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Battlefront 2 Day 1 Accomplishments

Battlefront 2 came out today for those of us who paid $79.99 for the Elite Trooper Deluxe Edition. Graev asked me if I thought it was worth $20 for a 3 day headstart and a few in-game upgrades. When he put it like that, I’m not sure if it is or not, but heck I’m all in.

Tuesdays are a bad day for me to really game a lot. My wife and I both work from home, so it’s tough to coordinate who gets to use the main room for games when we’re both in the middle of working. That said, I was still able to get in 3 hours of play.

So, now we get to the highly dramatized and exaggerated terribleness of being able to do nothing in-game without either spending tons of money, or tons of time to unlock stuff, right?. Not exactly.

Let’s look at what I was able to do today in 3 hours.

  • Earn 13,000 credits (not counting my 3,000 they gave me for pre-ordering or buying this overpriced edition).
  • Buy two trooper crates with 8,000 credits (yielded lots of hero items, but I was hoping more for trooper items)
  • Chose NOT to unlock Darth Vader (though I did kill Vader several times with various classes using various weapons — Heavies shred, btw)
  • Collected 300 crafting parts and decided to save them until I decide on a class to really spend them on
  • Earned between 250 and 500 credits per Galactic Assault — the maps I did poorly on I could definitely feel, despite some people saying you can afk and earn the same amount of credits. This warrants more testing to ensure it wasn’t a fluke

Earning in-game credits seems fairly easy. There’s an arcade mode you can play which is a single-player thing where you do challenges and set scores for yourself. I played two of them for the Light Side and earned some minor rewards. I think if you min/max these you can do like 4 or 5 a day and maybe even earn enough to get a crate from them every day. In hindsight, I should have maxed out today.

You can also do achievement things (which I think are actually called Challenges) to earn more credits. Some even give you a crate. I think they’re worth paying attention to AFTER you’ve played 10 or so maps. You’ll find most unlock naturally.

I had a lot of fun playing the objective with a squad. I played entirely with randoms (my friends are busy buying loot crates in Overwatch) and we did okay. I think I’d like voice chat in-game. That would help organize, but you can stick with your squad anyway and earn double the “battle points” which means you can access neat things during battles.

I will be recording videos to show you guys a perspective on Battlefront 2 you won’t see much elsewhere — that of someone who enjoys the game and can utilize the crate system by playing the game, and not spending any money.

If anyone wants to get together and play, I’d love a squadmate.

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  • SynCaine says:

    “My friends are busy buying loot crates in Overwatch”; You don’t understand why your friends who spend money on fluff boxes in a game that takes about 600 hours to unlock all the fluff (and doesn’t sell power) aren’t jumping at the chance to pay $80 for a EA game to then also grind 4528 hours (or pay $2100 more) to fully unlock all the power items in a competitive multiplayer shooter?

    • Keen says:

      I can’t find where I said that.

      • Coppertopper says:

        3rd to last paragraph! But hey let the whales enjoy their month of exponentially decreasing advantage. I am enjoying it because its just such an amazing cinematic experience. Not a fun shooter on the Battlefield level (bullet physics really make a skill difference) but fun nonetheless. And for once an FPS with a flying mechanic that actually lets me feel somewhat in control instead of just fodder for aces.

      • Keen says:

        You mean where I said, “My friends are busy buying loot crates in Overwatch.” That has nothing to do with why they aren’t playing the game. Those friends and I were talking last night about why they find Overwatch more fun than Battlefront, and we had a very civil and friendly conversation about the two games and why we dislike them. We also discussed why we can’t understand people’s hostility toward other people who find one game fun over another. My jab at friends on Discord was an inside jab, and they’re free to comment.

        It’s so sad what this stuff does to people.

      • Yotor says:

        /Hugs Keen I know what you meant.

      • Asmiroth says:

        Here ya go:

        “I had a lot of fun playing the objective with a squad. I played entirely with randoms (my friends are busy buying loot crates in Overwatch) and we did okay. ”

        There’s a reddit post that goes into a bit of context on how progression works : https://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comments/7cwosa/battlefront_2_progressions_clarificationshandson/

        The point is, by giving EA money on the base game, you’re rewarding them for the microtransaction model. The only reason there are whales in the first place is so that they can impress people like you. Even if you don’t buy a single box, you’ve already given EA money. And you pre-ordered, which is just insane. You’re just as complicit in this as they are.

