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f13.net General Forums => PC/Console Gaming => Topic started by: Sky on November 13, 2017, 01:22:27 PM



Title: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: Sky on November 13, 2017, 01:22:27 PM
I think this quote from EA isn't going over well (sitting at -395k as I post this): https://www.reddit.com/r/StarWarsBattlefront/comments/7cff0b/seriously_i_paid_80_to_have_vader_locked/dppum98/?st=j9y91vfu&sh=16f42e2a

Quote
The intent is to provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment for unlocking different heroes.

As for cost, we selected initial values based upon data from the Open Beta and other adjustments made to milestone rewards before launch. Among other things, we're looking at average per-player credit earn rates on a daily basis, and we'll be making constant adjustments to ensure that players have challenges that are compelling, rewarding, and of course attainable via gameplay.

We appreciate the candid feedback, and the passion the community has put forth around the current topics here on Reddit, our forums and across numerous social media outlets.


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: Merusk on November 13, 2017, 01:24:53 PM
Because it's horseshit. What they're doing is weasel-wording "we looked at the beta and decided microtrans weren't incentivised enough vs. gameplay. So we cranked gameplay unlock time through the roof so you'd pay us an additional $80 on top of the game price."


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: Phildo on November 14, 2017, 12:38:16 PM
(https://i.redd.it/p4vypvnzgxxz.png)


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: Samwise on November 14, 2017, 01:23:12 PM
People still play EA games?

Wait, let me rephrase that.

People whom I otherwise generally respect still play EA games?


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: Yegolev on November 14, 2017, 01:32:45 PM
Garden Warfare 1/2 is pretty fun.  Otherwise, no?

Also, no one else has made The Sims, so there is that niche.


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: Sky on November 14, 2017, 02:36:11 PM
The nice thing about EA games is that since they aren't on Steam, I forget they exist entirely.

Except Madden, but that also nicely sums up my feelings on EA: locking down a franchise so they can release mediocre games without competition. Maybe we'll see backward compat for 2k5 on the BoneX...


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: HaemishM on November 14, 2017, 02:42:33 PM
People still play EA games?

Wait, let me rephrase that.

People whom I otherwise generally respect still play EA games?

Not sure about your level of general respect for me, but I do play Battlefield 4 - though I likely haven't booted it up in almost a year.

And I did buy a used copy of Madden 17 for my PS4 and played it.


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: Ginaz on November 14, 2017, 03:37:51 PM
Apparently, EA has removed the refund button from Battlefront 2 pre-orders. :facepalm:  People have been spending an hour or more trying to get live support to cancel.

https://www.reddit.com/r/StarWarsBattlefront/comments/7ctj17/ea_has_removed_the_refund_button_from_their/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DV_PzRb1pLk

Edit: Aaaand it looks like it really is P2W.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmRTfxORTtc


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: schild on November 14, 2017, 05:04:54 PM
star wars as a property is pay to win

the dialogue and stories suck soooooooo

i don't see what the problem here is

buy toys
buy virtual toys
like whatever


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: Fabricated on November 14, 2017, 06:49:36 PM
What does that even mean?


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: Merusk on November 14, 2017, 09:37:48 PM
People still play EA games?

Wait, let me rephrase that.

People whom I otherwise generally respect still play EA games?

No, but their 13 year old sons do with their friends. I just get to bitch about it.


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: schild on November 15, 2017, 09:07:43 AM
What does that even mean?

my post?

star wars only exists to sell garbage


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: Jeff Kelly on November 15, 2017, 01:14:01 PM
After the shitstorm reached Cat 5 EA/Dice decided that a Reddit AMA might be a great idea.

It went exactly as you’d expect.


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: Phildo on November 15, 2017, 01:25:53 PM
Apparently it would take 4,528 hours of gameplay or $2,100 to unlock all the content.


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: Ginaz on November 16, 2017, 09:58:52 PM
It looks like EA is in full panic mode from all the negative press and a possible investigation by Belgium authorities on whether or not their loot crates constitute gambling.  The shit show has gotten so bad they've even stopped selling their real money currency used to buy the loot crates. :awesome_for_real:

https://www.engadget.com/2017/11/16/ea-star-wars-battlefront-ii-crystal-purchases/


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: Jeff Kelly on November 17, 2017, 02:51:34 AM
Temporarily, until they "fix the gameplay" (i.e until the shitstorm blows over)

Also lootboxes are not gambling at least not in a legal sense. There is always a payout even if it's just common crap so it unfortunately doesn't fit the legal definition of gambling in most jurisdictions - and the game publishers know this. The UK government was petitioned last month to look into the issue of loot boxes and other random rewards and the official statement was that it "doesn't constitute gambling under the current legal statutes". For the reasons stated above.

