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The alarming trend of micro-transactions and now real money auctions

UnleadedRevUnleadedRev Boston, MAPosts: 387Member Uncommon

When Free to Play Games first arrived, they were viewed as either the "brand of failure" for a previously subscription based MMORPG. However, now that triple AAA titles that were no where close to failing have gone F2P such as LOTRO and AoC, and seem to be thriving at least in the case of LOTRO, you can now look at AoC with its PvP armor and weapons you can buy and say hhhhmmmm.

We just saw how EVE was in upheaval over speculation and gray area evidence of that game going not only micro-transactions but also game affecting items. All of which caused riot conditions across EVE and now are just for vanity items.

First LOTRO with MT stat tomes, then AoC with MT weapons and armor, then the specter of EVE with MT spaceships...all game effecting items.

A very subtle excalation of MT items that affect gameplay...

Also, SWTORs CE store that no one is 100% sure what it sells...probably because Bioware is gauging player reaction...yeah yeah they said only vanity items and stuff you can get anyway in game...DUH! So then thats the same as AoC with its blue and purple PvP armor and weapons.

For existing games like AoC all the players that put in the hard work to gain such items are now shaking their heads...yeah even though they have much better than even the store items now, its still 50% of the work already being done for new players, which older players earned they old fashion way. The argument has been made that due to DESIGN FLAWs AoC alienated new players by putting them behind a gear curve that would take forever to bring them on par and competitive, i.e. you must lose 30,000 mini games to earn your PvP 5 gear LOL!

Everything is changed NOW that Blizzard is announcing a real money auction house in Diablo....and in a non-MMO.

Whats the significance you ask? Well, as you can tell by all the WoW clones....where Blizzard goes the rest of the industry goes...

Expect many non-MMO games to go with real money auction houses. Just as MT stores make games more money I am sure there will be a buyer/seller fee for blizzard with the D III auction house as well.

Business is business....these games dont provide a public service, they are products designed to make money for the publishers beyond just selling a game box. In some cases keeps games alive that have budget problems, etc. Unfortunately, it seems Devs and publishers have joined the dreaded "I want it now" generation of gamers who want to cut to the chase and not earn their gear. Sounds like real life too in some cases..wheres my job, wheres my diploma, wheres my house and car.

Hey man..you need to EARN those things.

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Comments

  • XxKnivesxXXxKnivesxX honolulu, HIPosts: 188Member Common

    blizzard is gonna have a real money auction house for diabolo? wtf lol

  • LobotomistLobotomist ZagrebPosts: 5,057Member Uncommon

    The scope is much bigger than just "buy power" players and such behavior.

    We are seeing here , what is basically legalisation of "Gold Selling"

    and a OK wink to asian sweat shops as long they pay their cut to Blizzard/Activision.

     

    Its a moral gray area - forced on you - in your game.

     

     

    image

  • RobokappRobokapp Dublin, OHPosts: 5,206Member Uncommon

    I guess the real-money AH with cents on the dollar action fees are the P2P equivalent of an item shop.

     

    at least we know the industry morphed into something that isnt F2P...so I'm still ok with this.

    image

  • FadedbombFadedbomb Aiken, SCPosts: 2,081Member

    Originally posted by UnleadedRev

    When Free to Play Games first arrived, they were viewed as either the "brand of failure" for a previously subscription based MMORPG. However, now that triple AAA titles that were no where close to failing have gone F2P such as LOTRO and AoC, and seem to be thriving at least in the case of LOTRO, you can now look at AoC with its PvP armor and weapons you can buy and say hhhhmmmm.

    We just saw how EVE was in upheaval over speculation and gray area evidence of that game going not only micro-transactions but also game affecting items. All of which caused riot conditions across EVE and now are just for vanity items.

    First LOTRO with MT stat tomes, then AoC with MT weapons and armor, then the specter of EVE with MT spaceships...all game effecting items.

    A very subtle excalation of MT items that affect gameplay...

