The Bullshit Roundup: Rocket League Goes Fee-To-Pay, Gears 4‘s DLC Drenching, REVII Celebrated For Doing Nothing

The Bullshit Roundup hasn’t happened in a while, but that doesn’t mean the bullshit’s stopped. This is the game industry – there’s feces in every corner!

This week, we’ve got microtransactions, season passes and pre-order culture – the Holy Trinity of videogame bullshit.

Let’s dig in!

01

Rocket League adds microtransactions

Excellent carsports game and 2015 Jimquisition Award winner Rocket League has succumbed to the insidious allure of fee-to-pay, adding microtransactions to its wheeled soccer experience.

This dripfeed DLC comes in the form of crates, because if there’s one thing videogames need more of, it’s crates with bits of digital tat in them.

The arrival of microtransactions has been known for a while, and only recently manifested themselves in the game. Although the presence of microtransactions in any game with an upfront purchase price is bollocks, I’m willing to concede that Rocket League is a fairly mild perpetrator, if only by the rubbish standards of the wider industry.

For a start, the game costs $19.99, which is obviously a far cry from the sixty buck fee-to-pay games peddled by your EAs and Ubisofts out there. As an added softener, Psyonix offers an option to turn notifications off for the microtransaction content, meaning you can stem the flow of harassment that usually accompanies “free-to-play” elements.

With that in mind, I’m not prepared to go full-bore outrage in this situation.

However, it’s still sad to see another terrific game feed into the nickel-and-dime circus and further normalize what should remain an abnormal blight on the market.

What’s more, the nature of the microtransactions themselves eerily mirror the ones that controversially appears in Payday 2 before their joyously received removal. As with Payday 2, the crates will be given freely to players as they complete matches but they’ll remain locked until keys are purchased with real money.

It’s the kind of scheme I really, really loathe – tacky psychological manipulation designed to “give” you mysterious items and let human curiosity do the rest.

People have asked what I intend to do regarding the game’s Jimquisition Award, due to my standing policy of not considering fee-to-pay games for GOTY contendership.

Ultimately, there’s not a lot to be done – it’s not as if the JQ Awards are particularly prestigious so I doubt Psyonix would give a shit almost a year later. Plus, it’s not like the game had microtransactions at the time, so the award was most certainly legitimate when it was given out.

Rocket League retains its status as a 2015 game of the year… but not without a little asterisk next to its name.

02

Gears of War 4 gets a season pass that reveals massive DLC plans 

Now that customers have grown fairly accustomed to the existence of season passes, it seems publishers are less and less bothered about making them worth a shit. They seem to get more expensive and less interesting, since companies have worked out enough people will buy them on pure faith.

Quite how anybody trusts the “AAA” game market to deliver on vaguely established promises these days is anyone’s guess, but there you are.

With that said, Gears of War 4 is the latest to sell the idea of downloadable content for almost as much as the base game’s MSRP. You know, because putting microtransactions in the fucking thing wasn’t enough.

$50 will net you six “gear packs”, and OH how videogames have made me come to despise the word “pack.” In addition, you’ll access the VIP Vintage Pack with a character skin, weapon skins, emblem, and XP-boost, as well as early access to future game modes and maps.

There is one thing that might make the offer tempting, however – the season pass also guarantees access to 24 maps planned to release over the year following Gears 4‘s launch. Apparently there will be at least two maps released a month, which adds up to what I view as an exorbitant amount of “additional” content.

So far, Gears of War 4 will be selling a $249.99 collector’s edition, a $50 season pass, microtransactions and twelve months of DLC.

I need you folks to level with me here… am I the unreasonable one for looking at that and thinking, “Wow… is there such a thing as enough fucking money for you people?”

Seriously, am I the asshole here?

The sheer saturation of “content” on offer strikes me as simply preposterous, but then, I guess that’s the problem when you view games as an artistic medium and not a gigantic cow with udders full of fucking money.

03

Resident Evil VII promises no microtransactions and we’re grateful for it

Resident Evil VII‘s official Twitter promised there’d be no microtransactions when the game releases, and there was much rejoicing.

You’ll also notice we have our obligatory pre-order DLC garbage announced alongside the happy news, too.

Capcom’s plan to marry its pre-order bonus reveal to the eschewing of microtransactions has certainly worked, as many are too busy celebrating the latter situation to take a look at the former. Most of the responses to the tweet in question are quite happy indeed about the lack of fee-to-pay horsesperm with nary a mention of the other stuff.

