I like Asmongold. I can’t speak much to who he used to be as a streamer but over the past year or two I’ve kept up with his content on YouTube and think he has a good view on most topics and helps educate the community. It’s out of this respect for him and his opinions that he has now disappointed me.

So who is Asmongold? He’s a YouTuber with 2.5 million followers and he’s been around since forever. He started with World of Warcraft content and eventually was able to break out of that and now he does a myriad of content. He’s also the owner of multiple organizations and businesses (see OTK and Starforged as examples). You can’t reach this sort of success if you’re an idiot. Well, maybe you could but Asmongold puts on a good show on his streams but don’t think he’s an idiot. If you listen to his opinions and reasoning you can see he takes in a lot of data and opinions and makes reasonable decisions.

So why all of a sudden, after maybe two years of watching him am I disappointed? Two days ago I watched his YouTube channel titled “My First Game Just Released.” In the video/stream he states multiple times that “Yeah, this is my game.” I played the game and wrote a review saying how much I enjoyed the game and explaining who created the game. Simply put, one of Asmongolds companies has helped launch the game so he does have some ownership of it. This is the reason I’m disappointed in him. He says it’s his game, his company owns some of it, and it has the sort of cash shop that Asmongold hates.

Everything I’m about to discuss I’ve heard Asmongold mention, repeatedly, that are examples of bad cash shop practices. Some can be viewed as predatory, some as gambling, and some are addictive. I’ll start with these three points which are the first ones I noticed in Rumble Club.

  1. In game currencies confuse players on the true cost of an item.
  2. Being unable to purchase an item for real currency and/or clearly see how much it will cost in real currency (e.g. USD).
  3. Not being able to buy exactly how much currency you need for an item.

If we look at all there of these issues together we can clearly see the problem they are creating.

  • You can’t buy Super (e.g. battle pass) directly with real money and it doesn’t tell us clearly how much it costs in real currency (e.g. USD)
  • You can’t buy exactly 180 gems in the cash shop. You can buy 80 gems for $4.99 or 200 gems for $9.99. So in order to get 180 gems you’d have to spend $10 and then you’d have 20 gems left over.
  • You actually can buy Super+ with real money and it’s clearly displayed which is great, why not also have that option for Super?

The point of this post isn’t to deep dive into why each of these is bad and why they should be updated. I’m simply stating that Asmongold has spoke at length about how these practices are bad and, as I stated before, I agree with him. I’m not here to say cash shops are bad, they are an important part of free to play games and I think they should continue. It’s how they are executed and how the industry continuously implements predatory practices that hurt consumers needs to stop.

Although these first three points were my main offenders I did look through the cash shop more and found more examples of the industry practices and, again, I’m pointing out that these appear in Asmongolds game even though he hates them.

In this example you can see that the Starter Bundle is a “4x Value!” and the “Ork Bundle” provides “50% More!” The gaming community was memeing hard on Diablo Immortal’s cash shop when it came out because some of the bundles were providing 800% value. These are made up numbers used to make people feel like it’s such a good deal they would be losing money if they didn’t buy it.

I also noticed the only way to buy paint or skins in through these random chances. That’s basically a loot box to me. You can’t buy the item you want you have to keep spinning and crossing your fingers you hit the one you want. Another very common practice to get as much money out of people as they can.

Everything I’ve listed here I believe I’ve heard Asmongold rail against and on some of these items talk about how the US Government should step in and make them illegal. Other countries like China have cracked down on some of these practices yet the US lags behind. The result is millions of people spending money they don’t have and kids growing up with this being normal for them so they keep spending their money.

Although I’ve really enjoyed my time playing Rumble Club I can’t get over the cash shop. I think it would have been a great opportunity for Asmongold to create, or help create, a cash shop in line with what he’s discussed many times on his streams. If it was successful he could be a shining example of how to improve the gaming landscape and he could help drive that through his gaming company Mad Mushroom.

By Matt

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