Richard Garfield's "A Game Player's Manifesto" (9/20)
Here's the link to the post.
I believe that in recent years, while looking for revenue models that work for electronic games, game designers and publishers have stumbled upon some formulae that work only because they abuse segments of their player population. Games can have addictive properties – and these abusive games are created – intentionally or not – to exploit players who are subject to certain addictive behavior.
Access to Tools: Paying for cards or characters feels like it is the opposite of leveling – in the sense that technically it can be exploitive but in practice often has an effective cap which is reached when a player gets all the cards or characters they feel they need to compete. If one wanted to create an exploitive game in this area one could make an essentially endless string of cards with bigger numbers – but – games like Hearthstone, or League of Legends, have a limited number of cards and characters that are kept in some semblance of balance. As best as I can tell in these games competitive players generally spend hundreds of dollars on a regular basis – which might be pricey to some but it is not open ended and seems to be pretty well understood by the players. Payment beyond this point serves no in game function – you can only buy so much power and then you are in a fair game.
As a game designer I will no longer work with publishers that are trying to make my designs into [exploitive models].
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