Tess Everis as a strike boss (Destiny)

by narcogen ⌂ @, Andover, Massachusetts, Saturday, November 02, 2019, 10:32 (1633 days ago) @ cheapLEY

Are you also angry that they sell t-shirts? Or that they did the Halo graphic novel back in the day? The grimoire book?

Edit: Those are genuine questions, not snark. I don’t know where you draw the line. Selling an overpriced sword seems silly, but I don’t understand it’s fundamentally different from selling a t-shirt or a lore book.

These things exist on a continuum.

I'd argue that while t-shirts and lore books are ancillary, they are less so than the props, the expensive jackets, and pinball or pachinko machines.

I'd argue that it's not merely the shift into branded merch that's concerning by itself, but the shift upwards in price, combined with the increased amount of merch, combined with the increasing emphasis on in-game purchases.

For instance, I've bought t-shirts and hats. Several of them. It started with just a hat that says "Bungie" on it so people would know I liked Bungie.

Now there are seasonal t-shirts-- simple shirts that cost more than the more attractive, and more durable hat that I still have and wear after a London tourist bus drove over it-- that I've bought more than one of.

But wait, one says, you can't object to the shirts. After all, you bought a hat!

Then there's raid jackets. Like the shirts, tied both to in-game achievements and to real money purchases.

But wait, one says, you can't object to the jacket, after all, you bought the shirts!

Then the foam sword. In-game achievements, real money purchase.

But wait, one says, it's not weird that they sell the sword, look at the jackets!

Sparrows and ghost shells are already sold. And armor and shaders.

When a spreadsheet tells Bungie that the most profitable thing to do is increase the price of Eververse goods and stop making a single player campaign at all, because high priced items in-game are more profitable than selling the game itself, what will anyone say then?

I realize that a lot-- perhaps even the majority-- of so-called "slippery slope" arguments are poorly formed and/or in bad faith. So I don't want to press that point. But I do think that these changes directly incentivize developers to create more of certain kinds of content than others because it's easier to get more money from fewer people with both in and out of game items than it is to actually make a broadly targeted piece of entertainment, and the logical, if regrettable terminus of that process may not be something we all want.

The objections to that transition happen now, not afterwards. I remember when people said that the whole idea of the in-game store had to have been pushed on Bungie by Activision.

Now Activision is no more, and Eververse is still there. Visiting that vendor is a core part of the game.

And I hate it.

Eris Morn goes into the Pyramid, absorbs the darkness and comes out muttering about Fenchurch.

Complete thread:

 RSS Feed of thread