Clash Royale, Pay-to-Win Mechanics and Your Wallet

clash-royale-bannerI’m not sure a day goes by that I don’t see justified complaints about Clash Royale over on Reddit. The game doesn’t attempt to match make on skill but is often determined by who has the better cards. Emotes should be mutable. The tournament system has died without Supercell propping it up.

There’s a perfectly good reason why Supercell isn’t addressing any of this: Money. Addressing these issues would likely take money out of Supercell’s pocket not just through the costs of making the changes but the loss of revenue from making them.

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Can A New MOBA Compete in an Oversaturated Genre?

lol-vs-dota-mobas-collide-by-vitor-aizenThe International might be taking place right now and it is the biggest eSports tournament in history but it’s far from alone in the MOBA genre. While it’s big, Dota 2 only boasts 9 million monthly players to League of Legends’ 67 million people playing each month. While they’re two of the most popular games in the world, they’re far from the only MOBAs on the block.

Alongside League and Dota is an ever-expanding group of competitors in the MOBA sector. In the last year or so alone, we’ve seen alphas, betas and full releases of Smite, Dawngate, Heroes of the Storm, Infinite Crisis, Dead Island: Epidemic and more. That’s not included the recently announced MOBAs from Gearbox, Crytek and CD Projekt.

With so many MOBAs entering the market against dominating category leaders, do any of these new entries stand a chance and what, if anything, can they do to compete?

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It’s Not Free-to-Play but Mobile Gaming That Is Broken

dungeon-keeper-microtransactions-headerThe big story in the games news world right now is EA’s mobile release of Dungeon Keeper. The original Dungeon Keeper was released in 1997 and was an instant cult hit. Gamers loved it and game designers were influenced by it. Even today, Dungeon Keeper is often among the top sellers on GOG.com.

The mobile version of Dungeon Keeper pretends to pay homage to the cult classic and instead bastardizes it with the worst free-to-play microtransactions system that many people have seen. While we’re used to free-to-play cash grabs, this might be the most blatant attempt to stop gameplay at every possible turn to squeeze the player for more money.

I don’t think, however, that the problems with Dungeon Keeper Mobile aren’t a result of the free-to-play model. If you go looking for free-to-play games, not all of them are blatant cash grabs. However, when you look at it more closely, you find that so-called games designed to print are really a mobile gaming problem.

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Uncharted 3 and the Future of Triple-A Games Going Free-To-Play

uncharted-3-multiplayer-free-to-play-bannerI must admit that I was quite surprised to find out that Uncharted 3’s multiplayer component went free-to-play earlier this week. I couldn’t quite make heads or tails as to why Naughty Dog and Sony Computer Entertainment would release a part of a game for free or who would want to play such a thing.

But when you think about it, giving away a part of the game that isn’t the core component that’s the reason why people by the game on release day actually makes perfect sense. That’s because Naughty Dog’s play isn’t your standard free-to-play model of funding the game using solely the minority of gamers who provide microtransaction revenue.

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