        But hey, if you have no issues with the MTX model at all, regardless if you buy them, then it’s a moot point. That doesn’t appear to be the case though…

      • Shutter says:

        So, first, as someone who’s worked at EA on this post-launch analysis stuff. They can tell how much money is coming from game sales and how much is coming from MTX, you don’t have to boycott an EA title to show that you don’t like the MTX model (if that’s your goal).

        Second, and more generally, I know everyone likes to rag on MTX, but does anyone really want to have games cost the $120 or so that it would require to justify making games at this quality level where everything is included in the up-front price? I know I only casually play like 60-70% of all the games I buy, I don’t really need to pay for whale-volume content for all of them just because 10% of players are hardcore completionists.

      • Keen says:

        You’re making too much sense. At least you can’t be downvoted on this blog. 😉

      • Yotor says:

        Burn the Witch!

      • SynCaine says:

        There is a rich layer of irony in an EA person that worked on post-launch analysis not actually understanding how the lootbox model works. Keen is right, you are damn lucky you posted this here and not on reddit, or we would have another record on our hands.

      • Coppertopper says:

        Oh yes Reddit – bastion of reason!

      • Drathmar says:

        Thank you for putting it so well. People don’t like to think about the fact that we are paying the same price, if not less, now than we were in the 90’s for video games. And that isn’t adjusting the prices of 90’s games for inflation.

        Just type in “how much did SNES games cost at release” and you will see they were between $50 and $70. For an NES game in the 90’s. That’s insane. And then people complain because companies.

        Whether that is through DLC, MTX, or however else, they need to do something to increase profit. Because even if ,as someone said in another thread, the cost to produce them hasn’t gone up significantly, the cost of marketing and publishing them has.

        So, yes, lets get rid of all the DLC, MTX that don’t affect you, bitch about whales, and say down with the evil corporations. Just realize if you succeed you will be paying between $115-$130 for a new game instead.

      • Danath says:

        Remember audiences are now in the millions instead of tens or hundreds of thousands. Also remember there are now price tiered editions. Also remember that the game ISNT $60 anymore for alot of people. Here it’s 80+ dollars for most triple A games for just the base edition.

        Also the marketing/publishing costs… that’s a lesson in proper budgeting. Marketing won’t help sell a bad game, and some games budgets are horribly inflated due to marketing costs. Look at successes that had almost no marketing (nier automata) and you realize… it made money cause it’s good. Look at a game that failed with a huge marketing push (dead space 3) because they screwed up the game rather than focusing on the core experience. Dumping marketing dollars in niche games hoping for huge hits is the industries problem, not the consumers.

      • Drathmar says:

        So, I ended up taking a few minutes to educate myself before responding. I mentioned earlier someone else had said something about the cost produce games not going up significantly since the 1990s. After doing my own research for even a few minutes, I found this is blatantly untrue.

        Sure games reach audiences of millions now, but development costs have increased significantly as well (for AAA titles). Each generation has seen an increase, with the latest generation being the biggest. For a PS1 game the average development cost was under $1, for the PS2/XboX it was between $1-2 million, for the PS3/XboX360 it increased to at least $10 on the low end. Some games at the end of that cycle had much higher development costs.

        Because development costs have because a closely guarded secret now, I couldn’t find exact numbers like for some older consoles. However the budget for the original destiny was estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars and from my research about half of that is development cost alone.

        If you look it up you will also see that most articles by reputable sources and non random forums and fan run pages are that the retail price of video games has gone down, significantly, in the last 20 years.

        And if you think marketing is a waste… well. Lets look at two games that came out at similar times by the same company. Neir Automata and FF XV. Which one had more marketing? FF XV. How many copies have been sold of each? As of September 2 million for Neir, while FF XV sold over 6 million by January of 2017 which was only 2 months after release. So in 7 months the less marketed game solder more poorly than the better marketed game did in 2 months. So marketing matters.

