Like a Star Wars Holiday Special, Battlefront II has left us all confused and feeling exploited.
The backlash was so huge, EA had to temporarily retreat and take the microtransactions out of the game. A disastrous Reddit AMA, worried investors, prying regulators, and mainstream news headlines forced them to pull back and find a more palatable way to deploy its glorified gambling.
However, that wasn’t before it received one of the biggest Metabombings in history. Oh yes, let’s get stuck in!
Don’t even pretend you didn’t see this coming a mile away.
Middle-Earth: Shadow of War has become more famous for its boundary-pushing loot box system than anything else – and that’s a good thing, because any game designed to fleece its customers and exploit those with addictive personalities deserves to be known for nothing else.
While most professional critics glossed over the microtransactions – which, for all their defenders, really have had a dire impact on the game’s entire structure – many others have voiced extreme displeasure at this gacha simulator passing itself off as a “AAA” game.
And you know what means… it’s time for a METABOMB.
In case you haven’t heard, NBA 2K18is a mess of microtransactions, having adopted a full-on freemium economy in a $60 game. This isn’t just cosmetic stuff either – the game’s dominated by “Virtual Currency” that seems ripped from the shadiest of F2P mobile games.
2K Games’ greed was so immense that even the regular games media cared about it, an increasing rarity in a world where scummy business practices are becoming prevalent enough to generate only apathy from many reporters.
Anyway, let’s just cut to the chase. It’s obvious this wallet-flaying game was going to be review bombed to hell, so it’s time to launch the METABOMB and revel in public outrage yet again.
As both a professional hater of the corporate machine and a videogame critic, one must walk a fine line between providing information on distasteful business practices and measuring said practices against the positive accomplishments of any given piece of work.
User reviews are subject to no such concerns, which is why METABOMBINGa game for any reason in particular happens so often.
Destiny 2 is, for my money, a damn great game. A great game undoubtedly held back to some degree by Activision’s monetization tactics. I might have to take the time to weigh the good against the ill, but Metacritic’s community reviewers have let their feelings known with both barrels.
The review teardown of Mass Effect: Andromeda was something of a slow burn – while we can normally post a Metabomb article within a day or two of the game’s release, it took some time for the grudge against BioWare’s latest to push back those defending it.
I’m not exactly sure when the scales finally tipped, but as the humble historian who catalogues such things, it is my duty to inform you that Andromeda has been Metabombed!
Yeah, it’s ages since the game came out, but sod it. Let’s do what we usually do anyway. It’s content, right?
[Note from Jim: Ben McCurry made headlines last week for his amazing review of Pac-Man 256, in which he detailed the shoddy business practices of his own publication knowing full well they wouldn’t check it before it went up.
Brash Games, his previous employer (read: exploiter) has become notorious for not paying staff, altering writers’ review scores, and removing credit for work if somebody quits. Since Brash doesn’t pay its writers, I decided to pay a former Brash writer to talk about his experience. Because I can.
There will also be more on Brash this Monday. You know what that means.