Anyway, yeah, it’s good news that Resident Evil VII won’t feature the same nickel-and-diming that preyed upon customers of some other recent Resi games, but can we take a moment to reflect upon how fucking sad it is that such an “announcement” has become headline news?

That we’re celebrating Capcom for essentially doing nothing is really fucking miserable, and a damning statement on just how overwhelming the fee-to-pay invasion of videogames has become. We’re now starting to head into a future where the lack of microtransactions in premium games becomes the laudable exception rather than the rule, and it’s just plain sad.

All that aside, I’m crossing my fingers for Resident Evil VII, and I’ll definitely take a confirmation of zero MTs over what Capcom did with Revelations 2. I’m digging the Texas Chainsaw vibe, and I like that this game seems to have an actual focus as opposed to the kitchen sink gibberish that was Resident Evil 6

Plus the whole “murder family” thing puts the “Resident” back into Resident Evil. I like that quite a bit.

Long story short – fuck microtransactions in premium games. That’s certainly the moral of today’s tale.

SilentPony
Guest
SilentPony

You know what else we haven’t had in a while Jim? NITPICK THEATRE! God it really pickles my anus when you don’t continue excellent series like that.

Also, real question: What’s the difference between a Season Pass and DLC pre-order? As far as I can tell you’re paying a premium for extra content still in development.

diamond
Guest
diamond

Luckily for me the the only stuff in that season pass is multiplayer related, and since I couldn’t give less of a fuck about MP in the Gears series, I have zero reason to waste money on it.

InfamousDS
Guest
InfamousDS

Aww, i was hoping you’d cover the fact Sony broke cosmetic DLC for their platform. The story as I know it: Ever since like 2 weeks ago, many players are reporting an inability to download purchased themes and PSN avatars onto their PS4s. This extends to both Store content and Pre-Order bonuses, as well as download codes from physical discs. Sony Customer Support is doing their damnedest to be atypical CSRs and giving nonsense or unhelpful answers. And because the PS4 Store no longer has a category for “All Downloads” like PS3, you have to navigate their website to find… Read more »

Craig Rigby
Guest
Craig Rigby

little dissapointed that there will be guns in re7, i was hoping it would go full outlast. then again alien isolation had guns and that was amazing so theres still hope.

bimmyz
Guest
bimmyz

hey Jim, how’s that recore video coming up? still having trouble with play anywhere?

goodbyejojo
Guest
goodbyejojo

really surprised by psyonix here, before they announced their case BS, the game was doing extremely well, it really baffles my mind where a developer suddenly out of the blue decides something like this, they added free stuff like modes and arenas (which, lets face it, would be paid dlc or a separate game for some publishers) but also had paid dlc for cars, cosmetics were a part of the game since day one, and i dont feel the need to suddenly buy keys for something that i pretty much own.

Chip Self
Guest
Chip Self

I just don’t buy games with Microtransactions on principle. Period.

I haven’t missed out on anything yet.

Mārcis Jēkabsons
Guest
Mārcis Jēkabsons

You are not insane, Jim. What I think is insane, however, is that You are only one of few who actually bring this up and point out that it’s an poisonous path for gaming. I certainly fall in the category of “microtransactions don’t really bother me”, because there is no way in hell I’ll ever consider them. I do, however, have this unnerving fear that developers are forced to manipulate the game to make pay and with time it’ll get worse and worse. The other thing that bothers me is nasty DRM (or Anti-Tamper) Denuvo. Putting online dependencies in my… Read more »

Kyle Pierce
Guest
Kyle Pierce

Oh, come on. We all know RE7 will have MT’s post launch later down the line. It’s Capcom, afterall!

Appretaur
Guest
Appretaur

With the Rocket League story now indicating that even certain games that rightfully earned a JQ Best Game award at the time can be thought of as deserving of after-the-fact spiritual disqualification in your policies, I have to wonder if you’d be better off splitting your JQ awards into separate categories from here on out; more specifically, you could brand the games that didn’t make it into your Awards list this year due to publishers’ business bollocks as “Best Games of 2016 To Have Been Fucked By Publishers”. Maybe in addition to your JQ Awards and Shittiest Games videos at… Read more »

Adeste Fideles
Guest
Adeste Fideles

I’m not sure what to think about apropos these crates.