    Also, SWTORs CE store that no one is 100% sure what it sells...probably because Bioware is gauging player reaction...yeah yeah they said only vanity items and stuff you can get anyway in game...DUH! So then thats the same as AoC with its blue and purple PvP armor and weapons.

    For existing games like AoC all the players that put in the hard work to gain such items are now shaking their heads...yeah even though they have much better than even the store items now, its still 50% of the work already being done for new players, which older players earned they old fashion way. The argument has been made that due to DESIGN FLAWs AoC alienated new players by putting them behind a gear curve that would take forever to bring them on par and competitive, i.e. you must lose 30,000 mini games to earn your PvP 5 gear LOL!

    Everything is changed NOW that Blizzard is announcing a real money auction house in Diablo....and in a non-MMO.

    Whats the significance you ask? Well, as you can tell by all the WoW clones....where Blizzard goes the rest of the industry goes...

    Expect many non-MMO games to go with real money auction houses. Just as MT stores make games more money I am sure there will be a buyer/seller fee for blizzard with the D III auction house as well.

    Business is business....these games dont provide a public service, they are products designed to make money for the publishers beyond just selling a game box. In some cases keeps games alive that have budget problems, etc. Unfortunately, it seems Devs and publishers have joined the dreaded "I want it now" generation of gamers who want to cut to the chase and not earn their gear. Sounds like real life too in some cases..wheres my job, wheres my diploma, wheres my house and car.

    Hey man..you need to EARN those things.

     

    I agree, and fortunately the player base will be the ones that decide if a game is worth a sub-fee + PayToWin item malls. EvE is one such example where the PLAYERS (ie: THE CUSTOMERS) decided that the item mall would ONLY be allowed for vanity items. Anything else and EvE would be shutdown via a mass exodus (literally, the 3 major alliances were willing to walk if anything BUT vanity items ever showed up on that eve-mall BS...something like 10,000 players?).

     

    Regardless, Diablo3 will be a rip-roaring failure due to all the CRAP Blizzard thinks they can get away with. First the WoW-bleed over into the Diablo universe. Then Blizzard decided to take Diablo3 towards a more "casual" centric playerbase (e.g: the game turned into EZ mode over night). Now, they think they can just rip out single-player && add in RL money Auction houses. LOL, they're retarded if they think that'll go over well.

     

    I can't wait to see what that new "Titan" MMO is from Blizzard, item malls galore up in that crap I gaurantee....unless D3 teaches them a lesson about NOT PUTTING MICRO-TRANS INTO OUR AAA TITLES!

     

    -Nuff Said

    The Theory of Conservative Conservation of Ignorant Stupidity:
    Having a different opinion must mean you're a troll.

  • OmaliOmali MMO Business Correspondent Orchard Park, NYPosts: 1,114Member Uncommon

    I don't see a problem with it. It's not the company injecting items into the economy, it is players having a legitimate trade window for what was going to happen anyway but in a less safe environment. Item sales were going to happen in Diablo regardless, this just cuts out some of the seedyness. 

    And don't tell me this doesn't appeal to you just a little bit. Even if you were only able to make a few bucks a week, think of it as money on the side to make your subscription to x game free.

    Check out my monthly column on MMORPG.com.

    image

  • CujoSWAoACujoSWAoA Nooo, AKPosts: 1,781Member

    This thread is absurd.

    There's no point to writing about this stuff.  There's nothing "bad" happening here.  There's nothing to even talk about!

  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Arkham, VAPosts: 10,910Member


    Originally posted by Lobotomist
    The scope is much bigger than just "buy power" players and such behavior.
    We are seeing here , what is basically legalisation of "Gold Selling"
    and a OK wink to asian sweat shops as long they pay their cut to Blizzard/Activision.
     
    Its a moral gray area - forced on you - in your game.
     
     


    Would you rather buy items from the developer, a 'gold seller' or other players? Would you rather a game derive monthly income from a cash shop with items that give advantages to other players, or from the transactions between players who are selling items to each other?

    This is what's coming. You aren't being forced to do anything. You can choose not to play.

