Speaking of profit... (Destiny)

by Claude Errera @, Monday, November 04, 2019, 09:54 (11 days ago) @ narcogen

Even if Bungie were entirely conscientious and transparent on those figures, the upshot would still be, depending on how they assign costs, that merch subsidizes the game and incentivizes the production of more merch and disencentivizes the less profitable work of... you know, making the game... even with some taken off the top for charity.

Again, I think this is wrong. We can't definitively settle this, because neither of us has access to Bungie's books, but my conversations with people involved suggest that you're incorrect, that the merch sold in the store does NOT subsidize the game (this is different from the merch sold by Eververse, which DOES subsidize the game), and that there is no disincentivization (not a word) for game development because there's almost no link between the two groups. (The money the store makes runs the store. Additional money goes to charity.)

In fact, I'd argue the opposite; the people I know who are working on parts of the game that get real-world rewards are tickled by the way that some fans work to achieve those rewards, and look for new ways to challenge players because of this. And that outcome provides additional content for ALL players, regardless of whether you buy the real-world items or not.

Again - neither you nor I can see the books, and the internal math and thinking might be what you've speculated, or what I've speculated, or something in between... we have no way of telling. But I can say for sure that I'm not cynical enough to assume the worst, at this point. I'm sorry you've shifted to that end of the spectrum.

As to Cody's point that "if you just give to charity, ALL of your money goes to charity"... they're not giving THEIR money to charity, they're giving OURS. And yes, anybody buying something from the Bungie Store could choose instead to donate the $30 they were going to use to buy a shirt directly to the Bungie Foundation, and they'd get more bang for their buck... but that's not really how humans work. We LIKE getting merch, and if we can support a good cause at the same time, we like doing that (and we're often willing to pay a little extra in that case) . But a pretty small percentage of us would simply donate money for the heck of it, with no rewards, because there are an awful lot of other things vying for our money. Charities offer perks for donations because they work - they get more money overall by taking a smaller cut of a larger number of donations. I think it doesn't make a lot of sense to try and muddy the waters with this when it's not really part of the discussion we're having.


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