The Jimquisition: Pay To Spray – Overwatch And Microtransactions

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Overwatch is one of my favorite games of the year, but I cannot in good faith consider awarding it the title of “best” game.

My long-running policy of disqualifying premium games with microtransactions in them is consistently enforced, but it’s pissed off a lot of Blizzard fans.

As an attempt to bring understanding to such furious souls, I offer my full problem with Overwatch’s fee-to-pay mechanics and the failure of its loot boxes in general.

Chris
Guest
Chris

FRIENDLY CRITIQUE:
During the end credits there is a little writing that says “The Beatles of people” next to your head. I was hoping that would change every episode like “The good Hitler of video games” for example but I see it’s the same. Any chance of making it a weekly gag or does it make editing the credits a nightmare?

Molly
Guest
Molly

I don’t really understand the fury. Like… as if anyone’s “game awards” matter anyway. They’re fun to watch but they don’t matter for anything, especially not a singular game reviewer’s own personal awards show. I like Jim’s end of year awards just fine, but I think a lot of these people are pathetically taking it more seriously than Jim does… but only for the one game they want to see in it…? I mean, I know the discussion is about fee-to-pay, but, I’m sorry, I’m still hung up on how seriously these people are taking seeing their little darling get… Read more »

zeeby
Guest
zeeby

Still have no idea how actually use the effing spray? Can’t be arsed to google it either..

nicethugbert
Guest
nicethugbert

Saxophone Jim is so … professional.

Zippydsmlee
Guest

If they make it all free every 6 months then its not that bad if its not then they suck.

Nobody's Fanboy
Guest
Nobody's Fanboy

Question: In your opinion, Jim, would it have been noteworthy beyond “It has microtrans and that sucks because it’s a pay-up-front game” if it was better implemented? For sake of argument…if it was something more in the vein of GW2 immediately post-launch with its steady stream of meaningful unlocks, if duplicates weren’t possible or were at least 1:1 with the cost of something of the same rarity, if there were more reward criteria or more frequent rewards, or things of that nature? Seeing your review, seeing the thoughtful takes on it, and now this, that’s where I’m leaning…that it’s not… Read more »

Hugh W Lawes
Guest
Hugh W Lawes

Level 15, Got the rescue mel gold skin, Only skin I wanted. I don’t bother opening loot boxes anymore……….Wish I won the lotto…………

Peace from the land down under.

Angus Seydel
Guest
Angus Seydel

I do absolutely love Overwatch, but I can and will not defend the microtransactions present within

Not Lord Atkin
Guest
Not Lord Atkin

…you know what, even a skinner box needs to be done well. It’s a part of the experience. I’m all for optional cosmetic microtransactions, don’t generally agree with your moratorium on any monetization systems in full priced games as a principle. Except the system in overwatch is pants. It’s a good thing the game can carry it but I’d still like to see it patched.

What do sprays even do?

SilentPony
Guest
SilentPony

Hey Jim, I’m thinking of going out and getting Aliens Colonial Marines.

Pitch
Guest
Pitch

I mean it’s happened hasn’t it? People have given up and just rolled over. We used to be so outraged by micro-transactions. Alternative costumes in games were built-in, hidden items unlocked through hard-earned gameplay.

The fire has died and those who have given up are angry they are being reminded of it.

Infernofire
Guest
Infernofire

Seperate to the temptation argument: I like to compare it to entering a sports tournament. If you enter a lot of tournaments you may eventually win and you’ll get a trophy as proof of that, which feels good. Now suppose that you could also just buy the trophy. Wouldn’t that take away a large part of the enjoyment of trying to win the trophy? To some people it wouldn’t, to others it most certainly would, even though having the trophy does not give you an advantage in any future tournament. I know the comparison isn’t perfect, but I feel it’s… Read more »

boguspeople
Guest
boguspeople

That prelude was so unnecessary. Jim did not need to defend himself for something that was his opinion. If people disagree, so what, it’s not like we come here for investment advice.

PassingAtRandom
Guest
PassingAtRandom

The sad part is that EVEN if you are f2p there are standars to be had, i mean, do we really should give software such as “Nintendo Badge Arcade” a free pass by virtue of being “free” despite how exploitative it is?

BornFlunky
Guest
BornFlunky

The irony of all of the sprays in the video’s thumbnail not being obtainable through loot boxes.

