Soapbox features enable our individual writers to voice their own opinions on hot topics, opinions that may not necessarily be the voice of the site. Here, Gavin grits his teeth and discusses how he's absolutely fine with the free-to-play aspects of the upcoming mobile Mario Kart.
The latest entry in the Mario Kart franchise skids onto your handheld device of choice in just over a month! No, not Mario Kart 9, but Mario Kart Tour, Nintendo’s mobile iteration of the kart racer to rule them all. Your reaction to the game will likely depend on whether or not you’re a diehard fan of the series or you've just played it a few times around a friend's house. The trailers certainly seem to be fun, with the series exploring 'real world' locations for the first time and Diddy Kong joining the roster again since going AWOL after Mario Kart Wii. Getting more people involved with Mario Kart can’t be a bad thing, surely?
Hurrumph. Well, I suppose not. As a console gamer, it's tempting to moan about the encroachment of free-to-play monetisation systems into a series that holds such treasured memories. It's fine, though. It's not really for me, and I don't have to play it, so why grouse? Anyway, reports suggest Nintendo is keen to not overdo microtransactions, so maybe it's been tweaked since the closed beta on Android.
A trip to the App Store gives us a glimpse of what's in store when the game launches on 25th September. A list of in-app purchases available for the game include a whole bunch of Rubies of various, rather odd, denominations. It's unclear exactly what the rubies will do as the game has likely changed since the beta back in May - they may be tied to a 'stamina' meter preventing you from racing repeatedly, or they could be premium currency that's part of a gacha-style system that rewards you with characters, karts or gliders. A Gold Pass is also available for a fiver, as well as 20 quid's worth of Special Offer, whatever that includes. The more rubies you buy, the more money you 'save', of course. Hmm.
Putting aside the weirdness of ‘pre-ordering’ a free game, this sort of list leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I’d be far happier with a flat rate entry price. Why? Maybe I’m just old-fashioned and want the comfort of knowing I own something. I don't like feeling I'm on the end of a line with a company's hook stuck through my cheek. If I like a game, I want to have it and play it; I can’t be bothered with all the irritations of gems and rubies and rubbish. 'Free to play' isn't free - it's costing me my most precious commodity! There are too many great games to play to waste time with countdown timers.
On its home console titles, Nintendo has - until now, at least - remained resolute in maintaining the value of its games and avoiding microtransactions. For other company's games there are season passes and cosmetics galore, but generally for Nintendo's own software, you pay your money and you get the game. Sure, there'll be an expansion pack or DLC additions, but I've never felt like I'm getting fleeced. The company's even starting to experiment with sales on first-party software. No, you’ll never see Super Mario Odyssey with an 80% discount like you do with some other games in the weekly Switch eShop sales, but digital Nintendo games with a 33% discount pop up a few times a year, and that’s very welcome.
I'm used to simply putting my money down and getting the whole experience, and I rarely walk away from a first-party game feeling I haven’t got my money’s worth. I’d say the same about Super Mario Run, the plumber’s debut on mobile devices and an anomaly as the only ‘premium’ (meaning it’s not free-to-play) game in Nintendo’s mobile lineup. I’m satisfied I got my £7.99’s worth out of that and can happily tick it off my list.
The fact that Mario Run is easily my favourite of Nintendo’s mobile games to date probably says more about me than the games, though. The completionist in me gets antsy if it seems there's something being hidden behind another purchase, and that's exactly what most mobile games do. I’d prefer – as Shigeru Miyamoto himself preferred in the beginning before realising the financial mistake – to skirt all that countdown meter rubbish and have a fully-formed, properly tailored Nintendo experience on my phone with a one-time cost. There’s likely a raft of console gamers who’d agree with me, but we’ve already got Switches – Nintendo’s all about spreading its IP to new people and ‘free-to-play’ is the cost of that. You can’t argue with the more impressive earnings from the firm's other mobile games. Not even Mario can trump the power of tried and tested mobile monetisation tricks!
Maybe I should be looking at it a different way. All these mobile entries in my favourite franchises enable Nintendo to have its cake and eat it, gaining exposure for its IP on every smart device going, raking in the big bucks from the whales willing to blow £64.99 on 135 Rubies and keeping all those exhausting mobile trappings locked away where they belong. At least they’re all quarantined away on phones while the full-fat experiences exist safely isolated from the lure of the loot box. At least they won’t infect the ‘proper’ Nintendo games!... Will they?
I’ve written before about how Nintendo is right in keeping its mobile/console cross-pollination to a minimum, and as long as that separation remains, there’s probably not much to worry about. The family-friendly focus and fierce, Disney-esque protection of its brand should keep egregious mechanics at bay and delay the encroachment of microtransactions into first-party titles all the while dedicated hardware is financially viable. Thank goodness for the kids!
