The Live Service Scam?

JUJAMAKILL
331 postsMember, Battlefield 3, Battlefield Hardline, Battlefield, Battlefield 1, Battlefield V Member
This was initially a reply post that I was going to make under the new announcement for the Return of Squad Conquest, before I got carried away lol.

Lame... Welcome to the 'Live Service' model. Where we intend to recycle game modes each week giving the illusion of 'adding' content regularly to meet our empty promise of constant upgrades to the game. Release 'new' modes such as 'squad conquest, rush, grind' etc for 'limited time' swapping them out each week in a desperate attempt to keep people engaged. We are fully aware that we dropped the ball by not adding a substantial amount of new 'maps' which the player base has REPEATEDLY requested, which would actually keep players interested in the game. Because, you know, that's what they keep asking for...

Live service is just a cop out for EA/DICE to cut production costs and attempt to keep players engaged in their game for the same amount of time that players would have remained interested, had they released DLC. The idea being to then milk them through micro-transactions.

Here's a tip from a regular purchaser of FPS games for you so called AAA game studios on why I buy these games. Of course I am speaking strictly for myself here.

1. I purchase these games for the SOLE reason of playing MULTIPLAYER. I like the unpredictable nature of going up against random gamer's. I love the chaos that ensues, that is what makes it exciting for me. I also like playing with or against my friends.
2. Because of this, I have no interest in fighting bots with a predictable AI. You know, because once you complete it, subsequent playing becomes rather boring and meaningless because you know where the bots will spawn, in what order, where to go, what the threats are etc.
3. I also have no interest in a 'Practice Range'.
4. I also have no interest in Battle Royale games. Yes i have tried Firestorm numerous times, and it played exactly the way I thought it would. Ohh, not to mention the 300m/s ping i had every game.
5. I absolutely loathe small maps, that don't allow flanking routes, which inevitably leads to one team becoming 'spawn trapped'. I stopped buying CoD for this ONE single reason alone- think 3 lanes, no real vertical progression or flanking routes, 2 players camp each lane, trapping you in the spawn and end up killing you before your character even loads in from the spawn screen each time you die (Nuketown is a prime example) Garbage game play. It's not fun at all. It's just a race to see which team can activate it first, and once you're in there you wont get out. I like battlefield because this scenario is less prevalent.
6. I have absolutely NO interest in purchasing micro-transactions for real money. NONE< ZERO< ZILCH. Mostly because they are always over priced IMO. Ohh, i might just spend $20 on a supposedly 'rare' or 'EPIC' outfit instead of having a pizza delivered for dinner, or buying a couple of beers. If the price was $2, I might think, 'hey why not' and be more inclined to make multiple purchases but 20 bucks for a digital shirt? C'mon, at least try to be realistic. In today's world $20 is a big ask for something that has absolutely no use what so ever other than to appear slightly digitally different from another random player.
7. Copy paste of weapons used in previous games along with slight modifications to existing equipment (think adding front cannon to bomber) does not necessarily equate to 'new' content IMO.

What I am getting at here is that yes, there has been a lot of content added to BF5. Arguably, most of it should have been included on release as we would expect in a 'full game' release. In turn this would negate the fact that they have actually 'added' content. It's all an illusion. Now don't get me wrong, this doesn't mean that I think game studios shouldn't include things like campaign modes, or co-op modes (I think it was a bad move for CoD to not include campaign but charge the same price for games that previously featured it). But I think they should focus mainly on having an awesome multiplayer experience with regular map updates, and those other modes should take a back seat. Like an added bonus that compliments the multiplayer aspect.

Also it peeves me that most of the time new maps get added, aren't implemented with the intention of having it incorporated into all game modes when it is released. That should be a given, as it multiplies the available options for people who prefer say Frontlines over conquest (think Panzerstorm initially only available for conquest mode). It's like they are shooting themselves in the foot by limiting it by game mode. 'Wow, I can't wait to play the new map.. Ohh it's only available for conquest'.. = No new map for people who prefer to play Frontlines, Breakthrough, Grand Ops etc.

