Going Gold: To Your Heart's (Downloadable) Content

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The Cake Is Annoying:
I do wonder what things would be like if there were more players in the industry and if software development could be done competively with either smaller teams or shorter development cycles, instead of everything scaled up. I think thats why things like DLC and indie devopment interest me. Its smaller, and has more potential for risks and experimentation.

When you start talking about including players in the industry, the most common place to find them is as testers, where they do an amazing job. Two companies that test, test, test until it's right are Valve and Blizzard. And who else gets that much love from players?

If you want to put them in other places, they'd have to be consultants to the design process. Nothing else would really work - making games is a ludicrously technical field. It's the hardest form of all media to create, based on the prerequisite technical skills and expertise required. So I don't think you could possibly put a random game player in any position other than that of consultant. Which, really, is where they belong - we're after their insight more than anything.

With regards to smaller dev teams, I am in favour of this. There have been a couple of articles about that topic of late, and all I can say is to support your indie devs. Buy something like Aquaria!

However, I do not find that DLC is a subscription to this development philosophy. It is almost always bloatware - extra addons which don't feel necessary. That is of course a -vast- generalisation, but it's often true. AAA games with AAA DLC don't come anywhere near what you're talking about. It's either optional addons, which are cosmetic (see most MMO DLC), or it's the 11th chapter in the 10-chapter game.

The DS is much much closer to the proposed "small" philosophy, and that's why I own one. You still get your AAA-level stuff, like Pokemon or Final Fantasy, which is scared as hell of originality, but there's plenty of smaller, one-shot stuff which is brilliant. Stuff like Lost Magic, Custom Robo Arena, and Scribblenauts fits the bill much better than console-style DLC.

Therumancer:
In the end, the purpose of my rants is more or less the hope that at some point a lot of people will realize "hey, he's right" and show their support by simply not partaking of the latest cash grab scheme, and themselves becoming a lot more critical of industry prices. I believe that we as gamers could have a lot more influance on the industry and could definatly see prices lower without an "industry wide collapse" simply by not acting like the money bags with legs that we're treated as.

So, Therumancer. I've just gone and read up your past couple of posts. You -really-, really desperately need to get those quote tags in the right places. It's so hard to figure it out without them.

As to your points, I don't think we'll see this happen. I'm exceptionally pessimistic in the wake of the MW2 "boycott" debacle. I personally have refused to buy a number of games based on DRM, refused to buy a number of DLC packs based on the price and/or content, but apparently, I am the only one. Noone else, present company excluded, seems to even hesitate before buying something packaged with something as odious as UPlay, or MWNet. Systems designed to limit freedoms are gobbled up relentlessly by people who want whatever they're embedded in. We cannot rely on people to make intelligent decisions with the future of the industry at stake - they don't even know about it, and if they did, they wouldn't care.

As I've said elsewhere, to make any comment about "the customers" or "the gamers", be it a declaration of failure to react accordingly, or a declaration of apathy, or anything at all; it doesn't make sense. We aren't a cohesive group. There isn't even a "we". There are simply many "I's". There is no union for gamers. So expect nothing but whatever an individual would do, multiplied by the consumer base.

It's hopeless to even think for a moment that gamers will refuse to buy expensive, shoddy products, because we as individuals have been trained to do so for so long that noone will even question it when OnLive or Gaikai take away our ownership of videogames entirely. While I'm sympathetic to your cause, I consider the state of people who can look at the industry as a whole to that of "inevitably, knowingly doomed".

So, Therumancer. I've just gone and read up your past couple of posts. You -really-, really desperately need to get those quote tags in the right places. It's so hard to figure it out without them.

As to your points, I don't think we'll see this happen. I'm exceptionally pessimistic in the wake of the MW2 "boycott" debacle. I personally have refused to buy a number of games based on DRM, refused to buy a number of DLC packs based on the price and/or content, but apparently, I am the only one. Noone else, present company excluded, seems to even hesitate before buying something packaged with something as odious as UPlay, or MWNet. Systems designed to limit freedoms are gobbled up relentlessly by people who want whatever they're embedded in. We cannot rely on people to make intelligent decisions with the future of the industry at stake - they don't even know about it, and if they did, they wouldn't care.