    I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  • CaskioCaskio Abilene, TXPosts: 339Member

    Originally posted by UnleadedRev

    When Free to Play Games first arrived, they were viewed as either the "brand of failure" for a previously subscription based MMORPG. Almost all of the F2P titles started out as F2P.  Only pretty recently has any P2P made the switch to a hybrid model. Just FYI. However, now that triple AAA titles that were no where close to failing have gone F2P such as LOTRO and AoC, and seem to be thriving at least in the case of LOTRO, you can now look at AoC with its PvP armor and weapons you can buy and say hhhhmmmm.

    We just saw how EVE was in upheaval over speculation and gray area evidence of that game going not only micro-transactions but also game affecting items. All of which caused riot conditions across EVE and now are just for vanity items.

    First LOTRO with MT stat tomes, then AoC with MT weapons and armor, then the specter of EVE with MT spaceships...all game effecting items.

    A very subtle excalation of MT items that affect gameplay...

    Also, SWTORs CE store that no one is 100% sure what it sells...probably because Bioware is gauging player reaction...yeah yeah they said only vanity items and stuff you can get anyway in game...DUH! So then thats the same as AoC with its blue and purple PvP armor and weapons.  I love how people are claiming TOR's CE store is going to have MTs.  What company would be dumb enough to limit their customers from their MT store?  It will not have MTs and the items in it will be barely be worth anything as goes with most special order items.

    For existing games like AoC all the players that put in the hard work to gain such items are now shaking their heads...yeah even though they have much better than even the store items now, its still 50% of the work already being done for new players, which older players earned they old fashion way. The argument has been made that due to DESIGN FLAWs AoC alienated new players by putting them behind a gear curve that would take forever to bring them on par and competitive, i.e. you must lose 30,000 mini games to earn your PvP 5 gear LOL!

    Everything is changed NOW that Blizzard is announcing a real money auction house in Diablo....and in a non-MMO. I think this is an experiment or it will end up getting pulled before release. See more after the quote.

    Whats the significance you ask? Well, as you can tell by all the WoW clones....where Blizzard goes the rest of the industry goes...

    Expect many non-MMO games to go with real money auction houses. Just as MT stores make games more money I am sure there will be a buyer/seller fee for blizzard with the D III auction house as well.  I doubt many games if any past D3 will use real money auction houses.  MTs/DLCs will surely be used.

    Business is business....these games dont provide a public service, they are products designed to make money for the publishers beyond just selling a game box. In some cases keeps games alive that have budget problems, etc. Unfortunately, it seems Devs and publishers have joined the dreaded "I want it now" generation of gamers who want to cut to the chase and not earn their gear. Sounds like real life too in some cases..wheres my job, wheres my diploma, wheres my house and car.  When were these games ever a public service?  I always had the impression they were made for the money, otherwise they'd be completely free.

    Hey man..you need to EARN those things.

    I hate the MMORPG.com post editor.

    Anyways... the real money auction house only works if the game can have high level or powerful gear, possibly raid like gear, for sale by the players.  If the items were bind on picklup then the auction house would only be filled with the mediocre gear anyone could get in a heart beat.  It is meant for a particular design in a game as well as trying to curb players from buying gold at the same time for pricey items.  Why let the gold farmers get the money when the company can get it? 

    "If you're going to act like a noob, I'll treat you like one." -Caskio

    Adventurers wear fancy pants!!!

  • niceguy3978niceguy3978 Gainesville, FLPosts: 2,000Member

    Originally posted by Lobotomist

    The scope is much bigger than just "buy power" players and such behavior.

    We are seeing here , what is basically legalisation of "Gold Selling"

    and a OK wink to asian sweat shops as long they pay their cut to Blizzard/Activision.

     

    Its a moral gray area - forced on you - in your game.

     

     

    We are talking about this like Diablo 3 will be the first game this has happened in.

  • FadedbombFadedbomb Aiken, SCPosts: 2,081Member

    Originally posted by niceguy3978

    Originally posted by Lobotomist

    The scope is much bigger than just "buy power" players and such behavior.

