Joystiq's own Xav de Matos recently presented the crew with an all-too-familiar scenario: "My sister plays Candy Crush
and couldn't beat a level," Xav told us, lamenting what today's youth has come to. "She paid real money
to skip the stage. I told her she was the problem and yelled at her on everyone's behalf."
But there was no consensus amongst the staff! Some thought paying to skip challenges in games was the worst sort of design. Others thought that paying to skip chunks, whether in light games like Candy Crush Saga
or heavier fare like Professor Layton
, should come with penalties, such as perhaps blocking you from playing some content later on. Some even argued that plunking down cold hard cash for progress should get you other bonuses, like unlocking other cheats, to justify the cost. As it is with the entire gaming world, we're still trying to figure out how paying to play without needing to do the play part should work in quality game design - if it should work at all.
As we're wont to do, we're asking you to weigh in on the subject as well. Share your thoughts on paying for progress by answering these questions in the comments:
1) Why would you pay to skip parts of a game?
2) How should paying to skip affect the rest of the game, i.e. added penalties or bonuses?
3) What encourages you not to skip content?
Bonus: DId anyone out there pay to skip the boss pictured above? How did you do it?
[Image: Square-Enix via Game Informer]