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

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posted on Jun, 4 2016 @ 03:18 PM
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originally posted by: Aazadan
With modern games there's usually nested loops, you kill 30 guys in a loop, get a level up, go to the next spot with the act of traversing spawn nodes being a loop in itself.

The problem is, do you ever think that a MMORPG set in a fantasy world will ever beat a real Pen-n-Paper fantasy world session.

i find the old pen-n-paper AD&D sessions memorable to this day back to TSR 1st Addition of AD&D. The MMORPG's today, just don't have that same memorable feeling even when teaming up with guild members.




posted on Jun, 4 2016 @ 03:19 PM
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originally posted by: Urantia1111
a reply to: IgnoranceIsntBlisss

Are we actually bitching that videogames aren't free?

They've never been free.

The very first widespread games were DESIGNED to require a quarter every 5 minutes or so.

That was 35 years ago.

Only the format has changed.

Entertainment costs money.


No, the OP is not about free games. It's about freemium games. Games that you can download for free but include purchases within the game which are necessary in order to experience the whole game.

The problem isn't really the model. It's a neat idea. Free download means you can potentially reach way more customers than charging up front for the whole game.

The problem is that they are using this model as an excuse to nickel and dime the players. So while you can pay $60 bucks for a full platform game, the freemium model would spread the same amount of content over hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars.

If you measured in dollar per hour of entertainment, you might buy a 20 hour game for 60 bucks. In the freemium model, you would download the first 2 hours of entertainment value for free.. then each 2 hours of entertainment after that might cost 10 bucks each.

It also means developers have less incentive to create better content. Why create a massive game that retails for $60 when you can make a tiny game and charge $60 for some in-game currency?

So you might think people can just not purchase these things. And I'd like to think most people don't. However, the reasons these games work is because of have "whales" who spend more than their fair share on the game. One whale spending enough money could support the next 1000 players who pay nothing.

www.wsj.com...

So, as the OP stated, this model reduces the over all quality of games as developers are punished for not taking advantage of these freemium models. It's great for the whales who want to "win" with their credit card, but hurts all other gamers who would prefer to have access to well made games.
edit on 6/4/2016 by Pyrrho because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 4 2016 @ 03:30 PM
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SO I just tried a few minutes of GoogleFu to see if any papers would pop out, in regards to children learning to become or to have "Addictive Personalities".

While the stuff I'm seeing, so far, mostly all seems to be framed in the concept of it being some sort of personality trait, I know for an absolute fact a kid can be trained to become an addictive personality (for life more or less). I've seen it.

This one page did get a little into what I was hoping to dig up:

If we look more closely, however, the paradoxes disappear. All three pathways really involve the same fundamental problem: a difficulty with self-regulation. This may appear predominantly as an inability to inhibit strong impulses, it may be largely an impairment in modulating negative emotions like anxiety, or it may have elements of both. In any case, difficulties with self-regulation lay the groundwork for learning addiction and for creating a condition that is hard to understand. The brain regions that allow self-regulation need experience and practice in order to develop. If that experience is aberrant or if those brain regions are wired unusually, they may not learn to work properly.

The DEA ought to be regulating these games.


So before now there's been a big enough issue, and that was before Freemium games existed. Now that 'all' the kids have smart phones, and 'all' the games are this model, society is screwed! Crackhead / Junky / Meth Freak nation is on the way, rejoice War on Drugs Machine (the DEA ought to be regulating these games!!). And at least the Native Americans, with their casino's have a bright future on the horizon as these kids become adults...

edit on 4-6-2016 by IgnoranceIsntBlisss because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 4 2016 @ 03:32 PM
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originally posted by: IgnoranceIsntBlisss
Cant you just make a sweet game, give the first 5 levels free and then charge a dollar per level afterwards?


If you want your customers to argue that you're releasing a half finished game, and then charging money to finish it... sure. There's a model I really like based on shareware by a developer named Jeff Vogel, he made a 1 person studio named Spiderweb Software and he puts out one very solid game a year, and releases it under the model of the first x% (usually 33%) being free, and then hooking the player through very good writing and getting them to pay to finish the game. The difference being that it's a one time charge rather than incrementally for every level. That studio inspired me to do what I do actually, they've been doing it for 20 years now. I very much like the League of Legends model as well, and subscriptions are amazing for keeping piracy down.