        I mean, you can keep lying to yourself about this all you want. But if you actually look into it and stop taking things fans say at face value, you will realize that the reason for DLC and MTX are not companies trying to gouge us out of money. It’s simply them trying to make up the cost because the retail price of video games now is much cheaper than it ever has been (after adjusting for inflation) and despite reaching more people the costs have increased exponentially with each console generation and outpaces the increase in audience.

        Now, I don’t like the way some companies do DLC (day 1 DLC is ugh, and Pay 2 Win MTX are bad) but I understand why they are done and would much rather have these models, where whales are basically paying for me only having to pay $60 for a game, than having to pay $110, $120, or $130 for a game.

      • Danath says:

        Not gonna be rude but I’m going to ignore your few minutes of research there. A rise in development costs does not matter, and I never said they stayed the same. I also pointed out games that did have huge marketing and failed. Marketing only does so much and have become huge portions of a budget. There’s a reason automata with 2 mill sales was a smash success and tome raider was considered a failure.

        It is not the consumers job to keep the company alive. It also doesn’t help that this Bulls hit is new, and these publishers made money before they existed. And only make larger margins now.

        You can stay in your echo chamber all you want, but if a game has to be priced at 100 to be profitable, the company deserves to go under. I’ll take that over manipulative f2p actions inside a full priced game and virtual gambling for younger people.

      • Drathmar says:

        Please, ignore research (even if a short times worth) and then spout opinions without any facts backing it up. Not sure why I am responding when that there shows you have no interest in discussion or truth but just want to force your opinion on others instead of discussing.

        Either way, going to your point about games with huge marketing that fail. Of course, lots of games fail, marketing or not. However, lets take tomb raider (assume you mean the recent one rise of the tomb raider not the successful 2013 one).

        It sold ~350,000 in the first week. I can’t find solid data but I am fairly sure that would have been considered successful if it sold in the 90s at the $60 games were then. Maybe not though. This part is just opinion.

        However, over it’s lifetime since release it has sold 1.89 million copies. More than the NES version of Final Fantasy I. Both sell at release for $50-60 and price drops since (though of course as a classic FF I is worth a lot now).

        So, why is Tomb Raider, which has more total units sold, considered a failure while FF I is considered successful in its time. Because if we do inflation backwards then it was only being sold for around $30 while costing (after inflation) more than 5x as much to develop. So games NEED to sell better now to be successful.

        You talk about me being in an echo chamber, but you consistently ignore WHY we have DLC and MTX in games. It’s not solely to gouge people like you seem to think. It’s to help make games profitable without increasing the up front price. This is mostly for AAA games as yes you can make independent games for much cheaper but they aren’t of the same quality, at least graphics wise. And graphics seem to be the main thing that separate AAA games from other games and also the biggest reason for cost increases in game development.

        So yes people can make independent games for much less and so sell for less and without DLC to make profit. And yes some of the companies are going crazy with the MTX thing and adding too much. But consistently living in a world were you ignore the reason why they are a thing or simply think it’s to gouge you out of money (it’s not) is highly ignorant and close-minded.

      • Danath says:

        Already know why they are in games.

        They are not necessary. The goal of the company is to maximize profit and the people who pay more for MTX outweigh the customers lost to it. They learned from the mobile and f2P market, but many of those games are justified by not having any upfront box cost.

        Adam below answers in a reasonable fashion about how costs and expectations need to be managed, but companies are not doing that. I’ve been following these arguments for years before they became popular, and it’s only now that people are calling shenanigans that it’s happening in such a big exploitative way. You can keep your few minutes of research if you wish without knowing the wider industry as a whole.

        Tomb Raider (not rise of the tomb raider) sold 3.4 million copies and was considered a failure, I had to bother going to look that up since you couldn’t.

        The difference is the size of the market, not the costs involved in production. It’s absolute not about need to sell better, games can sell under a million and be wildly successful… because they were budgeted appropriately for their dev and marketing costs. I’m not going to go over every game released by a smaller company that was wildly successful with smaller numbers that became smash hits without super HD expensive graphics and gigantic marketing pushes, because im sure you can research that just fine.

