Good/Bad Examples of Game Monetization
Moonface Offline
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Whether it be DLC, expansion packs, loot boxes, or other methods, we've all seen at least one example of a game doing something to make more money beyond its initial purchase cost. They're not all bad though, so what examples have you seen and how do you think they turned out?

What inspired me to make this thread was coming across this utter monstrosity of an idea. A game called The Culling was released back in October 2017, and was a take on the battle royale genre before games like PUBG and Fortnite became big hits. However, by December of the same year, the game was closed down and a sequel was released on July 10, 2018. By July 18 of the same year, The Culling 2 was shut down. The developer then decides to bring back the original The Culling as a free-to-play game in September 2018, which was then shut down in May 2019. No, they don't decide to bring back The Culling 2. Instead, the developers have now come up with the great idea to bring back The Culling again, but this time it works like this:
  1. If you own a copy of the game from when it was originally on sale, or when it was free-to-play, you don't have to buy the game again. If you did not ever obtain a copy of the game, you have to buy it for $5. OK, not sounding bad yet...
  2. Players can only play one online match per day for free. However if you win your match, you will be able to play another match for free in the same day.
  3. But what if you don't win? Then you either wait until the next day, or you pay to play more matches with either of the following systems: purchasing Packs of Online Match Tokens (3 tokens = $0.99, 10 tokens = $2.99, 20 tokens = $4.99), or purchasing Online Passes providing unlimited online play for 7 Days ($1.99) or 30 Days ($5.99).
Yes, it's as bad as it sounds. $5 entry fee for a game that limits you to one match per day unless you win or shell out more cash. Even if it was free-to-play I don't think this model would go over any better with people.

I challenge any of you to show me a game that does monetization worse than The Culling, because I honestly think that is the peak of bad examples.
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#1
Moonface Offline
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Whether it be DLC, expansion packs, loot boxes, or other methods, we've all seen at least one example of a game doing something to make more money beyond its initial purchase cost. They're not all bad though, so what examples have you seen and how do you think they turned out?

What inspired me to make this thread was coming across this utter monstrosity of an idea. A game called The Culling was released back in October 2017, and was a take on the battle royale genre before games like PUBG and Fortnite became big hits. However, by December of the same year, the game was closed down and a sequel was released on July 10, 2018. By July 18 of the same year, The Culling 2 was shut down. The developer then decides to bring back the original The Culling as a free-to-play game in September 2018, which was then shut down in May 2019. No, they don't decide to bring back The Culling 2. Instead, the developers have now come up with the great idea to bring back The Culling again, but this time it works like this:
  1. If you own a copy of the game from when it was originally on sale, or when it was free-to-play, you don't have to buy the game again. If you did not ever obtain a copy of the game, you have to buy it for $5. OK, not sounding bad yet...
  2. Players can only play one online match per day for free. However if you win your match, you will be able to play another match for free in the same day.
  3. But what if you don't win? Then you either wait until the next day, or you pay to play more matches with either of the following systems: purchasing Packs of Online Match Tokens (3 tokens = $0.99, 10 tokens = $2.99, 20 tokens = $4.99), or purchasing Online Passes providing unlimited online play for 7 Days ($1.99) or 30 Days ($5.99).
Yes, it's as bad as it sounds. $5 entry fee for a game that limits you to one match per day unless you win or shell out more cash. Even if it was free-to-play I don't think this model would go over any better with people.

I challenge any of you to show me a game that does monetization worse than The Culling, because I honestly think that is the peak of bad examples.
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popopdc Offline
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That system you described sounds terrible. The worst example for me was a MUD that was freemium, and this one guy with boatloads of IRL cash would pay for advantages in-game that impacted everything from combat to politics, so the in-game economy started to feel just like the wealth gap between 1% and everyone else IRL.
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That system you described sounds terrible. The worst example for me was a MUD that was freemium, and this one guy with boatloads of IRL cash would pay for advantages in-game that impacted everything from combat to politics, so the in-game economy started to feel just like the wealth gap between 1% and everyone else IRL.
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Kyng Offline
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Wow, that does sound pretty awful >_< .

