This Week in Games: May 05, 2012

The Elder Scrolls MMO game was announced, as was Black Ops II, Notch called out EA for pretending to be indie, and Microsoft wants to sell you a cheap Xbox like it's a phone.

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A big week for news this week, so plenty of stuff to get everyone talking in the comments. Speaking of which, you will no doubt notice (if you're a regular reader) that we overhauled and upgraded our commenting system this week too. Comments are now threaded: you can follow conversations and receive notifications about replies, and there's no longer that silly level requirement that used to scare off new users. Sound good? Let's go…

Elder Scrolls Online & DLC for Skyrim

Skyrim fans yearning to explore the game's fantasy world with other people will get the chance next year, as Bethesda Softworks announced The Elder Scrolls Online on Wednesday. The new game is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game, set for release in 2013. If details leaked from an as-yet-unreleased Game Informer cover story are to be believed, Elder Scrolls Online will be a third-person adventure featuring three player factions, believed to be the Ebonheart Pact: The Nords, Dunmer, and Argoninans; the Aldmeri Dominion: Altmer, Bosmer, and Khajit; and the Daggerfall Covenant: Bretons, Redguard, and Orcs. The Imperials are said to be the bad guys that everyone in the game will be up against.

The Elder Scrolls Online will be the debut game from Zenimax Online Studios, which was established five years ago with Mythic Entertainment cofounder Matt Firor (Dark Age of Camelot) heading up the operation. Firor is also serving as game director on the project.

In other Elder Scrolls news, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim will add its first wave of downloadable content this summer, Bethesda confirmed. Titled Dawnguard, the content will arrive initially for the Xbox 360 and will be discussed in greater detail at the 2012 Electronic Entertainment Expo this June. Dawnguard will launch first on the Xbox 360 and will remain exclusive to that platform for 30 days. After that time has elapsed, it will spread to additional platforms. The name Dawnguard is not a surprise. In March, Bethesda parent company Zenimax sought a trademark for Dawnguard but did not provide any details on what it planned to do with the name. For more on Skyrim, check out GameSpot's review.

Quoted for Truth

Icehearted: "Because we need another MMO. Because The Old Republic worked out so well. Because single-player games are SO 4 minutes ago."

Call of Duty Black Ops II

Hey everyone! Black Ops II was announced! Surprised? No, neither were we. Still, it's kind of different, and that's certainly got people talking. Just because the existence of the game was a foregone conclusion doesn't mean that the content of the game is on that same level of predictability. In fact, the team at Treyarch has got quite a number of tricks up its sleeve for this upcoming first-person shooter. The core action is very much Call of Duty, but the overall package might just surprise you. How so? It's set in the future and the past, it has branching storylines, it's occasionally a real-time strategy game, it has a villain Treyarch wants you to care about, and it's more influenced by e-sports than you might otherwise think. For more detail, check out our first preview here.

Cynics who believe that interest in the franchise is waning were proven somewhat wrong on Thursday this week when a representative for Amazon.com told GameSpot that the game is already performing incredibly well in North America. "Preorders from day 1 of Black Ops II were more than 10 times the amount of preorders for the first Black Ops on its first day of availability. Black Ops II even out preordered the first day of availability for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 by more than 30 percent. Modern Warfare 3 currently holds the record for the most preordered game of all time and was amongst the top 20 preorders ever on Amazon.com, including books and movies."

Quoted for Truth

MrVette427: "November 13, 2012 the day I save $59.99."

Notch Calls Out EA

Markus "Notch" Persson sounded off via his Twitter feed this week about EA's newly launched Indie Bundle, which is presently available on Steam. Notch said, "EA releases an 'indie bundle'? That's not how that works, EA. Stop attempting to ruin everything, you bunch of cynical bastards." Persson later said his studio, Mojang, is "no longer indie" (something he had alluded to earlier) and offered a more damning take on EA. "Indies are saving gaming. EA is methodically destroying it," he said. The EA Indie Bundle he's talking about launched this week on Steam and includes DeathSpank, DeathSpank: Thongs of Virtue, Gatling Gears, Shank, Shank 2, and Warp for $20.98. The offer expires on May 9.

What do you think? Is he right to take EA to task about this? Let us know in the comments.

