Loot boxes have been controversial since their introduction. In 2017, EA and DICE decided to make sure that the entire economy of Star Wars Battlegrounds II is fully dependent on random drops of booty boxes and their incredibly long durations. This shameful money clip may have exploded in the face of the company, like the Death Star above Endor, but it has opened an investigation into the operation of the world's surprise boxes. On Wednesday, August 7th, the FTC hosted a Booty Box Games Workshop to discuss issues related to this method of loot distribution in the game. Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo announced a new initiative at this workshop. – an initiative that will require all games published on their platforms to reveal their chances of receiving rewards.
Polygon reports Michael Warnecke, Chief Technology Policy Officer of the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), made the announcement today at the workshop.
I am pleased to announce this morning that Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony have indicated to ESA their commitment to adopt new platform policies regarding the use of paid loot boxes in games developed for their platforms. This would especially apply to new games and game updates that add loot box functionality, and would require the disclosure of relative rarity or probabilities of obtaining random virtual elements in games. available on their platforms.
Publishers also rallied to announce their support for this initiative, including Activision Blizzard, Bandai Namco, Bethesda, Bungie, EA, Take-Two Interactive, Ubisoft, Warner Bros. and Wizards of the Coast. However, all of these announcements and statements apply to consoles and not to computers. Valve has updated DOTA 2 to display the loot box disclosure data last year, but it has not made the disclosure mandatory. this information for games on its platform. No smaller game stores like Epic or GoG, at least not yet.
The goal is to roll out this program in 2020, but no schedule has been released. The goal seems to be to prevent any attempt at government regulation, like the formation of the ESRB to avoid regulation of video game content. But simply publishing the odds of winning a reward may not be enough to rule out accusations that booty cases are money games, and this may not be as clear as that. " a rating system.
Here is a simple example of what I mean. Although reasonable people may differ on what implies acceptable Nudity, a game contains or does not contain naked humans. If you have a 5% chance of getting "Epic" quality loot in a surprise box, is it a chance to get all epic article, or luck that you get an epic article that you do not already have? If you win a box of loot in a specific game mode, will the loot be associated with this game mode? Do people spend a currency in the game to win cosmetic items or pay real money for random throws that will affect their performance in the game? Are these percentages released in the game when players are on the screen of the box or they are hidden in an old blog post containing four links buried at the bottom of the main page Game? Does the game allow you to win the currency with which you buy loot chests in the game at a reasonable rate, or does it distribute it as a pre-haunted distributing Bob Crachit salary? Are loot boxes aggressively sold to children as part of a children's game, or do they have a title intended for adults who likely understand something about the reality of credit card purchases? Are the objects you to win from resealable surprise boxes on a market for real money, or are they related to your character?
Readers and experts generally agree that the way in which these issues are addressed has an impact on whether or not booty chests cross the line between random play and an entertainment mechanism. A game with cosmetic locker objects that offers a modest number of crates a chance to buy more is acceptable for many people. A game like the original incarnation of Battlefront II (the current game has a totally different and more standard loot distribution system) chaining the performances in the game all the way to crates of random loot. The answer of the Internet? Convulsive rage. And while the spasms caused by Internet rage present a real problem, gamers are not wrong to feel like EA intends to take advantage of it. It was absolutely.
Answers like this may baffle proposals to regulate loot chests, at least in the United States, but simply publishing statistics about your chances of getting a particular drop will not answer the question anymore. whether the chests are a game or not. Honestly, I think it's because the answer is "it depends". In some cases, booty crates are basically an optional way to get a particular look. In others, they played a vital role in the success of the title. It's hard to say that the combination of payment mechanisms to win random games of chance allows you to pay real money to get, it's not very close to the game, mostly if the rare contents of the booty chest can be sold for a substantial amount of real money in a market. At this point, a new digital hat is roughly equivalent to a Pick 5 card. Applying a classification to a video game is also a somewhat subjective attempt, but it is at least a subjective attempt with objective standards for concepts such as nudity and coarse language, that exist or do not exist in a game.