These models work best for PC games though, they haven't had anywhere near the same success as the freemium model has on mobile devices. Part of the reason is that when people play a mobile game their play pattern is different, it's not like at a PC or console where you sit down and play for a couple hours. Rather, mobile games are based around the idea of playing for a couple minutes at a time while standing in line. It's all about having bursts of micro content available on demand, gating content by time and then letting people pay to skip that timing limitation. It lets you make 50 sales pitches to a player each day rather than 1 each time they complete a level.


originally posted by: Tristran
The problem is, do you ever think that a MMORPG set in a fantasy world will ever beat a real Pen-n-Paper fantasy world session.

i find the old pen-n-paper AD&D sessions memorable to this day back to TSR 1st Addition of AD&D. The MMORPG's today, just don't have that same memorable feeling even when teaming up with guild members.


Yes, I do. I wouldn't do what I do if I didn't think so. Pen and paper has the advantage of getting to use your imagination and the choose your own adventure aspect of things, but most players make horrible designers and developers. Getting professionally built content comes with a lot of advantages, though to be fair some professionals are pretty bad too. A game I've always wanted to make is multiplayer Skyrim. That's basically the imagination and open world factor combined with the advantages of playing something on a computer.
edit on 4-6-2016 by Aazadan because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 4 2016 @ 03:35 PM
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originally posted by: IgnoranceIsntBlisss
While the stuff I'm seeing, so far, mostly all seems to be framed in the concept of it being some sort of personality trait, I know for an absolute fact a kid can be trained to become an addictive personality (for life more or less). I've seen it.


Over the last decade, I've put a lot of effort into this question. It's something of a holy grail for me. Finding a way to make something fun, and that people want to play, without making it addicting. Or atleast, not monetizing that addiction.



posted on Jun, 4 2016 @ 03:38 PM
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a reply to: IgnoranceIsntBlisss

Using this argument of games targeting the "sick" as you put it:

Companies that produce alcohol and use slick looking adds should be blamed for the alcoholics need to buy and drink their product?

Hostess or little Debbies should be blamed for their sweet tasting snacks because someone has an eating disorder can't stop buying and eating them?

A toy company that makes a 'gotta have it' toy that everyone wants and people trample over each other at the store to get should be blamed for the actions of the people's need to buy it?


If 2% of the population wants to play these kinds of games and pays to play, why is it any of our business to say that it's bad? Because we want free games we can play on an even playing field with equal opportunity to win and be good? or are we just mad because the business model currently dictates freemium games?

Companies do target sectors of the population with their advertisements. That's what it is all about. They make something to sell and they sell it with a core population in mind to buy it. We can call it evil or bad but at the end of the day it is business and the consumer or the consumer's parents (if its a child) has the final say on how they spend their money, even if they have an Addictive Personality Disorder.

Playing video games is a luxury not a need.



posted on Jun, 4 2016 @ 03:42 PM
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a reply to: wdkirk

Because if your product knowingly harms the consumer and you target the vulnerable, you are no better than a heroin dealer on a street corner.

It's probably worth mentioning that I don't hold companies that create situations where customers trample each other in high regard either, and I think pretty poorly of the legal drug industry like tobacco and alcohol.



posted on Jun, 4 2016 @ 03:50 PM
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a reply to: wdkirk

Can kids get alcohol and tobacco directly from their phones?

Ironically enough, with these games kids do now have crack right in their pocket (1000's of flavors of it). And what kids could not have a smart phone? Get laughed right off the playground (where all the kids now stand around smoking crack on their phone). Maybe like true crackheads the games should teach them to hide in the bathroom when they "smoke their bobo's" (bobo's is Detroit slang for crack, so in this discussion all the kids are to become "Bobo Monsters").
edit on 4-6-2016 by IgnoranceIsntBlisss because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 4 2016 @ 04:03 PM
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It can lead to things like this.

I can't understand how anyone would blow over $6,000 on a mobile game!


Just before the New Year holiday in Japan, ads for a smartphone game called Granblue Fantasy began appearing on television and in magazines. Granblue was already huge in Japan with more than 7 million people downloading it to fly giant airships and battle an evil empire with swords and magic. Cygames Inc., the company that makes the game, also told people about a new promotion: For a limited time, it would be easier to win a few characters, including one named Anchira.
Anchira is a rarely-seen, much-sought-after ally: blonde, scantily-clad, big-eyed. She’s the kind of partner that can mean the difference between victory and defeat because of special healing powers. Players can win access to her with mysterious crystals that cost 300 yen ($2.67) apiece and then cracking them open to find out what’s inside. Sometimes they contain valuable characters like Anchira; other times they hold weapons or armor. Under normal circumstances, there’s a 3 percent chance of locating rare characters like Anchira, but for the week Cygames was running its promotion, the chances would double.


