Paying for in-game items?

Discussion in 'General Gaming and Hardware Forum' started by AskWazzup, Oct 1, 2019.

  1. AskWazzup

    AskWazzup Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Aug 21, 2008
    So in the last couple of years i have noticed a lot of talk about in-game stores and the abundance of purchasable in-game items (cosmetic and game mechanics related) being crammed into new games. As i mostly either don't notice them, or just don't buy games that have them, i wonder what kind of person pays money for such virtual accessories. I kind of understand that children (who somehow have access to a credit card) would get hooked to this stuff, but people who have jobs, families?

    Have you, or anyone you know paid money for these in-game items? What would be the motivator/excuse to pay real money for some virtual item? I'm kind of curious about this, because since the first horse armor dlc, it never even came to my mind to spend money on such trivialities, versus just putting all the disposable income into my pc parts, or actual games (which i only buy on steam/gog sales).
     
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  2. Squadcar

    Squadcar I'm spinning

    Jun 1, 2018
    People have done this long before virtual items. Lottery, alcohol, drugs, trading card games, collectible card games, tabletop games with millions of pieces.

    Granted, I find virtual items way worse. Gambling and whatnot has always been a thing but at least with what I mentioned you get to keep what you get. If a card game company goes out of business, you can still use the cards easily. If an online only game goes offline, do you think people will be able to easily run a server to host matches in the future?

    You're paying for very little. It's why I find it sad and funny that people will pay 15 bucks or more for a character skin in a first person shooter.

    I can't say I haven't ever paid into a game's virtual system but it's usually not much and it's never exceed 30 dollars in total, I think Dirty Bomb was the most I ever spent. I spent 25 or 30 to get into the closed beta of Dirty Bomb and it had half of the available characters at that time unlocked with the package as well. Played the game a ton, never spent another dime because it was never a worthwhile purchase and new characters that I wanted when they came out, I could afford with the in game currency because I played enough. I've spent some here and there in other games but usually only on the 5 dollar starter packs or when something was majorly discounted usually around 5 bucks.

    I don't anticipate on spending more than 60 over the lifetime of an online only game that was free. I haven't even gone that far either and I'm glad. I don't want to pay for a game that asks for more money later in microtransactions either. I get they need to make their money but there's a threshold of bullshit I can put up with.

    Anyone else I know that's done this? Yeah, I got a friend who buys the 50 or so dollar pack of cards for Hearthstone for each expansion and they also spent over a grand on League of Legends over the course of about 5 to 6 years. He also plays Magic the Gathering but at least when you open cards there, there is a secondary market and you keep the physical product.
     
  3. AskWazzup

    AskWazzup Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Aug 21, 2008
    Do you feel like you get your money's worth? I really don't play online games anymore, but when i used to play Diablo 2, Wow, TF2 etc. (yeah, it was a long time ago), the main thrill for me was acquiring items via doing tasks and interacting with the game world. If that was too grindy on purpose, i would just feel it not worthwhile to play a game that wastes my time. So i wonder if with these new games the dynamic shifted where most games (where you don't have other alternatives) make the acquisition of some in game content too costly time wise, and bothers you just enough, so that at some point you just pay for it and continue to have fun with the game. Or has it just become acceptable to spend money on items, where it's just like buying another coffee?
     
  4. Squadcar

    Squadcar I'm spinning

    Jun 1, 2018
    I don't really play grindy games so it's more or less just some cosmetic things that are included in the bundle. I don't skip any gameplay by buying something. I have never purchased a playable character with real money either. I try to avoid mostly spending money at all, it's happened over the years but not much.
     
  5. Risewild

    Risewild Venerable Relic of the Wastes
    Modder Orderite

    Jun 14, 2014
    I know one person who paid for Star Citizen's shop only spaceships. Does that count?
     
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  6. AskWazzup

    AskWazzup Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Aug 21, 2008
    What do you mean by "shop only"?

    P.S Can't believe this game is still in development :confused:.
     
  7. Risewild

    Risewild Venerable Relic of the Wastes
    Modder Orderite

    Jun 14, 2014
    They are ships that you have to buy with real money (and a lot of it, they can go from under $100 to over $400) before they even exist in the game. Or something stupid like that.
    I'm not into that game, so I don't keep myself informed, I was just surprised when my friend told me he bought some.
     
  8. Proletären

    Proletären Mildly Dipped

    558
    Mar 15, 2012
    I would never do such a thing. However for games such as Path of Exile that's one of the few ways to support the developers since the game is free. Now I don't play Path of Exile but if I did I might consider giving the developers some money. But all in all I would prefer that you pay for and receive a product rather than "play-for-free" and buying cosmetics.
     
  9. Hulk'O'Saurus

    Hulk'O'Saurus Still Mildly Glowing

    208
    Jul 10, 2018
    No more cash than what the game's worth.

    In the case of Warframe, which I've played for quite a while, I only ever shopped on sale - you can get 75 % off coupons if you're patient enough. Buying more than that with money will hurt your gameplay experience.

    Although, for all the buzz about taking the side of the consumer, I have to say that recently their prices have changed to somewhat resemble the triple A market more. The community IS taking notice.
     
  10. Korin

    Korin Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!
    Admin

    Aug 6, 2010
    This is the future we find ourselves in. A combination of capitalism and market demand (people willing to pay) coupled with the technology to make it possible. I haven't historically been into cosmetic items but if I really like the game I'll probably buy a DLC if it's adding new story/gameplay. I think Fallout 76 is the only game I've played where I've actually "bought" cosmetics but I've largely only used the free in-game currency to do this. I've probably only spent about $20 total at this point but I'm likely to spend more.

