EA Isn't Trying to Blackmail You

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I don't really see a problem with this policy. As people have already said here, if it pisses you off, don't buy the game. This is how capitalism works. If the $10 policy affected their sales negatively, EA would stop doing it. My guess is though, EA doesn't really care if the people who rent and buy used games are pissed off. They don't get any money from you regardless of what you say. It's kind of like complaining about the flavor of New Coke when you only buy Pepsi. As far as I can tell, the people who buy new games are pretty pleased with the policy. And in business, the people who are willing to hand you their money are the only people you really need to keep happy.

Silva:

Slycne:
That comment was made in specific regards to the horse armor and street fighter packs that another poster challenged someone to say it wasn't exploitative. And after digging around for my Dragon Age box, it does indeed have a disclaimer box, not even in tiny lawyer font, exclaiming "One time use codes available with full retail purchase".

You're right to say that you were speaking about something slightly different, I'm sorry if my comment was a bit unrelated. I also thank you for the effort in searching through the pile, but even if it's not in fine print, do you really think purchasers tend to read that message? Fair enough to say that it's legally justified, but ethically? People could still be given better warning. Like, say, a mention of the DLC in the store from the guy selling it... and an explanation of what DLC means, if necessary.

This is just like the massive legal agreements people have to say they've read through before they install basically anything on Windows - it's not something that exists for the convenience of the customer. It's there to cover the backside of the people who made the product, possibly from legitimate suits.

It just comes back to this idea of the buyer having to be wary of what's being sold to them, and I think it smacks of anti-consumer philosophy.

I quite agree. I think that many of the problems with DLC and DRM as a whole could be solved with more transparency at the sale.

My chief issue with DLC is that who's to say that eventually we won't get to the point where maps and/or other content is not pushed to get onto the disc. Did I explain that accurately?

I'd just hate to see things get to the point where instead of trying to get a game out the door with 15 multiplayer maps, they say "fuck it" and push it out the door with only 5 in order to later sell the other 10. Sure, it's great if they're not overpriced and are great maps and all. But think about it. You'll get charged full price for the game for sure. Then to enjoy what everyone else is likely going to buy and play, you have to fork out more cash.

So you ultimately end up with games being sold at a higher price point when you include the DLC. Yes, I understand the argument that if it's not necessary to play, then all is well, but when the DLC becomes the mission for the developer, I have a hard time believing that the main product won't suffer for it.

You can also say "vote with your dollars". But you know a large portion of the population will still fork out the money and thus cement the process as SOP. Once that happens, your only way to "vote" will to not buy any games since the rest of the industry will likely follow suit in order to get higher profit returns.

Just my two cents.

Don't misunderstand me, folks, I'm all for good add-ons, but in many cases DLC has been a tool of consumer exploitation by companies, sometimes against their will. Epic Games wanted to release map packs for one of their games (I think it was Gears of War) and MS pitched a fit and said no, so Epic released them at a price and then after a certain period of time was permitted to give them away.

Now if you want to talk about updating, improving upon, or otherwise enhancing a gaming experience, look no further than examples such as Bioshock, which not only delivered a nice addition, they did so for free. Whereas on the opposite end of the spectrum companies like Capcom release Resident Evil 5 without certain features only to release them as premium DLC on or about day one.

I also don't buy this deadline business either. I'm pretty sure that Fable 2 was said to have been "finish and done and dusted" -(P. Molyneux) well before a patch was announced well before the game was on shelves. They release it when they're ready, and if they do not it's because they figure that unfinished content can be repackaged and sold at a premium to unquestioning people with more disposable income than common sense. Oh, and before anyone bothers questioning my insight as to how the business works I happen to be very closely related to a lead programmer for a major gaming company.

Again, I don't poo poo the idea of selling quality products to willing consumers, but the milking is way past out of hand. I don't get this "bygones be bygones" mentality when it comes to mentioning something like Horse Armor, as A) it was an action that bordered crooked, B) it readily (and very easily) exemplifies everything that's wrong with this "micro-transactions" system.

It isn't about forcing me to buy anything either, it's about wanting a complete experience with the money I put down for a game. All too often companies continue to release unfinished products, or better yet, intentionally hobbled ones just so they can squeeze you for extra money because you wanted to play Resident Evil in VS mode.