People had a weekend to up their chances from 3% to 6% to buy this character in any one $2.67 pack.

One guy spent over $6,000 doing this.


One Japanese man, who goes by "Taste" online, began playing about three hours before midnight on Dec. 31, streaming his session in a game players’ chatroom. For hours he spent money in furious pursuit of Anchira. His audience swelled from a handful to more than 10,000 as the New Year arrived, and before he knew it, Taste burned through $2,665 without unlocking her. The chatroom crowd alternated from mockery to pity, wondering when his credit card company would cut him off. But Taste kept going, buying hundreds and then thousands of tokens. Finally at about 3 a.m., on attempt No. 2,276, he unlocked Anchira. The crowd erupted. He had spent $6,065.


I don't get why anyone would do this. I tried a crappy Facebook version of one of these once, and I quit it after about three days. It simply wasn't worth it. I wasn't going to spend money on it, and I wasn't going to wait for it.



posted on Jun, 4 2016 @ 04:05 PM
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This reminds me of another game I got to know before I left the industry: These big 'wheel of fortune' style childrens games:


These are "Redemption Games" (think Chucky Cheese ticket spitting games). Redemption games were always the ones I hated to work on the most. Ironically, those "Sweepstakes" and "Arcade Slot Machine" games are in fact categorically redemption games. A coin hopper (er rather a Ticket Printer) could just as easily go where the ticket spitter goes, in say Whack a Mole, or Skeeball.

So with these wheel games, they were new I guess around 2010. I saw one for the first time when we delivered it to one of those new 'indoor trampoline arenas' (which are pretty cool). The machine was HUGE (the one in the video wasnt the same exact one). You pull the lever, the wheel spins, and tickets spit out. It looked kind of neato we dropped it off and I forgot all aboot it.

But then a month later I took my girlfriend and her 2 kids up to Gameworks. Gameworks has both 'proper' arcade games, and redemption games galore. We went all the way thru game to game doing them all, and at the end there it was: a triple unit of these wheel games. As soon as I looked at it it hit me: they're literally giant slot machine reels. The damn game took a dollar per spin, and it spit out tons of tickets. Of course the prizes you get for tickets are a complete and utter joke (but at least you get a memento I suppose). The kids couldnt stop pulling the damn thing, I ended up having to put on a big ole' stink not unlike this thread to finally pull them from it. They stuck to it unlike any other game in the place, not even the driving games compelled them as much.



And these things aren't half as diabolical as these Freemium games!
.
edit on 4-6-2016 by IgnoranceIsntBlisss because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 4 2016 @ 04:11 PM
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originally posted by: ketsuko
It can lead to things like this.

I can't understand how anyone would blow over $6,000 on a mobile game!

I don't get why anyone would do this. I tried a crappy Facebook version of one of these once, and I quit it after about three days. It simply wasn't worth it. I wasn't going to spend money on it, and I wasn't going to wait for it.


Not a mobile game, but for about a year and a half I played Perfect World, (as a sidenote, I rather like their free to play system) and one guy on our server had spent $500,000 on upgrades for his character. When I quit he was up to something like $750,000.

I think it's a real life example of the phrase "A fool and his money are soon parted."

It really isn't much different than scratch off lottery tickets, except there's even less value when you buy an entire roll hoping to win something.



posted on Jun, 4 2016 @ 04:16 PM
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a reply to: Aazadan

It taps into that gambling bug.

To be clear, I don't mind the idea of microtransactions when they aren't necessary to the game or when you can either buy them outright or earn them through game play within a reasonable time frame. Idiots who either suck or cannot wait to be ubar will pay their real money, and I'll carefully bide my time and do the latter.

So long as the curve isn't too skewed toward those who pay to win instead of earning it, I don't care. I avoid games where you have to pay in order to have reasonable access to enjoy the game in a any real way.



posted on Jun, 4 2016 @ 04:17 PM
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Belgian teen spends $46,000 in free-to-play 'Game of War'
www.techtimes.com...

According to the report, the boy is said to have bought the game's gold using his grandfather's credit card. His mother says that he did know that he was spending real money.

The game that the boy was playing is known as the "Game of War: Fire Age," an online strategy game. In the game, the player can buy packs of 20,000 gold for $100.