Where is Old Man Murray when you need him.

BAH!
Guest
BAH!

To be fair, the Statue Edition comes with the game *and* the season pass, which is a sight better than the Battlefield 1 Statue Edition. And the DOOM Satute Edition, I think?

But I had wondered exactly how GoW4 would justify its microtransactions, and the answer seems to be: It doesn’t. It can’t even muster Halo 5’s excuse, which is pretty sad.

Also: Literal, physical card “packs” for the multiplayer skins. What the actual fuck.

darkmage0707077
Guest
darkmage0707077

God, I remember when a $120 game meant you’d get the complete definitive game PLUS a 40+ button “controller” to play the thing with (Steel Battalion for Xbox).

Now they want $250 for just the complete game, which is more money then some actual CONSOLES cost. This is insanity.

Lloyd
Guest
Lloyd

“Wow… is there such a thing as enough fucking money for you people?”

Well as we’ve covered before the answer to that question really is “No”. This is an industry run by people who unironically use terms like “whales” to describe their customers after all.

XanderXAJ
Guest
XanderXAJ

> I’ll definitely take a confirmation of zero MTs over what Capcom did with Revelations 2.

I’ll be the only person here spending a few moments wondering why Jim suddenly brought the MT Framework in to this.

Milestone_RP
Guest
Milestone_RP

The funny thing about the whole Payday 2 thing, and Rocket League needs to be paying some friggin’ attention here, is that when crates came out in PD2, there were people who asked “why the hell do we have to pay to open these crates? You guys are doing the market thing, isn’t that enough extra money? This is some Team Fortress 2 level of bullshit.” Months later, after sales of crate keys were as flaccid as could be, we got “free to open” safes in PD2, and the amount of stuff being resold on the market shot right up.… Read more »

Polishfury5000
Guest
Polishfury5000

I used to hate how games get front loaded so much dlc and season pass information.

I still hate it, but I don’t get as angry about it anymore. I now just see it as the company’s way of, inadvertently, telling me that there will some day be a “game of the year” with all that crap on it.

Just one of the boons of not getting sucked into the hype and pre-ordering. I’d rather spend $60 a year later and get the “complete” edition.

Poop .Stink
Guest
Poop .Stink

They say they won’t be in at launch, but you can almost guaran-fucking-tee they will be at some point.

Zippydsmlee
Guest

Like with DX:MD I am sure micros will show up after launch…..

AceFlibble
Guest
AceFlibble

24 maps over a year? 2 weeks is not long enough to make a map. It used to take 2-3 months for the best map creators to come up with something solid as a free download in games like Counter-Strike, Quake, and Unreal Tournament. Maps are far, far more complex and detailed now than those ever were, and as part of an official release of a AAA game, should surely also be subject to more extensive testing before they are released to the public. It’s also incredibly daring to announce such a large number if you’ve not got them all… Read more »

Volodesi
Guest
Volodesi

Just to get this out of the way. I am a Moderator for Psyonix’s Rocket League. Was wanting to clarify a few things. The crate system is a completely optional system, like you stated. But people can still get items from the crates or the keys required to open crates without spending anything. A lot of drops in Rocket League are worth as much or more than the items inside the crates. Which you can use to trade for Crates/Keys or other items. One thing that wasn’t mentioned was the proceeds are going to fund the E-Sports series called RLCS(Rocket… Read more »

Anton
Guest
Anton

The Gears thing is a serious letdown; one can easily see every MS title from now on being jampacked with this kind of BS.

Anon the mouse
Guest
Anon the mouse

You should consider removing the award anyway. With devs starting to “patch in” microtransactions after reviews have gone out it’s only fair.
They call it an ever-evolving product, so changing scores and removing awards is very much in the spirit of IAPs and blind-box gambling that lots of devs seem to desperately crave.

MJC
Guest
MJC

Nah, you’re not the asshole for asking if there’s ever enough money for Gears 4. Hell, I was surprised to look up the CE and see that they included the season pass. I thought for sure that shit would be another $50 on top of the $250 for the game and some tat.

Am I an asshole, or just jaded, from my first thought about the RE7 microtransaction news being “I wonder how long it will take for them to 180 on that and put microtransactions in it”?

diamond
Guest
diamond

Is next week’s JQ gonna be about ARK releasing DLC while still in early access?

I liked RE6 quite a bit actually, it’s my favorite game in the series.

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