A stupid game era thinks we’re stupid

We all (nearly) use smartphones, many of us one or other tablet too. I love technology, so definitely owning more recent models from both groups, for different purposes. I love to take quality photo shots with my phone, more and more improving myself on this field intentionally, direct messaging and all e-mail traffic goes through my beloved S6 Edge Plus (no, did not get paid, so it is not a promotion) and on the go flipping through some news via Flipboard on that screen is just sweet. The tablet is a mixed purpose device, but it has two main functions: long readings; news junkie times at home, going deeper down in the newsfeeds’ rabbit hole; and of course reading one of the many books I own and purchasing new ones when it’s time for; and the other purpose: well, games. The bigger screen, 10.1″, definitely gives a better field for very different type of games, puzzels, FPS, race, adventure. There are some entertaining game titles. Some, and just some, as mobile game industry tends to RUIN our app store experience…

But how exactly, in my opinion, they screw what could be awesome, and instead is more and more gruesome: first, not all games, but most of them starts with an awful long explanation how to play, what are the objectives, wasting precious time and levels to introduce you to a game which you installed to explore self (my guess) like we did on PCs and later consoles from the ’80s to begin 2000s with every single game we got: we figured out, used our precious asset: BRAIN, and hell, we even liked it. That was the point, solving those puzzels, racing the tires burned up til we got to the end, and when we did, felt good, accomplished. But we know, today’s game designs in most cases are not that much about user satisfaction than more to “help” us to those levels which earn for THEM the most if they can lure you into the other, bigger issue with these games: in-app purchase greed!

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And there lies the real evil in 80% of mobile games (maybe I’m too optimistic with 80) for phones and tablets: the ABUSE of in-app purchase system, and that’s the point where I do uninstall a game. When it gets oh too obviously greedy, making it basically impossible to advance without a “small” (from $0.99 to $99.99!, but hey, they make sure there is a Best Value logo at the highest amounts, just that you feel better about) purchase of….actually nothing, just digitally drew crap: gems, candies, monkeys, fruits, or happy rainbow farting unicorns, for the 10th or 100th time if you want to pass to…to the 1000th of the same level where the only modification is that it becomes rather more impossible to complete by design, unless…you guessed it, purchasing more empty farts! Some games have an actual end, less and less so, and many seem to never at all, but of course that would be the point, earning model of a new billion industry (oh yes, it is). Frankly, disgusting. You would say, come on Rob, who would give out money regularly for nothing, if is not for unlocking a full game?! Perhaps those who together generated below stats:

  • Total app revenues are projected to grow from $45,37B in 2015 to $76.52B in 2017!

angry-birds-rio-in-app-purchase

Whoop! That is a real candy crush! Many candies crushed. And from this, the nice and fair paid app revenue (those you pay once or twice to unlock actual feature sets and whole application and then owning a cool app) is around but yet under the 2B only. So, we can safely assume where the rest comes from. The abusers like EA Games, King, Gameloft, Vector, Rovio and many smaller devs who are happy to present their 100000th variation of the same ol’same ol’ bejewelled concept-saga with oh so different fruits, sodas, birds, turds, horses and who knows what else, or coming with the 5000th very “unique” war game (they are extremely popular now, god knows why) where you can now collectively spend 10s and then after 100s of your well-earned bucks , playing it away daily together in online multiplayer heaven (i.e. debt hell) of thanks, bazukas, dragons angels and unicorns on rainbows crying when you do not. And when you do not, don’t worry, you won’t miss a chance, they make sure you get notified as it is due time to fill XY developer group’s bank account even further. They have to eat too…and rather doing it from a yacht, you should be able to understand that, right?!

Joking aside, it is a growing problematic with no solution yet (besides your own discipline not to screw up your financials for them) and killing the fun steadily, but there is always the other side of the coin, even if its side is fading: the fair trade app models, the traditional ones, where you pay once or twice to support the dev and you get the whole game, photo or text editing app and enjoy on all your devices, receiving nice updates for no further fees. You still can find those, it’s not an extinct race, just slowly gets pushed out by those are advertised more by shiny “new, epic” smiling characters and levels of GREED.

Don’t misunderstand this, I am too for supporting those who put thousands of hours in making life-enriching, fabulous, innovative apps, and entertaining, fun games mirroring a lot of fantasy, stories. I would never have difficulty with throwing some euros here and there occasionally for one or other mind blowing (full)experience and with that showing some love to him or her made that available. Of course, why not. What I hate is simply that majority of them loves to think about us as stupid milking cows must be freed of the last of the last drop, that we would be a horde of idiots must be lead to “new” wars to battle our last cents out. Certainly not mine.

5 Comments

  1. You’ve said it, Robert!! That’s exactly how i feel. There’s no game one can play these days without all these super annoying in-app purchases. What do they think we are? Stupid?
    Indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Of course not. In fact, my three brothers, one sister and I completely agree with you. Also almost all my friends. Now that’s a crowd 😉

        Like

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