Timbone Tonight: Microtransactions (Again)

Tim Benson, Contributing Writer

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Hot off the presses came my last article talking about Middle-Earth: Shadow of War. It hasn’t even been over a month since I wrote my last article and this game cannot, will not, or even attempt to stop having controversy behind it. Look at my previous article about WB Entertainment strangling the life out of the consumer. What has this already infamous game done next to disrupt the very balance of video game industry? Well, Shadow of War creator Bob Roberts did an interview with Eurogamer to discuss loot boxes (aka, the first steps of teaching your children how to gamble with your money). You should read the Bob’s Burger’s article. He sounds more like a chief trying to sell you something he cooked and when you ask him what he think of it he says, “Meh, I wouldn’t eat it”. Don’t believe me? Then read what he said when he was asked if he would buy the microtransactions:

“I personally, probably, will just let the systems feed me the rewards as we’ve balanced them. It’s a weird question as a designer – I want to have the experience I think most people will have so I can relate to what people are saying around balancing. I wouldn’t want to shortcut anything and then have a skewed perspective of what people are saying around balance in case we do need to go in and update anything later.”

So, my biggest question is, then why put them in there!? Why? Just why? If you created a game and want to experience it the proper way then why would you put loot boxes in the game? What is the point of having them if one of the creators of the game won’t even spend his money on something that he helped work on. That is what it comes down to. Him not wanting to spend money on a game that he already bought but don’t you worry, he is going to explain to the rest of the world how YOU should spend your money on it. Like when the interviewer asked him about the situation in general. Good old Bobby Hillbilly respond with

“Yeah, it’s such a charged topic. It’s frankly complicated – you see the debate play out online and forum threads where people argue with each other about it.”

This is where I think Bob Robert is a true used car salesman. He says that it is ‘complicated’. What does that mean? I’m a college educated man with a minor in art and a bachelor degree in psychology at the end of this semester. I might even go to GSU for my masters. So how about Bobcat Mobags-of-cash explain it to me? Because, and to be honest, anyone that says it is ‘too complicated’ doesn’t actually mean it is too complicated. What he is actually saying is, “Please stop asking questions because I don’t know how to respond, and I don’t want you to hate me so shut up and stop asking”. Because, that is what I am hearing when you say something is complicated. Sorry, understanding anti-consumer business practices isn’t the same thing as understanding quantum physics, something I don’t think I can ever understand even if I fed off the blood of innocents for 300 years.

Now, I don’t want to kick a dead horse that has been already kicked repeatedly. However, that is not the only game that is having microtransaction disasters. I am not a fan of sportsball. However, NBA 2k18 decided to jump on the band wagon of trying to collect all of your money in one game. You see, if you want new skins or haircuts that is going to cost you. But don’t worry, if you point it out how 2K is holding a gun to your wallet, they will literally have their PR call you and ask why you don’t like them! Seriously, it happened to a games website. Thesixthaxis.com put out a review of the game and gave it a 3/10. A PR representative reached out to them asking why they did that. Which, by the way, it shouldn’t matter to them because they shouldn’t be allowed to influence their review score because they wanted to change it. Since then, the article was taken down. However, as of 9/26/17, it went back up. According to the website, the PR rep didn’t respond back in time with them so they put it back on their website. I find this a good thing because no game company should be allowed to bully anyone into changing their score. Remember, before you start giving your money to these game companies. Look at them and see if they deserve it. So far, it is a no on WB and 2K. If you want a good game that won’t keep charging you hundreds of dollars just to do anything, then I suggest buying Final Fantasy IX. It just came out as digital download for PS4 at $20.99. The best part about it is when you buy this game that came out in the late 90’s, you get one whole, complete game. No loot boxes, no microtransactions or season passes. Just a classic that isn’t going after every dollar in your bank account.

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Timbone Tonight: Microtransactions (Again)