The Jimquisition: Shadow Of More Dollars

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Oh sorry, did you think we were NOT going to look at microtransactions coming to Shadow of War?

Did you think the appearance of loot boxes for a single-player game would escape my Sauronesque eye?

Did you really think I’d not take EVERY opportunity to bash something Warner Bros. has done?

If you don’t know me by now…

Nitrium
Member

How long have “AAA” games cost US$60 now? Are games immune from inflation for some reason? Movie tickets keep going up to cover the ever increasing costs of blockbuster film production costs (as does most everything else, like food, electricity etc), why haven’t “AAA” games followed suit? Instead of simply charging $65 (which would have been the obvious thing to do imo), they instead fill games with microtransactions, DLC, skins etc to recoup expenses (i.e. keep their cost/profit ratio intact). Perhaps they make more money from microtransactions in a $60 than simply charging $65 or $70 for the same game?

Appretaur
Guest
Appretaur

I imagine that part of the reason companies genuinely could never get away with $70-baseline-cost games without immense public backlash is because that would be a price increase that affects absolutely everyone intending to buy it, including those that only care about the base game and no extra purchases. Fewer would want to buy something listed at $70 at all.

Nitrium
Member

They get away with it in other entertainment item areas like movie tickets for example though. Why can’t games simply be more expensive and get rid of all of the microtransactions which is what we all want? Imagine if this business model was adopted in other entertainment fields – e.g. you pay for a movie ticket, but the extra scene at the start/end of film is gated off (equivalent to DLC) or you get ultra uncomfortable seats (equivalent to forced grinding) or something equally egregious unless you pay a fee.

machine_dirty
Guest
machine_dirty

Because you know publishers won’t do that, i’m sure publishers would LOVE to make games more expensive and still have MTs.

machine_dirty
Guest
machine_dirty

There actually was a time when games were 70-80 dollars, that was back when Nintendo had the oh-so-brilliant idea to continue using cartridges in spite of the fact that everyone else had moved on to using CDs instead, that of course led to games being harder to developer for the N64 and with cartridges being more expensive to make then CDs, that led to N64 games being more expensive new then games on any other console.

Jiryn
Guest
Jiryn

They found $60 was the sweet spot, kind of like new DVDs/BLU-RAYS usually retail for around $20.
Lower makes people feel like they are getting a budget game
More makes people feel they are getting ripped off

F..
Guest
F..

From the viewpoint of these large publishers, you are actually no longer buying games, but allowing content delivery platforms on your system.

Superbunnyhop mentioned, in his video about tax-evasion, that blizzard-activision has been constantly decreasing their spending in the period that their income has been increasing massively. This shows how profitable their microtransactions have become. So: yes, they make more money this way.

Christoph Brinkmann
Guest
Christoph Brinkmann

Apparently you’re oblivious to the “super duper preorder extravaganza” versions where the publishers charge $70, $80, $90, in some cases $300 a pop AND THEN still charge for DLC, and microtransactions ON TOP OF THAT. Congrats on somehow being oblivious for the last decade.

Nitrium
Member

Not at all. I’m simply talking about the base game pricing model.

Giorgos Katsas
Member

So . . . CDPR made a game that’s almost 3 times as big. But their business model is entirely different.

But to quote Jim’s vid, if you cannot make your money back with season passes, preorder bonuses and all the other stuff and you have to stick in MT in there, you have no idea about how to make money. Full fucking stop.

Cobra_IronFang
Guest
Cobra_IronFang
The more I hear about the shady shitty practices that these “AAA Games Companies” deal in the more I can almost come to believe that scum like Digital Homicide ain’t that bad. Now run with me on this, I know they are crazy people with no concept of reality but at least they only charge you once and leave it at that. True all the crap they sell has no effort put in and is overpriced… but at least they only charge you once… with no DLC and no DAMMED MICROTRANSACTIONS. So ye that’s how bad its gotten in some… Read more »
machine_dirty
Guest
machine_dirty

I would not go that far, for as bad as publishers can get, there are lots of great games that wouldn’t exist without them, whereas companies like DH have produced absolutely nothing of worth or value to anyone(aside from snark bait for people like Jim).

If a game is good enough I can ignore the microtransactions(I.E. Dead Space 3, Mankind Divided) but there’s no ignoring how shite DH’s games are.

