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Bungie Caught With Their Pants Down by Destiny 2 Players?


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#21 Janichsan

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 02:18 PM

View PostSpike, on 03 December 2017 - 10:38 AM, said:

We werent implying 100% of games are one way or the other, just that its rare for games that have no microtransactions, expansions, dlc, etc, to be updated.
Still, allow me to argue against it.

What have games like The Sims, Civilization, StarCraft, and CounterStrike in common, what Disney Infinity, Marvel Heroes, and – unfortunately – Oni have not?

They are massively popular.

Popularity is what keeping them alive and supported, and what drives the still existing sales of these in part decades old games. Not a massive number of expansions, not DLC, and certainly not microtransactions.

On the other hand, microtransaction and DLC haven't saved a single game that wasn't popular "enough" (which seems to be mostly depending on the distributors expectations).

In addition, I would like to point out that this whole argument of "it's expensive to keep the servers running, so we urgently need a constant revenue stream" only exists because the large distributors happily took up that "games as services" mantra (MMOs and related games aside). Why do single player games like Assassin's Creed or Deus Ex need an online component that has to be supported by microtransactions? You could even ask whether multiplayer games like Rainbow Six Siege really have to be tied to proprietary online services. Was Star Wars Colon Battlefront II from 2005 really a bad game because it didn't have unlockables and some tacked on player progression? With some minor effort, that game is still playable today. Do you think any amount of DLC or microtransactions will save Star Wars Without a Colon Battlefront II from 2017, when (not if) EA decides to pull its plug at some point?

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#22 Spike

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 07:02 PM

View PostJanichsan, on 03 December 2017 - 02:18 PM, said:

What have games like The Sims, Civilization, StarCraft, and CounterStrike in common, what Disney Infinity, Marvel Heroes, and – unfortunately – Oni have not?

They are massively popular.

Popularity is what keeping them alive and supported, and what drives the still existing sales of these in part decades old games. Not a massive number of expansions, not DLC, and certainly not microtransactions.

Obviously the main reason for game shut down is unpopularity. Let me put this another way. Assume there are two games that are exactly identical and so have same popularity - one with and one does not have microtransactions. The one with microtransactions would be more likely to receive updates for a longer time.

View PostJanichsan, on 03 December 2017 - 02:18 PM, said:

On the other hand, microtransaction and DLC haven't saved a single game that wasn't popular "enough"

Disagree. Microtransactions, DLC, etc have let games continue support longer.

It costs to run servers, a fact of business. I dont know anything about Star Wars Battlefront II as there is no Mac version, but again I am saying microtransactions, dlc, xpacs allows a better chance of a game being saved then if there were no microtransactions (but why would one want to have a game saved if it sux?)

#23 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 07:30 PM

View PostJanichsan, on 03 December 2017 - 02:18 PM, said:

Popularity is what keeping them alive and supported, and what drives the still existing sales of these in part decades old games. Not a massive number of expansions, not DLC, and certainly not microtransactions.

On the other hand, microtransaction and DLC haven't saved a single game that wasn't popular "enough" (which seems to be mostly depending on the distributors expectations).


Bingo. I completely agree with this in particular along with your other points regarding servers cost, etc.

View PostSpike, on 03 December 2017 - 07:02 PM, said:

Obviously the main reason for game shut down is unpopularity. Let me put this another way. Assume there are two games that are exactly identical and so have same popularity - one with and one does not have microtransactions. The one with microtransactions would be more likely to receive updates for a longer time.

Your example above misses the point that if both games faded in popularity, the game with micro-transactions would see its revenue dry up and be no better off than the game without them because once the audience dies off so does the money. So most of the time it isn't going to make any difference. This brings us back to the idea that games ought to sink or swim based on their quality and appeal, nothing more and nothing less. If they don't meet that criteria, too bad then. Make something better, something worth consumers money and time.
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#24 Janichsan

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 03:43 AM

View PostDirtyHarry50, on 03 December 2017 - 07:30 PM, said:

Your example above misses the point that if both games faded in popularity, the game with micro-transactions would see its revenue dry up and be no better off than the game without them because once the audience dies off so does the money.

Precisely.

View PostSpike, on 03 December 2017 - 07:02 PM, said:

Obviously the main reason for game shut down is unpopularity. Let me put this another way. Assume there are two games that are exactly identical and so have same popularity - one with and one does not have microtransactions. The one with microtransactions would be more likely to receive updates for a longer time.