They also said though, that they will amend their laws to deal with loot box shenanigans because they realized how fucked up it is.


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: satael on November 17, 2017, 04:14:04 AM
Well, that didn't last long (half a year):Jon Shafer moves on from Paradox Interactive (http://news.cision.com/paradox-interactive-ab/r/jon-shafer-moves-on-from-paradox-interactive,c2393896). Must have been pretty big "creative differences".
(Jon Shafer was the lead designer on Civ 5)


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: Teleku on November 17, 2017, 05:38:14 AM
He was lead designer for vanilla Civ V, which sucked shit, and then the game magically became one of the best in the series with the G&K expansion after he left.  I'm going to say the creative difference is that Paradox didn't want to make a generic shitty game.


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: luckton on November 17, 2017, 05:51:10 AM
RE: Star Wars shit

https://gfycat.com/SpanishAntiqueHuia


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: Sky on November 17, 2017, 10:18:40 AM
I just wish Shafer and Kael had been able to make FFH3.

 :why_so_serious:


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: Trippy on November 17, 2017, 05:51:47 PM
RE: Star Wars shit

https://gfycat.com/SpanishAntiqueHuia
While funny that doesn't make sense as Disney is one of the greediest companies there is.


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: schild on November 17, 2017, 10:43:13 PM
Disney would use the blood squeezed from a stone as ink to print money if they could get away with it.


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: luckton on November 18, 2017, 02:41:53 AM
Be that as it may, they are apparently the ones that stepped in and told EA to knock it off before they pull the plug on their license agreement.


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: Jeff Kelly on November 18, 2017, 04:40:33 AM
Disney would use the blood squeezed from a stone as ink to print money if they could get away with it.

Yeah, but Disney preys on parents and their desire to make their kids happy and is not pushing what’s essentially gambling to kids. They might make you buy hundreds of dollars worth of “Frozen” merchandise but at least it keeps your kids off your back Saturday morning and doesn’t lead to a lengthy “Gamblers anonymous” stint.

Disney got as huge as it is by being seen as wholesome and “suitable for kids”, they don’t want to be seen as the corporation that peddles three card Monty to children.


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: Draegan on November 18, 2017, 09:36:12 AM
Disney knows how to get money from me with a 5 yo daughter who loves princesses and a 3 yo son who loves Kylo Ren  :awesome_for_real:.

Toss in a family vacation to Disney and I'm out a lot of cash.

It's all worth it though. But fuck EA.


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: Trippy on November 18, 2017, 04:41:17 PM
I see it more like Disney pushing EA to do things to maximize profits on the game not fully understanding what that might entail for video games and when the inevitable bad press hit, which Disney hates, Disney told EA to back off. I.e. I'm sure Disney was kept fully aware by EA that loot boxes and locked characters were going to be in the game but Disney didn't understand the ramifications since they don't understand video games until after all the publicity.

Edit: on the game


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: luckton on November 19, 2017, 06:27:47 AM
There's still a push to boycott the game until they give some kind of guarantee that if/when micro-transactions come back that it's only for cosmetic fluff stuff and not game altering/breaking shit.

Which is fine by me.


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: Kail on November 19, 2017, 06:02:01 PM
There's still a push to boycott the game until they give some kind of guarantee that if/when micro-transactions come back that it's only for cosmetic fluff stuff and not game altering/breaking shit.

Which is fine by me.

Fat chance of that.  They'll keep it out until the fury dies down and then reintroduce it and the game media will make some desultory "EA doing it again" articles buried under page six and it'll stir up a tenth of the outrage that this one did and then things will get worse.  They always get worse.  Like, remember when Bethesda was going to introduce paid modding, and then there was a huge outcry, so they reversed it, waited a while, and then reintroduced it?

Gotta boil that frog, man.


