Bad news about the future of microtransactions and VC...

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Bad news about the future of microtransactions and VC...

Postby Andrew on Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:50 am

Despite all the backlash, the negative user scores, and everything else, it may be unlikely to change. After all: NBA 2K microtransaction and DLC spending jumped 57% from 2016

When NBA 2K18 launched in September, it had more ways than ever for players to spend money inside the game. That business model is working, with spending on microtransactions, downloadable content, and season passes jumping 57 percent year-over-year for the NBA 2K series.

Publisher 2K Games, a subsidiary of Take-Two Interactive, revealed that it has sold more than 6 million copies of NBA 2K18 into retail. It notes that sell-in as well as sell-through to consumers have both grown over 20 percent compared to NBA 2K17. In its quarterly earnings report, Take-Two also highlighted that the basketball game also had significantly more people purchase and download it digitally relative to past games.

Overall, NBA 2K18 is bringing in more players than ever, and those fans are more engaged.

“To date, total users and average daily users of NBA 2K18 on current generation platforms is up nearly 30 percent over last year’s release,” reads Take-Two’s quarterly report. “We believe that NBA 2K18 will become our most successful sports title ever, both in terms of units sold and recurrent consumer spending.”


It's disheartening that this aggressive approach, completely lacking in goodwill, has worked. It's probably going to speak louder to 2K's plans moving forward than all the disgruntled users.
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Re: Bad news about the future of microtransactions and VC...

Postby Dee4Three on Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:17 am

Its not right....
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Re: Bad news about the future of microtransactions and VC...

Postby StyxTx on Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:01 pm

6 million for $60. That's $360 million just for game purchase. And they still feel the need to grab for more money. I'm sorry, that kind of greed is way above my tolerance level. I've said it before and I meant it. I will never purchase another 2k game, no matter what that game is.

You would think for 360 million they could hire some people who know something about basketball and fix the issues that have been issues for years. But instead, they hire people to come up with more ways to grab money from the (apparently) stupid users who continue to allow this rip-off company to take advantage of them.
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Re: Bad news about the future of microtransactions and VC...

Postby StyxTx on Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:03 pm

Andrew wrote:Despite all the backlash, the negative user scores, and everything else, it may be unlikely to change. After all: NBA 2K microtransaction and DLC spending jumped 57% from 2016

When NBA 2K18 launched in September, it had more ways than ever for players to spend money inside the game. That business model is working, with spending on microtransactions, downloadable content, and season passes jumping 57 percent year-over-year for the NBA 2K series.

Publisher 2K Games, a subsidiary of Take-Two Interactive, revealed that it has sold more than 6 million copies of NBA 2K18 into retail. It notes that sell-in as well as sell-through to consumers have both grown over 20 percent compared to NBA 2K17. In its quarterly earnings report, Take-Two also highlighted that the basketball game also had significantly more people purchase and download it digitally relative to past games.

Overall, NBA 2K18 is bringing in more players than ever, and those fans are more engaged.

“To date, total users and average daily users of NBA 2K18 on current generation platforms is up nearly 30 percent over last year’s release,” reads Take-Two’s quarterly report. “We believe that NBA 2K18 will become our most successful sports title ever, both in terms of units sold and recurrent consumer spending.”


It's disheartening that this aggressive approach, completely lacking in goodwill, has worked. It's probably going to speak louder to 2K's plans moving forward than all the disgruntled users.


May not be quite as disheartening as it first appears. This year's sales were up but that was before everyone got a glimpse of where the money grabbing is going. Next year's sales may tell a different story.
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Re: Bad news about the future of microtransactions and VC...

Postby Andrew on Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:09 pm

Possibly. I also wonder whether the increase in microtransaction revenue is more a case of necessity and feeling forced by this year's grind, or complete enthusiastic acceptance of the business model. In other words, are people doing it through clenched teeth because they bought the game and want to make the most of it, or are they truly happy to be spending that extra money?
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Re: Bad news about the future of microtransactions and VC...

Postby StyxTx on Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:42 pm

Andrew wrote:Possibly. I also wonder whether the increase in microtransaction revenue is more a case of necessity and feeling forced by this year's grind, or complete enthusiastic acceptance of the business model. In other words, are people doing it through clenched teeth because they bought the game and want to make the most of it, or are they truly happy to be spending that extra money?


Good point. I would doubt a majority of people shelled out more money while singing Hallelujah!
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Re: Bad news about the future of microtransactions and VC...

