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With CP2077: A donation option to the game could set a precedent to combat unethical MT practices in the industry

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#1
So as we all know the gaming industry has been a shitstorm of lootboxes, microtransactions and immoral predatory practices for many years now and is seemingly only getting worse. Since CDPR has been vocal about this and has set the best of examples, there is no other game and no better timing than with CP2077 to provide an alternative solution that stops exploiting gamers. The suggestion is fairly simple:

Add a donation button that only unlocks after having completed the game.

Add a disclaimer that goes something like: "We are happy you bought the game... there is absolutely NO reason to donate us any money if you don't want to, but if you absolutely want to support us further you can"

Make a %, say 50% go to cancer research and charities.

This solves many issues:

1) The whales that absolutely want and do "throw their money at you" has an outlet
2) People that genuinely want to give extra to a game they consider worth it, can
3) The extra money would help CDPR directly for future projects or for adding more content, but in a NON-INTRUSIVE and more importantly optional and non-binding way
4) Gaming for good, if a % goes to research and charities, supporting the game will also become gaming for good

This could help set a precedent for the gaming industry because everyone wins and noone loses. The consumers win on this, the investors win on this, it becomes an incentive to make quality games, CDPR wins on it with further financial backing for more content and games. A completely optional donation button that requires game completion, that goes partly to a good cause, helps CDPR financially, and most importantly is non-intrusive to the gamer.

Thoughts?
 

4RM3D

Moderator
#3
Companies are not allowed donations. Instead, what we get is just what EA is doing with their loot box shenanigans. What we actually need is a Patreon for game devs. That is, a way for consumers to invest extra money into a game, without the game being build upon that concept of exploitation (e.g. loot boxes).
 

Hoplite_22

User
#4
Micro (which are these days frankly macro) transactions are a symptom of late stage capitalism not a need for most games to meet their budget.

They are in paid for games because there is no upper limit on how much they (publishers) think a single game should take in profit, because their share holders only care about the numbers going up even if it's about as sustainable as fossil fuels.
 

devivre

Moderator
#5
The large majority of Action-Adventures, RPGs and other narrative genres these days do not even depend on lootboxes. And if there is something like that it‘s usually optional and nothing you need to bother with. So I don‘t feel like an idea like that would have a huge effect.

I think it‘s enough that CDPR has a clear opinion on it.
 

Dawerick

User
#6
What we actually need is a Patreon for game devs. That is, a way for consumers to invest extra money into a game, without the game being build upon that concept of exploitation (e.g. loot boxes).
Sounds awfully like kickstarter projects. I mean take a look at what happens when devs get way more money than they originally expected. Things tend to fall apart. Rip Systemshock remake..
 
#7
So as we all know the gaming industry has been a shitstorm of lootboxes, microtransactions and immoral predatory practices for many years now and is seemingly only getting worse. Since CDPR has been vocal about this and has set the best of examples, there is no other game and no better timing than with CP2077 to provide an alternative solution that stops exploiting gamers. The suggestion is fairly simple:

Add a donation button that only unlocks after having completed the game.

Add a disclaimer that goes something like: "We are happy you bought the game... there is absolutely NO reason to donate us any money if you don't want to, but if you absolutely want to support us further you can"

Make a %, say 50% go to cancer research and charities.

This solves many issues:

1) The whales that absolutely want and do "throw their money at you" has an outlet
2) People that genuinely want to give extra to a game they consider worth it, can
3) The extra money would help CDPR directly for future projects or for adding more content, but in a NON-INTRUSIVE and more importantly optional and non-binding way
4) Gaming for good, if a % goes to research and charities, supporting the game will also become gaming for good

This could help set a precedent for the gaming industry because everyone wins and noone loses. The consumers win on this, the investors win on this, it becomes an incentive to make quality games, CDPR wins on it with further financial backing for more content and games. A completely optional donation button that requires game completion, that goes partly to a good cause, helps CDPR financially, and most importantly is non-intrusive to the gamer.

Thoughts?
I have some problems with this. First of all if you want support one company you can send money to suppert them. If you want invest tons of money them you can write an e-mail or call them on phone: hey lads and lassies Im a money bag and I want give you some money but I have x conditions. And they will said: okey bro or no way we don't like conditions. About the micro transactions: they are the shiney chinese trickets. You can buy it cheap but mostlikely they will break within a weak. Second problem with the microtransactions: ppl are sloth and forwarder... so they will buy card packs or other because they want not climb the ladder but they want play with the top netdecks from the begining or just love the pay to win mechanics. Thrid probleme... almost nobody like to be seen as a sloth, forwarder cowards so they create the ideology they invest money to support the game and not their own gain.. And here comes the forth problem... when you bought the actual op cards or heros but the nerf hammer catch them up... yeah thats the moment where the folk of the forums rise up and demand the heads of the developers... at least their puclic lynch because they paid for and op shit and not an avarge hero.. and now we are at the homecoming... ppl bough some decks what was awesome for half year and now they can't steamroll with them so now they're upset. + the oldschool guys who loved the vannilia game and they want it back...

