There’s a blog post from Raph Koster making the rounds. It’s worth a read, in my opinion:
Some current game economics
It’s pretty obvious that Koster knows more about game development economics than I do, given that it’s his profession, so I was feeling kind of validated when I read what he has to say about
pay2win Pay4Power and to a lesser extent, loot crates in general.
On the former he says this, which is exactly the point I tried to make recently:
Pretty much every physical sport uses pay to win. You buy a better tennis racket, better sneakers, better racecar, better golf clubs, because you think it will get you an advantage. We just don’t like it in videogames because digital in theory frees us of that unfairness. Though of course, we cheerfully buy Alienware computers and Razer gaming keyboards… ahem.
And what I said (in the comments of Final SWBF2 drama llama post (for now))
For that matter, on PC the person who can afford the rig to run at the best frame rate and has the fastest internet connection has paid to win over the person who has a modest PC and lives somewhere that broadband is still very slow. There’s dozens of ways one player has an advantage over another.
On the loot crate/gacha systems Koster made this point (he’s talking about potential legislation around them):
But we have to be careful there too, because after all games use random loot drops of various sorts all over the place. Any policies, regulations, or laws will have to be careful to draw that line in such a way that they don’t inadvertently ban Diablo or coin-op Tetris — which also features random drops on a small repeated transaction basis, as do most arcade games actually!
And me, once again from the comments, this time comments to SW Battlefront II drama llama, stage 2:
To me, putting in time to unlock new things is just a natural part of gaming, as is dealing with RNG to see if you get what you want. In a lot of ways what drops from a boss battle and a “loot crate” are pretty similar in that you don’t know if you’re going to get something you want/need or something you’re going to crush for components. I mean clearly HOW you get them is different.
Sorry if I sound like I’m tooting my own horn here. I guess I am. But sometimes when you feel alone in a crowd, finding someone with some expertise who shares at least some of your opinions is really gratifying.
By the way, I still play Star Wars Battlefront II every day. Last night I was at something like 29,000 credits so I unlocked Luke Skywalker for 15,000 “just because” though honestly I prefer playing gun-toting characters to the heroes. My only gripe with the game so far is that the servers have been laggy recently, which is a big issue but has nothing to do with Paying4Power or loot crates.