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

#1
GoldenX
BiggieShady said:
Sure, you qualify for an endless grind in pve and being a cannon fodder for pay2winners in pvp ...
That's why I love emulators and single player games.
Posted on Reply
#3
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
I've just read some of those slides and this sounds nasty, real nasty. I won't touch a game with this crap in it, no matter how good it looks.

One of the first slides describes how it constantly leads you on into thinking you're gonna win by buying something, but all it actually does is use bait and switch to frustrate the player into spending more. Fucking shysters. Gamers are nothing more than cows to be milked at every opportunity. There's nothing at all about providing any kind of user satisfaction there at all. Dystopian it is.
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#4
Captain_Tom
lZKoce said:
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.
Well, one thing that could stop this train is continued innovation and competition from "Indie" developers.


I would say we are only about 5 years from Indie devs having easy access to the AAA graphics we have now. Once the tools exist for a hobbyist to make the equivalent of a full Assassin's Creed game by themselves in a basement, they will make it so consumers can ignore the transaction-filled AAA games.

Sure the graphics won't be as good, the voice acting will be average most of the time, and there will be more bugs than usual... But the games will be much more creative, inexpensive, and built with the mindset of "gameplay comes first."
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#5
Liviu Cojocaru
What a great read...some games have already some similar system implemented and by the looks of it it's only gonna get worse. It's sad to see that the AI is mostly used to manipulate and rip off people atm. At some point when the AI will be smart enough...oh will see what happens then :D
Posted on Reply
#6
bug
Liviu Cojocaru said:
What a great read...some games have already some similar system implemented and by the looks of it it's only gonna get worse. It's sad to see that the AI is mostly used to manipulate and rip off people atm. At some point when the AI will be smart enough...oh will see what happens then :D
Nobody's ripping you off. You surrender your credit card voluntarily for each transaction.
Posted on Reply
#7
Liviu Cojocaru
bug said:
Nobody's ripping you off. You surrender your credit card voluntarily for each transaction.
First I wasn't talking about me, second manipulating people into doing this it's a rip off as the game will not work "normal" but towards a purpose not revealed to the customer from the start...let me give you a few examples: religion, politics, marketing these "tools" are specifically designed and used (USUALLY,NOT ALL THE TIME) to manipulate people and not for a greater good (PERSONAL OPINION)
Posted on Reply
#8
bug
Liviu Cojocaru said:
First I wasn't talking about me, second manipulating people into doing this it's a rip off as the game will not work "normal" but towards a purpose not revealed to the customer from the start...let me give you a few examples: religion, politics, marketing these "tools" are specifically designed and used (USUALLY,NOT ALL THE TIME) to manipulate people and not for a greater good (PERSONAL OPINION)
Yeah, well, games have been adapted their response to the player's gameplay since the days of the scrolling shooters where you could learn where each and every enemy spawned.
At the same time, I'm having a hard time understanding where's the rip-off when the player knowingly chooses to play a microtransactions enabled game. MTXs are there to sell, that's the whole point.
Posted on Reply
#9
Liviu Cojocaru
bug said:
Yeah, well, games have been adapted their response to the player's gameplay since the days of the scrolling shooters where you could learn where each and every enemy spawned.
At the same time, I'm having a hard time understanding where's the rip-off when the player knowingly chooses to play a microtransactions enabled game. MTXs are there to sell, that's the whole point.
Ok I understand, but if this is the case why do they need to hide all this stuff, why aren't they open about it and specify from the begging that this is going to happen when you play this game?
Are you ok with this, don't you find anything wrong with it?
Posted on Reply
#10
bug
Liviu Cojocaru said:
Ok I understand, but if this is the case why do they need to hide all this stuff, why aren't they open about it and specify from the begging that this is going to happen when you play this game?
Are you ok with this, don't you find anything wrong with it?
Well, I'm torn, atm. I mean, this right here is only a proof of concept. Whatever kind of company you're running, it's your duty to analyze your revenue model from time to time. Do I want to see this implemented in games? No, not in this form. But I don't play mtx enabled game much and even if I do, I stay away from pay2win titles. So if someone knowingly plays pay2win, then I don't see the grounds for them crying about the game making them, you know, pay. The big no-no is when this is applied to kids games.

In short, I see no reason to take out the pitchforks just yet. Just to cautiously move forward.
Posted on Reply
#11
Liviu Cojocaru
bug said:
So if someone knowingly plays pay2win
That's the whole point of this thing...to make even the intelligent grown ups to fall in this trap because if you're not a hardcore gamer (even some of those fall into this) this system is will make it as difficult as possible for them to spot that they're scammed...example fake news on social media to manipulate you into voting (or not) for a specific candidate...this is real and it's happening now people need to be made aware if they're not smart enough to figure this out themselves :)

That's why these things need to be exposed so everybody can see...utmost respect for the person that risked to get this out!!!
Posted on Reply
#12
bug
Liviu Cojocaru said:
That's the whole point of this thing...to make even the intelligent grown ups to fall in this trap because if you're not a hardcore gamer (even some of those fall into this) this system is will make it as difficult as possible for them to spot that they're scammed...example fake news on social media to manipulate you into voting (or not) for a specific candidate...this is real and it's happening now people need to be made aware if they're not smart enough to figure this out themselves :)

That's why these things need to be exposed so everybody can see...utmost respect for the person that risked to get this out!!!
I disagree. Pay2win is just like gambling. You either control it or it controls you. If you're not level-headed enough to limit your spending, hopefully you're level headed enough to stay away.
Posted on Reply
#13
Liviu Cojocaru
bug said:
I disagree. Pay2win is just like gambling. You either control it or it controls you. If you're not level-headed enough to limit your spending, hopefully you're level headed enough to stay away.
Ok I am really curious (maybe I've missed something, sorry if I did) is this system specifically designed for a game that has the label pay2win? Please en light me
Posted on Reply
#14
bug
Liviu Cojocaru said:
Ok I am really curious (maybe I've missed something, sorry if I did) is this system specifically designed for a game that has the label pay2win? Please en light me
No game is labeled pay2win.
But this is all about making the game progressively harder in order to make you buy something that makes it easier again. The very definition of pay2win.
Posted on Reply
#15
Liviu Cojocaru
bug said:
No game is labeled pay2win.
But this is all about making the game progressively harder in order to make you buy something that makes it easier again. The very definition of pay2win.
There is no point in going forward with this as for you the one to blame would only be the player...
Posted on Reply
#16
bug
Liviu Cojocaru said:
There is no point in going forward with this as for you the one to blame would only be the player...
Well, at least I made my point...
Posted on Reply
#17
Liviu Cojocaru
As stupid as it is, it is your point and I respect it ;)
Posted on Reply
#18
bug
Liviu Cojocaru said:
As stupid as it is, it is your point and I respect it ;)
Please elaborate. Wth is your point and why is mine stupid?
Posted on Reply
#19
Mescalamba
dj-electric said:
.....

UT99 anyone?
:fear:
It had pretty deadly bots. :D Especially if fine tuned by hand. But I suspect that wasnt your point. My fav game of probably all time I play (which is from 97). At least in FPS perspective.
Posted on Reply
#21
DragonsBrain
Way to blog out --Riot-- Games, there. They'll never guess what's under that smaller-than-average black bar.
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