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: Sky on November 20, 2017, 10:31:13 AM
I see it more like Disney pushing EA to do things to maximize profits on the game not fully understanding what that might entail for video games and when the inevitable bad press hit, which Disney hates, Disney told EA to back off. I.e. I'm sure Disney was kept fully aware by EA that loot boxes and locked characters were going to be in the game but Disney didn't understand the ramifications since they don't understand video games until after all the publicity.

Edit: on the game

That's my take on it. They should take a more active role to dictate how EA monetizes the franchise, honestly. Not that I like it, but they have a model for it, and it seems to work (sell the base game and then sell the characters outright). Trying to obfuscate it per EA douchebaggery is the problem, not the money grabbing (from Disney's perspective). Look at their previous collectible-based games, they love that shit.


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: Ruvaldt on November 20, 2017, 12:09:27 PM
If by collectible-based games you mean Disney Infinity, they actually shut that down earlier this year.  So I'm not sure that they do love that shit.


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: Sky on November 20, 2017, 01:33:29 PM
Ah, didn't realize that.


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: Yegolev on November 20, 2017, 02:11:23 PM
Infinity already irritated lots of people at Disney because mixing characters/worlds is a strict no-no.


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: Trippy on November 20, 2017, 02:14:17 PM
Hence Kingdom Hearts. Wait...


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: luckton on November 20, 2017, 02:41:16 PM
Hence Kingdom Hearts. Wait...


No one can explain how or why KH works. I'm told really good drugs helps.


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: Rendakor on November 20, 2017, 04:14:51 PM
At this point I suspect they're running mostly on nostalgia, since it's been more than a decade since KH2 came out.


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: Yegolev on November 21, 2017, 07:26:49 AM
I knew someone would pull out another example of the general rule being broken.  Which is fine, rules are meant to be broken.


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: Ginaz on November 21, 2017, 06:17:06 PM
And so it begins. :awesome_for_real:

http://www.pcgamer.com/belgium-says-loot-boxes-are-gambling-wants-them-banned-in-europe/?utm_content=buffere78bc&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=buffer-pcgamertw

Edit: It looks like the US could be following suit.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=39&v=_akwfRuL4os



Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: patience on November 21, 2017, 09:53:40 PM
Belgium has better odds of convincing the rest of the EU to follow them than Hawaii convincing mainlanders.


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: Merusk on November 21, 2017, 10:00:06 PM
I said a few years ago people were going to decide that.

Next up: trying to tax virtual goods on their fair market value at transaction time.


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: Gimfain on November 22, 2017, 10:06:36 AM
I said a few years ago people were going to decide that.

Next up: trying to tax virtual goods on their fair market value at transaction time.
Starting in 2018 you do have to pay v.a.t. as a private citizen if you sell virtual goods for more than 37.000 SEK in sweden. Bitcoin and all other virtual currencies where you have currency exchange values counts as currencies in that regard. You only have to value your goods last day of the tax period


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: Merusk on November 22, 2017, 10:28:02 AM
Well hey, there it is.

And "only" value on the last day of the tax period is bullshit.  Let's apply that thinking to physical goods with high volatility like commodities and oil. You bought 50 pork bellies at $2.00 on the first day but end of the tax day they are selling for $4.50. You're paying far more tax than you otherwise were supposed to and had no way of planning that out in your estimated taxes.


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: Gimfain on November 22, 2017, 10:43:34 AM
Well hey, there it is.

And "only" value on the last day of the tax period is bullshit.  Let's apply that thinking to physical goods with high volatility like commodities and oil. You bought 50 pork bellies at $2.00 on the first day but end of the tax day they are selling for $4.50. You're paying far more tax than you otherwise were supposed to and had no way of planning that out in your estimated taxes.
You value goods based on the lower value of what you paid for the goods and current value of said goods.


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: patience on November 27, 2017, 07:21:13 PM
Darth Wilson was ordered to abandon a lootbox at the Battlefront allowing the rag tag Rebel Alliance to destroy it.

Their cheers of relief were brief as they are fully committed to pushing back against the Empire by bringing in neutral parties from all corners of the galaxy. The Fifarst Lootbox still remains operational at Burnbury and the resolve of neutral parties was slipping to the empire after the voice of support from the Brexit Kleptocracy and the United Idiots of Savants.

Meanwhile at the House of Mouse Darth Wilson was briefed on leading the society of Nebulous Coercion for Galactic Peace. By taking a soft power approach the Emporer wants Wilson and this secret society to rope in all potential secret dissidents under the illusion of resolving the galactic war peacefully.