Postby [Q] on Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:55 pm

StyxTx wrote:6 million for $60. That's $360 million just for game purchase. And they still feel the need to grab for more money. I'm sorry, that kind of greed is way above my tolerance level. I've said it before and I meant it. I will never purchase another 2k game, no matter what that game is.

You would think for 360 million they could hire some people who know something about basketball and fix the issues that have been issues for years. But instead, they hire people to come up with more ways to grab money from the (apparently) stupid users who continue to allow this rip-off company to take advantage of them.

I don't blame them. The company is in it to profit and make money, not be nice to players and gamers

Edit: just read an article about companies trying to come up with cute names for "microtransactions".
Here’s Strauss Zelnick, the CEO of Take-Two, which owns Rockstar (Grand Theft Auto V) and 2K Games (Bioshock, Borderlands, NBA 2K) (h/t Gamasutra):

“We’ve said that we aim to have recurrent consumer spending opportunities for every title that we put out at this company. It may not always be an online model and it probably won’t always be a virtual currency model, but there will be some ability to engage in an ongoing basis with our titles after release across the board.”
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Re: Bad news about the future of microtransactions and VC...

Postby Andrew on Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:37 pm

In other words...

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Re: Bad news about the future of microtransactions and VC...

Postby StyxTx on Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:35 pm

[Q] wrote:
StyxTx wrote:6 million for $60. That's $360 million just for game purchase. And they still feel the need to grab for more money. I'm sorry, that kind of greed is way above my tolerance level. I've said it before and I meant it. I will never purchase another 2k game, no matter what that game is.

You would think for 360 million they could hire some people who know something about basketball and fix the issues that have been issues for years. But instead, they hire people to come up with more ways to grab money from the (apparently) stupid users who continue to allow this rip-off company to take advantage of them.

I don't blame them. The company is in it to profit and make money, not be nice to players and gamers



That should read, "If people are going to continue to be stupid enough to put up with this crap, we should keep on taking advantage of them." Why not? Complaints don't hurt anyone unless they are followed through with actions.....primarily actions that hurt the bottom line.

Seems to me 360 million is a pretty nice take all by itself.

Luckily for me, there are plenty of games that either don't use microtransactions, or it's truly optional.....you're not forced into buying in order to be able to play the game at a competitive level. People with only a few hours a day for gaming just don't have the time for grinding it out, especially if they have more than one game they like to play.

Also, I hope 2k is misreading the "increased" VC spending this year. Andrew made an excellent point which I believe is the reason for the increase. 2k is reading it as everyone loves the idea. Next year EVERYTHING will be behind the VC wall.

Greed has been the downfall of much bigger companies than 2k.

This idea of coming up with new names for VC transactions just proves how stupid companies think their customers are. Really, they have good reason to believe that.
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Re: Bad news about the future of microtransactions and VC...

Postby [Q] on Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:22 am

Honestly if 2K got rid of or reduced the amount of VC needed to play the game, whoever makes that decision should be fired because it's easy money. VC is pure profit for the company and people have proven that they'll continue to pay for it.
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Re: Bad news about the future of microtransactions and VC...

Postby timmyd on Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:46 am

To be completely honest with all of you guys here. I have never purchased anything in NBA 2k outside of the DLC that was available for some extra legendary players, was that NBA 2k11? can't remember.

So the whole notion of micro transactions and VC doesn't really piss me off. But, I do understand the frustrations. It's one thing, that the game was purely perfect and gave all the users exactly what they wanted and modes were even better.... and they were holding micro transactions. It's another when there are still server issues, game play issues and there staff/dev's still can't get faces right and the game takes steps back in graphics and game play every year.

Anyways, if NBA 2k takes all of this profit and puts in the actual work... I'd be happier and more supportive.

Aside from that, I invested in take two this year and there earnings are UP!!! thanks to these micro transactions. I urge everyone, invest in these damn companies that are trying to take dollars for in game purchases and micro transactions... atleast you'll get some sort of pay back... (not guaranteed).
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Re: Bad news about the future of microtransactions and VC...

Postby Andrew on Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:37 am

[Q] wrote:Honestly if 2K got rid of or reduced the amount of VC needed to play the game, whoever makes that decision should be fired because it's easy money. VC is pure profit for the company and people have proven that they'll continue to pay for it.


