Opinion: Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk is the Best Supervillain Portrayal Put on Screen

Sorry, Josh Brolin’s Thanos, Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, Michael B. Jordan’s Killmonger, and the best portrayals of The Joker ranging from Mark Hamill to Heath Ledger because Kingpin dominates this genre. Vincent D’Onofrio’s performance in Netflix’s Daredevil is the best the world has seen out of any superhero adaption to the big or small screen. The big bad guy of the gang world in Hell’s Kitchen manages to be the most complex baddie a superhero has had to face on TV or film.

Just a warning, there may be a few minor spoilers. If you do care then go watch Daredevil because the show is phenomenal.

One of the many reasons Tom Hiddleston, Heath Ledger, or any other memorable performance of a villain is due to several reasons, one of which being the subtle nuances they put into their character to make them come to life. D’Onofrio goes all out to not play as Wilson Fisk but to become him. Seriously, just look at comparison photos, the similarities are shocking. The actor gained 30 pounds going from 250 to 280. Taking into account that the character in the comics is 6-foot-7 and weighs 450-pound monster, that is quite a lot to take on after being a 6-foot-3 man. While he is not the exact weight or height, D’Onofrio towers over every other actor. Not only did he gain the weight, but he also shaved his head then once the wardrobe department gets him his suit, nothing can distinguish between the actor and the Marvel character.

 

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Image via Netflix/Marvel

He has the suit, especially the white suit in season three of Daredevil, the stature and mass along with being bald, but there is more to him. The writing in the Netflix original is fantastic, especially in creating his character. The best antagonists are often the sympathetic ones who blur the definition of being a bad guy. A chubby kid with an abusive father becoming an all-powerful crime lord. His journey is painful, yet inspirational. A flip on the rags to riches story for someone who murders his father and commits plenty of other horrific acts of violence.

 

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Image via Marvel/Netflix

 

While his origin makes for a complex man, his heart is what can trick anyone to root for him over our blind hero. He is ruthless with a mix of being an overly emotional child who throws temper tantrums. He has a love interest and shows genuine affection for her. Some stories show the monster with a disingenuous heart, but Fisk is in the head over heels type of love for Vanessa (Ayelet Zurer). The amount of emotion always comes out in his voice. D’Onofrio has stated that his voice for Fisk is intentional by putting all of that anger, sadness, and all of the other feelings come through by the way he speaks, no matter the subject manner.

Motivations for any character are arguably the most crucial aspect to their personality. Batman’s parents died which leads him to a life of fighting crime, Killmonger wants to fight against injustice against his people, Thanos witnesses his people going extinct, and Fisk wants to make Hell’s Kitchen great again. A man who has empowering speeches about rebuilding the city to create a safer neighborhood for the community. What generally goes wrong is these people have extreme methods. Having mass genocide is a bad idea, Thanos. If you want to improve your part of the city, then avoid criminal organizations, bombing buildings, corrupt police officers, and bashing a man’s head in with a car door until nothing is left except for some splattered brains.

The man does not need to say a word to outperform most of the already stellar cast in the Netflix original. The subtle expressions with his hands, eyes, and overall demeanor give the character an extra layer. Similar to Heath Ledger’s licking the inside of his mouth and Tom Hardy’s memorable accent as Bane, D’Onofrio mixes the loud way to tackle a performance and the quieter approach. The way he stares at the white painting is always impactful and haunting.

 

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Image via Marvel/Netflix

 

While a villain such as Loki gets multiple movies, the amount of screentime for Fisk is much greater, allowing for further development. The state of entertainment today gives room for a show to shine brighter than the blockbusters. While Daredevil has the advantage with more time, not every show does. Luke Cage stumbles with its villains, and Iron Fist delivers too similar to stories that feel repetitive in the storytelling. One of the biggest differences between great and bad TV is often time management. While season two of Daredevil was a bit messy, season one and three manage to utilize every minute with care. Allowing for Wilson Fisk and every other character to be developed into the endearing personalities that lift the show up.

D’Onofrio captures the complexities to one of Marvel’s most iconic villains. He has always had this multilayer personality that can switch in a few sentences. One minute is a raging bull then the next he is a crying baby. While many characters that are too emotional can come off as annoying, D’Onofrio strikes the balance to make for a captivating performance that rivals anything done in the superhero genre. Taking the old tropes that are seen in his character, but taking the initiative to take the extra step to bring the character to life.

