EA Isn't Trying to Blackmail You

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As usual, Susan as a way of pointing out things that make me proud to be a gamer ... going to most game forums will likely strip you from such joy! (good thing there is the Escapist Magazine)

There are definitely games I'm willing to buy new in order to get all the gewgaws that come with a new purchase. Heck, I pre-ordered Mass Effect 2... Even if it's sitting on my shelf unplayed because I wanted to have it available as a carrot for getting another computer-related project done.

But this kind of air of "the stuff they've done so far isn't essential to the game, stop whining" really isn't helpful. It somewhat smacks of saying, "So they've unspooled fuse to your house. Why are you worried? It's not like they've set out explosives yet!"

These things tend to come down from on high, and you would have to be a fool not to recognize that, as policy, this could be a doozy. It's one thing for DLC to allow a developer to restore features and content that had to be cut to make a milestone. It's quite another for every game that comes out the door to be required to be designed from the blueprint up with later DLC in mind. Even if it's integrated brilliantly, there's a real danger of a large number of "complete" games coming to market with conspicuous holes in them. That you can complete a game isn't necessarily comforting if, say, your favorite character's backstory comes to a sudden jagged halt because of a missing quest... Or you have to trek through five miles of monster-infested swamp because there's a peculiarly city-shaped mountain range in the middle of the short route... Or you end up fighting a foe that was included, while the weapon that was planned around their major vulnerability ends up in DLC.

Please, don't tell me it hasn't happened yet. It can and will if it isn't clear that it will be met with a strong, negative response.

It isn't price so much that concerns me. I know that dev teams are getting larger, prices have remained more or less the same, and a lot of companies and developers are suffering. Honestly, I'd be willing to spend an extra $10 on a game to keep them in Skittles, because I'm one of the lucky ones who can afford to do that in my hobby. But I most definitely am afraid of major DLC becoming an acceptable given. That has the potential to affect games on the design floor in a long-standing, harmful way.

And I've got to take issue with

EA - and every other publisher - deserves to make as much money as it can from its games

...That way lies madness. And quite possibly suicide. It's possible that you could cut every major feature out of a game until it's barely playable and sell everything as DLC and that enough people would still buy it that you could make a profit. But even if you made more of a profit doing things that way, it doesn't make you more deserving of the money. It also calls into serious question what a brand is worth. If you alienate your marketplace when they're college students and they turn up their noses at the sight of your trademark when they've become professionals, the profits of ten years ago become cold comfort indeed.

If you make a good game, then sell it at a reasonable price, and raise enough money to make some more good games (and some experimental games and some mediocre games and a few out-and-out stinkers), keeping on a staff that loves the business at a rate that's competitive within the industry to do so. That's what they deserve. Nothing more, nothing less.

Bravo!! I have yet to see an argument agaisnt project Ten Doller that didnt boil down to basicly a baby in the corner crying they are not getting everything for free.

WanderFreak:
Meanwhile, someone can't afford a meal and sits in the street starving because no one will employ them.

Videogames are a luxury. We do not need them to live, and if you do you have a serious problem. We choose to play them, we choose to spend money on them. With this new model, what is so bad about it exactly? Say a new copy of $60 and a used copy $30. Instead of saving $30 you save $20 buying the DLC. Everyone gets hung up on the $10 like it's a personal attack, and yet you're still getting the game cheap enough. And if the new copy is more than the used, well then sorry, but you're an idiot for buying it then complaining it costs more when you could have purchased a new copy.

This doesn't take away anything. If you're buying used you're saving money, and all this is doing is sending a bit of that the developers way. Arguing against this is basically saying "I don't want to save slightly less money damn it!" And there's no bloody conspiracy. The twin towers were not blown up by the CIA, they didn't kill Kennedy because of Vietnam, and EA isn't removing parts of the games to secretly attack your wallet.

Here's a fun experiment: the next time you have something due wait until the night before, then try to add something to it. Probably turns out pretty shitty and rushed eh? Which means you have two options: leave it out, and be accused of cutting material. Or leave it in, and be accused of rushing to meet a deadline.

We're gamers. We are the most stupid, mindless, unpleasable people on the planet and we need to shut up from time to time and realize that playing games does not mean we suddenly have an understanding of the way the industry works. Do you know how an oil company works? No.

So shut the fuck up and play the game, you still saved $20 for Christ sake.

