a supposed MMO: "We've just have another 10ish folk kind enough to voulenteer added tot the test team" (SIC) This explains much about the state of the game :-)

  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 13,739
    Iselin said:
    Yes they are.

    ESO, for example, has had the same rather limited choices of hair styles on character creation since release. But they have added many different alternate hair styles to the cash shop. A game that doesn't sell hair cuts for cash would have instead updated the available choices a long time ago simply because it's needed.
    The first DLC released for Grim Dawn was a $10 pack of cosmetics to make your character look less shitty in a single player game with incredibly limited appearance customization.

    Imagine if you could truly buy a game, not keep paying monthly payment, not get pinched at every corner for micro transactions, and when something took time and effort it was because that is part of the design experience and narrative not a lazy way to keep a monthly revenue check coming in.
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  • GavyneGavyne Hollywood, CAMember UncommonPosts: 88
    Companies have just found out better ways to get people addicted.  Gambling is an addiction.  Being competitive in gaming is also an addiction.  You combine two together, hello easy money.

    Before F2P became the norm in the West, EQ was already doing this gambling RNG thing in Legends of Norrath card game.  People spent hundreds, sometimes thousands, to open up these cards for a small tiny chance at getting a special illusion or mount.  And of course they started by saying no to Pay-to-Win, no no they would never add power items.  

    But sure enough they added power items to these cards, so people again spent thousands just to have something others didn't have.  Gamers like to be competitive, they love to standout and be special.

    No I don't like the movement towards RNG boxes, but it's everywhere now, and it isn't just in MMO's.  They are everywhere in FPS genre also.  MMO's like BDO pretty much built the whole game on RNG.  Even just buying something off the standard auction house is RNG based.

    Sadly it isn't going away, people simply have too much money to spend.  And even when people don't have too much money to spend, they are still spending too much.  Gaming companies prey on people's addiction to gambling.  Why spend all that time and resources to create content when you could just give people RNG boxes to roll for jackpots.  Easy money for them.
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  • waynejr2waynejr2 West Toluca Lake, CAMember EpicPosts: 7,546
    I remember several years ago when the Free to Play conversions started happening, the "freemium" options were really where we saw a lot of companies going. Free games, cash shops, and subscriptions.

    Now, it's all RNG boxes.  Money spent on chances to get the items you want.  Quite literally in a game I've been playing they have an RNG box where you can get a "Jackpot".  

    I don't think that when the western games began the Free 2 Play journey that any of us saw so many of these games adopting a pay to roll scenario.

    So many people just say "well that's RNG, deal with it"  and others say "I would never buy those RNG boxes".

    How do you all feel about the way monetization has ended up in MMOs and online games these days? 

    I talked to someone a few years back who worked in the appropriate area of the FBI about these things and if they are considered gambling.  The short answer no.  Long answer:  No because money.   If you: pay money->win->get money, that would be something they looked MIGHT look into.  HOWEVER, many A-holes on the Internet are incorrectly thinking that this scenario is the same thing: pay money->win->get item->somehow sell item.  It is not considered the same thing.
    http://www.youhaventlived.com/qblog/2010/QBlog190810A.html  

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    Kyleran:  "Now there's the real trick, learning to accept and enjoy a game for what it offers rather than pass on what might be a great playing experience because it lacks a few features you prefer."

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  • Tiamat64Tiamat64 Member RarePosts: 737
    The house always wins when it comes to gambling (technically, "wins more than average", but that's not how the saying goes so whatever).  So when MMO developers realized they could become "the house" without having to deal with the legalities of it all, it was only natural they'd adopt such systems.
    Gdemamimaskedweasel
  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 13,739
    Torval said:


    In the end it feels like the fruit of a problem and not the root of it in and of itself. The industry couldn't make it on subs alone. They couldn't make it on cash shops alone. Now they hit you from all angles (alpha/beta/EA buy ins, box/dlc fees, cash shop, and subs) and they are cranking up the prices wherever they can. At least it feels that way in the last year or so.
    The industry was just fine on subs.  The problem was that in order to compete with the WoW juggernaut companies decided to essentially give their games away and try to lure whales in to pay big bucks.  The problems is that devalued the MMORPG commodity.  It set expectations with people that they should not even have to pay anything for a product, as though somehow they were doing the world a favor by playing it.   Instead of people looking at a $15 sub and going "Wow I can play for 100 hours a month which comes out to 15 cents an hour!!!", they go "Why should I pay $15 when the other ones are free".

    "F2P" is the scourge of gaming.


