Are microtransactions ruining AAA games? - GameSpot's The Lobby at PAX
Hey folks welcome to a very special breakout from our episode lobby that we recorded up at pacs prime 2015 and sadly as you may have heard the video for that got broken at somewhere along the way.
It just all went blah and it came out And all of that was audio.
Mary Kitsch managed to piece that audio together, stick some hot b roll on it, which is what you're just about to watch.
So the following conversation is between myself, Mike Mahardy, Rob Handlery, and Kinda Funny's Greg Miller about micro transactions in triple A games.
Are they ruining them?
Hey, how you doing?
Welcome back to [UNKNOWN].
Great minutes here everyone, hey!
What's up everybody?
Now, give me the honor of My company in dot com.
He introduced everybody else, those guys from Johnny Bomb, this guy's from GameSpot, that's Colin.
Yeah, but you guys are **** everywhere.
No, we're not.
I'll make my way there then.
Rob Handley, Gamespot.com.
Mike McHartley from videogames.com.
I love that site, yeah.
And it's Craig Miller from kindafunny.com.
God forbid I get one click out of this thing.
You guys are beyond websites.
You're on YouTube.
I'd love to stay, but [CROSSTALK].
I owe Paris Schneider a nickel every time I say it.
You're on everything.
Have you been busy as well?
Yeah we wear ourselves out a lot.
Yeah we run around each other.
I had five [UNKNOWN] yesterday Dan.
That's a record for me.
And I was on a live stream.
What was the best penalty run?
You and me live streaming about Metal Gear without Metal Gear of course.
Oh yeah that was great.
True story we'll totally, we're going to do this first ever live stream of Metal Gear 5. Greg will get to play it.
It'll be great.
We get there and I'm like where is the game?
And they're like Kanami stuck in traffic.
So for 30 minutes we just talked about metal.
**** it, it was the start of the show.
It was like we're gonna do it, we're gonna have game play.
And what you said, if he doesn't-
I opened it up and I'm like, if you needed another reason to hate Kanami,
Here it is.
If you need another one as well, microtransactions.
That's what we're here to talk about as well.
First let's talk about microtransactions, because there was some sort of miscommunication about what exactly they were, so there's the online component, not necessarily online, but the forward operating base.
The player, part of-
That has micro transactions of some account, some kind.
You might ask me, you'd say, Oy Chris, you've been [UNKNOWN] this thing for a week, ain't you guv'nor?
And I'd say,
Can you at least do an Irish one?
That's **** spot on Irish.
Couldn't get any more Irish.
Anyways, and you'd ask me about, you played it for a week.
Don't you know all about this?
And I'd be like, I should, but no.
Because they made us play offline.
Which meant that we couldn't play forward operating base on the console we were playing on.
Which meant that when we wanted to play forward operating base, we went to a series of consoles that were connected together like at a local party instead of unit.
Like a LAN.
So at no point was there any mention of, oh you need these tokens, and you need this to do that.
So when Peter up his story the other day that was like you have to spend real money on top of the $50.00 or $60.00 you've already spent to open up.
FOB, I was like that sucks!
And then it got updated, and it's like, that's not the case.
[LAUGH] And then I was like, well I'm really confused.
[LAUGH] And now I sit here twiddling my thumbs, waiting, one day for this thing to be online to see what it's all about.
So we can finally see [INAUDIBLE]
Apparently, what the story is, you do collect these MB units, I guess, that you could then use to unlock
Some of the aspects of the player versus player [CROSSTALK].
But the fact is, I guess what we're talking about today is, the fact that like, why are there even micro transactions in here?
You know, I'm sure it feels, you played a bunch of it, I'm sure it feels like it was worth sixty dollars.
But the fact that there is micro transactions in this game, it's just kind of **** irritating every time this comes up right.
I mean, here's the thing.
I think that micro transactions have gotten a bad rep.
I think that micro transactions are being judged as something that are terrible without ever experiencing what they are.
I'm withholding judgement on Phantom Pain until I get in there and know what the micro transactions are.
Cuz the think I took away from it and talked about in my review on youtube.com/kindafunnygames.
Is the fact that
The game I could easily see being knocked for being too big.
There's too much there.
You'll never see.
And it's like the Witcher scenario, right?