While many excellent portrayals of iconic villains have been seen from Jack Nicholson’s Joker to modern-day performances by Michael B. Jordan in Black Panther, fans of the superhero genre have plenty to be happy about. While Vincent D’Onofrio’s process is similar to many of these talented actors, what holds him above is his consistent acting and the fantastic writing that brings one of the most iconic, complicated, and brutal Marvel characters to life.

All three seasons of Daredevil are available on Netflix right now.

Header image via Netflix/Marvel

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Opinion: How to Properly Create a LGBTQ+ Character

Diversity in any medium is a hot topic right now, especially for video games and movies. Recently at E3, a lot of games have announced female protagonists, choices to let the player choose to be gay or lesbian, and characters that are designed to be gay or lesbian. Of course, people who are misogynistic or homophobic have cried foul against the industry. That is not what I am going to discuss. Some shows, movies, and games create these characters as a statement, which is fine. However, making a statement with a diverse character can be a slippery slope. Doing so can alienate the audience or take away from the cast. The writers need to write a character who feels natural that does not feel forced. That will let viewers adjust and accept a character quicker than forcing a characteristic into whatever medium the character is apart.

Often characters are stereotyped in the worst ways. If done well you might be able to utilize a stereotype that is not offensive. However, too many times we see overly flamboyant characters who fall in line with every stereotype that society has created. In I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry is a great example of stereotyping in the worst way. Kevin James and Adam Sandler are straight characters who pretend to be gay for their benefit. The way they play off being gay is by overacting on every stereotype. The film tries to give a meaningful point of view by the end, but the film is unable to save itself. Continuing certain stereotypes will keep LGBT characters in particular archetypes without being able to expand to more unique characteristics.

 

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Image via Universal Pictures

 

A universal sin for any medium is when an LGBT character is pointed out for their identity in hopes to show how diverse the show, game, or book are being. The problem is that the character is used as a tool. The main cast of characters will get more development than once a character comes in who is different, the whole point will be to show that someone is not a white straight character. The characters can be any color of skin or sexuality, but when the creators feel the need to shoehorn in someone different, the audience will pick up on what is happening.

A third issue we often see are LGBT characters who are kept a secret in the primary source material. The character is only revealed to have specific sexuality by the creator of the medium, but the audience does not get to experience the character for who they are meant to be. Harry Potter is the best known for having a secretive gay character, Dumbledore. J.K. Rowling has confirmed that he is gay, but never made an effort to flesh this out in the novels. Doing this makes Dumbledore’s sexuality a piece of throwaway trivia for die-hard fans who want to know everything. Making him more apparent with his sexuality would be groundbreaking and help young LGBT readers.

 

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Image via Warner Brothers

 

A way to fix the issue is to treat every character the same when developing them. Taking a character in anything by giving them a backstory, personality, looks, and more to make them as believable as possible should be done for everyone equally. Two great examples being The Last of Us and Day 5Day 5 is a drama from the internet production company called Rooster Teeth where a group of survivors struggles with an epidemic that causing people to die when falling asleep instantly. One of the main protagonists is Ally, a nurse who is alive because of a long night shift. The reveal of her relationship with a colleague Lex is natural. The audience is not subject to any messages or pointing out the young lesbian couple in any disrespectful way. The audience gets to know Ally over time and sees another aspect of her personality, which happens to be her sexuality. After a brief kiss, the show continues its story. The Last of Us has done the same and will continue to expand on Ellie has a character in the upcoming sequel. In the game’s DLC the player gets to see Ellie kiss her best friend, Riley. The quick reveal is interrupted by zombies coming into the room and chasing the two girls. The latest trailer and gameplay video shown at Sony’s press conference this past E3 shows more of Ellie. Her new companion is demonstrated as they dance then eventually kiss. The relationship is not focused on too much allowing the audience to experience the game’s gameplay. Naughty Dog’s Neil Druckmann crafted realistic characters in a believable apocalyptic world.