As I've said elsewhere, to make any comment about "the customers" or "the gamers", be it a declaration of failure to react accordingly, or a declaration of apathy, or anything at all; it doesn't make sense. We aren't a cohesive group. There isn't even a "we". There are simply many "I's". There is no union for gamers. So expect nothing but whatever an individual would do, multiplied by the consumer base.

It's hopeless to even think for a moment that gamers will refuse to buy expensive, shoddy products, because we as individuals have been trained to do so for so long that noone will even question it when OnLive or Gaikai take away our ownership of videogames entirely. While I'm sympathetic to your cause, I consider the state of people who can look at the industry as a whole to that of "inevitably, knowingly doomed".[/quote]

-

Apologies about the quoting, I've had other problems with it. For whatever reason I have a horrendous time seperating quotes properly so usually I just respond at the bottom of a post in one big chunk, but that doesn't always work. Me and message board codes simply do not seem to get along for the most part.

That said you are correct that there is no cohesive organization of gamers, but I do think that gamers like other groups of consumers CAN be a lot more savvy and influance the market towards their own best interests. It has to start somewhere. I simply hope that by posting it will inspire other people, and eventually we might see some change.

I look at things like "Consumer Reports" and the influance it's had on various industries over the years. Never mind what can be done with mass appeals through the Better Business Bureau and such. It hasn't had any effect on the gaming industry yet, but I feel with enough sentiment things can be changed. Gamers have yet to form anything like the consumer watchdog groups that exist for other industries but I see no reason why that can't change, gamers being no less organized than any other exploited group of consumers before they decide to get savvy.

While a bad analogy, look at things like the "organization" called "Anonymous" which seems to have some solid, consistant members but in many cases operates as a group of individuals who simply share an opinion on certain subjects and decide to coordinate efforts. They were pretty influential (I think) in eventually bringing Michael Atkinson down, and have been something of a factor in the whole "Australian Firewall" thing. The point being that even acting as individuals a lot can still be accomplished, I don't expect any kind of gamer union or collective to be established (that would be stupid) but I think things can get better than what we see now.

Right now I'm just one poster, but hey, I can always dream... and NOTHING is going to be accomplished if I don't post anything.

[Shrugs] I guess despite my overall pessimism, I'm somewhat optimistic on this front. I do not however expect any sudden, magical change.

rembrandtqeinstein:
Down with DLC, up with expansion packs. You remember, the ones that added 30 hours of gameplay to an 80 hour game. That came on a disk in a box from the store. The ones that continued the story of the original game, rather than adding 1 hour of pointless side quests for $15. Those expansion packs.

I really don't care that Bobby Kotick's solid gold rocket car is running low on plutonium. If every single "AAA" development house went under I wouldn't shed a tear. But I would rather the bloodsucking corporate publishers all withered and died and more companies worked like Stardock with no useless stockholders or braindead Wallstreet analysts coming between the game creator and the gamer.

Can't agree more. I remember how the sims 2 expansion packs costed quite a bit (I think around 30-40$, but they added tons of content that you actually loved). Now you pay 15$ for 3 new maps and 2 ports of old maps... Come on. I mean even tf2 releases more content then the mw2 map packs, and it's free.

Dexter111:

Fenixius:

Dexter111:
But it is [entirely greed motivated, cut from the main content to make money] in 70% of the case[s].

Sorry dude, but I'm going to have to ask you to back up that 70% line with some facts and sources. Because if you reverse it, and call it 30% greed motivated, 70% honest work done after content lock, your argument looks very, very weak.

And how would I be supposed to prove that? How about you (or someone else) prove that it is always content that was supposed to be in but didn't make it. You can't really, can you?

Burden of proof falls on the guy who is making the claim.

That would be you Dex

And that is hard since you seemed have to stand up to pull out that fact.

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