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Beyond Conspiracy: Entire generation growing up on this ultra diabolical "FREEMIUM GAME MODEL"

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posted on Jun, 3 2016 @ 11:16 PM
The video games of today are this wicked hybrid of crack dealer sales tactics + 1-900 # price gouging. Both fronts equally predatory, and this is what our small children... this entire generation are growing up on. If the temptation/pricing scheme models weren't bad enough, the gameplay itself imposes indoctrination to waiting, and waiting, AND WAITING to 'achieve' whatever it is the game is about. An individuals merits/talents of ambition/intellect are irrelevant in these new games, while "all" the new games in these phones strictly follow this model.

Freemium is a pricing strategy by which a product or service (typically a digital offering or application such as software, media, games or web services) is provided free of charge, but money (premium) is charged for proprietary features, functionality, or virtual goods.

Let me start it this way: "Supercell", the primo example developer company, very recently they sold a portion of the companies main stock for $5.5BILLION. Mind you, until 2016 they only had 3 games (now they have 4 titles). As far as Freemium games go, apparently they're top notch. But as far as conventional games go, they, like most all Freemium games, are total crap.

The best way to illustrate the concept is via South Park's more recent "Freemium Isn't Free" episode (S18E06):

Here we see the first portion of the formula explained. In the episode the whole concept is a Canadian (Devil) conspiracy, where in the game they collect "Canadough" (but following the model, there isn't enough available in the game without loading real cash into the system to get MORE Canadough (in attempts to actually have fun playing the game). Without buying more "Canadough" ("Gems" are often the 'currency' in actual Freemium games), its too damn boring to have fun. Wait foreeeeeever, or buy more Canadough so you can have fun.

Sadly, only portions of the formula breakdown from the episode are available on Youtube. But here are a couple more excerpts I was able to dig up:

And then here is the commentary on the issue by the creators of South Park, where they talk about how companies tried pitching them the game (before they ever had any clue about the issue):

Even if you HATE South Park, this is a must see episode, especially if you have children whom play mobile games.

Anyways, I had seen the episode last year, and recalled the Zynga games back in Myspace, which where perhaps the original forms. I found the episode quite entertaining, but didn't realize that this is 'all' the games now. You see I didn't have a "Smart Phone" until this year, and due to the same extreme situation (long long story) that 'forced' me to get such a diabolical surveillance gadget, prompted me to try and play some games to kill some times (which I had way too much of). I hadn't much been playing games for about a decade. It didn't take me long to figure out this trend. I even tried an older franchise title, Sim City. Even Sim City was turned into delayed lifestyle trash. Hands down the worst version of Sim City of all time! The irony that it's the latest one! I was so disgusted I went and downloaded a SNES emulator and the original version of SNES Sim City, and sure enough it's 100 times the quality of game.

Not much of a surprise that EA would be into this scene, but damn I went looking into the app store and about all I could see was this model.

At this point it occurred to me: Science Damn It! This is what all these young children are playing now, and the effects on their developmental psychology are sure to be profound. I was devastated. There is a insane social experiment underway right now, the fallout from which can only be speculated about, but whatever comes of it it cant be good.

I had sort of forgotten the South Park episode specifics at this moment, but what occurred to me is it was like a sick hybrid of crack dealer "the first hits free" sales tactics, combined with 1-900# price gouging (which I immediately started referring to as "1-900-CRACK-PIPE"). Going back to the episode, they had pointed out the crack tatctic spot on, but not the 900# parallel.

A look at the Wikipedia page only confirms the numbers I perceived:

In June 2011, PC World reported that traditional anti-virus software had started to lose market share to freemium anti-virus products. By September 2012, all but two of the 50 highest-grossing apps in the Games section of Apple's iTunes App Store supported in-app purchases, leading Wired to conclude that game developers were now required to choose between including such purchases or foregoing a very substantial revenue stream.

The games suck! Or do they? Looking at the downloads and ratings, it would seem they are the Holy Ark of the Covenant. Let's use a game I've studied in depth: Clash of Clans.
It's rating: 4.5 / 5, by ‎26,733,660 votes. Today its rated #3 on Top Grossing Games & #29 on Top Free Games link. Yes, it has ranks in BOTH "Top Grossing Games" AND "Top Free Games". I cant even make this stuff up, and I'm good! Moving on, it grosses: $846,986 PER DAY!

I found this game as one of the final games I played very heavily was "Command & Conquer Red Alert 2: Yuri's Revenge". It's an RTS (Real Time Strategy) game. So naturally it didnt take long to find "the best" mobile RTS game: Clash of Clans. There are endless player reviews such as this: "The best game ever! I love this game so much. It always makes me addicted to it!".

And there's the key word: ADDICTIVE. As South Park points out heavily: the model of the game design isn't to make greatly fun games, it's aboot making the most addictive game at it's core. How else could the most boring games ever generate so much money?