Appretaur
Guest
Appretaur
“You faithless, doubtless, little… fools.” Wouldn’t you say that doubtless is the complete opposite of faithless in the context of this sentence? Anyway, I think this episode didn’t spend enough time hammering home the particular point that part of why this latest microtransaction story is worse than ever is because it’s also being used as pay-to-win for the multiplayer component. A pay-to-win element in which the orcs you get from the loot chests can be lost and killed while engaging in the multiplayer if you’re trying for the high ranks specifically, and you are incentivized to be highly ranked and… Read more »
machine_dirty
Guest
machine_dirty

I hope TotalBiscuit does a video essay on this particular topic, he loves going into detail about that sort of thing.

Truehare
Guest
Truehare

“Shelob breathes through her skin.”

Damn you, Jim, you start the video with that, how can it get better from there?

Well, guess I’ll have to stop laughing, unpause the video and find out, won’t I?

Benj
Guest
Benj

I think you the argument of “microtransactions imply that playing less of the game is a reward” thing is definitely a good argument to keep making because it affects everyone.

The whole immorality/ exploitation side doesn’t reach a large group of people because too many gamers enjoy the smug superiority of knowing that other people will buy them but they won’t.

This way the real gamer who grinded for 5 hours is as big of an idiot.

Olyphantastic
Guest
Olyphantastic
I never really believe that much in the gambling aspect, as I never really carred that much about skins. But then the god damn micro-transactions for Playerunknown Battlegrounds came, and I become obsessed by getting either the school girl out for my chick, or the instructor girl outfit, both from the Battle Royale film. So you use your BP points to get a crate, you can only get max six a week, and they get more expensive. The developers don’t sell crates, but they sell keys, $2,5.Has an okay player I get 3 a week if I get 1200 bp… Read more »
machine_dirty
Guest
machine_dirty

I’m not OK with MTs of any kind in full-priced games, i’m so goddamned happy I don’t give a rats ass about cosmetics.

LegendaryFrog
Guest
LegendaryFrog
I still cannot understand why people will spend money on micro-transactions. Some types of DLC, I can understand. I picked up the Witcher 3 DLC packs, but those were whole new scenarios with new locations, voice acting, skills, cut scenes and stories. Spending real money on crafting materials, experience boosters and one time use items is so profoundly stupid I don’t understand why people don’t rage against the producers. If the game is set up to goad you into buying an experience booster by lowering the experience gained then the producer is just using you and you should be angry… Read more »
Jiryn
Guest
Jiryn
A perfect reminder at the end. DLC is fine, but a game should never be advertising and offering a pre-order of the DLC days, weeks, or even months before the game is released. It makes me, and many others feel like we’re getting nothing more than an early access while they release more content, which they already have done and are advertising.. even though it may not be the case. I will admit, I ashamedly bought a loot chest last week. However, it was for a F2P game to see what you get for the value.. and no, it wasn’t… Read more »
Sam
Guest
Sam

I still cannot understand why people will spend money on micro-transactions. Some types of DLC, I can understand

You just unanswered your own question in 2 sentences

Jiryn
Guest
Jiryn
(Had to make a second post) I literally have begun to refuse to buy WB games at release due to their shady, and crappy practices. When a game has the friggan gull to not only advertise their DLC and Season Passes before the game is releases, but even show you what you’ll be missing if you don’t buy the DLC or Season Passes MONTHS in advance.. I view the initial release as nothing more than an early access game. Needless to say, almost every WB game has had a “Complete Edition” released within 6-8 months of the initial release, which… Read more »
Jiryn
Guest
Jiryn
As I said last week, I actually know someone who was working for Monolith and had worked on Shadows of War and designed the initial system for the MicroTransactions… when they saw someone bitching about the Microtransactions a few weeks ago, this is what they had to say. “heh someone complaining about microtransactions in Shadow of War. I designed that system. Or at least the first version of it. No idea what it looks like now lol they always think it’s the executives. ^__^ We designed it from the beginning, totally an in-studio decision. You can kinda says it’s indirect… Read more »
machine_dirty
Guest
machine_dirty

Well in a way it WAS the execs, they may not have come up with the system, but i’m sure WB made several not so subtle suggestions to Monolith to put MTs in the game if they wanted things to go smoothly, so I have no doubt Monolith were worried that if they didn’t put the system in right away WB would be very unhappy with them.