The boy learned about the credit card details when the mother asked his help in setting up her tablet to download eBooks. After doing so, the boy admitted to linking the credit card to his own iTunes account and purchased in-game gold. He then made a lot of purchases which had reached a total amount of $46,000 in credit card charges. This would mean that the boy purchased more than 9 million gold pieces.


edit on 4-6-2016 by IgnoranceIsntBlisss because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 4 2016 @ 04:21 PM
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originally posted by: Aazadan
a reply to: wdkirk

Because if your product knowingly harms the consumer and you target the vulnerable, you are no better than a heroin dealer on a street corner.

It's probably worth mentioning that I don't hold companies that create situations where customers trample each other in high regard either, and I think pretty poorly of the legal drug industry like tobacco and alcohol.


Freemium games harm the consumer? how? Personally targeted marketing to get your money?

If this style of marketing for freemium games makes you uncomfortable, tough. Quit. Get out or don't play at all. There is no such thing as a free lunch or a free game. Buy games with a one time cost, or else game makers will continue to focus on all marketing tactics to get your money.



posted on Jun, 4 2016 @ 04:27 PM
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originally posted by: IgnoranceIsntBlisss
a reply to: wdkirk

Can kids get alcohol and tobacco directly from their phones?

Ironically enough, with these games kids do now have crack right in their pocket (1000's of flavors of it). And what kids could not have a smart phone? Get laughed right off the playground (where all the kids now stand around smoking crack on their phone). Maybe like true crackheads the games should teach them to hide in the bathroom when they "smoke their bobo's" (bobo's is Detroit slang for crack, so in this discussion all the kids are to become "Bobo Monsters").


As for alcohol and tobacco, they can directly ask someone to do it for them, including their parents, but, I see your point as we are talking about cell phones and freemium games.

Is the root problem the cell phone company, the game company or the parent(s) who allow their children to do this? Who has control of who?
edit on 4-6-2016 by wdkirk because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 4 2016 @ 04:34 PM
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originally posted by: wdkirk
Is the root problem the cell phone company, the game company or the parent(s) who allow their children to do this? Who has control of who?


I say we blame Google! Okay fine we can blame Apple too.



posted on Jun, 4 2016 @ 04:35 PM
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originally posted by: wdkirk
If this style of marketing for freemium games makes you uncomfortable, tough. Quit. Get out or don't play at all. There is no such thing as a free lunch or a free game. Buy games with a one time cost, or else game makers will continue to focus on all marketing tactics to get your money.


I'm no longer a gamer, despite being a bonafide expert on gaming tech / industry.

And the discussion here is framed around what this is all going to do to an entire generation growing up where these are effectively the only games in their phones.
edit on 4-6-2016 by IgnoranceIsntBlisss because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 4 2016 @ 04:41 PM
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originally posted by: IgnoranceIsntBlisss

originally posted by: wdkirk
Is the root problem the cell phone company, the game company or the parent(s) who allow their children to do this? Who has control of who?


I say we blame Google! Okay fine we can blame Apple too.


Nice dodge.




posted on Jun, 4 2016 @ 04:44 PM
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a reply to: wdkirk

Like parents are supposed to divine what these games really are, and know how to stop it, all on their own? A big part of the point of these phones being so cool for kids is they play endless touchscreen games. So when all the games are this crap it's ultra sinister as even if they keep them from spending $46,000 they're still being programmed to be compulsive little ambitionless twits.

Besides, I couldn't resist, I'm kind of Google's biggest intellectual nemesis:
vimeo.com...
Note my use of scenes from "Terminator 2: Arcade Game" there in my first animated production.
edit on 4-6-2016 by IgnoranceIsntBlisss because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 4 2016 @ 04:47 PM
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originally posted by: IgnoranceIsntBlisss
a reply to: wdkirk

Like parents are supposed to divine what these games really are, and know how to stop it, all on their own? A big part of the point of these phones being so cool for kids is they play endless touchscreen games. So when all the games are this crap it's ultra sinister as even if they keep them from spending $46,000 they're still being programmed to be compulsive little ambitionless twits.

Besides, I couldn't resist, I'm kind of Google's biggest intellectual nemesis:
vimeo.com...


Well, part of that is being an alert parent. If you have a kid who is going to do something like that, you shouldn't give him or her the means to one way or the other.

If that means no phone, then no phone. If that means no access to credit, no access to credit. I don't get why on earth you would ever let your kid have access to a credit card anyhow.

While I partially agree with you that freemium is total crap, I'm not entirely sure what you want other than to alert people to their dangers.
edit on 4-6-2016 by ketsuko because: (no reason given)



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