Thursday, August 18, 2022

Developers, stop exploiting my nostalgia

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A few days ago, I sat on my phone ready to explore a brave new world of Dragon Quest. Dragon Quest Tact is a mobile tactical strategy game set in the world of Square Enix’s iconic RPG franchise. I was ready to dive into a magical, mystical world filled with adorable little slimes, massive dragons, and cool sound effects drawn from decades of the legendary and genre-defining series Dragon Quest – a property I’ve been in ever since. that I was annihilated for the first time. by a green dragon back on the NES. Do you remember when you had to buy door keys for things? And find Erdrick’s armor in this area full of deadly monsters and poison? Ahead of its time, I’m telling you.

Either way, instead of diving into a new gaming experience of any value, I once again found the same trend that we have endured and tolerated over the past decade. Dragon Quest Tact is the downfall guy for this piece, but he’s definitely not the only offender; Over the past few years, I’ve noticed this with everything from Disney to Star Wars to Final Fantasy, and whenever it happens I go with shiny eyes and bushy tail only to be taken aback when reality hits. raise your head.

These mobile gacha machinations are shameless, exploitative cash-outs that feed off our nostalgia, and they don’t even care about their cockiness these days. It’s not even obscured to a reasonable degree anymore. It’s just, “Hey, here’s one thing you love, why don’t you spend a paycheck to spin a wheel and, oh, now you can get passes and fight tickets and god knows what d ‘other in addition to the already disgusting dopamine rush of the Selection Slot Machine. “

These games are simply survival systems for predatory monetization, and they don’t even try to hide it anymore. I’m sure someone in the comments will call me a hypocrite after my undying love for Genshin impact, but again, I will continue to argue that Genshin Impact is a game first, with monetization as a second priority. Some of the game mechanics in Dragon Quest Tact almost show an actual game design glow, like the risk / reward in combat versus optional treasure chests, but every aspect of the game is bogged down to get you paid. Want to beat an uphill battle? Pay gems to resurrect your entire team.

Want to automatically fight through the endless grind faster? Purchase the subscription pass that gives you access to the fastest auto combat setting. Many games give out change for “sweaters” to get you new characters, and while yes, Dragon Quest Tact gives you plenty of chances to draw big S-class characters for free, only the best draws are paid. It is true. Even if you get the gems by completing in-game tasks, it won’t be as good as a paid raffle.

The whole process is to motivate yourself to shop by throwing all of your favorite Dragon Quest characters in your face. It’s dissonant and uncomfortable, like Mickey and Donald showing up to steal from you while you are enjoying a ride to Disney. There is nothing on the other side either; it’s just a matter of mining money and moving on to the next skeleton of a game created with extreme monetization and psychological manipulation to increase those MAU and DAU (Monthly Active User / Daily Active User). Attach a few social hooks (like posting your good deals with just the push of a button on Twitter to draw your friends into the ecosystem and increase guilt and sunk cost group investing) and you have a true mobile experience.

It’s that sort of thing that makes it that when mobile games are brought up in the conversation, they are immediately rejected by many core gamers. And that’s a real shame, because there is nothing inherently wrong with having cool games on your phone. They’re often created as those shells for predatory monetization tactics, tied with a bow using your favorite brands.

They normally always include another hook so that the argument can be made: “Oh, well, you don’t have to pay, you can get XYZ over time!” Sometimes it’s true, other times it’s not, but it doesn’t matter: high roller will dominate absolutely all other players. It’s even worse with games that have a PvP element, where getting on the treadmill can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. Oh, and they’ve gotten much better at figuring out exactly when time-based endurance systems kick in over the years. It used to be that you would crash a game after hitting the stamina door after the first 30 or 60 minutes, but now it’s a science where you won’t feel it for days or even a week after you start. None of this is new, but it has become much more refined and sinister.

Either way, all of this takes us away from my passionate plea that will go unheard of: Let these awesome brands be freed from the damn taint of mobile monetization. I know these are way too profitable to drop, so I’ll shift the demand a bit in my final thoughts. Go ahead and monetize them and do whatever you can get paid for them that is still legal. Give us a game there too. Thank you. Have a nice day, i have to click auto battle 10 times to get upgrade material.


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