It’s not often we do reports about developers who give up loot boxes, forfeit cash shops, or abandon microtransactions in order to better service the gaming community at large. However, developer Playsaurus is doing just that for the upcoming Clicker Heroes 2, which will not have microtransactions or a cash shop. Instead, the game will be a buy-once-to-own title, where you pay upfront and get the full game.
PC Gamer is reporting that gamers will be able to buy Clicker Heroes 2 for $30, and no extra expenses will be required to enjoy the game.
This news comes alongside a blog post by Playsaurus, where they explain that they’re removing the microtransactions for ethical reasons, with the developers writing…
“We made a lot of money from these players who spent thousands. They are known to the industry as “Whales”. Great. If you’re rich, please be my guest. But we don’t want this kind of money if it came from anyone who regrets their decision, if it made their lives significantly worse as a result. Unfortunately, those who have a problem are usually in denial about it, and would be too ashamed to ask us for a refund. We would give the refund in a heartbeat. It’s not like we have artists drawing each ruby by hand. It costs us nothing but payment processing fees.
“We really don’t like making money off players who are in denial of their addiction. And that’s what a large part of free-to-play gaming is all about. Everyone in the industry seems to rationalize it by shifting the blame, assuming way too much cognizance on the part of their victims. People can make their own decisions, right? But it just doesn’t sit well with me. Despite very few of our players having complained, it felt wrong when we started doing it and it still feels wrong now.
“That said, we’re not going to change how we monetize Clicker Heroes 1. It would destroy our studio if we did. Most people are OK with how we’ve handled it. Our unlimited refund policy still stands. But going forward we’re going to at least try the paid-up-front model for our business. It may or may not work. It probably isn’t worth nearly as much money, but at least we can do it with a cleaner conscience.“
It’s rare someone acknowledges that greed taints their conscience, and etches away what purity they feel is left within the rotting carcass of their soul. I’m surprised that Playsaurus went that route.
However, it’s become a hot topic these days to discuss the ethical rules and violations of microtransactions and loot boxes, especially since the release of Star Wars: Battlefront II, Need for Speed: Payback, Middle-Earth: Shadow of War and Forza Motorsport 7.
Oftentimes the addictive nature of loot box purchases are ignored in favor of talking about profit margins, player engagement, and monthly active users. To a CFO, they couldn’t care less if someone got addicted to their game via loot boxes and lost everything. What’s the worth of a shallow grave to the man that runs the cemetery?
For Clicker Heroes 2, Playsaurus wants to run an honest gig, and avoid collecting the heavy currency of guilt in their coffers, weighed down from the last nickel of a pauper’s coin purse.
They’ve decided to go straight; they figured Clicker Heroes 2 will support mods, will allow for multiple playable characters, new and interesting mechanics, and easy access to the source code. They will even be offering refunds for up to a full year after they launch. If you want to learn more be sure to visit the official website.