Death of Dignity: Double Dipping Smothered With Fudge

character pictureThis is an F2P-bashing post, but I’m only reading game news because I capped in LotRO this weekend, and I wanted to play something else tonight. Steam has a Holiday sale on Max Payne 3 right now, so I bought it.

Shockingly, Max Payne is a 35 GB download for a shooter, supposedly offering incredible graphics to go with an involved story. While waiting on that, I decided to patch SWTOR.

Maybe I’ll subscribe to SWTOR. I had issues with SWTOR due to EA pulling LGBT romance and lying about why, and then I had issues with F2P, but I really want to play a good knight or paladin character right now.

Neverwinter didn’t bother with good/evil roleplay. Secret World aligned good with Christianity. So where else can I go?

Three hours later, the 35 GB Max Payne 3 has now finished downloading on Steam before my existing 22 GB SWTOR install can simply patch itself. My new flirtation with SWTOR is going great already.

While waiting for ye olde downloads, I came across a recent Jim Sterling rant about the rampant double dipping and advertising that is all over the XBOX One. Here is an alternative link if that video doesn’t load. So. Watch the video.

I hadn’t realized the extent of this on the XBOX One. The idea of programming young players to find this acceptable is another good point. As I posted in the LotRO forums a few years ago, I feel sorry for young players growing up and thinking that games should be this way.

Jim mentions how game developers lost respect for their players years ago, but what about their own self-respect? What about basic dignity? No, the plan is to suck as much money as possible right now and damn the consequences, which are games with no integrity, franchises that zombify into grabby monetizing and advertising vehicles.

Turbine with LotRO was in the vanguard with that. Based on what I see in forum posts, they aren’t terribly liked by their players. How will the financial consequences pan out for Turbine as a company?

Turbine believes players will keep playing and paying. I kept playing, but I’d already paid for points for Helm’s Deep. Jim predicts a meltdown, a significant correction. This is something I have to hope for, like I said in the Rift forums recently.

How many times will players pay for that extra special mount or a lockbox lottery gimmick before the novelty wears off, and they learn their lesson? A sucker is born every minute. Are there enough minutes to support the entire F2P/double-dipping video game industry?


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5 responses to “Death of Dignity: Double Dipping Smothered With Fudge

  • tsuhelm

    I understand your concerns with possible meltdowns…I am not really that ‘wordly’ with other mmo payment systems, LOTRO/Turbine isn’t that bad in my humble opinion…although with introduction of mithril coins it is obviously a little more pay to win…but does not force you into having to use. Indeed can even be ‘won’ in hobbit presents/loot boxes for free.

    What does shock me is the mainstream gaming f2p indeed I was shocked to find out how many rubbish android games need payments and how successful they all are…even worse, some apps play as if created so that you accidentally ‘spend’! This industry really deserves to be melted down.

    There has to be revenue for these games lets hope the future finds a way for great games to be developed and funded sensibly.

    • Jackie

      I agree Turbine has been surpassed at this point, which makes them not that bad. It’s a reason why I’m back playing: because Neverwinter turned out worse. The thing with LotRO is the way they go about it. The stable panel with two big equal-sized buttons at the bottom, one for store currency and one for silver. This is way out of proportion of how players want to pay. It’s a trick. The store button is also on the right side, where you’d more naturally want to click in my opinion.

      Did the hobbit present daily login gift need a slot machine spinning effect with payment buttons below to get more? No. If I log into Rift, I get a gift, and it has served its purpose without groping me for more. My current new niggle is the game launcher saying “checking product” (or something like that) instead of checking “install”, verifying “game” integrity, etc. Checking product? How can I be immersed in an MMORPG if the game refers to itself as “product” every time I log in? It isn’t good verbiage or vibe.

      • commenter formerly called wumpus

        Thats funny, when I read the LOTRO forums I see a playerbase that just loves Turbine. Try reading the DDO side sometime. My guess on Turbine’s future is that unless they can get Warner to hand them a huge IP they will die when the Middle Earth and D&D licenses run out. I just can’t see yet another fighting game bringing in the money.

        It looks like the real problem are the game companies pathological need to multi-dip and the gamers willingness to spend. DDO proved that a “single-dip” a la carte f2p system wildly improved profits (note that the “five times the subscriptions” number happened after basically leaving the game for dead for a number of months). I can only wonder when someone will bring the following up at one of these companies board meetings:

        We are trying to be the next Zynga (and are using all their best tricks).
        Zynga isn’t making a profit.

        Jim Sterling was ranting more about Xbox1 games, which makes me wonder if PS4 games work the same way. It makes sense to believe that nexgen console players are willing to pay plenty for few games (considering the cost of the console vs. number of games available). The real question is will later nexgen console buyers keep up the tradition?

        I can’t imagine this industry dealing with a large percentage of players used to steam. If the steambox contains the the deals players are used to, I can’t imagine what players (and player’s parents) will think of business as usual on the xbox.

  • Jackie

    @ Wumpus: According to consistent, credible reports on the LotRO community boards, Turbine has gone on a post-Helm’s Deep ban rampage of anyone consistently criticizing the game, regardless of whether it was fair criticism or not. Their forums have been heavily moderated recently. So my perception is not based on the remaining fanboy legion on the official forums, but on the balance of the LotRO Community commentary, the Helm’s Deep beta feedback, the unofficial poll that was done recently:

    (, the Metacritic comments which is mostly the most abysmal thing I’ve seen on there to the point of being unwarranted (, and comments from former players on article commentary. I almost never read the LotRO official forums anymore. I’ve tried to go there a few times in recent weeks and just don’t see much point in posting.

    As far as Jim Sterling, I don’t know about the PS4. I’m trusting Angry Joe to jump on abuse like that since his PS4 conversion, and so far he hasn’t said anything. He did his first review (Killzone I think), and he didn’t mention DLC or anything that I remember.

    Good point about Zynga. Haha. Correction incoming? Hopefully Wildstar and Elder Scrolls will do well with the subscriptions, at least for a year or so.

    • commenter formerly called wumpus

      ouch. I have just been browsing the “latest posts” and “new player” areas. So I checked, and found them to be slightly grumpy. I don’t think anything could make the DDO players happier than being stuck in an Asheron’s Call type situation (no development ever) and get Turbine’s dirty paws off a once-great game. DDO players get disillusioned fast with Turbine and the hatred just grows.

      I’m just a sucker for all things Tolkien.

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