Gearbox confirms Borderlands 3 launches on September 13, 2019; Epic Games Store exclusive

Sygma

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Nov 22, 2016
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Because in my books, competition is being able to get the product at its cheapest possible price while being offered as many features as possible.

There are a lot of games out there, I have 980 games on my Steam account and another 500 on my wishlist it's just not economical to buy every game at full price.
See the problem with your point of view is that the cheapest possible price hampers years of actual value put into the final product, no matter how you view it economically. I get that there's a consumer side but in the end everybody involved has to earn something that's fair. I agree with the "its not economical to buy every game at full price" but there's also the you factor in it pushing you to buy stuff that you maybe don't need in the first place

Not judging or anything btw, I mostly speak my mind



There goes
 

PhoenixTank

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Jul 13, 2017
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its just tiresome to see that it all revolves around the same shit, which is discounts. Its transparent as it gets. competition is about pre ordering your game at 50$ top on 3rd party website months in advance

so yes indeed, if you're broke, dont cry, its life
Well, certainly a new argument on this topic.

Others see the lack of EGS features as inconsequential (just a launcher) and argue that it will in fact be better for consumers, alongside vague promises of lower prices from Tim Sweeney.
You acknowledge the opposite of the above, but are still in favour of it?
I can't empathise with the notion of "it'll be worse for you, and you should be quiet about it".
If less people can afford games (or less games) I don't see that as a real win... closer to a pyrrhic victory I suppose. I'd worry about the knock on effects it would have on an already unhealthy industry - Potential harm to overall revenue and quite likely a reduced diversity of games leading to even less risk taking, blander games and less of them.

To properly address a previous point you made regarding free games & launchers - well, yeah is this surprising? I'm indifferent to Origin these days but I was more than okay with using it to grab Apex and see if it was any good. Same thing happened before that with Fortnite, except the launcher was well below the par of Origin back then, even.
If the service ends up disappearing (and they have in the past) the free game is gone, but I haven't lost anything except a little time. If I'm putting money down on a game I'm invested in the service at that point - If the service goes away I've lost my access to the game and have nothing to show for the money. If you treat all games as disposable then yeah this won't make a difference, but part of the PC platform is being able to revisit older games years later. Not all of them age well but they retain (non-monetary) value if they were great.
 

Sygma

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You acknowledge the opposite of the above, but are still in favour of it?
Absolutely

I'd worry about the knock on effects it would have on an already unhealthy industry
From which point of view ?

https://techcrunch.com/2019/01/22/video-game-revenue-tops-43-billion-in-2018-an-18-jump-from-2017/

Also esports revenue saw an enormous increase

https://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2018/07/11/how-big-can-esports-grow-in-2018/#13d27a0d6a36


Now if we're talking about the crunch culture and some truly abhorrent practices in some well known AAA studios, I agree with that but I'll say that no job is perfect until you find the right workplace

well, yeah is this surprising?
It absolutely isn't, it just shows how hypocritical people mostly are when it comes down to having to download other launchers, aslong as its not tied to their visas


"but muh steam !" They'll get their game there eventually, the major factor here is their self inflicted dependency to owning the product when it launches. Its not even about the platform
 
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Shifty.

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Because you got data showing that 1% of current players actually are in the capacity to buy their games ?
And that magically gains a correlation with people complaining about EGS because... You feel like it? Any why then is Steam exempt from this logic?

There are legitimate criticisms to be made of both Epic's store and their business practices regardless of whether you can afford to buy products from it on the regular or not. Said criticisms having been documented for, oh I don't know, about a couple hundred pages worth of GAF threads by now.
 
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See the problem with your point of view is that the cheapest possible price hampers years of actual value put into the final product, no matter how you view it economically. I get that there's a consumer side but in the end everybody involved has to earn something that's fair. I agree with the "its not economical to buy every game at full price" but there's also the you factor in it pushing you to buy stuff that you maybe don't need in the first place

Not judging or anything btw, I mostly speak my mind





There goes

I honestly do not have a single clue as to who this person is, or what sources he has to back up that statement.

I want actual hard facts regarding how many people have preordered on the EGS. Ofcourse console preorders are gonna be through the roof.

