It’s Just Cosmetic (The Jimquisition)

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The episode we all knew was coming. The Jimquisition at last smashes into the “It’s Just Cosmetic” argument with a bulldozer.

Many will defend certain types of microtransaction and loot box by claiming if they sell only cosmetic DLC, it’s fine. Cosmetics “don’t affect gameplay” and therefore anything goes.

This is rubbish. Cosmetics absolutely impact gameplay, and to argue otherwise is to heap insult upon games as a medium.

saynotogamblingingames
Guest
saynotogamblingingames

Well said master Jim and a very merry fucking Christmas to you too! I’ll not lie mate…can I call you mate? Why not…i pay my cash and respect and thank the gods for you so mate it is! I’ll not lie mate I do enjoy your …any rants on microtransactions as they truly are the spawn of the devil’s. So infact this belated video is actually the perfect Xmas gift to a big Jim fan looking to indulge. Yes it’s extra sugary and bad for my teeth but my god I love a good old microtransaction buggering!!!! Thank you my… Read more »

Angel Knight
Member
Angel Knight

I agree with the core sentiment but some of the arguments are flimsy, to be generous. Most egregiously; please don’t legitimize the games censorship harassment brigade by pretending they care about art or the characters or games in general. It really doesn’t help your case.

joshsquashbosh
Member
joshsquashbosh

Jim, I agree with mostly your whole argument with one exception. I wouldn’t characterize “gameplay” as anything that adds to enjoyment for the player. Plenty of games have “poor gameplay” that annoys or bores the player, yet it is still considered gameplay despite being unenjoyable. Instead, I would characterize gameplay as player input that impacts the game. For example, cutscenes aren’t gameplay regardless of them being often enjoyable because there is no player input, while dialogue wheels that force player interaction (or a conscious choice to ignore by not inputting a la Telltale) are gameplay. One could argue that skipping… Read more »

PhoenixShi
Member
PhoenixShi

Service based online games have been doing the RNG loot box thing here for almost twenty years now, basically once F2P (free to play) games became a thing here. After companies found that worked well for them as a money making system, no matter how many people complained about it, the whole thing just kept becoming more, and more prevalent. It started out as mostly just cosmetic, but these days in say a very grind heavy based game, you could either spend months playing extensively for free, or get just a far in a few hours if you spend enough… Read more »

Natalie
Member
Natalie

What I want to know is, if publishers are so desperate to push “games as a service”, why do they so utterly refuse to just use a subscription model, like any proper service. I mean, with these kinds of online, multiplayer-focused games, they tend to be a person’s go-to form of entertainment, which a person comes back to over long long periods of investment. A subscriptions service would not be very out of place. It’s not that difficult. You subscribe monthly, you get access to the game. All of the game. But of course, while you can reliably cover costs… Read more »

9lives lie cat lie
Member
9lives lie cat lie

i know jim has a good point about overwatche but he missed someone to blame, someone who was doing this with a physical sub service and the games industry took notice and asked how can we do that to make money. I of course am speaking of

LOOT CRATE the mystery box sub where you get a box filled with goodies once a month.

Jiryn
Member
Jiryn

If it’s just cosmetic, why did Activision-Blizzard institute “Transmog” which allows you to mix and max any armor you like, making unique and amazing looking sets while keeping the stats and bonuses of your current armor? I fully agree with this video, and I am glad you made the distinction between DLC (Single purchase items) and Microtransactions (repeatable purchase items). I’m fine with cosmetic DLC, for the most part, though I find it over priced, at least I know what I am getting.. unlike Loot Boxes. Though, I’ve seen developers taking the next step, which is more egregious, turning what… Read more »

Arella Jardin
Member
Arella Jardin

I’ve been playing Splatoon 2 since a month after launch. They release new maps every month or so, new outfits all the time, a new weapon roughly every week. They recently added new haircuts, and every few weeks, they have a new Splatfest, this time Sweaters vs. Socks.

I have never paid an additional dime for anything, because this competitive multiplayer game has no microtransactions. True, Nintendo is initiating a subscription service for their entire network next year, but as of yet, they have only charged $60 of Splatoon 2.

So, why does Overwatch “need” lootboxes?

Chris
Member

I can’t believe no one is calling Jim out on his bullshit this week. I love htim, and I thank God for him, but when he’s wrong he’s wrong and we all need to call him out on it. Especially when he is this objectively wrong on something so important. Every Pokemon party shouldn’t have an Ekans in it, because you have to evolve it into an Arbok who is just objectively better. Because while Ekans spells snake backwards Arbok spells kobra which is both cooler and also has a k instead of a c which is how you know… Read more »

Benj
Member
Benj

No Jim, you’re just cosmetic! *Wink*

Galactix100
Member
Galactix100

I know this is pedantic but it’s a bit misleading (not saying it’s deliberate) to suggest that Blizzard entertainment and Activision-Blizzard are the same thing. Blizzard Entertainment is a subsidiary of Activision-Blizzard which was created by the merger of Activision and Vivendi Games (yeah, the guys trying to take over Ubisoft) which owned Blizzard Entertainment which is likely why it’s Activision-Blizzard not Activision-Vivendi.