The Emperor has a plan to destroy the Rebels and their silent supporters in one blow.


Well to be serious now:

https://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/KennethTran/20171127/310408/The_video_games_industry_forms_a_coalition_to_fight_the_lootcrate_gambling_crisis.php

Quote


As a result of the increasing external pressure for reform and regulation on the games industry, a group of industry leaders and experts has agreed to come together in a more permanent way, forming the National Committee for Games Policy (NCGP). We made this decision in response to the current crisis regarding the expansion of loot crate economies and concerns about unregulated online gambling, but also as an acceptance of a long in coming decision that we knew would eventually become necessary. Games are not represented or understood in the modern political and judicial world, and that needs to change.

 Unlike the IGDA, we are not an association of game developers. We are a coalition of high level industry experts and influencers. Membership in the NCGP is by invite only. We will work on the behalf of games industry professionals of all political leanings. In order to do this, the NCGP has appointed a steering committee with significant political experience on both ends of the spectrum. Where video games, politics, and law intersect, you will be sure to find the NCGP.

 The first action of the NCGP is its creation; a privately funded think tank known as the ITK. The work of the NCGP ITK is to represent itself as a group of consummate professionals from every part of the video game community. We seek to represent the entire industry, and as such will not release opinions on differences within the industry except as they relate to public policy. Members names will only be released if they give permission, and their writing reflects their own opinions. The NCGP will never take a position on policy; we will give policy makers the information the information they need to make informed decision. Our political connections will get this information to them.

 The second and much more important arm of the NCGP is our establishment of the video game industry's first, and de facto, self regulatory organization. Independent of the think tank is the NCGP SRO. As an SRO, our purpose is to protect consumers from unscrupulous video game companies by investigating and bringing legal action against those companies that have damaged the public consciousness in some way, whether mental or physical. To do this we’ve enlisted the aid of game developer’s employees as well. By establishing the first video game industry whistleblower center, we’re able to help the video game industry fight things such as overtime pay.

As part of our work as an SRO, we will release a quarterly list of companies who we have cited and the reason for citation. While we do hope to help as many people as possible, a complaint doesn’t become a citation without further investigation and action by the NCGP.

 To contact the NCGP, visit www.ncgp.ga  

Their website will be down for awhile.



Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: Falconeer on November 27, 2017, 08:57:41 PM
What?


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: Merusk on November 28, 2017, 05:48:13 AM
EA has started a Political Action / lobbying Corp to make sure that they can sell gambling boxes in the US. And UK since the EU and China are moving to stop. This is regarded as cheaper and easier than building a good game to make money, especially since EA controls so much mobile gaming space that would make even larger profits from this than the current pay-to-refresh models.


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: Ironwood on November 28, 2017, 06:25:16 AM
For Fucks Sake.


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: Sky on November 28, 2017, 08:27:44 AM
EA has started a Political Action / lobbying Corp to make sure that they can sell gambling boxes in the US. And UK since the EU and China are moving to stop. This is regarded as cheaper and easier than building a good game to make money, especially since EA controls so much mobile gaming space that would make even larger profits from this than the current pay-to-refresh models.
Remember the lessons of the NFL, EA will dump millions of dollars to remove competition. This move is completely unsurprising, other than it hadn't already happened.

Took me 12 years before I finally gave up hope of a non-EA NFL game. Resistance is futile.


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: Merusk on November 28, 2017, 08:36:15 AM
Note that this is my interpretation of what patience linked and I've done no actual research into this. So far it looks like this is just Kenneth Tran posting on a Gamasutra blog, but that's exactly how I read the statement.

Near as I can tell he's a Machine Learning professional at Microsoft. No idea what his interest in game space is or how he's related to gaming and this phenomenon.


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: HaemishM on November 28, 2017, 10:13:23 AM
Ahhh, so a secret society of anonymous gaming industry experts are going to pass judgement over which game companies are fucking their customers the worst and for sure, we swear, will always do what's in the consumer's best interest. Totally fine. Nothing to see here, do not look at the Star Chamber.

... the fuck is this?


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: Nebu on November 28, 2017, 10:35:08 AM
So... children gambling on loot boxes is fine, but online poker for adults isn't.  I hope the whole loot box thing gets some traction.  Anything that fucks EA/Blizzard makes me giddy.