In Clash of Clans, you build a base, and it moves up in levels by upgrading your "town hall" (enabling more upgrades on all the structures and things you get, more of each level). The average cost in Federal Reserve Notes is somewhere in the territory of thousands of "dollars" link. The game has an actual buy in button for $99.95 right in its basic menu, and with that $100 in 'Canadough' you get squat in the grand scheme of the game (less than squat even).

As an old school die hard RT gamer, this Clash of Clans crap was clearly only 1/400th the quality of actual game, compared to Yuri's Revenge (an end of 90's era PC game). My findings were that the gamers of today are: ADDICTED TO BOREDOM.

How can this be real, one might ask. Well these games are all designed to be addictive, as South Park most eloquently put it. The tech itself is breath-taking, while there is real quality or various forms put into this Clash of Clans example. I had actually said to some friends while ranting on the phone aboot what if this Supercell had set out to make the most fun game ever? I stated that if only they had set out to make the 'best' game ever, they might have... It turns at that at that moment they were aboot to release their newest title: Clash Royale.
edit on 4-6-2016 by IgnoranceIsntBlisss because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 3 2016 @ 11:16 PM
I gotta say this Clash Royale is aboot the most action packed little game ever; the most fun little 'action engine' ever. It's as if a Freemium game developer (of the most talented variety) for first time smoked some actual crack, and set aboot making a Frremium game that for the first time was true exciting fun.

The 1-900-CRACK-PIPE model is still there, but at least they mde a fun game, where you dont have to wait forever to do the fun part of the game. So here we do have a taste of progress... yet the scheme persists. In this game instead of waiting forever to build bases (that enable you to build units to go raid others bases with), here you get these free 'cards' which represent the units you can use). The number of cards you collect for each unit enables you to upgrade the cards (but the upgrades cost Canadough). There are many cards, and each level of upgrade costs more Canadough per upgrade. Now I will say the game gives you enough free cards & Canadough per day to be able to really enjoy this truly fun little game.

Meanwhile you have these other 'upgrades' involved: your actual player level, and then you move up and down between these different arenas based on your trophies you win/lose. And of course you have the $99.95 Canadough buy in button in this Pay To Win game. The arenas model of this game is important. You see each new arena unlocks more new cards. Now, say the addictive personality mark comes into this game and gets sucked right in, but they start in Arena 1 or 2. To get the 'biggest chest', and have Canadough for upgrades, that's abut $80. Then you need more Canadough to get enough 'gold' to upgrade the cars you get. Thing is: buying that biggest chest wont doesnt ensure you'll get all the new units from that arena.

So now here's where it gets really twisted: Say you spend $120+ to get the biggest chest in that arena, and upgrade the cards, and now you have the cards to be able to be higher level people than before, and then get into the next arena... now you'd have to spend anther $120+ (to not even get all the new cards in the new arena.

Apparently the new era is, where kids used to steal money from moms purse to buy doobies, now they do it to then ride their bike up to Walmart to buy Google Play cards to buy more Canadough.

One absurd irony here is that COC isn't even an actual RTS game, yet it s the top rated. CR truly is a hardcoe RTS game, yet it makes half the revenue as does COC!

Another point here is that for a decade, in tech articles, a common theme of discussion are references to "the next Google", or "the next Facebook" (as the big money ultimate get rich quick scheme lasting corporate models. Here we've seen in depth such new model (Freemium games), and even the actual corporate specimen (Supercell) are at hand. I dont know that it hasnt been pointed in such regards, but in any event Supercell is the next big x, and sales are unprecedented.

What might be worst of all is, having played these 2 games quite a bit this year, is that the ranks aren't merely children, there's millions of adults fully committed to them as well. In the COC clan I was in I often spoke about the South Park episode. On one occasion with a high level player int he clan, in (a negative) reference to it taking eons to get 'big'' in the game, he disagreed and lamented that: "it would ruin the spirit of the game" (if the expected endgame didn't take actual years).


edit on 3-6-2016 by IgnoranceIsntBlisss because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 3 2016 @ 11:24 PM
That's what windoze tin will do.

I hate this type of gaming. I got drawn in once, and never again.

posted on Jun, 3 2016 @ 11:28 PM
It's pokies for kids, really.

"Just one more gems, I'll win the game then.. Damn.. I didn't. Just one more sack of gems, I'll win the game then..." at the low low price of $5.99 per purchase of a sack of gems.

Or you can play for 20 minutes, wait 48 hours for some resource to build up enough, and play another 20 mins.

Should be a crime, as they are catering to children. And adults with a child's mind.

Farmville anyone??

posted on Jun, 3 2016 @ 11:33 PM

originally posted by: Bobaganoosh
That's what windoze tin will do.