Anyhoo, time to actually watch the video.

Peter O'Hanraha-hanrahan
Guest
Peter O'Hanraha-hanrahan

So can you at least buy the few things you do want outright? Or is it still just pure luck even for those willing to put real money down for skins ect?

Gizensha
Guest
Gizensha

Can’t say I disagree with any of what you say, there, and excellent point about how character customization is a feature (and, indeed, one that I always enjoy and oh my god why is such a brilliant character customization system as layered outfits, so not only do you have seperate pants and shirts you get to pick which jacket and hood layers go on top of the shirt rather than it being one size fits all, plus the dye system in such a meh game as Last Story) that has appeal to many. …Though because this isn’t P2W style microtransactions,… Read more »

Kimarous
Guest
Kimarous

Having watched the original video, TB’s video, and this counterpoint extrapolation, I feel this has been a well-done debate where both sides have made their stances clear while respectfully disagreeing with one another. Neither side feels “wrong” on the issue. I was almost swayed to TB’s side, but Jim hit the nail on the head and just kept POUNDING IT… POUNDING IT… POUNDING IT… POUNDING IT… POUNDING IT… POUNDING I- But yeah, I’m going to take Jim’s side on this issue. In a similar vein, I’m quite a fan of Mortal Kombat X but find the microtransation element pretty indefensible… Read more »

Aotrs Commander
Guest
Aotrs Commander

My UTTERLY IRRELEVANT (since I will never be playing Ovewatch, for the very simple reasons I neither multiplayer nor shooter) opinion is that randomness to excess in whatever context and random as a primary reward mechanic (regardless of whether cosmetic, mechanical or otherwise) is a bad system. That (theorhetically) bothers me more than the actual micro-transactions. The only game which EVER tempted me into multiplayer briefly was Mass Effect 3. And that, despite having in-game currency for reward random unlocks, put me off after a while. As I was bored of playing the few characters I had[1] and getting to… Read more »

La Chica Incognita
Guest
La Chica Incognita

The fact that Blizzard added microtransactions to a pay game is absolutely disgraceful to begin with. I’m a big fan of Blizzard and think that even their worst games are far above some of the best games of other companies. Blizzard always seems dedicated to their game releases and supporting them well after their reasonable shelf life, and that is something that deserves respect. HOWEVER…are you fucking kidding me, Blizzard? I remember the infant stages of this when they had mounts that you can only buy with real life money for WoW. Being as I collected mounts in WoW I… Read more »

Chromasus (Chromasus)
Guest
Chromasus (Chromasus)

This is what I also thought. I figured it would be really good if you could buy the in-game Credits.. But of course if you could do that, you would have -control- over what you were getting. Instead, with the loot boxes, you might not get what you want which will make you buy more loot boxes. No wonder Blizzard teamed up with Activision.. A sad union of like-minded companies.

Austin_sj
Guest
Austin_sj

I have played and enjoyed free to play games without ever investing any extra cash, I wonder whether people like me make it way less worthwhile for a core game to be provided for nothing? It’s naive of people to deny that micro transactions are designed to make money, and so of course they will be presented to possible consumers in a way that makes people want to buy them. As with everything it comes down to whether someone believes a product is worth their money for a direct purchase. The gambling style thing is a little more underhand and… Read more »

iKirin
Guest
iKirin

Oh boy, a second Jimquisition this week – what a great week! As always a really well argued Jimquisition. While I agree with TB that they’re OK to exist, if they weren’t in the game I feel it would be better. Especially in a game like Overwatch where they are only cosmetics and every content update will be pushed to the players for free I feel microtransactions are fine, as I don’t have to buy DLCs to play with my friends who might own the DLCs. But as someone who literally has ingame-payment options on his bnet-account disabled and payment… Read more »

Elvar Ingvason
Guest
Elvar Ingvason

Agree Jim, wrote a bachelor about microtransactions recently (in game design) and came to the exact same conclusions. Good video, good game but I loath lootboxes, cardpacks, crates and all that other nonsense that now exists.

Artemiy
Guest
Artemiy

You know, it’s good I haven’t commented until finishing the video… I can cross out the “free updates” joke.

Also, I’m not sure if I like or dislike your “extramural” discussion with TotalBiscuit about cosmetic microtransactions.

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