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: Merusk on November 28, 2017, 12:36:51 PM
Well see, they can't gain money or an item of physical value so it's not at all gambling. Never mind when skins can be 3rd-party-marketed for value, that's a completely separate and discrete part of this transaction and in no way contributing to a problem.


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: Paelos on November 28, 2017, 12:38:03 PM
So... children gambling on loot boxes is fine, but online poker for adults isn't.  I hope the whole loot box thing gets some traction.  Anything that fucks EA/Blizzard makes me giddy.

I've given up on gaming as a hobby unless this kind of behavior shifts away. The open greed associated with gaming has made it impossible to have fun anymore with just buying a game. Basically when you buy a game now, you're buying a storefront opportunity to REALLY buy the game.


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: 01101010 on November 28, 2017, 02:03:03 PM
So... children gambling on loot boxes is fine, but online poker for adults isn't.  I hope the whole loot box thing gets some traction.  Anything that fucks EA/Blizzard makes me giddy.

I've given up on gaming as a hobby unless this kind of behavior shifts away. The open greed associated with gaming has made it impossible to have fun anymore with just buying a game. Basically when you buy a game now, you're buying a storefront opportunity to REALLY buy the game.

Completely agree.

I'm not all that shocked. Once monthly subs became a thing years ago, I'm sure every console developer was thinking up ways to get their customers to cough up that kind of money. $60 for the base game will get you a month or two (if you stretch it) of gameplay which is about $30 a month, then month 3 comes and you start hearing the rumblings of bad player reviews, then at the start of month 4 you address those issues and drop news of the next DLC that will be the magic bandaid for more game play, at another $40-60. Month 5-7 you release a few things and open up the microtransactions for 'cosmetics' to further pad the piggy bank. Then month 8 you have pre-orders for the DLC and month 10 you have the DLC drop. Overall, it looks like anywhere from $12 to $30 a month unless your customers are morons and buy the collectors edition of everything AND spend money on the clothes for their video dollies.

I'm ok with games like Elite: Dangerous that has free DLCs and a cosmetics store. I'm not ok with the idea of season passes to games.


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: eldaec on November 28, 2017, 03:17:09 PM
To be fair there are plenty of games not made by EA et al which don't do this.

There are also a bunch that run a dlc model in a nondouche way.

 


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: Paelos on November 28, 2017, 03:21:44 PM
The solution in my mind is to stop trying to sell games for $60 if that's not enough to make the sales lucrative without nickel and diming everybody for shit products on the DLC front.

I'd rather see most games sell for $100 and have the stones to say, everything is included in this game, with all the fun cosmetic shit as unlockables. Oh and if we hit our sales targets, we'll release DLC for free.

I'm fine with the idea of expansions. Those have been around forever, and if you want to add another 30 hours to the game, more power to you. Charge $40 for it, and include everything there too.

But this idea of lootboxes, and RMT micro cosmetic shit, and $5 DLC bundles? It's not about the cost, it's just fucking obnoxious. Right now Call of Duty is selling their "Digital Deluxe" for $100, but that doesn't even include all the stuff. You have to buy more of the rare and cosmetic shit in the game with their points system which again you have to buy for more money. I mean WTF!


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: Sky on November 28, 2017, 03:39:13 PM
To be fair, I think Rockstar is doing well selling crap to GTA V Online players, and it doesn't impact my single player game in the slightest. I'm fine with them milking online players, because a) I'm selfishly not one and b) fucking online players are toxic garbage. Fiancee asked why I wasn't getting the 'new Star Wars game' (thanks media blitz), I told her it was Battlefield. She saw enough of that to understnad ("But why? Why is he doing that? How is that fun?"). Also, they don't make good Star Wars games these days (or most days).

On the other hand, I'm a sucker for Rocksmith DLC and not the best person to talk about not buying DLC. But playing at a friend's house with his vanilla, no-DLC on random...I stand by my extensive library :D


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: eldaec on November 28, 2017, 03:49:50 PM
I guess this is an issue of genre, but I have never found a PC I was interested in playing that did loot boxes or predatory microtrans.

Unless you count mtgo. Which maybe I should.

I bought dlc in the last year for total war and hitman. But they seem reasonably priced expansion content to me.

There is a lot of ignorable horse armour out there - but this EA shit is a different level and properly exploitative.


