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Deus Ex Mankind Divided. Forgive and Forget?

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Speaking in hypotheticals, let's say IKEA starts bundling every cupboard with a free pack of smokes. Those who smoke will like it, those who don't will probably ignore it. Those who have already quit smoking and know of its damages will probably rise up against it.

This doesn't make the cupboards good or bad, but IKEA is a company and its moves are judged by other companies. If that particular series of cupboards sells well gets good reviews, IKEA might start packing cigarettes with other products - or maybe you'll get the new Cupboard 2000 from Sears with two packs of cigarettes - because why not?

Conversely, if it fails, it doesn't mean others won't try doing the same thing - it just means they'll be discouraged doing so from the get go.

In this analogy, smokers are mobile gamers, non-smokers are modern age gamers, and those who quit are long time gamers who have seen the degradation of AAA game design.

 

So this isn't about whether the game is good or bad, it's about making a statement that might affect ALL games and their development, and the nature of game development from now on - it can be worse than it is, but others that remember the sixth generation and before know that we're basically paying for cheat codes. I feel, like many others, that we shouldn't pay for these things as they aren't extra content.

Case in point - DLCs. It's a bad practice we allowed to grow and get worse - remember on-disc DLCs? As Ross said in one of his videos - we aren't opposed to extra content in principal, it's just we remember how it used to be beforehand - with mods and expansion packs. Now they're cutting off content essential to the game just because they can get away with it - it's the same if IKEA sold cupboard doors separately but still sold cupboards without them at the same price.

 

So, yeah. It's unfair to Eidos Montreal, but Eidos Montreal already gets a steady paycheck from Square Enix, so nothing we do affects them and their game - good or bad as it may be. But if we don't buy and condemn it we send a message to Square Enix that this shit will not pass - and it's not just them we're sending a message to.

 

EDIT: Typos and grammar. I blame sleep deprivation.

Edited by Guest (see edit history)

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Speaking in hypotheticals, let's say IKEA starts bundling every cupboard with a free pack of smokes. Those who smoke will like it, those who don't will probably ignore it. Those who have already quit smoking and know of its damages will probably rise up against it.

This doesn't make the cupboards good or bad, but IKEA is a company and its moves are judged by other companies. If that particular series of cupboards sells well gets good reviews, IKEA might start packing cigarettes with other products - or maybe you'll get the new Cupboard 2000 from Sears with two packs of cigarettes - because why not?

Conversely, if it fails, it doesn't mean others won't try doing the same thing - it just means they'll be discouraged doing so from the get go.

In this analogy, smokers are mobile gamers, non-smokers are modern age gamers, and those who quit are long time gamers who have seen the degradation of AAA game design.

 

So this isn't about whether the game is good or bad, it's about making a statement that might affect ALL games and their development, and the nature of game development from now on - it can be worse than it is, but others that remember the sixth generation and before know that we're basically paying for cheat codes. I feel, like many others, that we should pay for this things as they aren't extra content.

Case in point - DLCs. It's a bad practice we allowed to grow and get worse - remember on-disc DLCs? As Ross said in one of his videos - we aren't opposed to extra content in principal, it's just we remember how it used to be beforehand - with mods and expansion packs. Now they're cutting off content essential to the game just because they can get away with it - it's the same if IKEA sold cupboard doors separately but still sold cupboards without them at the same price.

 

So, yeah. It's unfair to Eidos Montreal, but Eidos Montreal already gets a steady pay check from Square Enix, so nothing we do affects them and their game, good or bad as it may be. But if we don't buy and condemn it we send a message to Square Enix that this shit will not pass - and it's not just them we're sending a message to.

 

Here's the problem though, why the fuck should they pay attention to any message now, when NOTHING was done when this shit has gone on for the past few years in many other games? Or at least nothing significantly enough to cause them to be stopped then. What, all of sudden Deus Ex does it and everyone says this is the last straw and Eidos has to take the fall for it? (Because we all fucking know Square Enix is not going to be effected in the slightest, they'll gut Eidos before they fall, just as EA has gutted numerous companies before without changing their attitudes.)

