Online games news Tedious Retro Gamer, 04-04-2022
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Admitting you have a problem is a first step to fix that problem. A simple rule that a lot of gamers should look into - if you are unhappy with the state of gaming industry, start with your own behaviour to solve that problem.
Zen Studios, company behind the pinball games Pinball FX, Pinball FX 2 and Pinball FX 3 came under fire recently for sudden change of their business model. While in previous games the tables that were simulated in the game could have been transferred between titles, in their new production, called Pinball FX (how do they come up with those original titles?) the tables will have to be bought again, separately, no matter if you bought them in the past or not. Also there will be subscription service that would give access to some tables, other tables (marked as premium) will be available only when purchased. And another thing - the in-game currency is available in bundles, so f.e. the cheapest bundle will be enough to buy 2,5 table. Why 2,5? So you would buy another bundle so the 0,5 table from previous would not be wasted.
The users are, quite rightly, outraged by the sudden change of approach, especially those, who bought previous games and collected lots of tables and now would have to buy them again. The explanation behind this decision is quite simple, Zen Studios was bought by Saber Interactive, American company, which clearly pushed the profit above keeping the users happy. That is, sadly, quite normal in gaming industry.
So why do I have problem with that? The quotes from outraged gamers I have problem with. First one was more or less "I bought all of the games so far and I’m gonna support you, but this just isn’t right". (sigh) Really? You think they’ve done something outrageous, but you’re still gonna give them money, just as far as they know you are not happy about it... What next? "Right, you stabbed me in the back, but next time you do it I’m gonna be really crossed with you"?
Another quote was... a bit bizarre, stating something in the lines of "I bought every table so far and I would have to buy them again? there should be special discount for accounts like mine". Ehm... I... don’t have words to describe how stupid that is. I mean the quote, not the person. Well, both to be honest. Mate, you already have all the tables in the previous game, do you really need to buy them again in the new one? What, now they gonna be completely different? You can’t play them in previous game?
I understand, you won’t get new tables for old game, but all the previous ones you already have. How long does it take to switch between old and new game? Thirty seconds? A minute? It’s not the same to play them you used to and in new game? You did not enjoyed playing them in old game? So perhaps you don’t really wanna buy the tables in new game to play on them, perhaps it’s the thrill of buying things you are after...
And there is another layer to that quote - I could translate it to: "what you’re doing is wrong, but as long as I get special discount I don’t really mind". You are outraged at scammy practice to boost the incomes of a company, but you think they should milk only the other people, because you are their loyal fan? They count on dedicated fans like you to pay nevertheless for the things you already paid them for - you really don’t get it yet? You are their poster boy - someone who will cough up money for the same thing again, just as long as they will get a discount. Or how about they give you a medal? Or special icon next to your name? Or a title of the Most Loyal Fan in Galaxy? No? Just the discount and you are good to go, right?
And here’s a crazy idea - do not buy this new game (or don’t download it if it’s gonna be free). You have the most powerful weapon in your hands. No, not that, don’t be disgusting. I meant your wallet. Can you live with the fact that you will skip one title? I mean you already bought 3 games of the series, can you live with yourself knowing you are playing a 4 or 5 years old title that, I presume, you enjoyed in the past? No? You really need this new game in your life. And still the publisher is the problem, right?
As long as gamers like that don’t realize they have problem, the companies will get away with their scammy practices - it is as simple as that. Just go to the mirror, take a look at yourself and think how far can you be pushed by greedy developers, before you decide you are the problem.
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