The question of whether crates of loot is a gamble and, if so, under what circumstances, will need to be clarified in more detail – and we hope to see Valve, Epic, GoG and other distributors adopt the same position with regard to mandatory incidental disclosures. . The fact that EA tried to defend its object box mechanism as "pretty ethical surprise mechanics"Earlier this year, we are not optimistic that the video game industry understands just how much gamers hate this type of system.
According to the Steam Hardware survey, one of the most troubling points of recent years is the total inability of AMD to gain market share. We have always warned readers that SHS may not be accurate because of problems we observed in the data set, but it was never clear what these problems were. Other analytics companies have reported market share gains for AMD, but the Steam Hardware survey, which represents the best data the audience of us has access to, has never shown a real gain for AMD .
A recent interview from Scott Herkelman by Hot Hardware clears this point. I wrote about this interview in a different story yesterday, but this point is specific enough to deserve its own escape.
According to Herkelman, the problem with SHS goes back to the discontinuity of August 2017. The problem was introduced because of a bug in the Steam Hardware Survey, but it is assumed that systemic under-coverage in AMD systems persists until our days.
The Steam study, according to Herkelman, is not aimed at measuring the market share of companies' IT equipment. It is supposed to indicate to the developers the type of products available on the market. If Steam's hardware survey went crazy in 2017, it was because Steam counted each individual connection on an iCafe as another example of its computer. system configuration Imagine if you had 10 of your best friends to play Steam games on your PC. Each of them logged on to their own account – which led to 10 copies of your system configuration downloaded to the platform and counted as separate shipments.
This is essentially what happened with Steam. And according to AMD, although the company has made some corrections to its data, Valve has never been keen to ensure that its numbers can track the actual market share. AMD, on the other hand, is significantly underrepresented in iCafe games.
"They've changed their algorithm a bit, but they really are not motivated to change that," Herkelman said, "because the purpose of their data is not market share. The purpose of their data is to show general trends to game developers … they certainly do not follow our real share …. you can see the same thing really happening in our CPU share. She is still under-represented, it's the same exact curve and everything is related to iCafes. "
To reinforce his argument, Herkelman has released images like this, showing how the AMD processor adoption rates dramatically changed when Steam added PUBG to China and then changed again after the company updated its algorithms. In both cases, AMD's market share was lower as a result of the update.
The problem, of course, is that Herkelman's comments do not change the fact that the Steam Hardware Survey is again our best source of specific data on the type of hardware used by the player community. Even when AMD and Nvidia publish market data, they rarely publish information about specific products or prices.
The only thing that makes no sense in all of this is why Valve does not care about inaccuracies in its own data set. The purpose of SHS may not be to present accurate market share data, but it is hardly better to provide inaccurate data to developers. If the developers think that more players own the GTX 1060 and 1050 Ti cards than they really are (these being the first two GPUs of the survey, with respectively 16.01% and 10.63% of the shares of market), they will draw erroneous conclusions as to which cards to use. target for future development.
The only conclusion we can draw is that Valve does not believe that the remaining inaccuracy is enough to have an impact on what the developers are doing. Clearly, AMD was sufficiently convinced by the subject to publicly expose the problems associated with using the SHS for market share estimates. The impact this could have on Nvidia cards is also unclear – adoption rates on some of these GPUs can also be skewed by errors.
We will sometimes continue to refer to SHS because there is little practical choice. This is the only publicly available data set of this type. This could, however, explain why AMD's overall market share of processors has increased in other reports but has remained relatively static on Steam. If iCafe Chinese installations grow faster than other types of games and if AMD is not represented in this market, it will not seem that it gains much market share, whether in CPU or GPU. We mainly used the SHS to compare the generational adoption of Turing with that of Pascal, who should Be less impacted. But if AMD 's adoption figures are incorrect, at least some Nvidia SKU figures will also be incorrect.
Steam deploys a new algorithm using the AI to make recommendations on game content. Will it work better than the old beacon system?
