South Park s18e06 Episode Script

Freemium Isn't Free

Oh, hey, Kyle.
Kyle, hang on a sec.
Hey, Jimmy.
What's up? Not much.
I just wanted to make sure you've heard the f-f-fantastic news.
There's a new Terrance and Phillip mobile game, and it's so - amazing and incredibly fun.
- Oh, really? Yeah.
And the most unbelievable part.
It's totally free! You should download it to your phone right now.
I mean, come on.
- If it's free, why wouldn't you? - Cool.
Thanks, Jimmy.
Well, I'll check it out.
You betcha, pal.
The " Terrance & Phillip" mobile game.
In this game, you are Terrance and Phillip.
Can you collect all the Canadian coins? That's one coin.
Can you collect more? You've collected Hey, you're really good at this, guy.
- What? - Congratulations, Kyle.
With Canada coins, you can buy stuff and help Terrance and Phillip rebuild Canada.
Run around and collect more coins, or better yet, buy them in bulk.
How man Canadian coins would you like to buy? - This is stupid.
- Well, it's just $.
49 for the cheapest one.
You bought 200 Canadian coins for $.
49! You're amazing! Now use that canadough to help rebuild Canada.
Click to build a hospital here.
Yay! It's still stupid, and now I paid $.
49 for it.
What are you two boners doing? We're playing the "Terrance & Phillip" freemium game.
I played that thing.
It's dumb.
I ended paying like five bucks.
Who makes this crap? Oh, it's tewiffic! That's $200,000 more American in just one day.
Where is the roof on this thing? What's the big idea making a mobile game without our - approval? - Oh, Terrance and Phillip.
How are Canada's two favorite buddies? What gives you the right to make a stupid "Terrance & Phillip" mobile game? Who do you think you are? Oh, I'm only the prince of Canada.
And this happens to be the minister of mobile gaming.
We thought you would be pleased with the quality of the - mobile game.
- It's the dumbest game ever.
All you do is collect and spend Canadough.
Eh, we know the game's not great.
But who cares? It's free! But it's not free.
If you charge $.
40 here and $.
50 there, then it's not free.
They see through the charade.
You think so? I think they see through the charade, yes.
I'm pretty sure they can hear us, too.
All right.
You've seen through the charade, so you might as well know everything.
Charade up! Allow me to explain the science behind micro-pay freemium gaming.
For years, the concept behind gaming was simple you pay for the game, and you enjoy.
With mobile apps, we now have the ability to make games that are boring and stupid, but if you pay for incentives, you're - rewarded.
- Freemium the "mium" is - Latin for "Not really.
" - It's a simple cycle, and never-ending loop based on rpgs.
Explore, collect, spend, improve.
But where are those just use the concept of X.
or experience points, we've introduced the idea of micro-paying with money.
Money, money, money, money, It's what everyone is doing.
Freemium games are what's now, and it's all just a lot of harmless fun.
You're in big trouble, Stanley.
Can you explain to us how you managed to spend $489 on a mobile app? - I'm sorry.
I didn't realize I spent that much.
- You didn't realize? What are "Canadian coins"? You buy Canadian coins so you have canadough.
Stan, just because I make a good living with my music doesn't mean you can blow it all - on canadough.
- I'll pay you back for it, okay? - How? - I don't know.
I'll figure it out.
- Jesus Christ.
- Can you believe him? He knew how much he was spending.
He knew he'd get in trouble.
But it didn't matter.
I hate to say it, but this is a lot like his grandpa.
What do you mean? Dad's always has a gambling problem.
He's got total addiction tendencies.
Could he have somehow passed those demons down to Stan? Well, and you certainly have some of those problems, too, with drinking.
I had a problem, but I was able to stop.
Now I only drink gluten-free beer and wine.
But with Stan, I think there's some darkness inside him that doesn't allow him to stop.
And so, in conclusion, the successful freemium game is based on five principles Entice the player with a simple game loop, use lots of flashing "Cha-chings" and compliments to make the player feel good about themselves, train the players to spend your fake currency, offer the players way to spend real currency for your fake currency So they'll forget their spending money.
And make the game about waiting, but let the player pay not to wait.
It's a sure-fire way to make - lots of money.
- We understand micro-paying, but can't the game hidden inside the charade just at least be fun? No, no! It has to be just barely fun.
If the game was too fun, then there would be no reason to micro-pay in order to make it - more fun.
