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I think this argument is wrong. (Destiny)

by narcogen ⌂ @, Andover, Massachusetts, Monday, November 04, 2019, 07:23 (11 days ago) @ Claude Errera

Instead of implementing a satisfying reward in-game, they put time, effort and resources into making yet another overpriced cosmetic (albeit an irl cosmetic) you can buy to show you did a thing in-game.


Except that the people hired to do stuff like design real toys you can buy in the store are NOT the same people hired to build in-game rewards.


It's not the people, it's the money. The money comes from the same place. They took the money people gave them for the Destiny digital gaming product and put it towards making merch that some people won't ever get a chance to buy (raid jackets) or merch that some people who buy the $60 game can't or won't justify (foam swords).

It's possible for a company to migrate from one product category to another if markets incentivize it.

Silent Hill is now a pinball machine.


Sorry - real life got in the way of stuff this week, and I'm just now getting back to the forum. Looks like things blew up, then calmed down again, so I'll leave most of it alone... but I wanted to step in here, because I think that you're wrong here.

I think that in most of the cases we've talked about (real-world rewards for in-game purchases), the money does NOT come from the same place. In most cases, someone ELSE has come to Bungie, and said "we'll make this thing, and we can split the profits."

I don't mean externally to Bungie, I mean internal to Bungie.

In specific, Bungie themselves said they used revenues from in-game cosmetic items to fund the development of content. Which essentially means that higher margin cosmetic items are subsidizing gameplay content.

Which is fine until someone decides that it's way higher margin to not do that.

(No, I don't think it's that simple... but I think that's what it boils down to.) I don't think that (in most cases) that the items are being created by Bungie employees, or with Bungie money. (Example of an exception: Lorraine does a lot of work on the Grimoire books, and the comics. She does this work when her in-game contributions are not needed as much, and she has time that would otherwise be wasted. Not every employee can work on every aspect of a game, and some employees have downtime when their primary focus is no longer front-and-center. I think that Lorraine using that time to help turn out spectacular written material is not remotely a bad thing, and I would argue strongly that my life would be less rich without it; I do not think this sort of exception belongs in the 'slippery slope' argument.)

There are ancillary materials that I feel are much lower risk of providing bad incentives to the developer. Lore books and art books are among them, for the reasons you describe.

The props and clothing I think are a greater risk.

The in-game cosmetics are the next highest risk.

The highest risk would be items with gameplay value sold for Silver.


I think the result of this is that if they WEREN'T selling these things, there wouldn't suddenly be more time/energy/money to put in more in-game rewards. There would just be less money, overall, in the coffers.

Organizations do what they are incentivized to do. When the incentives are misaligned with the activities, this will correct itself. When the activity that generates the revenue is not the activity that requires expenditure, you create an opportunity for someone to sell themselves as a management genius by pointing it out, and stopping it.


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