‘Pay-to-win’ is one of the most maligned concepts in modern gaming, a shorthand for concerns that freemium models are importing the worst excesses of capitalism into our in-game economies so that players can literally pay their way to victory. Thankfully, just as the Occupy movement appeared to defend the impoverished in the real world, so too has gaming’s own protest movement broken out.
Angry players have hit the virtual streets of MMO Black Desert Online to protest recent changes that allow players to buy in-game items using real money, only to sell them on to other players for in-game currency. Players have staged protests in the game’s largest cities — brandishing ‘Pay 2 Win’ picket signs, no less — while others are planning a two-day ‘blackout’ this week, when they’ll refused to play the game in protest.
Inevitably, there’s some debate about whether the game’s new change is really a bad thing — the devs insist it’s a welcome change, to allow players to use in-game money to buy items previously available only to those willing to lay down cold, hard cash for them. Either way though, it’s amazing that players are staging elaborate protests in-game, virtual picket signs and all. Sign us up.