Square Enix’s Chocobo GP hasn’t gotten off to the best start with a predatory monetisation system not just in the free-to-play version, but with the paid version of Chocobo GP which costs £40. Today, the company has published a statement in Japanese detailing the changes which they are in the process of making, or have already made. Reddit member Sat-AM has detailed what is being changed and has also translated the apology message from Chocobo GP producer, Hironori Okayama.
“We apologize for the inconvenience caused to the players due to problems with the battle function and lack of advance notice. The development team will work as one to deal with any defects so that they can be repaired as soon as possible.
We have also received many comments on how to provide additional DLC. We take this seriously and will continue to do our best to provide updates that will satisfy everyone who purchases.
First of all, he raised the prize level in Chocobo GP mode and changed to an easy specification. Overall it’s been greatly relaxed, especially he’s made it easier to get up to level 100, so I’d appreciate it if you could get the cloud and his machine.
With the team stickers available with prize level rewards, he’s an image of an average of one game going up one level if the wins and losses are flat. In this way, our new basic policy is to create an environment in which it is easy to obtain additional characters simply by purchasing the product version.
On top of that, we are thinking of placing things that are unlikely to affect gameplay, such as costume changes, in higher rewards, Mithril shops, and so on. These are not the only decisions to be made, and we will continue to brush up on the opinions we have received.
We are also considering removing some restrictions on the Lite version to make it easier for video distributors to hold events, so please be patient.
Thank you for your continued support for the Chocobo Grand Prix.”
Square Enix Co., Ltd. Hironori Okayama
Changes to Chocobo GP
- They’re aware of and working on fixing the online issues.
- They sent out 500 Mythril and lowered EXP requirements on the pass as an apology to players, meaning the lowered EXP requirement may not be how they do future passes. If you had enough EXP to be at a higher level, you were automatically leveled up.
- Major updates and changes will come with season changes, so there will likely be no future adjustments for season 1.
- Future seasons will include 2 new characters (1 on the pass and 1 for gil).
- “Items added to the Gil Shop will be added each time the season is repeated,” sounds like they’ll be keeping Gil-bought characters in the Gil Shop for future seasons, but it could also mean that they are planning to repeat seasons eventually.
- Characters on the pass may be available to be purchased “directly” with mythril or gil after the pass has been run.
- New courses will be released for players on both the full and lite versions in Season 2.
- More mythril shop items (costumes and BGM tracks) are coming mid-season.
- Currently, Mythril can only be obtained via login reward, but starting in Season 2, it will also be a pass reward.
- Balance changes are coming in Season 2, including changes to characters and base mechanics. They’re not touching anything unless it’s broken enough to need an immediatefix, though.
- The director says that they are taking player feedback about DLC/microtransactions into account when planning for future updates.
- They seem to primarily be concerned with the average player being able to get to level 100 (out of 200) over the course of a 2-month pass.
- Current EXP gain is balanced so that players with a 1:1 win/lose ratio in GP mode will receive roughly 1 level per GP mode run with the stickers provided by the pass. The line after this (“In this way, our new basic policy is to create an environment in which it is easy to obtain additional characters simply by purchasing the product version”) implies that they essentially find this suitable, and may be keeping the current EXP gain rates for the pass.
- More cosmetic/BGM sorts of things will be coming to the Mythril shop and the pass as high-level rewards.
- Changes being made to the Lite version are “to make it easier for video distributors to hold events,” so this might be indicating that they may be allowing Lite players to access the host’s roster, as “events” is probably in reference to tournaments. It may also, however, be in reference to allowing non-GP online play, or something else entirely.
Hmm…say what you want but they do seem to be listening which isn’t something you can say for other companies.
……That’s because if they don’t, people will stop playing and the game will underperform + more backlash + profit loss, so they don’t have a choice. Sure you can’t say that for other companies, but it’s not noteworthy. Listening to fans and criticism is the bare minimum.
They turned a classic into a cash grab plagued with monetization, yeah, they didn’t care from the start. Their changes are too little, too late.
As long as they remove the stupid in game microtransaction and other stupid that keeps people from liking the game I’m pretty good with it still sticking with the lite version tho.
I mean honestly; If they just made it so characters like Squall and Cloud can be unlocked with normal gameplay, the microtransactions wouldn’t even bother me as everything else is just cosmetics which also can be unlocked normally.
That’s the main thing with this game that doesn’t make me blast it fully; Literally everything can be unlocked normally it’s just they went way too far on how slow the process is.
I don’t see The Pokemon Company, EA, Bethesda, and the division of Nintendo handling Paper Mario listening to it’s fans.
Also, the game literally hasn’t even been out for a week, if now is too little too late for you, it’s obvious they never had a chance with you to begin with.
No, my bad, I worded that wrong. I was agreeing with you when you said that other companies don’t listen to their fans. I am the last person you’d see on this site saying any of the companies you mentioned listen to their fans lol. I was trying to say that; although Square Enix is listening, it’s not anything special since that’s the bare minimum.