    I think we'd be the most likely candidates because we're adults with money who probably don't have time to play a lot of different games and may consider the one or two games we're really into to be a kind of escapist fantasy worth spending money on. Definitely as I've gotten older I'm putting less money into building a PC or buying new games (because I don't have the time or energy to learn and try a bunch of new games). I play mostly console games now because I don't want the hassle of messing with PC settings or either always having to upgrade or deal with some game specific bug involving Nvidia drivers or something. I think it depends on the game and the person. I play Fallout 76 a fair amount and I really like the C.A.M.P. system, so if there's something really cool there that I'll use a lot I'll be more inclined to get it. People that have an exorbitant amount of money or live in a disproportionately high income area (like Alberta, Canada) may think paying $10 for a cosmetic is no different than buying a coffee.
     
  11. Chromevod

    Chromevod Nope.

    639
    May 25, 2011
    Rarely, and now that I think on it pretty much only in Warframe and Elite Dangerous. It's not a constant deluge of spending, and these days mostly in Warframe because I have all the cosmetics I want in Elite. As for Warframe, on a guess I'd say I spend ten dollars on it once every few months. Usually when I get a good coupon from a daily log in reward, but not always. These days I spend more money on 40k models than in-game items.

    I did work with someone who guessed he'd spent somewhere in the ballpark of $3000 on LoL though, and I just have to say that's way too much.
     
  12. Richwizard

    Richwizard So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs
    Orderite

    Jan 18, 2010
    Games continue to cost more to develop. But, the purchase price of games hasn't gone up in 20 years. All the game publishers seem to have a mortal dread of raising the price of games to compensate. I think they see providing extra, in game purchases is a way for them to make up the difference.
     
  13. RetrospectiveGaming

    RetrospectiveGaming First time out of the vault

    12
    Oct 24, 2016
    Anyone want some horse armor? ..seriously the only i time I paid for in game stuff was Path of Exile ... I got so much out of it for free and its not pay to win..I wanted to support them with a lil bit of cash
     
  14. Risewild

    Risewild Venerable Relic of the Wastes
    Modder Orderite

    Jun 14, 2014
    This isn't really true these days though (at least on PC).
    Game companies do not have to pay for their games to be placed on disks now. They develop the product once and they have infinite copies for sale without the need for physical mediums. They can also release patches automatically, instead of having to pay for a new version of their games to be burned on disks and sold that way.

    They also reach millions of consumers now using their digital platforms, instead of having to have physical copies made for different languages and then only having a limited amount of copies for sale. They also don't need physical stock in some warehouse, that is dead money until (if) they can sell it all. Also no need to rent or own warehouses for the physical games. No need to make contracts with different countries distribution and no money costs of hiring delivery companies to transport thousands of physical copies around the globe in ships, trucks, trains, planes, etc.
    There is also the thing about not having to pay to print manuals and game covers.

    And let's not forget that many (if not most) game companies, besides indies, get their game paid by their publisher or "owner company". The publisher finances the game in part of fully. And then covers those costs with sales money. There is also merchandise, most large IPs have tons of merchandise that rivals Disney IPs these days.

    And another point is that also most games these days have several versions, and only the "basic" version costs the $60. Some versions can cost $100+. There is also the Season Passes.

    DLCs also increase the revenue for game companies. A great DLC meme is Paradox games, like Crusader Kings 2. If you buy Crusader Kings 2 with all the DLCs, you have to pay hundreds of dollars. They now made that game "free to play" on Steam, but they are still selling the DLCs because they get tons of money from those:


    Also, new games are pretty impossible to sell after you bought them. So there is no second hand market anymore, which means that if someone wants a "newer" game, their only option is to buy a new copy, which also increases the sales.

    This is why game companies still sell their games and make record profits almost every year:
    As we can see in that graph, the companies more known for lootboxes and pay ingame items (EA and Activision) earn less than Sony, Microsoft, etc. Which are not known for using lootboxes. So if those companies still manage to make record profits without lootboxes and ingame sales, this pretty much shows that selling games for $60 is still profitable by a lot. :deal:
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2019
  15. Squadcar

    Squadcar I'm spinning

    Jun 1, 2018
    What's the asterisk in that graph for Rise? Don't see any explanation for it on there.

    Also, you can't forget that some storefronts for PC cut out a lot of costs and hassle for selling games by taking their 30% cut. I don't know the math of it all but I'm certain that if companies tried to digitally distribute their own games and not go through venues like Steam or GOG, they'd be paying a decent amount still to distribute the game albeit not as much as physical distribution. Whether that's through hosting the files themselves or using other services they'd have to pay for and then get people to buy the game through them or their own site.

    Like who is paying for the data being transmitted on a Steam game? The dev/publisher or Valve? Valve has set up a lot for their storefront over the years. If you're selling millions of copies of digital games, I'm sure going through Steam is a lot cheaper than doing it yourself on top of letting them worry about distributing it and issues that may arise. Also, they have all these features and the bigger userbase which also helps. Steam isn't the best in my opinion, as they have messed up a bit. But they've done some things right for sure.

    Another reason games are increasing in price to make is because of graphical fidelity which I see as a second thought. We have decent graphical fidelity now. Do something unique with it instead of going realistic and over the top with physics. No, I don't give a shit about individual strands of hair being simulated with the wind while I'm playing a game. But people like their über realistic visuals. I get not wanting it to be immersion breaking but I don't get the idea that we should sacrifice other innovations and style for it.
     
  16. Risewild

    Risewild Venerable Relic of the Wastes
    Modder Orderite

    Jun 14, 2014
    Crap, I used the image from an article, thinking it was the same as the one on the report. I went back to the report and got the full image, so it's fixed now (although I had/have the link to that report there so people can check it out if anyone wants to).
     
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