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Multiplayer Microtransactions: "You Should Pay For Good Work"

The concept of "paying for good work" is pretty straightforward, but it wavers in the face of the "get something for nothing" culture in which we now live.

The microtransaction has long since been a sticking point in the video game community, so when it was revealed that the upcoming Uncharted 4: A Thief's End would include multiplayer microtransactions, gamers were a little miffed. But one former Naughty Dog employee has come to the developer's defense.

Eric Monacelli, who worked as Naughty Dog's community strategist and is now with Infinity Ward, told MCV that it's really quite simple:

"If it's good enough content and you want to pay for it, why not pay for it? That's what it comes down to."

Monacelli further challenged the conspiracy theory that studios cut content from a game to sell later as premium DLC, an idea we at PSXE have often said is absurd. Monacelli simply said, "No, often it's not," and he used The Last Of Us as an example:

"A clear-cut example of that is the burst rifle in The Last of Us. A lot of people thought. 'Why are they charging for guns?' We did the research and noticed that a lot of players were having trouble jumping into the game for the first time, so we wanted to give people a weapon that was easily accessible and would give them a bit of a leg-up. There were other weapons if they were a more experienced player that they could buy--it's up to them. If you're already kicking ass, you probably don't need these, but if you want 'em, have 'em. It's just a matter of personal preference."

Monacelli also added that when it comes to downloadable content and microtransactions, the cost should reflect the amount of effort put into the creation of that content:

"For me, the more thought that's put into DLC, the more you should be able to charge for it, because it's one of those things where you're creating another game unto itself. The Last of Us: Left Behind was another game. It's essentially the second Last of Us game, right?

It's work, and you should pay for good work."

No there's an idea.

Related Game(s): Uncharted 3

Tags: uncharted 4 a thiefs end, uncharted 4 microtransactions, uncharted 4 dlc

11/18/2015 11:05:08 AM Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (14 posts)


MRSUCCESS
Wednesday, November 18, 2015 @ 12:11:06 PM
Reply

As far as micro-transactions are concern -- they're never good enough for me and that's why I don't pay for them. If it's unlockable then I may get it but if it's not then I'm not going to pay for it.

It becomes a problem and a turn-off when you have to pay for something in order to accomplish a mission/task.

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xenris
Wednesday, November 18, 2015 @ 12:18:00 PM
Reply

Trusting people who say that content isn't cut from the game when they are the people who make the game is like trusting McDonalds that there food is healthy.

The facts are EA has been caught lying with people finding content on the discs, Capcom as well, and if you look at some DLC objectively and how it fits the overall narrative of the game sometimes you often wonder if they cut it, ME3 Prothean is a great example of this. It has been found out that Destiny and its story was gutted because they weren't happy with the game, yet we got a terrible story up until The Taken king released, and that expansion was almost the price of the Vanilla game.

All I'm saying is that I don't trust anyone on the side of the publisher saying this stuff, when they have been caught lying or it is blatantly obvious that something was cut.

Charging for some DLC or Expansions is fine, but there are a couple of really good Devs on steam that update there games for free, all DLC is free and the games aren't super budget they take just as much time to create the content as any other developer in fact usually longer because the teams are smaller. Killing Floor 2 has a great dev who does this, Witcher 2 more than 3 had oodles of free content.

Anyway Microtransactions are okay but I personally wish they didn't exist in the capacity they do right now.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, November 18, 2015 @ 1:21:38 PM

I absolutely guarantee you that only the publishers are to blame. Developers only want to deliver the best product possible and left to their own devices, not one worth a salt would cut things from a game to charge for later.

And even the publishers wouldn't do it if consumers wouldn't pay for it.

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Bio
Wednesday, November 18, 2015 @ 3:20:16 PM

I agree, Xenris. Publishers' claims that they don't hold back DLC is about as meaningful as their claims that their next game in a franchise is going to be the best one yet. What else are they going to say? "We got mad DLC already on the disc that could and probably should be included in the initial price, but we think y'all are dumb as a box of rocks so we bet you'll pay for it anyway".

