Aggressive monetization tactics have undoubtedly lowered the quality for many so-called “AAA” games. The shameless number of microtransactions and loot boxes have made them grinding and shallow “services” instead of complete videogames.
When we talk about the impact microtransactions and loot boxes have on players, however, we often argue in abstract terms. Not today. Today we look at the human cost of predatory monetization – the impact that exploitative business models have on their vulnerable targets.
To really hammer it home, we’ll have to meet Torulf Jernström, a mobile studio CEO whose tactics for hunting “whales” – the prime targets of microtransactions – sound scarily like instructions for selling drugs.
From “Hook Habit Hobby” to the “IKEA Effect,” you’re about to learn just how low this industry’s tricks get. This industry has truly sold its soul.
Strap in, because this gets horrible. And if I’m to be remembered for any single Jimquisition, I’d like it to be this one.