I’ve tweeted some of this and put some of this in the discord, so I hate to sound like I am beating a dead horse, but I guess I wanted to collect my thoughts in a orderly manner in a place where it’ll be visible yknow.
I think this piece completely misses the mark. I’m certainly not the first person to say that, there are several commenters above me who also said it and I largely agree with them, particularly Shivoa, HedinnWeis, and Lilly. The industry is just structured in completely unsustainable ways – ways that Patrick even touches on in the article – and ‘simple’ things like loot boxes just won’t fix that. Game budgets are way too high, especially considering the laborers see none of that money. The industry needs to lower budgets, and as many have touched on that should probably come at the cost upper management’s salaries.
I’ve seen a number of people saying “instead of loot boxes, consumers should be able to directly purchase cosmetic items that they want,” but I feel this also misses the mark. The other issue with lootboxes is that they prey on vulnerable consumers. As Patrick touched on in the Clicker Heroes article and Austin touched on in the Need for Speed article, lootboxes and many other free-to-play mechanics exploit consumers with addictive tendencies. I will simply never be in favor of systems that exploit people to increase revenue, which is why the answer has to come from publishers changing things on their end to decrease the cost of producing games. And as many have said above me, a huge chunk of the cost of producing games goes to upper management at these companies.
I feel like there are still one or two points I’m missing, but that’s more or less everything on my mind. Like I say, I think this article misses the mark. I think it frames loot boxes as a necessary evil, and I’m not convinced that is the case. I do want to say I’m not like capital u Upset with this article: I think this is a half-baked take that falls short of addressing systemic issues, which is disappointing because I feel Patrick and the entire staff of Waypoint are often very good about addressing those exact systemic issues.