Marvel Snap’s greedy monetization risks killing CCG before Closed Beta even ends

Marvel Snap cinematicMarvel / Second Dinner

With the introduction of Nexus Events in Marvel Snap, it’s no understatement to say the Second Dinner card game now has one of the most predatory microtransaction models on the market. In yet another move that blatantly ignored community feedback, developers are swiftly ruining any goodwill before the game even gets out of Closed Beta.

UPDATE August 3: Two weeks after the introduction of Nexus Events and the Marvel Snap team has since backflipped on the feature altogether. There will not be any further Nexus Events moving forward and players that engaged with the first are receiving full Gold refunds along with the Jane Foster card free of charge. The original story continues below.


 

When Marvel Snap launched in its first public testing period earlier this year, it did so with a rather obtuse progression system. Instead of opening packs or manually crafting specific cards like many of its rivals on the market, this new title instead opted for a ‘Collection Level’ system.

By upgrading your existing cards with various in-game currencies, you can then advance through a number of possible rewards, including new cards on the odd occasion. With each new addition completely randomized, players have no manual control over what kind of cards they want.

Should any particular set be dominating the meta at a given moment, it’s down to the RNG Gods if you’ll be chosen to join those at higher ranks with objectively superior decks.

Quickly growing frustrated by these limitations, players began demanding not only significant changes, but new methods of acquiring cards with a little more manual input. Nexus Events were hyped up as the answer, though in wake of the July 19 update and the launch of the first event, we’ve now taken further steps back with an even worse microtransaction model coming into focus.

Marvel Snap Nexus Event rewardsMarvel / Second Dinner
Jane Foster is a brand new card exclusively available through Marvel Snap’s first Nexus Event.

Nexus Events: The straw to break the camel’s back

Given many with access to the early Closed Beta were already growing tired of Marvel Snap’s progression system, one that can only be expedited through in-game currencies, Nexus Events have now served to pour salt in the wound.

Joining the game on July 19, a new Jane Foster card is exclusively available through this limited-time event. For the first time in Marvel Snap, there’s a clear path to unlocking a specific card. Though instead of a one-off purchase, the Mighty Thor herself has been locked behind an egregious loot box-style system.

For 180 Gold, the game’s premium currency, players can open a single loot box. For 1,800 Gold, 10 of these boxes can be opened all at once.

Classified as a ‘Super Rare’ reward, the new card is among the highest tier of items on offer through these loot boxes. Not clearly advertised in-game, however, is the exact drop rate of rewards at this tier.

Only through navigating to an external link can you be notified of the mere 1.5% chance of acquiring a Super Rare reward. Further reducing your odds of landing on the specific Jane Foster card, she’s lumped in with three other items at this tier. Thus, with each attempt, odds aren’t exactly in your favor.

For those with limitless funds, there is a pity system in play, guaranteeing at least one Super Rare drop with every 50 attempts, roughly the same as $115 USD. With the ultimate case of bad luck, you’re looking at approximately $450 USD to guarantee all four Super Rare items in a Nexus Event.

Marvel Snap gameplayMarvel / Second Dinner
If you miss out on Jane Foster here, she won’t be available again for another two months, according to an earlier developer comment on Discord.

Just to make matters even worse, the in-game store fails to offer Gold bundles at the specific amounts required by the Nexus Event. 180 Gold for one spin of the wheel cannot be directly purchased, nor can 1,800 Gold for 10 spins.

As though it wouldn’t have been bad enough without this hurdle, players are forced to spend more than necessary just to amass the right amount of virtual currency, akin to the long-panned Microsoft Points of the Xbox 360 era.

Instead of coming in at roughly $2.50 per roll of the dice, the minimum purchase is $4.99. Instead of paying just over $25 for 10 rolls, the minimum cost is $30. In every possible sense, developers are actively nickel and diming their initial player base.

If community members are hoping to keep on top of any meta shifts and ensure their collection is always up to date, it’s going to be an extremely costly endeavor in Marvel Snap.

With two Nexus Events penciled in for each month, players could be spending in the realm of $900 USD to attain the latest cards, as pointed out by content creator Jeff Hoogland.

Marvel / Second Dinner
You can’t actually purchase the exact amount of Gold for the Nexus Event.

A far cry from what dedicated players were hoping for, these limited-time events are nothing more than limited-time price gouges.

Given it’s just a first attempt, there’s no doubt devs can adjust drop rates and Gold costs moving forward. But there’s no excusing the system in its current form. The team at Second Dinner is evidently looking to milk the community of every last dime, and it could swiftly lead to the game’s downfall.

Before Marvel Snap even so much as reaches more populated regions, let alone leaves Closed Beta, it’s already turning players away at an alarming rate.

For a well-designed handheld title with gorgeous artwork, a satisfying gameplay loop, intriguing strategies, endless lore to pull from, and the Disney marketing machine behind it, Marvel Snap has the perfect combination to explode into the next big card game. But at its current trajectory, with devs actively ignoring community feedback and insisting on adding counter-intuitive microtransaction models, it could just be a matter of time until Marvel Snap becomes the next Artifact.

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