I hate this type of gaming. I got drawn in once, and never again.

If you go via the Windows Store, you deserve it. But other than that, how is buying a game that you'd play on windows 8 or windows 7 any different?

If you mean that Call of Duty 19 - Martians Attack, will be a pay to play deal, that would be the same deal on Windows 8 or 7 or xp or nt or 2000 or 98 or 95 or 3.11 etc.. etc...

Or Linux. Or a Mac.

Windows 10 can be installed completely separate from the locked online microsoft account situation. People just don't know how to install it properly. You don't need to use the windows store at all, so freemium games are not an issue. Unless you want them to be.

posted on Jun, 3 2016 @ 11:50 PM

posted on Jun, 4 2016 @ 12:13 AM
a reply to: Ophiuchus 13

That's not a Freemium game. Here is one:

One way to illustrate this is how right nwo in ebay you can buy a TH11 base for only $3,000 Buy It Now:
ebay link (full of ugly code)

posted on Jun, 4 2016 @ 12:16 AM
I play Wartune, a freemium MMPORG. I would be spending just as much on a game with a different model. I have been playing it years now, so I don't spend as much as before.

posted on Jun, 4 2016 @ 12:43 AM
a reply to: IgnoranceIsntBlisss

I too am an oldskool hardcore command and conqueror and I agree with pretty much everything you have said here. However, the way I've beaten the freemium model is to play about 6 games at a time. I will post all the games I play later as I have to go to work, you may like a couple of them.

On a side note, you never played C&C Generals... Man, you missed out. That game was probably the best game ever created. Then again the Tiberium wars were amazing too. And Red Alert 3! Wow! God I miss command&conquer...

posted on Jun, 4 2016 @ 12:50 AM
Summoner's War is my crack. I've spent thousands now, surely. I'm not proud of it. It's so good though. Can't help my self.

"Honestly love, I'm not spending much. I don't even play the Hobbit anymore!"

I don't even play it though. I press auto and watch it play itself! What's the point?

posted on Jun, 4 2016 @ 12:57 AM
a reply to: Wide-Eyes


EA's hijacking of Westwood,the inventors of the CNC franchise, EA obliterated the gameplay of Yuri's Revenge... while deliberately demolishing the online multiplayer scene of YR in pursuit of forcing everyone to have to buy THEIR new "Generals" version.

posted on Jun, 4 2016 @ 12:59 AM

originally posted by: SlowNail
Summoner's War is my crack. I've spent thousands now, surely. I'm not proud of it. It's so good though. Can't help my self.

"Honestly love, I'm not spending much. I don't even play the Hobbit anymore!"

I don't even play it though. I press auto and watch it play itself! What's the point?

Thank you!

May this thread play out as the ultimate testimonial. Hey, anything beats the 12 Steps model!

posted on Jun, 4 2016 @ 01:01 AM
a reply to: IgnoranceIsntBlisss

Speaking as an app developer, the freemium model is basically required if you want to develop for mobile platforms. It's not a conspiracy but rather market forces at work, and the market has shown that it's what people prefer. It's just like the old marketing where products do better if they have the word free on them.

As for the addition part, I happen to agree with you. I remember a paper I wrote for a psychology class a couple years ago now where I went into the whole breakdown of what was happening here. Basically it creates an addiction feedback loop, exactly the same as the one created when people play slot machines. The pacing of everything in these games is designed to mimic that, and you pay them to keep the loop going... except there's never a cash payout. Because of my background as a kid that I don't really want to go into, I've spent a lot of time in casinos and I know how they work, I've read 50+ books on managing them and another 50 on playing/administering various games. I've also sat in meetings at actual video game companies and talked about how to make stuff more and less addictive depending on what you're going for. I'm actually of the opinion that in the coming years there's going to be a major case that's going to wreck several of these companies for deliberately engineering their product to be addictive... I hate to bring morals into it, but what a lot of these mobile game companies are doing is immoral.

This is why I stick to PC development. The pay is much worse, but there's a good platform now with Steam, and the model doesn't require selling your soul plus you can play with cooler tech like AR, VR, 3d, and not be limited by battery life. Even when you do have to go freemium you can use a model like LoL and not have to give in to what are predatory practices to keep the lights on.
edit on 4-6-2016 by Aazadan because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 4 2016 @ 01:42 AM
Real video games are still coming out on the consoles and on the PC, although the console games are going towards unending "downloadable content" where they release more content for the game every few months, at a price. A lot of games on Steam are going for "early access" which means you pay full price to play an unfinished game, hoping it gets finished later (many times they don't get finished later!).

