The Year Of The Loot Box (The Jimquisition)

http://www.patreon.com/jimquisition
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This is the year loot boxes came to gaming in a big way.

Encouraged by Overwatch, “AAA” publishers went all-in on destroying their games in the name of easy money.

And no, Blizzard, you’re not special. You deserve as much blame as EA, Activision, Ubisoft, 2K Games, WB, and Microsoft.

In fact, j’accuse!

PhoenixShi
Member
PhoenixShi

About a month ago you did a Jimquisition on “How To Not F2P Like A Total Wanker” where Warframe was touted as an example of a game doing F2P right. Then right near the start of this one you brought up the real money auction house Diablo III **used** to have as something that should be looked at with scorn, when Warframe has for years had a real money player trading economy, and did other such BS as well, like loot boxes. Do please be consistent. Back before mobile gaming was a thing a growing trend In PC “free to… Read more »

malcom young
Member
malcom young

I’m curious about one little thing. How disney would react ?

Imo it would be better to target disney because they care about what parents thinks about them, if you just show that disney is letting EA creating a gambling machine for kids with their IP, they can act and it can reach the mainstream media.
Disney has full control of their IPs and it can be useful to ask them what they think about that kind of behavior.

Just my two cents.

leafty
Member
leafty

We should start calling this crap “triple pay” games instead of “triple A”. Pay for the game, pay for the season pass, pay for the loot. And if you still have money left you can even pay for the collector’s edition. Oh I almost forget the preorder crap that allows you to spread the triple pay experience for prolonged “p(l)ayer engagement”.

InfamousDS
Member
InfamousDS

Completely unrelated to this video: #gambling

(Note: This is a topical reference and may not be valid even hours from now. Reader discretion is advised.)

Natalie
Member
Natalie

It’s amusingly ironic that the terminology that execs use to describe their targets harks back to a practice that is now illegal across the globe because it was unethical: Whaling.

Terry-Osaurusus Hex XI
Member

Ho shit…I totally forgot that online passes were a thing! That was a whole crock of cunconuts at the time, especially to my innocent game loving self. Who would’ve funk that was only the tippiest tip of the assburg.

Polishfury5000
Member

So my previous comment got deleted, or never made it past moderation. Was it because it had a link? The link was to a particularly entertaining Reddit thread where EA was making history with the most downvotes comment ever (currently -645k) defending their choice to gate off heroes in Battlefront2. Heroes like Darth Vader or Luke would cost players 60k credits, which equated to about 40 hours of play time if people didn’t want to use lootboxes. EA’s excuse is that they wanted people to feel accomplished when they unlocked the heroes. Since the massive backlash EA caved and dropped… Read more »

Dizzy Bat
Member
Dizzy Bat

On the whole virtual currency thing (Not loot boxes) isn’t it a way to avoid taxes? Like selling a ‘thing’ gets hit with a bunch of taxes, but converting a currency and then selling a ‘thing’ doesn’t get hit with the taxes.

I vaguely remember HotS having that issue, single items were absurdly expensive but bought outright with cash, when they swapped to a currency most things dropped significantly in price.

Of course they also added loot boxes at that time.

Guest_aotf
Member
Guest_aotf

So what can we do about this? Gaming media, youtube influencers… Keep talking about this. Keep trashing, criticising. Keep exposing them for all the bs. Reviewers I wish reviewers implement review scores where a full priced game with microtransactions gets an automatic -10% (no matter how good the game is), loot boxes gets a further -10% no matter what. Another 10% depending on how badly it is implemented. So the max this game can get is 70%. Gamers 1) Criticise, trash ALL companies doing it no matter which company or game. I like naughty dog and last of us but… Read more »

qlum
Member
qlum

I personally do not think lootboxes in Overwatch are that bad and here is why: First of all yes the game is a full priced game however unlike pretty much every other game from a major publisher released at around the same time It does not include any other dlc, no content locked behind a paywall no future dlc so really the only thing there is the lootboxes. The game gets supported for quite some time and the lootboxes give blizzard a financial incentive to keep on improving the game and keeping the player base. This is for a primarily… Read more »

Sleepy Will
Member
Sleepy Will

You know what… I promised myself a couple of years ago that I wouldn’t buy games until I was ready to play them, to help stem the tide of unplayed games in my library, and it had a quite pleasent side effect. Far from feeling like I had missed out, far from feeling like any game would be spoiled by the time I got around to it – instead, I found that plenty of games that would have been purchased by me – well once they hype engine died down, I just didn’t care any more. Sure, I could have… Read more »

Shaded Spriter
Member

With the last few months of shit – I have decided not to buy any big publisher* game unless I can pay once and get everything. Any game with micro-transactions/loot boxes are now automatically just not going to get it since that makes that impossible. This includes stuff like Legend of Zelda: Seven out of Ten (Saving for a switch in the new year) -I am only going to get it when there is a version released with the DLC included at the base price. I bought Sniper Elite III Ultimate Edition a few weeks ago – £30 full game… Read more »

TheOneWhoSucks
Member
TheOneWhoSucks

Once or twice, I’ve defended Blizzard on this very site. Not because “it’s just cosmetic,” as I’m one of the addictive personalities this bullshit preys on, but because microtransactions didn’t come to Blizzard properties until after the merge and I saw where the blame really should have been directed. That said, I’ve been disappointed in Blizzard more than any other company in the gaming industry for quite some time because of this very subject. The games that I’ve had my interest in killed because of lootboxes and microtransactions in the last few months is staggering, and incredibly sad. I’m considering… Read more »

Alex Brown
Member

That should’ve been “No benefit and all doubt.”