- What's this? Your checks, of course, for $10 million American, each.
So this is everyone is doing this? - Everyone is doing it.
- It's just the way things are going.
It's the way things are going! Well, I guess if everyone's just paying $.
Oh, hey, guys.
You missed school today? Yeah, I just wasn't feeling the best.
Did you play the "Terrance & Phillip" freemium game all day? Well, yeah.
I was sick in bed.
- What else was I gonna do? - How much money did you - micro-pay today, Stan? - Nothing.
Dude, I bought like $10 worth of canadough.
But check it out.
I unlocked a stadium in Toronto.
You spent $10 and eight hours to unlock a stadium? You guys, is it that much dumber than video games you play? Yes.
It's just, like, something to kill some time.
- Like Jimmy said, it's a cool way to zone out.
- Wait, wait, wait.
- Jimmy told you about this game? - Jimmy told me about this game.
Kenny, who told you about this game? - Dude, what - The Fmph? Hey, kid.
Come over here.
Yeah, come on over.
Check this out.
- You looking to have some fun? - What do you mean? The "Terrance & Phillip" mobile game.
- All the cool kids are using it.
- Aw, I don't know.
Come on.
Just try it out.
You can be Terrance, or Phillip, or both.
You can walk around and collect Canada cash to build new stuff.
It's the perfect thing if you're bored.
And honestly, the best part about it is it's free.
I mean, come on.
Why wouldn't you download it and just try it out? Hey, uh, Jimmy, can we talk? Well, sure, fellas.
Anyway, be sure to check it out, kid.
Dude, what are you doing? Just hanging out.
What are you up to? You need to stop recommending that app to people.
- Mrph.
- Everyone we know says they heard about it from you.
I just think it's a fabulous app.
That's all.
- It's not a fabulous app.
- It's stupid.
Let me ask you something, Jimmy.
What happens on level two after you get the Ontario nugget? All right, all right.
I never played it.
I stay away from the stuff.
You just push it on other people? - They pay me to! - Who? Jimmy! Who pays you?! You've both done an amazing job.
New hospitals, new neighborhoods, all funded by one - freemium game.
- Uh, listen.
Uh, we've been talking it over, and we really aren't comfortable - with this freemium thing.
- Oh, what is the matter? It seems dishonest, and we have a brand to protect.
But just look at all the things we're getting to build.
Soon, Canada will be as advanced and developed as Michigan.
We're just worried that some people will abuse the game and start spending more money than they can afford.
Oh, no! Well, we certainly wouldn't want that.
Oh, I have an idea.
How about we take some of the billions of dollars we are making and we start a campaign to teach everyone to play the game in moderation? Oh! Do you really think that would help? Of course! The alcohol industry does it all the time.
Hot girls.
You're hot.
Drink more.
Expensive cars.
You in a tuxedo.
Drink, drink, drink! You! Drink! Vegas! Fun! Pussy! You in a tuxedo this girl.
Vodka! Drink, drink, drink! Drink it all, you pussy! More tuxedo! More cars! More pussy! More vodka! Drink, drink, drink! Please drink responsibly.
Come on.
This way, Stan.
I want you to see this.
There you go.
That's your grandpa.
He sits at that slot machine and mindlessly drains money away a little bit at a time.
Sound familiar? All the little sounds and lights are calculated to keep him sitting at that stupid machine.
Come on, dad.
We're going home.
Ah, go away.
Do you know what you've done to your grandson? You've infected him with your bullshit! What are you talking about? I just don't understand what I wrong with you two.
What is the joy that this stuff possibly brings you? - It's just - It's fun.
- Yeah, it's fun.
- It's not fun! You two have demons you're trying to compensate for.
Well, what about you? You're having a glass of wine.
I'm not having a glass of wine.
I'm having six.
It's called a tasting, and it's classy.
Dad, I'm not addicted.
I can stop.
I just like playing it, but I don't have to.
I'll prove it.
Yeah, and if he stops, I'll stop.
All right.
And if you two stop, then we won't have a problem anymore.
Earthy, bold, hint of cherry after-tones.
Is it my responsibility what people decide to do with their f-f-free time? I was just the middleman.
People were going to learn about the game somewhere if not from me.
I'm not the one who made it.
You accepted money from the Canadian government to push a freemium game on us.
Why would they do that? How do you get people addicted to crack? You give it away for free.
You give away a little taste, and then and then some people can't stop themselves.
