The Day One DLC Trap

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 NEXT
 

Oh my goodness. To Shamus Young and everyone complaining about Day One DLC: when did you become so entitled?

I agree that the whole, "Oh, content X was not ready for release on Day 1" is a whole lot of marketing bull, but the notion that Dragon Age is punishing you for not buying the game new? Come on!

Yes, the in-game advertising for DLC is obnoxious as all get out. But to insinuate that they have surgically removed a significant portion of the game outright is absurd!

Say you bought Dragon Age used. No pre-order DLC, no DLC whatsoever. You would still have a game with a complete narrative, a ridiculous number of gameplay hours, items to collect, and infinite modding potential on the PC version (the only version worth playing).

Now, I know that the drawback of the Day One DLC is that if it becomes obnoxious enough, people will just hack the game, the DLC, or both. But the notion that Bioware is somehow punishing us for not buying the game new... this is patently ridiculous.

Fact is, for fans of RPGS, the completionist streak runs deep. This has been exploited ever since the days of Pokemon on the game boy. Bethesda and Bioware have been brilliant and shameless about this.

And you know what? I say more power to them. These games are expensive to produce, and they are competing with every single bloody shooter out there. These big RPG's are expensive. They take a long time to develop. They are harder to develop, and they are sold at the same price as every other game out there. They are even easier to pirate due to them being entirely single player affairs.

Bioware, Bethesda, and all the rest need to make money, and DLC is a great way to do that. It makes piracy harder. It encourages new sales. It helps cut into Gamestops gargantuan used-games market. This is a good thing for them.

And if you don't want it? Fine! Don't get DLC! You still have a massive, well-made RPG!

Edit: Just fixed a minor grammar error.

DLC should only used for bonusses instead of activating or giving us large chunks of the game that should have been part of the game to begin with. or to download full games digitally rather than getting a copy. (Like Episodes of Liberty City. Now that is handling the DLC right. Offer it fully on both disc and download.)

But no, they have to nickle and dime us ...

Dragon Age: Origins, Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 were all full games in their own right (I finished them all before any DLC was installed) and I can safely say that I don't mind this course of action. Neither games felt like anything at all was cut from them.

A person who bought either games second hand wouldn't notice anything missing.

TheGuy(wantstobe):

I abhore day 1 DLC just as much as the next guy but you seem to be blaming the developer which does seem to care for the fanbase when you have the bloated evil mostrosity that is EA as the publisher that holds the purse strings and gets final say in what will be DLC or not. I mean it's not as if EA have tried to nickel and dime everything the possibly can for years before DLC was even thought of (see the sims expansions) is it? I think that the bioware team would have preferred to have all those things out of the box but their evil overlords are the ones who told them no.

You're neglecting one minor detail here. Bioware sold out to EA. You don't sell your soul to the devil and get an all access pass to scapegoat the devil for making you do evil things. Whether Bioware wants to do what EA says or not, they willfully sold out to them and therefore deserve no pity and no get out of hell free card.

saxybeast418:
While I agree that the whole, "Oh, content X was not ready for release on Day 1" is a whole lot of marketing bull, but the notion that Dragon Age is punishing you for not buying the game new? Come on!

Congrats on completely missing the point. The point is that they crossed the line. They broke an ethical boundary in the pursuit of money. I wish I could say that treating your customers like morons and criminals would be a quick way to the poor house but EA has done a splendid job of it. People not only buy their inferior product but they buy all the little meaningless crap they nickel and dime you for. If people weren't buying it, EA wouldn't be making a killing at it. While it's true that this is just as much the fault of the morons who buy this crap, it's not like there's a law saying you have to be complete unethical bastards that only care about the all mighty dollar.

Mromson:
Dragon Age: Origins, Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 were all full games in their own right (I finished them all before any DLC was installed) and I can safely say that I don't mind this course of action. Neither games felt like anything at all was cut from them.

A person who bought either games second hand wouldn't notice anything missing.

You really make this too easy. I was just going to post an innuendo about you being their own personal whore but I'll make a real reply instead.

So, an NPC standing where your Stash should have been and begging you to buy the DLC quest to "unlock" your Stash is absolutely not an indicator that something might be missing? You're perfectly okay with a game that has entire sections cut out and replaced with an NPC begging for real world cash? Welcome to the future that you and morons like you are making possible.

The Random One:

Yes console players: Online activation can happen to you. Whenever I bring up online activation, some people will respond, "This is why I'm glad to be a console player."

Geez, was this directed at me? Because I said that exact same thing on a post to last week's article? Because if so, I'll let you know I'm a 360 player in Brazil, and there is no Xbox Live support in Brazil, so I can't have a Live account at all (there are some shenaningans to get an American or European account, but I don't do shenaningans). Therefore, any DLC content is off limits for me, even if it's a free download with a game I were to buy new, so thanks for rubbing it in my face, jerk.