It's sad when I read something like this and agree wholeheartedly. It makes me feel like a jackass for complaining so much.

Anyway, I think this would prove to be a decent incentive to buy new games, since the money is going to the companies and thus they're able to make better products instead of cheaper alternatives. As long as they don't do the crap that Assassin's Creed 2 is doing.

Constant online. Give me a break. That is crap because I payed for the game and I should be able to play it any time I wish. That is just asking for a pirated version with that coding removed.

Though it will screw some people over still.

Actually, EA has already done this as I know they included a voucher with Sims3 for $10 to use in the EA store for the aforementioned game. I find this to be more of a marketing tool to encourage people to purchase DLCs.
I can't say I've had much experience for DLCs... so I can't sit here and say I don't like them. For me, I often don't either care that there is DLC for a game, or I find that the DLC isn't something I can foresee shelling out the money for to obtain maybe another few hours out of a game I already enjoyed. I liked it to start with, which is why I bought it in the first place. Games like Forza Motorsports that offer new car packs in DLC format sound like a good idea (I've never actually purchased it), but I can assume it is akin to downloading a new outfit for a different game.

Perhaps the only arguable position for the case of EA being "exploitative" in this situation is if they started to charge gamers for updates/patches for the games. In that scenario, I can say they are clearly being jerks if the material is needed to correct problems/issues with a game... but to encourage people to invest in DLC for extra content isn't negative in any way. If you are like me and don't use DLC much, this isn't such a bad promotion to get you to look around to use the voucher on something you otherwise wouldn't buy. But people can find problems in getting hung with a new rope... in this article, I can't find anything wrong with EA wanting to encourage people to get DLCs.

It's just like when you go to a movie and have to leave at certain points because you didn't pay the theatre an additional 3.50 to watch specific subplots. You get the main story of the movie, so it shouldn't matter at all!

You traded in games, something you wouldn't have been able to do if this model was already standard.

Since nobody would be buying the trade ins (or at least the value would be even less).

Then why did I get a letter from EA saying they have pictures from when I went to Florida?

LordZ:

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.

Ok you can complain, but it makes you whiny.

CD-R:
What did EA tech support say? You did call them right?

I'm in Australia. I'm not even sure they have any tech support out here by phone. And no, it's not worth it. When my net comes back up, whenever that will be, I'll simply re-download it and play again. Ce la vie.

Yay for the gaming press and individual people standing up for faceless multi-million dollar corporations that primarily want to squeeze the juice out of you and can't defend themselves. You go team!

Maybe you'll get a letter of commendation from their PR department.

hell no. first of all, the content is already on the disc, but unlocked. second, if you bought a used copy and want the maps, you donīt pay 10 bucks, but 15, hence the name "project ten dollar" is bullshit. for me itīs a matter of principle. a game is a game is a game. a used copy should still have the same content, regardless. i donīt really care about the maps but if this goes on, at some point we will be getting blank discs only with unlock codes. and if someone, for whatever odd reason, wants to get all the content, he will probably pay more than a hundred bucks for content for a single game.

now if somenoneīs going to get bad company 2 used, for example at gamestop, the used copy plus mappack might even be more expensive than the main game as gamestop likes to sell used games(at least where i live) almost at the price of new copies if itīs a new release. itīs obviously milking. consider the fact that everyone who getīs the game new will most likely use the code and the mp-maps, people with less resources who may only be able to buy used copies are forced to buy the mappack to participate in online play. thatīs why itīs milking for me. because the only choice is not to have the content or not, itīs getting the maps and get milked or be with an partially incompatible game.

ea did pretty good in the past few years but actions like this will remind people of the old ea and they might scare many reformed fans right away with it.

Dexter111:
Yay for the gaming press and individual people standing up for faceless multi-million dollar corporations that primarily want to squeeze the juice out of you. You go team!

I think you just won this thread.

this is the first article i have seen that i have completely agreed with.

John Funk:

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.

If you'll pardon my Francais:

Bull. Shit.

This is just the same sort of conspiracy-theorist, tinfoil-hat, the-sky-is-falling ludicrousness that we see everywhere from people who have literally no idea how games are made, have no concept of deadlines or content limits or the fact that there are established procedures to take something from the "Hey, wouldn't this be cool" concept idea to "Now it's finished and on the disc!"