Even in the mobile sphere, Nintendo is wary of how it’s perceived and isn't interested in making a killing from a single mobile game. Presumably this is because there’s a belief that making Candy Crush levels of profit would somehow come with a detrimental effect on the company’s brand image. Nintendo is walking a tightrope between two businesses that it must keep separate to avoid falling, even if there are great wads of cash to be grabbed on the way down.
They might have been slow starters in the mobile space, but with the help of DeNA they’ve learned quickly, as any console gamer who has spent with Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp or Fire Emblem Heroes can attest. They start off as decent little time-wasters, I suppose, but after being engrossed by those series on console, the mobile mechanics suck the soul from them.
I’m sure Mario Kart Tour will be a decent game considering what it is and where it’s launching. It’s ‘free’ Mario Kart – what’s not to like?! The prices on those rubies make me uncomfortable though. Ultimately, I’d rather pay my money and be done with it. Whatever though, it's fine. *grits teeth* It's fine.
Are you happy enough playing for free with the inherent restrictions, or do you buy currency in mobile games as-and-when with no worries? Do you think Nintendo should better integrate its mobile and console businesses? Let us know your thoughts on Nintendo's mobile output and future below.
On its home console titles, Nintendo has - until now, at least - remained resolute in maintaining the value of its games and avoiding microtransactions. For other company's games there are season passes and cosmetics galore, but generally for Nintendo's own software, you pay your money and you get the game.
Actually, Mario Kart 8 had a Season Pass for it's DLC.
It’s not that I disagree in theory, but we really need to wait and see how the game is first. Also, Dragalia Lost provides an example of generous they might (stress on the “might”) be. I’m cautiously excited.
Dr. Mario World's microtransactions are almost exclusively unnecessary. You could comfortably do EVERYTHING in the game for free. Paying a few bucks might reduce the already gentle difficulty curve or allow you to be a completionist... but that game IS NOT a King games style cash grab.
Yeah, I personally find this image pretty gross:
4+ . . . In-App Purchases up to £65.
It represents at least one part of what I hate about so much of modern gaming.
It's always so funny to me to see people twisting themselves into knots to figure out which MTX's are ok.
Here's a hint, they all suck.
@Crono1973 The very next line says "Sure, there'll be an expansion pack or DLC additions, but I've never felt like I'm getting fleeced"
@Crono1973 I think they're referencing the season passes in f2p games which have vastly different and frankly awful monetisation attached to them and modern fighters which can 3 or 4, not the 16 dlc tracks and new characters we got and all for one very reasonable price. There are a lot of types of microtransactions/season passes and some are actually good, just not on mobile
@Crono1973 well Nintendo does DLC and Season Passes for a while now, I remember the "small" amount of DLC's FIre Emblem games have on the 3DS.
Breath of the Wild even has season pass, nothing wrong with a season pass and good DLC's (not some crappy ones) but they already went that route.
Next stop is lootboxes and microtransactions, I hope they never reach that stop but I'm afraid they will pretty soon.
I don't mind microtransactions existing so long as they are only an option, and not pay-to-win. Oh, and as long as they don't shove it in your face.
@AndyRogan Yes but there was season pass (DLC pre-order) on the Wii U.
@Rayquaza2510 Correct. Most of Nintendo’s DLC/Season Passes have just been one-time fees (except for Nintendo Switch Online).
@carlos82 A season pass is pre-ordering DLC. Has nothing to do with whether or not YOU think it's a good deal. A season pass is a season pass.
@Rayquaza2510 It's just part of the progression. Expansions ---> DLC ---> MTX's ----> Lootboxes. Cheer up though, atleast they will tell you the odds, LOL.
The Pokémon Picross game on 3DS had micro transactions and energy gauges (and were annoying).
Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball also had you unlock many parts of the game with small fees and haggling with Rusty. But that was enjoyable, and the mini games were fun and worth the price.
If there's a stamina meter then count me out. I don't like being told when I can play a game.
Nintendo likes putting out F2P games that are actually $30 games since that's how much it takes to unlock arbitrary stamina systems and other junk
@J-Plap I don't mind microtransactions existing so long as they are only an option, and not pay-to-win. Oh, and as long as they don't shove it in your face.
You don't mind the foot in the door as long as they don't put the other foot in? LOL
Eh, I’ve managed to avoid spending a single penny in an FTP game. I’ve enjoyed them too so I’ll try this, what’s the worst that could happen?
I mean Crono1973 is right.
MK8 DLC was worth the money in my opinion but the day microtransactions start showing up in mainline Nintendo console games is the day I stop buying games.