 

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Image via Rooster Teeth

 

Characters across the board need to be organically developed just like any other character. When the writers of a movie, game, or book decide to make an LGBT character or even a character of a particular religion or race, they must make a believable character. Shoehorning in someone to have certain traits does not do the character any justice. People who do not want the diversity will shut down much easier if they feel something is forced upon them. Of course, it is difficult to handle the naysayers in any way. The people who will accept a character who is transgender or gay, that person still needs a character well developed to enjoy.

I believe one of the core reasons we get a lack of LGBT characters and so many bad ones is on the writing. People who write are the ones creating a person on paper to put on a screen or many pages of paper. That person needs to know enough about LGBT people to properly craft the character. People need experience in creating a diverse set of strong characters who can help carry the story.

As audience members, we need to voice our opinions properly to creators. I am not talking to those who want to shut down a person’s vision for having a character like Rosa Diaz from Brooklyn Nine-Nine or Ellie from The Last of Us. We do need to make sure to voice when a character feels wrong that makes it feel more disrespectful to the LGBT community. We are a long way away from having an organic set of characters with their backgrounds whether they are straight, LGBT, or anything else. With E3 just passing, the sun is shining bright for the video game world. Players are getting choices in games such as Assassin’s Creed and Cyberpunk 2077 that allow them to choose a character who can be the sexuality or gender of their choosing. While television and movies may need some help in some areas, things are progressing in the right direction.

Header image via Naughty Dog

Opinion: Why Battlefield V Doesn’t Deserve the Outrage

Since the announcement of the next Battlefield game, the internet has exploded with outrage. Whether this outrage is a minority or majority group is hard to determine since the internet always has that loud minority who spews out their anger over anything. Still, no matter how many people there are who are angry, they have made themselves known. There are multiple reasons as to why people are mad over this new entry. The first primary reason is that a woman is on the cover art and the trailer which makes people feel this will be a historically inaccurate representation of World War 2. The other reason is the trailer which looked to over the top with its action. I will discuss my thoughts on both manners, first by the trailer.

Note, I am not trying to dictate how people should view this game or about this current controversy. I want to provide my point of view on the manner. Also, I see a trend of people having a knee-jerk reaction to something such as a woman being in a World War 2 game. I am going to logically look at this with some evidence to assess this situation and formulate an opinion.

The trailer starts off as an action-packed cinematic that transitions into gameplay. All you get is action, a female soldier, a World War 2 confirmation on the setting, and some glimpses as to what changes appear in the gameplay. Nothing about the trailer is impressive, but it is not terrible either. Whether you like the trailer or not is up to you. What needs to be discussed is this is the first look at the game. The purpose was meant to give an announcement to say, “Hey, this is the new game. Look at how beautiful it is and the crazy action you will experience.” When the EA Play event happens June 9-11, we will get a lot more information on the game. We see every developer do this with a trailer then more details at a later date, whether they are showing it at an event like E3 or post about it online when they are ready. We have not seen anything unusual out of this strategy, and there is no real reason to be outraged over the first trailer. Rumors started a while ago that we would go into World War 2 after the successful World War 1 entry that the series made with Battlefield 1. Gamers have a right to be skeptical, not enjoy what they have seen, or love what they have seen so far. What we should do as gamers are to allow EA and DICE to show more of the game before making a definitive opinion on the game before EA Play.

The other major complaint people have is about the female soldier we see in the trailer. People have stated this is historically inaccurate. Yes, female soldiers in World War 2 were not that prominent as male soldiers. However, they were still around and made their impact. The United States had roughly 400,000 women who served in the military. Those were traditional jobs for women, so they did not fight there. Other countries did have women going out into combat.

To take a look at the Russian side of the war, these are some of their strongest females. Some of these women serving had to enlist in the military, while others were more underground in their operations. Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya was a teenager when she had died because of her guerrilla activities, but had managed to do some damage to the Germans. She would set landmines, set fires, and other methods to cut off the Germans. After Zoya’s death, she would receive the title Hero of the Soviet Union, the first of any woman in World War 2. Russia had many well-known sniper women who had high kill counts such as Roza Shanina who had over 50 confirmed kills. Lyudmila Pavlichenko is a common example during the debate about Battlefield V and its historical accuracy. Lyudmila has over 300 confirmed kills and is considered to be one of the greatest snipers ever to live. Then the Soviet Union had Nadezhda Popova, a deadly pilot who took down a lot of German aircraft. She flew over 850 missions in her biplane. Herself and the rest of her squad completed deadly missions at night which granted their team the nickname, “Night Witches.”  Just by 19 she had become a pilot and is known to be one of the best.