 

Plus, there was already a massive kickback against Augment Your Pre-Order, yet they still went forward and pulled this shit in a way that consumers wouldn't see until release. There's no point. Square Enix is as Square Enix does, we have about as much hope of making them give a shit about anything other than making money at this stage as EA.

 

Plus, what are we supposed to do? We aren't the ones partaking in the microtransaction market at all, obviously its suckers or people who don't know any better, but those same people are likely the ones who don't pay any attention to gaming news anyway, so good fucking luck trying to change their buying habits. Square Enix will not care so long as there are at least a handful of people basically giving them free money for a feature that likely costs themselves next to nothing to have installed on its own.

 

Also, apparently Eidos Montreal gets treated like crap by SE. They're apparently paid some of the lowest wages in the city, have a huge turnover rate between games (mostly on account of Square Enix's outrageous misspending apparently, word is they have to sell at least 300 million units if I recall correctly just to break even on Mankind Divided).

 

Actually, the misspending may help to explain their actions. Businesses first and foremost care about profit, and Square Enix is desperate to make a profit because they spent so much fucking money on this game. By all accounts I've heard they're just a disaster in terms of managing their finances as publishers, and they take it out on their developer companies, and by extension their games. There's no fixing this issue until Square Enix stops being morons with their money, because to them this is nothing more than a viable honeypot they NEED just to help to break even.

Long is the way; and hard, that out of Hell leads up to Light-Paradise Lost

By the power of truth, while I live, I have conquered the universe-Faust

The only absolute is that there are no absolutes, except that one

Vae Victus-Brennus

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If that bit about Eidos Montreal getting treated poorly is true, thats pretty sad. I think they have done a great job of getting the feel of Deus Ex right - not perfect, but a damn sight better than the original developers did with Invisible War - and I would love to see them continue the Jensen story.

 

If Squeenix is that bad at managing their money, and is desperate to get it back, then thinking like a mercenary its probably best to buy and enjoy the game, but not pay for the micro transactions right? The game is profitable or at least shows a dedicated fan base, so publishers will keep funding sequels, but micro transactions within it earn no money, so the publishers need to find another means to make cash and/or solve their spending problems. The problem I have is that not buying a game due to its micro transactions looks like to the publisher a lot like not buying the game because it isn't good and/or isn't popular, things which are not true.

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@TemplarKnight I agree with what you're saying 100%. Statistically speaking we have no real power over publishers because the vast majority of their customers are new, unaware and unfamiliar with environment that is the games industry.

 

But that isn't to say that we should stop trying. That would be like telling a vegan to stop their diet because they won't be able to change how the meat processing industry treats animals or an environmentalist to stop protesting against global warming because they won't be able to stop it. Those groups of people still continue to do what they're doing despite the odds being against them because it's important to them and I see no difference here. I do the best I can even if that means just speaking my mind. It's more ideological than statistical at this point. I have a moral conscious in regards to the games industry and refuse to go against it.

 

The problem I have is that not buying a game due to its micro transactions looks like to the publisher a lot like not buying the game because it isn't good and/or isn't popular, things which are not true.

Publishers will worry regardless depending on what their expectation is for the game's sales because this is a business to them. Square Enix isn't composed of real people(well they're but you get my point.) they're composed of suits and corporate big wigs.

I'm not saying I started the fire. But I most certain poured gasoline on it.

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Here's the problem though, why the fuck should they pay attention to any message now, when NOTHING was done when this shit has gone on for the past few years in many other games? Or at least nothing significantly enough to cause them to be stopped then. What, all of sudden Deus Ex does it and everyone says this is the last straw and Eidos has to take the fall for it?

I agree. I have no idea why suddenly this is the game that makes everyone go apeshit over microtransactions. It is hardly the worst example I can think of.

