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Dead Space 3 dev on microtransactions: players “need instant gratification”

Friday, 25 January 2013 12:14 GMT By Dave Cook

Dead Space 3′s microtransaction store first surfaced via this photo and with it, a torrent of complaints from gamers followed. Visceral stepped in to say that the payments were not boosters, but time savers. Now the studio has discussed the payment model in more detail in a new interview, saying that it gives players “instant gratification.”

Speaking with CVG, Visceral’s John Calhoun said, “Not much has been spoken about that, but I can tell you the details now. The way the micro-transactions work, is that there’s only three things that you can buy, and they’re basically tiers of different resources. Resources are extremely valuable in Dead Space – we got rid of credits entirely.

“Everything that you can find in the game can be constructed from resources, which includes Tungsten, Semi-Conductors, Somatic Gel. Combining these in different ways will create either a weapon part, an ammo pack or an upgrade to Isaac’s suit.

“There’s a lot of players out there, especially players coming from mobile games, who are accustomed to micro-transactions. They’re like “I need this now, I want this now”. They need instant gratification. So we included that option in order to attract those players, so that if they’re 5000 Tungsten short of this upgrade, they can have it.

“There’s also the hardcore Dead Space players, who are reluctant to spend money outside the purchase of the game. Honestly, most of the dev team are that way, we’re kind of old school, a little bit older. So not only are the micro-transactions completely optional, but all packs are available to purchase using in-game resources that you find.

“So, your scavenger bot will go out, and sometimes when he comes back he’ll deliver ration seals. You’ll start to accumulate ration seals at a pretty steady clip throughout the game, and everything that can be purchased with real world dollars can also be purchased with ration seals.”

What to you think gamers? Should those accustomed to the mobile payment model mind-set be catered for in home console games too, or is this developers finding out how to squeeze more pennies from your pockets? Let us know below.

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18 Comments

  1. Gareth Harmer

    I think it entirely depends on how it affects gameplay. If you can progress comfortably without needing to buy resources, even if it involves having to think carefully about upgrades etc, then great. If your choices are either grinding out resources for hours, or shortcutting it and hitting up the store, then there’s a problem. Hopefully the reviews will highlight which end of the spectrum it lies.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. KAP

    I just like to say gamers getting bent out of shape over this clearly don’t understand this much.
    Just being I love videogames doesn’t automatically mean I have the same amount of time to put into games as the next person, it’s tough to still be a gamer with responsibility, kids, bills, mortgage etc etc. So it’s just a barrier of entry for those like me to get in on the fun too.

    I used to feel like these microtransactions used to be for noobs but you soon realise that when you don’t have the time you won’t play many games because of what time they require off you to enjoy said game.

    Besides the dev have come out and said this isn’t a ploy to get more money off folk just a way to gain loot you otherwise don’t have the time to farm for.

    Just my two cents before the usual “this is dumb” starts flooding the comment section.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Paranormal Pett

    Isn’t it better to have an option there for those who want to use it, and if you fall into the category of not wanting to use it, then it will not affect you. If the game forces you to grind out these resources, then I will have a issue, and it will soon come to light that it is just a way to make more money from us. I really hope that who ever does a review on this will let it be known how easy the resources are to come by.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. absolutezero

    I would personally like this shit shoved out onto the main fucking menu instead of completely breaking the 4th wall by popping up in the middle of gameplay.

    Its fucking horrible. Why bother building atmosphere and tension when its going to be broken when you go to use an in-game terminal?

    BUY BUY BUY EA DOLLA DOLLA ORIGIN SIGN IN PASSWORD

    #4 2 years ago
  5. freedoms_stain

    Ugly justification.

    Does this instant gratification he’s on about go hand in hand with financial expenditure?

    Why are we paying for cheat modes now?

    How many micro-transaction games on mobile cost £39.99 to buy?