TheLivingWeapon
Guest
TheLivingWeapon
At E3 I was seriously hyped for Shadow of War and not so much for Assassin’s Creed Origins which looks like more of the usual bollocks. But now I just do not care about new Middle-Earth anymore. Cry about them micropayments being “optional” however you like, I still won’t touch it because of the mere fact that WB tries to pry my wallet open – right after I’ve already paid for a full-priced AAA release. This and Shelob just turned me off to the point where I doubt I’ll buy the game even at 75% off. That way WB Games… Read more »
Mike Broster
Guest
Mike Broster

No but really Jim you should get down off the fence and say what you feel 😉 xxx

MuddyScarecrow
Member

If game development really was as expensive as the industry and the propagandists (I’m totally using that word to describe overzealous fans of video game companies now) say then the indie game industry shouldn’t even exist. Seriously, if video games really need this bullshit to make their money back how the fuck does Enter the Gungeon manage to exist without a loot box system that allows you to gamble money for their banana and pillow guns? I know the obvious argument will be that Indies don’t spend that much money but…why the fuck does AAA need to?

Jiryn
Guest
Jiryn

That’s literally the difference.
All AAA Means is the time, money, and manpower spent making the game and nothing else.

The original Demons Souls and Dark Souls were NOT AAA, they were made by a small team on a very limited budget and they soared, they earned their fame, through gameplay and word of mouth.

Bilateralrope
Guest
Bilateralrope

Don’t forget marketing budgets.

Benj
Guest
Benj

Exactly!

If you believe in capitalism at all then you should think that companies should respond and anticipate the market. Not that a company is entitled to profits purely because they invested a fuck ton of money.

You can’t have a truly competitive marketplace if bad decisions have no consequences.

dyscode
Member

Perfect Landing!
I was sooo close to preordering it back in June (being offered 30% off surely was enticing) when I got wind of microtransactions – time to let go. When the GOTY is $5 I’ll take a look at it again.

Loved the 1st one.

KeekingItReal
Member
You know, you made the exact same points before across multiple videos, but have them all come together in one video made this one of the most articulate arguments against microtransactions I’ve seen so far. It’s baffling that I still hear people arguing against these exact points even now, because… Well, there IS no argument. The opposition just shuts down any conversation to be had by saying “I don’t care” (oftentimes jumping into a conversation they weren’t part of just to explicitly say “I don’t care” (and if you didn’t care why did you [email protected]#&ing bother replying)) and ruining it… Read more »
Anton
Guest
Anton

The problem is, gamers are children – either literally, or just mentally – that are beholden to brand names above everything. If you criticize anything, however legitimate, about their favorite toy, they will fight you, then go home and spend their allowance on loot boxes. As long as this kind of blind loyalty exists – aka until the world ends – publishers will exploit it and the rest of us are fucked.

guy smiley
Guest
guy smiley

Maybe in the future, when loot boxes for real money in games becomes illegal, or at least regulated, it might change. But really, they’d just exploit ppl some other way :/

Pity Ubisoft or whoever caved a while ago, when some kid racked up a $1000+ bill for his dad’s credit card. If they hadn’t backed down, and given the money back, he could’ve sued them for exploitation of a minor or something, iunno, introducing gambling to children maybe, and gotten the ball rolling on regulation of this stuff much sooner.

Anton
Guest
Anton

Yeah, I keep waiting for a law to drop that reclassifies MTs as gambling, but I’m starting to think I shouldn’t hold my breath.

Charles
Guest
Charles

It’s mind boggling alone that the kid could rack up $1000+ on just Ubisoft games. Sure, it’s across multiple games (I hope), but still, that’s insane! Even between 4 games, I can’t possibly imagine anything over $400 in DLC. And that’s being generous!

machine_dirty
Guest
machine_dirty
Awesome episode! Easily the best JQ of the year so far and one of the best episodes period. Something else you could’ve added, this once again shows how little faith WB has in games being able to do well on their own merits without extraneous bullshit, we saw this with Shadow of Mordor where WB tried to bribe Youtubers into only saying positive things about the game, because they didn’t have much faith in the game to do well on it’s own. It’s sad because WB does have some great games, Dying Light and Mad Max both made my top… Read more »
dyscode
Member

Yeah, they did everything quite all right with DLight and MMax and most Batman and Lego, too.

machine_dirty
Guest
machine_dirty

Agreed on Batman.