Anyway, this would be a good time for me to link to Sullla's article about Diablo III, from 2013. He found the game to be very unsatisfying, and he did a lengthy analysis as to exactly why - which turned up several issues which were affecting his enjoyment. However, these weren't mere oversights: he concluded that these were all deliberate design decisions, intended to force players into the Auction House, where Blizzard would get a cut of every transaction:

http://www.sullla.com/D3/unsatisfying.html

In fairness, he did write a follow-up article several years later, in which he explained that the game had since improved massively. However, in its original form, he considered the game to be nothing more than "a giant Blizzard sweatshop" >_< .
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Kyng Offline
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Wow, that does sound pretty awful >_< .

Anyway, this would be a good time for me to link to Sullla's article about Diablo III, from 2013. He found the game to be very unsatisfying, and he did a lengthy analysis as to exactly why - which turned up several issues which were affecting his enjoyment. However, these weren't mere oversights: he concluded that these were all deliberate design decisions, intended to force players into the Auction House, where Blizzard would get a cut of every transaction:

http://www.sullla.com/D3/unsatisfying.html

In fairness, he did write a follow-up article several years later, in which he explained that the game had since improved massively. However, in its original form, he considered the game to be nothing more than "a giant Blizzard sweatshop" >_< .
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Moonface Offline
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@Kyng: From what I can see the Auction House was closed down in 2014 and Blizzard taking a cut of every sale wasn't the biggest problem for the game itself but that players had no incentive to actually earn items by playing the game. PC Gamer has an article on it comparing it to WoW's auction house, which only allows the selling and trading of items, not weapons or armour, so it's more to help players gather materials instead of skipping whole sections of the game. Diablo being the same stuff but with increasing difficulty doesn't help either since then people are just going to find the fastest way to the highest difficulty, rather than play the same mission over and over again.

For another example that I never viewed as outright bad, Uncharted 3 had a questionable system for making money in its multiplayer. Basically Naughty Dog saw fit to sell an absolutely insane amount of customization items for characters, which being optional and cosmetic isn't by itself a problem. The thing that I hated about it was you could see characters wearing crazy shit like T-Rex heads, fake noses, bags, etc. and Naughty Dog felt this sort of content fit for the games universe, but an officially created character called Rika Raja was deemed by the company to not fit in and was never added to the game despite a large number of fans requesting her (since everyone else was playable but her). It was just a stupid thing where it was fine to make money from items that looked ridiculous but the line had to be drawn at applying that same thing to an official character. Errm
[Image: tumblr_picdhxmZg01r1fejho5_540.gif]
IN THE SUN, SLEEPING LIKE A BUM.
I, the Philosophical Sponge of Marbles, send you on a quest for the Golden Chewing Gum of the Whoop-A-Ding-Dong Desert under the sea!

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Moonface Offline
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@Kyng: From what I can see the Auction House was closed down in 2014 and Blizzard taking a cut of every sale wasn't the biggest problem for the game itself but that players had no incentive to actually earn items by playing the game. PC Gamer has an article on it comparing it to WoW's auction house, which only allows the selling and trading of items, not weapons or armour, so it's more to help players gather materials instead of skipping whole sections of the game. Diablo being the same stuff but with increasing difficulty doesn't help either since then people are just going to find the fastest way to the highest difficulty, rather than play the same mission over and over again.

For another example that I never viewed as outright bad, Uncharted 3 had a questionable system for making money in its multiplayer. Basically Naughty Dog saw fit to sell an absolutely insane amount of customization items for characters, which being optional and cosmetic isn't by itself a problem. The thing that I hated about it was you could see characters wearing crazy shit like T-Rex heads, fake noses, bags, etc. and Naughty Dog felt this sort of content fit for the games universe, but an officially created character called Rika Raja was deemed by the company to not fit in and was never added to the game despite a large number of fans requesting her (since everyone else was playable but her). It was just a stupid thing where it was fine to make money from items that looked ridiculous but the line had to be drawn at applying that same thing to an official character. Errm
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