So if the forward operating base thing is like, hey, you wanna play this and you wanna be competitive.
Well, you can buy this booster and you can do this or you know what I mean?
That kind of thing and not play.
I'm 52 hours in and having to start at FOB so I have however many left to do.
That doesn't grind my gears yet.
When we get in there to play the game you need to pay, then it's like this sucks.
Yeah but I don't want to judge it until I've had it.
Mike, this is also crept of recently I remember Halo and a few of you guys are big Halo fans as well.
So Halo 5 multiplayer is going to have micro transactions
Again purely cosmetic stuff is that right?
[CROSSTALK] It's funny, at first you hear all Kalo 5 is going to be free DLC.
You're like that's awesome.
And then it hits you with, essentially there are [UNKNOWN] packs, it's a patience thing.
So you get [UNKNOWN] packs through unlocking rank And just playing the game in general.
But if you wanna speed that up, then you can buy these things.
So it's yeah, so it's cosmetics, unlockable weapons, skins, and such.
But for WarZones, it is essentially you You climb and progress during a match.
You hit a coin when you can use your red coin.
In which case you unlock a wreck pack that gives you a new ship.
That's where you then get to use your actual wreck purchase order.
So it's not really a pay to win in that respect.
It's just simply unlocking it.
Pay to win faster?
Yeah it was like.
I'm able to unlock it, but you still have to play well during the game.
In that situation, isn't it really the rub that the people that wanna do that and buy that are the ones who are gonna be good at it and there's gonna be a tons of other people still anyways.
Yeah, I think so as well.
I think I could unlock as many things as possible for 5 dollars and I would still get
But what bugs me a lot about GTA V online, right, it's just buy the stuff to get it faster.
Yeah like just pay 10 dollars for a million dollars in the game.
Again, what's really fascinating again is that I'm curious about
Like how quickly will I get these packs, these [UNKNOWN] packs on my own?
That's what's scary.
I just feel like between this, earlier this year we had Evolve, right?
Did anyone here play Evolve when it came out?
Any of you still playing Evolve?
[LAUGH] Where's the hell yeah, guy.
Like when that game came out, apart from the fact that it was like, you had a [UNKNOWN] in the sun for whatever reason and longevity, but one of he reasons that I feel like the one thing that many of the people who shared it the first time was that so
Do not [UNKNOWN] 's fault but when that game out there was this big marketing thing about there's like 16 different ways you can buy this game.
We have this behemoth pack and then there's this DLC.
And then there's a season pass which has the other DLC and you didn't get that one with this.
I just feel like with this and with The Phantom Pain and with
You're talking about head on fire but a lot of this stuff just makes me feel like I'm spending $60 on a game, but I'm still not getting the **** full game, you know.
That's the thing that I don't necessarily like about microtransactions.
I'm pretty negative on them in general.
I get if there's a free-to-play game that you don't pay $60 out of the gate.
You don't pay $20.
You get the game.
You can play it for free.
Microtransactions could by
Speeded along, or you paid for the content you want.
But I have a problem with the fact that they're making this content, but so clear they took the time to have it in there but then they just put a gate in front of it and you've already paid $60.
I've played a little bit of Metal Gear, and I'd
Again, I don't much about the micro transactions of that either.
No one does.
And, it's such a huge game, but still, the fact that they're in there, still just makes me a bit uneasy.
Like the Halo 5 effect.
I remember Mass Effect 3 did that, the multiplayer you could pay to unlock those random packs for the weapons.
And I actually paid real money for one of those, and I was like I don't feel very well.
If I did the tip jar for Fallout Shelter, because I just thought, you know what, this game is great.
I got it for free.
Just why not go for it.
And that's the thing I guess for me is that they, they come up in my life so rarely, that I care.
You know, I mean, like, Batman was the one where it was like.
Mm-hm.>> They announced like, oh, we're going to do and it's going to be, whatever, $40 or $50 for this seasons of pass.
And everybody on the Internet is like, bah!
And I'm like, here you go.
You know what I mean?
I'm love Rock City and I love these Batman games.
And it's like yeah, you're giving me Batgirl and this, that, and the other.
And I'm not going in like, I'm gonna get another eight hours of content out of this.
I'm more like here, thank you for everything you've done.
I want to give you more money because I love this game, and this franchise, and the love you put into it more.