        Costs go up, market breadth goes up, higher sales are desired, but if your sales expectations are wildly out of line with reality, you end up being unable to produce the content at a reasonable cost for a reasonable price. Then you go out of business. Exploiting gambling and loot boxes to squeeze more money is a very LOW cost way to massively boost profits. Look up EA financials, their revenues are hitting record levels.

        This is economics. As for research? Again, look up every notable youtuber who’s done significant research regarding the market and who’s done analysis. They typically have industry insiders and other contacts that gives them a far better breadth of knowledge than any joe blow such as myself.

        Anything else is largely conjecture because the big companies obscure the real costs by hiding it by rolling in other costs into expenditures. You’ll never find proper information regarding a games development costs, only what their public releases stating their earnings/sales expectations were for a title and whether it was met.

      • adam says:

        “but does anyone really want to have games cost the $120 or so that it would require to justify making games at this quality level where everything is included in the up-front price?”

        This isn’t how the video game market works, at all.

        If it costs more to create something than you can sell it for, the solution is to lower costs or raise the price. If you can’t raise the price, then you lower costs. EA does not want or know how to lower costs, so instead they surreptitiously increase the cost by including a predatory progression system in which you are compelled to spend more money on the game beyond the initial purchase price. These systems have become more and more aggressive over time.

        People like Keen see fit to support this model, because evidently they want more of it. It’s not “dramatic” or “exaggerated” to refuse to support it, no matter what he or anyone else thinks.

        And the implication that EA wouldn’t make a healthy profit without charging people for in-game advantages is ridiculous. There’s no evidence whatsoever that they would need to charge double the base price to be profitable, especially if they instead included a cosmetic-only loot box/cash shop.

      • Keen says:

        I wonder if you shop at Walmart, own an iPhone, or do anything because it’s cheaper, fun, convenient, or you otherwise enjoy it in some way, where there’s a background issue that you don’t support (child labor, destruction of small business, etc).

        If not, kudos. If so, then people like you are being awfully hypocritical trying to strawman people like me.

      • adam says:

        We all benefit from stuff made at someone else’s expense. That’s not the point being made. It’s practically unavoidable.

        The point is that you seem to think you’re not being hypocritical, or at least that you think supporting this model comes without any responsibility for the consequences. If you are willing to admit that you are directly *supporting* EA’s loot box economy, despite saying that you don’t *like* loot boxes, then at least I can accept that you are taking some responsibility for your purchase.

        And, for the record, there’s a difference between vaguely aware there might be exploitation somewhere in a resource chain and and being completely aware of it and buying the product anyway. We’re all hypocrites to some degree or another, and I don’t remotely think you’re a bad person or anything for buying BFII. I just take issue with your cavalier attitude toward EA’s exploitative business model and dismissal of those who refuse to support it.

      • Keen says:

        “The point is that you seem to think you’re not being hypocritical, or at least that you think supporting this model comes without any responsibility for the consequences. ”

        No, I never said that. That would be delusional. I’m sure that by purchasing the game it financially supports EA and that may drive them to make more games like it.

        My actions may indirectly support an action someone else chooses to take, but that doesn’t mean I support their actions.

        I buy an iPhone, but I don’t like or support outsourcing labor to people who are paid pennies.

        I shop at Walmart, but that doesn’t mean I like or want small business destroyed.

        I eat at In-n-Out, but that doesn’t mean I like how cows are killed to create the patties.

        I play Battlefront 2, but that doesn’t mean I like or support Loot Crates.

      • adam says:

        These two statements you made are at odds:

        “I’m sure that by purchasing the game it financially supports EA and that may drive them to make more games like it.”

        and

        “I play Battlefront 2, but that doesn’t mean I like or support Loot Crates.”

        Even if you don’t buy any loot crates, you are telling EA you don’t mind their inclusion. What other message could they glean from your purchase? Let’s even assume EA is watching closely to see how many people pay for the base game and nothing else. That is not a message that you don’t like loot crates. That is a message that they aren’t doing enough to convince you to buy them. Even putting that aside, your very presence in the game incentivizes others to spend money on loot crates, thus supporting the very thing you claim not to support.