@Crono1973 not that I necessarily disagree but I definitely feel like the mario kart 8 dlc was good value. It was basically half the game again (16 tracks) for a quarter or third of the price of the full game (can't remember how much exactly)
@Discipledoctor I don’t get the troll who thumbed you down. You’re right. I’ve played Dragalia Lost since day one and my character and card grabs have been too generous compared to the typical scumbag tactics around the gacha system they use. So many give away tickets and items that can also charge up a pull around a consistently running event or two. The story works in that part so well it’s insulting if anything why they don’t make a full adventure game out of it it plays that well. So much to see, do, learn, level and explore and it’s defacto free. Paying truly is a choice of generosity or impatience.
I have Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. I have no interest in this.
@ralphdibny The point is that the article implied that only other companies do season passes which hasn't been true since MK8 on the Wii U.
@Crono1973 dr Mario has lootboxes, so they’re there with the transition you get to gamble which doctor / assistent you get...
It put me off immediately
The duality is mind bending 🙃
1. Nintendo is making games based on gambling mechanics that target KIDS... but its OK, because only on Mobile.
2. DLC/Season Pass on Switch are not microtransactions - because "in our opinion" they worth the price (anyone that buys a DLC thinks they "worth the price" - why they bought it)
"We do not put the casino in our own neighborhood - and our clients thing our chips don't stink... so nothing to see here" 😂
It’s free to play so I’ll play it free like how I play the other free games without paying. Haven’t spent anything on dr Mario and I’m enjoying it more than mario run which I purchased for £7.99 or £9.99 but already deleted
@Agramonte reaction on the duality: How often did you buy a shirt / gun / costume / pet in Nintendo games?
It’s the amount that matters a lot in my opinion. With Nintendo I don’t feel like I’m being milked dry.
I’m just glad that none of Nintendo’s mobile efforts have been compelling enough to hook me. This doesn’t look like it’s going to change that trend.
@VmprHntrD The fact that it's there at all is disgusting. Intentional or not, this gambling, Skinner Box-esque nonsense sours these games (and eventually their franchises) as much as booting up Yoshi's Woolly World only to be greeted with amiibo shoved in your face.
But that's not nearly as sickening as the Nintendo Defense Force posts or the ridiculous amounts of money made by these games. The effort, or lack thereof, put into these games is not proportional to the money being made (I'm looking at you, Pokémon GO) unless it's a "flop." Dragalia Lost might have been an interesting new IP, but since it wasn't predatory, well, **** creativity or originality. And that's not just "my principles" - this is what people are encouraging when they choose to spend their money on Rubies, Loot Boxes, etc.
@Agramonte I wish I could upvote more than once. It's so funny that people think stuff like this: 'Nintendo does anti-consumer stuff the right way!' LOL
DLC and season passes aren't microtransactions and only a fool would think they were.
Nintendo embracing the mobile free to play mechanics on their mobile games is awful and I wouldn't touch them with a barge pole. If they show their face on full priced Nintendo console games I am done.
You are yet again trying to spin a narrative that isn't there for the vast majority of people.
@Friendly I do not buy a shirt / gun / costume / pet in any game - on any console. I only buy Story DLC.
I can think it is worth it - You can think it is not... my point is, that changes nothing. The publisher still "sells it" and I still "bought it"
Of course it's all right. It always seems to be fine when Nintendo does this crap, but anyone else and it's an awful practice.
It's an awful practice for everyone, Nintendo's just late to the game.
They can shove it with this. I don't care if it's Nintendo or anyone, I refuse to play these "free" games that prey on people to spend on microtransactions. Looks like it worked on this author considering the lengths gone to justify it being okay just because it's Nintendo on mobile.
I was in the MK World Tour beta, but it never worked on my phone.
@Crono1973 I get ya! That's why I said I don't necessarily disagree. Not that I've played the 3ds fire emblems but seeing the dlc on the store makes them look almost like mtx
@SBandy DLC and season passes aren't microtransactions and only a fool would think they were.
They are all related. a season pass is pre-ordering DLC and MTX's are just a logical transition from DLC. Lootboxes are just randomized MTX's.
People need to understand how we got here. When you bought that Horse Armor way back in 2006, did you expect things would get this bad?
I didn't buy that because I am not an idiot.
I understand how we got here but DLC and season passes for DLC is not the same as microtransactions. It just isn't.
@SBandy A horse Armor was DLC... a Car is DLC. They all "in-game digital goods"... so yes "Microtransaction"
A Season Pass that combines every armor or Car that will come in a year changes nothing.
Publishers just Packaging DLCs in a "season pass" for easier consumption. AND, only need to pay for 1 credit card transaction fee.
I do not care if Nintendo sells them on Mobile... or Switch. Just like I do not care if EA does it. I buy the games and do not buy in game items.
