QFT: PCGamer Ruckus

October 21, 2010 at 5:25 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 19 Comments
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With every big announcement about Guild Wars 2 comes a torrent of interviews. I usually try to pick out interesting quotes and provide commentary. In this case, PCGamer has been posting articles about Guild Wars 2 (here’s yesterdays) all week. Their latest is an article about some of Guild Wars 2’s plans for micro-transactions.

I can only imagine the forum trolling going on for I dare not step unto that most unholy forum. Hissss!

The article is titled Guild Wars 2 will sell you dungeons. Wait, am I reading PCGamer or Kotaku? Hmmmm. No, it’s PCGamer, weird.

The article was updated before I even read it with Chris Lye the marketing guy alerting PCGamer of the following.

“We haven’t decided on what exactly we are or aren’t going to offer for money post-release. We’re open to whatever our players seem most interested in. If, after release, you guys would like more story content, more dungeons, more events, more maps or whatever, it’s something that we have to consider because ultimately making you happy is what makes us successful.

They took Linsey Murdock off Guild Wars to work on another project so they must have decided some things about how they’re moving forward, but I understand what he’s getting at. Dungeons may or may not be subject to purchase in Guild Wars 2.

Here’s the original quote.

We asked Flannum point blank if they would be releasing more dungeons post-launch that would be purchased as microtransaction purchases. Flannum confirmed to us that they’re definitely open to the idea–and more. “Yeah, we’re going to look at what the demand is. Look at what players want more of and we’re going have to release that stuff, because that’s the stuff that players are going to be willing to pay for, and that’s the stuff that’s going to make our company profitable.”

Wow they’re open to the idea! That obviously calls for a tabloid style headline. If you ask me PCGamer insists it’s confirmed but it doesn’t necessarily follow from what Eric Flannum says.

Okay sure, even I am open to the idea of Guild Wars selling dungeons, especially if it’s something along the lines of the Bonus Mission Pack. I think the way Eric Flannum phrased his response is being misinterpreted, but for the sake of discussion, let’s look at the possibility.

Dungeons and Dragons has become very successful since they took on the business model of selling small content packs. They’re still nowhere near as successful as Guild Wars ever was, but moving to free-to-play saved their business. I remember hearing reports that they’re revenues went up 500%. Nothing to sneeze at. Nothing to ignore if you’re an MMO company with an alternative business model.

On a personal level I never actually bought the Bonus Mission Pack. It came free at some point if I remember correctly, and that’s how I got it. After playing it I don’t think I would have spent money on it. Solo missions with strict skill bars, not playing my own character, it didn’t appeal to me. I didn’t have much use for it. I like the idea of the BMP more than the actual BMP.

Further, I’m pretty accustomed to microtransactions. Runes of Magic is free to play until you reach max level, and I spent money on plenty of things to keep up with my end game guild. I had to pay to participate in content. So would I pay to purchase the very content?

Depends on the price and what’s for sale. Guild Wars micro-transactions, I’ll admit, are a little high. Thankfully you literally just don’t need them. For instance they’ve loaded you down with so much free storage the only way you get into trouble and need to buy a $10 storage pane is if you’re a huge packrat.

However if anyone tries to sell me actual content, like a singular dungeon, for $10? I won’t be paying that. A few bucks for a bit of content, that’s way more reasonable.

All in all this isn’t even really news. We knew there would be micro-transactions. Yet here we are, and I know there is going to be a ton of drama over the whole thing.


UPDATE: See how that works PCGamer? Here’s the original quote from before the article was edited. I think.

“But for now, ArenaNet has only confirmed that they’re planning to sell dungeon content as DLC and the transmutation stones.”

Ridiculous. Also in the comments CasualBebop said this.

And although they won’t confirm if traditional cash shop items like XP boosts and fast travel consumables will also be sold, Flannum’s responses certainly makes it sound like there will be–if there’s demand for it from the playerbase.”