Throughout Europe, other women were fighting off Nazi Germany. Nancy Wake was living in France with her husband when the war broke out. She becomes a spy, who ruthlessly killed Nazis, even with her bare hands. Besides killing Nazis, she ran messages for the resistance, helped people flee, and also participated in raids. Pearl Cornioley worked as a courier in France to support the resistance and eventually rose to command 3,000 fighters. She and her soldiers had accomplished a lot by killing 1,000 German troops and making 18,000 surrenders. These women had a mighty hand in the resistance and caused significant damage to the Germans.

From deadly spies to snipers, women made quite the impact during World War 2. Of course, they did not do as much damage as the men in combat due to numbers, but there are plenty of excellent examples of said women. To see a woman in an announcement trailer for Battlefield V then call it historically inaccurate right away is too quick of an adverse reaction.

Above everything, this is a video game. Movies, video games, and books take real-life tragedies into entertainment. Drawing the line properly then there is nothing that should be disrespectful to the real event such as a major war. The need to entertain players comes first so there will be some inaccuracies here and there. We might see too many female soldiers, but if that is the most abhorrent historical inaccuracy, then DICE did not do a bad job at making Battlefield V. DICE’s boss Oskar Gabrielson says, “Our commitment as a studio is to do everything we can to create games that are inclusive and diverse. We always set out to push boundaries and deliver unexpected experiences. But above all, our games must be fun!” You can view his whole tweet thread by clicking below:

The Battlefield franchise has been the more realistic route to go for first-person shooters. This holds true especially when looking at mainstream first-person shooters like Call of Duty. People have a preference on the fast-paced combat from Call of Duty or slow pacing that has an emphasis on sandbox gameplay such as Battlefield. This is a franchise that has been about playing the way you want in either a realistic strategic way or running an ATV that is strapped with C4 to blow up a tank. Video games are meant for fun so some historical inaccuracies will have to take place for the game to work for the players. If a game is too realistic or accurate to a historical event, then that will take away from fun gameplay. Developers are the ones who need to have a clear vision for their game to strike the balance they feel necessary for realism and fun.

Image via DICE

Opinion: Social Media’s Power to Save TV and Film

Social media has its fair share of issues. We have to deal with fake news, trolls, cyberbullying, and a plethora of other issues. However, there is a light within all of the darkness within social media. Just this year we have seen some positives out of it. One of its powers is to help our favorite TV shows and movies. Without it then we may not have some excellent shows or films. These excellent pieces of entertainment could have never seen the light of day or been canceled to never see the light of day again. Until the fans have an uproar on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other sites to get the attention of studios to revive the project.

A prime example would be Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Last week Fox announced the show’s cancelation. Fans took to their social media accounts to express their outrage towards Fox. In a surprising manner, this caught NBC’s attention which soon after the cancelation made an announcement about the show’s revival. The question about whether this was the plan all along or not is up for debate. Time must be taken to get everyone’s contracts in order and to make a deal between the two network giants. None-the-less, fans will be getting a new season of the cop sitcom.

Before a phone call or letter would have to be utilized to get a show like Brooklyn Nine-Nine back on the air. Even then, with or without social media, nobody is guaranteed to get the show back just because you want it to. Voicing an opinion may not do anything, but with minimal effort to potentially get a result, then you have nothing to lose at all.

I am not saying that writing letters is less powerful, but this is about the easy access and instant reply that social media can get out of people, especially a studio that canned your favorite show. Back in the 80s, Designing Woman was canceled by CBS after tanking views during the first season. People loved the show and wrote in to call out CBS for setting the show up to fail and that people really did love Designing Woman. The show’s prime time slot was switched over which gave speculation as to why the views dropped. After 50,000 people wrote to express how upset they were about the show being canceled, CBS revived it. The show then went on to go for seven seasons after its revival.