The post office Valve presents an automatic learning algorithm to recommend new Steam games appeared first on ExtremeTech.
At the end of 2018, Epic Games, makers of the Unreal engine and the Fortnite Royal Battle Game, released their new showcase, Epic Games Store. Since then, they have announced a number of exclusive titles, including games that were previously exclusive to Valve's competing service, Steam. This question, as well as others we will discuss, has caused some backtracking for society.
If you have worked long enough in the technology industry or have been paying attention, some of these complaints may give you an impression of already seen. At the time of the launch of Steam, players did not only love it – they hated it. Virtually all aspects of the service were controversial, including mandatory information. Half-life 2 online activation. When Valve made the service mandatory with Counter-Strike 1.6, some players revolted refusing to upgrade. Valve finally forced them to shut down the old CS1.5 game servers.
Players who are unhappy with Epic's dominance on Steam's territory have raised a number of reasons why they feel so. Some of these complaints are objective facts. The EGS, for example, currently only has a fraction of the range of services and services included from Steam. There are no achievements, cloud backups or offline mode. There is no commercial market, game reviews or mod support. Currently, the app does not support multiple profiles, forums, game sharing or streaming. For some, this is reason enough not to like the service. Others fear that the EGS fragmented the distribution of the game, forcing players to use more than one customer. Collectively, these concerns echo many of the same principles that concerned people when Valve launched Steam in 2003.
At the time, people tended to hate the limitations and lack of functionality of the software, its requirements still online, the difficulty of putting it offline after this mode was added, and the initial problems with the software. Activation of Half-Life 2 if you purchased the game on the disk. Some players did not want to buy games in physical boxes and received a piece of paper with a download code. They worried about the impact that only one PC store could have on the physical and digital markets – pressing concerns, given the fact that today, Steam holds an effective quasi-monopoly over the distribution of games. But Steam did not become an unstoppable titan because people love from the very first day – over time, it has been able to slowly implement the features sought by users while avoiding the implementation of features so terrible that they would involve players en masse. If your prediction of Steam's success was based on its reaction, you would have predicted its complete failure in a few months.
Kotaku has an excellent article on this topic that deals in part with the issue of equity – in particular, it's just for Epic to use increased revenue sharing and cash payments to create a market. Meanwhile, GamesIndustry.biz has a story about a conversation between independent developer Rami Ismail and David Stelzer of Epic Games, and Sergey Galyonkin, explaining what independent developers can do to make sure their games pass through the curating process on EGS. Stelzer's answer is remarkably wrong.
"The cream is always on top at the end of the day," Stelzer said. "If you're playing shit, then there are places where you can play shit games."
Cream do not always climb to the top. If that were the case, discoverability would not be such a massive problem. The number of games on Steam has exploded in recent years.
Discovery aids on the platform have not kept pace. This problem is not unique to Steam; the App Store and Google Play also suffer. But if discoverability is a problem for a platform, then by definition, excellent games will not be discovered. This is unfair to both players who would otherwise like these titles and to the developers who built them.
Steam is perhaps the default gaming solution for gamers, but the idea that its interventionless management method represents some kind of idyllic "free market" or an inherently fair discovery system is just not accurate. A recent Gamasutra investigation Steam's Discovery Queue discovered that by October 2018, Valve's changes to the Steam discovery algorithm seemed to favor big games over smaller ones. Whether this change is right or not depends on whether you are one of the studios whose games are experiencing traffic increases or have never had visibility. Steam does not detail how its algorithm works to prevent users from playing the system. Players therefore have no window on how it works beyond this type of search.
Developers have their own perspective on fairness that also deserves to be taken into account. Here is Richard Geldreich, former employee of Valve (on which Geldreich worked OpenGL development for Valve; hat tip to HotHardware to see him):
Steam kills PC games. It was a 30% tax on a whole area. It was unsustainable. You have no idea of the profitability of Steam for Valve. It was a virtual printing press. This has distorted the whole company. Epic corrects this for all players.
