The games industry, much like other creative businesses, depends on the principle of fair exchange between creators and audiences. It’s an exchange that can be enumerated in dollars and cents of course, but there is a second very important ingredient as well: respect. In a perfect world, players respect creators by offering fair financial rewards for the craft, while creators respect their audiences with honest and interesting designs. Unfortunately, changing business practices in the AAA space are starting to strain this equilibrium, with influential developers and publishers pulling the industry towards increasingly player-hostile business practices. What can be done to steer away from this unhealthy trajectory? On Episode 39 of Vertical Slice we’re grappling with this critically important issue, and offering our thoughts on how developers and publishers can do more to respect their players’ time, money, and intelligence.
- Apple has become an influential first-mover in the push to reign in abusive loot box practices: games published in the App Store will now have to disclose the odds of obtaining particular items in randomized loot crates.
- Bungie continues to draw the ire of its core audience with the design of this year’s “Dawning” event, which players charge is pointedly aimed at pushing the game’s controversial loot boxes. Unlike seasonal events in most other games, players can only unlock a tiny fraction of the Dawning’s time-limited items through in-game activities, with the balance only obtainable by purchasing randomized loot crates.
Image credit: Nayuki