Is that the trade off for having some of the best MMA gyms and football teams in the world?

StriderShinryu:
This is a tough one. I do think that developers should be getting something from those used retailers, and if the way to do it is content that is free on a new copy of something and paid for on a used copy, then it seems on the surface a good thing. As said though, it really does depend on where the line is drawn.

I disagree. I bought my car and now own it. When I move on to a new car I will sell it with no plans to give Vauxhall any of the money I make from the sale. Likewise if the person I sell it too makes money from selling it on he/she will not be passing any of his/her profits to Vauxhall.

Why should games be different?

Helmutye:
*snip*
How hard will you work for games that consistently disappoint you? Stop being sheep!

I'll work more than hard enough to make up for the extra $5. I rarely play games that disappoint me, honestly. And while I could care less for EA, I really want to encourage publishers to keep paying people to keep putting out games like Dragon Age. That means that I will only buy some games new, and that I've got no problem with DLC - even Day 1 DLC. The Shale quest in DA:O was a perfect example of good D1DLC - it wasn't integral to the dwarven storyline, but it added more depth. I don't mind that the original game had marginally less story without it - it was a fantastic game either way.

I think it's a good compromise, and while the time:cost ratio is worse for DLC than the game itself, it's still a bargain compared to other forms of entertainment. If I didn't think it was worth it, I wouldn't buy it.

While I mostly agree, I have to point out that Stardock allows you to sell your key to other players.

I first want to point out that, since we are all on the internet, very few of us, myself included, actually know what goes on in the development of a game, or the logistics involved in the business of selling said games. With the exception of the writer of this article, I am now typing under the assumption that nobody really knows what goes on inside the industry, so if anybody who reads this actually does know, either by being in a company that makes or sells games, and you are offended by what I'm about to say, I apologize.

The D1DLC thing might 100% be down to faulty programming on the initial product. Shale for example, might not have been able to work properly in the game proper, so they took the time to fix it, then release it on D1. As someone above has stated, Bioware stopped working on the game to give the testers time to find bugs and such. However, like in EVERY game in existance, some bugs either never get found until release, or can't be fixed until later. So, they work on the code to get the game (or in this case, a character) to work, and if they manage to get it fixed, find an alternative way of distributing it to the public. The Assasins Creed DLC is completely different, (I'm hoping, haven't DL'd it yet) as it is not integral to the plot. The game is 100% complete as it is, without the little extras. While yes, it was planned from the beginning (2 memories "corrupted", way to be subtle Ubi), it's not quite as harshly looked upon as the DA:O DLC.

I was going to bring up the used game thing as well, but someone above said it best with his car analogy. For me, without used games there are some series' that I would never have gotten into. I love Silent Hill because I found a used copy of the second game. Used games are a great way of introducing someone to a series they might not have had time to play / money to pay for at the time. I've bought every Silent Hill game new since then, so Konami has made their money back in spades for that purchase. What happens when certain games get discontinued? (AKA almost everything that Atlus puts out stops being in production soon after it's release), used game retailers actually allow you to find said games when normally they'd be out of your hands.

Also, lets take Assasins Creed for example. Once you beat it (and evidently it's subsequent DLC), that's it. Game over, nothing to see here. Places like EB and Gamestop allow people to get rid of their games while paying for others. I'm in Canada, so I don't really know any of the values in the States, but up here the values of the games tend to be pretty fair for what they give. I got 40 bucks for Creed 2, that's more than half of what it cost me... before taxes anyways.

Point is, there is always two sides to the coin. Sorry for the long post, just had to get it out there, and ... well, I like seeing my words :)

When it comes to Day Zero and even Day 1 DLC, I don't mind waiting a few extra days for the thing to be included with the disc. Which is where it should have been in the first place. Someone is ripping off punters by charging full whack for what is nothing more than an INCOMPLETE product.

If the devs / publishers decide to release some DLC (as an add-on) six months down the line - then that is fair enough.

But people should take a stand against being ripped off like this and stop buying Day 0/1 DLC. But that's just my two penneth worth.

LordZ:

Mromson:
Dragon Age: Origins, Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 were all full games in their own right (I finished them all before any DLC was installed) and I can safely say that I don't mind this course of action. Neither games felt like anything at all was cut from them.

A person who bought either games second hand wouldn't notice anything missing.

You really make this too easy. I was just going to post an innuendo about you being their own personal whore but I'll make a real reply instead.

So, an NPC standing where your Stash should have been and begging you to buy the DLC quest to "unlock" your Stash is absolutely not an indicator that something might be missing? You're perfectly okay with a game that has entire sections cut out and replaced with an NPC begging for real world cash? Welcome to the future that you and morons like you are making possible.

