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Gamers are weird creatures

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Recent developments in several titles made me think that gamers are truly weird, weird creatures that should be studied by science, because it’s not how human kind should work. Or is it?

Gamers are weird creatures

Polyphony Digital, company behind the Gran Turismo series of racing games, just went mental again - after disastrous premiere of Gran Turismo 7 they sort-of moved away from the insane idea of microtransactions in their title only to return to them just weeks later. With a bang! Due to some weird cooperation with real life insurance company that deals with classic cars now in Gran Turismo 7 the prices of legendary cars will be updated from time to time according to appraisal given by that company. Are you having fun yet, players?

What is behind that mechanic? Of course Polyphony Digital tries to milk more money from gullible players, who will have to pay more real life money to drive the simulated car they want to drive. Which is normal in free-to-play games. Oh, wait, I just remembered, Gran Turismo 7 isn’t a free-to-play game. Well, if you paid 70€ for the title I’m sure you wouldn’t mind to pay again just for a car you wanted to drive, right?

The players are furious, they write long angry letters, they give title bad reviews and... still play the game. Even though they clearly know that for developer and publisher they are just a wallet and the game wasn’t made to entertain them. Why is that? It’s the same story again and again, just 2 months ago it was an outrage about pinball game, about Battlefield 2042 and other titles - people are angry, they don’t like what the company behind game is doing, yet for some reason they still play it.

This reminded me about another title that I mentioned before several times, the infamous World of Warships, which actually is free-to-play game, but the company behind it does everything possible to ruin the experience for everyone involved. In the multiplayer online game you take part in maritime battles aboard a historical ships, it was well balanced title at first, but with time the owners (Wargaming) added many, many elements that enraged their playerbase.

First there were the aircraft carriers, which attacked everyone from another side of the map without risking getting shot at. This put off a lot of players, so Wargaming made the carriers even stronger. Then they introduced overpowered premium ships, new mechanics, submarines, magical planes that show up out of nowhere, the even more overpowered superships with fantastic traits - each and every of those elements just made the game worst for the players. Yet, World of Warships is still active, it has playerbase, who simply don’t mind all of the cons of the title. What is worse they must be paying a good money for it.

What those two examples have in common you might ask - one is a racing title that you have to buy, the other is freemium naval battle game. The one thing in common is the players - in both titles you will find people, who realize they are being used for money by the companies behind the titles, but even when they figure that out they still play it. And they still spend money on it. Of course you can say it’s just like with any other addiction - your brain demands a new dose of serotonin, so you spend your money on virtual goods that will make you feel better for a while.

But one day you will have to face the truth that you are in fact in a toxic relationship - it is not coincidence that this game is addicting and that you are willingly sinking into that addiction. They are designed to make you angry, to make you frustrated, because then you will find a magical porthole into happiness - throw some money into the game and everything will be better. And that is how addicts are created.

In case of World of Warships users are constantly complaining about new mechanics, insane new ideas, but yet they still play it, because they think it is a great game and they are willing to sacrifice their mental health and their wallets just to play some more, because there isn’t other title like that. But in case of Gran Turismo 7... I’m almost sure I stumbled upon a racing game or two in recent decade.


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