Capcom and EA and other developers could be a little smarter about it, though, and actually hold off on putting the DLC on the discs. It's like they don't get that there are people out there who can, do and always will catch them on their bullshit.

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xenris
Wednesday, November 18, 2015 @ 3:42:24 PM

I meant, publishers. However some Devs probably say what the publisher wants in order to keep their job secure.

A lot of big developers like Tim Schaffer and others have explained on kickstarter and ask redits how terrible publishers can be and how big an influence they can have on the final product.

@Bio, yeah I find it interesting that the masses gobble this stuff up. It won't go away until people stop buying it, but there are more uninformed people willing to buy it than not so it will never go away :(

Last edited by xenris on 11/18/2015 3:43:39 PM

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Bio
Wednesday, November 18, 2015 @ 3:50:12 PM

I don't think it's ever going away, Xenris, simply because the target demographic for these types of transactions are tweens armed with their parents' credit card. It's not their money so they don't have to care.

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Axe99
Wednesday, November 18, 2015 @ 3:26:18 PM
Reply

Bah, if the game is unbalanced by design to allow for microtransactions, then in my book it's not good work in the first place.

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Bio
Wednesday, November 18, 2015 @ 3:47:15 PM

Good point. I think most people don't really care about micro transactions when it's cosmetic stuff, or solely for single player stuff. If you want a gold gun, or you want to pay up front to get better weapons to make the single player campaign easier, only a truly grumpy dude would get up in arms about that.

Pay to win micro transactions, however, blow. If you're going to penalize me for not allowing you to nickel and dime me to death, you've created a shitty game, because you've created an unpleasant experience.

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AcHiLLiA
Wednesday, November 18, 2015 @ 3:55:31 PM

Both of u got good points.

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bigrailer19
Wednesday, November 18, 2015 @ 4:32:58 PM
Reply

I think this whole thing has been blown out of proportion. Media, developers, publishers and whoever else are starting to latch on to consumers being frustrated with being charged for something. But it's the type of microtransactions that frustrates consumers. Relating to the gun he mentioned in TLoU. If the game isn't balanced well enough that newcomers can have some success, then other players who are better shouldn't have a gun thrown in their face with a price tag that others are paying for.

Furthermore the type of transaction that is essentially pay to play is ridiculous. If you are going to have weapons that consumers can buy, make sure you can also achieve them by playing the game. If not yes I would argue all day that publishers and developers are holding content back for the sake of releasing it for monetary value later.

I do agree that the price of dlc should relate to the thought behind it. However quantity should be of equal weight. You can put great thought into two hours of extra content but be sure the price represents that as well. I'll never buy Destiny dlc gain because of this. The quality is there, the quantity is not.



Last edited by bigrailer19 on 11/18/2015 4:33:31 PM

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maxpontiac
Wednesday, November 18, 2015 @ 4:46:02 PM
Reply

I have this rule in place called the "One for one" when it comes to games. If I don't think a game will give me an hour of play per one dollar, I will pass on the title until it does.

I feel if a game gives me this value, not only will I jump on it, I have no problem with publishers and/or developers offering DLC and Micro-transactions. I don't have a problem spending money on it either.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, November 18, 2015 @ 6:45:53 PM

Sounds like a good rule to live by. I can't set rules on myself though, I get too excited by certain games :)

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, November 18, 2015 @ 6:44:56 PM
Reply

Good work should be paid for but not overly so. If the total cost of the full game is over $100 it's really getting nuts. And when we are talking multiplayer then we have all kinds of roadblocks like the fact that not everyone's copy supports new stuff if they haven't bought it and every patch that makes it compatible adds more instability.

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tes37
Wednesday, November 18, 2015 @ 6:48:33 PM
Reply

I understand where some developers are coming from on the cut content for money issue. But... they don't seem to understand we were sold some bogus crap at the beginning of the PS3's release. There was some half-baked sh*t sold as full games when they were more about pretty graphics and less substance to gameplay.

I'm tired of developers pretending they didn't bring this backlash upon themselves. Not all of them are guilty but some gave plenty of reason to question their practices.

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