...and once again, I reiterate that I am not against DLC, just the money sucking bullcrap they attempt to pass off for DLC, whatever excuses apologists make on any company's behalf.

Long post is long *whew*

TL;DR
I ♥ actual DLC that was made as DLC.
I do not ♥ garbage that is passed off as DLC to pigeons that don't care that they're just paying extra for the rest of the game they bought.

Also, just to be clear about being OT: I think this is a pretty neat idea on EA's part, even if the company isn't exactly on my winner's list of "quality before money" game publishers. Incentives like this seem like a fairly smart way to get people to buy new more often, as long as their incentives aren't skins, or an extra track, or some other uninteresting whatnot.

Edit:

Slycne:
I quite agree. I think that many of the problems with DLC and DRM as a whole could be solved with more transparency at the sale.

Hear hear.

This is perhaps the most stupid thing EA have done since DRM on Spore. With that simple move they lost a huge number of customers and created a new wave of gamers willing to pirate games. This is exactly the same thing. People are distrustful enough of pc games (will it work on my system, is it any good, it's a lot of money, GFWL, drm) but this will alienate people. Regarding console gamers, I know piracy exists on consoles to, I just don't have as much experience with it.

JakobBloch:

Fearzone:
You can't say the downloadable content is insignificant unless you have played the game without it.

I disagree. The reason I do that is because I am stupid. /snip

Technically, you may be agreeing with me since you DID play through the game both ways, so I respect your opinion. Funny, Shale was the exact example that I had in mind. I didn't get the extra DLC either because EA was asking for personal information to set up an account (beyond the unlock code and an email address) that I wasn't in a mind to provide. Still, in the area where Shale was encountered, it felt to me like something was missing. There was a little gap there. I'm not saying it was impossible to have fun without it.

As a PC gamer, the only way this would impact me in the slightest would be for companies to saddle their DLC-redemption codes with expiration dates, as I buy all of my games new now (just not always right at release).

Assuming they don't do that, I honestly couldn't care less if they want to bundle DLC at launch - it's not like I can buy the game used!

In no other category could something like this happen, if I sell an item to someone second hand it is not necassary to pay a percent to the manafacturer. Once I have bought the item it is mine and as long as I am doing nothing illegal with it I should be able to sell it on or use it as I wish.
I've just been given an interesting comparison; in Harry Potter and the.... goblins believe an item belongs to the creator, the buyer merely rents it, when you are done with it you should return it.
EA are goblins.
PCG wrote (a few years ago) that the DRM in PC games was ending the preowned market and they wondered if this was the whole point, (First Spore's drm, now this) maybe it was.

Gildan Bladeborn:
As a PC gamer, the only way this would impact me in the slightest would be for companies to saddle their DLC-redemption codes with expiration dates, as I buy all of my games new now (just not always right at release).

As far as I am aware, they all do have expiration dates -- typically six months to a year after the original release date.

LordZ:

Even if I was somehow convinced that they didn't yank that stuff out just to claim it was bonus material, there is one thing I simply can't forgive about Dragon Age: Origins.

image
http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2009/11/6/

I just found that DLC annoying, because they advertise it in-game. With floating exclamation points. Where you always have to return to. Late DLC is excusable, maybe laudable; more akin to a mini-expansion pack. Project $10 clearly isn't that however. It is, as Matt_LRR said, an attempt to cut down on the used games market. Of course $10 here and there isn't a huge deal, and if it's just going to cut down on the prices of used games, then consumers should technically win. Except that whole DRM and 1-use only problem, which limits replayability if the user ever changes their computer. They would have gotten that content ordinarily for free, because it was ready on launch day, but now they get it for free, but with a one-install-use only, not to mention the other DRM which requires your computer log into the server to access your entire game, just because you thought you'd give the DLC a try.

I repeat, it's annoying. No it's not a huge deal, but it just ends up adding hassle to the game. I don't like it, it's not going to change what I buy significantly, but it still kinda sucks. I'd liken it to Pokemon Red/Blue or whatever colors there are now. They're REALLY very similar, and obnoxiously if you wanted all the content, you needed to buy both. DLC is kind of like that. Non-essential, missing bits tempting you to spend more for them, when the company could have easily just put all the parts in.