        You cannot support a game with loot boxes without, directly or indirectly, supporting the loot boxes themselves.

        You can equivocate on the moral implications of whether or not you are responsible for what EA does or what others do, but the material facts remain exactly the same: you are supporting EA’s business model, and EA’s business model is designed around loot boxes which confer in-game advantages in exchange for real money. That is what you are supporting. There’s no way to get around it. If there were, I’d have bought the game myself, because it’s a lot of fun.

      • Keen says:

        “Even if you don’t buy any loot crates, you are telling EA you don’t mind their inclusion. What other message could they glean from your purchase?”

        By purchasing the game and not buying lootcrates, my statement is clear: I like the game, but I don’t like buying lootcrates.

        “You cannot support a game with loot boxes without, directly or indirectly, supporting the loot boxes themselves.”

        Indirectly? Sure. Directly? No.

        I’m totally fine if my purchase of Battlefront 2 portrays an indirect support of lootcrates. Just like I’m totally fine with shopping at Walmart and knowing that I don’t directly support the destruction of small business.

      • adam says:

        “By purchasing the game and not buying lootcrates, my statement is clear: I like the game, but I don’t like buying lootcrates.”

        We’ll probably just have to disagree about how EA will interpret this behavior. I’ve had enough experience working with marketers and data analysts to have a sense of how they think.

        Your support is still support. As long as you recognize that you may be encouraging them to keep doing it, I guess there’s not much else to say.

      • Keen says:

        Agreeing to disagree works for me. As a marketing professional and data analyst myself, there are a lot of variables taken into consideration. Appreciate your input.

  • SynCaine says:

    “We also discussed why we can’t understand people’s hostility toward other people who find one game fun over another.”

    Are you seriously confused why gamers might take issue with someone supporting a P4P lockbox game from EA? Like you really don’t understand why that EA comment got downvoted?

    This is “Keen trailblazes Landmark” all over again, where in a few months you are going to do a 180 on this but then repeat the cycle again anyway.

    • Keen says:

      I enjoy Star Wars Battlefront 2 in spite of the loot crates. Crucify me.

      I find it hypocritical and ironic that people will fixate on EA and SWBF2 while supporting F2P, shallow, and gameplay ruining loot boxes but have no issue because the initial game was “free.” Crucify me.

      I enjoyed Landmark, was excited about it, and have been (and will always be) a fan of the series. The developers messed it up post-launch, failed to keep their promises, and shut it down. That changd my perspective. Crucify me.

      • SynCaine says:

        1: That’s fine, just don’t later post about how you don’t support P4P loot crates when you do, that’s all. You also give up the right to complain when game X is ruined by that model, since you are part of the reason it exists in the first place.

        2: Got an example of this?

        3: Which is exactly why you were mocked for throwing $150 at SOE for Landmark, because most people knew it wasn’t going to deliver, and it didn’t. It wasn’t exactly a hard-to-see secret that the $150 offer was to fleece ‘loyal fans’, and you fell directly into that despite people warning you.

      • Keen says:

        1. We have a difference of opinion here. I clearly can’t change your mind, but I’ll state it for the record. I do not like loot boxes — cosmetic or p2w — in F2P or P2P games. However, I still play games that utilize these loot boxes and enjoy those games for as long as I can without buying them. In SWBF2 I can unlock all star cards level 4 for the classes I enjoy playing in a very reasonable amount of time without ever spending any money on crates. That works for me.

        2. Every person who bought Assassin’s Creed Origins, Call of Duty, Battlefield One, or any number of games that are P2P but have crates and didn’t utter a peep about them but boycotted SWBF2. Every person who plays F2P games where the MTX are directly responsible for the game being shallow without purchasing items — and especially those who then purchase those items in grand excess of any price that game may have cost were in P2P.

        3. It was early access, and it was a risk. I definitely learned my lesson about early access games, and have since been very clear of my disapproval of the model. Still, and relevant to this discussion, I occasionally dabble in an early access game if I have sufficient reason to believe it’s fun. If it empowers you to bring up Landmark, believe that it somehow validates your argument in this circumstance, then I guess more power to you.