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Something had to break the dam. And I think there being worse examples is not really an excuse to just turn a blind eye to something. Also this isn't a reaction that suddenly popped up over night. Last year Killing Floor 2 decided to put an ingame shop into the game while it was still in beta and it lost almost 20% of it's rating due to vengeful vote-bombing on steam and hasn't recovered it since. People hate microtransactions and the bigger the IP the bigger the outcry, which is what we're seeing here.

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If that bit about Eidos Montreal getting treated poorly is true, thats pretty sad. I think they have done a great job of getting the feel of Deus Ex right - not perfect, but a damn sight better than the original developers did with Invisible War - and I would love to see them continue the Jensen story.

 

If Squeenix is that bad at managing their money, and is desperate to get it back, then thinking like a mercenary its probably best to buy and enjoy the game, but not pay for the micro transactions right? The game is profitable or at least shows a dedicated fan base, so publishers will keep funding sequels, but micro transactions within it earn no money, so the publishers need to find another means to make cash and/or solve their spending problems. The problem I have is that not buying a game due to its micro transactions looks like to the publisher a lot like not buying the game because it isn't good and/or isn't popular, things which are not true.

 

Exactly. Its the mindset I basically have in regards to games like Mankind Divided.

 

The way Square Enix put the Micro transactions in, it makes it almost impossible to effectively protest them without ultimately harming Eidos because Square Enix is just their publisher, and they can simply wash their hands of any guilt by simply saying: "Well, you don't need to buy them to enjoy the game."

 

And yea, the whole release reeked of desperation to try and make a more "appealing" game to squeeze more fistfuls of pennies. That's the whole reason "Breach Mode" was added in, they thought players would get bored of the main story line Deus Ex (despite the fact that that is entirely what the franchise is known for), so they added in that mode. Shows you how out of touch SE is with the fanbase if they think they'd get bored that easily of single player.

 

But that isn't to say that we should stop trying. That would be like telling a vegan to stop their diet because they won't be able to change how the meat processing industry treats animals or an environmentalist to stop protesting against global warming because they won't be able to stop it. Those groups of people still continue to do what they're doing despite the odds being against them because it's important to them and I see no difference here. I do the best I can even if that means just speaking my mind. It's more ideological than statistical at this point. I have a moral conscious in regards to the games industry and refuse to go against it.

 

No doubt, I just don't think there is really any way to effectively protest this crap without ultimately hurting Eidos first, when none of the fault was theirs. Square Enix has already shown they don't care in the slightest about pulling scummy plays just to make a buck.

 

And IMO, if you're not actually using the micro transaction market, then isn't that as big of a message to them? "Hey, this feature we added in is not making as much money as we projected it would." From there, one of two things will happen: either they'll cut it out of the next game, or they'll keep it in. The deciding factor to me is how much it actually costs them to put the feature in. I don't know with any certainty, but my gut feeling is that it basically costs them nothing since we're dealing with simply a virtual store front and virtual products.

 

Which to me makes me think that regardless of how well it does, they're still going to continue to put them in anyway because even if they don't make that much, they'd be even more stupid not to try and con the suckers because they don't need to spend much to put them in.

 

The only effective way to protest these would be if they literally broke the game to force you to buy them, like traditional pay walls, because that is ultimately the behaviour that we're trying to avoid or stop in the games industry, right? The problem with Mankind Divided is that the game itself is not broken to force that. You can play the whole game, never touch the storefront, not spend an extra cent, and you still have a very good chance of getting the optimal result in one playthrough, and with new game plus, it basically makes the idea of buying Praxis Kits seem extremely obsolete in the long run, any other gear even less so. I'm nearly 2/3 of the way through and I've maxed out almost every single Aug I want for my kind of playthrough, everything else is just gravy at this point for a give me a challenge ghost non-lethal playthrough.

 

Using the micro transactions breaks the intended experience of the game, without a doubt. But the game itself is not broken to entice you into using those transactions.