Quoted for Truth

vochelli: "I don't know if EA is single-handly destroying gaming, but they do represent almost all of the worst directions gaming has gone in: overpriced DLC, Disc-Locked Content, online passes, DRM, shovelware, incomplete games, etc."

God of War Multiplayer

It seems like it was barely yesterday that we were confidently talking about God of War: Ascension as a single-player game. Well, turns out we were wrong. This week it was announced that the game will feature a variety of Power Stone-like modes, although the only confirmed concept revealed was the Team Execution mode that will feature two groups of four players battling for control of a specific part of the map. In one version of the game, the teams fight to activate a cog chained to a giant imprisoned Cyclops, with the winning team earning the right to kill the helpless monster. The game's multiplayer mode will feature some persistent features as players develop their Troy or Spartan soldiers over time. Performance on the battlefield can yield blessings from the gods in the form of new perks, weapons, and abilities. There will also be a number of different combat roles for players depending on the god they associate themselves with, be it Hades, Poseidon, Zeus, or Ares.

Quoted for Truth

XboxGuy1537: "Ugh, do we need multiplayer for ANOTHER game?"

Blizzard Skims Off the Top in Diablo III

Blizzard said it will take $1 from every piece of equipment (weapons and armor) successfully sold. For commodities like crafting materials, gems, gold, and what Blizzard described as "stackable" items, the company will enact a 15 percent transaction fee.

Blizzard offered new details on Diablo III's controversial real-money auction house this past Tuesday. The service will launch "approximately one week" after the role-playing game ships on May 15, and Blizzard will enact surcharges on all commodities sold and for those wishing to cash out. Blizzard said it will take $1 from every piece of equipment (weapons and armor) successfully sold. For commodities like crafting materials, gems, gold, and what Blizzard described as "stackable" items, the company will enact a 15 percent transaction fee. On top of that, Blizzard will take another 15 percent if gamers elect to move funds to a third-party service like PayPal. Gamers can avoid that fee (and PayPal's own surcharge) by dumping the cash into their Battle.net account, but there, the funds can be used only to purchase Blizzard games, subscriptions, and merchandise.

What do you think? Does the auction house change the way you feel about Diablo III in any way? Will knowing that every item has real monetary value affect the way you play?

Quoted for Truth

DrizztDoUrden16: "I dont get the problem with Bliz making some money off the AH… You have to think about the rising cost of maintaining and updating games these days, is it really so bad that they want to have a long lasting source of income other than charging monthly fees?"

Miyamoto Politely Talks a Little Smack About the Vita

The PlayStation Vita has struggled in the sales charts, and Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto thinks he knows why. Speaking to Edge, Miyamoto suggested that the Sony system's software isn't matching the abilities of the hardware. "It's obviously a very hi-spec machine, and you can do lots of things with it," Miyamoto said, "But I don't really see the combination of software and hardware that really makes a very strong product." Miyamoto expressed a similar sentiment about the 3DS's initial struggles after launch. "When we launched the 3DS hardware we didn't have Super Mario 3D Land, we didn't have Mario Kart 7, we didn't have Kid Icarus: Uprising," he told Edge. "We were striving to have all of these ready for the launch, but we weren't able to deliver them at that time. We were kind of hoping that people would, nevertheless, buy into the product, find 3DS hardware promising, but looking back we have to say we realize the key software was missing when we launched the hardware."

Do you think he's right? Let us know in the comments.

Quoted for Truth

Flint247: "I agree with Miyamoto. The PS Vita is a great handheld, but there aren't too many appealing games out there that would make it fly off the shelves. Some games feel too similar to PS3 games. Not to mention the price is a little high for some people. I like how he politely says this and not in a biased way. He even acknowledged his own mistake with the Nintendo 3DS launch. I do agree that the 3DS would have done better at launch if games like Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7 were out by then. I did like the system when I first got in on launch day, but it was a little shallow."

Microsoft Planning $99 Xbox 360 With Subscription

The Verge is reporting that Microsoft will soon offer its 4GB Xbox 360 hardware with Kinect for $99, provided purchasers sign up for a two-year Xbox Live subscription that will cost $15 a month. Yup, it'll be just like buying a phone.