Sure, but it's also possible to kill the Golden Goose. As many have noted, including Jim Sterling, the bubble can certainly burst if users get fed up with the business model and aggressive approach of implementing a freemium economy in a AAA game. If the consumers revolt, it's eventually going to hurt the company and the shareholders. As StyxTx said, bigger companies than 2K have failed because of their business practices.

Incidentally, Jim Sterling has summed up the situation extremely well in this Twitter thread. This reply is also rather on-point, as is everything else he's said about microtransactions, loot boxes, and so forth.

timmyd wrote:So the whole notion of micro transactions and VC doesn't really piss me off. But, I do understand the frustrations. It's one thing, that the game was purely perfect and gave all the users exactly what they wanted and modes were even better.... and they were holding micro transactions. It's another when there are still server issues, game play issues and there staff/dev's still can't get faces right and the game takes steps back in graphics and game play every year.


That's definitely part of it. It's added frustration on top of frustration with the games in general.

The thing is, if you're not playing MyCAREER or the connected online modes, VC is not really an issue. You can generally earn enough to do what you like in the other modes that use them, or in the case of MyTEAM, use the MT currency to buy packs instead. The grind to improve your player for MyCAREER and its connected online experiences has become very rough, though. Again, it's basically become a freemium model in a AAA game, and for an annual release, that really stinks.

It's hard to take a stand here, and I'll admit to being part of the problem. I did drop a little real currency on virtual currency for an immediate boost at launch, because it's all but necessary if you're spending any time with 2K Pro-Am or The Playground. A lot of people will pay for that immediate boost, so to have any chance of being competitive with them, you have to either grind a lot (not always feasible when you're in your 30s and have to divvy up your gaming and general leisure time between other responsibilities, and not that fun besides), or consider paying for a head start (rather undesirable, and rather shady as far as younger gamers are concerned). Your hand is kind of forced by other people's willingness to pay, so it's difficult to break the cycle.

As such, a lot of people spend money and 2K gets to frame it as something the userbase is comfortable in doing, when in reality a lot of people are doing it through gritted teeth to justify their investment in the game and try to make the most of it because they do want to play the experiences on offer. And so, it becomes a vicious cycle. It just remains to be seen when the bubble will burst.
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Re: Bad news about the future of microtransactions and VC...

Postby Jackal on Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:10 am

Andrew wrote:Sure, but it's also possible to kill the Golden Goose. As many have noted, including Jim Sterling, the bubble can certainly burst if users get fed up with the business model and aggressive approach of implementing a freemium economy in a AAA game. If the consumers revolt, it's eventually going to hurt the company and the shareholders. As StyxTx said, bigger companies than 2K have failed because of their business practices.


Yeah, this would be me. I've quit playing the game this year since around end of September I think and I don't intend on getting next years version. Might go back to skipping years and hoping for a better game play experience.

A shame, 2K used to stand for sim basketball. This bullshit of free money for the company is painting them in the same light as EA. They too were good and then just stopped giving a shit about their clients. Let's see how it works out for 2K.
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Re: Bad news about the future of microtransactions and VC...

Postby BronBron06 on Sun Nov 12, 2017 2:47 am

[Q] wrote:
StyxTx wrote:6 million for $60. That's $360 million just for game purchase. And they still feel the need to grab for more money. I'm sorry, that kind of greed is way above my tolerance level. I've said it before and I meant it. I will never purchase another 2k game, no matter what that game is.

You would think for 360 million they could hire some people who know something about basketball and fix the issues that have been issues for years. But instead, they hire people to come up with more ways to grab money from the (apparently) stupid users who continue to allow this rip-off company to take advantage of them.

I don't blame them. The company is in it to profit and make money, not be nice to players and gamers

Edit: just read an article about companies trying to come up with cute names for "microtransactions".
Here’s Strauss Zelnick, the CEO of Take-Two, which owns Rockstar (Grand Theft Auto V) and 2K Games (Bioshock, Borderlands, NBA 2K) (h/t Gamasutra):

“We’ve said that we aim to have recurrent consumer spending opportunities for every title that we put out at this company. It may not always be an online model and it probably won’t always be a virtual currency model, but there will be some ability to engage in an ongoing basis with our titles after release across the board.”



Hope that budget goes to next GTA game production.
Its hard to care about NBA game after a month of playing.
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Re: Bad news about the future of microtransactions and VC...