And now Stan is so consumed by the shit by you've been pushing that he can't even see through it! How could you sell out your friends?! I need the money, all right! I downloaded "Yum yum sparkly gem Forest" because it was free.
I loved the sparkling little gems, the sounds they made when I got new ones.
Then I made my first in-app purchase.
Before I knew it, I had spent my allowance, then my birthday money.
I lost my crutches! - You have your crutches.
- It's a figure of speech with crippled people.
We'd say we lost and arm and a - leg, but they ain't worth much.
- That makes sense.
You're saying these games do this on purpose? Why do you think freemium games send you those text notifications when you haven't played in a while? It's called a trigger A quick image to trigger the addict's brain.
They know exactly what they're doing.
Hey, buddy! Come on, guy! Come back, fwiend.
You've got new buddies, guy.
We've just given you 5,000 Canadian coins.
Enjoy your canadough.
- Free? - What is wrong with you, Stan? You said you stopped buying canadough.
I didn't think I spent that much.
I-I clicked on a few micropays and it just kind of added up.
$26,000? Do you know how many songs I have to write to make back that much money? - One.
- Oh, it's just nothing to you, isn't it? - No.
No, it's not.
- You need to realize that you have something in your brain that you somehow inherited from your grandpa that makes you act this way, okay? I don't know how you can say that when you're standing here - chugging beer.
- I am not chugging beer.
I'm sampling a flight of gluten-free German lagers with a French wine pairing.
It's called a schmorgeswein and it's elegantly cultural.
Okay, I need help.
There is something different about me, you guys.
I know the game is stupid, and it actually isn't even fun anymore.
- I don't understand.
- Fellas, could I have a minute - with Stan, please? - Sure.
- Come on, guys.
- This is my fault, Stan.
I should have never told you the game was f-f-f-fa-fantastic.
It's not your fault.
It's something to do with my family.
It's like a curse.
I know this stuff is hard to understand.
Trust me, I know.
I'm an addict, too.
- But I got help.
- How? What all the addiction programs say is true you've got to reach out to a higher power, Stan.
You've got to get down on your knees and you've got to say, "I have a problem.
" And you've got to ask that higher power for help.
We have to find a way to get the word out.
People need to know pushers are being hired to take advantage of people with addiction problems.
There has to be a way we can get to the news company and sneak in and somehow borrow their TV signal.
If we could disguise ourselves as something ridiculous, then maybe Okay, it's done.
- What's done? - The word is out.
"Terrance and Phillip hire pushers to make money off addicts.
" I tweeted it.
It's trending.
You son of a bitch! You paid pushers to get addicts hooked on our freemium game? - You what? - Now, hold on, Terrance and Phillip.
There's nothing wrong with - promoting a mobile game.
- But there's something very wrong with knowingly making it appeal to human weaknesses! You didn't build a mobile game, you built an addiction - machine! - Minister of mobile gaming, - what's this all aboot? - All right, all right.
You've seen through the charade again.
Let me explain how freemium games really work.
The truth is, a very small percentage of people who download freemium games ever pay anything for them.
It's all aboot finding the heaviest users and extracting the most amount of cash from them.
That's how you get addicts to pay 200 bucks for a game that's not even worth 40 cents.
But then all our profits come from people with problems.
Don't think aboot that.
Think about all the money.
Here, have a bump of coke.
Okay, but we still won't stand for this.
I don't know if you're listening, but I guess I have something inside me that I can't control.
It's something kind of dark.
Please, help show me the way.
You have summoned the prince of temptation for what purpose? Oh shit.
Uh I have addiction demons and - I don't understand them.
- Then allow me to explain the darkness of the human soul.
So, you've got dopamine, right? That's the chemical that gets released in your brain whenever you do something pleasurable like eating, sex.
And that's just nature, right, like, rabbits and fish and shit, they need dopamine so that they want to consume to reproduce.
- Okay.
- But because humans have progressed and now have access to all the shit they want whenever they want it, it's easy for them to overdo and have dopamine problems.
You know, it's not rocket science, this stuff.
- So there's nothing spiritually wrong with me? - no.
It's like okay, it's like being diabetic.
You know, it's like you can eat wrong and eat wrong, and chemicals get released from your liver in a weird way.
You know, you've been eating gluten and shit.
And then eventually you've got a chemical imbalance from your liver.
And something clicked and now you're diabetic forever, right? So, like, if you keep doing something too much, eventually there's, um, a dopamine up, right, and you're kind of screwed up for life.
