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Greenawalt: "Disappointed in myself" from fan reaction; want to win fans back [Forza]

shinobi602

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Sep 28, 2010
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It must be a relief in some way to have the game finally ship, but the reaction's been more muted than some other Forza games. What's your take on the initial response, and the first reviews?

Dan Greenawalt: I have to be honest, our team takes great pride in what lights up our players, and community's the heart of what we do. So it's been disappointing. I'm not disappointed in people - people feel how they feel. I'm more disappointed in myself that I've elicited this reaction in people. I think the biggest travesty for me is how people have misread our intentions, because that's just been sad - community's the biggest thing for us, and the whole point is to get people excited about cars and excited about games, so people saying we've changed the economy for this reason and we removed this feature for that reason - I understand it, because perception's reality, and people start believing what they believe, but I know it's not the thought process we went through to make the decisions we made.

We'll get back to that in a bit. In terms of the free-to-play mechanics that are coming into it - because it came as part of a wave of Microsoft games that introduced mechanics more typically found in free-to-play games in full-price games, what's your take on that and how do you justify their inclusion?

Dan Greenawalt: So that's how you felt about Forza 4?



I did feel that way about Forza 4, so I'll admit an inconsistency there, but it wasn't pronounced as much. It's certainly much more of an issue in Forza 5.

Dan Greenawalt: I understand that if it looks like a duck and it quacks like a duck... I know the statement. But honestly if you look at free-to-play games they usually have things called paywalls, where you're slowly wearing something down and the only way to get around it is to pay. That's not what we implemented in Forza 4 and that wasn't our goal in Forza 5 either. We don't have paywalls. We have acceleration, and that was based on feedback from players in Forza 4 - there's a small group of players that can't be bothered to do things and they have disposable income.

They're the sim guys in a lot of cases. They don't want to do the career, and they don't value those aspects, and that's alright by me. With Forza 4 we had car tokens that range from one dollar to three dollars - the most expensive car was ten million credits in game, and it only cost three car tokens which would have been three dollars. That felt like it was not making the car exclusive enough for those who are willing to pay. So we made car tokens equal to credits - it's not about making more money, it was actually about saving people's time when doing the grind. I can totally see how people are perceiving it, but that wasn't our thought process - we designed the tokens last, which isn't how you'd do it if you were making a free-to-play game - you would design that economy and the token economy first, because that's how you make your revenue. That's not how we make the revenue - we sell the game, and the tokens aren't a big revenue driver. As a creative director, we were looking at it as basically giving people cheats, but if you want to put cheats in you have to pay for them, which puts a barrier in and makes it exclusive to those who want to pay for them.
Via Eurogamer
 

Mesoian

Member
Mar 23, 2012
27,244
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The People's Republic of Cambridge
Sad he got caught...

Forza 5's ecosystem isn't going to change so dramatically that the nature of the microtransations within comes off as anything but greedy.

All we can hope is that they learn their lesson with Horizon 2 or Forza 6.
 

oti

Banned
Aug 5, 2012
37,119
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Sad he got caught...

Forza 5's ecosystem isn't going to change so dramatically that the nature of the microtransations within comes off as anything but greedy.

All we can hope is that they learn their lesson with Horizon 2 or Forza 6.

At this point I don't even want to know what their plans for Horizon 2 are.
 

Heshinsi

"playing" dumb? unpossible
Nov 24, 2006
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there's a small group of players that can't be bothered to do things and they have disposable income.

So instead of leaving things the way they were in Forza 4, you decide to cater the whole experience around these guys?
 

BearPawB

Banned
May 14, 2012
6,308
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As I was playing the game, I did a few initial leagues. The pay out per race was low, but it was just the starting races right?

Used some forza reward money to buy a dodge viper, race in a more "advanced race". Pay out was the same or less....

I don't know how, outside of Forza rewards, I would ever be able to get one of those super expensive cars. You simply don't make enough per race.
 

SmokyDave

Member
Dec 8, 2008
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I feel for the guy because I doubt he personally pushed for the MT model in the form it's in.