Gamers holding out for a price cut on the Xbox 360 might have a new deal to consider soon, as The Verge is reporting that Microsoft will soon offer its 4GB Xbox 360 hardware with Kinect for $99, provided purchasers sign up for a two-year Xbox Live subscription that will cost $15 a month. Yup, it'll be just like buying a phone. Attributing the info to oh-so-mysterious "unspecified sources" (them again, huh?), the site reports that the package will be offered through Microsoft Stores in the US and is being positioned as a competing product to streaming media offerings like Apple TV and Roku, as well as the PlayStation 3. The deal will come with a two-year warranty, as well as an early termination fee for those who want out before the end of the deal. The report also suggests that those who sign up will be given access to some of the paid media and sports streaming services on Xbox Live.

Quoted for Truth

Agent-M: "Talk about overpriced. You can get 2 years of Xbox live for less than $100."

In other Xbox news, IGN is citing another "unspecified source" with the news that the next Xbox hardware has already entered manufacturing. The report says hardware for the next Xbox has been produced at the Austin, Texas, branch of electronics firm Flextronics, which was the first manufacturer of the original Xbox and one of three Microsoft initially employed to work on the Xbox 360. The firm also reportedly created a testing group focused specifically on "comprehensive marketing, software, and hardware tests of the next Xbox." As for what exactly is being produced, IGN speculates Flextronics is producing dev kits so the next Xbox developers have hardware on which to create their games. Predictably, Microsoft had not responded to GameSpot's request for comment before everyone went home for the weekend.

Quoted for Truth

maximumbarmage: "I won't be buying any new Microsoft hardware until at least two years after release. After being kicked in the nads with the appalling build quality of their last two machines at launch I don't see how anyone could trust them again to be perfectly honest."

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Written By

Discussion

113 comments
NRDubZ
NRDubZ

I will say that when I first heard about the RMT Auction house in D3 I had cursed it as a clear sign of Activision influence on Blizz games. Recently though I loaded up D2 and the moment I opened a public game it filled up with bots that blast your screen with walls of text advertising their RMT websites. Every two minutes or so a new bot will come in, spam you, then leave. It was beyond frustrating for reasons that are obvious and I am now happy about the Blizz controlled auction house. They may be trying to get their piece of the pie for providing the service, but something had to be done. \

 

Moral of the story; It may seem greedy at a glance, but I would bet that it was initially created to address this issue and optimised for profitability second.

malighos
malighos

seriosuly blizzard ...1 dollar per armor/weapon....what if i sell an equipment for 0.50 $. will i have to pay them ? lol...

hammychang
hammychang

Hey,

Regarding Diablo III, here are my 2 cents:

I will buy it, regardless of other, comparable games, mainly because it’s a legacy product. Like many others I’ve grown up with these games, so buying it is greatly a sentimental decision. That said, I do like what I see about the game, so I expect great times to come.

Considering the auction house and the entire set-up around it: It is clear to me, that Diablo is trying to reap earnings from an MMO-gaming-platform omitting, however, the unattractive monthly fee. WOW has introduced that, it worked, others have copied it, but I think people have moved on, and might be looking for a more flexible arrangement. That would be a billing by (trans)action rather than per month, regardless of our playing the game or not. Also: Blizzard stands to make much more money with millions of transactions at a flexible rate, rather than with 100ks of regular, fixed payments.

If we look at it this way, the increased focus on items (all characters’ abilities relying on their equipment) makes sense. Incidentally, this change also focuses, in my opinion, on the main driver for gamers: The quest for ever increasing personalization and improvement via all sorts of collectables (weapons, armor, runes, etc.).

 

So my conclusion is: Diablo III is trying to offer a new MMO platform that will increase their profits, adhere to gamers’ readiness to pay, while actually supporting/nurturing the gamers’ preference to venture forth and seek ever better collectables. I certainly hope this win-win proposition works out.

 

ExtremePhobia
ExtremePhobia

I'm ok with Blizzard taking some off the top from the auction house. I'm a little skeptical about how much. I was thinking that it'd be interesting to see if I can make some money playing Diablo but if they're looking for 30% off the top, I'm not sure how much it'll be worth the hassle of dealing with the AH. For me, at least.