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: HaemishM on November 28, 2017, 04:15:06 PM
The thing that concerns me about the crackdown is how it will impact things like CCG's. I mean, those things are almost the very definition of loot boxes, at least through the likely ignorant interpretation of lawmakers. Because EA has been such greedy cocks (and WB with the Mordor stuff), they will likely cause Congress to fuck everyone in equally shitty ways, consumers included.


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: ezrast on November 28, 2017, 06:02:37 PM
I didn't get the impression this is associated with a major publisher. They'd use a real domain registrar instead of a free one, or have a website that was competent technically or design-wise (maybe not both, if they were trying to look grassroots), or get someone capable of writing a coherent English paragraph to front the organization, or something. So I looked into it.

The NCGP site is a mess and WHOIS information isn't available (see http://signer.my.ga/cgi-bin/whois) but it includes links to gamemanagement.us, which is registered to Kenneth Tran in Westminster, CA. At one point visiting ncgp.com gave me this error response (https://public.cloudandtree.com/ncgp/Screenshot_20171128_125310.png) (excuse my expired SSL cert), which suggests that the web server is configured with "webmaster [at] gamemanagement.2asociety [dot] com" as the technical contact. The domain 2asociety.com is also registered to Mr. Tran, and visiting https://2asociety.com goes to a godawful Mensa-wannabe website that lists kenneth@greatsage.org as a contact (more on that domain later).

A search for 2asociety.com turns up this highiqforum.com post (https://www.highiqforum.com/threads/hello-im-the-founder-of-2asociety-com-high-iq-society.3308/) from user "specialk" who claims to be in charge of this exclusive society for very intelligent people, and also to be an officer for a similar society called Profundus. I've never heard of Profundus but they do have a site with a members page (http://thehighiqsociety.org/members.php) that lists one Kenneth Tran.

Kenneth Tran has a LinkedIn profile (https://www.linkedin.com/in/trankenneth/) (Merusk: you seem to have found a different Kenneth Tran (https://www.linkedin.com/in/ktran/)) listing his experience at Incuvation, which is corroborated in some of the press pieces about NCGP, along with a number of other marketing positions. Admittedly, I haven't found anything linking *to* this LinkedIn profile from any of his other confirmed profiles so maybe it's ~all a ruse~ (also his "social media got hacked (https://public.cloudandtree.com/ncgp/Screenshot_20171128_143518.png)", lol) but for what it's worth his activity feed (https://www.linkedin.com/in/trankenneth/detail/recent-activity/) currently shows a series of bizarre posts suggesting that he's starting an online university (https://public.cloudandtree.com/ncgp/Screenshot_20171128_143820.png) where you can, uh, become a monk (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/first-online-buddhist-university-great-sage-launches-kenneth-tran).

Yes, when he's not influencing video game policy, talking with his extremely smart friends about how very smart they are, or performing contract marketing for Fortune 500 companies, our friend Kenny runs and instructs at his very own online university (http://greatsage.org/) offering degrees in subjects such as "International Peace" and "Karma Economics". If this sounds fishy to you, don't worry - their site reassures us that "As per the law, Great Sage University is permitted to pursue accreditation both at the national, regional, and international level."

The LinkedIn profile is also associated with the Twitter account "vietnameseninja" (https://twitter.com/vietnameseninja), which has 269 followers despite only having made a handful of unassuming tweets. The Twitter account's profile reads "Businessman. Marketer @ Fortune 500. Agent @ Kushner (Donald Trump’s son in law)." and has a link to ncgp.ga. Huh.

The illustrious Mr. Tran also posts on Medium (https://medium.com/@ktrongtran); this account's profile declares him "Editor of the Profundus Journal. Former hacker. Former overseas agent for Kushner." He cross-posts some of his Gamasutra blogs to it and also tells us that he once "outsmarted the smartest people in the world (https://medium.com/profundus-journal/how-i-outsmarted-the-smartest-people-in-the-world-hacking-mensa-13e0a0071cf7)." His medium profile is associated with the "gopcaucus" Twitter account (https://twitter.com/gopcaucus). This account purports to represent the California Republican Caucus, a grassroots political organization; their website is pretty sparse but it lists Kenny as their chairman (http://carepublicans.org/about/) and he's also on their WHOIS info. This account is also a follower of vietnameseninja.