That said, this bullshit about charging people with disposable income more to unlock cars so that they feel 'premium' can fuck right off. They do come at a premium, the money I hand over when I buy the game. This artificial scarcity that has crept into the franchise since Forza 3 has totally turned me off Forza.
 
D

Deleted member 47027

Unconfirmed Member
There should have been people who worked with him that were able to communicate "this may not be your intent, but this is what people are going to see, and this is what the narrative is going to be due to these changes."

Someone needs to be there and be listened to, and their input valued. If they're already doing that, then either someone isn't listening to the person who brings up these issues, or they suck at what they do. Or it was a calculated risk. Whatever.
 

Afrodium

Banned
Apr 21, 2009
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I feel bad for the guy. I'm sure he didn't want to employ this pricing model in the game. The microtransactions were most likely demanded by people far further up the chain then him, and he had no choice but to acquiesce. Now his brand is tarnished and he's the one who has to be apologizing for it.
 

Sneds

Member
Feb 4, 2009
3,099
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He's good at twisting words. He's disappointed in himself because other people misunderstood his intentions? Give me a break and come the fuck on.
 

ironcreed

Banned
Jun 4, 2011
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wildfire

Banned
Jun 5, 2011
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I actually understand this philosophy. While I dislike F2P in general because it has usually meant low quality products I always thought offering people who have more money than time the options to play the game they want to play without getting better skills is fine.

I don't play many racing games these days so I don't know how they really implemented their system. They'll just have to first examine the feedback to see participation rate between high income earners and low income earners have altered significantly enough from past games to warrant a reexamination of their progression mechanics.
 

daveo42

Banned
Dec 28, 2012
29,363
1
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I don't get it, is it really that bad?

I've been playing some Forza and have yet to even look at microtransactions...

There's an image floating around showing the payment structure that gives players less value the more tokens they buy. Not sure if this has been changed or not, but that was one of the more off-putting things I've seen so far. I'll include the high credit count for some of the cars, meaning shelling out a good chunk of cash to buy the cars outright.

GT6 has some really expensive cars and includes a pay system, but I've heard far less about it than Forza.
 

SummitAve

Banned
Jul 19, 2012
6,052
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He's good at twisting words. He's disappointed in himself because other people misunderstood his intentions? Give me a break and come the fuck on.

You're good at twisting his words. I think you're still misunderstanding his intentions.
 

Ranger X

Member
Jun 10, 2004
34,866
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So basically he's disappointed about his bullshit decision that did backfire at him and for an excuse he tells us more bullshit?

Way to go! My ass is a wide as the Grand Canyon for him apparently.
 

Harp

Member
Feb 27, 2013
644
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0
Forza 5 is a very shallow game. When compared to forza 4. There are just too many missing features. I went to paint my car yesterday just to find out that you can no longer get individual designs from other people. And what's up with free play. Its bad enough you limit the selection of cars but you also took out time trials? Forza 5 is basicly what I expected from the free PlayStation plus version of drive club. They only difference is forza 5 cost me 60 bucks.
 

rav

Member
Sep 13, 2013
751
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0
As I was playing the game, I did a few initial leagues. The pay out per race was low, but it was just the starting races right?

Used some forza reward money to buy a dodge viper, race in a more "advanced race". Pay out was the same or less....

I don't know how, outside of Forza rewards, I would ever be able to get one of those super expensive cars. You simply don't make enough per race.

Yeah, I'm in this same boat. I've yet to even purchase an expensive car, but don't want to spend any reward money or any currency in game now. which makes me not want to play at all. :( Totally turned off of the game now.
 
Oct 9, 2013
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This mental gymnastics this guy is performing to avoid saying that the game economy was changed to elicit more revenue from microtransactions is making my brain hurt.

He's basically like, "Look, I know how it looks... it looks like we changed the game economy to make more money by selling microtransactions, and it appears that way because it's true, and in free to play games you have this design where people grind and grind away against this will that they can eventually bypass by spending money, and ours works the same way, so I can see how people are saying we're charging people for a free to play game, because our game design is exactly the same thing... I mean... I get it, but that's not what we meant to do."
 