@SBandy Ok, so Horse Armor is small DLC and Knights of the Nine (still Oblivion) is large DLC. Which is a MTX?
Did you buy the MK8 DLC?
I don't know what that is. Only played an hour of Oblivion. Any examples from the last decade?
@RevampedSpider DLC is different.
Well whatever but it's still how we got to MTX's and Lootboxes (randomized MTX's).
@Crono1973 It is crazy.
Either you condemn the practice or you do not. Don't change the rules each time it is not convenient.
Unless it is story DLC?
@SBandy I didn't buy MK8... on Switch.
I had it on WiiU... I didn't buy any on WiiU when I owned it, and Nintendo was trying to sell it to me.
@SBandy Well let me explain. Horse Armor is just armor for your horses. Nothing else is included. Knights of the Nine (couldn't Google it eh) is like a full fledged expansion pack.
So, isn't Horse Armor really just a MTX before they were called MTX's?
I said MK8 not MK8 Deluxe I wasn't trying to trick you.
Yes it is, I didn't say it wasn't.
I consider DLC as content that properly expands the game like the extra tracks in MK8 or extra story DLC with hours of content.
I consider microtransactions as buying horse armour or costumes or whatever rubbish currency a game has given itself to pay for lootboxes or costumes etc. I despise the practise of microtransactions and will never support it.
I can support DLC if it is done right.
@SBandy I can support DLC if it is done right.
Even though you know that it has led to the trash that now plagues this industry?
Let me put it another way, the trash exists because people supported it's predecessor, DLC. To continue to support DLC after seeing the damage that has been done is willingly contributing to more and worse trash in the future.
Well suck it up as I will support DLC if it is done right.
@SBandy It's your choice. I'm just happy that you know that good DLC, bad DLC, pre-ordering DLC (how low can the industry get) & MTX's are all related.
I always love seeing the downvotes on comments that call out the BS in the gaming industry.
The fact of the matter is, cheapskate gamers bemoaned paying even $1 for mobile games, so the market figured out a way around it. Gamers are to blame for the start of this trend, as well as why it’s continued and grown.
We wouldn’t be in this mess if gamers didn’t want something for nothing. Clearly enough gamers are ok with this though because companies are raking in the money, otherwise the trend would have died.
I wish the base cost of games was just increased instead of the mess we’re in today. Don’t get me wrong, companies are also to blame, they’re training young gamers into thinking the way things are is a good place to be. We consumers have the power to stop this, we just don’t seem to have enough that care enough to do so.
Yes they are all related to games and all game makers so if your stance is this strong you may wish to quit gaming altogether.
@Kang81 If the base cost of games increased, the DLC and MTX's would still come back in a few years. Maybe game companies should do better with their budgets?
We wouldn’t be in this mess if gamers didn’t want something for nothing.
Gamers want to buy a game once and have the whole game. That's not something for nothing, that's buying a game. Saying that gamers are to blame because we reject price increases is ridiculous. When does that end? When games are $100 standard and gamers say 'no more' will you still blame gamers for rejecting price increases?
@SBandy Quit gaming altogether even though I don't buy DLC or MTX's? That doesn't make sense.
Welcome to why I hate mobile gaming, the free2play model usually means putting far more money into a game than you would with a traditional retail release and getting far less in return.
You are saying how it is all related. It all stems from the people who make the games, seems a natural extension.
@SBandy It's also the people who buy the DLC and MTX's as well.
I don't blame Nintendo for getting into the lucrative mobile market. If any company exists that can make reasonably good mobile games - it is Nintendo. I will try this game, but I don't expect it to be more than a temporary diversion when I am really bored and don't have my Switch with me, or on a train too crowded to pull my Switch out of my bag.
As bad as microtransactions are - and they really kinda suck - the biggest problem for mobile gaming for me are touch screen controls. Even after years using a touch screen I don't like it. I want real, physical buttons.
@Crono1973 Big difference between real content DLC - like MK8 had on Wii U, which added many tracks and playable characters, and microtransactions like we see in the vast majority of f2p mobile games. In f2p mobile they tend to charge for everything. The "free" in free to play is only for the most basic features and usually those are limited behind timers, which of course you can pay to skip.
I’m sure this would have happened sooner or later, but quite possibly not to this degree.
I’m fine with DLC if it’s valued accordingly, not the stuff that’s clearly been withheld from the game. It’s always been a way for companies to increase profits and continue to release new games.
The thing is, gamers want it all. I make decent money, but I clearly can’t buy every game I want to play. I’ve never been one to trade in games, but I also wasn’t one to buy used games. I buy a game, and I keep it.
I get that buying games used is desirable, but when I was younger, if I wanted a game I had to make tough choices. I’d pick the ones I wanted most and pass on the rest, and I still do today.
