Many Free To Play Mobile Games Are Ultimately Part Of A Giant Scam

We need to talk about mobile gaming; more particularly, we need to talk about free-to-play (also known as F2P) games as a whole. On the surface, they seem to be perfectly harmless endeavors, designed to allow for fun while providing players with the option to pay devs if they so choose. However, more often than not, such illusions are more akin to a blue pill than actual legitimate choices to be engaged with. Also, on a side note, I just want to make it clear that I'm not referring to myself as a red pill or anything. Lord knows the internet completely ruined that phrase, with 4Chan playing no small part.

I'm going to base my arguments upon some of the most popular examples of free-to-play games. Spoiler alert: nearly all of them are gotcha games. Gatcha games, for those unaware, are apps that typically involve card games based around a popular IP. There are many for Dragon Ball, Final Fantasy, Yu Yu Hakusho, the list goes on. Gatcha games provide users with the ability to play versus card games daily and allow players to do so for free. However, there are multiple catches: first off, only a limited number of games can be played per day; secondly, many high-tier characters and cards cannot be unlocked without payments; and finally, one is rarely ever allowed to buy those characters directly. Instead, players have to invest in mystery boxes that feature an assortment of items and characters, one of which might be your dream character.

One can already start to see the flaws inherent in F2P mobile games. If the average user needs to spend money to play more than a set number of times and requires payments to play with their favorites, then we've already got more than a few problems on our hands. The odds are heavily established against the player, instead of in their favor. This applies itself not only to a game's fun factor, mind you, but is also directly linked to gameplay and how well a player performs competitively.

Mobile gaming on a competitive platform has been gaining traction ever since Hearthstone entered the mix. Recent games such as Pokémon GO and Pokémon Unite have also made a lot of headway in competitive gaming. However, with the average F2P such as Unite, players who pay will more often than not have access to tools that other players will not. Pokémon Unite's player base quite insistently states that battles in the game ultimately boil down to skill and strategy. I won't begrudge them this either; however, even if someone with masterful skill can conquer an opponent with overpowered Pokémon, it's still unfair that two such players even get to share the stage.

F2P games have made gamblers of us all and in the worst ways possible. With mystery boxes hoarding incessant amounts of useless nonsense, and only a handful of useful items and/or characters, we're forced to pay over and over again just to make the experience fun. Of course, all such games have their in-game currency which can be used to buy mystery boxes. Devs will often make a big show of how truly dedicated players can just earn enough of that to circumvent using real money. Such a thought process is deeply rooted in fallacies. To earn in-game currency, we need to play. To play enough times in a day, we need to pay. The serpent's tail eats itself, and I decide to just play Undertale on my laptop for the fiftieth time.

I'm not denying that F2P games can be fun for many individuals out there. However, the balance of payment vs. content is high in the favor of developers instead of the player. Such behavior needs to be consistently challenged if we want to start playing fair and square.

Learn more about how mobile games manipulate your behavior and hack your mind so that you could end up spending more money in this video, which comes courtesy of MrWhoseTheBoss.

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