Disagree. Microtransactions, DLC, etc have let games continue support longer.

I have yet to see proof of that. I bet that for every game were DLC and/or microtransactions appear to have kept a game supported, I could find two or more examples of games that were dropped like a hot potato despite having these as well. And vice versa, games that are still supported although having no constant revenue stream.

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It costs to run servers, a fact of business

I agree with that, but I would say you massively overestimate these costs and the distributors massively exaggerate them. Remember Evolve? That game is actually alive with its servers still running. If it's really so bloody expensive to keep up the servers, were does that money come from? The 400 people still playing that game must buy really a lot of microtransactions. And the remaining 100 players of Battleborn must all be massive whales.

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#25 macdude22

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 07:53 AM

View PostJanichsan, on 04 December 2017 - 03:43 AM, said:

And the remaining 100 players of Battleborn must all be massive whales.

I did buy the season pass on sale. At last Randy can retire.
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#26 Matt Diamond

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 10:49 AM

View PostJanichsan, on 03 December 2017 - 02:33 AM, said:

And yet history is also full of examples of games no longer supported or shutdown online despite having microtransactions, DLC packs, or other means to secure a constant revenue stream, like Marvel Heroes, Disney Infinity, or FIFA 14.
Of course. That doesn't disprove my point though.

I like to think there is a circle of hell reserved for companies who build a gaming community then yank the rug out from under it even though it IS sustainable, simply because they think they should be making even more money somewhere else. (I suspect publicly traded companies are more prone to do this, though I don't have any numbers to back that up.) Disney is notorious for this.

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And vice versa games that are still supported despite having neither countless expansions and/or microtransactions, like CounterStrike/CS Source, StarCraft 1, and Diablo II.

Diablo III is an even better example of your point. It was launched requiring massive server support, and there was no subscription or transactions. I thought they were crazy at the time. The level of support for it since then has been astonishing, far beyond what I'd expect with just one expansion pack..

But let's recognize that Blizzard is an unusual company. You only have to look at their level of Mac support over the years to see that. Unlike the Disney's of the world, they really commit to, and invest in, the gaming communities they earn their money from.
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#27 Matt Diamond

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 11:35 AM

View PostJanichsan, on 03 December 2017 - 02:18 PM, said:

What have games like The Sims, Civilization, StarCraft, and CounterStrike in common, what Disney Infinity, Marvel Heroes, and – unfortunately – Oni have not?

They are massively popular.

Popularity is what keeping them alive and supported, and what drives the still existing sales of these in part decades old games. Not a massive number of expansions, not DLC, and certainly not microtransactions.

But Sims and Civ also have lots and lots of DLC for sale. Maybe those don't prove your point as well as you think they do? :-) I concede the point for Civ III, but as it is one of the most massively successful games of all time, so it's not necessarily a business model your average publisher can or should follow.

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In addition, I would like to point out that this whole argument of "it's expensive to keep the servers running, so we urgently need a constant revenue stream" only exists because the large distributors happily took up that "games as services" mantra (MMOs and related games aside).

There is some truth to that, but players can also benefit from this shift. Examples: multiplayer games which are hosted by players are extremely easy to cheat on. So there is merit to having the publisher host it.
Plus they can more easily get all the players on the same version, and many of the patches (particular balance improvements) can be implemented server-side.
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#28 Matt Diamond

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 11:45 AM

View PostMatt Diamond, on 04 December 2017 - 10:49 AM, said:

Diablo III is an even better example of your point. It was launched requiring massive server support, and there was no subscription or transactions. I thought they were crazy at the time. The level of support for it since then has been astonishing, far beyond what I'd expect with just one expansion pack..

Since you are all having such fun trying to shoot down my posts, I figure I'd join you. :-) Half an hour after I posted this I smacked myself on the forehead and yelled "Auction house!"

So at launch there WAS a potential revenue stream (supports my point) but Blizzard removed it later and yet did not shut down the game servers (supports your point.)
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#29 Janichsan

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 01:17 PM

View PostMatt Diamond, on 04 December 2017 - 11:35 AM, said:

But Sims and Civ also have lots and lots of DLC for sale. Maybe those don't prove your point as well as you think they do? :-)
Nope, they prove my point exactly, since it's exactly the other way round: these games got lots and lots of expansions and DLC because they are popular. Both series are high-ranking among the best-selling PC games.