My bet is they dont ever release sales data for the egs client in regards to BL3
 
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Absolutely



From which point of view ?

https://techcrunch.com/2019/01/22/video-game-revenue-tops-43-billion-in-2018-an-18-jump-from-2017/

Also esports revenue saw an enormous increase

https://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2018/07/11/how-big-can-esports-grow-in-2018/#13d27a0d6a36


Now if we're talking about the crunch culture and some truly abhorrent practices in some well known AAA studios, I agree with that but I'll say that no job is perfect until you find the right workplace



It absolutely isn't, it just shows how hypocritical people mostly are when it comes down to having to download other launchers, aslong as its not tied to their visas


"but muh steam !" They'll get their game there eventually, the major factor here is their self inflicted dependency to owning the product when it launches. Its not even about the platform

Yeah those stupid fanboys who want to purchase their favorite product when it actually comes out, and fuck their preference as to where they can purchase it.

Let's lock down Avengers Endgame to 1 cinema chain and let it come to other cinema's six months later.

Screw those dumb people who want to see it when it comes out right?
 

PhoenixTank

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Jul 13, 2017
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From which point of view ?
Sorry - I didn't mean financially unhealthy as such... more in terms of the industry model itself.
Software development is a messy business most of the time but if you get to the end of the road you have a product that is functional if flawed... possibly severely flawed depending on how badly it went. If it fills a need in the market that isn't offered by competition or is a product created specifically for a client, it'll very likely sell.
With game development you can end up with a product that is functional, matches the spec and is otherwise technically competent but is a mediocre game and no amount of marketing can recoup the costs. The additional layer of art and creativity required adds to an already difficult and risky development process. As budgets soar and profits are apparently huge but also fail to meet expectations, more and more anti-consumer practices are employed.
The sheer amount of manhours that have to have gone into duplicating efforts for game development tasks over the years has to be astronomical. It has even more reason than the software dev industry to pool efforts and avoid this but it has been slow to do so. It is getting better with freely available engines but you're still beholden to Unity and UE4 for platform support & fixes, and AFAIK lack the ability for game devs to tweak at a lower level. Likely why many big studios still have their own inhouse engines.

Now if we're talking about the crunch culture and some truly abhorrent practices in some well known AAA studios, I agree with that but I'll say that no job is perfect until you find the right workplace
This ties into the above. At the big studios revenue and profits are high but the individual devs still suffer and instead of reform consumers get more ways to part with our money.
It absolutely isn't, it just shows how hypocritical people mostly are when it comes down to having to download other launchers, aslong as its not tied to their visas
I tried to make the point in my last post, but hopefully more succinctly: it comes down to perceived value and investment in that store/launcher. If it is free, the focus is on the game, the launcher is just the wrapping or the box it is in and people are more likely to overlook flaws.
When money is involved it changes the argument heavily. Not a great analogy but: if the box is part of the required product experience and I'm likely to be using it a lot and putting multiple products in it I'd certainly prefer that the box wasn't sticky or likely to fall apart. If I'm paying money I now want the better level of quality. I don't view that as hypocrisy, really. "Vote with your wallet" comes up an awful lot these days.

"but muh steam !" They'll get their game there eventually, the major factor here is their self inflicted dependency to owning the product when it launches. Its not even about the platform
A perhaps weird part of gaming is the community and peer aspect that encourages this. With development risks as they are, the supply side of this market wants you to buy day one so that costs can be recouped as fast as possible. Incentives and the marketing Hype Trains are geared heavily towards that.
With BL3 for instance it fragments existing collections but also might split up a group of friends that otherwise wanted to play through as a group at the same time. More than most games the Borderlands series is best experienced as a group. Not quite peer pressure but close? Nobody wants to be left out.
I know crossplay between XB1 and EGS has sort of leaked, but I haven't heard anything about whether future Steam copies will play nice with Epic copies. It'd be a shame if they didn't but will hopefully become more clear with time.

Not to put words in your mouth but it sounds like you're okay with games being full price initially but lowering over time for those that prefer to wait? Is that correct? Just not discounts before they're even released?
 

SkinnerSw33t

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Steam rarely discounts AAA games before release either.

