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I look at the amount of people in Path of Exile I see running about with costumes or spell effects they bought from the cash shop and it works. People buy it.Iselin said:I don't know about mounting offensives but I do know that dismissing their impact on the game on the usual basis that "it's just cosmetics" misses a large part of what it does to games that go heavily down this easy money route.MadFrenchie said:It does, but again, good luck getting players to amount an offensive against cosmetics like we saw against EA with lootbox progression. You saw just how atrocious that had to be to even garner a response worth noting by EA/Disney (literal "you fire 20% faster, your starship is 20% more manueverable" etc.). Apathy will win the day here.Iselin said:This is true but they're also not completely harmless. Selling cosmetics does a few things that can negatively impact a game:MadFrenchie said:It's better than selling actual items of power, so I wouldn't sabre-rattle about it too much, if I were backers.
- The financial incentive to sell it instead of letting players earn it tends to lower the quantity and quality of those sort of items that can be earned in parallel to the cash shop offerings.
- That same incentive prompts developers to overdo the quantity of available skins since they are so easy to develop and sell and they go to progressively more and more ridiculous extremes with those skins that are quite often incongruous with the rest of the game's setting and lore.
- By the same token it creates a disincentive to work on core game play since that core takes a lot more work and effort for lower returns compared to the easy to do skins.
- It also attracts a different type of player to the games that go heavily down this route. It attracts the "Sims Online" and "Second Life" crowd that obsesses about collecting all those different outfits as their primary reason for being there. That crowd quickly becomes the most valued customer since the developer's metrics will show they're willing to spend much more than the ones who are there to quest and kill. They become overt time, the primary development target reinforcing points 1-3 above in a vicious cycle
I don't enjoy buying cosmetics, so I don't do it. But, considering how cheap and easy it is to crank them out, from a business perspecrive, you'd gotta be outta your damn mind to skip it.
It's not like there aren't any examples of sub-only MMOs we can look at and compare their clear game development focus vs. the ones that go heavily into "got be out of your damn mind to skip it" land. IDK but WOW seemed to be doing just fine last I looked despite being apparently nuts to leave all that other extra money behind.