Big boy toys

It wasn’t THAT long ago when video games were considered a kid’s toy. Now when someone asks me when I’m going to stop playing ‘games’, I tell them hopefully the afterlife has solid broadband.

Given the above, it makes sense that along with gaming content (‘mature’ themes) changing, pricing models and levels have also been changing. A kid’s toy maxing out at $50 makes sense. Little Billy isn’t the one holding the wallet, which makes picking up a $200 in-game shiny difficult if not impossible for him. Someone a little older and successful can decide between going out to dinner for $200 or buying said shiny, and a serious argument can be made in what has more real ‘value’.

TAGN has a post up about Shroud of the Avatar selling in-game towns for real money, and these are not micro transactions. The smallest option comes in at $750, while the largest is $4000. Those prices are beyond just a decent dinner out, but if you are in a long-standing guild with successful people, splitting even $4000 between 20 or so players starts to sound a whole lot more manageable.

Star Citizen, also mentioned by TAGN, is another example of this growing trend, and just like SotA, if you have the means knock yourself out.

I’m perfectly fine with games like this so long as you know up-front what is going on. While I personally haven’t enjoy my wallet winning for me since giving up Magic The Gathering, if that does it for others more power to them. If a game I’m currently playing switches over to wallet-warrioring, I have a problem, but here both games have been upfront since day one. No one can say they didn’t know what they were signing up for here.

3 Responses to Big boy toys

  1. A concerned Minmatar says:

    During the beta of Path of Exile, they offered some very expensive supporter packs. A rich friend of mine bought the second most expensive one, for about 1500$ if I remember right. I suggested other ways that money could have been put to use, but he still seems comfortable with his purchase. For that price, he didn’t get a town, but the privilege of designing a unique quality item. And why wouldn’t GGG offer such a deal, since there is clearly a market? Overall it appears to be less destructive to regular gameplay than microtransactions and “hotbar salesmen”. I’m wondering what tangible benefit these villages give to the buyer, besides the giving a say in the design of some random town.

  2. sid67 says:

    I would be more inclined to pay an expensive subscription than participate in “wallet warrioring”. It’s not about affordability, it’s about not feeling a sense of accomplishment if I bought my win.

  3. A concerned Minmatar says:

    Another angle which needs to be examined is the state of F2P in east Asia. If it wasn’t for that, I would say that transactions in the thousands of dollar range are inherently better for the game than microtransactions, because you can’t sell “game winning” items at that price unless you wish to alienate your playerbase. Thus most of what gets sold in the west at that range is opportunity for design input such as making uniques in PoE. On the other hand, chinese MMO operators will happily sell you pure win items for thousands of dollars. I still think that is very unpalatable for western audiences, though.

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