That is one instance which I don't accept. Simple ads in the game launcher, sure. But bland in-game advertising is just annoying. That said, I never stumbled upon said NPC until the DLC was bought and installed.

But I see nothing wrong with telling the costumer "hey, we haz moar content here, clicky!" If I'm satisfied with the game I'm more than happy to pay for additional content. If I'm not satisfied... Well, there are other ways to get DLC...

Personally I'm happy with either method. I buy all of my most wanted games brand new, the only second hand games I'll get are either for my Wii or a last generation console. I just love my PS3 too much to let it taste a second hand disc.

I need to get out more.

But on the point of the article, there is that fine line between the two. But no matter how much gamers complain, most of us will do what we can to get what we want. Rewards and restricted content alike.

Full side-missions or extra content that were created long after the game is released are fine by me. That just shows that developers want you to keep playing their game. DLC that allows the viewing of nipples? A simple texture change? Essentially $3 for a different skin... What a load.

It's sad to see game developers aim for the lowest common denominator just to make people buy their games and the pointless DLC that goes with it.

I do agree with this article, DLC can be very sneaky stuff.

On a slightly OT note: Shale is a 'she'? I didn't know that!

bjj hero:

StriderShinryu:
This is a tough one. I do think that developers should be getting something from those used retailers, and if the way to do it is content that is free on a new copy of something and paid for on a used copy, then it seems on the surface a good thing. As said though, it really does depend on where the line is drawn.

I disagree. I bought my car and now own it. When I move on to a new car I will sell it with no plans to give Vauxhall any of the money I make from the sale. Likewise if the person I sell it too makes money from selling it on he/she will not be passing any of his/her profits to Vauxhall.

Why should games be different?

But you can still sell your games and reap all of the profits for yourself. If the game developer doesn't do it with too heavy a hand, the person who buys your game will still get a full experience with the option to purchase the additional "missing" content for a small fee.

This is a move by companies to create a secondary market essentially in reaction to stores like GameStop selling numerous used copies of games for only $5 or $10 cheaper than a new copy sells for. Faced with this decision in the past, a large portion of people who purchase the game would take the $5 or $10 dollar savings and the entirety of the purchase amount would go nowhere but the retailers pockets.

I actually think the Mass Effect 2 method is brilliant.

You can resell the game all you want. But getting the DLC network is $15. So someone can buy it used, and play the base game. And then spend $15 to get the DLC when they want it, making it *more* than new most likely. But if you don't care about DLC, you're gonna get a good deal.

I have 0 problem with that. I think it's a clever way of fighting piracy/used game purchases, which are minimally invasion to the market. It does disadvantage the used console game buyer, but only as long as devs aren't *complete* jerks about it. ME2 you lose a bit, and don't get new stuff. If, as Shamus mentioned, it were a large portion of the game, I'd have an issue.

And, of course, being that it's video games, it will be eventually. But I'll take this over SecuROM, 5 activations, systray cruft, etc. (Amusingly, the spellchecker doesn't know systray, but it knows cruft).

Perhaps I'm simple-minded, being a 'buy new' type, but this 'devs don't make anything off of used games' concept needs to be taken out back and shot.

Why should they?! A serial is a serial, one product = one sale. Films/TV series get bought on DVD and passed around (or viewed by others in addition to the purchaser), and while I'm sure they'd salivate at the chance to make each viewer purchase then view in a locked room by themselves, it's just a preposterous idea that will never work. Because one product = one sale.

It makes no difference to devs whether I use it or I finish/tire/bore/move on from that game and pass it along to someone else and they use it. They made their money on that sale already; change in ownership of the serial means nothing, it doesn't suddenly become a whole new serial because a different human is using it. If I don't have it to use anymore, that means I've likely gone and bought something else new.

Why don't they turn it around and look at what a used game *brings* them? Like new paying customers? I'm so tired of this victim mentality from folks churning huge profits (the publishers anyway) year after year...how many school districts could EA's profits fund - even in down years? I'm not saying they should fund school districts, merely making a vague numerical comparison.

I dunno. I've always been a paying customer, so I don't get it, this need to try to trick me into spending more to use something I've already bought (in the case of paying to unlock what's already in the code I got for that purchase). As someone above said, pubs should have a serial transfer system in place, a trade-in market of their own, to give retailers that they need and hate simultaneously some competition in the pre-owned games space.

I have to wonder if the profit differential would be better if instead of nickel and diming they'd drop game prices a bit. Sell more at 40 bucks (necessary full game) or sell less at 15 (optional DLC)?

Video game purchasing isn't easy or impulsive anymore for me, as it used to be. I buy less and less due to installation hurdles or DRM or value decreasing procedures put in place by producers. Do they not ever *purchase* these products as they expect us to do?

