Leaked AI-powered Game Revenue Model: Microtransaction Hell on Steroids

llien

Member
If you thought what EA tried to push for wasn't bad enough:

An artificial intelligence (AI) will deliberately tamper with your online gameplay as you scramble for more in-game items to win. The same AI will manipulate your state of mind at every step of your game to guide you towards more micro-transactions. Nothing in-game is truly fixed-rate. The game maps out your home, and cross-references it with your online footprint, to have a socio-economic picture of you, so the best possible revenue model, and anti buyer's remorse strategy can be implemented on you. These, and more, are part of the dystopian nightmare that takes flight if a new AI-powered online game revenue model is implemented in MMO games of the near future.

The paper's slide-deck and signed papers (with corrections) were leaked to the web by an unknown source, with bits of information (names, brands) redacted. It has too much information to be dismissed off hand for being a prank. It proposes leveraging AI to gather and build a socio-economic profile of a player to implement the best revenue-generation strategy. It also proposes using an AI to consistently "alter" the player's gameplay, such that the player's actions don't have the desired result leading toward beating the game, but towards an "unfair" consequence that motivates more in-game spending. The presentation spans a little over 50 slides, and is rich in text that requires little further explanation.






Even scanning your home/room configuration, for some "hopefullynotevil" reason:



More of this scary stuff at techpowerup.
 
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ehead

Member
Oh my god. This is like the DLC The Game Mega64 video (link: ).

Those screens can't be true.
 

Tekkie

Member
So this is how the next crash begins

I don't think that'll happen. Japanese adoption for these types of shenanigans is fairly mixed after all and often not as extreme (not counting mobile) and indie games in general tend to stay away from it. So if anything would crash, it'd be the likes of EA, Activision, Ubi, Warner Bros etc, so mostly AAA games from the US.
 
This reads like a parody. What would an "adsense" AI do with a 3D mapping of my home in regards to trying to sell me pay-to-win MTs?

Also that number 3 on the "Big Ideas" list sounds incredibly malicious.
 

Northeastmonk

Gold Member
It makes me realize that there's not a lot of magic behind the curtain. Just a bunch of penny pushers.

I can see smart AI programmers in the industry making things happen, but honestly this is what's controlling them. That's not anything special.
 
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Sosokrates

Report me if I continue to console war
Any game company that does this will be a PR nightmare for them, and rightly so.
 

Mathrin

Member
This reads like a parody. What would an "adsense" AI do with a 3D mapping of my home in regards to trying to sell me pay-to-win MTs?

Also that number 3 on the "Big Ideas" list sounds incredibly malicious.

I wold imagine room scanning will be to see things like "size of room" + "Frequency of Play" = Liklihood of being a whale due to owning a large house and not playing often.

A very extreme and convoluted example but it's all I can think of. Maybe seeing how many people spend time in the room while games are being played and that sort of thing.

Boggles the mind that this is being considered. Surely there has got to be some kind of anti-consumer suit waiting to happen?

also, did Jim Sterling not have a video about something very similar to this a week or two ago?
 
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Shifty

Gold Member
If only there were an incredibly easy solution to such a tactic. Vote with your wallets folks.
Easy yes, but if it were effective then we wouldn't be where we are now.

The people willing to ignore these things, say 'yes' and allow them to become normalized inevitably outnumber those that are informed enough to say 'no' and fight it.
 
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That can't be real lol. Like its so bad. Players would riot and start burning things if little micro advertisements kept popping up in their games. Whatever company or companies are planning ahead with it, assuming it's even real, are in for a rude awakening.
 
If only there were an incredibly easy solution to such a tactic. Vote with your wallets folks.

If only it was that easy, voting with your wallet and saying you specifically won't fall for such tactics won't stop the other 100 or so people who do. Overwatch is proof of that, putting all of it's efforts on throwing out limited timed skins than actually making a fun game, because Blizzard knows whales won't let go of the game regardless unless they get all the cool cosmetics they want.

This is the sad reality, video games are driven by twits who can't stop themselves from spending money on things that would of been in a game already, albeit as an unlockable from challenges, if this was 15 years ago. I actually do hope the industry crashes, it's too painful to watch gormless idiots keep buying into mediocrity and tread all over the things I loved as a kid.
 

Mathrin

Member
If only it was that easy, voting with your wallet and saying you specifically won't fall for such tactics won't stop the other 100 or so people who do.

Pretty much this. For every 1 savvy gamer who take issue with it, there are 1000 Madden Dudebro's who just want to pay out the ass for imaginary cards.

And 20 thousand out of 2 million will barely make a dent in the profit margin of a Madden/NBA or FIFA game.
 
Some corners of the industry are just so cynical - even disregarding the above - and have a real hatred for their "customers".

Personally, I never have paid for a micro transaction/DLC outside of buying a costume pack for Virtua Fighter 5: FS for $1, and that was only to support the developer since I love the series and had gotten the game for free.

But as a poster above, and others before, have mentioned. It doesn't matter what I do. The wheels of commerce are driven by the masses, and the masses have spoken, saying "abuse us please".

Unfortunately the willingness to spend in such a manner shapes the industry in really ugly ways, from my perspective.
 
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wvnative

Member
Some corners of the industry are just so cynical - even disregarding the above - and have a real hatred for their "customers".

Personally, I never have paid for a micro transaction/DLC outside of buying a costume pack for Virtua Fighter 5: FS for $1, and that was only to support the developer since I love the series and had gotten the game for free.

But as a poster above, and others before, have mentioned. It doesn't matter what I do. The wheels of commerce are driven by the masses, and the masses have spoken, saying "abuse us please".

Unfortunately the willingness to spend in such a manner shapes the industry in really ugly ways, from my perspective.


