1. #1
    Dreadlord Sagenod's Avatar
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    The impact of microtransactions

    As subscriptions dwindle and the cash shop starts to become more integral to WOW financially, it's plausible that we'll see them become more audacious in the content they sell.

    Already many gamers take a hardline position against microtransactions, with the rest of us being on a spectrum of tolerance for them. Where do you stand on this matter regarding WOW? Do you foresee worsening impacts on the game?
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  2. #2
    Forum-goers (and the general majority of gamers, I'd say) simply don't understand the sheer scale of money people spend on cash shops, and also the proportion of people that it represents. I personally know people who spend thousands of dollars monthly on wow tokens, for example.

    In other words, whales make up an exceedingly low percentage of the game's population but also make up an overwhelming majority of its profit.

    A famous example is candy crush. A quote from an article:

    Candy Crush Saga publisher King brought in $2 billion in revenue in 2015 across all of its games, and all of that money came from just 2 percent its total players, according to its annual fiscal report.
    Two percent of players made up 99% of their revenue (which was BILLIONS). TWO PERCENT.

    In other words, blizzard doesn't care about pleasing the 98%. They want to please the 2% because that's where the money is. That's why these silly decisions that leaves us wondering "huh, why on earth would they do that??" keep happening. And will continue to keep happening.
    Last edited by Mozu; 2021-07-08 at 11:40 PM.

  3. #3
    Cash shops tend to support whales, those who spend a lot all at once.
    At that point, the game would no longer be being made for the majority, or for all players.

    If we consider ourselves average players and not whales, which I reckon most of us on average are statistically, then we should be afraid for this direction of the game were to ever come to fruition. A game that only appeals to a small amount of people is in principle and theory at odds with a game that is by design meant to be experienced and enjoyed by lots of players -- an MMORPG. If only the whales are glorified, it stands to reason that the others aren't being appealed to and that the masses quit, leading to a degrading of the experience for the majority and only a reality where the whales are having fun and paying.

    To a business, they may not care - if they're making more money that way, they make more money. They take on more risk though, if those whales suddenly run out of money or die off or quit it becomes more financially unstable. Whales can be pretty hard to get, but games nowadays make it a mission to try and lure these players in with accessibility in F2P models that reward lots earlier and become increasingly restrictive the more they get into the game.

    The whale model is generally very anti-consumer to the rest of the non-whales. While in theory it would be nice if the whales could support the finances of the game to be directed towards the majority, in a world where the game answers to shareholders who want more and more money - eventually the whales start being the target of these ventures and inevitably over time the whales start being prioritized because they are the lifeblood of the game's income. It's a nightmare scenario, where the few with all the money and power start ruining the game for everyone else in the long-run.

  4. #4
    if the game is good, i generally don't care about cosmetic purchases. more unique mount models and such is a desire but not needed for enjoy a game. while i don't really like store mounts, i did use gold to buy two tokens to buy the mecha drake mount back in 8.2. but i don't tolerate any p2w stuff. i've changed my mind on stuff like loot boxes over the years from originally not caring to not liking them because of the abuse of gambling addicts. i'd prefer a straight up purchase over rng crap.

    also, since this has been a thing lately. i don't care if a game wants to show me a tv ad or something but it better be a f2p game. i will never play a game that i would have paid a premium price for just to have ads in it.

  5. #5
    Elemental Lord callipygoustp's Avatar
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    In a similar, but different way, I often wonder just how much people paying for carries affects current design decisions. More and more people, more and more frequently, seem to be perfectly content paying for carries.

    Note: I don't have data outside of anecdotal experience. In several of the communities I belong to I see, more and more frequently, people looking to pay for such services and that is what drives the above thought.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozu View Post
    Forum-goers (and the general majority of gamers, I'd say) simply don't understand the sheer scale of money people spend on cash shops, and also the proportion of people that it represents. I personally know people who spend thousands of dollars monthly on wow tokens, for example.

    In other words, whales make up an exceedingly low percentage of the game's population but also make up an overwhelming majority of its profit.

    A famous example is candy crush. A quote from an article:



    Two percent of players made up 99% of their revenue (which was BILLIONS). TWO PERCENT.

    In other words, blizzard doesn't care about pleasing the 98%. They want to please the 2% because that's where the money is. That's why these silly decisions that leaves us wondering "huh, why on earth would they do that??" keep happening. And will continue to keep happening.
    This is a good post. I'm really surprised at how eagerly people overlook the warped incentives MTX can create for developers.

    It's obviously hard to tell what decisions are directly influenced by this and whether or to what degree WoW is affected by this due to the incredibly intransparent nature of this issue. It's hard to see the point at which a game becomes warped in order to funnel you into spending more money though in some games it's rather obvious (Black Desert Online comes to mind).

    These people you mentioned, what do they tend to buy with the gold they get from tokens? Sell runs/boosts, gold sinks, BoE, black market AH?
    The absolute state of Warcraft lore in 2021:
    Kyrians: We need to keep chucking people into the Maw because it's our job.
    Also Kyrians: Why is the Maw growing stronger despite all our efforts?

  7. #7
    They are already pushing into toys and transmog its going to expand eventually its just the nature of entropy

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Nerovar View Post
    These people you mentioned, what do they tend to buy with the gold they get from tokens? Sell runs/boosts, gold sinks, BoE, black market AH?
    Yeah mostly. One is a CE raider and buys lots of BOEs and consumables for the entire raid team every raid tier and arena boosts for gear upgrades. The other one buys black market AH mounts/t3 and boosts since he doesn't raid but still wants gear.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Sagenod View Post
    As subscriptions dwindle and the cash shop starts to become more integral to WOW financially, it's plausible that we'll see them become more audacious in the content they sell.

    Already many gamers take a hardline position against microtransactions, with the rest of us being on a spectrum of tolerance for them. Where do you stand on this matter regarding WOW? Do you foresee worsening impacts on the game?
    i use to my mounts form there when i was getting the mount achievements, and a wow token or 2 when they came out but i dont use it, i dont want them going all f2p with content unlocks coming as "glorified paid dlc" imo the cash shops should sell cosmetic only and the 6 month sub with a mount attached doesn't count imo

  10. #10
    Legendary! Ealyssa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sagenod View Post
    Already many gamers take a hardline position against microtransactions,
    Nope they actually don’t. That’s why F2P and cash shops are poping everywhere. Not only do gamers NOT care about having them, but they also spend billions in them.

    Gaming is more profitable than ever before, and that’s 100% because of microtransactions. People just loooooove them.
    Quote Originally Posted by primalmatter View Post
    nazi is not the abbreviation of national socialism....
    When googling 4 letters is asking too much fact-checking.

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