Gah. Sorry for ranting, but I feel quite left out of a favored pasttime anymore. I can be flip with my money, but too much critical thinking and that wad tightens up quick. Nice article, Shamus. And also the previous about how many apps you need to run one game. My answer: ONE - the damn executable! ;)

Virgil:

Shamus Young:
How deep does the developer cut into the base game? And how much do they charge for it if you've acquired the game second-hand or simply lost the account info? What parts of the game should be DLC? Perhaps some small unlockables? A side-quest or two? The final boss fight? The entire second half of the game?

In Mass Effect 2, the "free with a new game" feature is the Cerberus Network, which includes free content but also happens to be how you download any DLC. So, for example, a used copy of the game wouldn't be able to download the free Dr. Pepper helmets, and possibly paid expansions in the future (depending on how they get implemented).

On the other hand, color me apathetic. I rarely buy used games, as I know the developers get nothing for them, so this doesn't really impact me in any way other than academically.

Just wanted to let you know, there will be paid-for DLC that is bought outside of the Cerberus Network (Ex. XBL Marketplace, etc.). So even if someone is not in the network, they'll eventually be able to buy new DLC. Cerberus Network however does offer some exclusive DLC that will either never appear on other markets or is a timed exclusive.

Salonista:

Why should they?! A serial is a serial, one product = one sale. Films/TV series get bought on DVD and passed around (or viewed by others in addition to the purchaser), and while I'm sure they'd salivate at the chance to make each viewer purchase then view in a locked room by themselves, it's just a preposterous idea that will never work. Because one product = one sale.

I do understand what you're saying, but this isn't really a fair comparison. Films and TV already have a built in secondary market. Films, generally, start in theaters to make their money there basically on ticket sales and then are released on DVD to make money there as well. TV shows are first released on TV, paid for by the networks and advertising, then are released on DVD to make money there as well. Games are released on store shelves and.. that's it.

I am, however, in total agreement with you when it comes to pricing. If games were priced more realistically to begin with, the used retail market would be decimated almost by default. Have lower prices initially, or at the least lower them 2 or 3 months after release, and continue to lower them based on demand. Either that or, as you said, use some sort of DLC strategy to supplement a lower initial cost (as long as it doesn't mean when you're buying a game you're only getting half of it).

Whichever way you cut this, it's just absolute bollocks. Can you imagine the furore that would erupt if authors got together and tried to wipe out the secondhand book market? If Stephen King engineered his next novel so that a major plot twist was left out of the book; and only available if you went online and entered a code you received when you purchased it from Borders?

Games developers are a whiny lot to complain about the secondhand market. Here's a hint though; maybe if you stop making cutscene heavy, graphically intensive corridor games with about ten hours of gameplay and absolutely no replay value, which you expect to sell purely because they're a sequel in a big name franchise; and instead make some games with actual depth - then perhaps people wouldn't simply trade the game in as soon as they're finished with it.

I don't know about you guys, but I'd much rather play Dragon Age without Shale, than a Galciv2, forever stuck at bugged version 1.0.

The Stardock model isn't all that much better than the bioware/EA model.

Now if GC2 and other stardock games had all been thoroughly tested and fixed out-of-the-box, that would be something else, but right now those patches are more important than some day1 DLC character.

A good start to get more people to pay full price for your games would be to reduce the prices. Perhaps if one didn't feel the need to have the National Symphony Orchestra play your theme music, or hire Martin Sheen, Kiefer Sutherland and Mickey Rourke to voice throwaway characters in your game as a promotional stunt, you could price your game a bit lower than $60 plus DLC. It's not like there aren't perfectly good voice actors outside of the Hollywood elite.

LordZ:
So, an NPC standing where your Stash should have been and begging you to buy the DLC quest to "unlock" your Stash is absolutely not an indicator that something might be missing? You're perfectly okay with a game that has entire sections cut out and replaced with an NPC begging for real world cash? Welcome to the future that you and morons like you are making possible.

You know, I didn't notice him until I'd bothered to get Shale over halfway through the game.

Personally, I don't care about DLC. If I get it free, fine, I'll have it, if I have to pay for it then unless I want it, not bothered about it. DLC is kind of like an expansion pack... only more shit.

Just to reboot the conversation, I really divide games into two categories right now in my mind, and both are doing quite well, thank-you.

The first is game's that I'll pay full freight for. These are games I'm not going to ever let go, either. Games like Fallout 3 and Mass Effect 1 and 2... and Dragon's Age. Games that I generally preorder and possibly even shell out for the deluxe pack to get extra stuff (different conversation). These games I know I'm going to enjoy and treasure. Games I know I'm going to spend 100+ hours with. So worrying that I can't resell the game isn't an issue at all to me.

Then there's games that I'm not sure I'll enjoy. I'm less confident in their publishers or I'm less confident that I'll like their gameplay. Over the last year or two, Steam and belatedly the other download services have been good sources of these. Bioshock (which I picked up for $5) was a surprise gem... as was Evil Genius (Again $5, I think).

