No One Should Have To Pay For Faster Loading Times

No One Should Have To Pay For Faster Loading Times

I put up with a lot of nonsense as a mobile gamer, from arbitrary timers and energy meters to pay-to-win in-app purchases. Selling faster load times might just be the worst.

Last week Kyle Ward, founder and CEO of developer Step Revolution poked us about his company's game ReRave Plus on Twitter.

There was no love for ReRave or its follow-up because I hadn't been aware of it. I should have been — the original game launched in 2011 and has since gotten a follow-up and been made into arcade machines — but it slipped through the cracks.

The situation was quickly remedied via free iTunes download. I immediately liked what I saw — a large music library featuring tons of free songs from artists I'm not familiar with but in styles I really dig. The rhythm-tapping gameplay ranges from simple to insane, depending on the difficulty chosen. Easy to pick up, difficult to master, that sort of thing.

I chose a song, picked my difficulty and pushed start.

What the hell? Ten seconds of load time, with text indicating I could "Add EXTENDED ACCESS for FAST LOAD."

No. Just no. This is not a thing we do.

I could handle ads. I understand that licensing music for a rhythm game can cost money (though I imagine some more obscure artists give their songs freely for the exposure). I have no problem with some of the songs being premium and requiring spending points with purchased currency to play. Hell, I'd even be fine with having a limited number of plays tied to an energy meter with the option to purchase quick refills — well, I'd hate it, but not as much as this.

What the developers are telling me with this countdown timer and that message is that these songs could load faster, but they don't. They game is intentionally crippled in a completely obnoxious way, pending payment.

I told the developers via Twitter that I felt paying for faster load times was insane.

Yes, it is unreasonable. Having 60 per cent of the game initially unlocked is pretty amazing, and Extended Access — a $19.46 purchase — does give limited access to the entire music library, exclusive content and the "Wild" difficulty level.

But that's not what's being advertised every time I start a song and wait.

Some might say "But it's only ten seconds", to which I say "Then why bother?" If every song simply had a ten second loading screen with a link to the artists' web presence on it, I would simply have taken it for a courtesy to the performer. That would be reasonable. This is not.

What makes this all so frustrating is ReRave Plus is exactly my sort of game.

I'd just rather not feel insulted every time I start a new song.


Comments

    Technically, doesn't everyone?

    By buying new phones & computers & paying for faster internet.

    I'll leave now...

      Hmmm yes, but in those cases the load time is a physical limitation of the hardware/infrastructure you have access to. These developers have inserted load times where there's no computational reason they should exist...

        Is there a computational reason internet speeds are throttled when you go over your data limits?

          In some cases yes. ISPs can only provide a certain amount of bandwidth so if everyone is on a high data limit this will end up causing speed issues for everyone if they are constantly downloading. To limit this they have data caps to encourage people to slow their usage in order to prevent congestion. Beyond that though it's basically a case of paying more gives you greater priority and privilege.

            Like I believe that, they just want more money.

              @rottingscumface you can believe what you want, it wont' change the truth. it's the same reason your mobile phone has a 'fair use policy' and lowlowlowlowlowlowlow data caps.

              Last edited 29/10/15 2:26 pm

        See my question above

          ... and see germinalconsequence's answer above. There's at least some valid justification for limiting Internet speeds, whereas what the developers have done with ReRave is completely arbitrary.

            The only valid justification for data caps for wired internet is either a company is cheap and hasn't put in the proper infrastructure to handle all the customers or they just want to convince heavy users to pay $100+ a month. Both are merely greedy companies.

      As spyder says, that's due to technical limitations. This is the equivalent of your ISP deliberately throttling your connection to a streaming service and then offering you a fast lane service for a premium.

    Great, annoyware has started invading games. Personally if it was on startup I wouldn't mind it but on eevry song turns me right off even looking at the game.

    So what's their next game, maybe an RPG where the persuasion options cost extra? If you need to convince a character to do something you can spend a mere 3 gold coins. The gold coins are bought in packs of 11 for $20 and there's only 4 persuasion options in the entire game so if you want to use them all you'll literally have to waste just on $20 to get the 4th coin and have leftovers you can never use...

    Lol the new low of microtransaction. GIVE US MONEY OR YOU HAVE TO SEE THE LOAD SCREEN 10 SECONDS EACH TIME.

    Y'know, stuff like this, almost makes me want to stop being a gamer.

      Nono. Mobile gamers are not gamers. Please don't degrade yourself to the lowly Mobile players. We gamers are of a higher intellect.

      You don't play candy crush and call yourself a gamer.

        Nono. Mobile gamers are not gamers.

        A gamer is a gamer; the platform matters not.

        Heck, given that the PSP, Vita, and Nintendo's GameBoy and related devices are a form of mobile gaming (just because you can't make calls on the device doesn't make it non-mobile) you're trying to rule out a very large, significant and real demographic.

        Last edited 29/10/15 2:51 pm

          You can't be serious right? A casual mobile phone user that plays candy crush should not be added into the demographic. They do nothing a gamer do except clicking candy crush and taking selfies.

          On the other hand if you do own a real gaming platform like PSP, Vita, GameBoy or whatsoever, they are portable gaming platform that is meant to provide full experience in a smaller form factor.

          Phones had the potential but they decided go down the different path to cater a different demograpic.

            You can't be serious right? A casual mobile phone user that plays candy crush should not be added into the demographic.

            I am serious.

            They do nothing a gamer do except clicking candy crush and taking selfies.

            When playing Candy Crush, the user is a gamer. When taking selfies, the user is asking for trouble depending on the selfie.

