Tuesday, January 16th 2018

Leaked AI-powered Game Revenue Model Paper Foretells a Dystopian Nightmare

An artificial intelligence (AI) will deliberately tamper with your online gameplay as you scramble for more in-game items to win. The same AI will manipulate your state of mind at every step of your game to guide you towards more micro-transactions. Nothing in-game is truly fixed-rate. The game maps out your home, and cross-references it with your online footprint, to have a socio-economic picture of you, so the best possible revenue model, and anti buyer's remorse strategy can be implemented on you. These, and more, are part of the dystopian nightmare that takes flight if a new AI-powered online game revenue model is implemented in MMO games of the near future.

The paper's slide-deck and signed papers (with corrections) were leaked to the web by an unknown source, with bits of information (names, brands) redacted. It has too much information to be dismissed off hand for being a prank. It proposes leveraging AI to gather and build a socio-economic profile of a player to implement the best revenue-generation strategy. It also proposes using an AI to consistently "alter" the player's gameplay, such that the player's actions don't have the desired result leading toward beating the game, but towards an "unfair" consequence that motivates more in-game spending. The presentation spans a little over 50 slides, and is rich in text that requires little further explanation.
The rest of the presentation follows.

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71 Comments on Leaked AI-powered Game Revenue Model Paper Foretells a Dystopian Nightmare

#2
R-T-B
It was only a matter of time before "telemetry" met "free to play," and had this as its baby.
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#3
Shihabyooo
I'll postpone reading the "paper" until a version in a proper format (read: not photographs of slides) pops up, but for those who did read it, any mention of EA's EOMM?

I guess this was to be expected. Not good, but expected. Maximizing profits is always the number one goal in a capitalist system, and data-driven and psychological-manipulation approaches have been here for a while. Welcome to consumerism!
Heck, I'm surprised this wasn't a thing for years now!
Posted on Reply
#4
the54thvoid
To use AI to thwart game progression to increase spending on game items is surely illegal from a sales point unless it states on the games info that difficulty will be increased if no DLC items are purchased.
Posted on Reply
#5
lZKoce
There's no stopping the rape train, right? I can see a lot of unhappy parents that have 1-click-payment set up for everything. And their phones and PC's are in kids orbital.
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#6
bug
Well, this is messed up, for sure. But games that adjust difficulty based on how you play aren't really new.
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#7
lexluthermiester
This has been going on for years. And people wonder why I rarely play games online anymore. When Blizzard's servers screwed up and borked over a ton of players in 2013, myself included, and then refused to set things right, I stopped playing online completely. Eff that. I play games to relax and enjoy, not to be frustrated, irritated and cheated.
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#8
RCoon
Gaming Moderator
I'm guessing people glossed over the images entirely. I for one read each and every one. The ones of most concern are the fact that the AI can discern whether a subject is female or not, and then subsequently learn their menstrual cycle based on the language they used throughout the month and then tailors that users experience in order to sell them more crap during that cycle. Also the use of wireless waves and telemetry to build a 3D map of the users entire surroundings aka their freaking house.

I don't want to live on this planet anymore. This is too far.
Posted on Reply
#9
bug
"RCoon said:
I'm guessing people glossed over the images entirely. I for one read each and every one. The ones of most concern are the fact that the AI can discern whether a subject is female or not, and then subsequently learn their menstrual cycle based on the language they used throughout the month and then tailors that users experience in order to sell them more crap during that cycle. Also the use of wireless waves and telemetry to build a 3D map of the users entire surroundings aka their freaking house.

I don't want to live on this planet anymore. This is too far.
It's creepy, but it's a friggin' game. You really, really, really don't have to play.
Posted on Reply
#10
RCoon
Gaming Moderator
"bug said:
It's creepy, but it's a friggin' game. You really, really, really don't have to play.
I intend to boycott each and every game that implements these practices. The issue is, is the publisher/developer going to tell people this is in their game in order to make that choice?
Posted on Reply
#11
bug
"RCoon said:
I intend to boycott each and every game that implements these practices. The issue is, is the publisher/developer going to tell people this is in their game in order to make that choice?
I'm guessing if one can't tell when they're selling their house to buy in-game stuff, one won't be saved by any disclosure from the developer's part. Or law.
And to answer your question more directly, there probably won't be any disclosure until the law requires one.
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#12
Vayra86
"RCoon said:
I intend to boycott each and every game that implements these practices. The issue is, is the publisher/developer going to tell people this is in their game in order to make that choice?
This will get hit hard by the EU Ban Hammer for certain.