    We are seeing here , what is basically legalisation of "Gold Selling"

    and a OK wink to asian sweat shops as long they pay their cut to Blizzard/Activision.

     

    Its a moral gray area - forced on you - in your game.

     

     

    We are talking about this like Diablo 3 will be the first game this has happened in.

    We're talking about it like this because Diablo 3, most likely, will be the last major AAA product that it's tolerated in being infected by. I've told ALL of my RL && Internet friends, and although they WERE hardcore Diablo fans like me (well, most of them) they no longer are. We're boycotting Diablo 3 until this crap is removed, if ever?

     

    First they ruin StarCraft2 with their WoW bleed over Art && dumbed down gameplay. Now, we're being forced to watch Diablo3 go the same route. Seriously, what ever happened to unique Art && genre specific styles?

     

    I hope D3 burns HARD, so we can get a return to what made Diablo && Diablo 2 GREAT.

     

    -Here's waiting for D4

    The Theory of Conservative Conservation of Ignorant Stupidity:
    Having a different opinion must mean you're a troll.

  • DerrosDerros Posts: 1,077Member Uncommon

    well remember players are going to be able to make money from the transactions on the AH too.  Blizzard is just going to take its cut, like any real life auction house.  

     

    Also these things succeed because people spend money on them, and WANT to spend money on them.  If you want to blame someone, blame players for providing the market for these things to succeed.

  • crazynannycrazynanny PopowoPosts: 173Member

    1. Diablo isn't MMO, merely a lobby game, it's a huge difference as You decide who plays in Your game or what game will You join. Furthermore, if You aren't into competitive PvP You just might ignore AH completely. Whole raging is like caring that some guy, somewhere is using idkfa cheat code playing his single player game. His game doesn't have any influence on Yours. Now PvP and random multiplayer games are a tad different thing, but if You played D2 You would know it had dupers, hackers, and real cash item trading and You had to deal with it anyways. Expecting that Blizz would find a magic way to get rid of that is being naive.

    2. Blizzard doesn't sell any items. That's another huge difference. If company like Turbine sells their own stuff in shop it gives them incentive to create content that encourages buying stuff from store. Sure, fees from AH will bring some money, but I think the main reason was cutting the costs, rather than income. I mean imagine costs of support to deal with hacked players, GMs to watch and ban, all customers You got rid by banning them or losing because they were hacked and /ragequited.

    3. Overall times has changed. Back in days of Diablo 1 multiplayer and battlnet was small deal, same with costs of running it. Now it's huge and people expect support, account recovery and such. This doesn't come free, so if not for AH we would have monthly sub most likely. Now that would bring people in arms...

  • OnigodOnigod Noord-HollandPosts: 688Member

    and they say it is to avoid gold sellers wich will now run their little programs within the game itself.....

  • SulaaSulaa nPosts: 1,151Member Common

    I don't like this trend as well and I do refuse to play games which use systems like that even though I did in past. But I just realized it killed my joy and was worse for me money and enjoyment wise.

     

    Think next 2-4 years will be deterimental for mmorpg's. Future of WoW , success or failure of Swtor/GW2 and to lesser extent Tera/ArcheAge and TSW. Will be important. Upcoming f2p project like WoD will also matter.

     

    F2P/microtransaction is in offensive right now. Relative failures of games like AoC , recession and increasing competition also had big influence on f2p success.

     

    Remember though that f2p /microtransaction is relatively new to Western mainstream mmorpg market.  It is still new experience to both players and companies. Besides apart of Rift we havent got big mmorpg release in few years.

    Now it is going to change : in next 12 months there will propably be 5 big releases possibly even more, with Swtor and GW2 beign even huge ones.

    Threre is also more games like MMOFPS and MMORTS incoming which will have appeal to some of mmorpg crowd.

    Few "old" struggling titles will or are rumored to swithc to f2p as well. Not to mention that Asian f2p titles starts to be released faster and more frequently in west and that will be norm from now on imho.

    So in relatively short time there will be more increased competition in p2p games , but competition in f2p games will increase even more.

     

    What impact it will have on both p2p and f2p models is yet remain to be seen.