Flannum actually covers this in his interview with Ten Ton Hammer, in which Flannum says this:

“We’ve already said what our leveling curve is like, so we’re not going to turn around now and say we changed our minds and will be selling experience potions and scrolls. We’re not going to do that.” -Eric Flannum

Yep, straight from the horses mouth. TenTonhammer


  1. You put it in perspective nicely. But what else do we have to expect from a games website in times when true news are scarce? While I am the last to like micro-transactions, I am Guild Wars fan enough to despise such anti-GW2-propaganda.

    The games magazines are probably all hoping for Blizzcon to give them something to write about. Otherwise we will probably have more overblown news pieces.

    • Hell no. PCGamer is actually a very good source of info. This is the only article I ever saw on Guild Wars 2 that they have (and trust me, they have a lot) that shows any kind of bias at all.
      And I’m hesitant to believe it’s even bias. I think the writer (Josh Augustine) just genuinely misunderstood what Eric Flannum was saying when he interview him. Humans can do that you know, we make mistakes. How would you feel if you were in Josh’s position, and you were getting hate for making a simple mistake in interpretation of something someone said?

      • I’ve read pcgamer in the past and its not a bad place to go and i’m not saying augustine has any kind of bias at all, but, he took the whole quote and broke it into two parts. he took “yeah” and said CONFIRMED! and he took the rest of the quote and ignored it.

        • I was disappointed with the article too, but based on my experiences with them, they aren’t loosing all of their credibility with me.

    • Honestly kotaku is very successful, big headlines get hits, etc. I’m not going to let one piece dissuade me from reading pcgamer, but they got this so wrong. I’m not sure how they misinterpreted it so badly. I mean come on, its a bit sensationalistic, and to me, it seems somewhat purposefully.

  2. I think it was a mistake on the writer’s part, and largely just a misunderstanding. The other articles he wrote were great, and I imagine this bit of news would’ve gone down everyone’s throats a lot better if it wasn’t sugar-coated with speculation.

    In this case, this is something that would have been MUCH better coming from ArenaNet directly.

    That being said, I honestly couldn’t care less about extra DLC. Seems fine to me. Part of me is so jaded I almost want to say that people are just freaking out because GW1 was largely free and now there might actually be stuff they have to buy outside of the original game (oh noes!), but I’m going to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, that they actually think it’s a poor idea.

    However, I don’t agree. I’ve payed 15x2x12 ($360, ouch) a year for 5 years on games I’ve already bought. That gave me little more than bug patches for all that time; all ‘extra’ content had to be paid for in expansions. GW2’s maintenance is free, all we’re paying for is extra content — and if it’s something to bridge the gap between release and the first expansion, I won’t complain.

    That is, unless the content is *miniscule* for the price. In that case, I will certainly be unhappy… But ya know, if I can get two Starbucks drinks for $10, or an uber dungeon with new content and gear for $10, I can definitely tell you which price makes more sense. 😛

    • The thing is there is no “this” to come from arenanet. Its non news. They’re open to things. we knew that.

      Otherwise i mostly agree with you. Sure we differ on prices but thats minor stuff, the point about people whining because gw has previously been free is dead on if you ask me.

      One thing i’ve noticed is that gw players, the complainers anyway, are cheapo.

      • You’re right in that it’s ‘non-news’. It was presented in a way contrary to that, though, so it’s being blown out of proportion. If we’d heard off-hand from Anet that “Dungeons may be a Micro-stransaction item”, people probably would’ve thought, “Oh, like Mission Packs, Okay,” but the presentation of that small amount of info opened up a whole different can of beans.

        Pricing is a touchy matter, even moreso right now with the world economy and such. I related it to Starbucks, but some people can’t even afford something like that once a week — the kind of people that turn to a B2P game like Guild Wars to offer them entertainment. I don’t mean to say that GW is largely people with lower income, but since it has no sub-fee, it’ll attract a greater percentage of people who don’t have money coming out their ears.