I can’t have it all, and I’m ok with that. I can’t even keep up with the games I do buy. It’s also an industry problem since companies want gamers to buy everything. Gamers want everything for as little as possible, and companies want everything for as much as possible. The thing is, that will never be possible. It’s all going to blow up one day.
They can't buy it if it doesn't exist.
No this all started with the game makers, make no mistake about that. They are the ones who betrayed the gamers.
"On its home console titles, Nintendo has - until now, at least - remained resolute in maintaining the value of its games and avoiding microtransactions."
I'm not sure how you can get much more microtransaction than the 75 cent Mii fighter costumes in SSBU which are ONLY available for 75 cents each, not available in a bundle or the season pass.
And no, they aren't loot boxes, but they are microtranasactions at 75 cents each.
I want to give this game a once over to see the new tracks and how well they remade older ones, but you can be sure I won't be sticking around beyond that. RNG microtransaction mobile games are absolutely toxic.
@SBandy They can't buy it if it doesn't exist.
No this all started with the game makers, make no mistake about that. They are the ones who betrayed the gamers.
That's true, now if gamers would just stop buying it they would stop selling it.
It's funny when some people blame ONLY the buyers. It's like a drug dealer saying 'but Judge, I only sell drugs because people buy them. It's really the sole fault of the buyers, not me!'.
@Kang81 One day, when it blows up, it will be the game companies who get hurt. Game consumers have nothing to lose (even though some game consumers act like desperate fools).
I'm sorry you don't support the used game market but that is pro-consumer. When the all-digital future comes and there are no used games the abuses will be impossible to miss. You can see the beginnings of it now, games pulled off of digital stores because of licensing, games patched into worse games because of licensing (I think that happened to a GTA game), games pulled because a remake is out and they want you to buy that one and so on. Before it's all over it's going to get ugly.
Cool, glad we reached some kind of agreement at least!
We may not agree on the value of DLC, I agree microtransactions are pure evil, but we can agree on who really is to blame!
Have a good one.
@Tandy255 : Pokémon Picross was in the extreme minority where you basically "unlock" the full version of the game (that is, without needing to wait to keep playing) after purchasing the maximum of about AU$40 worth of gems or whatever the in-game currency was. Of course this also made it the most expensive Picross game byfar and it only contained a similar amount of content as the AU$7.50 Picross E games. Either way, it was the lesser of evils as you could conceivably have a "full" version of the game, so to speak.
The overwhelming majority of other F2P games are happy for people to spend hundreds upon hundreds on in-game currency with absolutely no guarantee of a favourable outcome for their investment, which is arguably worse than gambling.
@Kang81: I agree with you. I would rather pay an extra $10 (or whatever) and have the entirety of the game on the media that it is supposed to be supplied on, along with patches and and what would otherwise have been sold as DLC.
I miss the days of complete physical releases, the absense of DLC (and whatever was available was almost always free), and adequate quality control that negated the need for patches (except under very rare circumstances, while it is extremely commonplace today).
The video game industry has one of the stupidest customer bases of all, and opportunistic publishers will continue to wring at our goodwill until they have left us completely dry.
I played the free levels of Super Mario Run, enjoyed it so purchased the rest. That is the best way to do things.
"Maybe I should be looking at it a different way. All these mobile entries in my favourite franchises enable Nintendo to have its cake and eat it, gaining exposure for its IP on every smart device going, raking in the big bucks from the whales willing to blow £64.99 on 135 Rubies and keeping all those exhausting mobile trappings locked away where they belong. At least they’re all quarantined away on phones while the full-fat experiences exist safely isolated from the lure of the loot box. At least they won’t infect the ‘proper’ Nintendo games!... Will they?”
This is in fairly poor taste. You're talking pretty flippantly about a corporation taking advantage of people who often have issues with compulsive spending, and other addictive personality problems, as well as children. Are you happy about that, if it keeps such monetisation out of the games you like? The AAA industry has nothing but contempt for us, that much is clear, but I don't expect that kind of nonsense here. Poor form, friend.
@Crono1973 That's... not a good metaphor
Btw I'm all for microtransactions if it means less ads
@Silly_G I agree with you. I would rather pay an extra $10 (or whatever) and have the entirety of the game on the media that it is supposed to be supplied on, along with patches and and what would otherwise have been sold as DLC.
So what will you do when the standard price of games goes up by $10 AND the MTX's come back?
Like I said, that WSJ "report" claiming that Nintendo wasn't into microtransactions is suspect at best, and an outright lie at worst.
I think people are confusing seasons passes and DLC with "pay to play". That's very much the issue with mobile gaming and other "free games", and is something that only the consumer can change.