If I were to use the used game market, it would be to experiment with games I would not buy at full price. But the sales online give me a way around that that the publishers sanction.

Maybe the real odd man out are the game stores. Maybe they don't have a place. It seems that retail can't understand the type of sales the industry would run and that the buyers would buy. It's not used games that we want, it's cheaper games. I'm OK with not reselling my game if it cost me $5. Steam sells most games in one-day sales for $5-ish or $10-ish less than 1 year from launch. Reference Bioshock, Assassin's Creed, etc.

i'll use CAPS to mark my opinion: I HATE DLC! THAT'S TAKING PEOPLE FOR FOOLS BY SELLING THEM PARTS OF THE GAME!

300lb. Samoan:
Reminds me of the XBox 360 TF2 debacle - Valve has always released updates to the PC version that refine the gameplay and add extra items for the player base's enjoyment, but Microsoft refuses to allow distribution of these updates without charging x-amount of MS Points for them. So console players have a worse position: either accept DLC as the way things work, or be stuck with the Day One version of the game (which in TF2's case is very bad news.)

I remember seeing TF2 for the first time on the PC, the updates were astounding and I could barely touch TF2 on my console without thinking about all those *free* updates that Microsoft refuses me...

Is this a reason why the console TF2 servers seem to be dead?

LordZ:

saxybeast418:
While I agree that the whole, "Oh, content X was not ready for release on Day 1" is a whole lot of marketing bull, but the notion that Dragon Age is punishing you for not buying the game new? Come on!

Congrats on completely missing the point. The point is that they crossed the line. They broke an ethical boundary in the pursuit of money. I wish I could say that treating your customers like morons and criminals would be a quick way to the poor house but EA has done a splendid job of it. People not only buy their inferior product but they buy all the little meaningless crap they nickel and dime you for. If people weren't buying it, EA wouldn't be making a killing at it. While it's true that this is just as much the fault of the morons who buy this crap, it's not like there's a law saying you have to be complete unethical bastards that only care about the all mighty dollar.

Mromson:
Dragon Age: Origins, Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 were all full games in their own right (I finished them all before any DLC was installed) and I can safely say that I don't mind this course of action. Neither games felt like anything at all was cut from them.

A person who bought either games second hand wouldn't notice anything missing.

You really make this too easy. I was just going to post an innuendo about you being their own personal whore but I'll make a real reply instead.

So, an NPC standing where your Stash should have been and begging you to buy the DLC quest to "unlock" your Stash is absolutely not an indicator that something might be missing? You're perfectly okay with a game that has entire sections cut out and replaced with an NPC begging for real world cash? Welcome to the future that you and morons like you are making possible.

Geez, you really hate EA don't you?

I would say that in terms of the recent Bioware releases, the quality is top notch. If you feel that they are inferior, DON'T BUY THEIR GAMES!

In Dragon Age, yes, there is in game advertising for Bioware/EA to hawk their wares and remind you that there is more stuff that you could have in the game. Yes, this is annoying. But your ranting about ethical boundaries becomes silly and melodramatic when you are crying over a bloody in-game Stash!

Fact: EA and Bioware need to make money. They will make money any way they can. I'm not sure how that is unethical or crossing a line. It's the cost of doing business.

In any case, the in-game advertising in Dragon Age did not go over very well. In Mass Effect 2, however, it is much subtler.

Also, your rant about people buying meaningless crap... if it is meaningless, then don't buy it. You can buy it used, get a complete game, and not spend a cent on "meaningless crap."

Resist your completionest urges, and enjoy the massive games they made!

I do know that if this trend continues, the whole DLC market is about to become very, very muddy.

Well Shamus, the thing is, like controversy in the news, (especially political) it's going to explode . . . my guess is sooner rather then later . . . and the gamers will be the ones taking the heat for it too.

I just can't wait to see the way the gaming world reacts to games that you can't play through without buying them new or paying $$$ above price to DOWNLOAD the rest of the game itself . . .

I'm quite confused here - am I supposed to begrudge a developer for offering trivial things, such as a character that is ultimately less useful AND less interesting as a free download item or adds nudity to a game that doesn't have a lot of merit regardless to me for free in an attempt to get something out of a used game sale versus the nothing they get today? Am I really supposed to stand about and lament the "what if I can't play this game in five years when the company goes out of business" line when I can't even get an Xbox to continue functioning for an entire year?

The entire argument being made here stinks of the classic "slippery slope", which, as a rherotical device, is just a hair above a fallacy. What if a company goes out of business? Why not ask what happens if the internet breaks, my apartment burns down or zombies rise and consume the flesh of the living? In any such case, I'm quite certain my capacity to enjoy DLC will somehow be altered and all of them rely on some future, unknown calamaty befalling somebody. What's more, the argument being made on behalf of consumer rights, ultimately ignores both the developer and the publisher by tactifully discarding any arguments regarding piracy and used game sales.