      • SynCaine says:

        1: Your word say you don’t like P4P lockboxe games, your actions say the opposite. We both know which one has more weight at the end of the day.

        2: I was hoping for something specific here, like “I know this guy Keen, says he doesn’t like lockboxes, yet here is a post where he supports them”, rather than generic “every person” stuff.

        3: Landmark is an example of you doing something that you would in a different situation argue against (getting fooled by a shady company offer). Today we have an example of you supporting P4P lootboxes from a shady company when in a different situation you would argue not to support such a practice. Bringing up Landmark was simply to show this isn’t the first time you do something like this, that’s all.

      • Keen says:

        I don’t think we need to keep going back and forth. I’ll let my actions of never buying a loot box, cosmetic or otherwise, in a F2P or P2P game, speak for itself. I’m getting all the loot crates I need by playing the game and using the in-game currency.

        I’ll keep buying games (risks or not) if I feel there’s a valid justification for fun. Some will burn me like Landmark, and others won’t. That’s just par for the course I choose to play.

        I appreciate and understand how you’ve come to form your opinion, though I completely disagree. Despite the appearance of a heated exchange here, I value your comments. Hopefully you have something fun to play that checks the boxes that matter to you. I think that’s all that matters for any of us.

      • SynCaine says:

        It’s a conversation about videogames on a gaming blog, if anyone takes this as heated or “Yea now I wish death on that Keen guy”, they don’t understand blogging. All good you lockbox supporting EA sheep!

      • adam says:

        “I do not like loot boxes”

        And yet you happily spent $80 on a game that is designed around convincing you to spend money on them for in-game advantage, not only supporting that proposition in theory if not in fact, but also directly encouraging those who *do* spend money on them by occasionally positioning yourself in front of their virtual blasters.

        “Every person who bought Assassin’s Creed Origins, Call of Duty, Battlefield One, or any number of games that are P2P but have crates and didn’t utter a peep about them but boycotted SWBF2”

        AC:O is a single-player game. BF1 doesn’t confer in-game advantages in exchange for cash. Thus, neither of them is comparable to what SWBFII is doing. (I have no idea what CoD’s model is because it’s a garbage game.)

  • Danath says:

    The whole “if we didn’t have microtransactions the game would cost $100+ dollars!” is such total bunk, it’s been disproven multiple times. The companies make money hand over fist, and when you look at something shitty like Mass Effect 2 multiplayer where one person spent 15 THOUSAND dollars on it, you see the real purpose. It skims money from regular paying consumers andfor those few whales it makes money like crazy, how many copies do they have to sell to make up that single person unloading on DLC direct to their in game store?

    People also quote rising development costs but guess what… thats not our problem. Theres a reason people can point to games like hellblade,even original lol and others as games that actually you know.. managed their budget instead of throwing more money and advertising at a problem and then bemoaning when that doesn’t fix it.

    Look at Visceral and the dead space 1/2/3 debacle for how poorly managed funds, expectations and marketing can absolutely fail. The stuff you got is also irrelevent, the actual point of literally everyone else is that they structured it in a way that spending money directly equates to an increase in power, thus a pay to win microtransaction model. The fact that you could achieve some things yourself using the games initial offerings.

    I have no interest in this game myself, but I keep an eye on the model companies use and the excuses they try to give to justify it. Also, curious as I don’t play, where did the 13,000 credits come from? just matches? If they were one time or weekly or some other reward then the actual credits you got for initially playing the game is moot.

    • Drathmar says:

      Please point me to a place where this has been debunked. Every single article I have found has been about how games now cost significantly less than they did 20 years ago when accounting for inflation. A $60 game today is equivalent to paying $30 for a game in the 90’s.

      Now, sure, you can have successful games with low budgets. But if by original lol you mean League of Legends, that is a horrible example. That is actually an example of a game where the whales are paying for everyone else and have been since I started playing back in 2010.

      the guy spending $15,000 on ME2 multiplayer. Well, another example of proving my point that the whales are paying for the low cost the rest of us pay in these games. Especially as ME2 was a great game on it’s own without the multiplayer.