Postby Andrew on Sun Dec 10, 2017 11:43 pm

Some very solid analysis of the situation.

phpBB [video]
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Re: Bad news about the future of microtransactions and VC...

Postby sticky-fingers on Mon Dec 11, 2017 3:09 am

I watched it this morning, didnt know in which topic should i share it :mrgreen:

IMO, the biggest problem is ethical. 2K and EA shouldnt sell AAA games WITH microtransactions.
the concept of microtransactions come from free mobile games and free 2 play games.
In this case, i can understand why the publishers use microtransactions, but never for a AAA game.

The next step will be game as a service.
Well, it's even more promising :roll:
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Re: Bad news about the future of microtransactions and VC...

Postby Andrew on Mon Dec 11, 2017 12:08 pm

They're on the nose when they're in AAA games. They could probably be implemented in a way that's fairer, but sadly that hasn't been the approach developers have gravitated towards.

I like how that video points out how the people willing to pay set the tone and the playing field for everyone else. It's all well and good to say "just don't pay", but a lot of people will, and they're going to be at a distinct advantage compared to people who elect not to pay for that immediate boost. As such, your hand is going to be forced, or at the very least, you're going to have to strongly consider buying some VC to upgrade right away and remain competitive...or indeed, give up on online play altogether. It's not a desirable situation.

Certainly, we're all responsible for our own impulses and spending habits. However, when there's a pay-to-win element, the playing field will become unbalanced, and that nudges people towards dropping some extra money to remain competitive. You don't [i]have]/i] to buy VC...but the game has been made much more of a grind, and much less enjoyable online, if you choose not to.
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Re: Bad news about the future of microtransactions and VC...

Postby [Q] on Mon Dec 11, 2017 3:49 pm

But people are not seeing that there's a difference between pay to win and pay for extra DLC. The UFC 3 beta was apparently heavily criticized due to the recent outlash towards Star Wars and loot boxes, but people are dumb and don't understand how Ultimate Team works. Ultimate Team was actually kinda fun in the beta and was heavily featured. You certainly don't need to pay to win in DLC. Sure, it helps, but EA has been nice enough to let us win enough to not need to buy packs unless we were obsessed with having a good team. Admittedly I did purchase one or two small packs in Madden 10. Also, other games with loot boxes usually feature skins or bonus content that aren't necessary for regular gameplay. Or what really started the trend in AAA games: Call of Duty maps.

2K is certainly a pay to win model as VC is directly tied to your player's ratings and the fact that they don't give you much for playing the game.

Man, I remember back when microtransactions were primarily a thing for mobile to Free to Play games. Those were the days...
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Re: Bad news about the future of microtransactions and VC...

Postby Andrew on Mon Dec 11, 2017 4:00 pm

I can't speak for UFC 3, but Ultimate Team in NBA Live and MyTEAM in NBA 2K have generally been well-handled, because there's ample opportunity to earn good cards without spending any money. There's less of a grind to put together a good squad, and doing so is more fun than grinding your way up from being a 60 Overall.
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Re: Bad news about the future of microtransactions and VC...

Postby sticky-fingers on Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:11 am

[Q] wrote:But people are not seeing that there's a difference between pay to win and pay for extra DLC.


You're so right, there's a HUGE difference.

2K could sell historical seasons, Euroleague, World Cup, Olympic Games as DLC : new content like Rocksmith for example (DLC songs/packs).

But microtransactions are easy money. There's even no new content, everything is already in the game, you "just" have to pay to unlock.
Or to grind a looooooooooooooooooong time. And perhaps i'm too old, but i cant stand grinding in a game anymore : Grind does not make you a better player, only your avatar, your MyPlayer.
That's why I prefer indie game like Spelunky on which i spent 200 hours to master the game, than MyBullshitPlayer.
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Re: Bad news about the future of microtransactions and VC...

Postby Andrew on Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:43 am

It definitely isn't fun to have to grind just to have fun.

The fact that it's an annual release, and the process thus repeats every year, is also an issue.
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Re: Bad news about the future of microtransactions and VC...

Postby StyxTx on Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:32 am

Andrew wrote:It definitely isn't fun to have to grind just to have fun.

The fact that it's an annual release, and the process thus repeats every year, is also an issue.


You're exactly right. People who have a job (or in my case, 2 jobs), family, and other responsibilities don't have time for all that grinding. We just want to sit down and relax to a game, period.
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