This will probably start under the radar until we get a lootbox-ish shitstorm over it, and regulation will follow. It just has to, I cannot imagine this doesn't cross the line in every possible way.
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#13
lexluthermiester
"RCoon said:
I intend to boycott each and every game that implements these practices.
Agreed and way ahead of you.
"bug said:
there probably won't be any disclosure until the law requires one.
That can't happen soon enough.
"Vayra86 said:
This will get hit hard by the EU Ban Hammer for certain.
Betting you're right.
Posted on Reply
#14
the54thvoid
"RCoon said:
I'm guessing people glossed over the images entirely. I for one read each and every one. The ones of most concern are the fact that the AI can discern whether a subject is female or not, and then subsequently learn their menstrual cycle based on the language they used throughout the month and then tailors that users experience in order to sell them more crap during that cycle. Also the use of wireless waves and telemetry to build a 3D map of the users entire surroundings aka their freaking house.

I don't want to live on this planet anymore. This is too far.
+10 Healing Tampons.

But yeah.... Greed is God these days. FTW (F... This World).
Posted on Reply
#15
GoldenX
We have to put a brake to capitalism, or the next thing is oxygen taxes.
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#16
hhumas
same thing is implemented in dota via different sub categories .
1- doing quest for a reward ( you keep on loosing games)
2-In game loot boxes opening for a better reward . if its your first purchase you will get a rare or extremely rare reward so to encourage player to buy more . If you are regular buyer then you have like 0.01% chance of getting rare reward .
3-Match making . if you want to win they will add you with noob player match finding pool . so that you keep finding matches and keep playing in the greed of winning matches .
4- the players who are winning will be added in the player who are already winning .

and so much more shit is going on with dota 2. i have discussed these things with other dota players on the forum . everyone has same postive response . steam /valve they are fkers . how much money they have earned from dota only . but match making is still piece of shit .
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#17
bug
"GoldenX said:
We have to put a brake to capitalism, or the next thing is oxygen taxes.
That's why we have governments in place. They're supposed to set to rules of the game (and, very important, stay out of the game itself). So the next time you think you have a problem with capitalism, maybe you should look at your government first.
Posted on Reply
#18
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
"bug said:
That's why we have governments in place. They're supposed to set to rules of the game (and, very important, stay out of the game itself).
How's that net-neutrality thing going?
Posted on Reply
#19
_JP_
As with every implementation of its kind, there will be exploits for this, ways of obfuscating and play with the variables.
AI is as smart as the ones coding it, so there will always be a way around.
Of course the best way is to not buy/download the game to start with.
As of this moment, no publisher with a released game that incorporates some sort of "loot" based on chance, is exempt from guilt over implementing some sort or variety of an algorithm like this. This is just an enhanced version of what's already on offer today.
Posted on Reply
#20
R-T-B
"GoldenX said:
We have to put a brake to capitalism, or the next thing is oxygen taxes.
Flashback to Rapture... I think you might be going a bit far there.

Not that this doesn't cross the line in every conceivable way, because it does.
Posted on Reply
#21
bug
"btarunr said:
How's that net-neutrality thing going?
Did you notice the "supposed" thing in my post? Without proper scrutiny, nobody does their intended job. An unfortunate trait of human beings :(
Posted on Reply
#22
lexluthermiester
"bug said:
Did you notice the "supposed" thing in my post? Without proper scrutiny, nobody does their intended job. An unfortunate trait of human beings :(
Rubbish, I need no supervision at all and I get things gone the right way and on schedule most of the time.
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#23
DRDNA
"GoldenX said:
We have to put a brake to capitalism, or the next thing is oxygen taxes.
"R-T-B said:
Flashback to Rapture... I think you might be going a bit far there.

Not that this doesn't cross the line in every conceivable way, because it does.
Well in New York you can no longer get free AIR for your wheels (tires)! You have to pay for it, shit now the Air dispensers even have credit card slots! Oh yeah and the carbon Tax is close too.
Posted on Reply
#24
the54thvoid
"DRDNA said:
Well in New York you can no longer get free AIR for your wheels (tires)! You have to pay for it, shit now the Air dispensers even have credit card slots!
You're kinda paying for the air pump and it's initial instal costs. You want free air, by a mobile one powered from a car socket.
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