      • Danath says:

        Why do you think they are in there? To get whales. Lol made a good game with f2p entry and all purchases has no impact on player power and are totally cosmetic. At least at the time I stopped, if that’s changed I can’t comment in that since. I never said costs were the same, only that there is overspending and you can see that in polished indie content or games that are amazing but had much lower marketing pushes.

  • Gankatron says:

    I guess these arguments can get unnecessarily aggressive.

    Nonetheless, a few points and questions…

    1) At what point have we agreed that $120 must be the current box price for a MMOFPS?

    I am not a game developer nor economist, but there seem to be many indie games released at below the $60 P2P level that are considered successful, at least by gamer reviews.

    2) I don’t understand why you financially and philosophically support B2P games that use MTX (note the difference between intrinsically supporting MTX versus supporting B2P games that incorporate MTX), but are adamantly against F2P ones that do.

    It seems that MTX done without overt P2W options are not a problem regardless of whether the game is F2P or B2P, and indeed there are examples of excellent F2P MTX schemes that aren’t P2W such as Path of Exile.

    Now where P2W concerns are evident, F2P games at least have a potentially valid reason for incorporating them as the devs do deserve to make money off of their game, although the degree of P2W and amount of money spent per month to remain competitive of course must not be excessive.

    Now adding in MTX features into a B2P game where people are paying $60/$70 for the box is a trend that needs to be killed before it grows, and supporting AAA devs that claim they need it to survive in this current market seem disingenuous to me, certainly when indies seem to provide a glut of games not using MTX and not charging this $120 base price threshold.

    There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that if you financially support a AAA dev that incorporates MTX in a B2P premium priced game, you are supporting MTX models regardless if you then claim to be philosophically opposed to MTX, much in the same way that one can’t claim to be against child sweat shops if they buy shirts made by a company that uses such sweat shops in Indonesia, regardless if they only buy specific shirts from the company made in the US.

    So even if you rationalize financially supporting a game that utilizes MTX is OK if you don’t buy the MTX, you still are financially supporting a AAA company that utilizes MTX in their premium priced B2P games.

    …to restate, Keen has demonstrated he financially supports games utilizing MTX monetization schemes, but rationalizes he does not do so philosophically.

    • Gankatron says:

      Edit: “paying $60/$70 for the box” > “paying $60/$80 for the box”

      Also, don’t get the idea I support P2W features in a game, but if one was to take a Devil’s advocate POV, at least there is some potentially valid argument for a game where the player hasn’t paid anything to play, again so long as it isn’t excessive (for instance less than or equal to current market monthly sub rates).

      😉

    • Keen says:

      I’m a monster. You’ve convinced me.

      • Gankatron says:

        I’m not attacking you or your blog, but just pointing out that like every human with an opinion, occasionally we are not internally consistent.

        I am pretty sure no puppies were harmed by EA in the manufacture of the game, so if it gives you pleasure, then occasionally supporting MTX models is a relatively minor vice. 🙂

      • Keen says:

        No, no, your’e right.

        I shop at Walmart.

        I eat meat.

        I purposely avoid the foods marked “organic.”

        I own an iPhone.

        I play Battlefront 2.

        What have I done…

      • Gankatron says:

        I stand corrected, you are a monster Mr. Gein.

      • Gankatron says:

        …but you are likely going to be held to a higher standard as a well respected gaming blogger with regards to your stated philosophical statements and in your reality actions.

        The fact people are here discussing this means we are listening and value what you have to say regarding games.

      • Gankatron says:

        Edit: “and in your reality actions” > “and your in reality actions”

        …still waiting for that 10 minute past post edit button btw!

    • Gankatron says:

      Edit: “released at below the $60 P2P level” > “released at below the $60 B2P level”

    • Drathmar says:

      The $120 is a slightly dramatic round of what a game should cost now with inflation if compared to what games cost in the 90’s. SNES games cost $50-70 in the 90’s and when you inflate the middle of that $60 from 1990 to 2017 you get $112.37. I just round up to the nearest $10 for $120. Again I admit it’s a slight exaggeration. But at the same time we are paying a lot less for a new video game now than we should when accounting for inflation.