Intimating that Blizzard Entertainment and Activision-Blizzard are the same thing implies that Blizzard’s staff such as Kaplan have anything more than tactical control at best which I think is a bit unfair.

killertapir
Member
killertapir

Ongoing online games need a way to fund the ‘ongoing’ aspect though. How do you propose they do that. Overwatch releases free maps characters and events. The cosmetic microtransactions pays for that, do they not?

I don’t think the argument should ever have been ‘cosmetics don’t matter’ but rather that if something has to be sold as extra content, cosmetics are the most justifiable. And if it helps to make more substantial content free for everyone, isn’t that a good thing? Game sales alone can’t fund continued development of a perpetual game that requires constant additional content.

InfamousDS
Member
InfamousDS

I’m going to take a minute of your time to talk about Skyforge, a free-to-play game. Don’t worry, it is tangentially related to the video topic! Anywho: Skyforge is a real-time action RPG you can play on your whatevers. It is moderately fun, with a very interesting science-meets-religion lore focused on massive, targeted alien invasions being countered by literal gods (players). It has mostly non-buyable loot boxes. It also does have is paid cosmetics, in two forms. Oh, and its a teensy bit Pay2Win and I’ll address that at the end. The first form is straight up buy-to-wear. You get… Read more »

zippydsmlee
Member

You are right but at the end of the day it’s the least chafing thing they can do. If it’s straight forward, never exclusive or random then its fine, once it’s a loot box it’s a scam and should be avoided. Ever played Champions Online? Stuff was at one time not too bad, I kinda stopped paying/playing a bit after it went FTP it just was not worth 7$ a month after a year or so(I last played it 3ish years ago, got the time cards 7$ a month for the free build, regular gold was 14$ a month and… Read more »

Greene Scott
Member
Greene Scott

Also on the topic of Overwatch, I don’t know I tried playing Overwatch when the winter event went live, but I only played like a dozen matches before I burned and this was also true of most of my friends as well.

Sad about that and the skins, I still love the characters of Overwatch, especially Symmetra for being one of the best examples of a badarse autistic character in gaming and I wish I could play more games with autistic characters (:

Polishfury5000
Member

I really wish Overwatch would ditch the loot boxes and just let people buy the skins. I’d pay $1 for a specific skin or $10 for a bundle with all event skins if they’re cool enough. I’m happy to support a game that releases free content at a regular basis. Just take the whole gambling aspect out, because otherwise it’s still a very fun game.

It’s one of those rare MP games that I always go back to, usually when a new hero, map, or event drops. It’s just that one lootbox aspect that bums me out.

Terry-Osaurusus Hex XI
Member

Lootboxes are – without a shadow of a glimmer of a flea’s dream of a dying doubt – basically some profiteering CEO’s wet dream of selling the same product to the same person an unspecified number of times without any of those pesky regulations getting in the way of juicy monies. It’s like going to a clothes store and asking to buy that really nice hat by the counter, but the store owner goes “Nooonono…you buy lootbox…then maybe you get hat inside. Ok?” “But why can’t I just buy the hat? How much is it?” “It is not for sale… Read more »

Anton
Member
Anton

Don’t knock the argument, Jim. When I show up at work and people take issue with me being unshaven, red-eyed, and partially nude, I yell “It’s just cosmetic!” and it seems to shut them up.

zerodawn
Guest
zerodawn

This user has been deleted, but this comment will remain here so the following thread does not have to be deleted.

Greene Scott
Member
Greene Scott

Also and I know this isn’t wasn’t what the video is about but it does bother me that games that gives you tons of character customization, gender options, clothes etc nearly always for marketing ignore that and give us the single most boring, usually grizzly man in the marketing? Bethesda and EA games I’ve noticed are bad this and I never get it. Given character customization is considered such a big part of those games, why not promote that? Also I am worried when games like Fallout 4 punish you for not choosing the gender the game wanted you to… Read more »

Greene Scott
Member
Greene Scott

Thanks for this Jim, I love cosmetics in video games and character customization, I’ve spent hours before even starting a game properly making my Player characters and have spent ages in games clothing my characters. This is even for fighting games which has made me “a filthy casual” in the eyes of some fighting games fans, but Tekken and Soul Calibur were great for this (and the latter for character customization like I did when I created the entire Justice League and Legion of Doom in IV). One of my happiest moments playing Tag Tournament 2 was making my entire… Read more »

drownedsummer
Member
drownedsummer

I loved seeing this being stated regarding the cosmetic items which are part of Before The Storm ‘But on the store page it states they do have an effect on the game’. Considering the majority of them where only available in the deluxe edition or as a pre-order bonus how much effect are you expecting them to have? Having experienced both episodes one and two their effect is at best a line of dialogue in each episode and clearly just the trapping of the AAA industry being made part of BTS.