This is all a bit deeper than I expected to go and I really don't know what to make of the whole GOP/Kushner angle, but at this point I'm pretty confident that the NCGP is less "evil corporate gaming interests seek to put friendly face on initiative to crush political adversaries" and more "wannabe marketing wanker who thinks associating himself with Jared Kushner is good #personal #branding self-promotes by inventing another entry in a long line of bullshit organizations, then convinces industry rags that it's a story."

Someone should probably let games journalists know that they're a bunch of naive, lazy pieces of shit.


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: patience on November 28, 2017, 10:26:14 PM
You dove really deep into this ezrast.

It was difficult to even access the site during the announcement.


Someone else looked even more closely into it and it does smell like BS.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2017/11/28/the-national-committee-for-games-policy-was-created-by-a-troll/#4992559a2521

Unfortunately he's unwilling to call it as such which has been a problem plaguing journalists for awhile.


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: Trippy on November 29, 2017, 01:16:46 AM
Merged the original thread from Useless news into this one.


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: Trippy on November 29, 2017, 01:25:48 AM
Video by Skill Up (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZ7AeeVbyslLM_8-nVy2B8Q) about how EA has switched to a P2W loot box model for their games and its origins at EA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTLFNlu2N_M

I don't pay attention to sports games so I had no idea EA had switched their business model a few years back and now get the bulk of their revenue from loot boxes now. What they are/were* trying to do with Battlefront II and the launched P2W loot box progression system now makes complete sense since that's what they are doing in FIFA with great success. Unfortunately for them people started associating words like "gambling" and "Star Wars" together because of that and Disney freaked out.

* Not sure they've actually give up on that stuff yet for BFII


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: eldaec on November 29, 2017, 02:12:36 AM
This entire shitstorm feels to me like the very normal difficulty people in corporations have spotting when they crossed a moral line because it happened incrementally and no law existed to tell them to stop.

The reason Disney stepped in isn't just publicity, also because being one step removed makes it easier to spot total bullshit.


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: Teleku on November 29, 2017, 03:00:28 AM
So... children gambling on loot boxes is fine, but online poker for adults isn't.  I hope the whole loot box thing gets some traction.  Anything that fucks EA/Blizzard makes me giddy.

I've given up on gaming as a hobby unless this kind of behavior shifts away. The open greed associated with gaming has made it impossible to have fun anymore with just buying a game. Basically when you buy a game now, you're buying a storefront opportunity to REALLY buy the game.
I buy more random games on Steam than should be allowed, and almost none of them involve loot boxes.  Then again, the last EA game I purchased was Mass Effect 2.  So maybe stop playing EA games?

Like, the amount of awesome games coming out constantly on steam is amazing.  I wouldn't tar the entire genre because of things EA and Blizzard do.


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: Ginaz on November 29, 2017, 03:25:52 AM
It seems EA's stock has lost over $3 BILLION dollars in value this past month alone from this fiasco.  Billion.  I'm actually more shocked they were worth anywhere near that to begin with.

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/28/eas-day-of-reckoning-is-here-after-star-wars-game-uproar.html


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: Sir T on November 29, 2017, 04:42:31 AM
Last year some youtubers were caught promoting Gambling Using CS:GO weapons skins, and promoting a gambling website that THEY OWNED (without telling people they owned it, of course.) So shockingly they showed how quick and easy it was to win thousands on this totally random website. Its was "winning" thousands because the rare CS:GO weapon skins are worth thousands of dollars on the Steam resale market. So not only were these fuckers conning theor viewers, a little commented on facet of this was that Steam was facilitating the gambling by allowing Sale of CS:GO assets, and tanking a cut from the transactions

Naturally, fuck all happened to the youtubers involved. Here's Jim Sterling at the time, as he provides a good overview of what happened. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ng_SbSdUkc8. And this is him ranting last September about he fact that fuck all happened to those fuckfaces, and what that means for the industry. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Odoe1qVkcJ4

The point is that regulation of this shit has been coming down the tracks for a little while, as the Game companies just got waaaay too greedy waaaay too fast.


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: Merusk on November 29, 2017, 05:28:10 AM
Thanks for the research, Ez. I knew something was up with the Ken T I found but didn’t have time to go deeper. I, at least, wasn’t publishing a “news” article. 

Ugh.  So fucked. 