About charity: Most company do it cos they want not look like dragons... btw I dont like when someone ask 30euro and tell me support me cos I'm a nice guy who suppor AIDS research and make a good game. If he made a good game he don't have to look nice... he can be dragon and will support him if our expectations meet. If not than I may spend my money to AIDS research, but that will my decision and not some greedy fools who wanna play the nice guy.

About exploitation... playing the victim after bad decisions is childish... ofc it another case when someone stand behind you with an AK-47... but I guess not that happend...
 

4RM3D

Moderator
#8
Sounds awfully like kickstarter projects.
Kickstarter is a one time deal and the product will be deliver on completion, while Patreon is an ongoing effort to support the artist. Patreon is also a bit more personal and focused on individuals rather than companies.
 

Noela

User
#9
Uh, that sound to me like protection money. I'll give you money so you won't feel tempted to engage in unethical monetary tactics with your client base. Just no. Videogames, specially the AAA kind, are a massively profitable endeavor. They don't need extra support. Lootboxes and the like are just a way of milking the cow much more than they should. Also CDPR has investors. They are not a poor company trying to carve a place in the market. I'm not in the mood to improve shareholders' bank accounts. I think I pay a fair price for a product I enjoy, and refuse to see gaming companies as friends. They just provide something I like, and for that I pay what it is worth to me, and not more. They make millions, and they surely don't need my meager extra support. If I have donation money, I prefer to give it to some Kickstarter, knowing well that it can go south, because then I'm paying in the hopes to see implemented an idea I like, to some people who is not a well established, well funded developer.
 
#11
Uh, that sound to me like protection money. I'll give you money so you won't feel tempted to engage in unethical monetary tactics with your client base. Just no. Videogames, specially the AAA kind, are a massively profitable endeavor. They don't need extra support. Lootboxes and the like are just a way of milking the cow much more than they should. Also CDPR has investors. They are not a poor company trying to carve a place in the market. I'm not in the mood to improve shareholders' bank accounts. I think I pay a fair price for a product I enjoy, and refuse to see gaming companies as friends. They just provide something I like, and for that I pay what it is worth to me, and not more. They make millions, and they surely don't need my meager extra support. If I have donation money, I prefer to give it to some Kickstarter, knowing well that it can go south, because then I'm paying in the hopes to see implemented an idea I like, to some people who is not a well established, well funded developer.
I agree. But they don't do their job well... Most game nowdays are half complete when it publish... or just not interesting... one of the best news of the week is the announcement of the wc3 reforged...
 

volsung

User
#12
From what I understand CD Projekt is a publicly traded company and investors normally don't look kindly on this sort of thing (crowdfunding, donations,etc.). Apparently it gives the wrong impressions or something. It's not like CDPR needs to do this anyway, I'm sure TW3 was massively profitable.

The only reason games became a thing on Kickstarter is because some types of games were no longer being made and publishers did not want to commit to them (point and click adventures, cRPG, etc.). But CDPR makes the types of games everybody wants to buy and play, they certainly do not have that problem.

And if you think about it, allowing people to give you money for no reason could also be seen as unethical, since they would be basically exploiting an emotional reaction. If you really wanted you could always show your appreciation in many other (creative) ways, instead of simply throwing money at things.
 
#14
From what I understand CD Projekt is a publicly traded company and investors normally don't look kindly on this sort of thing (crowdfunding, donations,etc.). Apparently it gives the wrong impressions or something. It's not like CDPR needs to do this anyway, I'm sure TW3 was massively profitable.
Sadly, most of these companies don't need to do this because they are hurting for money, they are doing this because their shareholders want more growth over the year before. Any company with shareholders is susceptible, they may not all engage in bad practices, but there is a mentality that goes beyond being profitable that the investors force as the primary priority and that has a tendency to undermine other goals.
 

SigilFey

Moderator
#15
I love the sentiment! But, as many have already expressed in some fashion...even the best of intentions...

The system you suggest would invite a lot of corruption and scandals. Plus, as it would be a requirement, it would leave the gaming studio looking pretty bad if, for example, they were involved in a long-term financial arrangement with a charity that wasn't being honest.

I would say that an "event" like this might be a cool thing to do. Declaring ~50% of all purchases made this week will go to XYZ area of need. We have companies in the US that do things like that all the time. Can't remember ever seeing a game studio do it.
 

Suhiira

User
#16
So as we all know the gaming industry has been a shitstorm of lootboxes, microtransactions and immoral predatory practices for many years now and is seemingly only getting worse.