     

    --------------------

     

    As for other things like Diablo AH = as long as people buy games just because of it title , situation will not change but it will be worse. Look at COD:MW3 - I had read many forums and comments on websites stating that many players don't like that COD:MW3 use old graphic engine and old graphics , models and animations and look almost exactly same as few revious COD titles. Players are aware that Activision is doing that to cut costs of development. On top of that Activision is afaik first company that put subscription (optional true but still it provide so much things that Activison projects that even 50% of player base will subscribe) on a multiplayer FPS game.

    Still many comments are like : "COD:MW3 looks the same as previous ones! They want subscriptions as well! I don't like it! But I will buy it anyway."

    Well until people will "buy it anyway" and tell to themselves "it is raining" when certainly that is not rain, game companies will milk all of you (us) more and more.

    Simple and logical.

     

     

     

  • NadiaNadia Canonsburg, PAPosts: 11,866Member Common

    Originally posted by Onigod

    and they say it is to avoid gold sellers wich will now run their little programs within the game itself.....

    time well tell but..

    Diablo 3: Auction House Does Cash, More

    http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Diablo-3-Rob-Pardo-Auction-House-DRM-Battle.net,13154.html

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  • i_own_ui_own_u Posts: 312Member Uncommon

    I do not see the Real Money Auction house being a problem in Diablo or any other game at that. After all, the items there were earned with hard work and sweat.

    -I do however have a problem with the micro-transactions because you can just buy straight from the developer and instantly earn the item. The RMA works the same way, but somebody had to work to get those things. I feel it is justified if somebody had to spend in-game time to get the item. After they get it, I feel it is honestly up to the player with what they want to do with it.

  • LobotomistLobotomist ZagrebPosts: 5,057Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by lizardbones

     




    Originally posted by Lobotomist

    The scope is much bigger than just "buy power" players and such behavior.

    We are seeing here , what is basically legalisation of "Gold Selling"

    and a OK wink to asian sweat shops as long they pay their cut to Blizzard/Activision.

     

    Its a moral gray area - forced on you - in your game.

     

     







    Would you rather buy items from the developer, a 'gold seller' or other players? Would you rather a game derive monthly income from a cash shop with items that give advantages to other players, or from the transactions between players who are selling items to each other?



    This is what's coming. You aren't being forced to do anything. You can choose not to play.

     

     

    But it isnt that isnt it.

    You are going to buy items from Gold Seller sweatshops in China. Not from actual players.

    Items that oter players (actual players) sell will undercut by cheaper gold seller items.

    If anything this will ruin any game economy , and ruin game enjoyment for any player.

    image

  • LeoghanLeoghan Herndon, VAPosts: 607Member

    What I find alarming is people who complain about micro-transactions or RMT's but still buy the game and use the transactions. I've not seen a single game fail just because of one of these revenue sources, so either most people don't find them alarming or most people are hypocrites. 

  • Nomis278Nomis278 LondonPosts: 126Member

    You're right about one thing. Business is business. 

    Any good business seeks to find more ways to monetise it's assets. If there was no demand for it then it wouldn't be happening, but of course there is so unfortunately we're just going to have to lump it.

    There's a trend with theme parks (the real life ones) now where you can pay extra to jump the queues. Personally I think they're expensive enough anyway and it annoys the crap out of me. It's the same principal though. Theme parks don't interest me too much now. Not sure how long it will take until I feel the same about MMOs.

  • tiapherestiapheres elizabeth, NJPosts: 74Member

    The involvement of RMT in AAA MMOs is to cut down on the RMT business. Eve does this but behind the scenes to undercut RMTers so they are not profitable outside thier system which really helps players who cant afford a sub to play the game by working for thier sub ingame and buying a "sub" off another player who bought it to sell for in game money or items.

    Lets wait to see how Activision-Blizzard handles this RMT device before we cast judgement.