I've only had two such experiences with free games, one being Fallout Shelter and the other Pokemon Shuffle. I'm a patient person and was happy to be restricted to limited time playing and earning options to by guns and do quests in Fallout Shelter. Then the game decided to cheat by launching excessive raids, notably by giant cockroaches, on my people once I built a solid community. Obviously this ploy was to force me to buy upgrades. The first and second times, I was content to recover and save most of the people that I bred (I named one after me and had him constantly shagging women). The third time was a double hit so I deleted the game.
Pokemon Shuffle is a bit different in that it limts plays to number of hearts, which regenerate once every 30 minutes to a maximum of 5. 500 coins are given a day for power ups, and they can be earned by beating levels. I was patient enough for this system that I could clear every level in the game, even get an S-Rank, and acquire all Pokemon without needing to buy jewels, which can buy you more hearts or be converted to coins. I've put nearly 1000 hours into this game over 3 years (30 minutes a day soon adds up!), however, if the game offered a premium option at $10 of say, 30 hearts a day and 3000 coins, I would happily have paid it, especially to reward the developers. There was no way I would "pay to play" in an ongoing sense so the developers missed out.
What am I saying? Probably developers need to be more creative with their "pay to play" options in free games. People simply won't pay $40 for a full game on mobile so the free option works to a point until luring them into ongoing payments immediately will put many off. I don't find this payment system unethical because many of our recreational activities are "pay to play" in a sense that you hand over $20 to see a film to keep you occupied for 2 hours, so these games are doing similar. They just need to be better at it, especially for a company like Nintendo.
@Crono1973 : My reference to an increase of $10 to the current threshold for standard edition games was a way of addressing (and ideally being rid of) DLC and season passes, as I would ideally prefer to have all of that content on cartridge. Instead, consumers are being charged a hell of a lot more than $10 for content that is grossly disproportionate to the cost, and without the convenience and flexibility of being able to access that content on physical media. (As families can no longer share a complete version of a physical game in the same household as said content is only accessible via expensive DLC).
My argument had nothing to do with microtransactions, and while I think they should not exist at all, there are no excuses for their presence in paid software.
@VmprHntrD haha, people are crazy. Ultimately they’re just loud voices on a message board - the reality is that the majority doesn’t mind these practices considering that these games do fine. If you don’t like it, don’t play it. Personally I’m withholding judgment until I’ve given it a try and Dragalia definitely gives me hope that it’ll be a good game.
@Silly_G I am saying that even if consumers were willing to take a price increase in exchange for no more DLC and MTX’s that the DLC and MTX’s would just come back a year or two later anyway except that now it’s $70 plus the ‘hidden ‘ costs.
@Crono1973 : I was speaking about how things should be under ideal circumstances. I am well aware of the actual circumstances and that the industry won't steer in that direction given the unfortunate complacency of much of the customer base, so there's no need to keep pointing out the obvious.
As an old (increasingly irrelevant) devoted console gamer, I’m just going to passively hope this game bombs for fear that it’ll succeed and replace our beloved series with ad-infused, insipid microtransaction schlock.
But yeah, I might as well wish that climate change wasn’t happening. ☹️
The whole iPhone App Store is a fly by night shop. I’ve stopped using it, because they constantly update iPhones and unless a developer updates the app to be compatible, then the money you spent is worthless. There’s no ownership of digital goods on the App Store. Just a rental fee until it becomes incompatible. I have games that are literally unplayable on my phone right now.
That being said, micro transactions add to the mess of spending money to earn nothing. I hate both of them, so I stopped spending money on apps from Apple.
I’m fine with the used games market, indeed it is pro consumer, and I’m not siding with the companies. Companies don’t care about anything but increasing profits, but I do see how the used games market pushed companies to do some of the things they have. They are a business after all, and that comes first and foremost for them.
I’m still pro physical media, although I must admit, I’ve been getting a lot of digital games over the past few years. The companies finally started having good deals, and I can often get better deals on digital games than I can physical. So I usually buy physical, and then when the digital copy is dirt cheap, I by a digital copy. This way I can have physical copies, but also utilize the extreme convenience of not having to get my lazy butt up off the couch to change games. 😂
However, with the advent of services like Xbox Game Pass, and (shudder 🤢) game streaming, its only a matter of time before the physical digital debate may be over. I foresee companies really embracing this model. I just hope it stays like Xbox Game Pass because it is actually a nice service.
I give it extra points for allowing you to download games instead of stream them, as well as giving a discounted price if we decide to keep a game. The Netflix of gaming will be the next big thing, whether that ends up being a good thing or not remains to be seen.
Whatever happens, I will always choose owning my game
@Crono1973 Exactly this. I stopped using apples App Store because they keep pushing iOS updates that break my older games. Now I don’t have the games, they were never updated and I wasted money. Thank god for used game shops, because I have a very small collection of legacy games and systems. Games as a service, all digital, etc can go screw itself.