Warden816
Warden816

How about this, instead of buying Diablo III, get the arguably better Torchlight II. Right now it is being overshadowed by Diablo III just because of Blizzard. I think that due to the close connection that Runic Games (makers of Torchlight II) has with its fans, that the fan feedback from the first game has shaped the game in such a huge way that it will be even better than Diablo III. Don't waste your money on Diablo III, take a chance with Torchlight II (which will be selling for only $20 because Runic Games knows what fan service is) and you will be surprised at soon you will forget about Diablo III. Trust me, at the very least, look up the game.

mechmaster525
mechmaster525

I don't understand why were bashing EA and not Blizzard, when Blizzard is doing the same thing with Diablo III. Their price gouging players as bad as EA with it's DLC and day of launch DLC. What makes Blizzard so holyier than thou compared to EA. Blizzard is making so much money on WoW and not to mention how much their gonna make on each purchase of Diablo III they can more than afford to run the servers. The same can be made about EA, "Were paying the developers for making the DLC." I don't like EA, and I certainly don't like how Blizzard is being put on a pedestal when they are no better. The only sad part is that, like EA, players will flock out to buy Diablo III and allow Blizzard to price gouge them all the same. Heck, I went out and baught the $69.99 version of Mass Effect 3 just to get the day of release DLC and I hate EA...but god is Mass Effect so awesome!

musicaholicz
musicaholicz

Looks like "greed" is really taking over the gaming industry...the only thing comes to mind from game publishers is that gamers/consumers dont care about the price tag, isn t that right jessie j?LOL

ACMC85
ACMC85

They stand to make so much money from all my loot. Oh well, I plan on having fun and if someone over powers me with an awesome weapon I sold to them, the price was paid.I lost to the better player.

shantd
shantd

$1 every time you sell a weapon? Are they nuts?? I guess I'll be breaking out my eye patch and peg-leg.

AzatiS
AzatiS

@john Davison

 

Yo john..

 

About diablo quote of truth

 

"" Isnt blizzard already making so much money per month that they could patch/server maintenance Diablo for more than 3000 years ... So 15% extra fees could have been 2-4% and 1$/E per item could have been 10cents. Greediness is a bad thing and excuses can be many.

csward
csward

I hate to say it, but M$ might start a trend in video games. I mean, what if the next Xbox was free with a two year commitment? Think about how much money companies could make off of software and peripherals at launch. 

 

I have worked in the cell phone industry and sadly I see M$' strategy working out well with a little marketing.

Joedgabe
Joedgabe

In other words miyamoto you're saying what the rest of us are saying.... Vita has no games... just ports. The hell Sony? make me want to get one!! i love handhelds!! but this one isn't even a game system yet for lack of games.

maxguevera
maxguevera

I think Sony released the Vita early just to take as much wind out of the 3DS's sales as they could. I think they are aware it my not have been a success out of the box, but have made themselves a great hardware spec that is cutting edge and can be refined and reiterated on over the next few years without the need to split their user base. Apple could find long term problems with gamers if they continue to change their hardware leaving alot of their audience, who can't afford their devices, behind.

rrhammer
rrhammer

"You have to think about the rising cost of maintaining and updating games these days". Oh please. Gamers have been reading so many articles about the woes of the poor little game developers that they've started to believe them. Major developers throw words around like dramatic newspaper headlines describing SOARING and SKYROCKETING costs. It always amuses me the way people just assume prices just suddenly go up 2000% or something overnight. Developers both big and small generally do just fine, especially if they get a good game together. Look at all the bonuses you hear about at Blizzard and the disgustingly lucrative contracts at Infinity Ward. Blizzard is obviously saying "sink your money into our stuff or we'll take a huge chunk of it anyway". On that note, I learned my lessons about micro-transactions on Facebook. I realized i was paying real money for items in mini-games and had nothing to show for it except a rising credit card debt. Those micro-transactions add up fast and it's for something temporary at best. Truth: If you buy that stuff you will still never be the best, the most powerful, or w/e. There will always be another upgrade or expansion or new end-game gear, like WoW. How many of you are still paying off debt for items in games you don't play anymore or a game that got canceled? Never again.

Tacojoint
Tacojoint

tes online doesnt even look like tes, its probally going to be a disaster

NotoriusGlaedr
NotoriusGlaedr

@micahspringer I agree, if this is their way to fund DLC , I am also all for it. Really I'm just excited as shit for Diablo 3 and would pay anyways lol 

zipperflipper
zipperflipper

Just for those that are confused and think that elder scrolls online is being developed by Bethesda it is not, it is however being developed by Zenimax online Studios which is Zenimax's new mmo makers. Just had to clear that up :)

micahspringer
micahspringer

I just hope that since Blizzard is profiting from the AH they pump the majority of that money into making new content [items, patches, new PVP maps, new quests].