    #5 2 years ago
  6. DaveDogg

    those complaining about this need to take a chill pill. its been done with most of the EA sports titles for years. there was outrage when folk heard about it in ME3 but next to silence after the title came out. it was in NFS if folk want to use it they will. and to be honest your paying for the resources from what I can make out not guns and on my first playthrough of the demo I found it very easy to screw a gun up. final thought after several years of doing it they know the market is there they are just catering to the people that want it

    #6 2 years ago
  7. ps3fanboy

    @2

    if you don’t have the time then you don’t have the time, it is that easy. only idiots pay for this, that don’t see the long time effect of this shit. you have ruin the game for the rest of us.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. theevilaires

    Played the demo last night and Co-op with a random person and both versions were quite enjoyable. I don’t know whether I want to play single player or Co-Op first when I get this game but Co-op was so smooth. Can definitely see myself beating this in one sitting on a Saturday night or Sunday.

    Also hot tip. I have my PS3 tethered to my EVO wirelessly in my office and Co-Op was super smooth no lag at all. I’m going to get the collectors edition of this game because I really enjoyed it unlike Metal Gear Raiden demo.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. SplatteredHouse

    “So, your scavenger bot will go out, and sometimes when he comes back he’ll deliver ration seals.”

    This is the part where I ready to call foul. They team you up with a gathering bot? D: Next, every third time it returns it will be set to deliver a voiced sponsor message. FFS…

    In no way am I opposed to accessibility (very much the opposite, actually), but I do think it should be done with some thought to the intended play experience. If it turns out that the game was designed in line with this: “Dead Space 3′s entire currency and weapon system has been dramatically altered, now cynically designed to support its own little economy, and that wasn’t an option.”
    http://www.destructoid.com/dead-space-3-has-microtransactions-because-mobile-gamers-243152.phtml
    …Well, we’ll see once the embargo lifts.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. SplatteredHouse

    @5: So right. That’s the irritating part of it. That this is NOT optional, for anyone that buys Dead Space 3. Not only is it not optional for the purchaser, but that person then muddies the water for everybody else who might have otherwise had a shot at the game. As soon as someone buys that game, they’ve made their vote.

    I don’t intend melodrama there, but I don’t believe I’m mistaken in that view. Since, the models are expanses apart between mobile (no/minimal upfront, microtransaction) and traditional platforms like PC/console. If you say “well, I will play at my own pace, and swear off the shop” it doesn’t make a spit of difference to EA. Because, EA’s model remains reliant on box/game sales. Mobile operators want you playing as long as possible, they want to sell you, as do their partners paying to sell to you. Outside of that space, the priority is getting paying patrons through the front gates.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. DSB

    It’s one thing to nickle and dime your customers, it’s quite another to break immersion in order to do it.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. sonny

    “There’s a lot of players out there, especially players coming from mobile games, who are accustomed to micro-transactions. They’re like “I need this now, I want this now”. They need instant gratification. So we included that option in order to attract those players, …”

    Yeah, why not jump on the bandwagon that goes straight down the drain?
    These are sad times we live in…

    #12 2 years ago
  13. TheWulf

    I’m old enough to remember cheat codes. I don’t think we had to pay for those, did we?

    Thought Exercise: I wonder if using a hacked save which starts you out in a new game with all of this stuff unlocked will result in an Origin-wide ban?

    #13 2 years ago
  14. sonny

    @13 Well, before the internets we had to buy those magazines to get the cheats but mostly we didn’t have enough money and ended up in one fella keeping the watch and the other kids writing down the cheats on their muddy hands ;)

    #14 2 years ago
  15. DSB

    @14 Or call hotlines, or send for mailorder guides :D

    We also had to read the manual to find out how anything worked… God, the 90′s sucked.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. Sublimeone

    @ DSB, I disagree, the 90s rocked HARD. Reading those manuals, was like already playing the game – in your head (lol) over and over. Omg, then you read the manual again from page one.

    Good times.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. Telepathic.Geometry

    This is obviously a fucking disgusting filthy cash grab. The game is essentially survival horror, so the fun is to be had in NOT having enough resources.

    But, even if you accept that some people want to get lots of resources immediately, just give it to them at a reasonable price, which is to say, free, considering it didn’t cost a lot of money or take a lot of time to write those 7 odd lines of code;

    Obviously, this doesn’t affect me per say, as I will never buy this kind of shite, but it’s a slippery slope. I mean, now the game publishers have an actual financial interest in making gathering resources in the game that little bit more tedious, laborious, difficult, unenjoyable.