      • Gankatron says:

        I am not sure if sufficient sales variables are being taken into account in your calculation, such as number of sales for top selling games now versus then (factoring out cartridge “sales” that were included with new console unit bundles), as well as the cost of producing a physical object (disc/cartridge), boxing it, shipping it, and then the mark-up for selling it in a rl store that has significant overhead, versus distributing games on a dl from a seller such as STEAM?

        Then as it has been pointed out, I would imagine contemporary advertising costs are likely significantly greater today than in the past for AAA releases, but I cannot say this with confidence.

        As much as cinematic trailers can be impressive, I never base my purchase on one, and usually click past them to get to actual game play footage, as the former rarely answers any question I have about the game, and as such is a massive source of inflated game prices IMO.

        …and again, if non-AAA’s can dependably release games under the $60 mark, why don’t we expect EA to be able to do so?

        My answer is that we should hold them to a similar standard, and the actual reason for such parasitic monetization schemes is not that they are barely squeaking by on profits, but they are piggishly greedy and garner support for these practices by apologists and apathetic consumers from the gaming community.

        It’s a simple capitalistic maxim, prices are set based on what customers are willing to pay, not based on production costs, i.e. what is the maximum price the market will bear.

        If a substantial number of gamers are willing to accept MTX in B2P games then this will become the new standard, because from a devs POV why not attach additional revenue streams if overall profit is increased even taking into account the potential lost sales from those such as myself who see loot boxes as recurring exploitative and immersion-breaking “…and now a word from our sponsor” moments.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIdmkETuWeM

      • adam says:

        “But at the same time we are paying a lot less for a new video game now than we should when accounting for inflation.”

        Inflation alone is not remotely enough to determine a correct market price for goods. You say we “should” be spending a lot more. According to whom? This industry has exploded in size and popularity over the past twenty years and video game companies are now some of the most valuable companies on earth. Are you really arguing that they’re suffering in some way due to the fact that games still only cost $60 max base price? Come on, man.

        That $60 base price exists for a reason. It exists because as the video game market grew in size, it went from a niche hobby where enthusiasts were willing to spend a relative premium for a title, to a worldwide mass-audience powerhouse industry, where the average person being exposed to its products had a much lower price point at which they were willing to buy in.

        Defending EA’s consistently awful anti-consumer behavior on the basis of the $60 price point is ridiculous and without a shred of credibility.

      • adam says:

        Oh, and if you’re looking for evidence as to why the “EA would need to charge $120 for the base game without MTX” argument is entirely without merit, Valve’s billion-dollar-successes with Steam sales should present plenty.

        EA is a crap company with crap corporate culture and zero interest in creating or maintaining customer loyalty. They exist to satisfy their shareholders, the end. That itself wouldn’t bother me if it didn’t manifest in them taking a massive shit all over a beloved franchise like Star Wars and trying to convince us they’re doing it to “create a better experience” or “emphasize consumer choice.”

  • Misaligned says:

    I’m surprised to see you become an EA apologist. I can only hope this has more to do with your love of Star Wars than EA.

    The game itself looks fun but my circle of friends and I are so offput by all this stuff I’m not sure anyone is willing to jump in at this point. I’m taking my “wait and see if anyone I know is still playing in 2 weeks approach” before I consider spending money on this. That’s about how long it took for the people I know to get bored of the last one.

    I find progression in FPS games to be pretty dumb and a mechanism to artificially extend play time or urge microtransactions. Just give us access to everything and let skill be the determining factor. The gameplay alone should be compelling enough reason to play the game. If I want progression I play an RPG.

    Overwatch is an FPS done right. $40 at launch for a AAA title that continues to release maps and new characters for no additional cost. The only stuff in crates is purely cosmetic.

    • Keen says:

      Not an apologist. They made one stupid decision after another. The progression tied to crates was a stupid idea, not a good one. Loot crates are a stupid idea, not a good one. No excuses for any of that, and I have never once provided one.

      I’ll keep having fun playing despite their stupid decisions, though. Regardless of your decision in two weeks, I hope you have a game to play that you find fun.

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