The Anthem in game store

EA and Bioware have been very silent regarding what kind of pricing model ANTHEM would release with. We knew early on that the store wouldn’t contain loot boxes, only cosmetic items, but then gamers in the beta found out that the cost of cosmetics were quite ridiculous with its $20 skins. Journalists have tried to get a response on the matter, but with statements like “this is just an iteration of the final product”, suspicion began to arise.

Now that the game is released for everyone: What does the store look like, what does it have to offer and what do the items cost? There are two currencies in the game, coins and shards, and as for now you can purchase all items with either of the currency type. While coins can be earned in game, shards can only be bought for real money in the following amounts. As usual there is a small bonus of shards the more money you spend.

  • 500 shards $4.99
  • 1050 shards $9.99
  • 2200 shards $19.99
  • 4600 shards $39.99

The baseline is basically that $1 will buy you a 100 shards. For your shards you can purchase armor packs, which are skins for your Javelin, the exosuit of your character, fabrics or metals, material customization for the exosuit, and lastly decals for your suit, which are exactly what they sound like.

While the pricing is not near as bad as it was in the beta, it doesn’t seem that EA are embarrassed by selling skins for almost $10 in a full priced $60 game, and they will probably continue in this manner unless we as gamers start calling them out. Not once, but game release after game release, by not purchasing games which contain these elements we don’t like. How much grindier the game has been made is a question only EA can answer. If you don’t like it, don’t buy it.

A red dot for $1

When you think Activision can’t sink any lower with Black Ops 4, here they are, surprising us all again. Their latest addition to the in-game shop is a red dot reticle for your reflex sight, and they are charging the equivalent of $1 for it.

“But it’s just $1.” I prefer to phrase it the other way around. “It’s just a red dot!” To be frank, I don’t see where Activision get the balls to try and charge gamers $1 for a few red pixels. Surely they have to understand that a scheme like this will blow up in their face and put more fuel to the fire of “Cashtivision”

So why do they do this? To get players credit card numbers on the hook. Players who would never spend anything in the game otherwise but think “But it’s just $1.” When the next “crazy sale” of 50% off digital items opens up, it’s only one click of a button away…

Street Fighter V receives MTX ads

Is there anything more annoying than that salesman, be it on the street, on the phone, or by your door, who wants to sell you that fantastic pen you already know you really don’t want? I don’t think so. A while ago Capcom announced that they would be adding advertisements to Street Fighter V during loading screens. Well, now they are here, and there is a catch if you want to turn them off. The ads will, at the moment, only be for in-game content such as cosmetics, but as a consumer I am very skeptical if it will remain this way.

The natural response from gamers when the news hit was, “absurd”, but the strong reaction didn’t stop Capcom from going through with their announcement. Don’t like that ads? Turn them off, but you won’t be getting that extra fight money in ranked and casual matches. In relation, basically nerfing the reward in comparision to players opting out.

Commercials and ads in games is nothing new, in sports games they’ve been around for a while, but in these cases, it comes across as natural and it’s not shoved into the face of the consumer, who paid $60 for a full game.

I sincerly hope that players of Street Figher make themselves heard, and most surely make sure to turn ads off. Capcom will be monitoring their internal statistics closely and if it turns out the benefit to these ads are greater than the bad will they create, you can bet your hat on you will be seeing this kind of behaviour even more. Vote with your wallets ladies and gentlemen.

Black Ops 4 adds microtransactions

When Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 was released none of the reviewers mentioned anything about microtransactions. The reason for that is because there weren’t any in the game at that point. As players started progressing through the game tiers, many people noticed it was slightly grindy. Three weeks after the game release, as many players already have purchased the game and have invested a lot of time into it, Activision Blizzard silently adds microtransactions to the game.

If you want to own that tier 200 weapon variant you better come with cash in hand, $200 to be precise, or grind 250+ in game hours. To top it off there is a time limit, making it an impossible feat for most people. £1.79/$2 will buy you 200 points, £8.49/$9.99 1100 points, £16.79/$19.99 2.400 points, £34.99/$39.99 5000 points and £84.99/$99.99 will buy you 13.000 points. The points can then be spent on a simple outfit, basically a set of in game clothes, for 800 points, or 200 points to advance through one of level tiers.

Call of Duty fans are naturally upset about the direction Activision Blizzard are moving the game, and at this point you wonder exactly what is going to tip the scale to the point when the gaming community has had enough. It seems like all of the AAA publishers are all moving along the same path of microtransactions, but have learned from their earlier mistakes, and now are trying to sneak them into their games. I wish them all the luck in world.

Will microtransactions save Destiny 2?

Destiny 2 and its expansions has failed to meet Activision Blizzard’s sales estimates and the company is now scrambling to please its investors. Activision Blizzard recently made the base game free to claim in the for PC players until November 18th, in an attempt to try and boost the player base and potential expansion pack sales. But is that all?

According to Kotaku:

“…the publisher said today on an earnings call, promising investors a faster content model and new forms of monetization for the game.

While this may sound good on paper for the investors, how will gamers react to such news?

Destiny 2 just added its third expansion Forsaken this September, an expansion which has received positive reviews from journalists and somewhat positive reviews from gamers. Destiny fans feel Forsaken is a step in the right direction, in which direction will the next step be?