    That can’t be good for the game, even if the devs are trying to be honest, they’re never gonna be able to say “Hey, we decided that gathering resources is no fun, so we’re just gonna give everybody heaps in the beginning. Please scrap that free money scheme you had there!”

    Also, I have a fundamental problem with any business not satisfied with making a reasonable profit margin with their customers. This is fleecing plain and simple. They’d get me too if they could. Sickening…

    #17 2 years ago
  18. Telepathic.Geometry

    It’s not quite a furor yet. Not too many gamers seem to give a shit. :(

    #18 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Bungie has reset the weekly cap of Crucible and Vanguard marks and added new Heroic and Nightfall strikes, now with burn. From now until next Tuesday, the weekly Heroic strike will be The Devil’s Lair with Heroic and Lightswitch modifiers. As for the Nightfall, you’ll be fighting Sepiks Prime with the help of Arc burn. […]

  • Few Mass Effect FemShep cosplays are as elaborate as this one

    The internet is full of Female Commander Shepard cosplay from Mass Effect, but very few are as terrific as this one. Visual artist Freya Willia has spent over two years painstakingly creating the perfect suit of armour and the best weapons to make her cosplay of Female Shepard as authentic as possible, Omni tool and […]

  • Deals with Gold: Assassin’s Creed Unity, Red Dead Redemption and more discounted

    This week’s Deals with Gold titles for Xbox Live subscribers is a good mix of modern games and old favourites. The list of discounted games through this week’s Deals with Gold is live with discounts on Assassin’s Creed Unity, Amazing Spider-Man 2, Red Dead Redemption, Max Payne 3, and more. The deals are live now […]

  • Destiny guide: how to maximise your Grimoire Points

    Destiny players regularly compare the size of their Grimoire Points. Learn how to make yours the biggest. Destiny guide: how to earn Grimoire Points In Destiny, earning most Grimoire cards is just a matter of playing the game, maybe a little more attentively than usual. You’ll either need to complete a certain number of actions […]

  • Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows will let you play as a baddie

    Shovel Knight owners will benefit from the generosity of Kickstarter backers quite soon. Because Shovel Knight was overfunded during its Kickstarter campaign, developer Yacht Club Games committed to releasing free content updates. The first of these, Plague of Shadows, has now been detailed. The expansion stars baddy Plague Knight, who turns on his former allies, […]

  • GTA controversies, from Hot Coffee to PR manipulation

    GTA has a long history of controversy. The latest Did You Know Gaming tells the full stories behind the sensational headlines. Grand Theft Auto is such a byword for controversy that it’s easy to forget the full context of what actually happened to bring mainstream press, politicians and interest group awareness to the Rockstar series. […]

  • Infamous 2 one of five new PlayStation Now additions for March

    PlayStation Now will expand to the tune of five new games this month. The March PS Now additions are Infamous 2, Twisted Metal, R-Type Dimensions, Alone in the Dark: Inferno and Operation Flashpoint: Red River. PS Now will set you back $20 per month or $45 for a three month subscription. It offers all you […]

  • Final Fantasy 10/10-2 HD Remaster gets PS4 release date

    Final Fantasy 10/10-2 HD Remaster hits PS4 in May. The PS4 release date for Final Fantasy 10/10-2 HD Remaster is May 12 in North America and May 15 in Europe. Gematsu reports a special pre-order bonus calendar with art by Yoshitaka Amano is available through the Square Enix Store and participating retailers. In Europe, pre-ordering […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare getting 15 new Prestige levels

    Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare players can now aspire to the ranks of Grand Master Prestige. Advanced Warfare developer Sledgehammer Games will add 15 more Prestige levels to the latest Call of Duty, giving players at max XP a chance to grow even further. According to the Sledgehammer Games blog, when you enter Master level […]