Or who don't understand that sometimes, developers can't do everything they want in order to make deadlines and need to take things out / scrap ideas, things that DLC lets them put back in later.

on kotaku they said the maps are on the disc. itīs no dlc. itīs content thatīs there, you either buy a new game with a free code or you buy the code to unlock the maps. so itīs not a deadline thing here apparently.

EDIT: this relates to bad company 2

Dexter111:
Yay for the gaming press and individual people standing up for faceless multi-million dollar corporations that primarily want to squeeze the juice out of you and can't defend themselves. You go team!

Maybe you'll get a letter of commendation from their PR department.

It's less about standing up for big business, and more about shooting down people who are getting disproportionately angry over a fairly minor issue.

Triggerhappy938:

What strong language! But, not undeserved, I would say.

I personally have been a fan of this idea for some time. Every time someone opts to buy a used copy of a game over a new one, the people responsible for the game you are about to enjoy do not see a penny from it. I totally understand why they would want to give added incentive to buy new games as opposed to used ones. This is not to say that buying used is a sin, though I tend to limit my used game shopping to non-current gen consoles.

There is a line of reasonability, but for the time being, that line is still being defined. Hopefully as time goes on we will have that line more clearly defined, but in the meantime the best you can do is vote with your dollar. If you don't like a company's practices, don't give them your money. If you think the horse armor is dumb, don't buy it.

Also, I agree, 15$ for two multiplayer maps is pretty shady.

there are good reasons why we are free to resell our goods if we donīt needīem anymore. would you rather trash an old game or resell it, to a broke buddy for example, for some bucks, so he can enjoy it, too? every used copy was once new and most likely full priced. and mind you the only people that will resell bc2 are the ones not interested in multiplayer or people that may not like the game at all.

good games, especially multiplayer ones, are not that often resold at all. thereīs a reason why most used games that have actually used game-price tags are either old or pretty shitty, besides the occasional gem in there. every newer release is still so expensive that, in the case of bf2, you could just hope that the preowner did only play sp and the code remains intact. if you bought the game at 10 bucks discount without the codes, youīre screwed. and granted most people buying that game used wonīt even know about the fact, because only a small percentage of gamers goes to sites like this. when they experience a broken multiplayer, because they frequently get thrown out because they donīt have the mappack, they are almost forced to buy it so they donīt experience a broken online experience.

and if you look at the kotaku-article regarding this and the comments, you see many people have already chosen to not buy the game simply because of this policy. however, our nerdy crowd is, unfortunately, too small i guess to make a difference in this case. this game will shit bricks for ea. itīs naive to think that they care what a few nerdy gamers on some message boards think about their price policy, even if itīs the royal escapist. that said, iīm also still getting it, but as ironic as it is, i will only be able to get it because i will trade half my games in for it.

I got the blood armor too. I hated it, ended up selling it so I could afford a set of steel chain mail which looks far cooler.

Logan Westbrook:

Dexter111:
Yay for the gaming press and individual people standing up for faceless multi-million dollar corporations that primarily want to squeeze the juice out of you and can't defend themselves. You go team!

Maybe you'll get a letter of commendation from their PR department.

It's less about standing up for big business, and more about shooting down people who are getting disproportionately angry over a fairly minor issue.

You do realize that this is a fairly new practice implemented by major Publishers to get more money out of gamers mainly since the surfacing of the "Exboox" and monetization of Online features akin to how Bobby Kotick so eloquently put it:

In the last cycle of videogames you spent $50 on a game, played it and took it back to the shop for credit. Today, we'll (charge) $100 for a guitar. You might add a microphone or drums; you might buy two or three expansions packs, different types of music. Over the life of your ownership you'll probably buy around 25 additional song packs in digital downloads. So, what used to be a $50 sale is a $500 sale today.

And that giving in to it and defending it will only make it worse, right?
It is only natural that if they "experiment" with this business practice and it finds success they'll take it one step further and "experiment" with what they can get away with anew.

"Downloadable Content" or "DLC" is by no means a new thing, but wanting money for it is...

A few examples from the glorious old days:

Black Isle's "Icewind Dale: Trials of the Luremaster"
http://www.sorcerers.net/Games/IWD/how_exp.php

In response to some players wanting more game experience from Icewind Dale and Heart of Winter, Black Isle Studios developed a free, downloadable dungeon pack add-on for customers of Heart of Winter. The pack is sized at 72MB, and plugs directly into the game, provided Heart of Winter is installed. This expansion set includes several new monsters, quests, items, areas and portraits, as well as a brand new adventure.

