Hello all, I want to begin this post by stating I am in no way trying to stir up trouble or even disparage anyone's views. I understand there are differences of opinion but perhaps after reading this post there can be some dialogue about future policy changes to the app. Additionally I admit a personal bias that i love this short mobile game, its addictive, charming and easy to pick up whenever.
That being said I recently saw a video on Mangs youtube channel
Mangs does Lps of Fire Emblem, I love his videos ( and yes it counts as an LP, come on guys hes not that bad. He's definitely been improving since he learned how 'led-geys' work ;) ) anyways, he made a response to another youtuber and associate of his Mekkah. again mad respect for both of them and there is no animosity between them myself or hopefully anyone of this community. I just want to share my thought on this.
They both said their piece and made their points. For myself this was the first time I had thought of the possible ramifications of what 'whales' or those who spend extraordinary sums on the game might feel. Certainly there is a level of personal choice here, but it inherently preys on those who are susceptible to (well not manipulation) but influence. I'm still trying to figure out how I feel about it all.
So this is where I begin my own process of reflection and research. Firstly I created a Nintendo account for a child and was rejected, saying I needed adult supervision as the age i listed (7 years old) was too young to be eligible to create an account. So I used my actual linked Nintendo account created for FE Heroes to permit my 'child' to make their own account. The process is quick and simple and for the first child account requires an initial expense of 50 cents. Nothing for an adult or dude with a job, but impossible for a kid (at least one without their parent's card). So I delete the app, redownload it onto my phone and am about to set up the new account in a brand new game when I was presented with a grayed out icon of the account. The child account was unable to link their account to fire emblem heroes and so I just re-linked my own.
Why is this relevant? Well i wanted to see how easy it is for impressionable youths to waste money on FE Heroes and it turns out strictly speaking, they cant. Children accounts don't look to be able to even link to the game. The reason I wanted to experiment with this was to examine how Nintendo deters kids from gambling their parent's money away. I'm relieved to say its difficult for kids to waste money, but the account that could link to heroes was my own, meaning a parent could still give access to heroes to their child via the parental account. The child could then theoretically use a card to purchase orbs without the consent of their parent with no interruption by Nintendo. I've purchased orbs previously to see what it was like and I imagine a kid with my card or theoretically a kid with their parent's card could just as easily waste money.
Do i think it likely that a 7 year old would abuse the trust of their parents and work out how to set up an account or else 'borrow' their parent's card for the purchase of orbs? Not really, but the potential is there.
So what ought be done? I don't think there is necessarily any moral imperative for a outright boycott. However, as difficult as it is, I think there should be a precaution in place to make sure only the card holder can purchase more orbs. This sounds like a fools errand, any policy by Nintendo could implement would be a hassle to anyone who wanted to purchase orbs and was a rational adult. Perhaps children accounts should be made to be able to link to heroes for tougher parental controls. This likely isn't a very frequent issue. I doubt many 7 year olds are playing a pseudo chess game so maybe no action is really required, or even the inability to link children accounts is in of itself a deterrent to prevent kids from playing the game in the first place.
Perhaps more contentiously there is the question of Whales, the players purchasing all the orbs, should there be a check on what a rational adult chooses. One man with complete agency spent 1000$ on Heroes http://www.usgamer.net/articles/fire-emblem-heroes-player-spends-1000-never-gets-hector-or-leo
I certainly cant tell others what to do and i enjoy the game immensely, but upon reflection, updates are only available due to continued support and spending by whales, those of us who don't really purchase orbs are still set to benefit.
In the end I don't have a solution, but this is the community that solved awakening on lunatic+ so I know you guys are fairly clever and maybe you can see something I don't. I don't mean to critique anyone's view on the matter, I personally think something but I'm not sure what, can be done to restrict children spending (if indeed that is even an issue) and also to perhaps discuss whether the whales indeed are rational or are else being influenced to make decisions they otherwise would not more so can there really even be any regulation or effective policy to conserve peoples wallets if they claim to get benefits from spending on orbs and see it as equal in worth to what they spent. Certainly the alcoholic example is of note here, the similar self destructive tendencies can be hazardous to the wallets of the susceptible but really I'm at a loss of what can be done without infringing upon the agency of others.