Seriously though, I don’t get why people think that the Normandy beach loot box bullshit is being held separately from the patent Activision filed. It is matchmaking you into a lobby specifically there for you to watch other people open loot boxes and hopefully inspire you to get in on that. It is 100% specifically the thing they said wasn’t implemented in any f their games.

saynotogamblingingames
Guest
saynotogamblingingames

Excellent work jim…nailed it.

silvermoon
Guest
silvermoon

This user has been deleted, but this comment will remain here so the following thread does not have to be deleted.

Arella Jardin
Member
Arella Jardin

I talked about this in the singleplayer topic a little while ago, but again, EA has fucked with one of my favorite developers. Bioware. Mass Effect 3 multiplayer was a success, but more important to EA, selling the cards was a success. So add a crappy, tacked on multiplayer to DAI, with lootboxes. Next, get the head Bioware team working on a Destiny knockoff, and shunt the biggest franchise, ME, to a secondary studio. Mandate multiplayer, despite the development of the singleplayer going poorly. When Andromeda only managed to make “some” profit, kill singleplayer dlc (with huge plot threads dangling),… Read more »

Greene Scott
Member
Greene Scott

I hate the loot boxes in Overwatch, I used to love playing it with my friends and do love it for giving me Symmetra, the first time I could play as a badarse autistic woman that wasn’t a stereotype and was treated like an equal along with the other heroes.

But I’ve felt so burned out on it and part of it now is because of the loot boxes (along with just getting rid of modes I like CTF and 1v1 elimination).

Greene Scott
Member
Greene Scott

Question, who was the company that popularized the idea of making people grind in order to get that you can just buy for real money and fake currency in games bought with real money? Both I remember were their before lootboxes and used by those don’t use them like Capcom and the sheer amount of DLC in Street Fighter V needing to grind for them. Also, I know this is coming to fighting games, Tekken is ripe for it giving how you unlock costumes for it and how many fans tell me I shouldn’t care about them because “their just… Read more »

R.M.Renfield
Member
R.M.Renfield

Glorious. I love seeing Jim go on all out attack. The points are valid, the insults hilarious, sadly though, the prognosis is depressing. Gaming is now like the Event Horizon, trying to drag us into its nightmare world. In relation to the whales, who I have cursed many times, being victims, I have actually been wondering myself if a lot of people who buy games are particularly susceptible to these kind of techniques. Maybe the very imagination and desire for fantasy that allows you to really get into games makes the games consumer more pliable. People feel they have to… Read more »

HelixShade
Member
HelixShade

It’s funny you mention Team Fortress 2, since the Crates and Cases (especially the cases right now) are not generally well liked, joining the long list of bugbears like Halloween Only Cosmetics and AutoBalance. To quote people smarter and cleverer than me – “Much of anything to do with the Mann Co. Store, or the Mann Co. Supply Crates in general. Given that many of the items are seen as grossly overpriced (especially Paint, Name Tags and Keys, given what they actually do), a large number of people would simply ignore the store… if items from the store weren’t blatantly… Read more »

Riuny
Member
Riuny

In my opinion, most “AAA” game companies have gone beyond redemption a long ass time ago. Just like Jim says, this bubble will keep expending until it bursts and we all know that those who sit on top of this bloated food chain don’t give two-shits about whether it bursts or not. Even if it bursts, they can just withdraw all of their money and find another quick cash-grab. The poor fuckers who work as low-end employees are the ones who will be laid-off in that process. (Capitalism in a nutshell) Anyway I don’t think any of this will ever… Read more »

InfamousDS
Member
InfamousDS

Back before Fortnite ruined a 3 year gaming group by lying about its freeness on PS4, the same person who took his toys and went home forever was a huge Overwatch fanboy. He coerced the group into buying the game, which was only hard as far a I was concerned because the INTERNET had spoken and it was the greatest thing ever. I see it’s a competitive shooter. I don’t play them on principle because humans are erratic and unpredictable, and I’m slow and methodical. They tell me it’s all about strategy, and the shooting is a means to an… Read more »

Chris
Member

Blizzard definitely does deserve the blame for this trend, no matter how many games they made in the past that we may like and want to defend them for. The worst part is that this is also basically going to devour Blizzard the way TF2 ate Valve and make sure we never get another new Valve game unless it’s another gambling game now that they’ve had a taste of this kind of money. The only solution at this point is to stop buying these games. Not stop buying the loot boxes, stop buying any game that uses these predatory practices.… Read more »

Gitaxian
Member
Gitaxian

It’s pretty easy to forget that the mobile market wasn’t always a mess of microtransactions like it is now. Anyone remember Infinity Blade or Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery? Games like those simply ceased to exist because Clash of Clans knockoffs are simply more profitable. The “AAA” market is headed in exactly the same direction. I expect Battlefront 2 to sell incredibly well despite the backlash, and the more publishers realize that the worse games will get. Don’t think we’ve hit the bottom yet either. As Reality Clash amply demonstrated, you don’t even need a shitty half-assed game to make millions… Read more »