Twitch streamer Shroud tells his viewers to get over the controversial pay-to-win monetization in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Lost Ark, a Korean free-to-play MMO that was recently released in the United States by Amazon, is still incredibly popular nearly two weeks after its initial release. Successful Twitch streamers like Shroud have consistently featured the game, which has contributed to its success. However, The Raiders of the Lost Ark is not without its critics. Shroud recently addressed the game’s heavy-handed monetization during one of his Twitch streams, telling his audience of over 10,000 viewers to “get over it.”
Shroud, to his credit, doesn’t deny or try to hide the fact that Lost Ark uses pay-to-win monetization, which is a common response to the question. He’s just fine with the monetization of Raiders of the Lost Ark and doesn’t agree with the current uproar.
Shroud does, or at least tries to, describe his feelings about the monetization of Raiders of the Lost Ark. All MMOs, according to Shroud, are pay-to-win. He claims that “cheaters” exist even in MMOs without gameplay-impacting monetization, such as gold miners, who can sell gold to other players outside of any game’s Terms of Service, which can be used by players for in-game advantages such as loot or high-end content runs. Game developers, in Shroud’s opinion, should be providing these services so that they can profit.
He admits that the MMO’s current microtransaction monetization “can be expensive,” even calling it “not worth it,” but he believes it’s worth it because it makes a lot of money and the only trade-off is some rich users are willing to spend thousands of dollars to get a little bit ahead. If the cheating system is built into the game, it at least supports the game’s development and future.
On the one hand, Shroud is making a powerful argument. There will always be players who cheat or spend money on pay-to-win microtransactions to gain an advantage in online games.
Players should try to enjoy games in their own unique way, rather than comparing themselves to others. Much of what Shroud says, on the other hand, isn’t always true. Gold sellers, account hackers, and premium gear runs do not go away with heavy monetization. And systems like the Lost Ark subscription service actively make normal gameplay more time-consuming and frustrating.
However, it’s understandable why Shroud feels the way he does. He’s both wealthy and free to spend as much time as he wants playing any game in any way he wants. Most MMO players, whose time and money are limited, will find it more difficult.
They are finding it difficult to dismiss exploitative monetization systems. Shroud is unlikely to have resolved the controversy surrounding Raiders of the Lost Ark and other pay-to-win games.