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Monday, April 20, 2015

Play Free-To-Play Every Day

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - For hours. I'm an addict. Help.

You can observe a timeline on KoopaTV of my attitude and history with Free-to-Play gaming. I'll include it after the page break.

Basically, I am incredibly weak-minded. For over a year I've been blustering about how I will reject the free-to-play movement and its evils. Skip to today and the past week or two and I have been converted into a hapless victim, shelling out so much that I can barely afford the shell on my back.

Pokémon Rumble World microtransactions in-app purchases free-to-play in-game store ingame Poké Diamonds prices f2p
That's -$0.49, -$1.79, and then -$15.99 for a total of $18.27 spent.

Yes, I have officially spent money on a free-to-play game, Pokémon Rumble World.

Ludwig's timeline on free-to-play (and subsequent descent into MADNESS):
  • August 15, 2013: States that there is "nothing inherently wrong" with free-to-play, and discusses Nintendo's first step into it with Darumeshi Sports Store, which is the Japanese version of Rusty's Real Deal Baseball. Ludwig admits to never having played a F2P game.
  • January 26, 2015: Need For Speed: No Limits is a wait-to-play game described as disgusting. Ludwig bashes that its prequels don't have this F2P layering on it and to just play those instead. Ludwig states he does not play F2P games.
  • March 5, 2015: Criticises Sony for believing that free-to-play is the future for console gaming, and describes it as "cancerous" with "plenty of things inherently wrong" about it. Wrote that gamers are against it and Sony doesn't deserve to be console leader for taking mobile gaming tactics.
  • March 18, 2015: Ludwig finds Pokémon Shuffle to be fun but "trapped within its free-to-play framework."
Actually, it looks like I got much more negative towards free-to-play from 2013 to 2015. But... now look at me!

According to the 3DS Activity Log, I've played Pokémon Shuffle for 33:03, 101 times, between 3/12/2015 and 4/20/2015. As for Pokémon Rumble World, I've played it for 32:16, 25 times, between 4/10/2015 and 4/20/2015 (that's over three hours every day on average). I had to pry myself off of it just to keep writing this article! Look at me! I'm a sniveling disgrace!

Pokémon Rumble World Poké Diamonds shop
“Please... don't make me do it... NOOOOO!”

Nintendo is creating an addiction in me. It's a damn good thing that they have a hard limit of 3,000 Diamonds you can purchase. By comparison, there is no limit on Pokémon Shuffle, and that game is still "in development" with new content added every so often. This morning, Nintendo pushed out a notification to every Nintendo 3DS called "Free Pokémon Rumble World".

In the first paragraph, it states,
"The Pokémon™ Rumble World game is an action-packed adventure that is free to download."
Only at the very end (last paragraph of five paragraphs) do they mention micro-transactions.
"Poké Diamonds can be purchased from an in-game shop with funds from your Nintendo eShop account. You also earn some Poké Diamonds in-game. Purchasing Poké Diamonds isn't required to play or enjoy this title."
Emphasis on some. It'll take you over two years of daily playing to be able to play all the levels in the game. Oooor you can just be a sucker and pay for further access like I did, since I'm at the point in the game where you basically need to buy stuff in order to be able to play the rest of it.

And who knows what sort of business model Nintendo will come up with to suck us in 2-3 years from now.

Don't make the same mistake I did. This is a gateway game. The free-to-play game designed to get you addicted to the idea of free-to-play games and then get you open to playing the more hardcore free-to-play games. And once you're on that, say good-bye to your Nintendo eShop account.

Update 4/29/2015: I bought the last 1,000 Diamonds in Pokémon Rumble World.

Pokémon Rumble World Poké Diamonds sold out store microtransactions Buying 3,000 hard limit free-to-start Nintendo 3DS
I bought the whole store. Compare the 1,336 number to 1,786 in the first screenshot,
and keep in mind the 1,336 is after I bought another 1,000. All in nine days!

We'll write more on how Ludwig's demand for Diamonds wrecked the store's supply of them and the implications of this in a future article.

Ludwig hopes that videogame addiction becomes a recognised psychological condition, because he probably has it and needs help.

Chad Joseph's life was ruined by crippling videogame addiction, too.
Ludwig's collection of diamonds diminishes to under 100 as he enters the blood diamond trade.
Rawk is experiencing the same issues too, as he plays every few hours.
Ludwig wants to try to get away from becoming an addict.
Team Kirby Clash Deluxe's free-to-play mechanics are set up exactly like Pokémon Rumble World's, but Ludwig spends money much more efficiently and tells you how to, too.
For gaming addicts out there, gaming disorder is being considered for the International Classification of Diseases.


  1. ...I'm not sure if I should take this article to mean I should get the game because it's fun and addictive, or avoid it at all costs. XD

    1. Depends.
      Do you want to become an addict?

    2. Hmm... that depends. I enjoy a good addictive game... on the other hand, I refuse to spend money on microtransactions.

    3. Well, for Rumble World, think of it like a credit card bill for an irresponsible person.

      People buy something with their credit card. They get it "for free" at that time. They don't pay the whole balance off before the month is due, but they do pay the monthly interest + a tiny bit of principal that the credit card company asks for on the monthly statement.

      You get the game for free at the start, and then... pay as you go. The total amount you paid would be greater than the amount you paid if you were able to buy the item in cash to begin with ($15 on WiiWare vs. the $28 or so you'll pay for Rumble World), but hey, instant gratification!

      Basically, Rumble World gives you fun instant gratification until the point in the game where you can't progress until you sink cash in. That's the monthly statement.

      Does that sound appealing to you?

    4. I'd probably play until I had to pay and then quit. :P

    5. Don't underestimate my strength of will.

    6. ...I'm not.

      ...That's the scary part.

  2. I thought about your free-to-play addiction woes while reading about Mediocre Monster, the game I blogged about today. Don't become like the mayor!


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