But yes, they never had a chance with me from the start lol. I say too little too late because it’s like saying sorry after doing something bad to someone else; If you’re apologizing after you’ve done it, then you’re not actually sorry, you’re only sorry you were caught and sorry now that you have to face the consequences. They released a game full of monetization filth; they’re only “fixing” it asap because it’s in their best interest. At the end of the day, companies care about greed and nothing more, I’m not impressed by their ability to meet the minimum standards or listen to feedback from their target audience, since it’s what they should already be doing without saying.
This feels too general, I don’t think Square was ever trying to “hide”, they just did something, people didn’t like it, and now they are changing it. Also, what the heck? People do things all the time that after they apologized for, it doesn’t automatically mean they did it deliberately, it can just be a simple error of judgement. Not that I’m saying this was an accident, it likely wasn’t, but for all you know maybe they really didn’t think it was gonna be this big of a deal.
A lot of the microtransactions are just for cosmetics so maybe they thought people wouldn’t mind as it has no bearing on the gameplay? Again, I’m not saying it being cosmetics justifies this, I hate it as much as the next guy and wish there was no microtransactions but you have to try and see it from Square’s point of view especially since there are games out there with microtransactions that generally go on to be well received such as Dragonball Xenoverse 2 and Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled.
Maybe it is in their best interest but it looks to me like no matter what they do and how many mistakes they correct, you’re just gonna fall back on the “Too little too late” so really, why should they even bother?
Let me ask you this; Do you say the same for Final Fantasy 14? The team released a bugging mess on release and yet look at it now, it’s literally risen up from the depths and now has praise left and right. Even though Square publicly apologized and reworked the game and more than redeemed themselves, do you still fall back on that “Too Little Too Late”?
I can’t give an educated or honest answer to that question. I played FF14 only 1 time, cus all my friends were playing it and it seemed so popular, but I hated it, couldn’t see the appeal, and never looked at it again. I know absolutely nothing about the criticism or isses it recieved when it released. I know that FF14 has expansions that cost money? I don’t know about the monetization in the game or anything.
Now I can comment about what you said earlier. In regard to Dragonball Xenoverse 2, the problem is that with every Dragon Ball game, they lock the movie and popular characters behind DLC, they’ve done it EVERY game. I’m definitely in that minority of people who hate the monetization in Xenoverse, and the same goes for Dragon Ball Fighterz, & DBZ Kakarot. But I am confused about Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled. What monetization is there? I bought all the characters and karts with the in-game currency from winning races, so idk about that. You can either grind for everything yourself or purchase wumpa coins to get everything, which is common in nearly all games. I don’t see the monetization there, but then again I bought the game after all the support ended so maybe you could enlighten me there?
For me, the difference here is the type of game. FF14 is an MMORPG, the story and characters are the biggest aspects. Chocobo GP, Dragon Ball Xenoverse, Crash Team Racing are Racing/Fighting games. Their content is characters and tracks, thats the big appeal of it, not much story at all. For FF14, which is driven by story, I have no problem with expansions, updates, etc, because they want the game to have a long life and they want to interact with their fanbase through continuous support. For Racers & Fighting games however, the appeal of it is solely the content, and when you release it with heavy monetization and a paywall that locks that content behind it, that tells me you don’t care about the quality or longevity of the game, but rather it’s profit alone.
Judging from what you are saying here; It sounds like you played FF14:ARR which came after the original game so let me explain why I used this as a comparison.
The original Final Fantasy 14, before A Realm Reborn, was absolutely horrendous. It was pretty much widely hated by almost everyone, it got so bad for Square that they had to shut down the entire game and publicly apologize to the people that paid for the base game which came with a 30 day playing trial. In other words, like with Chocobo GP, they made a lot of mistakes, in fact compared to base FF14, Chocobo GP is a masterpiece because Chocobo GP’s gameplay and content is pretty much fine but what people hate is the microtransactions which is WAY LESS mess up than FF14 was.
But then, Square released FF14:ARR and literally overnight the community’s reception was flipped over and all the criticism turned to praise. In other words, they listened to what the fans said and turned the game around, just like they are doing now with Chocobo GP albeit on a much smaller scale. Whether or not it’s an MMORPG is 100% irrelevant, it still a case of Square made a mistake (A massive mistake in terms of FF14) and then working to fix that mistake.
“I bought all the characters and karts with the in-game currency from winning races, so idk about that. You can either grind for everything yourself or purchase wumpa coins to get everything, which is common in nearly all games”
You contradicted yourself twice here; Not only does Chocobo GP also let you grind to unlock everything by farming Gil but that part about Wumpa Coins is literally what microtransactions are! A simple Google Search of “Crash Team Racing Microtransactions” would have cleared that up. I also have no idea why you brought up DLC for Dragonball Xenoverse 2 since the topic was microtransactions, not DLC.
