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Jim Sterling on Cliffy B's defense of EA's practice of microtransactions


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Showing 1-19 of 19 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 1, 2013 2:31:03 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Mar 1, 2013 6:16:17 PM PST]

Posted on Mar 1, 2013 2:37:51 PM PST
Uncle Ulty says:
100% agree with Sterling on this.

Posted on Mar 1, 2013 2:40:07 PM PST
MrFoxhound says:
Good read and some valid points, but I think he could have gone further.

Posted on Mar 1, 2013 2:42:34 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 1, 2013 3:33:53 PM PST
DVvM says:
I'm more inclined to agree with Bleszinski than Sterling here, but I don't think they really disagree that much.

I do have to say that I find gamers being outraged about *EVERYTHING* to be extremely exhausting (as well as annoying) and personally I prefer to express my pleasure/displeasure entirely with my wallet. I don't understand why other people can't do that as well.

I mean, yes, angering your customers is not good longterm business. But look at who your customers are: these people get mad about everything. How much of this is genuine outrage worthy of consideration and how much of this is just people just being immature. There are people who are still really angry about Mass Effect 3's ending, and it's been almost a year. The very worst thing that EA has done to any of us is "release a game that's not good" or "release a game that we wanted to like that disappointed us." That's not really something that should generate one tenth of the amount of rage it actually seems to create. I sincerely hope that gaming culture can just grow up, and we can actually get mad about stuff that matters, and not stop getting so het up about stuff that really doesn't matter.

Sterling's absolutely right about "probably spending obscene amounts of money on everything" is a bad idea for the games industry, though.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2013 2:43:27 PM PST
"They're trying to bend the rules of the new game to play the one they're used to. It's the kind of stagnant attitude that leads to destruction -- something that could kill the jobs of a lot of talented people(Hi, Frank, JR, and Patrick!)..."

That last part should have been included since Cliffy thought to throw some names out in pro for the cause. Very good read, and I continue my support of Jim.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2013 2:46:04 PM PST
new Tron says:
LOL...nicely done.

Posted on Mar 1, 2013 2:53:50 PM PST
That Emu Kid says:
I'm willing to give EA the benefit of the doubt for now, because they've created/published many of my favorite games from the last gen or two, and so far their DLC models have not been intrusive to the way I play games. I don't find anything Sterling said to be all that objectionable, either, though.

Posted on Mar 1, 2013 2:53:57 PM PST
Voice of god says:
Sterling spent like five paragraphs talking about microtransactions in his Dead Space 3 review. They were stupid and melodramatic, especially given how completely benign microtransactions were in that game. I think he's just as bad as any forum whiner about it.

His entire reasoning is a slippery-slope argument. Is it worth worrying about a bubble for charging excessively for content? Sure. But it's not happening now, and you don't get to freak out about it until you have some actual evidence of companies being stupid about it.

Posted on Mar 1, 2013 3:33:11 PM PST
Carlito says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Mar 1, 2013 4:10:59 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 1, 2013 4:15:34 PM PST
"The very worst thing that EA has done to any of us is "release a game that's not good" or "release a game that we wanted to like that disappointed us.""

I'm going to have to disagree with you on this one, DVvM. The worse thing Bioware has done was to release a game that's not good/disappointing. That's a forgiveable sin. What EA does is far worse. EA murders potential. As consumers, we purchase products in good faith expecting the company to give us their best effort. If that effort isn't what we've come to expect we are disappointed, but we can at least be assured that no attempt was made to cheat or swindle us.

What EA does is prevent its developers from being able to deliver their best effort. It trades on their good name and installed, loyal fans to reap a cash reward. For instance, like you I really enjoyed Dragon Age 2. I found it to be an enjoyable tale, but one riddled with flaws. Those flaws are 100% the result of time and money constraints created by EA. We got a great game, but we didn't get Biowares best effort, the effort we deserved.

EA is a cheap con artist. A pimp who doesn't even have the decency to care for its whores.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2013 4:15:23 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 1, 2013 4:16:00 PM PST
DVvM says:
I don't really see it this way at all. How many of the studios who have their "Potential murdered" that are extremely happy that EA actually pays them to make games? I mean, sure they've run some studios into the ground, but would Bioware even still exist if it weren't for that EA money? I'm not sure they would, and they almost certainly wouldn't have given us as many games as they have without EA paying the bills.

EA might not be the best boss out there, but it's better to be in Bioware's shoes than those of Vigil or Big Huge.