Unreal Tournament Bonus Pack: http://www.gpdownloads.co.nz/dl.dyn/Files/2721.html

Thanks for acquiring the Unreal Tournament Bonus Pack. This pack is our way of saying "Thank you!" to the gamers out there who have supported Epic. This pack should be compatible with previous versions of Unreal Tournament as well as all future versions.
Feel free to distribute this pack online as well as on magazine cover disks.

It is illegal to charge users for this content.

Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 Mappack: http://rainbowsixgame.uk.ubi.com/article.php?news_id=6257

Or just take a look at Valve and their Team Fortress 2 / Left4Dead

etc.

iamthehorde:
hell no. first of all, the content is already on the disc, but unlocked. second, if you bought a used copy and want the maps, you donīt pay 10 bucks, but 15, hence the name "project ten dollar" is bullshit. for me itīs a matter of principle. a game is a game is a game. a used copy should still have the same content, regardless. i donīt really care about the maps but if this goes on, at some point we will be getting blank discs only with unlock codes. and if someone, for whatever odd reason, wants to get all the content, he will probably pay more than a hundred bucks for content for a single game.

I'm sorry, but that's exactly what people say when they claim DLC detractors are just whining that they aren't getting free stuff. It's the kind of slippery slope fallacy that just doesn't hold water. The scenario of "if we let this go on, then we'll be buying blank discs with no content at all!" is just plain silly. Gaming companies would never do that. Look at the flak they're getting for charging $10-15 for completely optional, sub-par, unnecessary DLC. None of the Project $10 DLC I've ended up with has been really worth complaining about not playing. They're nice features, and they're okay for free, but not a single one has been good enough on its own to justify buying the game new. I bought those games new because they were great games that I wanted to play on day 1. I appreciated the thought, as a customer, and I really like that they're rewarding people for buying the game new, while not punishing people for buying the game used.

iamthehorde:
now if somenoneīs going to get bad company 2 used, for example at gamestop, the used copy plus mappack might even be more expensive than the main game as gamestop likes to sell used games(at least where i live) almost at the price of new copies if itīs a new release. itīs obviously milking. consider the fact that everyone who getīs the game new will most likely use the code and the mp-maps, people with less resources who may only be able to buy used copies are forced to buy the mappack to participate in online play. thatīs why itīs milking for me. because the only choice is not to have the content or not, itīs getting the maps and get milked or be with an partially incompatible game.

So...if it's the same price used that it is new, why wouldn't you just buy the game new? When Gamestop resells new releases, they generally only take off $4. After that, the price drops by about $10. Which is generally the cost of the DLC. What's the issue?

iamthehorde:
ea did pretty good in the past few years but actions like this will remind people of the old ea and they might scare many reformed fans right away with it.

No, it won't. Boycotting EA would be like boycotting every other major release. You want to boycott EA? Buy the games used and consider the lost optional content as the price of your integrity. This is not something worthy of such drastic measures.

You know, I agree with this article too. EA can sell us a game called "Dog Shit on a Stick" if it wants to, and tell us not to mind buying it, because hey they need the capital because big marketing budgets are expensive and vice presidents of whatever division don't come cheap. It is EA's right to put that on the market. It is our duty as consumers to be discriminate in our gaming purchases. It all evens out in the end.

I always buy games new, so I've never understood the complaints.

Hell, they're giving me free stuff for giving the money straight to them, I'm not complaining!

Fearzone:

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.

You can't even access the area where Shale is encountered unless you have the DLC...I think you're thinking of Orzammar or the Deep Roads, and if it felt like something was missing then it definitely wans't Shale. And on a side note, I too have played the game without Shale, and I really didn't feel like it lessened the game experience for me. Same thing with Warden's Keep and Return to Ostagar - you really aren't missing out on much, and the game is still a great experience without it.