View PostMatt Diamond, on 04 December 2017 - 10:49 AM, said:

Of course. That doesn't disprove my point though.
I think by now you have seen that I never believed your point was actually ever proven. ;)

View PostMatt Diamond, on 04 December 2017 - 11:45 AM, said:

Since you are all having such fun trying to shoot down my posts, I figure I'd join you. :-) Half an hour after I posted this I smacked myself on the forehead and yelled "Auction house!"

So at launch there WAS a potential revenue stream (supports my point) but Blizzard removed it later and yet did not shut down the game servers (supports your point.)
That Diablo III is – again – actually a massively popular PC game (it has sold more copies on that platform than any other of the games we have mentioned so far) is even more proof for my point.

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#30 ipickert55

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 01:35 PM

View PostJanichsan, on 04 December 2017 - 03:43 AM, said:

I agree with that, but I would say you massively overestimate these costs and the distributors massively exaggerate them. Remember Evolve? That game is actually alive with its servers still running. If it's really so bloody expensive to keep up the servers, were does that money come from? The 400 people still playing that game must buy really a lot of microtransactions. And the remaining 100 players of Battleborn must all be massive whales.

This is sort of my main point about this whole shebang. This idea that microtransactions are necessary to support a game is something straight out of an executive meeting where they decided they needed all the money in the world instead of just a frak load. It's deception, and it's not like that's a new thing or that gaming is the only field in which this sort of deception occurs.
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#31 macdude22

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 02:14 PM

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#32 Tetsuya

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 08:53 PM

View Postipickert55, on 04 December 2017 - 01:35 PM, said:

This is sort of my main point about this whole shebang. This idea that microtransactions are necessary to support a game is something straight out of an executive meeting where they decided they needed all the money in the world instead of just a frak load. It's deception, and it's not like that's a new thing or that gaming is the only field in which this sort of deception occurs.

Not every company has other franchises still bringing in 2 billion dollars a year to offset the costs of running the other game for free.   And, FWIW, the -only- current game that Blizzard isn't making money off of through microtransactions or other stuff is ....

Diablo 3.  WoW has both a sub fee and Microtransactions (though the Micros are all just vanity stuff except for the character boosts), Overwatch has CasinoBoxes, and SC2 has paid access to the campaign and there is a paid section on the Arcade as well.  Hearthstone is full of 'em, and so is Heroes.  

Keeping Diablo 3 running is supported by the rest of their cash-cow stable.  If it keeps you opening up the Battle.net app, which might lead to you playing any of their other games... its worth it for them.

#33 Matt Diamond

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 11:04 PM

View Postipickert55, on 04 December 2017 - 01:35 PM, said:

This is sort of my main point about this whole shebang. This idea that microtransactions are necessary to support a game is something straight out of an executive meeting where they decided they needed all the money in the world instead of just a frak load. It's deception, and it's not like that's a new thing or that gaming is the only field in which this sort of deception occurs.

And my main point is that its not necessarily deception, its just that they are often implemented badly or greedily.

I think we're all starting to repeat ourselves, and in some cases we are arguing about slightly different things. We all mostly dislike microtransactions, but some of us think they are automatically signs of evil intentions, others don't. Some of us are talking mostly about AAA games, others about F2P iOS games.. It's been fun, but I'm going to have to just read replies for a while instead of wading in.

p.s. I did find this take on it interesting: http://www.eurogamer...icrotransaction
I especially agree with him that when they tie microtransactions to compulsive stimuli (look up Skinner box if you don't know what that is) that's when I start to get angry and scared for the future of mankind. For people who are susceptible it's basically a slot machine installed on their phone.
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#34 Spike

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 11:55 PM

Diablo 3 also has xpac and then they came out with paid dlc (that I bought and hated as the necro is too overpowered). So it also has additional income.

This trend is great.

#35 Janichsan

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 06:00 AM

View PostTetsuya, on 04 December 2017 - 08:53 PM, said:

Not every company has other franchises still bringing in 2 billion dollars a year to offset the costs of running the other game for free.
About $2 billion per quarter, actually. Activision Blizzard had a net revenue of close to $7 billion in the last fiscal year. That company is just swimming in money. And yet they can only afford to support a small number of games for free and had to swamp the recent Call of Dutys with microtransactions?