All we can do is try and make people see the light, but I fear it’s too late. ha
@SBandy I remember when everybody lost their minds about the horse armor and flamed it for being cosmetic only and a waste of money. Now, people only condone DLC if it’s for cosmetic items, at least in multiplayer games. Funny turn of events.
Remember expansions? I miss expansions.
People dislike lootboxes and microtransactions because they are almost always infinitely monetizable and often prey on people's internal gambling tendencies.
DLC, expansions, and season passes are almost always single-time purchases (i.e. arent infinitely monetizable) and dont prey on people's gambling tendencies (unless the only thing the DLC/expansions/season passes provide is access to more lootboxes/microtransactions, which is never the case for Nintendo's dedicated console games).
Wait wait wait... that's the price scheme of a game that doesn't want to make money? I feel like someone is making a very bad joke here...
I definitly agree with the article, Mario Run and its one time purchase was a fairer and better deal; too bad the mobile market is so confused and damaged at this point that a game asking 10 bucks was seen as too expensive compared to all the games free to download, but able to drain hundreads and hundreads of dollars/euro/etc if you fall for their schemes.
Also...what's with this line?
"Presumably this is because there’s a belief that making Candy Crush levels of profit would somehow come with a detrimental effect on the company’s brand image."
No, just no... the problem is not the level of profit, but how they are made. This is making it sound like for years gamers have complained that companies makes money, when we wouldn't care if they weren't made with -insert here the list of all the tricks companies do to push and force people into pay microtransactions, this comment is already too long to list it all-.
I hope I misread the intention or context of the line cause that sounded too wrong. I know it's a "Soapbox" article, but it's still an article, let's not spread the idea that game companies are seen as bad for making money, when all the problems people have with it is actually on the "how".
@Crono1973 Read the full article before you make comments and you will see DLC gets mentioned.
The price you pay for even the cheapest of those packs can get you proper DLC or even a full game (hello, we live in the age of indie games now). How people still act like this is reasonable or Nintendo being "cautious" is beyond me.
And the problem isn't being old-fashioned, the problem is that you're never done paying for your game.
In Nintendo's defense like you pointed out,Nintendo have not gone down the cynical EA route with DLC,and to be honest the Mario Kart 8 DLC on the Wii U was awesome value for money,and totally free with the extra battle mode on the Switch.
@luke88 I think it’s pretty clear from the ‘Maybe...’ at the start of the paragraph, the doubtful question at the end and the gritted teeth context of the whole thing that I’m not comfortable with it at all. The encroachment of these things into console games is in full swing and Nintendo’s experimentation is discomforting, personally, even if there’s an inevitability to it.
@BakaKnight Yep, I’m referring to the systems employed to make those vast sums, not the money itself
The double standards on gaming forums is so funny,the core games always call mobile games for their micro transactions,while lapping up the insane amounts of DLC for tripple AAA titles they have already paid a decent amount for in the first place.
This comment section already came and went with NSMB 2’s DLC release. We knew then that Nintendo would become indistinguishable from other publishers and here we are. Not much more to say as nothing halted it. Iwata didn’t want to do DLC or the mobile model but he couldn’t stop it. Now there’s definitely no one stopping it in Kyoto
'Free-to-start' it says bottom of screen @ end of video
@dartmonkey That make more sense then ^^
Sorry if I ranted a bit, but I really think that line was a little too subtle..like...it lacked punch on the point you wanted to make then, at least in my opinion.
Anyway I'm focusing too much on one line, the rest was very loud, clear and well written, thanks for the article.
Like it or not mobile gaming is a massive part of the overall gaming market,with new players being singed up as soon as they are old enough to own a mobile phone,the traditional console market has pretty much remained the same user base,it makes more money because of the DLC and prices of it's games,not because it's market share is going up each and every generation,any publisher like Nintendo would be crazy to dismiss the mobile market.
@Crono1973 The DLC season pass for Mario Kart 8 was ridiculously cheap and actually added a lot to the game and was worth every penny.
Same with Splatoon 2 and Zelda BotW.
I have absolutely no problem with DLC, when they give you value for money and add substantially to the game.
Micro transactions like this Ruby trash you see in every F2P trash mobile game is nothing but a nasty cash grab!
The whole game is designed around it to ease you into the game, make you addicted and then face plant you with detrimental gameplay (artificial walls) to force you to pay up constantly to remove the barriers and make the game enjoyable.
This whole F2P garbage is the worst that happened to the game industry! And lets not start about the whole garbage greed around loot boxes!! /Facepalm
As long as Nintendo stay true to themselves, make the games they want to make and don't start pandering to SJW's and PC culture then i'm happy. Too many games with great potential have been ruined in recent months due to that BS.