And on the "removing content just to charge for it" note, anyone that was on the Dragon Age forums for the 4+ years that it took them to make the game knows that Shale was cut a ways before the game was anywhere close to being released. It was a disappointment amongst the forum community, and there were people that began to ask if Shale would be available at a later date, perhaps as DLC. The response was "we don't know right now, we'll have to see if we have time and can get a team together to work on it." And guess what? That's exactly what they did. They created a small team to work on the DLC that was implemented and released on day one. Shale was free, Warden's Keep was not, and while I agree that including the Warden's Keep NPC in camp was a mistake, making the claim that content was cut from the original game with the express purpose of charging for it is simply ignorant of the gaming development process.

As for the whole "Project Ten Dollar" thing in general - as it currently stands, I'm in favor of it. I've made that point known in general when the topic arises, and as long as the content continues to be of the nature that it has been for BioWare's work, then I'm totally fine with it. The Battlefield: BC2 issue is a bit worse, and I'd agree that multiplayer map packs shouldn't be included in this pricing model. But Zaeed and the Normandy Crash Site are very obviously small, tacked-on experiences that would not detract from the game if they weren't included. As long as we keep getting content like that then I'm fully in support of this and vastly prefer it compared to what's happening with other games (BioShock 2 and Ubisoft's pile o' crap).

And if customers buy a used game only to feel some sense of disappointment (which I also don't think will happen, but regardless), they have my sympathies. However, I do feel that the vast majority of the gaming population doesn't pay enough attention to gaming news and news sites, and I think it'd be a good thing in general if consumers began paying more attention to what it is they were spending their money on and what the companies behind their products are doing. Heck, maybe sales trends would change and lesser-known games that don't get advertised as often would actually sell and we could get away from generic FPS #247. Would that be such a bad thing?

Dexter111:

You do realize that this is a fairly new practice implemented by major Publishers to get more money out of gamers mainly since the surfacing of the "Exboox" and monetization of Online features akin to how Bobby Kotick so eloquently put it:

In the last cycle of videogames you spent $50 on a game, played it and took it back to the shop for credit. Today, we'll (charge) $100 for a guitar. You might add a microphone or drums; you might buy two or three expansions packs, different types of music. Over the life of your ownership you'll probably buy around 25 additional song packs in digital downloads. So, what used to be a $50 sale is a $500 sale today.

And that giving in to it and defending it will only make it worse, right?

That's a ridiculous comparison. Rock Band style games are a niche market, and everyone who buys them goes in knowing that they'll be a bigger expense than a traditional game. And again, additional tracks are completely optional. If you end up spending $500 on Rock Band, you have failed miserably at the money game.

Expansion packs are nothing new.

Dexter111:
"Downloadable Content" or "DLC" is by no means a new thing, but wanting money for it is...

A few examples from the glorious old days:

Black Isle's "Icewind Dale: Trials of the Luremaster"
http://www.sorcerers.net/Games/IWD/how_exp.php

In response to some players wanting more game experience from Icewind Dale and Heart of Winter, Black Isle Studios developed a free, downloadable dungeon pack add-on for customers of Heart of Winter. The pack is sized at 72MB, and plugs directly into the game, provided Heart of Winter is installed. This expansion set includes several new monsters, quests, items, areas and portraits, as well as a brand new adventure.

Unreal Tournament Bonus Pack: http://www.gpdownloads.co.nz/dl.dyn/Files/2721.html

Thanks for acquiring the Unreal Tournament Bonus Pack. This pack is our way of saying "Thank you!" to the gamers out there who have supported Epic. This pack should be compatible with previous versions of Unreal Tournament as well as all future versions.
Feel free to distribute this pack online as well as on magazine cover disks.

It is illegal to charge users for this content.

Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 Mappack: http://rainbowsixgame.uk.ubi.com/article.php?news_id=6257

Or just take a look at Valve and their Team Fortress 2 / Left4Dead

etc.

No. Expansion packs have been around since Ultima Online, Diablo (with Hellfire), and Neverwinter Nights. Hell, if you really want to go back in time Expansion packs have been around since D&D pen and paper. It's nothing new to charge for new content. It's a very typical and accepted way to expand the life of your game. It is NOT the same as micro-DLC or add-ons, which are nowhere near the content. Not to mention companies still do free updates to their games, and many remove the costs of DLC after a set amount of time (as was done in Halo 3). And, as you pointed out, Valve releases free updates to their games all the time.

Free DLC for all is nice, and still occurs occasionally, but you can't really fault companies for wanting to charge people for the products they create.