  • Destiny: Crota’s End recreated in Minecraft

    Destiny’s toughest challenge gets even nastier if you throw Creepers into the mix. The ultimate Destiny challenge – for now – is the Crota’s End raid. Taking place in an alternate dimension accessed through the Hellmouth on the Moon, the Raid takes Guardians through a pit of darkness to the resting place of Crota himself. […]

  • Xenoblade Chronicles 3D trailer introduces the Heir to the Monado

    Xenoblade Chronicles 3D protagonist Shulk is the Heir to the Monado, his distinctive red sword. Let this trailer fill you in on what that means. Xenoblade Chronicles 3D releases for New 3DS on April 2 in Europe and April 10 in North America. As well as all the content of the Wii original, it has […]

  • The Elder Scrolls: Total War mod covers Morrowind, Oblivion and more

    The Elder Scrolls: Total War is a terrific mod allowing you get get intimately involved with the history of Bethesda’s detailed fantasy universe. The first release of The Elder Scrolls: Total War dropped on the weekend, giving players their first chance to try out LoRdNazgu1‘s creation. This version runs from 3E 427 to 4E 45, […]

  • Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 out now on Steam

    Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 is out now. Yes, we’re surprised too. You can grab Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 on Steam for $8. Developer Scott Cawthon really doesn’t mess about; the game was only announced in early January. Here’s the blurb: Thirty years after Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza closed it’s doors, the events that took […]

  • EVE Online heister makes off with $13,000 worth of goods

    EVE Online is a hotbed of villainy, espionage and backstabbing, but one intrepid corporate thief has made waves even in this setting. The thing about EVE Online is that it’s a true sandbox: the game’s rules are very loose, and allow players to make careers out of theft, piracy, assassination and espionage in addition to […]

  • Marth Amiibo getting a stock refresh in North America

    Nintendo of America has announced a fresh supply of the difficult to find Marth Amiibo. The Marth Amiibo will be back in stock in the US in late April, the platform holder said on Twitter today. Planning to pick up Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. and don’t have a Marth amiibo? More are headed to stores in […]

  • Skyrim beta update upgrades creation kit file size

    Skyrim has been granted a new beta update – more than three years after launch! – to improve the experience for modders and those who use them. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim released in November 2011. I think that’s worth noting before we discuss the beta update that dropped today, even as Bethesda is working […]

  • Paradox’s next epic RPG is, uh, Knights of Pen & Paper 2

    Knights of Pen & Paper 2 is very serious business so please enjoy this very serious trailer. “Return to the dicey world of Knights of Pen & Paper for a new turn-based adventure, where players get to take on the role of players, and also of the game’s encounter-designing, rules-laywering GM in a fully customizable […]

  • Amplitude looks amazing in new gameplay trailer, has a team multiplayer mode

    Amplitude may have been delayed but we still get something this March: a fine new gameplay trailer. Amplitude is coming to PlayStation 3 and PS4 sometime in northern summer. It’s a reprisal of Harmonix’s classic rhythm action game, a forerunner to its later efforts with Guitar Hero and Rock Band, and was crowdfunded. Update: Turns […]

  • DayZ creator’s “crazy”, “esoteric” next game developed with Improbable

    DayZ creator Dean “Rocket” Hall has dropped the first vague details of his new game project. “I do not want to make safe games. I do not want to make games the way we have been making them. What if the most experienced video game staff in the world collaborated on the most esoteric and […]

  • Battlefield Hardline will support AMD’s Mantle

    AMD has confirmed what most Battlefield fans thought. Battlefield Hardline will indeed support Mantle. Battlefield Hardline will support Mantle, AMD has confirmed. Some players weren’t sure whether the retail version of the game will support AMD’s API, due to its absence from the recent PC beta. AMD did not say whether the feature will be […]

  • Unreal Engine 4 GDC 2015 sizzle reel shows what the tech can do

    Unreal Engine 4 is a pretty versatile bit of tech, as this new sizzle reel shows. As one of the more ubiquitous engines, Unreal will be on show at GDC this week. Developer Epic produced the following sizzle reel to quickly demonstrate what it can do – cutting edge graphics (there are very few games […]

  • Survarium’s latest patch removes limit on battle ammo, rebalances experience gain