GMG and other sites are usually the way to go if you're willing to sacrifice the refund option.

Which most day one buyers are.
 

demigod

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Some random on Twitter with 2K followers? Hell, he just says Pre-orders, he doesn't even say EGS pre-orders.
I honestly do not have a single clue as to who this person is, or what sources he has to back up that statement.

I want actual hard facts regarding how many people have preordered on the EGS. Ofcourse console preorders are gonna be through the roof.

My bet is they dont ever release sales data for the egs client in regards to BL3
I believe Benji has sales numbers but only for consoles. Still won't be able to top CoD and they will for sure lose out on Steam numbers.
 

Sygma

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Nov 22, 2016
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Some random on Twitter with 2K followers? Hell, he just says Pre-orders, he doesn't even say EGS pre-orders.
random, lol
Yeah those stupid fanboys who want to purchase their favorite product when it actually comes out, and fuck their preference as to where they can purchase it.

Let's lock down Avengers Endgame to 1 cinema chain and let it come to other cinema's six months later.

Screw those dumb people who want to see it when it comes out right?
Its funny you're saying this considering how Disney fucked over Tarantino by doing the literal same thing when he wanted to release his Hateful Eight in a certain theater. Except that I don't recall Epic actually posing threats to anybody in the form of not releasing titles on another store, much to the opposite of Disney

More than most games the Borderlands series is best experienced as a group. Not quite peer pressure but close? Nobody wants to be left out.
Exactly my point, its always the self / peer constructed pressure to get things when it releases, and they lure you in with all these pre orders offers / limited edition etc. Time is the most valuable asset to gamers and the industry isn't stupid, quite the contrary

Steam rarely discounts AAA games before release either.

GMG and other sites are usually the way to go if you're willing to sacrifice the refund option.

Which most day one buyers are.
Also exactly my point. Cheaper on 3rd party websites, most of the major gaming forums are always talking about where to get a good cd key price way before release.


Not to put words in your mouth but it sounds like you're okay with games being full price initially but lowering over time for those that prefer to wait? Is that correct? Just not discounts before they're even released?
pretty much yeah, like it used to be before. Like get this, the only way to have some games under the 70€ price point here for some titles is to get them in supermarkets instead than in shops. Or on Amazon by pre ordering early but the discount isn't quite as steep as it is on pc. The model wasn't going to be sustainable anyway
 
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Sygma

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No counterpoint then?

There's no need for counterpoints when the twitter page itself is pretty self explanatory. However if he indeed doesn't have access to EGS pre orders numbers then my point is moot
 
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Frunobulax

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May 24, 2014
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I mean....at one point I bought a bunch of games that were in books and I had to copy the code from the books...
I haven't bothered with the epic launcher yet as I have everything that they've given away and haven't felt like buying anything they're selling yet but whatever it takes to get a game going, I've probably had to deal with far more in the past then downloading a launcher, and will probably deal with far more in the future again as well.
That's kind've a reoccurring theme with pc games, at least in my experience, which spans the entire lifetime of commercial software...sometimes there are hoops to jump through.
I'll take a new launcher's annoying bs over having to debugg a new purchase, any day.
I will buy borderlands 3 the moment I feel like playing borderlands 3 and will probably do whatever I have to do to make it run, like I've always done when it's possible for me to do myself.

I don't care about moral crusades involving videogames. If I was going to start giving a fuck about grand narratives I'd probably start with the fact that we're probably all using multiple conflict minerals right at this very moment. But I feel that my entertainment and comfort is more important to me then such considerations, so I'm certainly not about to spaz out about a bit of benign software on my machine that already has 1000's of programs on it.
 