AcacianLeaves:

Dexter111:

You do realize that this is a fairly new practice implemented by major Publishers to get more money out of gamers mainly since the surfacing of the "Exboox" and monetization of Online features akin to how Bobby Kotick so eloquently put it:

In the last cycle of videogames you spent $50 on a game, played it and took it back to the shop for credit. Today, we'll (charge) $100 for a guitar. You might add a microphone or drums; you might buy two or three expansions packs, different types of music. Over the life of your ownership you'll probably buy around 25 additional song packs in digital downloads. So, what used to be a $50 sale is a $500 sale today.

And that giving in to it and defending it will only make it worse, right?

That's a ridiculous comparison. Rock Band style games are a niche market, and everyone who buys them goes in knowing that they'll be a bigger expense than a traditional game. And again, additional tracks are completely optional. If you end up spending $500 on Rock Band, you have failed miserably at the money game.

Expansion packs are nothing new.

Dexter111:
"Downloadable Content" or "DLC" is by no means a new thing, but wanting money for it is...

A few examples from the glorious old days:

Black Isle's "Icewind Dale: Trials of the Luremaster"
http://www.sorcerers.net/Games/IWD/how_exp.php

In response to some players wanting more game experience from Icewind Dale and Heart of Winter, Black Isle Studios developed a free, downloadable dungeon pack add-on for customers of Heart of Winter. The pack is sized at 72MB, and plugs directly into the game, provided Heart of Winter is installed. This expansion set includes several new monsters, quests, items, areas and portraits, as well as a brand new adventure.

Unreal Tournament Bonus Pack: http://www.gpdownloads.co.nz/dl.dyn/Files/2721.html

Thanks for acquiring the Unreal Tournament Bonus Pack. This pack is our way of saying "Thank you!" to the gamers out there who have supported Epic. This pack should be compatible with previous versions of Unreal Tournament as well as all future versions.
Feel free to distribute this pack online as well as on magazine cover disks.

It is illegal to charge users for this content.

Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 Mappack: http://rainbowsixgame.uk.ubi.com/article.php?news_id=6257

Or just take a look at Valve and their Team Fortress 2 / Left4Dead

etc.

No. Expansion packs have been around since Ultima Online, Diablo (with Hellfire), and Neverwinter Nights. Hell, if you really want to go back in time Expansion packs have been around since D&D pen and paper. It's nothing new to charge for new content. It's a very typical and accepted way to expand the life of your game. It is NOT the same as micro-DLC or add-ons, which are nowhere near the content. Not to mention companies still do free updates to their games, and many remove the costs of DLC after a set amount of time (as was done in Halo 3). And, as you pointed out, Valve releases free updates to their games all the time.

Free DLC for all is nice, and still occurs occasionally, but you can't really fault companies for wanting to charge people for the products they create.

Why not just do real expansion packs and require the original game selling the expansion for 30-40 bucks? Something like SSFIV is alot easier to swallow than fifteen dollars to unlock what I already have. If you require the disk original game disk ,it hardly matters if they borrow the original disk they still have to pay EA or whoever thirty bucks.

AcacianLeaves:
snip

no, i donīt plan to boycott ea. yes, publishers wonīt give out discs you have to unlock. they would be stupid if they did. but they would do it if they could, and right now they are testing the waters how far they can go with it without losing too much revenue and sales.

my main argument is that the people who buy used copies should get the same game. i love dlc if itīs done right and reasonably. i have nothing against investing a tenner in dlc, if i consider it to be essential to the experience. but being unable to play 2 maps which are standard to first buyers and pretty sure to become staples at least on xbl among the online crowd is, imo, a big fuck you to everyone who is studying or living under whatever conditions that may prevent him to buy a full priced game. imagine if someone just gave you his old copy for free. you sure would be pissed if you had then to pay 15 bucks for 2 of the best maps the game may have(there must be a reason they are that exclusive). iīm not even saying that ea is ripping us off, no. they say: buy it new, or you will have to pay big time for minor content.

the sad thing is first buyers get a 100% game. second hand buyers get 95% game. they will have to pay 15 bucks for the remaining 5%. the only reason to lock those maps in the first place is to possibly squeeze money out of them when the game has already gained a wider distribution and then some people see that they need to get those maps and be pissed about it.

EDIT: sorry for the massive block of text, now edited

I like project Ten Dollar. Why?