    The latest Survarium patch has readjusted the value of experience and reputation points gained and removed the limit to the maximum amount of ammo you can use in combat. Survarium developer Vostok Games has released patch 0.27a to the public, having recently finished testing it. The patch is a major one and covers changes to […]

  • The Hunt Begins in new Bloodborne TV spot

    Bloodborne is so close you can almost smell its coppery tang on the wind – and also you can watch commercials for it. Bloodborne arrives on PS4 at the end of this month (March 24 North America, March 25 Europe, March 27 UK) so excitement is starting to build. Sony isn’t helping keep us calm […]

  • World of Warcraft: you’ll soon be able to buy game time with gold

    Blizzard will soon allow World of Warcraft players to exchange in-game gold for game time and vice versa. Blizzard has announced a new system that will launch soon for World of Warcraft. The system is called WoW Token. Using this system, players will be able to buy game time using in-game gold. Here’s how it […]

  • 3D Realms’ Bombshell returns with the first gameplay trailer

    Remember 3D Realms’ Bombshell? The isometric ARPG that was announced last year? Well, it’s back, and we get to see gameplay footage. The game stars Shelly “Bombshell” Harrison, a bomb technician turned mercenary with a mechanical arm. She will embark on a quest to rescue the president and save Earth, all while shooting aliens. The […]

  • Unreal Engine 4 is now free for everyone to use

    Epic Games has made Unreal Engine 4 available for anyone to download and use, for free. Unreal Engine 4 is now free. Anyone can download it and start using it, the developer announced today in a blog post. The download features the the full set of tools used by Epic, and includes 100% of the […]

  • Call of Duty European Championship winner announced

    The winner of the European round of the Call of Duty Championship has been announced. This past weekend, 28 teams representing UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, the rest of Europe and Middle East attended the final of the European round of the Call of Duty Championship. UK team Epsilon eSports was crowned […]

  • GOG brings back Insomnia sale with discounts up to 90% off

    GOG.com is bringing back its Insomnia sale event with even more games. GOG’s Insomnia sale is back with double the amount of games. This year, there will be two sets of games available at once. The sets are seasoned classics and fresh new titles. Each set will feature games with discounts up to 90% off, […]

  • 2K is shutting down NBA 2K14 online servers, won’t affect career save files

    2K will be shutting down the servers for NBA 2K14 this month. The publisher revealed yesterday that online servers for NBA 2K14 will be turned offline on March 31. “You will no longer be able to play ranked games/online association,” reads the announcement. NBA 2K14 relied on online servers to store save files for MyCareer […]

  • One Dead or Alive tournament organiser is proposing ban of “over-sexualised” costumes

    A Dead or Alive tournament organiser has suggested a soft ban on some of the game’s “over-sexualised” costumes, and not everyone is happy. Tournament organiser “The HuBBs” took to the FreeStepDodge forums to suggest a list of rules that other offline tournaments can follow. The list goes over stages, characters, moves, which is certainly in […]

  • Destiny: all the news from Bungie’s open house Q&A

    Bungie hosted an open house Q&A session with the community last week and lots of exciting news have come out of it. Arekkz Gaming has gathered all the information that came out of Bungie’s open house Q&A in one handy video. The list is massive, going over Exotic weapon balance, upcoming events, PVE, Crucible rewards, […]

  • Elite: Dangerous and Star Citizen to honour Nimoy with in-game memorials

    Developers behind space exploration games Elite: Dangerous and Star Citizen will honour the memory of Leonard Nimoy through in-game memorials. The develops of both games have confirmed separately that in-game memorials will be established to honour the memory of the late Star Trek actor, Leonard Nimoy, famous for playing Spock. Elite: Dangerous executive producer Michael […]

  • Deal: get a PlayStation 4 + three exclusives for $399

    Amazon’s latest PlayStation 4 deal is not one to miss. With purchase of a PlayStation 4 console from Amazon in the US, the online retailer will throw in digital codes for Infamous Second Son, Killzone Shadow Fall and The Last of Us: Remastered, all for the same MSRP of $399. The Last of Us Remastered […]