Amy
Member
Sad reality is thanks to the way that time normalises most behaviour, we will come to accept this like we have on-disk dlc, aka day one dlc, aka pre-order bonuses. Season passes have become so accepted that when given the chance at playing a critically acclaimed shooter that had no season pass (Titanfall 2) everyone chose to buy the two shooters with not just a season pass but loot boxes too (CoD and BF1). So for all the vitriol that the community is spouting right now about this, I still expect it will sell like crazy and we’ll take another… Read more »
machine_dirty
Guest
machine_dirty
I don’t think the lack of a season pass is why Titanfall 2 didn’t do well, I blame EA for releasing the game at a really bad time, BF and COD were both much more established franchises so of course they were going to sell much better then a relatively new franchise, why EA wanted to compete with their own game is beyond me. Personally as someone whose first console was a Genesis, I don’t want to go back to those days, we only remember the good games from that era, we don’t remember all the shitty movie tie-in games… Read more »
Amy
Member

My point was all the keyboard warriors of the gaming community had the perfect opportunity to choose a game that on the surface wasn’t treating its audience as sea animals (whales), but BF1 was a runaway success anyway, because people don’t care that much where it matters and thats with their purchase decisions.

As for not remembering the movie-tie-ins etc, omg i remember them, hence the talk of rose tinted glasses to block them out. I am well aware of the affects of nostalgia.

machine_dirty
Guest
machine_dirty

I’m personally surprised that people actually praised the campaign in that game when it was a complete joke, yet they were happy to criticize campaigns in previous BF games, made absolutely no sense to me whatsoever.

Galactix100
Member
Galactix100
Titanfall 2 and BF 1 were released close to eachother because EA thought they’d compete with CoD better by doubling up on it. If people bought CoD and/or one of the others EA still wins. It’s likely that the lower profile compared to CoD and BF as well as the first TF being over-hyped to the point where it would do nothing but disappoint probably hurt it more, plus the first TF 2 beta probably turned a lot of people off. I don’t want Shadow of Wardor to bomb because unless everyone writes to WB saying “fuck off with your… Read more »
Eye Skewb
Guest
Eye Skewb

Shadow of Morrrrrrrrrrdor was good, not great. This has pretty much ensured i’m not buying it. Give WB a good ol’ “Great Job!”

Anton
Guest
Anton
Yeah, same thought here. Everyone else seemed to have gotten way more out of the “Nemesis” system than I did. My experience was pretty bland, because I killed the vast majority of the orc leaders on the first encounters, so none of them were around long enough to become “Nemeses”. I also died only once through the whole campaign, so the poor bastards never got to level up at my expense. Besides the procedurally generated orcs, the game was yet another open-world collectathon. I was banking on the LOTR setting being a draw (huge movie/book nerd here), but even that… Read more »
Galactix100
Member
Galactix100

I do think that it was the best attempt at doing Arkham style combat that wasn’t an Arkham game.

Anton
Guest
Anton

Oh, for sure. I actually liked it better than Arkham combat; felt like there was more variety to the enemies and the combat scenarios.

Appretaur
Guest
Appretaur
The big, fatal flaw I had found with the game was that the primary sword-swinging aspect of the combat takes many, many hits to down a single orc or open it up for a finishing dagger move. I liked shooting arrows through heads and one-shotting enemies with dagger stabs from behind otherwise, but overall I struggled to put up with it for more than a dozen hours because of the repetition forced on you in the extremely likely situation that you have more than three orcs around you and need to rely on your sword for every one of them.… Read more »
Nitrium
Member

Pretty much the same experience I had. And I’m NOT good at most video games but found the core game systems in SoM to be overpowered/exploitable.

Cobra_IronFang
Guest
Cobra_IronFang

By the Gods I truly hope hackers/Cheaters manage to find a way to fuck this right over and create a way to modify the files to give us this crap for free, just to shove a giant razor blade covered dildo bat RIGHT UP WB’S ARSE!!!!…. right up there…

Se7en_Th1rt3en
Member
Se7en_Th1rt3en

Well, another game I will neither buy nor play.
This and the other bollocks the industry keeps on pulling nowadays is saving me a good amount of money. It’s too sad that they, be it EA, SE, Ubi or WB, don’t give a shit about a single dude from Central Europe when they have bazillions of “fans” who not only don’t mind, but viciously defend this crap.

I am just tired of this.