Oh you should see what GTA has turned into.

It's already got a primitive version of this, with targeted ads and NPCs constantly calling you to nag you about buying something. It's absurd.
 

Catphish

Member
I have been able to maintain my position on Battlefront 2, that being that I haven't bought it, and won't.

If I can do that with this title, I can do it with any. If any game tries this shit, I won't buy it, plain and simple. I don't need them that badly. I'm sure others feel the same.

In time, these companies will kill off a certain percentage of their customer base. The ones that stay on deserve what they get.

DLC chicanery will never go away, but I will never contribute to it. I'll just find something else to play.
 

Teuoxton

Member
I... I have no words to describe how terrible this is...
Glad I don't have a camera on my consoles or PC though.
 

Nitty_Grimes

Made a crappy phPBB forum once ... once.
So this is how the next crash begins

You'd like to think so however don't they may zillions from Fifa Ultimate Team alone? That's not going away any time soon and nobody seems to complain about that business model which is just another gambling mechanic.
 

Blam

Member
What the literal fuck. Socially engineering consumers for profit? This is beyond fucking scummy, whomever the company is that is gonna do this, I hope they rot. I also hope they rot for already testing this shit out.
 

Filben

Member
I don't think this is genuine; it's too straight in your face. "Psychological manipulation tactics", "Our models go under people's radars by disguising dynamic prices [which caused backlashes by customers because they view dynamic prices as unfair] as rewards instead indirect taxations."

It's like somebody REALLY want to show this company as a shithole. Then again, it also could be to much text and effort to be fake.
 

Z3M0G

Member

#3... "Most importantly"...

MOST IMPORTANTLY

It blows my mind wide open that companies are even considering "breaking" the players gaming experience in hidden ways at all ethical... like holy shit, everyone including the development community should be avoiding this like the plague!
 

tkscz

Member
I don't think this is genuine; it's too straight in your face. "Psychological manipulation tactics", "Our models go under people's radars by disguising dynamic prices [which caused backlashes by customers because they view dynamic prices as unfair] as rewards instead indirect taxations."

It's like somebody REALLY want to show this company as a shithole. Then again, it also could be to much text and effort to be fake.

Remember, Scientific Revenue is a real company that wore it's ideas on it's shoulders as well. They had no qualm with what they said in their own damn demostration video. They actually use the phrase "whales" and try to "turn players into payers". After watching that rediculous video, I believe someone would do this.
 
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There's something really funny about that their placeholder ads seems to be pasted onto screenshots of Anthem.

Maybe this was a pitch for EA, would you be surprised?
We already know Activision trademarked matchmaking tech to make you feel like crap, these companies do these things years in advance so people can get mad and the company can then explain that it's not going to be used and it's just R&D.... until it's been a console cycle and the consumer has forgotten about it and a fresh generation of games wishes for the console as a christmas gift. That's when you sneak that tech in and you have no way of knowing.
 

Filben

Member
Remember, Scientific Revenue is a real company that wore it's ideas on it's shoulders as well. They had no qualm with what they said in their own damn demostration video. They actually use the phrase "whales" and try to "turn players into payers". After watching that rediculous video, I believe someone would do this.
Yeah, that's right, though. I had similiar seminars back when I was working at a company/in the economic system. It, among other things, disgusted me and I left this sector entirely after four and a half years.
 

Remeard

Member
This looks like WAAAY too amateur of a presentation to show off to a major company. Was probably some community college student's project for public speaking or something like that.
 

A.Romero

Member
I believe it's real.

I'd like to know what you guys think about how this is different from what Facebook and Google do regarding analyzing people's behaviour to promote certain products. Wouldn't be pretty much the same but applied to a different realm?
 

Sweep14

Member
First screen says it all : Practice presentation december 5th 2017 - Next version to be presented wednesday 24th january 2017... LOL
 

Azelover

Titanic was called the Ship of Dreams, and it was. It really was.
I don't think that'll happen. Japanese adoption for these types of shenanigans is fairly mixed after all and often not as extreme (not counting mobile) and indie games in general tend to stay away from it. So if anything would crash, it'd be the likes of EA, Activision, Ubi, Warner Bros etc, so mostly AAA games from the US.

Yes Tekkie, I don't think it's gonna happen either.

But keep in mind, during the last one it only took one game really.

Activision was putting out quality games and many other developers were. If confidence is lost, it wouldn't matter how many good games came out. It's like a domino effect. Now with digital, it wouldn't happen the same way it did back then. But what if these mobile games start getting increasigly repetitive and mediocre? Eventually the public will get tired and drop the whole thing. That isn't impossible at all. And in such case, that in itself would affect the entire spectrum. Even the dedicated gaming space. And it could happen very quickly. I'm not saying it will happen, but it's a good thing to remembe..
 

Hari Seldon

Gold Member
Two things:

1. The root of this problem is the unregulated data collection industry in the US. There is now way in fuck they would have enough data to pull this off effectively if they couldn't buy data on all of their users from data brokers. This type of manipulation of pricing is in its infancy right now, but I expect it to hit more than just the gaming industry before regulation comes down, but it will come eventually. As soon as car salesmen are adjusting prices of cars, casinos adjust odds on the fly, or walmart auto adjusts prices per customer, regulation will come flying down.
2. There is no way in hell this would work in the EU or China lol. They would sue these companies into oblivion.
 

Kamina

Golden Boy
If a videogame shows me any kind of the in the OP shown ingame micotransaction options, i will litterally rip the disc out the console and go all AVGN on it.
 
Considering European data protection laws are getting even tougher in a couple months, Id daresay this sort of data collecting is an one way ticket for the courts.
 

Alebrije

Gold Member
Well , it seems I will be playing my PS2 and PS3 backlog games next generations
 
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