If you buy a game new, you get the DLC for free.
If you buy the game used, you can still get the DLC for a price.
Also, I understand that EA has even managed to get pirates to pay for the DLC by not denying them access to it, but rather giving them a chance to buy it like everyone else.
And finally, recent EA games that I've played didn't come with ANY draconic DRM, so that alone gives them points.

As for buying games used, if the price of the used games is more than $10 lower than buying the new game, you still save money. If the price difference is less than $10, then you might as well just get an unused copy.

And as for everyone bringing up the $5 Horse Armor, Bethesda are pricks and the whole issue is unrelated to this discussion.

Rednog:
I'm curious as to how the PC market will be affected by this since there really is no used market? Will those of us who wait a few months for the game to drop in price be penalized? We are still buying it "new" and the cash goes straight to the company.

If it is an unused copy, then you will not be penalized in any way. That's the whole point - you bought the game new. The fact that the price on that game dropped in the meantime isn't your problem. As long as you get your DLC code or whatever, it'll let you access the free DLC.

Mercurio128:

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.

Nah, that still seems perfectly reasonable to me. I think the "extra" hiding places in Saboteur is more of a dick move if you ask me. But I haven't played either game, only ME2.

When first confronted with the rather dreadful day one DLC business, (i.e., buying a fancy collector's edition to have all that delicious extra content, then finding out the next week that there's a DLC to give me an item stash for storing loot) I was quite a bit annoyed. Thus, I wasn't ready to befriend myself with the idea of DLC. Of course there are other conditions fortifying my antipathy (I don't live in an English-speaking country, yet registered for an English speaking region of the market place simply because no other voice can replace that of a Kirk Acevedo, Nolan North, Martin Sheen etc., but since I have no valid payment source in that particular English speaking country, which means my credit card will not be accepted, getting DLC turns out a bit tougher for me) which may or may not be beside the point, then again I'm certain this is a minority problem.

So despite my strong antipathy for this, uh, marketing strategy, Ms. Arendt does have a point. Especially that bit about prioritizing things differently made me re-align my disposition a bit: I *usually* wait for price drops, so why not wait until a GOTY edition is released that contains all the material? Why not prioritize the purchases in a way that I pay the most attention (and money) to a title I *really* care about instead of indulging that "everything-or-nothing" urge with every game that slightly catches my fancy?

So while some defiance lingers inside, especially since all this wasn't even an issue a while back, when, well, a game was released, and - until a sequel came - that was it, there could be one or the other way of seeing this subject in a slightly different (and maybe more positive) light.

AcacianLeaves:

In the last cycle of videogames you spent $50 on a game, played it and took it back to the shop for credit. Today, we'll (charge) $100 for a guitar. You might add a microphone or drums; you might buy two or three expansions packs, different types of music. Over the life of your ownership you'll probably buy around 25 additional song packs in digital downloads. So, what used to be a $50 sale is a $500 sale today.

That's a ridiculous comparison. Rock Band style games are a niche market, and everyone who buys them goes in knowing that they'll be a bigger expense than a traditional game. And again, additional tracks are completely optional. If you end up spending $500 on Rock Band, you have failed miserably at the money game.

It's not as "ridiculous" a comparison as you might think because that is exactly what they want to achieve with DLCs and new marketing models, that you pay 150-200$+ on "Single games" instead of as he said pay $50 once and then take it back (and maybe an Expansion/Add-On coming out half a year or a year later)...

A few examples:

Dragon Age: Origins : $49.99 or $59.99 (Consoles)
Dragon Age: Origins Awakening : $39.99
Warden's Keep DLC : $7
Return to Ostagar DLC : $5
Stone Prisoner (included new) : $15
+ Whatever is to come...

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty : $59.99
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm: $49.99 (they haven't announced a price yet, speculation)
StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void : $49.99 (they haven't announced a price yet, speculation)
Whatever they require for maps on the "Map Marketplace"
+ Whatever is to come...

iamthehorde:
but being unable to play 2 maps which are standard to first buyers and pretty sure to become staples at least on xbl among the online crowd is, imo, a big fuck you to everyone who is studying or living under whatever conditions that may prevent him to buy a full priced game. imagine if someone just gave you his old copy for free. you sure would be pissed if you had then to pay 15 bucks for 2 of the best maps the game may have(there must be a reason they are that exclusive). iīm not even saying that ea is ripping us off, no. they say: buy it new, or you will have to pay big time for minor content.