With resources like Twitter or Facebook, there is no need to wait a few days to weeks to see if a letter reaches someone. The phone is still available, but you may not get the response you want. If thousands of people take to Twitter to spam the mentions of a network’s account then those people will eventually get noticed.

Films are in the same boat in many ways. Studios want to make money, and if a project seems like it cannot make a big splash at the box office, then what is the point? Look at the success of Deadpool to show that if something seems like it would fail, might not be true. Ryan Reynolds was fighting for roughly ten years to get the project started, and Fox never wanted to believe in him.

The story of Deadpool has a lot of elements to why Fox was against the project. Superhero movies were secured for a PG-13 rating to let kids and adults all enjoy. The success of Sam Rami’s Spider-Man movies goes to show, well maybe we can ignore the third movie. Still, those movies are a great example as to why it would work to keep the films at PG-13. As the MCU got started, it showed a perfect balance for adults and kids. The universe of Marvel movies has made Disney billions of dollars. So, why make a superhero movie of a guy who is a foul-mouthed murderer? Fox did have valid reasoning behind their decision.

Ryan Reynolds was not the strongest spokesperson to get the project greenlit. Fox did not want a rated R superhero movie, especially if it stars the guy who did Green Lantern which is still an embarrassment to the genre. However, some footage of Ryan as the Merc with the mouth came online. After the leak, people took to social media to let it be known how incredible the footage looked. Fox did take their time because of how worried they were about Ryan Reynolds, and the fear about a rated R superhero flick was still scary. However, once they finally gave Ryan the thumbs up, Tim Miller, Ryan Reynolds, Rhett Reese, and Paul Wenrick got to work. The rest became history once the incredible marketing came full speed and the film released to become the highest grossing rated R movie ever made.

Fans who are worried about a project that may never see the light or something that has been canceled should look at the positive side of it. Their voices may not be heard, but they could be. With the resources with have today, anything is possible. Social media is easy access that puts out a message instantly. A studio could get thousands of phone calls or letters which are still powerful. The story is different when fans take to every social media outlet that a company has and spams them to give them back their show. The world is different now, we have new methods to revive shows or movies. If the revival does not happen, at least people went in fighting for that show to come back. Imagine how many more shows or movies could still be around if people just voiced their opinions.

 

Image via Fox

How TimeSplitters is the Game We Need to be Rebooted.

The gaming world is full of original ideas and games but remasters and reboots are huge in the last couple of years. Remastering games that are older can be great. Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is the prime example of taking a game to make is look up to the standards we have today for graphics. Overall gameplay remained, and the game went on to be a huge success. This brings gamers a beloved game back into their lives without any out-of-date graphics. Reboots have been a big part of the last few years too. Recently Doom came out and was beloved by just about everyone, myself included. The game looked beautiful and played wonderfully. Young people like myself did not play the original games. Taking the premise and making a modern day FPS with the Doom license worked out tremendously. The discussion about what should be remastered or entirely rebooted is everywhere in the gaming community. What I want the most is a TimeSplitters reboot, and I am going to go into why this is the best idea.

TimeSplitters is a sci-fi, action, comedy, FPS. Many themes make it so different from any other shooter out there. I have admittedly only played the last game, TimeSplitters: Future Perfect. This conclusion to that trilogy was excellent. It caught up newcomers on the story and had one of the best multiplayer experiences I have had. The last game was made in 2005 and has been silent ever since, for the most part. A fan remake has been in the making since 2013 called TimeSplitters Rewind. After some issues, the project recently got mentioned to be still in the making. Some great progress has come, and if it does well enough, we might be able to see another game in the future.

The story is full of colorful characters, unique levels, and a diverse amount of weapons to try out. The final entry has one of the most horrifying levels I have ever experienced in a video game. Yet, the game is full of humor that lightens the tone of the game. There is a perfect mix of horror, sci-fi, action, and comedy that works together perfectly. Where this game can be a hit if rebooted is not in the campaign but in the multiplayer.

Playing this game with my friends and adding bots to the game created some unique matchups. Zombies could be fighting robot and ninja monkeys, gingerbread men can fight off a team of humans, and so many more awesome combinations. Since using bots for multiplayer is not used anymore, this can be used for who the players can choose to play as. Having a variety of characters to choose from and possible customization options can lead to so many possibilities for the players. The number of weapons will create so many options for play styles and opportunities to try out something different.