 

I have no problem with them taking 1$ or 15%, they made the system and we get it for free.

 

I just hope they use most of the money for updates/patches, and the rest for server maintenance.

 

If they take the majority of it as pure profit and don't give any back to the D3 community that would suck.

Kravyn81
Kravyn81

Anyone who thinks the 360 "deal" is saving them money obviously can't perform basic arithmetic.

Muro-san
Muro-san

I think the biggest pull for the Elder Scrolls MMO is its lore, and the fact you get to see locations you couldn't before in previous elder scrolls games. Places like Elsewyr, Blackmarsh, Hammerfell, High Rock, Summerset Isle, and so on. And even then, it'd be cool if they used the original programmed environments we've memorized in the games we've played, like Morrowind or Skyrim. I'm sure Bethesda will deliver a game that'll satisfy both Elder Scrolls and MMO fans. Maybe this will lead to a Fallout MMO, but then again that was Obsidian and Interplay so maybe not.

 

 

Honestly, I'm psyched. Having multiplayer in God of War may give it a "Jason and the Argonauts" feel, especially when working together to take down a monster with the final blow. It's something the devs wanna try out, and you gotta give em credit for that at least. 

 

 

As for Black Ops II, didn't bother with MW3 except when i rented it for Spec Ops and Campaign, but i really liked the first Black Ops and its multiplayer. Glad Woods is alive, maybe he's a playable character in Zombie mode too XD I honestly liked Treyarch for the over the top campaigns in Black Ops and World at War, but Infinity Ward gets it done for realism too (I just think the characters in Treyarch's call of duty entries have more personality. Sure, Captain Price is badass, but Reznov will always have a place in my Hall of Fame)

 

 

I had fun playing the Diablo 3 beta, and if that's something to qualify a purchase then alright. I mean, if you had a blast playing a tiny part of it, why not go ahead and play the rest of it? Maybe I'm just being naive, but i want to see how the story develops by playing Single Player first, then playing multiplayer when moving on to Nightmare mode. It's a good transition at least, first time i played Diablo 2 i beat the singleplayer with a level 40ish Barbarian. Felt satisfied, but going to online meant starting all over again with a fresh character. Yeah, having no LAN support's a kick in the ass, but play online with friends you know won't ruin the fun by focusing on getting you to the final boss run and skip nearly all of the game. Take your time, enjoy it fellow Diablo fans!

 

 

If you want a more classic diablo 2 experience there's always Torchlight 2: Cheaper (20 bucks), mod support (both single player AND multiplayer), no online requirement, LAN support, skill trees and stat points, etc. If you don't mind the new directions Diablo 3 is taking, then buy that one and enjoy. Or you could just have both :)

 

 

Another thing is that for PVP you can respond to someone whupping your ass by saying "Nice kill, does your dad know your using his credit card?" Or something like that. Diablo 2 had its share of sites to buy items from, and they had craploads of bots to advertise as well. Hopefully there wont be bots this time, but if there are they'll advertise accounts rather than sites to buy. But at least when you decide to complete a item set you wont worry about hacked accounts/missing the mule carrying your item.

 

 

Overall, I'm probably being too optimistic here, but I'm glad Diablo 3 doesn't require a subscription at least.

Gizmyle
Gizmyle

Could you be any more negative? Jesus, quality journalism my ass.

carbon78
carbon78

What the hell did you do to gamespot? I cant thumb down anybody anymore. This sucks...

SporkFireXPS
SporkFireXPS

Hell yeah!! Once Diablo 3 comes out I'm going to quit my job and college to make my living selling things at the Diablo 3 auction house, wish me luck!

MADPADDY
MADPADDY

 @NRDubZ 

 

You have to be REALLY naive to think a company looks at profitability second.

shantd
shantd

 @hammychang  Diablo III is not an MMO though, so it's not a matter of substituting auction house fees in place of a monthly fee. This is just a way for them to generate extra cash that they otherwise would have no way of generating. They couldn't charge a monthly fee for this game even if they wanted to.

 

If they took a tiny piece of each transaction, I could live with it. But they're charging WAY too much.