It's weird because maybe then what it is, is it has less to do with the actual
it's like our own inherent value with certain games.
Because I remember in Witcher 3- Who has played the Witcher 3?
[APPLAUSE] So many people played this game.
So many people played this game who probably didn't play the first games or the first game and there was just this massive wave of goodwill coming in.
I was talking to Martial Devinsky in Poland.
They had there whole, yo were going to make all this free DLC and we're just going to give it it people because we get it.
We want to Curry favor with people and not nickel and dime them.
And that was the thing of when I started playing the Witcher 3, I was like, I don't know if I'll get into it.
I got into it, and I loved it, and I'm like man, this is awesome.
I went and I bought the season pass, and I was like, I will never touch this content.
It's the same thing I do with Kings of Amalur Reckoning, right, where it was like.
Your game is so much fun that hopefully I get there, maybe I don't, but either way I want you to benefit from how much I love this.
You know, it's similar to when you're on Twitch and there is the tip jar.
You already [UNKNOWN] it to me.
Well you're doing a great episode today so here's more money.
That's how I look at it and that's how I've gotten away with it.
Now, of course there's horrible examples with EA or all these other people where it's been microtransactions when they first came around were So terrible, you know?
I mean AWOLs\g were awful.
I feel like we've gotten to a pretty balanced point where, like, what it needs is a pre-order bonus.
If you want this one, pre-order at GameStop, if you want this one pre-order at Target.
I can only pre-order at one place, guys.
Help me out.
Can I buy this at day one somewhere else?
You know what I mean?
It's like that.
When was the last time you bought a game at a brick-and-mortar store, Rob?
Brick and mortar store?
Yeah like physical have you ever heard that term before?
Not off hand
Not off Amazon
When was the last time?
Well I got
There ya go
I will be getting Fall Out 4
Because you preordered
You preorder it in a brick and mortar store.
Did you pre-order online?
On Amazon or like in a GameStop?
When was the last time you went into a GameStop and bought something?
I don't know.
Arkham Asylum maybe.
It was a while.
When was the last time you did?
That I bought something at a GameStop?
It would have been when they put the Walking Dead season one on PS3.
Because I was out for someone's wedding.
And I bought it for a friend that I knew-
That I knew would be into-
And I went in there recently because Christine, the girlfriend, decided to get rid of all of her X Box 360.
I saw it, it was crazy.
She brought in this giant bag and they were like, here's $12.00.
It was 30 games?
Why'd she do that?
And then Baggers the Bad Melanie came out the next day.
Well, no she knew about it and she was still like, I don't care.
And I'm like whatever, get them off the bookshelf.
I still have a copy of Madden 2002 that no one will take- I've ben trying to get rid of it.
Just cuz it's taking space.
It's like a fraction of a penny.
So it's like we don't even want this.
Yeah, I have a friend who, in 2009, and the Game Stop I used to work in actually, he went a copy of, I think it was Pro Evolution Six or something.
So, it was like Two seasons, like a season and a half old of tour evolution and he went in, and they scanned it and said one euro.
And he was so embarrassed that he said yes.
[LAUGHTER] It was like the euro of shame.
Never again, like your first check of your business.
Last question, I guess.
We're sort of seeing more of this as like permeating triple a games.
Do you think we're getting to the stage now where there's enough of a lead on people who have grown up playing games with microtransactions that we're kinda just too deep?
They'll always be around and every space for mobile to triple a?
I think so, yeah.
The thing is because so many developers don't like it, but.
Publisher above them is the one that makes that call.
So I don't think it will go away anytime soon.
I mean the fact of the matter is, the reason they exist is because people buy them.
If they were putting these out and no one was taking advantage of the offers, they'd be like this is stupid.
Like online passes, right?
Those have been phased out because they were just dumb.
Did not work, right.
There's some guy, who makes up for you and me and everyone-
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
He's got 10,000 accounts on XBox Live, and he's just like yes, more [UNKNOWN] sorry, mom.
Do a Welsh accent.
Oy, I'm from Wales, guvna!
Clean yer chimney, gut the porridge.
Have you ever done a kind of funny meetup in Britain?
I won't come back, they'll tear me limb from limb.
Do it again now, do the accent now.
Well, Mike and Greg, thank you so much for coming on, talking about MIke's-