Time for more stinking bullshit, delivered to you on an unwashed platter full of sick and blood. We’re here once more to bang on about the same old crap the “AAA” industry shoves down our throat, because lordy knows few other places bother.
On today’s edition of Bullshit Roundup, we’ve got two more cases of microtransactions announced for unreleased premium games, and Ubisoft is at it again with another ludicrous selection of collector’s editions for Watch Dogs 2.
Enjoy World War 1 The Way It Was Meant To Be – With Microtransactions!
Despite earning plenty of customer goodwill and excitement with the most liked YouTube trailer of all time, Battlefield 1 has gotten some dismal news this past week. Electronic Arts, unable to let any bit of credibility go unsullied, has revealed the next Battlefield shall be a fee-to-pay experience, adding microtransactions on top of the $60 package.
Unlike with Overwatch, EA doesn’t even have the excuse that said microtransactions are paying for future DLC because the publisher also intends to sell map packs alongside the freemium-style content. Hooray!
CEO Andrew Wilson had an amazing slew of complete and total bollocks to vomit up as he detailed the game’s “monetization opportunities,” serving an insult to our intellects as well as our wallets.
Here’s what he had to say on the matter.
“Given that in Battlefield 1, you will see both macro monetization opportunities from us like maps and large scale content, as well as micro monetization opportunities, smaller increments of gameplay, and then over time, what you will see from us is elements of gameplay that allow gamers to engage and drive, and extend and enhance their experience, much the way people do with FIFA Ultimate Team or Madden Ultimate Team today.
“We feel very confident in our ability to deliver that in a way that is deemed valuable by our player, and drives increased engagement over time with them.”
House also trotted out some more familiar lies, claiming the monetization was all about offering “choice” to players and “enhancing and extending their experience.”
You can put a handful of shit in a lace bodystocking, Mr. House, but it’s still shit – and you ruined a perfectly good bit of lingerie in the process.
As microtransactions become more accepted by customers through sheer force of commonality, it’s interesting to see the weasely way in which executives are now describing them. The post-launch nickel-and-diming has become “value through choice” while traditional DLC is now a “macrotransaction” as if it had always stood hand-in-hand with its micro cousin.
It’s creepy when you see how the language changes. By calling DLC macrotransactions, it appears as if microtransactions are perfectly normal and have been with us forever. Because Electronic Arts has always been at war with Eurasia, and fee-to-pay games offer flexible value to loyal consumers.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Hopes To Divide You And Your Dollars
Joining Battlefield 1 in the freemium-chomping money grubbing is Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, a game in a series that has the overextension of corporations as an ironic central theme.
Mankind Divided‘s microtransactions are delivered via a new online challenge mode, Breach. Like so many other “AAA” games that want to make more money but can’t be fucked thinking of anything inventive, the latest Deus Ex will offer cards that provide various boosts and modifiers to Breach players.
Card packs will be available for purchase, because card packs are basically this industry’s paint-by-numbers way of suckering people out of extra cash.
Unsurprisingly, this news was accompanied by apologia from a spokesperson who peddled familiar dishonest assertions that, although they’re selling you something, the game makers really don’t want you to buy it!
“It’s going to be light, because we want players to be able to go through the game without spending any money,” fibbed producer Fleur Marty. “There’ll be booster packs you can buy with real money, that’ll allow you to better the odds, and some cosmetic ones too.”
As I’ve done so many times on The Jimquisition, I’ll remind you that any producer claiming they care about making sure you don’t spend money is talking total shite. Microtransactions wouldn’t be there if the company didn’t want to sell them to as many people as possible, preferably everybody.
Some publishers are better about it than others, that much is true, but each one will still try and tempt you somehow. It’ll range from minor seduction to blatant psychological hammering, but in no way should it be cool that a company is doing it in any form after selling you a $60 game.
You PAID already. It’s fucked that companies have the nerve to consistently pester you for more after that.
They don’t “want players to be able to go through the game without spending any money.” That’s not what they want at all. They want to obscure and tweak their systems just enough to be able to say they want that. They want it to technically be true, but they sure as shit are thirsty for that money, and they do try to get it from you.
You know, I’m close to offering a challenge where I’ll buy $100 worth of microtransactions for any “AAA” fee-to-pay game where a developer straight up admits, “We’re greedy and want more money, that’s why they’re there.”
I may do that in some grand enough situation.
Watch Dogs 2 Unveils Its Special Edition Carpet Bomb Plans
The multiple releases and exclusive pre-order deals for Watch Dogs were so utterly ridiculous we famously needed an extensive chart to work out what content could be obtained from where.
Because Ubisoft has all the restraint of a toddler with particularly uninterested parents, Watch Dogs 2 has had FIVE special editions revealed in the same week as the game’s announcement!
Some of the editions are available only from Uplay because Ubisoft still wants that total waste of everybody’s time to be a thing.
Here are the editions listed, which I’ve copied and pasted from GameSpot because I sure as shit can’t be arsed to type it all out:
- Deluxe Edition ($69.99): The base game, plus two “Deluxe Packs” with in-game “premium” customization items for your character, weapons, vehicles, and drones.
- Gold Edition ($99.99): The Deluxe Edition plus a Season Pass for future DLC missions and gear.
- San Francisco Edition: The Deluxe Edition plus a Collector’s Box; a figurine of the game’s protagonist, Marcus; San Francisco-themed laptop stickers; lithographs; a San Francisco map.
- Wrench Junior Robot Collector’s Pack (Uplay Store Exclusive): Either the standard game, the Deluxe Edition, or the Gold Edition, plus a 7.8 inch replica of an in-game robot controllable by an iPhone or Android app.
- Return of DedSec Collector’s Box (Uplay Store Exclusive): The Gold Edition of the game plus real-world DedSec items, the Marcus figurine, Marcus’s scarf and hat, and an art book.
Naturally, there’s a pre-order bonus as well, offering players the chance to get the Zodiac Killer in-game mission with every version purchased ahead of launch.
As with the original game, it’s a confusing mess of tat that annoys me every time I look at it listed out. Total market overkill, created using a logic I’ll never understand with a normal human brain. The whole thing just looks like complete fucking anarchy to me and yet, somehow, it must work. It must make Ubisoft loads of money.
I suppose if you can just dazzle your audience so much they’ll buy anything in a disoriented haze, you may as well go for it.
I actually liked the first Watch Dogs, but fuck me if basically everything Ubisoft did around the game didn’t make me want to hate every single facet of the fucking thing.
This bullshit isn’t off to a good start with me.