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Thoughts?
In 99% of cases lootboxes & microtransactions provide some sort of, usually minor and temporary, advantage to those that buy them. And that's really point. It allows people to throw money at a game to gain an advantage rather then earning one via gameplay.

Sure, there are a small number of people that would donate to a worthwhile developer, but as pointed out by the previous posts there are significant legal and other issues that make this impractical.

LOVE the sentiment tho!
 

slothman32

User
#17
I don't like donating to a for-profit company, even if it is a good one.
Plus 50% for charity would be bad; maybe like 99%, or possibly 100%.
I don't like the Projekt Red - isn't CDPR just the game part and not GOG - has shareholders.
I would like it if it went back to private again.
They could put more controversial stuff in, stuff MBA's don't like but players do.
Imagine in CP2077 you go into a business office and kill all the shareholders.
 

Tree_Fox

User
#18
...or they can continue what they're doing and not have any donation/mtx option and keep delivery quality expansions.
 

VelomeK

User
#19
From what I understand CD Projekt is a publicly traded company and investors normally don't look kindly on this sort of thing (crowdfunding, donations,etc.). Apparently it gives the wrong impressions or something. It's not like CDPR needs to do this anyway, I'm sure TW3 was massively profitable.

The only reason games became a thing on Kickstarter is because some types of games were no longer being made and publishers did not want to commit to them (point and click adventures, cRPG, etc.). But CDPR makes the types of games everybody wants to buy and play, they certainly do not have that problem.

And if you think about it, allowing people to give you money for no reason could also be seen as unethical, since they would be basically exploiting an emotional reaction. If you really wanted you could always show your appreciation in many other (creative) ways, instead of simply throwing money at things.

The things is that even though CDPR is very successful right now they COULD benefit from enthusiastic fans. But I agree with you that crowdfunding is not the best way to do this. Particularly because their games do so well that its more feasible and would be met with a stronger positive response to add in additional mechanics with one of their expansion DLC's after their base game sells really well, than it is to resort to donations/crowdfunding. This is one reason why CDPR is great because they're not parasitical, they don't ask or rely on additional funds/donations. Instead in the case of TW3 they made their game, let it sell and then released 2 paid DLC expansions that added TONS of additional content for a very reasonable pricetag. Probably more sustainable and beneficial for them to operate this way instead of crowdfunding/donating because it takes pressure off them and gives them breathing room to observe the feedback from the vanilla release.

Even though they're amazing, and its not necessary to give them money I think the idea is that people WANT them to stay that way, they want them to stay a good role model, a diamond in the rough. The problem is how do people do that? Its far easier to slap on something on the site or in a game with a button you click or something the company TELLS the consumer "this is how you can help us out". Unfortunately that often devolves into an in game shop, microtransactions of some sort or some other predatory method most companies use today. I'm thankful CDPR doesn't design their games around this model, and its clear the rest of their fanbase is as well.

Only thing I'd say is I'm sure crowdfunding situations are a double edged sword, both in terms of perception and practice. On one hand, the community would love for certain things to be able to be stretched or added on later or goals met that increase the content/mechanics that are otherwise missing or would push it over the budget. But on the other, it can easily create expectations that wouldn't normally be there, additional pressure on the staff. Despite an increased budget, if they somehow internally mismanage or underestimate the cost of implementing their promise (not even including time constraints) it will NOT go over well when they already promised it to the public and they PAID for it. Not only that, its also very easy for companies to decide to cut content out of games on purpose to entice the public to pay for what's missing through crowdfunding.

I don't really know what a solution is, but its clear that people WANT to support them, and there are a ton of ways they can do this. The simplest one is to spread word or do interesting art/videos/projects dedicated to thanking CDPR or for entertainment. Essentially free PR/marketing for the company which would wildly improve the size of their customer base and lead them to worry less in the future about getting the word out on their next big project. So I'm sure they would really appreciate any form of creative support in regards to the games they make and how they operate, I'm sure it also feels good when you're loved instead of hated by the community.

It may not be obvious to some people, but free marketing and publicity through word of mouth is more beneficial than throwing them 60 extra dollars through a donate button. Because that marketing spreads, that positivity spreads, you could end up giving them thousands as a result of spreading the word instead.
 

volsung

User
#20
This is one reason why CDPR is great because they're not parasitical, they don't ask or rely on additional funds/donations.
Crowdfunding is not necessarily parasitical. Companies like Obsidian have done it well, with clear objectives and structure. Noone other than individuals would have financed Pillars of Eternity or Wasteland 2, not in those formats. There's a number of valid reasons for crowdfunding, especially when you can involve the people in the game development process. Most of these games are very inclusive and release proper PC (windows + Linux) versions of games, DRM-Free. That's something worth supporting that often clashes with traditional publishers.

I don't really know what a solution is
A solution to what problem? People have been fans of stuff for centuries probably, and they've always found ways to show their appreciation. That stuff you described is what people already do and have been doing for a while :)