The third and final entry to the TimeSplitters games is one of the favorite games of all time.  Story and multiplayer are both a blast for so many reasons. I think if the rewind goes well, Crytek might allow a full game to be made. A fresh new start for the series and the genre will be healthy for all parties involved. If you could choose any older game, what would you like to see as a reboot?

Image via Crytek

Microtransactions: The Good (Sorta), the Bad, and the Ugly.

If you are a gamer, like me, then you are tearing your hair out about the whole microtransaction problem in the community and industry. For those readers who are not gamers, I will explain everything soon, just hold on tight.  This issue has escalated and has gotten out of control this year. Seeing AAA titles that are single player shove microtransactions down our throats, or multiplayer games making it impossible to do anything competitive until you spend even more money. We will dive into all of this on every possible side of the conversation. As the title suggests, yes there is some good. Before you rip my head off, look again and see the word sorta. I am against microtransactions, but there is a light to it to some degree. There is a lot to talk about, so let’s dive right into the basics first.

Nongamers, this is for you right here. You may have no idea what I am talking about, and that is okay. Microtransactions are a small transaction online, and in our case for gaming, it adds cosmetic, boosts, in-game currency, and more for the gamer to pay to get instead of playing a few hours to earn. The use of microtransactions has a variety as you see. Everything depends on the game and how the developers, and publishers want to implement any microtransactions into the game. Video games are becoming more expensive by the day, so these companies need new ways to earn money. This business method was more common for free-to-play games.

Why is this conversation starting now? This is a mix of two major titles that have come out this year that have finally made gamers explode. Star Wars Battlefront II which is published by EA and developed by DICE. The other game is Middle-earth: Shadow of War which is published by Warner Bros. and developed by Monolith Productions. People are furious over Star Wars because the progression system is broken. Taking dozens of hours to unlock one character, but you can skip everything by paying for it. I will say before moving forward that they are working to rework everything in the players’ favor and that microtransactions have been temporarily disabled. Still, some gamers did the math and realized that if you spend about $100 extra, then you still will not have everything in the game. That will be $160 total for a game that is not even fully unlocked. These methods are unethical and getting debated throughout the industry. As for Middle-earth, this is a single player game that you can buy loot boxes to earn new gear and specials to help boost you through the game. One, the gaming community is mad because they should not have to spend anything extra on single player experience. Secondly, towards the end, it becomes a grind. Reportedly from a lot of people, it takes hours to get what is needed to beat the game. When you are right at the end, but then gated off to spend another dozen hours mindlessly building an army of orcs to then complete a 50 or so hour game, you will become annoyed. This technique is just a pay-to-win method which is arguably the worse out there. Games with a pay-to-win method are usually online, but equally insulting to gamers when it is shown in singleplayer games like Shadow of War. The practice of microtransactions are known for free-to-play or online games, but a single player game that is one of the biggest releases of the year having them is outrageous. These two games were able to push gamers to their limits.

This method can be useful for individual companies. When developing a free-to-play game, you need to find a way to fund your game, additional content, pay employees, equipment for the office, etc. Even bigger developers may need it because games are so expensive now. Games like Overwatch and Grand Theft Auto 5 have managed to do this well. Overwatch will let players pay an amount for loot boxes. Opening these loot boxes may have another skin for a character or another fun treat for the player. Most people who are fans of that game have not been outraged by this system because their actual game is not affected. Grand Theft Auto 5 rewards players. Gamers can spend their money to gain in-game currency which saves a lot of time to get a new car, a gun, or clothing. The reward is the amount of money has given Rockstar the opportunity to update the game with free content. According to an article published on Forbes called “GTA Online’s $500M in Microtransactions Could Mean a Very Different GTA 6” written by Paul Tassi. He goes over more than just microtransactions as you can tell by the title, but the amount of money is what we are looking at for this topic. Some gamers are not happy since the game has had no real additions for the single player, but for those who love online, are generally satisfied with the free content. These are just a few ways that AAA titles get away from any outrage from their fans. The main thing is for these companies to be careful about how the game is impacted and how the business aspect is shown to gamers. If gamers get a sense of greed and manipulation, then you get significant problems.

