Pay4Time isn't Pay2Win
Posted by Tobold's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 June 2013, 3:59 pm
So I got a lot of questions why I think that Pay2Win isn't an issue. The reason I think so is that I actually don't know any game where you can actually pay to win. There probably are some Asian games that work like that, but I can't name one Western triple-A game that would qualify. What I know tons of is games that I would call Pay4Time: You can achieve the same result by either applying X hours of play or Y dollars. Card Hunter certainly works like that. And so do all those Free2Play MMORPGs that sell double xp scrolls or similar items.

Even worse: People only ever apply the term Pay2Win to games they dislike. Facts don't matter in the definition. If you point out that for example EVE allows you to buy anything in the game for real money, they come up with a clause that this isn't Pay2Win, because you buy the item not from the game company. As if that would make any difference. But then the same argument for some reason isn't applied to Diablo 3, although there again it is players selling stuff to players. People will complain if some MMORPG sells double xp scrolls and call it Pay2Win, but then will tell you that Riot selling boosts for League of Legends isn't the same thing. In short: People have no clear definition of what Pay2Win is, and just use it as a slur.

Pretty much every Free2Play game I've seen is in the Pay4Time category: You pay money for convenience or to get to some content faster. Not just for getting more xp or currency or whatever points the game is using; something like added inventory slots is also a typical convenience item which saves people time, as they need less time to run back to town to sell their loot if they have a bigger inventory. Besides Pay4Time there is Pay4Content. To use Card Hunter again as an example, you can buy access to the "treasure hunt" maps, giving you more adventures to play through. Lots of MMORPGs sell you additional races or classes, without those being better than the free ones. Cosmetic items are also a form of Pay4Content.

As I said in my previous post, people complain about Pay2Win in general terms, but are unable to make any specific complaints. I'd really like somebody to name ONE example where another player used his wallet to win a MMORPG. I mean, how would that even be possible in a MMORPG? I even have trouble coming up with an example in a multiplayer shooter, because these tend to be team-based, and even if one player could buy an advantage you can't get from playing it would be hard to buy a win. These Pay2Win complaints sound more like a lame excuse from the losers of a match to me, whether their opponents actually spent any money or not.
Tobold's Blog



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