Just because something makes economic sense for a company does not make it good for their consumers.

EDIT: I'm aware that the DLC might not be finished by "on-the-disc" deadlines, and that devs don't want to just scrap their work, but prefer to continue work and release it in a commercially viable way. But preemptively putting an advertisement for it on the disc is still just plain obnoxious. Let the game get news from the internet to advertise DLC on the TITLE screen, not IN-GAME, where it does ruin immersion. Do you want your games packaged with adware?
I don't have any real problem with DLC as an inherent concept: neither charging for it, nor giving it away for free. It's in the execution where it's been annoying, the limits and the online activation and access required to play and continue to play your game with the DLC. My only experience with pay-to-play DLC thus far has been Dragon Age, so perhaps other venues are better delivered. But I hate, and will continue to hate digital rights management, where I am constantly forced to prove the legitimacy of my software, despite the tediousness having absolutely no diminishing effect on piracy.

I still resent the initial implication that those who "naysay" EA's DLC business plan are "unrealistic whiny nancyboys." It's rude, a strawman, and somewhat immature.

Muffinthraka:
This is perhaps the most stupid thing EA have done since DRM on Spore. With that simple move they lost a huge number of customers and created a new wave of gamers willing to pirate games. This is exactly the same thing. People are distrustful enough of pc games (will it work on my system, is it any good, it's a lot of money, GFWL, drm) but this will alienate people. Regarding console gamers, I know piracy exists on consoles to, I just don't have as much experience with it.

Piracy on consoles works the same as PCs with the exception that you never need a crack because you installed a chip into your console to take care of that for you. That or you bought a console that was already modded. If you ask me, piracy is a bigger problem for consoles than PCs.

I used to not care at all about EA. Then they bought up a company that I actually liked, Bioware. I don't like Bioware anymore and I hate EA. However, I have moved on. There are plenty of other companies that still make quality games and Bioware seems to be losing its touch anyways.

I want to add that the Cerberus Network thing is actually being used as a great value add for Mass Effect 2. If you buy it used, they are actually making it worth the extra money because so far they are releasing almost every DLC on it for free.

- Zaeed and the crashed Normandy at launch.
- New Shotgun and armor recently
- Just announced Hammerhead add on a Firewalker Mission Pack on Twitter.

That $10 every used copy would cost gamers is actually shaping up to be a deal. If you start to look at the direction they are going, they are trying to trade some DLC money early for new game purchases. This isn't a bad thing.

http://masseffect.bioware.com/info/cerberus

Miral:

Gildan Bladeborn:
As a PC gamer, the only way this would impact me in the slightest would be for companies to saddle their DLC-redemption codes with expiration dates, as I buy all of my games new now (just not always right at release).

As far as I am aware, they all do have expiration dates -- typically six months to a year after the original release date.

Huh. Well I don't generally hold off on new releases for that long, unless they were games I never honestly intended to play and only picked up because I saw them on sale for some ridiculous price, so I can't see myself being too annoyed by that.

All the games I own with launch day DLC now were titles I pre-ordered via Steam, so I never even saw the printed "voucher", just a CD-Key. Seems kind of cheap to make the codes expire, if the point is to make used games potentially profitable, but worthy of my nerd rage? Nah.

Don't even get me started on Ubisoft's DRM...

100% agree. You can get yourself a big mac combo at mcdonalds, but if you want to supersize it, you've got to pay extra. the exact same thing goes for video games so don't complain, get your priorities straight.

kaizen2468:
100% agree. You can get yourself a big mac combo at mcdonalds, but if you want to supersize it, you've got to pay extra. the exact same thing goes for video games so don't complain, get your priorities straight.

Who are you to say I can't complain about both. Unless you're a mod, admin, etc. you have no right to try to stop me. Even if you were, I'm still free to seek other venues to complain about something if I believe it to be wrong.

What, is everybody who works for the Escapist on this thread?

Personally, I buy new games. If I am going to play an old game or a quick game, I rent. So if I rent I will never download DLC. Therefor this doesn't effect me negatively in one bit. I am for getting free DLC for games that I buy.