For me Firestorm should have been a stand alone game of its own release. If DICE thought that it would be successful enough to warrant production, then it should have been able to stand on its own. We all know it was mainly developed by another studio, however I am sure that it still would have tied up resources which would have been taken away from the main game, which IMO is why BF5 has suffered in regards to further map development. They obviously aren't going to keep funding more maps on BF5 whilst still awaiting a return on their hefty Firestorm investment. This is where the 'Live Service' comes into play, to keep the main users of BF5 somewhat interested in hanging around so they can be milked through micro-transactions.

As i mentioned earlier I was an avid player of the CoD franchise and devoutly pre-ordered and purchased every CoD game for years, but out of the last 6 installments I have only bought 2, BLOPS3 and Infinite Warfare. I had somewhat enjoyed BLOPS3, but wasn't a huge fan of the wall running super jumping mechanics, the small map 3 lane format or the constant spawn traps. But I bought the next installment partly because I was bored of the last one and looking for some new excitement and also because I was hoping that they would improve on the flaws of the predecessor. I learnt my lesson then. Infinite Warfare was only played for 2hrs before deciding I was done with the whole franchise for good and returned it. I refuse to digitally download any games, as it is practically impossible to get a refund for garbage games like FO76  in all its bug ridden glory, unless you can return a physical copy to a store (also not buying Elder Scrolls installment after that garbage). No doubt digital downloads being the only way to obtain games will be forced on us in the coming years as the next step in keeping company profits.

It seems to me, that these days the gaming industry is all about providing less content, largely under developed, full of bugs or broken mechanics for the same price as previous versions and then expecting to make ever larger profits than its predecessors... After 30yrs of gaming, I am now MUCH LESS inclined to pre-order or buy ANY games on release than ever, especially after the crap state of games coming out in the last few years. We are consumers, we want value for money, and an enjoyable experience. We don't like being deceived, milked and fed pi$$ poor excuses. A mildly interesting game that is well developed will still make millions.

To ALL gaming studios and publishers- Stop pushing out under developed, poorly implemented games that rely on being over hyped and the players love for its predecessors to make money. All you do is sour the gaming community. It's not hard to understand why profits are dropping when we the consumer have been burnt so many times over the years. Many of us are now waiting till after release to see actual gameplay instead of the flashy cinematics that are normally used to get us hooked, or independent reviews on performance, bug issues and whether promises or claims are being kept etc, before buying. 

And why is it that I get the feeling this 'Live Service' is nothing more than a ploy for them to justify their new super expensive DLC/subscription content in the next installment of Battlefield? Because they 'tried' and 'failed' with the Live service and we all complained... FWIW I thought they had got it right with their 'Premium friends' option in BF1 that allowed friends of players that had bought the DLC's to play those maps with them. Even with this most of my team mates still bought it, when only one of us actually had to pay for it.

What does the community think? Do you think Live Service was a success or an illusion? Do you buy Battlefield or other franchises religiously?  Is your purchase more for multiplayer, Campaign or Firestorm? Do you feel burned by the state of games being released in general over the last few years?

Comments

  • aRrAyStArTaT0
    786 postsMember, Battlefield 4, Battlefield, Battlefield 1, Battlefield V Member
    Okay so. Scamming.
    You aren't paying for the live service. You paid for the one time game payment. You paid that thinking (or assuming) the game was worth the amount you paid at the amount you paid for it when you paid for it. Am I wrong?
    .
    I don't see how this is remotely a scam. Scamming involves taking people's' money and not giving them a product or what they asked for. But such a subjective thing as "finished" is extremely debatable. I for one haven't had many game breaking bugs. I for one have only had cosmetic issues with the game (assets not loading or animations not loading at a distance). To say that this game is a scam is really stretching it, especially when you willingly offered your money to a company without it having really any reviews or even being released. To say that you've likely been warned to not pre-order any game ever is likely an understatement. Warnings are plastered everywhere about every game not to preorder it. Why did you?

  • TEKNOCODE
    11591 postsMember, Battlefield 4, Battlefield Hardline, Battlefield, Battlefield 1, CTE, Battlefield V Member
    I read scam and I laughed out loud.
  • spartanx169x
    874 postsMember, Battlefield 3, Battlefield 4, Battlefield Hardline, Battlefield, Battlefield 1, Battlefield V Member
    the live service model is just an "explanation (excuse)" for EA releasing a barebones game that may and most likely will require significant patches to fix things bugs that should have been fixed before release. This is not a battlefield thing. They have pushed this with  Anthem as well and with a similar result. Both games have at least one complaint that is the same- lack of content.  The game is pushing the 6 month mark and we have one additional map and still numerous complaints about bugs with the game.