 

paxis85
paxis85

 @Warden816 personally i think they'll both be pretty awesome. still you have to consider that blizzard games will always have something crucial going for them - production value. Blizzard take their time releasing games but always give out a polished product which is as much eye candy as it is well executed. torchlight has a different style of production. they make for good hack n' slash games but at the same time the style is very different. Personally I'll be picking up both in the long run. If one loves the genre, one shouldn't compare between two well made games but rather appreciate the two for the often different reasons why both of them are good

Viridianzealot
Viridianzealot

 @Warden816 Diablo is Diablo and Torchlight is Torchlight. Besides being in the same genre there is a vast difference between them. Nothing has the feeling of a Diablo game. Both games have a different target group. As such most of us hack 'n slash fans will play both, because both look like they will be exceptional games.

ash_mohak
ash_mohak

 @Warden816 Seriously dude... torchlight 2 = going to be awesome... but it's a tad bit different than Diablo 3 don't ya think? I absolutely loved Torchlight and am definitely buying it's sequel.... but to compare the 2 games with each other is simply wrong... I, for one, cannot wait another 8 days to play Diablo 3!!

Leinhartx
Leinhartx

 @Warden816

 yyyeeeeaaaahhhhh....im uh....just gonna go ahead and get both because I think they are amazing...no need to "take a chance" in this situation. comon, no need to fanboy it out. both are differant and will be amazing!

pinching_perry
pinching_perry

 @mechmaster525 Blizzard isn't doing anything shady. They are allowing players to potentially make money off of the AH, IF they chose to, and if you do chose to they are going to shave a little off the top for providing you that avenue of revenue. This is no different than any other revenue stream.

 

Viridianzealot
Viridianzealot

 @mechmaster525 I didn't buy ME3 although god knows how I want to, because I feel cheated buy all this DLC system. At least Blizzard is honest about their products and they are releasing full games. Not a half baked game at 60 Euros and another 70+ Euros DLC's in the first weeks of their product (NFS Undergound, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 13 and others). Although I don't agree with Blizzard's money farming tactics with the AH of D3, I have to admit that it gives another incentive to play the game and I would rather buy and sell items in a sanctioned system then through some unsecured channel. EA is purely unethical as a company (the latest iOS incident proves that) at least with Blizzard you get what you pay for.

Warden816
Warden816

 @mechmaster525 If you want an awesome game by an awesome Game developer then look no farther than Runic Games, which is selling its new game Torchlight II for twenty bucks, and this ain't no Indie game either. This is a game they have been working on for a number of years.

ACMC85
ACMC85

 @rrhammer Well said. But, those are only some developers, I do hear of some going out of business. THQ is almost gone, but I will find it funny when someone pays for my awesome gear and I lose to them until I find more awesome gear in diablo.

kljvoph
kljvoph

 @rrhammer  Well given Diablo III is really an online  game we as gamers have to accept that there probably are expenses in running and maintaining servers over and above those incurred in developing  the game. If micro transactions help keep up with these and Blizzard maintain the the game to the standards we have come to expect from wow then I don't see why we need whine about it.  You are not forced to pay for micro transactions just don't make any.

Viridianzealot
Viridianzealot

 @micahspringer Up until now Blizzard catered for it's community whether it was DIablo II, Starcraft (I and II), Warcraft or WOW. That is why I have no worries that they will come through again.

Blessed1990
Blessed1990

@carbon78 I know right. Bring it back to how it use to be!

ash_mohak
ash_mohak

 @SporkFireXPS Good Luck dude...seriously... you're gonna REALLY need it if you plan on making money from RMAH only xD

guardian2066
guardian2066

 @MADPADDY  @NRDubZ  Idk about all that, though atleast there wouldnt be crap items in the real money auction house since to put up an item for auction you would have to pay. And if people are willing to pay real money for said items then i don't see why they can't have that option, they would either do it ingame or do it outside. And seriously whats wrong with wanting a profit? If you had a business would you want to go into loss? What they did was actually quite smart since it works out for all, the pay-to-auction keeps trolls at bay and at the same time earns them some profit. Either way they only get that money when PLAYERS want to sell pixels to earn some money on the side.... 

NRDubZ
NRDubZ

I think a company as a whole would absolutely look at profitiablity first, but I don't think the same people that develop the system are the same people that control finances. Meaning that the conception of the idea would be to address an issue that negatively effects gameplay well having the beneficial by-product of being a profitable solution as well.