Again, let's look at the ACTUAL costs here. If your friend gives you a new Xbox 360 game for free and the only thing you have to pay for is an optional $15 map pack to keep you in the same maps as the first-time buyers, that's a damn steal.

Newly Released Game = $60
'Used' New Release at GameStop = $55
In this situation, why not pay the extra $5 to buy the game new? If your financial situation is such that you can't afford to pay an extra $5, you probably shouldn't be buying the game at all. In fact, you should probably sell your Xbox to feed your family.

New Game after 6 months to a year = $50
Same game, same time period, used = $40-45
Let's say they're selling the used game at $45. Again, it's only $5 cheaper than new, just buy new. But let's say they're selling the used copy at $10 cheaper than the new copy. That covers the cost of the optional DLC.

EA is just trying to influence you into customer loyalty. When you buy the game new, providing them with the profits, they give you a bonus for doing so. If you buy the game used, providing the retailer with the profits, you don't get the bonus from them.

Labcoat Samurai:

Doug:
Agreed. But its even more clear cut to the company - "Do we reward the customers who pay us money, or the customers who don't?"

Exactly, this is the part I always laugh about. People complain about this, and I feel like I have to ask:

If all the content that comes free only in new copies were available in all copies, would you buy used or new?

If you would buy new, then what are you complaining about? You get exactly the same content, regardless.

If you would buy used, then why exactly should EA give a damn what you think?

Exactly! In fact, I'm alittle happy EA have realised this and are rewarding people like me who 90% of the time buy new.

Dexter111:

"Downloadable Content" or "DLC" is by no means a new thing, but wanting money for it is...

A few examples from the glorious old days:

Black Isle's "Icewind Dale: Trials of the Luremaster"
http://www.sorcerers.net/Games/IWD/how_exp.php

In response to some players wanting more game experience from Icewind Dale and Heart of Winter, Black Isle Studios developed a free, downloadable dungeon pack add-on for customers of Heart of Winter. The pack is sized at 72MB, and plugs directly into the game, provided Heart of Winter is installed. This expansion set includes several new monsters, quests, items, areas and portraits, as well as a brand new adventure.

Unreal Tournament Bonus Pack: http://www.gpdownloads.co.nz/dl.dyn/Files/2721.html

Thanks for acquiring the Unreal Tournament Bonus Pack. This pack is our way of saying "Thank you!" to the gamers out there who have supported Epic. This pack should be compatible with previous versions of Unreal Tournament as well as all future versions.
Feel free to distribute this pack online as well as on magazine cover disks.

It is illegal to charge users for this content.

Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 Mappack: http://rainbowsixgame.uk.ubi.com/article.php?news_id=6257

Or just take a look at Valve and their Team Fortress 2 / Left4Dead

etc.

Something to note in this post:

Icewind Dale - PC game.
Unreal Tournament - PC game
Rainbow Six 2 - PC game
Team Fortress 2 - PC game

Day one DLC is intended to curb the money lost on the sale of used games for consoles. PC games are not generally sold used, therefore games developed for the PC do not have this problem. The free add-ons for PC games have nothing in common with day one DLC for console games. It's worth noting that all of those free updates to TF2 only apply to the PC version. That is not by accident.

I feel uneasy about the system. Parts being taken out to be sold back isn't happening and it's not very likely, but it's not exactly impossible, and it is exactly the kind of thing most people can see EA doing. But if you remove all the extra DLC for Mass Effect 2 (I didn't download more than Blood Dragon armor in my haste to play the game) the game functions without issue or the feeling something is missing, if anything the DLC seems out of place, as most DLC does.

When I think about the idea of bonus DLC I dislike it, but when I think about my personal experances with it, I like it.
So bad in theory but good in pratice?and, *points to Callate's post* what he said, but more optimistic.

Susan Arendt:
Susan Arendt never did get around to downloading that Blood Armor

You missed out on the best armor in DA:O, it had the best stats and (more importantly) style. It was also the best looking armor in ME2.

Booze Zombie:
I always buy games new, so I've never understood the complaints.

Hell, they're giving me free stuff for giving the money straight to them, I'm not complaining!

Yup, agreed. The used game market don't give anything to the developers/publishers aside from word-of-mouth, so why not reward the new game customers with extra goodies that just make the game alittle more fun.

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