 

Since that's the case, I don't think its right to punish Eidos (which IMO would be the only outcome of any effective protest). They made a good game, they didn't break it to make the micro transactions that were thrown down to them from SE fit in, and regardless of what we do, Square Enix is likely to keep doing it anyway. I think the only thing to do is wait until Square Enix actually starts breaking games to do it, because then not only will we all know how bad it is, but then so will basically everyone else who isn't a complete carefree spender with their cash.

Long is the way; and hard, that out of Hell leads up to Light-Paradise Lost

By the power of truth, while I live, I have conquered the universe-Faust

The only absolute is that there are no absolutes, except that one

Vae Victus-Brennus

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Here's the problem though, why the fuck should they pay attention to any message now, when NOTHING was done when this shit has gone on for the past few years in many other games? Or at least nothing significantly enough to cause them to be stopped then. What, all of sudden Deus Ex does it and everyone says this is the last straw and Eidos has to take the fall for it?

I agree. I have no idea why suddenly this is the game that makes everyone go apeshit over microtransactions. It is hardly the worst example I can think of.

When I made the post I knew about previous examples (DA:I for instance) but the fact that really irked me was that this is Deus Ex. A fantastic franchise (give or take with invisible war...) that I had a lot of respect for, and it sucks to see it get stained with shit like micro transactions.

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Since that's the case, I don't think its right to punish Eidos (which IMO would be the only outcome of any effective protest). They made a good game, they didn't break it to make the micro transactions that were thrown down to them from SE fit in, and regardless of what we do, Square Enix is likely to keep doing it anyway. I think the only thing to do is wait until Square Enix actually starts breaking games to do it, because then not only will we all know how bad it is, but then so will basically everyone else who isn't a complete carefree spender with their cash.

 

Why? Why would you choose to fight a bad practice only once it overtakes a business?

 

Because let's face it - even if they do release games with paywalls, they're more likely to be smaller games first - and there you can't really hurt their wallet. You're letting potentially good games die because you're saying "currently, your greed hasn't crossed the line".

Even then, you're letting at least one big title die - the game that'll have the massive outcry, or games if they're stupid enough to continue doing it. What if that game was, let's say, Deus Ex 5? Not only would it ruin that game, it would kind of ruin Mankind Divided too - as you're left with a cliffhanger you will never be able to resolve.

 

Anyway, this goes a bit deeper. Once you have paywalls in your game, it's basically a time bomb - it's central server dependent. The same concept applies to microtransactions in general - and you can get around that pretty easily, but why should you download a trainer for your game once its online store is dead? What if it isn't a popular games and no trainers were made?

 

Anyway, if Square Enix sells off Eidos - good! If it closes it down, well, the devs can form another studio. I hold no sentimentality towards companies, only towards people. But game publishers need to learn, and unfortunately, they only learn with quarterly reports. It's a burden on us, the consumers, to teach Square Enix and the industry in general, that they cannot sell us parts of the game we already paid for, or cheats or anything short of a complete experience. Once we let this slide once we get this and this and this from Square Enix. As shown by the last example, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided isn't even the worst of it yet.

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@Forgot_My_Account Yes exactly, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided has set a precedent for what's to come from future Deus Ex games. Square Enix was probably just testing the waters to see with what they could get away with Mankind Divided before they go all out and burn Deus Ex as franchise to the ground. People hated "Augment your Preorder" so Square Enix pulled back and decided to go with a more subtle cash grab in the form of microtransactions. But now that Square Enix has learned what works and what doesn't I'm sure they'll push this even further with Mankind Divided's sequel. I would be very surprised if Mankind Divided's sequel doesn't turn out to be pay to win like Dead Space 3.

I'm not saying I started the fire. But I most certain poured gasoline on it.

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Square Enix was going to succeed with this play no matter what. Its a feature they could sneak in without ANYONE noticing before they actually got a physical copy of the full release game, and its a feature they can easily pass off as not even being needed to fully enjoy the game specifically because of how they implemented it. The game is not broken on account of this feature, nor is there anything strictly illegal at all about putting it in. What exactly is the argument other than:

 

"Well, we know you're going to screw us on the next game with a developed version of this feature if we don't fight you on this now!"

