davadude, on 24 November 2012 - 02:40 PM, said:
Yep, that's why it took 6 years of development with 3 delays before the game was done. Quick money grab indeed!
Don't get me wrong, I'm not coming to this conversation from the viewpoint of an inexperienced player. I've been gaming for more than quarter of a century and follow game development very closely. I watched the development closely from the very first indication that game 4 had been canned and it was nothing less than astounding how Anet have presented the game throughout the past couple of years up to release.
I did notice several sweeping changes in development since February/March and there were definitely some disquieting moments but players had been built up so much and had so much faith in Anet, the company that had given them so many years of excellent entertainment.
What you probably already know is that nexon are a company run by unscrupulous business men looking to market 'games' as a quick piece of entertainment where maximising profit above all else is king, even above their developers' lofty goals (cos they're just pipe dreams to a corporate power). Anet was founded as a company that develops games to enhance the experience of the player, to remove the artificial blocks that are put in place by certain business models which limit satisfaction in-game.
For the most part in GW1 they stuck to those principals and although they made the case that GW2 would push those boundaries even further, there was a definite shift in how the game was discussed and briefed to press, subtle shifts here and there.
Arenanet had a manifesto in place that they were themselves pushing right up to release. They did do some of the things they said but the game is far from the idea that was promoted.
There is a huge focus on the auction house, everything feeds back to it. I know these games need gold sinks and what not but as in-game gold is now directly tied to real-world money this ties everything in-game to real world money and the clever business people even hired a very talented economist to manage and orchestrate the whole affair.
Everything in the game is built to nickle-and-dime casual players. Some may think it allows them to maximise their limited play-time and that's fine on an individual basis but on the scale of a market the exploitation is incredible. The way this whole machine is built is quite marvellous.
I know there are many many players reaping tonnes of in-game-cash by playing the AH but it all feeds into the gems<->gold<->gems system and allows anet to devalue the RL currency to keep the game currency stable via the conversion, thus maintaining the appearance of value to the customer through high-end items like characters and storage or even campaigns but there is a huge focus on the lottery mechanics and these are obviously a big cash in as you can see from the past weekend, three days of completely naff items sold in huge volumes.
You might say so what? People are enjoying it, everything is good but if you take a closer look at nexon and ncsoft and how they're fairing in the real world, since the game has gone live they're losing money hand over fist. They're supplying the cash to Anet to get the game out there, and maybe Anet are trying to loosen the grip of the foreign invaders in order to purge the taint from their baby, but the grip that nexon has appears to be squeezing the life out of the game trying to wring it for all it can.
They don't care about gaming, gamers, world immersion or any of that. They care about making millions of tiny sales which they have proven churn out profit from gullible shoppers who like to treat themselves to a bigger slice of the pie. All the items they sell are unnecessary to play, that is true but the way the numbers crunch from a playability standpoint edge towards the max-grind/min-return ethos encouraging people to get these little surges like a can of coke or a drive-thru big mac.
TL;DR, Nexon are experts at gaming the player, enticing the small amounts of loose change out of their pockets. They will choke every cent they can from this game until it starts to sink.