I know it’s hard to believe, but I am actually getting tired of writing about in-game purchases and loot boxes and other things related to the current trends within in game monetization. So I found a video that sums up my thoughts perfectly.
I’ve shared the Jimquisition on Spoon Deep before, but Jim Sterling really nails some of the issues currently happening within the AAA video game industry. When I first watched the video I thought he might have even read some of my previous ramblings on the subject!
Sterling argues that the extended grind to get cosmetic items from loot boxes is part of the game play. In the case of many AAA online multiplayer games, the cosmetic part of the game is the most important part. People want to look cool and be noticed when playing online, whether it is to impress strangers or their friends. Companies have noticed this trend and started to place the best looking cosmetic items behind randomized slot machines.
I love his argument that if cosmetics didn’t matter then Overwatch players would not care if every character’s face was an ugly ogre. People care about cosmetics within games, and some games revolve their gameplay around unlocking cosmetics. Now developers and publishers have decided that in game purchases can be used to unlock random cosmetics and gameplay rewards. As if playing the game itself is no longer intrinsically rewarding.
Comments on the /r/games subreddit link to the video included nostalgia induced trips remembering “the good old days” of cheat codes, linear progression, and multiplayer games that supported players creativity. The always-on interconnected nature of today’s video games have been both a blessing and a curse, and only time will tell what the future holds.
What do you think of Jim Sterling? Do you think he secretly reads Spoon Deep in his free time?
Jake “prettyboyplaid” Fredericks