     I've said it many times and will say again. The content that will be given will barely meet what would be considered a base game when they are finished. A gun or two and swapping out gametypes is not content. Now if the content(gametypes) were to stay then that would at least be something. Content is maps,  content is permanent gametypes.  I have now come to the conclusion that they are swapping out gametypes just to save money on server costs. There is no other reason to not keep a gametype if it becomes popular. Even now they could prove a "Casual Classic"  Conquest gametype with slower TTK full regen health and full ammo at spawn. But they won't, because see that would be an additional cost. 

     EA is doing their very best to mimic EPIC with Fortnight. EPIC releases patches often , maybe weekly. With EPIC, when there is a  major issue, its usually fixed within a day or two at the most.  You will not see that kind of response from any of EAs developers. Issues will get fixed when they get fixed if they get fixed.   Considering what has happened with Anthem(read the Kotaku article)and it appears the same with BFV, EA management is worse than its ever been. 
  • warslag
    1606 postsMember, Battlefield 3, Battlefield 4, Battlefield, Battlefield 1, BF1IncursionsAlpha Member
    It's not only live service because people did pay full-price for BFV and it wasn't cheap either. Plus, how does live service fit in with the Access Basic and Premier subscriptions and vault games?

    Once a game has gone from being a pre-order title, through it's live service life cycle, and then into the vault - what will it look like then? How will a game like that look to people who want a Access Premier subscription?

    Won't these live service model games that weren't all that interesting while live service was available then look slightly disgraceful sitting in the vault? It could end up looking like a live service junkyard instead of a bargain bin with a lot of highly polished "AAA" titles. Which is part of the attraction of a subscription.

    How do subscriptions support the live service model if subscribers don't purchase things in the games? How will the live service model be funded then?

    EA must be planning to have at least three blockbuster games a year at full-price in order to keep the subscription model going.

    I would be interested to know how much game development subscriptions will support and how much development the live service model will support.

    Once you figure loot boxes into that and the way loot boxes have already been subject to legislation in Belgium it does make this system look a bit complicated, flimsy and maybe even vulnerable.
  • parkingbrake
    3202 postsMember, Battlefield 3, Battlefield 4, Battlefield, Battlefield 1, Battlefield V Member
    OP, your lack of interest in a practice range is in my opinion a mistake.  The BF4 Test Range was highly useful, allowing players to try out various combinations of attachments to see how they worked, to learn recoil control techniques, even to figure out how various weapons and vehicles worked which sometimes was necessary since BF games have little instructional content.  All the BF4 Test Range needed was some AI bots to shoot back and it would have been perfect, as it was it was still quite good and I used it many times.  The BFV version is less successful, largely because not all weapons and equipment are available and the Specializations so important in BFV are not applied in the practice range.  It isn't useless, but it's not as good as the BF4 version.

    BF games like BF3, BF4 and BF1 with paid DLC and Premium tripled in size, there is just no way around that.  It doesn't matter what we think about EA's finances or how much they pay their execs etc.  All that matter is games with paid DLC/Premium got much bigger and better, while BFV without paid DLC/Premium has had a trickle of new content and some of that has been of dubious value.  Your speculation about a "super expensive" DLC program is unconvincing.  The individual DLC in previous titles were fifteen dollars each, anyone who can't afford that a few times a year should have priorities other than online gaming.  Or Premium covered all that added content (plus queue priority and early access) for fifty bucks--the price of pizza and beer for a few friends, big deal.  On the basis of hours played per dollar spent, Premium in previous BF titles was the most efficient use of my entertainment dollar I can think of.  I suppose they could sell BF6 for a hundred dollars with say four guaranteed four-map DLCs and that would mean no "splitting the community" and plenty of fresh content too, in effect Premium would be included in the price.  There would be complaints about the price of course, even if the game was great.  Either way, development of additional content needs funding, and in BFV the lack of that funding has crippled this game.