By far the worst are these games you mention. I used to play one of them, Game of War. You build up your city's structures over time, a LONG time. One upgrade late-game could cost you 200+ days. However, with $100 cash you can get that done right now! It is worth noting that the graphics and gameplay pale in comparison to SNES games. And to make matters worse, there are people who spend $1000 or more dollars on the game (whom I chatted with personally) and then proceed to do exponentially better than someone who is trying to play the game for free - they can't compete.
edit on 04amSat, 04 Jun 2016 01:45:31 -0500kbamkAmerica/Chicago by darkbake because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 4 2016 @ 02:17 AM

originally posted by: SlowNail
Summoner's War is my crack. I've spent thousands now, surely. I'm not proud of it. It's so good though. Can't help my self.

"Honestly love, I'm not spending much. I don't even play the Hobbit anymore!"

I don't even play it though. I press auto and watch it play itself! What's the point?

Yea, I play Summoners war pretty heavily, but I've not given then one red cent, either.. Love having the different monsters and what not to customize.. Could care less about transmoging them, etc. But Runes, and events are fun to figure out.

CoC is the other one I play, but I don't spent money there either.. At the rate I'm going, I'll get TH10 around Christmas, but I've been playing for almost 2 years.

posted on Jun, 4 2016 @ 02:33 AM
I was addicted to The Simpsons Tapped Out on my smartphone 2 years ago
freemium game and i think i spent 50€ on it more or less. After a while i got tired of logging in on multiple times a day and accepted the fact that i was ADDICTED. Then i deleted the game and never ever gonna play freemium games again!

Currently i'm playing gta online (only when they release another cool update) and all the updates and items are free. Except you have to buy them in the game but people don't have enough money in the game so you can buy sharkcards with real $. Lucky for me hackers/modders gave me 100.000.000$ in game money so i can buy everything

posted on Jun, 4 2016 @ 03:24 AM
Lol. S+F

The games are nothing more than quick fixes after a hard day at the office.

However, boredom sets in sooner of later and then the MMORPG is never played again.

One cynical player summed it all up one cruelly by saying 'its nothing more than a repeat cycle where the player...
1) goes to a spawn point
2) kills mobs
3) collects sell-able items
4) returns to trade zone
5) sell items
6) buy better items from shop
7) return to spawn point
8) repeat process.

Level up and move to next spawn point to repeat process all over again.

Lets take this one step further and throw in the idea that the Matrix exists and will soon allow all players to enter their desired MMORPG as a real 'Hunger Games' World. For every second they live, real money is given to their family members in this world, which would explain why the current elite have made everyone poor.

Millions of real people would hook themselves up in seconds in the MMORPG milti-Matrix in seconds.

posted on Jun, 4 2016 @ 05:08 AM
for console and PC like darkblade says it's heading to, or i should say the world of micro transaction is here and it is going to stay.
online gaming and MMO style gaming have online store transactions available with almost zero hardship on transactions,
once virtual reality becomes a common consumer product then hopefully this will see the reboot to the MMORPG market and of course this survives on online micro transactions.
however mobile freemium games are based off the "grind" technique from MMO's.
you need to endlessly complete the tasks or grind out your daily's towards an end goal
which upon completion another goal is moved in to replace it with a new set of daily's.
like a false peak or summit. all the while the player is given small rewards and incentives
like training a pet to piss in a box.

posted on Jun, 4 2016 @ 05:09 AM
All about the money and how to milk the players from their cash, it is quite astounding the amount of money these games are making - I believe candy cash saga made around 2 Billion in just barely 2 years really mind boggling since that game has no point or goal to it whatsoever with hundreds of levels just doing the same thing over and over again while the game is pretty much rigged to make you fail as much as possible so you pay a little cash to pass that "hard" level.

it is a disgrace to even call these abominations "games", Cash of Clans can barely be considered a strategy let alone an RTS I don't even understand how people enjoy it waiting 12 hours to build a building or pay hundreds of dollars for absolutely nothing in return (it isn't even in the same universe as the great Red Alert 2), heck none of these abominations should even be in any genres they should have their own genre called "Addicting/money milking" they are actually worse than gambling.

I poked around in Cash Royale for a week or two and got extremely bored after reaching arena 3, while it is mildly fun at first it quickly turns into the same cash grab as the others in its special little genre when it tries to make you spend cash as much as possible while matching you with players who quite obviously have a paying advantage that demolish you nearly every time.

What's even more absurd is that Cash Royale as of right now is #1 in top grossing on Android and the game is barely 3 months old .

posted on Jun, 4 2016 @ 07:39 AM
a reply to: IgnoranceIsntBlisss

Here's some interesting articles to further add to your thread

Chasing the Whale: Examining the ethics of free-to-play games

We own you

Very insightful hour long presentation on the psychology behind freemium games

I generally avoid free games because they're all the same with the fun sucked out of them where they're designed to frustrate the gamer into paying for either convenience or some form of boost and it's a god awful scummy cancer plaguing the games industry especially when it comes to MMORPG's and definitely in mobile games

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