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  • RuinalRuinal duhPosts: 195Member

    Real Money auction were always there. Right from UO. People used and abused every bug there is make money in every mmo since and if they couldn't do that 'succesfully' they farmed and botted. To think this is something new is a bit naive. I've argued before that CCP's plex system is rmt, but the fantards kept insisting that converting cash into isk (which at the end of the day is what plex does) doesn't provide any advantage for the people doing that. I believe EQ2 has/had servers which allowed rmt on them, but haven't heard anything about that in a long while.

    Is what Diablo 3 proposing to do a bad thing? Lets put it this way, it was going to happen anyway, with or without Blizzard's permission. This way, Blizz benefits and gamers benefit from being less likely to get screwed over. If people don't like it, they do not need to use it. And anyone with thoughts of earning any kind of living from it are seriously deluded ;)

  • SulaaSulaa nPosts: 1,151Member Common

    Originally posted by Ruinal

    I've argued before that CCP's plex system is rmt, but the fantards kept insisting that converting cash into isk (which at the end of the day is what plex does) doesn't provide any advantage for the people doing that. I believe EQ2 has/had servers which allowed rmt on them, but haven't heard anything about that in a long while.

     

    I don't agree with most of what you said. Especially with beign ok with Blizzard AH , but with above cited I agree.

    PLEX in Eve is buying gold for money simple as that, and it is damn obvious it provide advantage.

    That is main reason I have not subbed Eve and I was considering it after I left Lotro not so long ago. One of main reason I left Lotro aside of game changes was item shop as well.

     

    For complainers about RMT/ F2P as long as you only whine but still buy/play games that use that whining on forums is incredibly pointless.  Game companies don't care anymore if you're satisfied or not , they care if you spent money on their product or not.

    Whining / asking / threating and at same time paying for their product(s) would surely make me laugh hard if I were working in said company.

    If you think that your not buying alone won't change a thing becasue millions others will buy , as long as you think like that trend will not slow down , stop or reverse.

  • NeverdyneNeverdyne Guatemala CityPosts: 167Member

    Just to clarify, the CE shop in SWTOR will sell stuff for in-game currency, not real money.

  • CeridithCeridith Toronto, ONPosts: 2,980Member

    The gaming industry is being sunk under the weight of corporate pursuit of profit, with no regard to the impact of the quality of the games they're doing it to.

    The perception that this move in any way cuts down on gold selling or RMT is complete nonsense. It's rather, in fact, sanctioning RMT and gold selling. So rather than trying to preserve to spirit of the game by keeping RMT out of it, Blizzard is instead turning around and allowing it so long as they get a cut of the action. It's quite literally the equivilant of a government suddenly deciding narcotics are no longer a illegal, and allowing sales of them so long as they got a cut of it.

    There is a deeper problem behind this whole issue that, no matter what your stance on RMT is, is potentially very bad for everyone. Previously Blizzard fought against RMT and claimed it against the EULA and expressly denoted that accounts and their contents are property of Blizzard, not the players. Now however, Blizzard is legitimizing the real world value and even assigning ownership of virtual items through the fact that players can sell what they acquire for real money.

    The true irony of all of this is that Blizzard is very likely shooting themselves in the foot, but not why most people think. Legitimizing real world value and ownership to players opens up Blizzard to several legal issues. First is that if a server glitch causes a player's item to dissapear, they're potentially monetarilly liable. Not only that but real world value means that players are generating real world value when they play, which can translate into additional income if said items are sold... hope the IRS doesn't catch wind of this (and they will). Then there's also the fact that the game may violate certain gaming (gambling/contest) laws for the fact that the loot drops are random but have real world value, which could cause the game to be subject to these laws.

    All in all, it's a big old can of worms. Whether you like RMT or hate it, this decision is going to cause a big mess for the entire industry... all because Activision-Blizzard can't keep their hand out of the cookie jar.

  • LeoghanLeoghan Herndon, VAPosts: 607Member

    Originally posted by Neverdyne

    Just to clarify, the CE shop in SWTOR will sell stuff for in-game currency, not real money.

    Just to play devils advocate here, but isn't the CE shop restricted to people who bought the CE? People who paid $150 for the game? So haven't they already used real currenct to access it? 

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