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Author Topic: Star Wars Episode X: Electronic Arts Strikes Down  (Read 2773 times)
Yegolev
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Reply #35 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.

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Reply #36 on: November 21, 2017, 06:17:06 PM

« Last Edit: November 21, 2017, 06:19:05 PM by Ginaz »

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Reply #37 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.

OP is assuming its somewhat of a design-goal of eve to make players happy.
this is however not the case.
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Reply #38 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.

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Gimfain
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Reply #39 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
« Last Edit: November 22, 2017, 10:09:08 AM by Gimfain »

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Reply #40 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.

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Reply #41 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.

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patience
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Reply #42 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.


OP is assuming its somewhat of a design-goal of eve to make players happy.
this is however not the case.
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Reply #43 on: November 27, 2017, 08:57:41 PM

What?

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Reply #44 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.

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Reply #45 on: November 28, 2017, 06:25:16 AM

For Fucks Sake.

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Reply #46 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.

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Reply #47 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.

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Reply #48 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?

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Reply #49 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.

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Reply #50 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.

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Reply #51 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.

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Reply #52 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.

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eldaec
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Reply #53 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.

 

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Reply #54 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!

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Reply #55 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

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Reply #56 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.

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Reply #57 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.

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Reply #58 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 (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 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 that lists one Kenneth Tran.

Kenneth Tran has a LinkedIn profile (Merusk: you seem to have found a different Kenneth Tran) 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", lol) but for what it's worth his activity feed currently shows a series of bizarre posts suggesting that he's starting an online university where you can, uh, become a monk.

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 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", 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; 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." His medium profile is associated with the "gopcaucus" Twitter account. 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 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.
patience
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Reply #59 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.

OP is assuming its somewhat of a design-goal of eve to make players happy.
this is however not the case.
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Reply #60 on: November 29, 2017, 01:16:46 AM

Merged the original thread from Useless news into this one.
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Reply #61 on: November 29, 2017, 01:25:48 AM

Video by Skill Up 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
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Reply #62 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.

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Reply #63 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.

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Reply #64 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

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Reply #65 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.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2017, 04:48:47 AM by Sir T »

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Reply #66 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. 

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Reply #67 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.

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Reply #68 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.

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Reply #69 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.

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