Long live Nintendo
@mist And as long as they don’t explosively transform into giant mutant chickens and go squawking around all over the planet and eat all your children’s soup then everything should be just hunky-dory.
The deal breaker for me is requiring an internet connection. This is a game I would like to play on my commute, but that’s where my connectivity is poor to non-existent. If I pay to own then I shouldn’t also need to be online.
The few apps that Nintendo 'legitimizes' are the ones on the MyNintendo portal: Super Mario Run, Pokémon Rumble Rush, Animal Crossing Pocket Camp, and Fire Emblem Heroes. I play the latter two daily and am happy to earn the Nintendo Points they give. This is probably the best support Nintendo can offer its users and customers from their apps. I've gotten loads of in-game items, eShop discounts, and 3DS themes from this (even when it was Club Nintendo) so it really benefits its clientele...especially when it had Miitomo!! 😊
The other Nintendo apps such as Dragalia Lost and Dr.Mario World can still link to a Nintendo Account but nothing to gain except sharing the friends list from the other apps.
If Nintendo increases the 'point system' with more rewards then it'll have a strong advantage and less pressure from other mobile games apps.
If you don’t like micro transactions, don’t give in and buy them. If people are willing to throw their money, companies will gladly take it. If people pay full price for a port, Nintendo will gladly make huge profits.
They might keep it to mobile for now, but as a generation grows up who are used to Roblox and Fortnite, they won't see dedicated hardware as a reason to pay for games. And as hardware becomes more generic, and streaming becomes more widespread, the dedicated hardware, premium, games will look more and more of an oddity in the marketplace.
Here's another way to think about it. DLC, especially day one DLC is like a hidden cost for the incomplete game you just paid full price for. The $60 game is not the complete game, you have to pay an extra amount to get the full game now. Day one DLC (and/or pre-ordering DLC on day one) has become common place and still people say 'I like DLC'. DLC lead us to where we are now.
I think what makes micro transactions gross is when it's set up to release dopamine as a reward for spending money. If it does the same thing to your brain as casino gambling, it feels dishonest and unsavory. That's loot boxes in a nutshell.
Offering extra content that's not required to enjoy the base game for a flat fee is different. With rising costs of AAA game development, it makes sense that developers and publishers want to be sure that a game that cost as much as a hundred million dollars is able to turn a profit. It's not really comparable to casino style loot boxes.
I'm really not a fan of FTP mobile games. Mobile gamers tend to not want to pay for a game unless it's only a little here and there and it remains optional. Nintendo tried to release a full game that had a flat one time payment and it flopped. Mobile gamers voted with their wallets for the FTP model. There's not much Nintendo can do about it except keeping as much integrity as possible with their micro transactions. They're walking a fine line. So far they don't seem to be getting too greedy with it. Nintendo knows how valuable public perception is. I hope they keep it fair and honest for many years to come.
Did you even play it? The first beta looked great. It ran smooth AF. Its been mobilized but its not the worst mobile game out there. The controls are simplified for mobile which was eh. The character/item leveling system isn't bad though. Just through the beta period I had nearly all the items and characters I wanted.
Most of the things have been said alread.. for me the mario kart dlc was a welcome addition, after a year.. and today i will happily buy the donkey kong dlc for mariorabbids because it will give me some extra life out of a game i kinda for forgot (dlc finally on sale). That’s quite different from day 1 dlc.. studf that could have been on day one..
I remember the good days of the iphone market with great games in 2009/2010.. and then suddenly the race to the bottom with only .99 cents games... for a whild great, but you just felt it wasn’t sustainable, and suddenly we were in microtransactio hell.. i don’t play that much on my phone anymore..
The article missed a bit the experimentation nintendo did already on the 3ds with a pokemon game and badge arcade and some more.. they were clewrly finding out what a nintendo-style ftp could be..
Hopefully the lessons from animal crossing mobile (took the sole out of the game) and the reaction the mk beta led to that recent news about ‘not too. Uch monetization’. And they will find a way to reach a big audience without us feeling cheated ..
Btw in some comments i read that ‘‘most gamers are fine with the monitzation since the games are doing well’ . I disagree with that.. if you read about the FTPlay market, you see that actually the income comes from a very small percentage of ‘whales’ (rich kids, addicts):, and the rest almost buys nothing and is irritated...
Mario Kart Tour Looks Lousy With F2P Trappings, But That’s All Right
Yeah...that's not it chief...
Every free apps made by nintendo it's not it's all money..
The issue is money. They tried with Super Mario Run and it got outsold by FE Heroes, Dragalia, and AC Pocket Camp despite the fact that Mario is one of the biggest gaming franchises in the world. It sucks but it is what it is.
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