The point I’m making here is people keep saying “Too little too late” (Especially when the game isn’t even a fudging week old) when it’s clear the developers are listening, what exactly does that do for everyone? All that attitude is gonna do is make companies not listen even more which only makes things worse for everyone, what’s the point in fixing the game when fans are only gonna say “Too little, too late”? May as well not bother!
You wanna criticize companies that do nothing? Be my guest, even I do that, but in my opinion it’s a jerk move to still be negative when they are clearly taking action to try and fix it.
The difference between Chocobo GP & Crash Team Racing is that characters aren’t locked behind premium currency. in CTR, you can get wumpa coins just by racing and buy every character. In Chocobo GP, characters are locked (Cloud, Squall, etc) and you need premium currency (Mythril) to buy them. I wasn’t contradicting myself.
The best way I can say this is, look at the approach in turning Crash Team Racing (Original game) into Crash Team Racing: Nitro Fueled. It’s still a full game, and monetization is nonexistent because you can earn in-game currency and get everything. Whereas Chocobo Racing >>> Chocobo GP, it’s been turned into a season pass model, characters are locked behind premium currency, and monetization is very much existent. If you wanna put all cosmetic stuff (Costumes, stickers, art, etc) behind a paywall, then do it, because that’s not “content”. But locking real content like characters, stages behind premium currency or “passes” right from the start of a game’s release is where I draw the line.
Having my mindset would in no way “make companies not listen even more”. That’s the complete opposite. Look at the pokemon games. What would make companies not listen, is what the fans are currently doing, which is continue to buy all their games and give them their money. My mindset is to heavily criticze the company and not buy their products at all, which would force them to listen, so your statement there is incorrect. I dunno where you got that idea from, since all of my comments on this site have been anti-company and extremely criticizing.
I do not know where you are getting that information from but that is 100% wrong. You can unlock Squall by spending Gil (3000 to be exact) which is a currency you can earn in-game and Cloud can be unlocked by reaching level 60. Don’t believe me? Google “How to unlock Squall/Cloud in Chocobo GP” they will tell you exactly what I’ve said here.
Like I said; NOTHING in Chocobo GP is locked behind a paywall, everything can be purchased with battle tickets or gil which both can be earned in-game. The reason why people were angry with Square is purely because they made the earning rate way too low and were obviously doing it to make spending more money very appealing, ever since day 1 you have been technically able to earn everything in the game without spending a penny, anyone that’s saying it’s locked behind a paywall is lying to you.
You can buy him with gil??? I only started the free version, saw that I can’t buy anything, and instantly deleted it. That’s why I assumed it was locked behind premium currency. Cloud is another problem altogether for me tho. I can’t play the GP mode and level up in the pass without a switch online membership, which was an immediate no from me. I gotta subscribe to a garbage online service, and buy the season pass to get him? Definitely not getting my money lol.
The free version is literally just a demo, in what world does a demo offer the full game? The fact that all your progress on the demo is moved over to the main game of evidence of that.
If you want my advice; Don’t go around telling people “Cloud and Squall is locked behind a paywall” when your only exposure to the game is the lite version. At least look up things online before you start using them as rebuttals.
And the Chocobo GP mode is literally an online mode, no duh you need an online subscription lol
See, I didn’t know it was a demo tho. When they announced it they said there’d be a “free to play” version. You know, like how Call of Duty Warzone is the Free to Play version of Call of Duty Modern Warfare. I downloaded it thinking that it was just like every other free to play game, and buying the paid version just gives you the pass for free. Free to Play games don’t require you to subscribe to online memberships to play them, because they’re free, so when I started GP up not knowing it was actually a demo, and I have to pay for an online membership to play, when every other free to play game doesn’t do that, I was like “nope”.
I mean if that’s true then fair enough but from what I know, Square never said the lite version was free-to-play.
Update: Alright so you’re sort of right. If you go to the Nintendo page for this game it says the following
“Coming out at the same time as Chocobo GP is a free-to-play version of the game called Chocobo GP Lite. This version gives you an opportunity to test drive the game. And if you enjoy Chocobo GP Lite and wish to purchase the full version of the game, your save data can be transferred. This means any items or in-game currency that you’ve accumulated can roll over, too!”
So really, yeah, they did say it was a free-to-play version but from the wording here, they very clearly state it as a demo.
If they just said it was a demo from the start rather than saying it’s a free to play version, then I wouldn’t have been so confused by it lol.
But this has been a nice debate. I’m sure you don’t want to keep this going any longer so we can both agree to disagree.
I mean it’s an online game I would expect even if it’s free to play you have to have a online membership to play online
There nothing wrong with game only problem to me is leveling up is to long and not enough stages I the micro transaction is better for me cause now I know the game will keep getting dlc so more final fantasy character
There is something wrong with the game right now: Network issues. players get disconnected. And if you happened to be using a team sticker, you lose it. And to be clear: square Enix has admitted these connection problems are on their end.
And stickers cost Mythril. Which costs money to buy. And square enix won’t even acknowledge this, let alone reimburse people for the stickers that, again, were lost due to Square Enix’s problems.
They are essentially stealing money from people right now.