BlindChance:
I'd love to agree with you Susan, I really would. But I can't approve of it for a simple reason: It's online activation. With all its usual warts.

Lately, my home internet has been buggled by the ISP. Annoying, but it happens. I loaded up Mass Effect 2 on my Xbox.

BZZ! "You have shifted account." Huh. That's odd. Try again. BZZ! "You have shifted account." Huh.

Log out of my Xbox account. Log back in.

"Your Cerberus downloaded content has been corrupted and cannot be used. Please redownload this content."

And like that, my game is basically unplayable, since Zaeed was going to be a part of my strategies.

I can't approve of this. It's yet more DRM, and like all DRM, it's punishing paying customers, not to reduce piracy (which it barely does) but rather to reward the charlatans providing their DRM services.

I'm not sure how everyone keeps having these problems playing the game with dlc unless they are connected to the internet. I unplugged my X box's internet cable started up Mass Effect 2 and played through the suicide mission with no issues. Used Zaeed and had everyone equipped with the down loadable eviscerator shotguns and everything. If the contents already on your hard drive you shouldn't have a problem.

You know I wonder if it isn't so much the 'buy it used' gamers that this is being targeted here as it is the undercutting sales of recently released games by places like Gamestop and EB, where their trained to always offer to "buy used and save $5" when someone brings a new game to the counter.

So in other words after selling a game they'll offer you $20 or whatever a month later on trade in, then turn around and offer it to the next customer with a new copy for $55 instead of $60. Huge profit for them, lost sale for the game developers... That's gotta hurt their bottom line.

LordZ:

Blackmail? No. Remove content and re-add it to charge extra? Yes.

Conspiracy theories really are fun, aren't they?

Maybe I'm coming off harsh, but this sort of thing really, really bugs me, because it smacks of not knowing how games are made.

I totally support the "10 Dollar" initiative. I dislike EA, but I still support them in this.

I detest used games, unless it's like a classic cartridge or something. And this takes money out of the hands of upscale pawnshops like Gamestop.

While I can admit that not getting every bit of content a game can support for me DOES irk me considerably, EA has a good thing going to combat everyone buying used. Buying used is cheaper, and generally the better deal. Except that NOW, for EA's games at least, you actually have the incentive to pay that extra ten or twenty dollars for a new copy. All they're doing is knowing their consumers. You, me, and every other gamer out there want more content in their games, because a brand new, $60 game is quite pricy. But now, it actually come with a little extra incentive other than that new game smell (I'm sure you've all smelt it too, unless I'm less sane than I originally believed).

It's free DLC. That's all. I gave away my Blood Armor...

So basically it comes down to some people want to get the DLC without paying for it because they are too damn cheap to buy new, or they want NONE of the DLC to be free because they are too damn cheap to buy new.

Huh.

Fact: DLC is OPTIONAL. As in, YOU DON'T NEED IT TO PLAY/FINISH THE GAME! How hard is that to understand? And since it's optional, that means you CHOOSE whether to purchase/use it or not. You don't like it, don't buy it and play your game.

And yes, you sound like whiners and crybabies, every last one of you.

Emotions = Bad

Robot help you decide

1) Buy New - If you want the game with DLC, since there's nothing you can do about it.
2) Buy Used - If you have no money to buy new, since there's nothing you can do about it.
3) Don't Buy - No money and don't like the idea? Just don't buy, complaining won't help anymore than bubblegum algebra.

Ta-Dah. Unless you happen to be a shareholder of EA, your opinions are worth as much as everyone elses. Which is nothing.

CD-R:
I'm not sure how everyone keeps having these problems playing the game with dlc unless they are connected to the internet. I unplugged my X box's internet cable started up Mass Effect 2 and played through the suicide mission with no issues. Used Zaeed and had everyone equipped with the down loadable eviscerator shotguns and everything. If the contents already on your hard drive you shouldn't have a problem.

It shouldn't do, but I assure you it did. No system is foolproof, and DRM systems seem very prone to breaking down.

Does everyone work 10 hours a week at mcdonalds? I've had no trouble buying every game new for years now, and I don't even work full time. If Gamestop dies, high-fives to EA.