    Last year Epic made two billions dollars in profit (as opposed to revenue) from Fortnite, a game that is free to play.  That's because so many Fortnite players will spend real money for silly costumes--naturally EA wants to get in on that, thus their ill-advised decision to scrap the business model that made BF so successful in the past in favor of this horrible live service model.  I doubt they're ever going to sell skins at the rate Fortnite or PUBG players will buy them.  BF has become a smaller, less interesting and shorter-live game because of what EA is doing, the irony being that's actually their plan.  They have knowingly destroyed the once thriving community that supported BF for many years by doing away with rented servers, and that means less player retention and a less experienced player base which means a big, complex game where teamwork is important no longer fits their business model.  It's a sad ending for a once great franchise.  I doubt EA could salvage this series even if they wanted to, and I don't think they want to because they think a smaller, disposable Battlefield Lite is the way to go.  Damn shame.
  • Hawxxeye
    7119 postsMember, Battlefield 3, Battlefield 4, Battlefield Hardline, Battlefield, Battlefield 1, CTE, BF1IncursionsAlpha, Battlefield V Member
    Rather than live service it is more like Life support
  • JUJAMAKILL
    331 postsMember, Battlefield 3, Battlefield Hardline, Battlefield, Battlefield 1, Battlefield V Member
    edited April 2019
    Okay so. Scamming.
    You aren't paying for the live service. You paid for the one time game payment. You paid that thinking (or assuming) the game was worth the amount you paid at the amount you paid for it when you paid for it. Am I wrong?
    .
    I don't see how this is remotely a scam. Scamming involves taking people's' money and not giving them a product or what they asked for. But such a subjective thing as "finished" is extremely debatable. I for one haven't had many game breaking bugs. I for one have only had cosmetic issues with the game (assets not loading or animations not loading at a distance). To say that this game is a scam is really stretching it, especially when you willingly offered your money to a company without it having really any reviews or even being released. To say that you've likely been warned to not pre-order any game ever is likely an understatement. Warnings are plastered everywhere about every game not to preorder it. Why did you?


    I purchased it on day one as i was a fan of the series, and yes I paid full price on release. I have no issue with paying full price for a new release (even after it when on sale for half price a few weeks later). I take issue with buying a game that is incomplete on release, and then drip fed back to us as 'new content' as part of the Live Service commitment. Ok, technically it is 'new content', but the question is should it have been?. Especially when compared to its predecessors. My argument is that a AAA game studio such as DICE, should have had the Practice range and Combined Arms as part of the complete game for release.Would you agree or disagree? Do you feel that those modes should be adequately considered as DLC as per the community's expectations?

    In a way it reminds me of when Bungie released Destiny 1, where they had content on the released disc that was unavailable until you paid more to unlock it and disguised it as 'DLC'. They then went a step further by taking away previously accessible content and making you buy the next DLC before you could play what you had previously been able to play. That was the end of Destiny for me, a game that i thoroughly enjoyed. What I am getting at, are these the sort of shady tactics we as gamers are happy about? Are developers turning away more fans and making less money by adopting these sorts of tactics in an effort to maximize profits rather than concentrating on a more polished and full filling gameplay experience? Have we been burnt one too many times?


    'During today’s Battlefield V reveal event, EA and DICE shocked everyone by announcing that the Battlefield Premium Pass is no more. In fact, there won’t be any expansions or map packs for players to pay for. The live service for Battlefield V will be available to all players that purchase the game, with new limited time events and items coming for quite some time following the launch of the game in October.

    Called Tides of War, the post-launch campaign will expand the game and keep the entire Battlefield V player base together, instead of segmenting them off as each new map pack comes out. DICE calls it an “evolving, diverse game that will grow over time” as they immerse players in different theaters of war.'


    You are incorrect in your assessment of not paying for the Live Service.  I have paid for the Live Service with the purchase of the game as it was touted as a 'feature' of the games longevity. Whereby we no longer need to pay for DLC as each new map pack comes out. My argument is surrounding whether or not it has delivered so far. Considering we have had 1 map in 6mths that is still not available across all game modes, then 'technically they have 'delivered'. But is this good enough considering BF4 had 8 new maps and 2 permanent game modes implemented in the same time frame?

    Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy this game and have stood in support of many aspects of it since release.  But for me, I think we need more than a new weekly assignment and a return of previously limited time game modes to keep us all interested in the game so far into its life cycle. 

    I am not here to mercilessly bash DICE, I think they have done many good things with this game. I am  merely looking for the opinions of the wider community on BF5 and the direction of the gaming industry as a whole.

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