This Week In The Business: What's It Worth To Ya?

Cook, Serve, Delicious (Image: Vertigo Gaming)

"Contrary to assertions, loot boxes are not gambling. They have no real-world value, players always receive something that enhances their experience, and they are entirely optional to purchase." — In response to the US Federal Trade Commission's decision to investigate loot box practices, the Entertainment Software Association insists they are not gambling because unlike gambling, players can't actually win anything of value from them.

QUOTE | "By not taking significant action as an industry and global game developer community to self-regulate how loot boxes are used, we run the very real risk that governments around the world will take that action for us, and perhaps create significantly restrictive laws that could impact any random reward elements in games." — International Game Developers Association director Jen MacLean calls for publishers to stop marketing loot boxes to children and disclose the odds to customers.

QUOTE | "There's a responsibility on everyone, on every manufacturer, to make sure they tow that line. And I think consoles did get it wrong. They saw what was happening in mobile and thought 'we'll have a piece of that', and they didn't actually look at the history of how long mobile has been working in that space to achieve that trust." — Gameloft MD for Northern and Central Europe Antonin Lhuillier explains why the loot box controversy isn't focused on the mobile market that popularised the mechanic.

QUOTE | "We are ending the Nintendo Creators Program (NCP) to make it easier for content creators to make and monetise videos that contain Nintendo game content." — Nintendo explains why it will no longer demand a 30 per cent minimum cut of money from any YouTuber making original content featuring Nintendo's products.

QUOTE | "We understand and respect that there is disappointment with the bag in the Power Armour Edition. We are sorry." — Bethesda apologises for advertising its $US200 ($274) collector's edition of Fallout 76 with a picture of a military-style canvas bag, but shipping it with a cheaper nylon bag instead. The company expressed its contrition by offering players $US5 ($7) worth of virtual currency in the game if they contacted support with proof of their purchase.

QUOTE | "We've finally gotten past that mental barrier of 'cheap $10 [$14] small experiences' and now big 2D indie games are going for as high as $30 [$41] and players don't bat an eye." — Vertigo Gaming's David Galindo (Cook, Serve, Delicious) joins a host of developers to talk about the pros, cons, and future of 2D games.

QUOTE | "They are sweet guys on a very personal level, but they are absolute workaholics. And that tone that was set in that office for a number of years definitely set my own perspective and mindset on what is normal for working and working very hard." — Former Rockstar employee Job Stauffer talks about how studio co-founders Sam and Dan Houser set the tone for the culture, and how that impacted his career and health long after he was gone from the company.

QUOTE | "Lethality, mobility, and situational awareness" — The three traits of US Army soldiers intended to be heightened by a recent $US480 ($656) million contract with Microsoft to develop prototype HoloLens-based headsets for use in training and in the field.

QUOTE | "All great consoles need a great second year, and Nintendo hasn't delivered one for the Switch. Investors thought over five years they could sell maybe 90 million units. But after this year, that's looking pretty much impossible." — William O'Neil & Co Inc. analyst Cornelio Ash is among a number of analysts sceptical about Nintendo's ability to hit its Switch sales targets.

QUOTE | "As one of our company presidents said, 'We run towards risk, not away from risk.' With risk, sometimes you have tremendous success, sometimes not so much. One of our other company presidents one time said, 'When things are going well, don't get caught up in that, and when things are going poorly don't be too sad about that either.'" — Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime talks about the Switch's performance after it sold 5 million units in the first half of a year where it projected 20 million.

STAT | 115 per cent — Nintendo of America's year-over-year jump in US hardware sales for the long Black Friday weekend. The five-day stretch saw the company bring in total revenues of $US250 ($342) million.


Comments

    The ESA is just another puppet front for corporate interest, of course they will argue loot boxes aren't bad....

    Geez, it's like a paid audience member standing up at a bad magic show and saying, "I'll be your volunteer, Mr Magician with whom I have no prior relationship with...."

    "players always receive something that enhances their experience"

    Don't some loot boxes result in duplicate items? And seen as they are digital, you can't use the duplicate so you haven't received anything for your money?

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    I find that loot boxes have little to no push for me to purchase them, the chance to getting exactly what I want is probably much too small.

    The Fortnite model where you buy the skins directly do though. I see the skin I want, I'll buy it. More likely to spend money on the game that way.

    "If we want to continue to exploit vulnerable adults, we need to step back a bit from exploiting vulnerable children!"

    Oh get fucked, already, IGDA. Accept, admit that you're the bad guys, here, and find a different revenue stream that doesn't revolve entirely around abusive psychological manipulation, that doesn't rely on exploiting the vulnerable.

    "There's a responsibility on everyone, on every manufacturer, to make sure they tow that line. And I think consoles did get it wrong. They saw what was happening in mobile and thought 'we'll have a piece of that', and they didn't actually look at the history of how long mobile has been working in that space to achieve that trust." — Gameloft MD for Northern and Central Europe Antonin Lhuillier explains why the loot box controversy isn't focused on the mobile market that popularised the mechanic.

    Also, fuck off on this 'trust' issue as being responsible for resistance in the console space.

    The 'acceptance' of lootboxes on mobile is NOT because the players in the mobile space somehow 'earned' the trust of consumers. It's because the mobile market is a lawless wasteland, untamed and un-policed, where every vile head you chop off is replaced with ten more. You couldn't keep that shit down with a flamethrower. From lootboxes to direct, blatant IP infringment (including outright stolen assets), nothing is sacred in that space. Nothing is enforced.

    It's not an acceptance from gamers that comes from being 'OK' with it because of 'trust'... it comes from being aware that you can't fight it any more than you can fight your own mortality. It's an admission of fucking defeat.

    Gamers are resisting on PC and console because there's actually some measure of influence can be exerted there, because the fucking contagion can be isolated to some degree. It's the only benefit of those walled gardens and it's the last line of defence against that bullshit fucking garbage being literally everywhere we turn.

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