Yes, there is at least a measure of merit to be had in such a type of argument - it serves to remind an audience that they should be mindful of actual transgressions of their rights, yet such things ultimately have not yet come to pass. The simple reality is, thus far the things that have been offered as day one DLC have been little more than trinkets and curiosities. In Dragon Age, I was offered a Character, Shale, that was ultimately utterly unnecessary, shallow and, as luck would have it, less useful in any circumstance than other characters present in the game. The armor I recieved proved less useful than any of a number of other sets already present in the game. The nudity patch that came with my copy of The Sabateur provided no sexual titilation, no increase in immersion and did nothing to prop up the game in a way that I could quantify. The article even acknowledges this, and as such I cannot find the entire thing distasteful.

Yes, consumers ought to have a measure of rights when it comes to such dealings but to assume that it is only the consumer that should benefit is both narrow minded and short sighted. To ignore questions of piracy and used game sales in such a debate means one is willing to ignore the very reasons why we see such activities. When you consider that Dragon Age is produced by Bioware and published by EA (Bioware's parent company for those who were unaware) and look at stories that point out that in spite of only achieving 1.5 million sales, Dead Space managed to rack up more than 3 million unique player ID's across Xbox and PS3 and you start to realize why a company might be perfectly willing to treat players with a degree of suspicion. People have long complained about DRM, often with perfectly sound reasoning behind it and yet when a company tries something that amounts to an incentive to purchase a game new gamers still pull out the pitchforks and torches. Under current models, neither the developer nor the publisher earn a single cent from a used game sale making the entire market little more than a legitimate method of piracy from a business standpoint. Since gamers, as a community, will clearly not stand for any transgressions on their right to engage in the practice, can I really begrudge a company for trying to make the market a money making propisition?

To be honest, the answer is no. Making games is big business, and in case anyone has missed the news over the last year or so, developers can easily go out of business and even giants like EA are not immune to poor sales.

I don;t mind DLC as long as a game in finished and polsihed...the trouble is no one dose this these days Dragon age is half of a other wise good game,bioshock is unfinished and very very very VERY unpolished same for FO3...... these idiots(I have little respect for game devs and pubs these days) make half a game then sell sparatic bits'n'bobs and odds'n'sods and don't finished the Gdamn game....... god its so frustrating.....

why not give the game away and charge 5$ a month to play it online(dose not really work otherwise)...I swear things are so bad that might make a game worthwhile after a year worth of finish work put on it.....

ZippyDSMlee:
I don;t mind DLC as long as a game in finished and polsihed...the trouble is no one dose this these days Dragon age is half of a other wise good game,bioshock is unfinished and very very very VERY unpolished same for FO3...... these idiots(I have little respect for game devs and pubs these days) make half a game then sell sparatic bits'n'bobs and odds'n'sods and don't finished the Gdamn game....... god its so frustrating.....

why not give the game away and charge 5$ a month to play it online(dose not really work otherwise)...I swear things are so bad that might make a game worthwhile after a year worth of finish work put on it.....

Fallout 3 and Dragon Age: Origins, if one excludes the DLC entirely, provide more than 30 hours of gameplay each for the average player. The storylines are both coherent AND intact without the additional content. As far as polish, I can only assume you are speaking of teh various bugs that tend to exist in epic RPGs and while I'm certain some people experience more of them than others I have not encountered a bug in either game that significantly detracted from the experience in either game.

As such, I am left wondering what is this criticism based on? The closing bit actually confuses me more than the rest seeing as I played Fallout 3 without an internet connection from beginning to end and only leveraged the online bits of Dragon Age on a second play through.

LordZ:
The people who try to defend day one DLC, especially on a game like DA:O, make me laugh really hard and then I want to punch them in the face for being so stupid.

Since it's the popular game to address about day one DLC, I'll go on about DA:O. The developers claim that Shale and the Storage box quest weren't ready for release when all the other stuff was. I call bullshit on this. I admit that I can't be 100% about Shale not being ready (though, I am extremely suspect about it). There's no excuse for having to remove the storage box from being next to the camp fire(which I'm reasonably sure is where it originally was) and then put it in some quest as DLC. If you've got major concerns that a storage box wont be ready in time for release, you've either got no talent hacks working on your game or you're delusional. Though, maybe, just maybe, they flat out lied about it not being ready and just yanked it out in a lame ass money grab. Oh no, Bioware would never do something like that to their fans! I should be crucified for such blasphemy, I'm sure. It's not like we're talking about a company that sold its soul to EA and promptly screwed over their fanbase with the weaksauce that was Mass Effect. For those who fail to see the sarcasm dripping from those last few sentences, you are the fools I'm making fun of.