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Maybe I'm not playing this game because the cover art is so disrespectful. I'm a religious man and I don't like it. Brought my hype down hills. My stance on the thing. Respect you all who are still on the ride.
 

octiny

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For ease of use, Randy's insanely long 100+ tweets are in the spoiler below

  • Pitchford agrees that the Epic Games Store currently has fewer features than Valve’s Steam. However, he believes Epic will rush to add as many features as possible before the launch of Borderlands 3, which will be the biggest new game on the platform when it’s released.
  • He admits there’s a chance Epic won’t be fast enough to do so. However, apparently, Borderlands 3 publisher 2K was happy with taking this risk. Ultimately, Pitchford said, in a long-term view the existence of the Epic Games Store will be inevitably beneficial to customers and developers.
  • That’s because Epic has a proven track record (with the Unreal Engine) that they are willing to reinvest significant amounts of money to improve technology over time. On the other hand, Valve often reinvested in other business ventures than Steam.
  • The Epic Games Store is the first significant threat to Steam and Valve will need to adapt quickly. He believes they’ll do so as there’s a lot of talent at Valve, but ultimately, having worked for a very long time with both companies, he still thinks Epic is likely to come out on top given the respective track records.
  • While there are ‘bumps on the road’ now, the Gearbox boss likened Borderlands 3 on the Epic Games Store to Half-Life 2 on Steam, pointing out that this will ultimately lead to breaking the monopoly on the PC digital market.
First, please understand that although I may have thoughts and opinions about this topic, the authority here truly is in the hands of our publishing partner, 2K Games. So while I may have some influence, I cannot force anything (and this ship has sailed, so to speak).

Currently Steam has a bunch of features that the Epic Games Store does not. That’s a fact. We could probably rank the priority of those features from top to bottom and while we may disagree a little on the ranking, there is probably an optimal priority to go after features.

Also, some features that Steam has may be features that are not part of Epic’s vision and some features Steam never contemplated may be part of Steam’s vision. The vision for how a store should interact with a customer and a developer and a publisher is all part of the equation.

Epic has published a near term road map. This road map includes a look into things they are committing to. If I were a betting man, I would expect that there are more things that happen than what they are committing to.

We also must acknowledge that Borderlands 3 does not exist *today* but rather it will exist in September. The store will be different when the game launches. It will become a boon to their store if they bring sufficient features to make the customer experience great for us.

Epic will suffer (again) if, by the time Borderlands 3 launches, the customer experience is not good enough. This is a tremendous forcing function for Epic.

This is also really good for Borderlands 3 as Borderlands 3 will be the biggest, by far, new game to arrive on the Epic store since they launched and Epic can be sure to invest huge amounts of resources specifically for the features most important for Borderlands 3.

The forcing function of that will, in turn, make all those features available on a faster timeline than otherwise possible and this is good for all games from both the customer perspective and the developer/publisher perspective.

It is possible that the EGS does not successfully complete enough features for the store before Borderlands 3 launches to be “good enough”. That’s a risk. It’s one that our publishing partner, 2K, was willing to take. I’m not mad about that decision or the risk, but it’s real.

So the question on that angle is really about long game versus short game… What’s best in the long run? I hope to die in office, creating entertainment for as long as people want me to. So I tend to think very long game. Some of us think very short game – I understand that.

So the risk that not all the features are perfect by the time Borderlands 3 launches is a risk I am comfortable with *IF* I believe that in the long-run, Borderlands 3 and future games I make will be best served if the Epic Games Store a) exists, and b) is competitive.

So, do I believe that? Absolutely… Why? Track record combined with company values and the situation at the companies. I can explain all of those.

First, track record. Now, I have a bit of authority on this topic of track record between these companies. I worked with Valve for many years (20) both as a developer in the Half-Life franchise and as a developer and publisher on the Steam platform.

I have also worked with Epic for about as long, too, as a licensee of their engine and, more recently, as a retail publisher of their game, Fortnite. I know a lot about these people and these businesses.

From a track record point of view, my expectation is that Epic’s investment in technology will outpace Valve’s substantially. When we look back at Steam in five or ten years, it may look like a dying store and other, competitive stores, will be the place to be.

The competitive store that happens to be the leader in 10 years may not be Epic’s store, but it probably won’t be Valve’s and Epic’s moves right now are opening the door and paving the way for a vibrant competitive economy.

Competition in stores is going to be absolutely best for consumers and probably good for developers and publishers as well. The stores that tend to win are the stores that offer the best to their customers. It’s very difficult for customer interest to be king with one store.