SleepyWIll
Guest
SleepyWIll

I couldn’t disagree more with Jim on the gambling point – the bit I disagree with is “I know it’s not technically gambling”.
I say it is technically gambling, and the quicker the world’s gaming commissions crack down on this and sue these moneydigging cockwombles into bankrupsy, the better

InfamousDS
Guest
InfamousDS

Hey WB? Didya hear that? It was the sound of the door hitting my ass on the way out, causing a massive implosion of my wallet. You burned all my money WB, so you can never ever have it now.

I hope you are happy.

Galactix100
Member
Galactix100

I’m waiting for a used GOTY edition in a year or so.

InfamousDS
Guest
InfamousDS
I’m waiting for nothing. Even used you’ll have to deal with their nonstop assault on your wallet and mind. Mordor was alright, but my play style flew in the face of the game’s idea of “fun”. So once I had stealthed down all the orcs they were all immune to stealth and subversion kills. Then I managed to get to the highest rank Uruk War Chiefs and I ended up surrounded by 50ish enemies all attacking at once regardless of which chief I was tackling, and I had almost no direct combat upgrades. I have never killed one, and I… Read more »
Anton
Guest
Anton

I liked the big mob fights. It was the contextual-fight equivalent of a long DDR song. Surviving one of those and offing the chief was one of the few genuinely exciting aspects of the first game.

InfamousDS
Guest
InfamousDS

I was ill-prepared for the combat, and nothing in the game except one non-repeatable challenge fight goes anywhere near preparing you for the huge spike in difficulty and reliance on CQC.

I was like 15 hours at that point, if not more since it was near launch and my memory is horrid, and had no desire to redo the whole game just to play in a way I don’t enjoy. I wanted to be Elven Ghost Batman, they wanted me to be Rambo.

drownedsummer
Guest
drownedsummer

I’m curious on how you played it as except for the plot based ones you could easily have all of the upgrades by the halfway point.

InfamousDS
Guest
InfamousDS

I had almost the whole stealth/environmental tree capped, and maybe 4 or 5 combat skills. I kept getting roadblocked by the secondary skill unlock resource (I had tons of the one earned from killing shit) for combat because I used them all on stealth.

I should still have my save, but I don’t know if I care enough to actually download the game and doublecheck that my memory isn’t just outright wrong aside from the Uruks swarming me.

Anton
Guest
Anton

Technically, yes, but you need to grind out all the sidequests to do that. And the sidequests in SoM are crap.

Anton
Guest
Anton

IMO, the base difficulty never really spikes. The game just expects you to learn more counter moves, and the fights get longer. Which does sound like a drag, but after you learn the rhythm of combat, stringing together 50-hit combos is pretty cool.

Terry Osaurusies XI
Guest
Terry Osaurusies XI
Overwatch’s ridiculous success and rabid fanbase takes about 80% of the blame for this, I garuntee. WB’s execs looked at that and thought “holy crap, we can actually get away with this shit! Quick, we need to rework this into our popular IPs, as long as there are loyal fans willing to defend us, the benefit of the doubt will keep us afloat!” Remember Fallout 4 having no Minibuys? Remember Arkham Knight’s lack of Minibuys? Witcher 3? Mad Max? Horizon Zero Dawn? Resi 7? These are/were all still good sellers with high budgets that could’ve easily put greedy business practices… Read more »
Terry Osaurusies XI
Guest
Terry Osaurusies XI

We’re = were…stupid aggressive autocorrect, but I guess either still works in that context, weirdly.

machine_dirty
Guest
machine_dirty

Yeah fuck Overwatch, I was merely indifferent to it at first(had zero interest in actually playing it cause i’m not really into multiplayer) but now I actively hate that game for what it’s inspired other publishers to do.

Nitrium
Member

While I have never played Overwatch, I’m continually amazed at its success given you can play Dirty Bomb and Paladins for free.

qorl
Guest
qorl

“Shelob breathes through her skin” Heh, nice.

R.M.Renfield
Guest
R.M.Renfield

Last week’s episode was not my thing but this…

…this is the Jim Sterling I love. Loved the break glass/sell glass comparison, loved the vitriol, loved fire and the feeling, loved the jokes, loved the insults.

A shitty morning at work just got a bit better. Cheers, Jim.

Galactix100
Member
Galactix100

I was going to post a comment about how these loot boxes are so bad they’re pay to win, or how they turn the game’s natural progression into a grind. I just can’t though, these loot boxes are just so soul sappingly awful that I can’t bring myself to rant about them, just despair at the fact that not only are they getting worse, they don’t look like fucking off any time soon.