DA:O would have probably restored my faith in Bioware, if they hadn't decided to screw over their fans with the day one DLC.

I honestly don't really want to comment on a post that starts with the best example of ad-hom fallacy in the thread thus far but here we are.

If you purchase the game new AND have access to an internet connection, you get the character Shale for free. Let's take a quick inventory of what you get for your trouble:

A character that is a worse tank than Alistair or Loghain, a far worse damage dealer than Morrigan, Zeveran or Leliana, and a ranged figher who's only bit of fame is an AOE attack guarnteed to hit your party's tanks time and again unless you micromanage every shot. You gain a quest that takes, at best, an hour to complete. You gain a character who runs out of things to say after a few hours in the party, and a personal quest that is fulfilled simply by having her along for the ride at a particular point.

Now, I'm quite certain that some people would argue that "It should have been on the disc" and I'm willing to grant a degree of merit to this argument, unless of course we take Bioware's explation at face value as being the gospel truth (That is, that the character wasn't finished on time and as such could not be included on the disc. A reasonable excuse really considering the fact that games go gold months before retail release to give time for disc pressing, box manufacturing and all the other logistic concerns). Of course, other people, myself included, suspect that the greater reason is that it gently enourages one to purchase the game new, which in and of itself is a perfectly reasonable strategy. After all, Bioware and EA won't make a dime off of a used sale unless the player chooses to purchase DLC. The core of the argument this time does not revolve around the merit of forcing a player to purchase something cut from the game - the content is being delivered for free. Instead, it revolves around a potential future calamity that removes the player's ability to access the content in the future.

As I have said previously, such an argument holds very little weight simply because one is using the future, generally considered a variable in any argument, as the cornerstone. What's more, with respect to the content available on the disc, the proposed portion that may be lost is laughably small. You still have a full nine other party members and enough content to to consume more than 30 hours of your life. The loss of the day one DLC content is indeed a quantifiable subtraction, but the part that remains was worth each and every one of my 60 earth bucks used to purchase it.

Of course, I would be remiss if I neglected to comment on the money grab bit. Yes, in many cases this sort of thing is a shameless grab for money. But for some people, an attempt by a developer to make money so that they might continue making games is not an action that one should be ashamed of.

In the current state of affairs, I am perfectly satisfied with the day one DLC model. If, at some point, I see an example of day one DLC that represents a substantial portion of the game, THEN I will complain. Until that day arrives, I will judge my games and their worth by the price I paid versus the entertainment they delivered. By this standard, Dragon Age was the best game I played in 2009, in spite of the fact that I did not actually utalize ANY of the DLC on my first play through, free or otherwise.

As a low-to-middle income earner in Australia, my gaming mainly subsides from game-trading. I'll typically rack up a heap of games over a long period of time, play the guts out of them, then trade them when something i really want comes out.

Games, specifically console games, are getting more and more pricey as time passes. My copy of Tekken 6 was over one hundred dollars when it first came out, and as a person with a mortgage, i cant afford to buy something of that price as soon as it comes out. I am forced to wait, something months on end, checking for sales and discounts, saving my money a little at a time. I usually end up buying a trade-in in the end anyways - the nigh-indestructible-ness of PS3 discs help with quality, unlike ten years ago when a small scratch would take out an entire Final Fantasy multi-disc game from Disc One.

But if i cannot enjoy the full spectrum of the game because of DLC, then why bother? Why bother buying a game thats half finished? Because that is what this is - the developers are trying to squeeze a few more dollars from my stretched budget in order to give me something that i may - or may not - want.

Its like buying a car. You get the wheels, steering wheel, engine, frame, etc etc. Then the salesperson will ask - would you like air conditioning? Power windows? Perhaps a stereo system thrown in as well?

These things don't make my car work any better. It will still get me from A to B. However, if i want to get from A to B in comfort, I'll want air conditioning (especially in my climate). If i want to do it in style, i want a good stereo system.

The comparison is obvious - if i buy a game, and extra content is released, in order to enjoy the full experience i will want that extra content. And i don't want to pay out the nose for it - especially if i dont know what i'm buying. Like this Shale business (i dont own Dragon Force, or whatever its called) - who knew what it would be like to have that content? Would it make the game a must-play, 'you-really-should-get-this' thing - or something that lasts for only one quest or, worst of all, actually makes you regret your purchase?

If developers released this stuff for free, then nobody would care about it. It would be like the developers giving you a present as a way of saying 'thank-you' (the Joker content for Arkham Asylum springs to mind). I personally didn't like the sneaking sections of the Joker DLC - however i loved the fighting sections. If I'd had to pay ten dollars for it, however, i would have felt ripped off, because there are more sneaking sections then fighting sections.

So the question is begged - are developers really that desperate for cash, or are they just trying to flog a few more dollars out of us, fully in the knowledge that we want that extra bite of fun?