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: HaemishM on November 29, 2017, 08:38:26 AM
The FIFA Ultimate Team stuff started like back in 2012 or 2013's version I think. I know I messed with it on the XBox 360, which should tell you how long ago they've been building it. Then it hit the next year's version of Madden. It's actually a fun mode - it takes all the OCD GOTTA CATCH 'EM ALL fever of CCG's and puts it into FIFA/Madden sports games. They were charging real money for it then, and I could certainly see how it could get out of hand. I never spent real money on it though, because I prefer to play with the real teams.

Fast forward to this year's version of Madden NFL 18 and I've noticed that the amount of packs you can buy for gold coins (the in-game currency) is very small compared to the packs you can buy for real money. You pretty much have to spend real money if you want to compete with your MUT online I imagine. Luckily, I don't care and just dick around with MUT in between games of Franchise mode.

Putting it in Star Wars, though, especially in the manner they did? Yeah, that was mind-numbingly dumb and was always going to get them serious heat. And now they have likely fucked up the whole thing for everyone.


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: Merusk on November 29, 2017, 10:25:42 AM
The thing that concerns me about the crackdown is how it will impact things like CCG's. I mean, those things are almost the very definition of loot boxes, at least through the likely ignorant interpretation of lawmakers. Because EA has been such greedy cocks (and WB with the Mordor stuff), they will likely cause Congress to fuck everyone in equally shitty ways, consumers included.

I want to take a moment and say how much I've always hated CCGs and their design. Extending back to Magic; which I played because it was a fun game, but there was always that "I win" card that was too rare and cost too much for kids. It may not  have mattered at a competitive level, but it mattered a LOT for my casual-play ass and chasing cards was what eventually drove me out.

I know it's fun for some, but the collection and false scarcity was always bullshit. I remain ever-suspicious of third party market and back-channel sales by CCG employees to re-sellers because of this model.

I know that'll be an unpopular opinion, but I wanted to throw it out there.


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: Rendakor on November 29, 2017, 12:15:04 PM
Rarity matters for limited formats; if your game's going to have draft or sealed than you need cards to be more rare than others.


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: Merusk on November 29, 2017, 12:42:25 PM
Yeah, however those are variants that emerged as a consequence of the rarity format, not inherently part of the design of the game. The rarity was meant to drive card sales, draft and sealed formats arose because of that.


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: Sky on November 29, 2017, 01:12:12 PM
That's why I stopped playing MtG and any other kind of card game like that back in the 90s. Terrible.


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: HaemishM on November 29, 2017, 02:07:01 PM
I know it's fun for some, but the collection and false scarcity was always bullshit.

Meh, not that unpopular opinion. That is usually my burn out point as well, and it's why I haven't even bothered touching the latest set of Hex. Still doesn't mean I want an entire game genre wiped out because our idiot politicians are too dumb to understand it well enough to not actually regulate an industry unto death or trust them enough to regulate an industry with a deft enough touch that the thing that makes the game fun isn't overshadowed by the ability of asshats like EA to ruin it with shitty business practices.


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: Rendakor on November 29, 2017, 06:58:37 PM
Yeah, however those are variants that emerged as a consequence of the rarity format, not inherently part of the design of the game. The rarity was meant to drive card sales, draft and sealed formats arose because of that.
LCGs are the kind of game you want. TCGs are inherently different.


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: WayAbvPar on November 30, 2017, 01:56:50 AM
Like this Congress will do anything on behalf of consumers. EA will just buy some of the retards like Gohmert or Issa and we will be allowed to continue spreading our cheeks.


Title: Re: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down
Post by: Kail on December 02, 2017, 03:08:51 PM
And from a selfish point of view, the issue to me isn't so much gambling (i.e. the only real legal complaint that seems to be floating around) but the idea that the upper cost on a lot of these games is basically infinity.  I like to buy a game and own that game, I don't like the idea of renting a license and being offered a part of a program which is continually being expanded and changed and re-jiggered every week to include some more extra bits I can buy for as long as the developer decides to let me use their software.  This is profitable, people buy it, it's been around for years even though it's been getting worse recently.

So I don't think the idea of taking EA or whoever to court is likely to benefit me personally in any way.  So they have to list the percentage payouts for their loot crates or run an age verification before they let you buy anything or something, I don't see any of this micro-DLC stuff going away long term.  Absolute most extreme scenario is that lootboxes are totally outlawed, and we'll still be back to constant microtransactions and titanic grinds for imaginary currencies, so like 95% of this stuff is going to continue on it's current course.