– Richard Geldreich (@ richgel999) April 5, 2019
The price of games and the impact of marketing and sponsorship contracts such as Nvidia's TWIMTBP program GameWorks We have not even addressed the issue yet, but both deserve to be part of any debate about market fairness. The static price of $ 60 that you have encouraged "innovation" in the form of DLC and looted crates while companies are looking for alternative sources of income to replace the money they're earning on sales, even though the cost of creating games continues to increase with each generation. Main transactions with a GPU The manufacturer can influence the performance of a game on the hardware of a competing company, even when that result does not serve the best interests of the players.
Considered in its entirety, many aspects of the game are not righteither to developers or players. The story of the game is partly that of brilliant titles that have never sold as they should have been. Studios and entire franchises have died because of conflicting enforcement orders or imperative delivery deadlines that can not be met. The problem of discoverability means that some excellent games will never reach the base of the players they deserve. From the point of view of the developers, to be obliged to publish on the a The platform where PC gamers play in large numbers could be considered the ultimate Catch-22 and unfair if there is no way to inform these players that you have released a game in the first place.
Sometimes, representing a more equitable result for one group may be perceived as a lesser result for another. Game developers are looking for platforms to further reduce their profits and not compete with thousands of other games published each year. It's hard to argue with that. PC gamers point out that the EGS is not a substitute for Steam and that it lacks many features while selling games at the same prices. Both groups have valid points.
In the long run, players will vote with their wallet and decide if the near-monopoly of Steam deserves to be preserved. But the fact that players react to Epic Games Store is not necessarily a proof of the failure of this company. Once upon a time, they – or us, if I'm right – hated at least as much steam. In the long run, competition could improve both services. Admittedly, this is usually the case – and Steam has faced very little direct competition during its years of dominance of the personal computer market.
*With my apologies to Billy Shakespeare.
This is not an April joke, although it may seem. The r / games subgroup of Reddit.com has fallen into the dark for a day to draw attention to the growing problem of hate speech and online sectarianism. The mods write that, although they do not oppose an animated discussion, "when this argument turns into vitriolic attacks between individuals on a regular basis, without any chance of de-escalation, it is when, in simple terms, something must yield. "
Mods note that r / games, according to their own estimation, has become a growing center for this type of material and that the ban of authors and the removal of unauthorized comments have not solved the problem. The problem, as they note, is not specific to r / games or Reddit, but is integrated with the Internet, often in gaming and game-centric communities:
The condescending, dismissive, vindictive and pessimistic attitudes we observe in our daily activities are troubling, especially when these interactions involve harassing or outright targeting regularly discriminated communities. It is not uncommon for us to see the real problems of the trivialization of these communities, of their derision by ignorance, or worse, for entertainment.
They then provide links to the types of content they delete daily in a journal. Wire of 71 images on Imgur. Transphobia, homophobia, racism, misogyny, pro-pedophilia, rape and vitriol attacks on other users are the order of the day. That this happens in many online communities is a no-brainer. As the mods emphasize, this is not necessary. No user is named in the images – the focus is on the content that the mods have to deal with.
The post ends on a hopeful note, with many links to community resources and education. He calls on players to unite on what brings them together – namely, their shared love for video games – rather than focusing on conflicting cultural and social issues that tear the conversation apart.
Despite the internal and community-driven conflicts, there is plenty of opportunity to prove that we can come together and become a healthier and more tolerant community based on one fundamental idea: enjoying and discussing video games together. . Mods also took the time to thank people who want to contribute to a positive community and play a role in its creation.
According to previous rumors, the Valve Index should have a 135-degree field of view and joint controllers. It is also likely that tracking will be "upside down" (sensors inside the helmet, as opposed to previous generations of Vive and Oculus, who used external sensor stations to track movements).
Valve is a company that can be captive with specific projects. His foray into second-generation VR is a testament to all the advances in Valve technology and confidence in this product. Valve Index will have competed with Vive and Oculus products of the same generation, so expect it to keep up.
h / t ArsTechnica