Nov 192012

[Hey everyone, Laevatein here, and today my article is going to be quite special.  As you may have noticed, I have started up a new series, but fret not, for nothing has really changed.]

PlanetSide 2 is a game that many would think is long overdue.  Now, I can’t say I’m a fan of the original or anything, but I did get beta access, so I’ve been playing it here and there.  It’s quite fun, and that’s not even a “It’s quite fun for a free to play game” sort of statement, either.  I think it’s legitimately fun.  I love how large the scale of everything is, as it’s not about your place in the team, but you as a cog in a much larger machine.  I suppose that might not be to everyone’s liking, but I find it intriguing.  Nevertheless, I was quite concerned when I first saw what was in the cash shop.

Cash shops have gone hand-in-hand with free-to-play games for the longest time (though Ubisoft seems to be trying this with Assassin’s Creed 3, hahaha oh you guys), so I may seem silly being hesitant about cash shops.  I do think cash shops make a lot of sense, from a business perspective.  They are conceptually very fair to both the companies that provide the games and the consumers that play the games.  Cash shops, unfortunately, are often littered with items that give advantages to people who are willing to spend money.  “Of course that’s a problem, Laevatein, where have you been?” you may say.  I had to admit that I have been out of the free-to-play game loop for the longest time.

What I think needs to be brought up is how we all define what should and should not be chargeable.  If a game gives people who spend money an advantage, if even a slight one, that game should technically be defined as “pay-to-win” (as much of a misnomer/catch-all as the term is).  As it stands, no one can agree on some of the finer points of this definition.  This not only gives developers free reign to add features that may wind up upsetting the game community, but also gives the community an easy to use tool to effectively “lynch” developers that implement things they don’t like.

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