It is a truth universally acknowledged that if you give EA games a button to press to make more money, they will keep pressing that button until they piss off their customers so much that they will stop playing the game. That is what has happened with Bejeweled Blitz [iTunes link].
I loved playing Bejeweled Blitz. I had one minute to match as many jewels as I could and I got REALLY good at it. I even wrote an entry telling people how to do as well as I did.
When EA Games bought Pop Cap, I didn’t think it would be a problem, but I was sorely mistaken. Here are the many ways that EA Games keeps pushing the “Make Money” button over and over.
- They added Coins, which could be earned when I play the game.
- They allowed you to buy coins with real money.
- They added boost where you can buy extra time or other advantages with the coins.
- They added special gems that players can buy with coins at random times.
- They added the Special Gem blowouts where EVERY game you play, you’re offered a Special Gem.
- They added discount days on coins, so you can buy them for less money.
- They notify me when they are having Special Gem Blowouts of Coin Discounts using the push feature on my phone.
When they first started offering coins for sale, I vowed to NEVER pay to buy them. I would only earn coins by playing the game. Dan, however, eagerly welcomed the change and uses boosts and special gems on every game, gladly paying the extra money in an attempt to beat Nicole and me.
The day they started offering the coins for sale was the day that Bejeweled Blitz stopped being a game of skill. Now, whoever is willing to pay the most money will end up on the top of the list every week.
This has made me a tad bitter…
I know this, because this is the Facebook Post I made when I was temporarily at the top of the list with my high score.
I just scored 356,600 and earned a 350K Star Medal in Bejeweled Blitz. No boosts or Special Gems. Suck that, EA GAMES!
I was playing in the middle of a Special Gems Blowout Thursday morning and didn’t buy any of the gems offered to me. Now, 350K isn’t that high of a score (Nicole and Emily regularly get 700K), but I did it without any of the artificial boosts and Special Gems that had been added. I got the high score (albeit temporarily) without paying a penny to EA GAMES.
How did I go from “Thank You, Pop Cap Games!!” to “Suck that, EA GAMES!” in a little over two years? I was so grateful and happy for my $5 game and now I HATE them and have decided not to play. All because someone gave EA games a button called “Make More Money.”
How To Make Money From Me Without Pissing Me OFF!
There are lots of ways that they could have made more money from me without ruining my beloved games. Here are a few:
- Offer a notification feature for a monthly fee. Each time one of my friends gets higher than me on the Facebook high scores, they push me a notification.
- Offer an All-Time High Score List for an extra fee. If you pay for this feature, you get a list of all your friends’ ultimate high scores and see how you rank against them.
- Offer better score tracking. Right now, you can see how you rank against each friend over the last five weeks. Why can’t I see that data from two years ago when I got that 500K score (without the help of boosts or Special Gems, BTW)? I’d pay an extra fee for that.
Instead of offering features like that for me, they have literally ruined the game for me. While some people may see the addition of paying for extra boosts and Special Gems as a way of leveling the playing field, winning games isn’t about leveling the playing field. Just think how that rule change would RUIN basketball. If the Utah Jazz could have just PAID an extra fee to get three more players on the court, Larry H. Miller would have done that in a second. We might have been able to beat Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls back in 1998. That’s not how basketball works. And it CERTAINLY shouldn’t be how Bejeweled Blitz works.