A mistake many games tend to make is how they show the gamer that there are microtransactions. Most players will not be purchasing any microtransactions. They will buy the game and play it. An article found on The Wired called “Half of all mobile games money comes from 0.19% of users” written by Matt Kamen discusses this. The title summarizes it all that there is such a small amount of mobile gamers that will be buying microtransactions. This number is found from 48% of all mobile games are funded by this 0.19% of players. Some platforms and types of games are not included, but you only need that small amount to drive a game financially. The mistake comes in when they shove the microtransactions down the throats of their players. The data is there, most of these players will not be spending extra money. When you try to grab them to do so, then you ruin the experience entirely. Currently, I am playing Assassins Creed: Origins, despite being fun, then shove the store down my throat. I feel some pressure to buy something extra. Same for Middle-earth: Shadow of War which is even worse about showing off their store. You can unlock a similar loot box style that other games have, and gain some new gear. Unlocking this can be natural, but to unlock them to see what you got, you must go to the store for the game to see. Showing off all of the other loot boxes you can just purchase to be quicker. This technique feels greedy and unethical.

Imagine you decide to purchase a microtransaction that is a loot box. You will not know exactly what you get, but you may get something cool for your character. You spend whatever amount you decide on the select options. You open this box and get basic gear that you already have. You just wasted money on a virtual shirt, and it was the same shirt, so you have nothing to show for spending that money. This has caused many issues. China is one of several countries deciding whether this is gambling. If it is, then it can be illegalized, fined, or regulated, depending on the country. Overwatch is the main game that has had this discussion about, but many other games are in the same boat. I like the system from games like Grand Theft Auto because I know what I am getting. Generally, people give Overwatch a pass, but it is still a great game to use for this discussion Deciding to purchase a microtransaction should be worth it, but not every game gives you that. You can spend $1.99 for two boxes in Overwatch, and you may not get anything that satisfying. The other option is paying $39.99 for 50. You may get a lot out of that. 45 of those can be good, 30 might be good, 5 might be okay. This risk factor is a slippery road on many levels. For gamers, they are wasting their money and gaining nothing. As mentioned before, legally this is slippery. Countries can see this as gambling and crack down on the developer for this practice. As technology advances and the world changes, legally the nations around the world are adapting, slowly. Seeing this practice as a politician can give different impressions, just as it can with the gamers. It will be interesting to see moving forward on how this method of microtransactions changes over time.

Who is to blame for these greedy and manipulative strategies that the gaming community are so angry about? This has a few different sides. Gamers keep speaking about this issue, as they should. It is great that we are getting somewhere on this problem, but the money being made is what makes companies ignore our outcries about these methods. The saying goes, put your money where your mouth is held valid. The other side of this is the publishers. Developers often get all of the blame for these practices since they make the game. Publishers and the administrative side of the business are the ones who are usually causing the main issue. If a developer is not owned and publishing themselves, then it will be on them. Many big publishers such as EA are taking the heat. Several companies have explicitly and implicitly talked about EA. Some have been nicer than others. The Witcher developer CD Projekt Red made a brutal tweet a few weeks ago after a false claim that their next game, Cyberpunk 2077, will have a service style to it. Their tweet is below, and it is pretty obviously about EA. Seeing a company say these things shows a light for all the gamers out there. Not all companies are for these types of practices. Giving a game complete for people to dive into without any extra spending.CD PROJEKT RED

Microtransactions are not going anywhere, but changes might start happening. Even if companies like Activision, Ubisoft, and EA continue this path, it is not a problem. There are plenty of companies to support who are against microtransactions. Some companies can benefit, but should not be necessary, especially in AAA games. The fight will continue, but hopefully, things turn around for the better soon. If you are against microtransactions, then participate in any way you can. People come together and are making changes. That is why DICE and EA are making changes to Star Wars Battlefront II to make it up to all the gamers who feel betrayed and used. Companies need to be careful because not all of them can afford the consequences that EA is facing. They have enough money to survive a three billion dollar hit, but most can not. What do you think after all of this? Are any changes to the industry really going to happen with the aftermath of Star Wars Battlefront II?

Image via CD Projekt Red twitter and Electronic Arts