I say that they were doing the original system since... forever, so us being mad just makes sense. we used to be able to save money, and being able to get good prices and full content is was possible. we got used to this cushy lifestyle, anything different from that is bad. i will not change my view. project ten dollar sucks.

John Funk:

LordZ:

Blackmail? No. Remove content and re-add it to charge extra? Yes.

Conspiracy theories really are fun, aren't they?

Maybe I'm coming off harsh, but this sort of thing really, really bugs me, because it smacks of not knowing how games are made.

I know exactly how games are made. I may not know exactly how Dragon Age: Origins was made but that doesn't mean my knowledge of programming has no relevance to how it was made.

The only proof we have that the DLC wasn't just ripped out and re-added with an extra fee is because they(the developers) said so. You're free to take them at their word for it but I'm not so quick to trust them. Do you have any compelling reason I should believe what they say? Yeah, didn't think so. They're in it for the money and will say anything that wont get them sued to make more money. There's no way for us to prove that they didn't rip it expressly to make it into DLC but they've presented only their word as proof that they did.

DarkSaber:
You might have more of a point if EA weren't going to hack out substantial parts of the game to "give away" as day one DLC, or sell later. Like they already do.

Yeah I can't believe they "hacked out" less than 5% of the content of Mass Effect 2 to use as DLC later, what a bunch of jerks.

No wait, that's not a big deal, especially when most of the DLC they're giving away for that is free or at a ridiculously low price

BlindChance:

CD-R:
I'm not sure how everyone keeps having these problems playing the game with dlc unless they are connected to the internet. I unplugged my X box's internet cable started up Mass Effect 2 and played through the suicide mission with no issues. Used Zaeed and had everyone equipped with the down loadable eviscerator shotguns and everything. If the contents already on your hard drive you shouldn't have a problem.

It shouldn't do, but I assure you it did. No system is foolproof, and DRM systems seem very prone to breaking down.

What did EA tech support say? You did call them right?

DarkSaber:
You might have more of a point if EA weren't going to hack out substantial parts of the game to "give away" as day one DLC, or sell later. Like they already do.

Do you have any examples to draw from? What substantial parts of Dragon Age and Mass Effect 2 were missing?

Kermi:

DarkSaber:
You might have more of a point if EA weren't going to hack out substantial parts of the game to "give away" as day one DLC, or sell later. Like they already do.

Do you have any examples to draw from? What substantial parts of Dragon Age and Mass Effect 2 were missing?

The fact that in Dragon Age you didn't have any permanent safe storage space unless you forked over the dough! that one really annoyed me. You have to sell perfectly usable items because you need to clear inventory space.

As long as they keep the DLC content to a minimum, meaning most of the content is still in the game, thats fine by me to not own the extras.

You know what? I can live with this. EA is trying to find new revenue streams and in the process effectively reward customers who are buying on Day Zero, when a very large chunk of the profitability calculation for a game is made ("opening week" is almost as big to gaming companies as to film studios). Considering Everyone's Favorite Reformed CEO™ (John Riccitiello) is trying desperately to keep his job thanks to EA's underperformance in the stock market, anything he does short of backsliding into DRM nightmares, I can't fault him for.

Contrast, say, Ubisoft, just for example. Yves Guillemot can go eat a dick.

hydrahh:
People who buy used games can save more than 30 bucks sometimes. Spend the 10 and get the DLC, Scrooge McDuck

Heh, I didn't think about it like this. So, buy new ($60) and get DLC ($0) free, or buy used ($30) and buy DLC ($10).

If the game is complete (as in, the game is playable from start to finish without gaps or quests that can only be completed with $5), DLC is a fun extra. I've been known to browse DLC for games I'm thinking about buying, or games I've just heard of, or games I'm surprised even have DLC, and I have yet to see anything more than add- ons. The complaints about games like Mass Effect strike me as particularly odd. You have a full game. The developers then offer more of the game, for a small fee, and you go apoplectic. This is like (analogy alert) buying a hamburger and then getting angry when you have to pay an extra quarter for cheese, or a side of fries. You didn't buy into that; you bought a hamburger. DLC is not a right, and when you buy a game you should not expect it.

On- disc DLC irks me, though. In this analogy, now you get the cheese, but it's locked in a safe and you have to pay for the key.

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