Eclectic Dreck:

ZippyDSMlee:
I don;t mind DLC as long as a game in finished and polsihed...the trouble is no one dose this these days Dragon age is half of a other wise good game,bioshock is unfinished and very very very VERY unpolished same for FO3...... these idiots(I have little respect for game devs and pubs these days) make half a game then sell sparatic bits'n'bobs and odds'n'sods and don't finished the Gdamn game....... god its so frustrating.....

why not give the game away and charge 5$ a month to play it online(dose not really work otherwise)...I swear things are so bad that might make a game worthwhile after a year worth of finish work put on it.....

Fallout 3 and Dragon Age: Origins, if one excludes the DLC entirely, provide more than 30 hours of gameplay each for the average player. The storylines are both coherent AND intact without the additional content. As far as polish, I can only assume you are speaking of teh various bugs that tend to exist in epic RPGs and while I'm certain some people experience more of them than others I have not encountered a bug in either game that significantly detracted from the experience in either game.

As such, I am left wondering what is this criticism based on? The closing bit actually confuses me more than the rest seeing as I played Fallout 3 without an internet connection from beginning to end and only leveraged the online bits of Dragon Age on a second play through.

As for polish I mean mechanics jsut having them barely work or kinda work dose not make it any more than mediocre and unfinished ...

For DA I mean the 2ndary classes are under utilized and most of which are very incomplete, the talent structure needs to be one level more deep and the spells over hauled not to mention enchantment over hauled to do all stats/spells/effects not just 1/3rd of them and enhancements/poison should also be applicable to bows/cross bows(poison at a half rate then full rate for 2nd or 3rd poison tier).... sure there's alot of content but the content is not very well polished(level design and game mechanics specifically) DA while its story is very honed the game is rather canned.....or boxed....

FO3 has solid enough level design but equipment is a joke if you could build customized weapons like you could build spells on morrowwind and to a much lesser degree better polishing to weapons,damages,rates and AI the game would not feel like a silly online lulz fest.

Sorry but they are as canned as bioshock's experience is only they may offer a tiny bit more content to mess around with the lack of solid design in its mechanics makes it a bore to play for more than 5-10 hours.

FYI I put more than 40 hours into FO3 did alot of exploring and found it to lack equipment more than anything else, tho the way damages and other things worked could be tweaked some.

As for DA I put about 20ish hours into it before I got bored the plot and story is ok if not good if not cliched its far from bad but that's not really the problem with it tactics needs to up refined some more it dose not really follow the commands I set up but that's a minor issue, equipment is ok but alil so so much better than most JRPgs but still limited enhancements and stuff bug the hell out of me and that with the way spells and 2ndary classes are done...meh..... like I said half a good to great game.

I am working on biowares FPS right now need to put more time into to it...but I can't see why they could not have made the mako stuff and inventory optional....I hate it when things are streamlined for the sake of streamlining or media zombies....

Anyway I like a game to be finished and fully polished things modern gaming dose not do as they focus on "pretty" and "monderization"(dumbing down) more than mechanics.... mechanics are E V E R U T H I N G to a game mediocre mechanics on a "supposedly" great game makes the game just as mediocre...but at least its popular.........and pretty.......

Again DLC dose not bother me its the fact games are rushed and mechanics are not fully fleshed out, I would be happy to buy the Gdamn patches that "finish" the game or buy a "directors cut" of the game with all the rebalanced and stuff that's done over a year or so time frame at full launch price...its something at least... but what do we get a new game in the series that's as broken..... or worse.....*sigh* its as bad as modern film.....

ZippyDSMlee:
-snip-

Thanks for the clarification, but it seems that you complaint does not lie in a lack of polish, but a disagreement with the implementation of mechanics. In one case, you are asserting something is unintentionally broken or incomplete, in the other you simply state you do not agree with the intentional choices that were made.

That said, I do agree that the mechanics of a game are, generally, more important than the rest of the pieces. I can endure a bad story and terrible art so long as the core of the game is solid. There are plenty of games that I simply cannot stand precisely because of the inherent mechanics involved, but I am generally willing to admit that the problem is one of personal preference rather than a broken design. I cannot stand the fundamental gameplay in Final Fantasy and disagree with virtually every mechanic in the game but I don't attribute this to bad design. A bad design does not attract and keep a legion of loyal fans.

While an appeal to authority is a fallacy, in this case it seems justified. Games like splinter cell, metal gear solid and final fantasy all represent implementations of ideas and mechanics that I find devoid of value yet each franchise has cultiviated a fanbase signifcant enough that the only explanation is that the mechanics are not broken but rather simply something I do not enjoy. Given the sales figures of both Fallout 3 and Dragon Age: Origins, I would be perfectly willing to make the same assumption.

Uh... Shale was a girl?

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Registered for a free account here