            On the other hand if you do own a real gaming platform like PSP, Vita, GameBoy or whatsoever

            So are my iPad (The Room games), my then iPhone (Angry Birds) and my Oppo (Dumb Ways to die).

            This business of segregating games based on the casual games they play is up there with the PC Master Race rhetoric. Detrimental, uncalled for and unneeded.

            And I'm saying this as a gamer that plays a variety of platforms and am still one when I on my phone wondering how to squash that last annoying pig, when I'm on my XBox wondering to go to next in Star Ocean, when I'm on my PS4 yelling at Lara Croft to grab the freaking ledge already, or when I'm on my PC playing whatever I have in my GoG library.

            Games play games, platforms are only a means and those who play on mobile devices (handheld, phone or otherwise) are no different from any other games. They play for enjoyment and entertainment; just because they use a platform you don't consider right does not mean they are non-gamers or lesser than gamers.

            Last edited 29/10/15 3:04 pm

            They're still gaming, though. That's like saying people who play COD or Madden shouldn't be considered gamers because all they do is chug beer, spout crap and say "dude" and "bro" a lot.

            A gamer is one who games. They might not be what we consider "core" gamers i.e. the kind of people who read sites like this, but they're still gamers. If we're going to split up the definition of what a gamer is depending on the game, who is going to be the guardian of what games are or aren't considered to be "gamer"-worthy?

              I see what you are getting at but I will have a kick of the soccer ball now and again but I don't consider myself a sportsman.

                But are you the sort of peron who refuses to call chess a sport? Can only big tough events like boxing & football can only be sports?

            You mean "unless you are 100% like me then you can't dare use the same identifier as me"?

            As an ex Sony Xperia play owner I do beg to differ. Try games like dead space, need for speed, sonic cd and several final fantasy games. Plus still owning a tablet with nvidia Tegra processor. There are many more I could continue on with.

        I don't descriminate. Where-ever people play games, I've likely been there at some point. Not so much Candy Crush, but FF Record Keeper can kill a bit of time, since Fallout Shelter won't load anymore, for some reason.

        It's this currently mentality (that's not isolated to mobile games) for developers to squeeze every damn penny out of the player. It started with DLC, and it's spread out to not only charging people for extra content which (in some cases, and what I think is just wrong) could and should already be on the disc you bought with your hard earned cash. Bloodborne have DLC right. Release a game, a COMPLETE game, and see how the market reacts.

        "Oh shit, people REALLY, REALLY liked this? I guess maybe we should give them some more".

        Not

        "We're gonna budget our development time so that we make a game, then we're gonna use some of that time, which we should of put into the finished game, into extra shit that people will probably buy".

        Look at Arkham Origins. They gave up on fixing bugs for a dodgy game to focus on DLC. Hardly anyone kicked up any fuss. Then they went and released a shoddy PC port, because nothing happened that should of happened the first time.

        I appreciate these "free to play" things need to make money somewhere. What's depressing is I'm sure someone, somewhere, is actually paying for those faster load times. Just like how people still preordered AC: Syndicate after the utter joke that was Unity. Just like people thought the season pass that cost more than half the cost of the Arkham Knight game was a good idea. They already have your money, so why should they care if you don't like the content afterward?

        The whole thing is just... unwise.

        Last edited 29/10/15 4:32 pm

        Shitty teen comedies are still movies.
        Sparkly vampire books are still books
        Reality TV is still TV
        Freemium mobile games are still games.
        Mc Donald's is still food.

        You don't have to like any of them, but saying a thing isn't what it is makes no sense.

    Instead of slaving away to get the load times down to a minimum on the many games I've worked on, all I had to was pay money.

    What the developers are telling me with this countdown timer and that message is that these songs could load faster, but they don’t. They game is intentionally crippled in a completely obnoxious way, pending payment.

    In other news, publisher Everything's an Accessory has come under fire for making the save and load functions of their latest game day one DLC available for free in first purchase copies and $7.99 each for second hand purchases.

    Last edited 29/10/15 2:50 pm

      I can't believe we are at a point where I can't tell if this is a joke or not.

    Basic functionality like load times, save states etc etc should never be charged.

    - Have ads
    - Give out demos
    - Allow full access to the game with some limitation

    .... NEVER gimp the game and ask for cash to make it normal, what a joke.

      NEVER gimp the game and ask for cash to make it normal

      Don't tell that to EA then. Their heads will explode.

        What I find funny is that mobile gaming - an entire sub-segment of gaming - managed to turn evil before EA ever entered the market.

    Mobile gaming can suck a fuck.

      There are some seriously great mobile games. Granted, the good to shit ratio is pretty bad, but there is fun to be had.

        That is no doubt true. But there is something very trashy and vacuous about games that rely on paywalls and micro transactions as the entire basis of the product or business model. You might as well be playing a poker machine.

          Now that I can get behind. Free to play game charges me a dollar to remove ad revenue? Cool. A dollar for an expansion pack? Sure, man. Another dollar for a bunch of dumb costumes and a boss rush mode or something? Have my money.

          I'm all for spending money on free to play games that offer me value. I will support your game out of goodwill and because I feel like you gave me a lot of fun for free. But bullshit paywalls all over the place? Crazy prices (Metal Slug Defense, I am looking directly into your fucking face, mate)? Actually coding the game to run like garbage until I buy?!

          So much nope.

    Allow full access to the game with some limitation

    But that is exactly what they did? You get the game with 60+ songs for free. The only limitation is that without paying the song loading time is slightly extended and the difficulty level "wild" is locked. The extended access is a one time payment that unlocks the game forever (with the exception of additional music dlc). It's not this typical micro payment thing where it's needed to spent money again and again, it's a obe time fee.

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