Can EA be better? Yes. Should EA be better? Yes. Is EA all that bad? Honestly, no.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2013 4:18:03 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 1, 2013 4:18:27 PM PST
"EA might not be the best boss out there, but it's better to be in Bioware's shoes than those of Vigil or Big Huge."

But by that logic I could open a home for homeless kids and force them to make shoes, because any home is better than the streets, right? Being an opportunist doesn't make you a benefactor. Taking advantage of good people in bad situations is also something con artists do.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2013 4:24:08 PM PST
Carlito says:
Sorry, most of what you write is conjecture based on hypothesis and angst over some EA franchises. Both DVvM and, keeping on topic of this thread, Cliffy B is far more accurate.

The summary of your entire argument is 'Evan W Jenkins does not like deadlines'. Sorry, but that's the real world, that's what happens when money is invested, and time and money constraints is nothing new or original to EA, that's business, and mark of great employees is what they do, and what they can accomplish with the constraints. If you don't like business and how capitalist businesses work, cool...that's your issue, but EA's not at fault for operating like a business.

Also, Bioware didn't gladly open their hand to EA's money because they figured they'd make it on their own.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2013 4:25:34 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 1, 2013 4:30:18 PM PST
DVvM says:
I think you're being a little melodramatic. EA is not a pimp or a con artist. EA makes video games, they employ people who want to make video games to make video games and these people voluntarily work for EA. They intend to make money off of this process and generally take actions to ensure their profitability. Does this sometimes hurt the quality of the product? Yes, but that's not unique to EA or even video games. Suits and accountants demanding higher margins generally hurts the quality of every product. It's just a fact of life, however.

If EA can make money with entirely irrelevant microtransactions that I don't have to buy, that probably means they can afford to treat developers better, honestly.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2013 4:28:38 PM PST
DVvM says:
Well, wasn't Bioware treading water (they kept losing licenses and Jade Empire didn't sell as well as hoped) when they merged with Pandemic, and EA just bought both studios?

Pandemic, unfortunately, didn't survive the EA culling after Mercenaries 2 didn't sell. It's too bad that EA buys and then shutters studios, but such is business. Much of what happens in business is unfortunate.

Posted on Mar 1, 2013 4:37:18 PM PST
I wouldn't mind microtransactions... if you know dlc were free or new content was free

Posted on Mar 1, 2013 4:41:45 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 1, 2013 5:23:54 PM PST
"Does this sometimes hurt the quality of the product? Yes, but that's not unique to EA or even video games."

Of course I'm being melodramatic, ha ha.

However, it doesn't make me wrong. I didn't say "EA shouldn't make deadlines", but by making unreasonable demands (like creating an epic RPG in two years when the previous one took many times as much) they create an environment hostile to the creation of art. I was a big fan of Mercenaries and bought Mercenaries 2 only to find that it was horribly rushed with many gamebreaking bugs and a barely integrated EA online server. One of the reason the game sold poorly was that the reviews said the same thing. If they would have allowed Pandemic a reasonable timeframe to create the game, maybe good reviews could have driven sales.

There are good practices and there are shady ones. You can make great money doing nothing but shady things, but that doesn't mean your business is a good one. A lot of criminals make great money. It's "just business" to lie, cheat, and steal. I refuse to defend unethical practices on the basis of profitability. Believe it or not, it is possible to succeed in business without looting and pillaging.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2013 4:42:17 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 1, 2013 4:50:03 PM PST
DVvM says:
Why should DLC be free? I mean, we all used to be cool with expansion packs, right? You bought the game, then you bought the add-on for a significant price and you got a significant amount of content (think Lord of Destruction for Diablo II say.)

So if instead of paying $30 for Lord of Destruction, you can pay 1/3 of the price for 1/3 of the content (and you don't have to go to the store to buy a disc), isn't that fine? I mean, sure, some DLC sucks, but it sucks because the content isn't good or because it constitutes a poor value since you don't get much for the price. But if something isn't good, or isn't a good value, then just don't buy it.

If people stopped paying $15 for map packs, we'd stop getting map packs for $15. If enough people think Map Packs are worth $15 to make it profitable for companies to release them at that price (compared to a different price point) then I honestly don't have a problem with it, even though I'd never pay $.01 for a map pack.

Some DLC should be free, absolutely (though this would probably require MS and Sony to stop charging so much to release your DLC), but all of it? Absolutely not.

Posted on Mar 1, 2013 5:08:33 PM PST
Anthony says:
http://penny-arcade.com/comic/2013/03/01
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This discussion

Discussion in:  Video Games forum
Participants:  11
Total posts:  19
Initial post:  Mar 1, 2013
Latest post:  Mar 1, 2013

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