 

It's still just a "chicken or egg" argument in the sense that it's about if they designed it to be profitable first or to fix user experience first, in the end it does both. either way I don't do the RMT thing so i am happy I wont have bots spamming me in game for services that I don't use.

Agent-M
Agent-M

 @shantd  Actually Diablo III is an MMO, just a F2P one - hence whey they are trying to generate revenue through the RMAH instead of implementing monthly fees.

Warden816
Warden816

 @Leinhartx I guess I am sort of biased, but I guess my crazy outbreak can be blamed on the fact that I really really want to play Torchlight II and I'm displeased that diablo is coming out first, oh well.

paxis85
paxis85

 @Viridianzealot  @mechmaster525 I'm not a big fan of RM transactions used for online games myself, but having considered the issue at length with a good deal of lawyers, we all think it's better than these things happening anyway without any form of control. Some worry about this setting a new trend for capitalisation, however I really can't see anything wrong with a company earning its due when its product is being exploited for gain. Also I managed to find a preorder of D3 locally(Malta) for just under 40 Euros. Blizzard have yet to lose my trust so i'm always willing to give them a chance over those thieves at EA

Agent-M
Agent-M

While its true that running servers isn't free, it's also true that no one asked Blizzard to make Diablo III an online only game - So server costs and fees isn't the responsibility of the players.

hammychang
hammychang

 @Agent-M  @shantd Frankly, I do believe that profit is the primary motivation - sadly enough.

That being said, considering the pricing, I suppose it will change according to our behavior. They'll first have to accumulate enough data to run customer behavior statistics, and then we will see.

Obviously, making a transaction worth .5USD and paying a fixed fee of 1USD is laughable, and if enough people will stop trading low-price items, I expect Blizzard to adapt prices.

 

All of this being said, and making a long story short, I think one can play the game and be perfectly happy without ever touching upon the AH. At least that's my hope: that we will enjoy a single-player and multi-player campaign without the "benefit" of purchased items.

 

PvP is probably a different story. There, I would appreciate separated games with players who have bought items, such who haven't and - naturally - mixed. At least I would feel ... more satisfied (?) if i knew that my opponend has clicked his behind off at least as much as I have, in order to reach a comparable level. I suppose that goes into the direction of a sort of fairness? I might be wrong.

kljvoph
kljvoph

 @Agent-M Eh Diablo 1 and 2 were always online games.  True could be played solo but they were always meant for online multiplayer. I think as gamers we can choose to play whatever games we like but expect to pay the price for whatever that is. Game producers answer to the shareholders and to them only. If you don't like that then don't buy the game.  Whining about developers not serving the true hard core game community properly is just pathetic.

Viridianzealot
Viridianzealot

 @Agent-M No-one asked or forced Blizzard to make Diablo III an online game but consider this. Is the game different than anything else out there, the way it plays? It is. Is it a better game because of it? I beleive it is. Playing the game with friends is more fun than anything. Did people buy gold and weapons in Diablo II with real money? They did. Did many get scammed? They did.Did they do it an online game just to protect gamers? No. They did it to combat piracy, Second-hand selling. To make money.People forget that Diablo has been in development for 6 years. They forget that Blizzard must do better than Diablo II, which means that the game should last for more than 10 years at least. The online only dfeature and the AH are money making features but also an evolution.  As kljvoph said and as is true with all micro transaction models... noone forces you to use them.Just because a company like Blizzard had the fortune to create some of the most profitable games ever, doesn't mean they have to start selling their games for free. Torchlight costs 20 Euros for a reason. Just the differences in size and salaries of the two developers are huge. Their marketing costs too. Torchlight has no server maintenance to worry about while Blizzard has. The investment and the risks involved with both games are very different. Every project has a badget and a target and it is judged by that if it is successful or not. No matter how rich a company is. Blizzard must deliver the next Diablo while Runic Games the sequel to a good game that is a Diablo clone.

 

So judging a game by it's price tag, how rich the developing company is and or what features they implement to protect their investment is does not do justice to the games themselves. As I stated earlier, at least with Blizzard you get what you pay for and up until now they have delivered AAA gaming experiences without crappy 1st day DLCs and or hidden costs. Not a thing I can say for most companies these days.