    You keep setting up the narrative you want to believe. It doesn't change reality though.
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  • Slapshot1188Slapshot1188 Boca Raton, FLMember EpicPosts: 7,083
    Torval said:
    Torval said:


    In the end it feels like the fruit of a problem and not the root of it in and of itself. The industry couldn't make it on subs alone. They couldn't make it on cash shops alone. Now they hit you from all angles (alpha/beta/EA buy ins, box/dlc fees, cash shop, and subs) and they are cranking up the prices wherever they can. At least it feels that way in the last year or so.
    The industry was just fine on subs.  The problem was that in order to compete with the WoW juggernaut companies decided to essentially give their games away and try to lure whales in to pay big bucks.  The problems is that devalued the MMORPG commodity.  It set expectations with people that they should not even have to pay anything for a product, as though somehow they were doing the world a favor by playing it.   Instead of people looking at a $15 sub and going "Wow I can play for 100 hours a month which comes out to 15 cents an hour!!!", they go "Why should I pay $15 when the other ones are free".

    "F2P" is the scourge of gaming.


    You keep setting up the narrative you want to believe. It doesn't change reality though.
    Pot... meet kettle.
    KyleranNilden

    "I should point out that no other company has shipped out a beta on a disc before this." - Official Mortal Online Lead Community Moderator

    Starvault's reponse to criticism related to having a handful of players as the official "test" team for a supposed MMO: "We've just have another 10ish folk kind enough to voulenteer added tot the test team" (SIC) This explains much about the state of the game :-)

  • coretex666coretex666 PragueMember RarePosts: 3,167
    For me, monetization is the worst aspect of online gaming with all the cash shops, early access, crowdfunding without any guarantees, etc.

    I dont even remember the last MMORPG which released as a finished product without any kind of cash shop selling ingame assets.
    Gdemamimaskedweasel
  • waynejr2waynejr2 West Toluca Lake, CAMember EpicPosts: 7,546
    For me, monetization is the worst aspect of online gaming with all the cash shops, early access, crowdfunding without any guarantees, etc.

    I dont even remember the last MMORPG which released as a finished product without any kind of cash shop selling ingame assets.

    I kind of saw it as the flip-side of the same coin as those who could play all day because they live in their parents basement.
    http://www.youhaventlived.com/qblog/2010/QBlog190810A.html  

    Epic Music:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAigCvelkhQ&list=PLo9FRw1AkDuQLEz7Gvvaz3ideB2NpFtT1

    https://archive.org/details/softwarelibrary_msdos?&sort=-downloads&page=1

    Kyleran:  "Now there's the real trick, learning to accept and enjoy a game for what it offers rather than pass on what might be a great playing experience because it lacks a few features you prefer."

    John Henry Newman: "A man would do nothing if he waited until he could do it so well that no one could find fault."

    FreddyNoNose:  "A good game needs no defense; a bad game has no defense." "Easily digested content is just as easily forgotten."

    LacedOpium: "So the question that begs to be asked is, if you are not interested in the game mechanics that define the MMORPG genre, then why are you playing an MMORPG?"




  • DrDread74DrDread74 Las Vegas, NVMember UncommonPosts: 298
    Reality is, those RNG people are 10x more profitable then you "smart" people who spend your money wisely. Hence capitalism will cater more and more to the more profitable people. 

    Here in Las Vegas, there are slots in the Convenient stores. max of 5 by law I think, but every C-Store has them.

    The amount of money the 5 slot "mini casino" makes is more then the store makes. Friend owns a C-Store, most C-Stores out here are opened up to break even or take a loss on the actual store but to make bank on the 5 slots. 

    Its a form of entertainment you must realize. When you spend money on the movies, popcorn or even dining out, thats purely unnecessary "entertainment" except you'll never occasionlay jackpot a nice steak dinner. In a way, the RNG people are smarter than you =)
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  • KyleranKyleran Paradise City, FLMember LegendaryPosts: 25,817
    DrDread74 said:
    Reality is, those RNG people are 10x more profitable then you "smart" people who spend your money wisely. Hence capitalism will cater more and more to the more profitable people. 

    Here in Las Vegas, there are slots in the Convenient stores. max of 5 by law I think, but every C-Store has them.

    The amount of money the 5 slot "mini casino" makes is more then the store makes. Friend owns a C-Store, most C-Stores out here are opened up to break even or take a loss on the actual store but to make bank on the 5 slots. 

    Its a form of entertainment you must realize. When you spend money on the movies, popcorn or even dining out, thats purely unnecessary "entertainment" except you'll never occasionlay jackpot a nice steak dinner. In a way, the RNG people are smarter than you =)
    Opiate sales are really profitable as well, even legally sold, still doesn't change the fact they are largely a scourge on society.
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