One may look at other stores, like Origin or U-Play. Those aren’t real competitors to Steam. A competitor to Steam needs to have an installed base and be sufficiently neutral in alignment so that all publishers and developers who support the store can trust a fair economy.

That’s just not possible with direct stores that are controlled by publishing interests. It’s also not going to come from adjacent services that have other priorities (like Discord, for example).

Epic has credibility here because they have been supplying engine technology to the industry for over 20 years and we have all come to be able to trust and rely upon Epic’s fair play and goodwill.

With the engine, Epic’s technology has gotten better and better at a faster rate over 20 years than any other game engine middleware on the planet. They have tremendous credibility with how they reinvest in their technology to the benefit of customers and developers.

Meanwhile, as the quality of Epic’s technology improved, so did its success in business. What did Epic do? They used their increased success to lead the way in business terms. They reduce licensing rates for developers and created new ways to become a licensee.

They increased accessibility to the engine so that folks like you can download and learn how to use Unreal Engine to become a game developer yourself – for free. And, when you want to commercially release something, there is a very competitive and fair price for that.

Meanwhile, Valve has taken an absurd cut of the revenue – which would be fine except they have not reinvested it. This is where looking at the values of the company are important.

Also, the way the company is organized and managed is really important to this calculus as well. Valve is a private company and, to the best that we can see, a huge amount of the value that Valve has generated has been used to enrich the handful of people who own and manage the company. There’s nothing wrong with that, BTW! My business is private, too!

Epic’s business, until recently, was private and closely held. It’s still private, but not as closely held as before. This is important to consider.

Every time Valve makes a dollar, they have to make a decision on whether to put in their own pockets or to reinvest it into technology (or whatever). Valve has made significant investments into technology and should be applauded for the resultant innovations.

But they have also taken a significant amount of value off the table and, when they’ve reinvested, they’ve tended to put it to a lot of other activities besides the store that is generating all of the revenue.

They’ve been able to do this because they haven’t had to worry about it. There has been no viable competitor to Steam. They have had no external force sufficient to challenge their revenue share and no external force sufficient to motivate a sufficient reinvestment of revenue.

Now there is an external force that is real. This external force, the Epic store, is a really significant threat to Steam. Steam *must* adapt or it will perish.

Almost immediately, we saw Steam crumble its previously unwavering stance on revenue share. Holy shit! That’s a miracle. I think the folks at Valve are really smart and really great and they are also, probably, starting to redirect investment into their store.

If Valve is smart, and they are, they should preemptively maneuver as many resources as possible towards improving the store and preparing for Epic’s inevitable challenge to Steam from a features point of view.

The faster Valve can maneuver, the longer it can stay ahead of Epic on features. But, if I were to bet on this (and remember I’ve got a pretty good seat with a great view of this competition), Epic will inevitably surpass Valve on features and quality of service.

Epic is differently setup from Valve right now. Epic’s shareholders are *very* motivated not to take chips off the table, so to speak, but to reinvest those shares into the company. They have an incredible valuation right now, but they are motivated to increase it.

And they have the resources to really make some big plays towards that. All of those plays are going to be fed by a business that is not taking cash out of their system and putting it into individual’s pockets, but towards putting all of their cash back into their system.

They recently raised some money. Why did they do that? They have been making more money than they ever have made before? They did that so the owners could sell some of their equity and put *that* cash into their pockets (which is totally cool – that’s what should happen).

But what it means is that this business is not enriching its owners by siphoning from its profits, but rather it is enriching its owners by increasing its value.

That is a HUGE and significant difference between Valve and Epic. Epic is motivated to reinvest 100% of its profits into activities (like the store) that will make Epic more valuable in the future.

Valve is organized such that it is motivated to make decisions about how much of its profit it should distribute to its owners and stakeholders and how much to reinvest. MUCH different.

That they have decided to invest SIGNIFICANT amounts of the money they have made from Fortnite into the creation of a store to create a real competitive landscape is, frankly, a GIFT to customers and developers and publishers. ALL OF US WILL BENEFIT from this competition.

During the competition, there will be some difficulties and setbacks and shit that doesn’t go right – that’s how it goes. But, ultimately, we’re going to be in incredible shape no matter which store you prefer. Steam will have no choice but to either give up, lose or to get better faster than ever before. This is good for Steam customers, developers and publishers.