        The thing is, while I do feel for those that can’t spare a couple bucks, providing content is important for ANet to retain customers. Because of their business strategy, they have to charge for it. But, at least in this case, it’s just more mobs to kill and more variety in armor skins. They’re at no disadvantage not having that bit of content.

        Anyways, preaching to the choir, here, haha. ;D Glad you decided to steer clear of the forums. It’s a mess over there. I’m almost tempted to link you some quotes for humor’s sake.

        • ok a fair point that arenanet should be more open about what their plans are. secrecy pays off for them in the hype department but the backlash of their secrecy can be just as bad.

          I’ll just say one more thing about pricing, i’m hoping they go with the philosophy that $3 dollars for a dungeon will sell to 4 people, rather than $10 content will sell to one person. if you see what i’m saying. I may be a little cheapo myself but at least i don’t complain about it. much.

  3. I see a problem with something like the BMP compared to actual expansions. If you do that with dungeons you are going to end up with people not being able to play together because some haven’t bought the dungeon. Almost everyone I know in game has all the campaigns and EOTN. Few have the BMP. I think most people are more likely to buy something if it is a full blown expansion. The expansions certainly give a much better value than the $10 BMP.

    There is also the issue of recent NCSoft prices. Aion just put up single weapon skins at $10 each! CoH has a new $20 cash shop item for a couple costume effects. NCSoft is getting greedy and they are the ones in charge. It is starting to feel like they are really going to push this too far in GW2, at least that is the vibe I’m getting from all this. $10 here, $15 there, another $10 for this feature. Sorry, I’m on a limited budget.

    I don’t mind paying for a game. I can ignore the overpriced Aion items so far, and don’t mind the GW1 outfits. I’m getting tired of every company (not just MMOs) trying to squeeze more and more money out of me; at some point I’ll just say enough is enough. I’m already having doubts about buying GW2 because of it.

    • A good point, and i was wondering about it myself. That’s another reason I think dungeons should come in at under $10, the cheaper they are the more people will have it and therefore people will be able to play together. That’s something DDO nailed i think. If my understanding of the game is right.

      The $10 price point in gw has been up a long time, a bit before most microtransaction stuff was proven to work. Keep in mind that’s gw’s only source of income at this point, so i’m willing to forgive it, especially when it comes to storage panes (they’ve given us so much storage for free) even if i think their price points are dumb. 7 bucks for a skin. guh.

  4. Hah! What a sneaky title. PCGamer certainly caught our attention.

    Which is pretty much why I don’t get too involved in GW2 information. For me, I’m not sure what is really going to be in the game or not, so I am just holding my judgment for later.

    Although the thought of having to buy dungeons just so I can blog about them is irritating. I think it depends on how many they release and how expensive they are. If it’s a one or two time thing, I don’t mind paying for it. But if it’s like, ten different dungeons no thanks.

    Ok, crisis averted. Time to drink some tea relax. 😉

    • If I wasn’t blogging about it, and having fun doing it, I’d probably stay away from news and forum type stuff like you. It really can be a negative pit.

      Yeah I hope they stay away from content releases as DLC personally, but I also don’t see it as a big problem. so many people buy dlc these days, gw2 is the only one freakin people out.

  5. I don’t genuinely care what Anet decides to do with their cash shop model, but I will say that it is a possibility. But no matter what they do it has no real effect on me because while I do in fact participate in gw1 dungeons already, it has never been a main event for me. I’d probably be to busy doing quests and helping friends and alliance members level than do the endgame dungeons.

    Hunter – Yes agree their secrecy is hurting their cause more than helping. Just look at Bioware, secrecy just opens nothing but speculation and rumors and that’s currently killing their momentum.

    • how are you going to help me if i buy a dungeon and you don’t!? you must buy the DLC!!#!@! 😛

      • rawr!

  6. If it’s will help them update the game more often (like in wow), then I support this.
    But I also think that there not gonna be too many people in those dungeons.
    Maybe they should let unlock them in game without paying too.

    • yeah that seems to be the predominant opinion. good to fund the game, bad for grouping.

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