So what does that mean? I can get addicted to everything so I can't enjoy anything? Yeah, that's pretty much what in means.
The addict people said something about me filling a hole.
Well who's not filling a hole, right? You know? I mean, what kind of bullshit is that? So, let's talk about genetics now.
You still have time? - Yeah, no, this is great.
- Okay, let me get some visual aids.
Give me just a sec.
Here is a fact alcoholics.
Using slot machine tactics, freemiums games are able to make millions off of an even smaller - percentage of mobile gamers.
- Oh, God, he just doesn't stop.
Who is this guy? We're building a new Canada with micropayments from addicts.
Who cares? You think the alcohol industry cares? They don't care that 10% are gonna get addicted.
They're counting on it! It's the same with us.
But we've got our eyes on every addict's screen.
Every button they click, we get feedback on how to shove this shit right down their throats.
Why does he suddenly sound like Al Pacino in "Devil's advocate"?! Oh, I'm much worse than the devil.
I'm the Canadian devil! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Oh, dear God! It's the Canadian devil! - Beelzaboot! - You discovered my plan, but too late! Now the souls of all Canadians belong to me! - Oh, no! - Oh, what have I done?! Hee hee hee! Ha ha ha! So, basically, the genes you got from your dad make you more likely to have trouble with, um, dopamine regulation, and that's why you need to kind of watch out for addictive stuff.
Okay, so, you kind of understand now, champ? I guess so.
But why do companies have to put so many addictive things out there? You know, they all do it, and it's kind of my deal.
I've got to put temptation out there, too, so people have free will and all that shit.
But, you know, everyone has their justification and thinks what they're doing is okay.
Hey, buddy, where'd you go? - Don't you want more canadough? - What's this? That's what I've been addicted to.
It's a freemium game sending me push notifications.
What, you just collect coins? How much money can you buy today? No, see, if something's addictive because it's fun, that's one thing.
But this is just blatant Skinner box manipulation.
- Wait a minute, who put this out? - Uh, Canada.
Oh, that son of a bitch.
He's always doing this shit.
I tell him temptation has to be nuanced, but he goes and does this crap again.
I'm gonna need to borrow your soul real quick, kid.
Is that all right? Okay.
Aaaaaaaaaaah! Oh, pass interference! Interference! Stan? Where are you going? I shall return.
- Do not attempt to stop me.
- Told ya.
Kid's got demons.
I don't do that.
Horror and sadness all over Canada tonight.
When the prince signed the agreement to make a freemium game, he apparently made a deal with the Canadian devil.
Hey, guy! I'm the Canadian devil! Canadian devil now has complete control of the souls of every Canadian.
This is a sad day for Canada and, therefore, the world.
Beelzaboot! Once again, you lack any sense of nuance.
- Who the is that? - Well, well.
My over-achieving doppelganger.
You're no match for Canadian Satan! Return from whence you came! Certainly a shocking turn of events here as the actual devil has now appeared and seems to be fighting the Canadian devil.
This is certainly a conundrum for Canadians everywhere as we try to figure out who to root for.
For that, let's ask the minister of sports in Edmonton.
Well, of course, the patriotic thing to do would be to root for the Canadian devil.
But then again, he is the one who has promised us pain and servitude for a million years.
Screw that! Go Canada! Enough, Beelzaboot.
Thy end has come! - Hey, dude.
- Hey.
You all right? Yeah.
Yeah, I think I'm gonna be okay.
My fellow Canadians, what we do now as a country will hopefully be a model for others.
We have all learned a tragic lesson together that, though many sins are out there, when you get involved with freemium gaming, you are making a deal with the Canadian devil.
We will no longer make freemium games, and we will no longer make improvements to our country with money taken from addicts.
Canada is back to being an ethical, respected, shitty tundra.
I'm gonna move here and here, and then I'm gonna roll to kill this zombie.
- Okay, good idea.
- What are you gaywods doing? We're playing board games so that grandpa avoids the casino - and I avoid freemium apps.
- Well, all right.
Good for you guys.
Tell you what, I'll join you.
Board games go good with a glass of wine.
That's not a glass, that's a trophy.
That you won, for drinking.
It's not drinking, it's called a Wine Zinfandel Sipping Sprint and it's competitive.
Get off your high fucking horse.
Your turn grandpa, if you roll the five or six, you can kill these zombies.
You guys wanna put some money on it?
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