Because Valve is pretty damn good with some awesome talent, I do not expect them to give up or to lose. They’ll fight for it. And they’ll hang on. There’s even a chance they come out on top. Whatever the case, customers, developers and publishers are going to be better off.

Meanwhile, Epic is the forcing function that is going to make this all happen. It’s really incredible, but they are the only guys who can really come along to disrupt Steam’s monopoly and help all this get fixed. They will bring balance to the force (yeah, Star Wars shit today).

And here we are… It’s a year with fewer huge titles than we’ve seen in years. It’s a year where the consoles are at peak life-cycle and PC storefronts are getting rattled. And in a world where EA and ATVI cannot really be the ones to take the risk to help the forcing function happen, Take-Two shows some balls and steps up with our game, Borderlands 3, to be the content that catalyzes this moment. Holy shit. What a world.

Because, at the end of the day, these kinds of movements in our industry are always precipitated from content. It takes content to move us. It took Half-Life 2 to even get us (not quite) comfortable enough to swallow the Steam pill back in the day.

And so we’re going to swallow the Epic Game Store pill with Borderlands 3. And some of you guys are going to hate it and scream bloody murder and you’ll even blame me, personally, for it. And you can bitch and moan and brigade and stalk my shit, but at the end of the day when we look back at this moment, we’ll realize that this was the moment where the digital stores on PC became unmonopolized.

And we’re all going to look back and see how change happened and how costs for developers and publishers to be on stores went down and how that value was passed on to the customers. Years from now, we’re going to look back at Steam’s current installed base and laugh at how we thought that was a big number when we add up what all the different stores are pushing together.

And we’re going to have a disassociation of features we care about (like friends and achievements and such) from the stores and we can just focus on the games. And we’ll all be able to play together, cross-platform. This will take a minute, but it will happen.

And we’ll look back and realize that Epic’s decision to reinvest their Fortnite $ into this (valuable) step and Take Two’s guts to put Borderlands 3 out there in this situation in order to be that forcing function the industry needs were the pivotal moments.
 
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SkinnerSw33t

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Can't wait for the gameplay reveal on May 1. 1PM ET. Not bad. Should be able to watch live.

As for the services, I mean, clearly Steam has more features than Epic, but...

If you're a BL fan, what missing feature could be a deal-breaker?

Cloud saves is the only thing I can think of that really matters, and I'm not sure even that would be a deal-breaker.
 

johntown

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Can't wait for the gameplay reveal on May 1. 1PM ET. Not bad. Should be able to watch live.

As for the services, I mean, clearly Steam has more features than Epic, but...

If you're a BL fan, what missing feature could be a deal-breaker?

Cloud saves is the only thing I can think of that really matters, and I'm not sure even that would be a deal-breaker.
Playing with friends comes to mind for me. None of my friends are on the Epic store or want to be for that matter.
 

SkinnerSw33t

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Playing with friends comes to mind for me. None of my friends are on the Epic store or want to be for that matter.
All right, but that is more ideological than what Pitchford was talking about.

If someone wants to draw a line in the sand as a consumer, more power to them.

But I can't imagine that particular concern is going to deter most BL fans.
 

SkinnerSw33t

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wtf is this XP boost shit ..
pay more to play the game less?

FUCK OFF WITH THAT SHIT
I'll worry when it's time to worry, but...

but at this stage we can confirm that the Loot and XP boosts will both be level capped and tied to specific pieces of gear, similar to boosts in past Borderlands games
preordering Borderlands 2 also provided access to the Vault Hunter's Relic, which boosted chances of finding rare loot by 5 percent.
Vault Hunter's Relic is actually a noob trap.
 

johntown

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All right, but that is more ideological than what Pitchford was talking about.

If someone wants to draw a line in the sand as a consumer, more power to them.

But I can't imagine that particular concern is going to deter most BL fans.
Yeah I agree. I think regardless of all the controversy most people will cave and buy it at the Epic store.
 
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Then they will be fucking stupid and helping pc exclusivity solidify its position as a tactic to pull in gamers wherever they want, if enough money is paid.