DISCLAIMER: I am not against SEMC being paid for their work, nor am I against their monetization of a free to play game. I do, however, take objection to how it has been handled. Please do not jump the gun and just claim I hate the company or microtransactions in general. I am merely stating a common opinion on a multitude of business practices.
The constant increase in the number of methods in which you try to suck money out of the fan base is getting EXTREMELY excessive now. Sure, if a bunch of people dump money into this game to early acces purchase the new hero (Speaking of which, way to change your ways and embrace a better system, guys. Real proactive with that week of no-glory purchasing.) we can get some essence drops to MAYBE get the skin that we should have had months ago before the card system got summarily executed.
Don’t think I don’t see what you did there making an event based around a character while making that character only purchasable with cash. You ain’t slick, SEMC. You’re starting to seem downright slimy, however.
So outside of that, let’s list your methods of monetization in terms of least controversial to most.
Direct skin purchases: Rather expensive, but no harm in including them. I don’t blame you, especially since up until blueprints you had a VERY fair grind to unlock them as well. Not a big deal.
Direct Hero purchases, including the “Ice Only first week” on release: The first half of this is rather harmless but the second half is downright shameful, especially when games with a similar structure have far better business models. But this is by no means your worst creation.
LEWT BAWKS- I mean, “Chests”: Oh, 2017, you will forever be remember by gamers as the year of the Loot Box. These heinous glorified gambling simulators are in very poor taste, especially when the duplicates are not removed from the possible result pool, and are instead replaced with a pittance in not a SECOND, but a THIRD form of currency. Oh, don’t worry Opals, you’re next. Also, who else remembers the Glory Card Box, a “loot box” that was 100% transparent about its content and odds while giving the poorer players a fair, honest way to acquire items they desired while also requiring more work?
Opals: Now, you may cry foul as this is not a DIRECT monetization method, but it is still a disgusting part of the business practices. When you pay into that glorified roulette wheel hoping to get a jackpot only to wind up with that Bug Petal ® skin that you’ve gotten 5 times before, you’re granted a pittance of 8 or 10 opals, give or take. “Okay” you say “let’s see what we can purchase with this. Maybe it’ll be”
The cheapest skin for opals is 150, with the exception POSSSIBLY of recent sales. Why do they want to slow down opal gain?
To give players “a sense of PRIDE AND ACCOMPLISHMENT” when they finally unlock that SE skin. Say it with me, folks! P R I D E A N D A C C O M P L I S H M E NT!
Aren’t the folks at EA Di- I mean, SEMC so wonderful giving us that pride and accomplishment? Do you feel PROUD to spend loads of money on glorified slot machines just to get some recolor as your consolation prize? If you answered no, come away with me my friend! Sadly, this list does not end here.
Talents: Again, these are not direct monetization options, but they are game-affecting items (Blitz is a Ranked mode and as such it DOES matter that they are usable in it) and are sold in bulk to people who pay real life money. Pay to win mechanics. And, surprise surprise, they’re also sold in loot box form!
Blueprint chests: Okay, seriously SEMC? You take away the card system, set people back heavily from their skins they’ve spent months farming cards for, and then you’re going to have the WORST drop rates (I’ve still only had one rare BP drop since the rework) and sell the components in- GASP- A LOOT BOX! The only thing sadder is this is not the worst thing you’ve done anymore.
Battle Pass: Hey, have you guys heard of a very popular Free To Play console and PC game called Fortnite (Battle Royale)? You know how they make all their money? They have the Battle Pass, with two versions. The free to play component has some free low rarity emotes and skins, secondary currency, and more. For $10 you can purchase a season long premium battle pass, unlocking some slightly better rewards and, if you do choose, a free renewal for next season! This sounds great on paper but you know what Vainglory has that Fortnite doesn’t?
Pay to win mechanics.
A third consolation prize currency awarded by loot boxes.
A competitive esports scene.
It is because of this that I award the Battle Pass the “BS Business Move of the year” award. Congratulations, SEMC. When I thought you had hit the bottom of the barrel, you opened it to reveal this was only the false bottom. There is still so much more barrel for you to scrape.
In conclusion, SEMC is attempting to have its cake, eat it, and copulate with it all at the same time, and it is wearing people’s patience extremely thin. I KNOW I am not alone here as I have received private messages from people agreeing with me.
I will now reiterate, I do not say SEMC should not be paid for their work, nor am I saying monetization is inherently bad. However, the business practices I have witnessed recently show nearly unprecedented amounts of greed, and the fact that I have to compare Vainglory to Star Wars Battlefront II just breaks my heart as I have played since the beta.