Seanspeed

Banned
Sep 10, 2009
29,419
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Typical PR spin. That's all he can really do.

Still blows. Its not quite the 'grind-fest' that people would like to believe and go around saying it is, but there were definitely some changes made in order to push these microtransactions. That's the bad part. Forza had these microtransactions before but it wasn't a big deal because the rest of the game was unaffected.

I want to read into his comments and say that its worrying because he's not disappointed for the right reasons, but that would be taking his comments seriously in the first place.
 

Zophar

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Sep 4, 2007
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If your game has ridiculous grinds in it and you yourself as the developers recognize that it's lame and not worth it, you have an abject failure in game design, period.

If you're giving people the chance to pay their way out of it but also claiming it's not about the money, then you are acknowledging that the core design of your game is severely flawed. It's either that or you want more money, plain and simple.
 

MarkusRJR

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Aug 13, 2007
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THEN WHY DOES IT COST MONEY?
Yeah wtf? If they just wanted to get rid of the grind for the people who just want to drive all the cars or a specific car, they should have just had an option to "unlock all cars" (similar to the unlock all songs option in Rock Band). Clearly they just wanted an extra source of income.....
 

quickdevilred

Banned
Jun 14, 2013
244
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not sure about the complaints...
I'm already almost level 20 after only plying through 3 or 4 of the leagues
the only thing that sucks is I don't get cars for winning leagues anymore.
I haven't spent a dime or even spent the tokens I started the game with.
 

Vic20

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Dec 25, 2011
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Great! IF he really means what he says then he and his team can significantly lower all the costs and the customers and his team will be happy! Everybody gets to be happy! I'm a genius! :p
 

SmokyDave

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Dec 8, 2008
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With Forza 4 we had car tokens that range from one dollar to three dollars - the most expensive car was ten million credits in game, and it only cost three car tokens which would have been three dollars.

That felt like it was not making the car exclusive enough for those who are willing to pay.
The more I read this, the more surreal it gets.
 

Colonel Nasty

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Mar 27, 2012
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To be fair, Horizon had a Xp doubler too. I get what they are doing but just price every car the same price as dlc. If someone wants to pay the 3$ to skip grinding fine by me but it should never be more than 3$.
 

Harp

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Feb 27, 2013
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There's an image floating around showing the payment structure that gives players less value the more tokens they buy. Not sure if this has been changed or not, but that was one of the more off-putting things I've seen so far. I'll include the high credit count for some of the cars, meaning shelling out a good chunk of cash to buy the cars outright.

GT6 has some really expensive cars and includes a pay system, but I've heard far less about it than Forza.
For me its that there is a button to pay for progress but no button to go back to the main menu after a race.
 

RedNumberFive

Banned
Oct 6, 2006
9,556
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Holy shit at everything coming out of this man's mouth! He should have just told us all to get fucked, and be done with it.

This is like reverse damage control!
 

Empty

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Sep 20, 2009
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He's good at twisting words. He's disappointed in himself because other people misunderstood his intentions? Give me a break and come the fuck on.

yeah it's like he started on the 'gotta be humble' playbook then got distracted half way through and started blaming customers.
 

Seanspeed

Banned
Sep 10, 2009
29,419
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The more I read this, the more surreal it gets.
You've made it pretty clear you don't care for that, but a lot of people do. Owning a 250GTO was something of a milestone for people, for example. Kinda like some super rare weapon in an RPG that you only get near the end of the game and after a lot of playing(except that the playing here is racing - which is fun!).
 

Dali

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Jan 2, 2007
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He describes how f2p is a person grinding to get something but eventually just paying, says Forza is different, but then describes it EXACTLY the same way only using the word "acceleration" lol.
 

ironcreed

Banned
Jun 4, 2011
30,337
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his words will be twisted a thousand times before the thread ends

No need to twist anything. All I had to do is take a gander at the original pricing for token packs in a $60 game, the stripped content and trying to charge over $100 for one fucking car in hopes that the impatient will take the bait. It's really pretty transparent.