This decade has seen video games climb out of the artistic shadow of other media, to become the richest, most daring and artistically diverse source of creation. The issue lies in that first point, richest. When there is money to be made, companies will sometimes go out of their way to ensure their product milks the general public out of as much of their hard-earned cash as possible.
Now, I am not against monetisation in video games. Unlike film and music, the modern video game is not finished when it goes gold. Companies and developers have to spend hundreds of thousands of pounds keeping servers running, fixing bugs and employing the people to do so. If a beloved game can gain longevity from an unobtrusive, completely optional loot box or cosmetic marketplaces, such as with Overwatch and Destiny 2: Shadowkeep, I am all for it.
However, some companies will always see this monetisation as an opportunity to extort their fans to giving them even more cash. They might use nostalgia, upgrades or even the ability to play the game as a weapon against some unsuspecting customers.
8. Clash Of Clans
Clash of Clans was the go-to mobile game when it released in 2012. Supercell managed to tick all of the addictive gameplay boxes in one go. The interface was easy to use, the terminology was accessible to both a casual and more hardcore community and building a base gave players a real sense of development. At first, anyway.
Upgrades to buildings and troops in the early parts of the game felt reasonable, 10 minutes here, an hour there, a perfectly fine amount of time. As players started to build more elaborate buildings and make even bigger improvements, the upgrade times increased astronomically. Soon an hour turned to a day, a day turned into a week, a week into a month.
Most players are far too impatient for this, after all, we want to play the game we have become addicted to. So naturally, you could use real money to instantly upgrade your buildings. What makes this even worse is that the longer the upgrade time, the more real-money currency you have to use to get the upgrade done.
Supercell had locked their player base into a room and gave them two options, wait it out whilst other players ravage you, or pay to get the key.