 

You think that's going to scare Square Enix into not doing it anyway after the behaviour they showed just to get this feature into the game on the sly? Or that doing it is its own personal reward, even if it garners zero effective results?

 

Also the argument is practically BEGGING Square Enix to simply NOT act retarded and not break the next game on account of micro transactions just to prove everyone is overreacting like a bunch of idiots. Which I'm willing to bet they are paying attention in some capacity if not because of the massive amount of flak they caught for Augment Your Pre-Order, then by the recent leak from inside Eidos Montreal about Square Enix and how it's been handling them and the game.

 

As for the consumer argument, that's assuming that all video game consumers actually give a shit about gaming news or "politics behind games development" as I would call it. The simple fact that pre-orders, piecemeal DLC, and micro transactions still continue to exist is proof that at least more than a few people don't give a shit, and likely because they just don't care.

 

My point is, unless everyone suddenly refunds their games en masse, something which is completely unprecedented in the history of the games industry for a game of this weight and this late after release AFAIK (you can correct me if I'm wrong), there's no point to arguing this because nothing else is going to make a difference. Square Enix has already won this, the question will be whether they're actually stupid enough to completely fuck up the next game to the point where that reaction does happen where they literally try to release a full-price Deus Ex as a paywall mobile game or browser game with required micro transactions just to make significant progress, or if they don't act like complete morons and show everyone up by not going straight to the worst possible next scenario or a progressively worse scenario.

 

That's for the future. In regards to Mankind Divided, I can forgive and forget. Its an enjoyable enough game where you actually can just forget about the fact that there's even micro transactions at all in it, and those micro transactions won't be missed on the day that that store page finally shuts down. They'll go in and out without leaving the slightest trace that they ever effected the game other than maybe a faded out option text.

Long is the way; and hard, that out of Hell leads up to Light-Paradise Lost

By the power of truth, while I live, I have conquered the universe-Faust

The only absolute is that there are no absolutes, except that one

Vae Victus-Brennus

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You're right saying that most gamers don't care and will buy games made with bad business practices regardless of what happens around them - Call of Duty, Battlefield, Rock Band/Guitar Hero and sports games are the prime examples of this. But that isn't to say that the demographic of Deus Ex players is the same as the general one - it's a narrative-driven singleplayer game (don't get me started about Breach mode) with high focus on stealth. This narrows down your primary audience, and makes a collective outrage possible.

 

And it's a financial dynamic. They want more of our money, and we want to give them less. On the other hand, we want more of the product, and they want to give us less with each transaction. It's how a company operates - if they could sell you Deus Ex on floppies and charge you a buck for each one, I'm sure they'll do that and call it "Vintage Edition".

We as consumers can draw a line in the sand and show them that with a certain price-to-product ratio, there'll be a sharp drop in sales - even if that option is only suggested in the game. If there's intrusive DLC prompts - the entire game will suffer. If there are microtransactions instead of normal functionality - the entire game will suffer.

This isn't even about gaining a higher ground and more bang for our bucks - it's about protecting what we already have. In the recent past there were public outcries about our candy getting smaller, and some of those decisions were reversed and we got bigger candy bars! We'll never get the biggest size we had due to it being a dynamic, but if we don't stand on our own our chocolate bars and games and cigarettes will keep on shrinking!

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You're right saying that most gamers don't care and will buy games made with bad business practices regardless of what happens around them - Call of Duty, Battlefield, Rock Band/Guitar Hero and sports games are the prime examples of this. But that isn't to say that the demographic of Deus Ex players is the same as the general one - it's a narrative-driven singleplayer game (don't get me started about Breach mode) with high focus on stealth. This narrows down your primary audience, and makes a collective outrage possible.

 

And it's a financial dynamic. They want more of our money, and we want to give them less. On the other hand, we want more of the product, and they want to give us less with each transaction. It's how a company operates - if they could sell you Deus Ex on floppies and charge you a buck for each one, I'm sure they'll do that and call it "Vintage Edition".