All the other big publishers (EA, Ubisoft, Take Two) also have a revenue in the multi-billion dollar range ($1.5B for Ubi to $5B for EA) per year. These poor, poor companies...

I know you will object know that they only make this amount of cash because of the deluge of DLC and microtransactions, but you actually would be wrong: all of them already had earnings (in part drastically) exceeding $1 billion per year a decade ago, before these were even a thing. None of these companies was teetering on the brink of bankruptcy and all the increased earnings from DLC, season passes and microtransactions are just that: more money in their pockets.

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#36 Atticus

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 12:46 PM

And the prevalence of software subscription models can also go DIAF.
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#37 Spike

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 02:42 PM

I dont know what DIAF stands for, but it sounds bad. I also (assuming) hate subscription models to just play a game.

The game I want THE MOST is WoW Classic and so the only thing I am praying for is it doesnt have subscription... please-o-please-o-please!

#38 Tetsuya

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 03:09 PM

View PostJanichsan, on 05 December 2017 - 06:00 AM, said:


About $2 billion per quarter, actually.

I was referring to WoW only, which brings in about 2 billion a year.  

Quote

Activision Blizzard had a net revenue of close to $7 billion in the last fiscal year. That company is just swimming in money. And yet they can only afford to support a small number of games for free and had to swamp the recent Call of Dutys with microtransactions?

1 - Blizzard is relatively autonomous in the pairing.  Not that this matters other than as an academic fact.  

2 - i never said i supported microtransactions in 60$/full price games as a general rule, so im not sure where your attitude is coming from.   I said that in the case of Destiny 2, i dont care because they are strictly cosmetic and it IS an online game with recurring costs, and if they make some money off of people who want to look cool... whatevs.  Generally, im against Microtransactions.  Not sure how you got any other idea.  

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All the other big publishers (EA, Ubisoft, Take Two) also make something in the range of $1.5-$2 billion per year. These poor, poor companies...

I have no idea how you think im suddenly on the side of big corporations.  Im not.  My comment about not all companies having billions of dollars from other sources was a statement of fact.  Not every game is published by giant publishers, especially in this day and age.  There are plenty of smaller companies who have to a revenue stream other than just game sales to keep the lights on.  

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I know you will object know that they only make this amount of cash because of the deluge of DLC and microtransactions,

Since i wasnt going to say anything of the sort.... ill speak for myself, thanks.

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but you actually would be wrong: all of them already had earnings (in part drastically) exceeding $1 billion per year a decade ago, before these were even a thing.  None of these companies was teetering on the brink of bankruptcy and all the increased earnings from DLC, season passes and microtransactions are just that: more money in their pockets.

Im unsure what this has to do with my statement.  Not all game publishers or developers make billions.  A lot of them barely keep the lights on (and often fail to do so... Gazillion just shut down on two days notice).  Microtransactions in and of themselves arent inherently evil.  They just dont fit every type of game.

#39 Tetsuya

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 03:18 PM

View PostSpike, on 05 December 2017 - 02:42 PM, said:

I dont know what DIAF stands for, but it sounds bad. I also (assuming) hate subscription models to just play a game.

The game I want THE MOST is WoW Classic and so the only thing I am praying for is it doesnt have subscription... please-o-please-o-please!

You might as well just let that hope go.  They arent going to invest millions re-creating (if you dont follow WoW closely these days, there are several threads on this topic at MMO-Champion that go in-depth; the TLDR version is Blizz doesnt have the source code for Vanilla.  They had to get the code being used by Nostalrius (a private Vanilla server) to even START working on it - they are essentially having to re-build Vanilla manually) Vanilla WoW and the run servers that cost about 55K a year each to run just for funsies.  Youll have to pay a sub.  Theyll likely just throw it in with your existing WoW sub.

#40 Matt Diamond

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 05:07 PM

View PostJanichsan, on 05 December 2017 - 06:00 AM, said:

I know you will object know that they only make this amount of cash because of the deluge of DLC and microtransactions, but you actually would be wrong:

I know you think you know how I would object to it, but YOU actually would be wrong. :-)

But I don't feel like sinking any more time into trying to explain myself again. If I haven't managed to express myself by now, then it's time to throw in the towel! I agree that microtransactions usually stink, and that in an ideal world big profitable companies would support their products longer and better. These points don't fully address what I was trying to say, but it's really not worth rehashing.
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