Keep Microtransactions and Loot Boxes away from PlayStation Games!
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We, as players on PlayStation gaming platforms past and present, as well as other fellow concerned gamers, view one of the main topics of discussion at the latest Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) board meeting regarding "exploring microtransactions and loot boxes as means to generate recurring revenue", with grave concern. Gamers on recent PlayStation systems, especially the highly successful and popular PlayStation 4, have always held countless SIE first and second party games in highest regard not just for their exceptional quality, but also for their consumer friendliness due to negligible season passes, DLCs that actually offer great value for money in terms of contents, minimal microtransactions, especially those affect chances of winning and offering no loot boxes thus far.
Horizon Zero Dawn, a first party PlayStation 4 title released this year to high degrees of critical acclaim and ongoing commercial success, testifies to the idea that good games alone add great values to both gamers and the gaming industry, without implementing ruinous anti-consumer features such as microtransactions and loot boxes. It still stands out as one of the few triple A titles released this year without any anti-consumer measures. Although present in the multiplayer mode as a cosmetic measure, the single player mode of the even more acclaimed Uncharted 4 has been completely free of microtransactions, and is bought by one out of every six PlayStation system owners. Other high quality exclusive titles such as Bloodborne, Ratchet and Clank, Infamous, Until Dawn, The Last Guardian and Gravity Rush 2 have all been released without any of the above mentioned anti-consumer measures, and have been all well received and sold well, raising the profile of PlayStation 4 and contributing immensely to the sustained sales momentum of the PS4 console, quadrupling of profits over the past year and increasing the market capitalization for Sony as a whole.
We as fans and gamers of the PlayStation console brand, would like this healthy trend of releasing high quality titles free from such anti-consumer practices to continue, especially with a huge lineup of highly anticipated titles such as God of War, Days Gone, Spider-Man, Ghost of Tsushima and the Last of Us Pt II. We would like to enjoy these games to their fullest value without being constantly and potentially intrusively baited into paying more than what we have already paid for when making the game purchase. We would also urge SIE and PlayStation, as the most influential home console brand in the world, to also take a firm stand against current trend of triple A publishers shoehorning, both discreetly and overtly, microtransactions and loot boxes into many of the most popular game franchises that we have spent years playing. As the PlayStation player base matures over the years, many of us now also have families and would like to introduce PlayStation gaming to our children. As such, microtransactions and loot boxes, being essentially pay to win and glorified gambling features, promote an extremely unhealthy mentality in young gamers where game completion is not achieved through dedication and skill, but through the sizes of their parents' wallets. This in addition to promoting unhealthy attitudes towards gaming, also poses a potential financial drain on hard working parents in an increasingly precarious economic environment. Furthermore, as gamers are becoming increasingly aware of creeping anti-consumer features in games, following the trend of other triple A publishers is the surest way of ruining PlayStation's brand image not just amongst the existing PlayStation community, but also turn away potential PlayStation gamers out there, which we as fans of the PlayStation brand and family of high quality game franchises, would not like to see.
As such, we would very much like to plead and urge you, within the capacity of the CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, to reconsider your previous suggestions and instead stand out as the leader of a gaming platform brand that lives up to the slogan "For the Players", by not just not implementing such anti-consumer measures, but also take a firm stance against the ever growing malpractices that harm gamers, games and the gaming industry as a whole. Furthermore, given your many years of expertise with developing the PlayStation Network infrastructure, we would also like to urge you to instead focus your skill and experience on improving the online gaming experience for PlayStation gamers, and therefore enticing even more players into the PlayStation community.
Concerned PlayStation Gamers
More information on John Kodera, the new CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, and his thoughts on loot boxes and microtransactions, can be found here:
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