We as consumers can draw a line in the sand and show them that with a certain price-to-product ratio, there'll be a sharp drop in sales - even if that option is only suggested in the game. If there's intrusive DLC prompts - the entire game will suffer. If there are microtransactions instead of normal functionality - the entire game will suffer.

This isn't even about gaining a higher ground and more bang for our bucks - it's about protecting what we already have. In the recent past there were public outcries about our candy getting smaller, and some of those decisions were reversed and we got bigger candy bars! We'll never get the biggest size we had due to it being a dynamic, but if we don't stand on our own our chocolate bars and games and cigarettes will keep on shrinking!

 

This is true, the dynamics aren't the same. However, I'd reply to that by saying if that is the case, then still, what's the point? We know its going to fail as a mechanic anyway if the demographics don't like micro transactions or will find no use for them anyway.

 

I mean, CURRENTLY, the micro transactions are only in-game items and Praxis Kits, both of which IMO were relatively easy to get at normal difficulties if you're not speed-running the game, so its not really carving up the game yet (I mean, I found a free Praxis Kit in a fucking wall closet in Golem City trying to get to the head of ARC, not a vault or super hidden place, just a regular closet you could easily miss in plain sight because you think it'd have nothing of value like 50% of them.).

 

And again, I believe Square Enix is very much aware of how touchy the fan base is on this stuff, that's why they did it this way and didn't double down on Augment Your Pre-Order. Its the only think that makes any logical sense, the alternative (which is also likely based on the leak from Eidos) is that SE is just plain stupidly anxious due to their overspending and gets panicked easily about trying to have their games make money at release. In which case, its not really going to matter what we protest, we cannot really help them fix their fiscal management department or the fact that they're going to fall back on the traditional business principle of make a profit at any cost because they're so crappy at spending money wisely.

 

Because if the Deus Ex fanbase is what you claim it to be (and which I hope it mainly is), they're going to lose money regardless, though the reason why could be easily obfuscated by their own financial incompetence, thus leading them to perpetuate their own cycle of bad decisions by continuing to make bad decisions based on their own previous bad decisions that cause them to have misinformation and therefore conclusions that aren't really correct.

 

IDK, that's probably the least conspiratorial or negative version of it.

Long is the way; and hard, that out of Hell leads up to Light-Paradise Lost

By the power of truth, while I live, I have conquered the universe-Faust

The only absolute is that there are no absolutes, except that one

Vae Victus-Brennus

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Something had to break the dam. And I think there being worse examples is not really an excuse to just turn a blind eye to something. Also this isn't a reaction that suddenly popped up over night. Last year Killing Floor 2 decided to put an ingame shop into the game while it was still in beta and it lost almost 20% of it's rating due to vengeful vote-bombing on steam and hasn't recovered it since. People hate microtransactions and the bigger the IP the bigger the outcry, which is what we're seeing here.

 

There was also a huge ass backlash with Payday 2 when they inserted microtransactions. Hell, many of the things done to the game, directly and indirectly, caused a huge backlash. Sure they're recovering, but the wounds are still there.

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"We don't call them loot boxes", they're 'surprise mechanics'" - EA

 

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Something had to break the dam. And I think there being worse examples is not really an excuse to just turn a blind eye to something. Also this isn't a reaction that suddenly popped up over night. Last year Killing Floor 2 decided to put an ingame shop into the game while it was still in beta and it lost almost 20% of it's rating due to vengeful vote-bombing on steam and hasn't recovered it since. People hate microtransactions and the bigger the IP the bigger the outcry, which is what we're seeing here.

 

There was also a huge ass backlash with Payday 2 when they inserted microtransactions. Hell, many of the things done to the game, directly and indirectly, caused a huge backlash. Sure they're recovering, but the wounds are still there.

Understandable, Payday 2 is a multiplayer game so microtransactions inadvertently affects everyone else.

Check out my reviews at https://alyxxgameroom.blogspot.com
Game developments at http://nukedprotons.blogspot.com
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