Stolen Pixels: A Hat for Every Head

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Therumancer:
Shamus, I think you are being deliberatly obtuse on the issue.

You'll notice not many people have come running to Capcom's defense over what is pretty much the same exact issue, with them selling recolors and alternate costumes for characters in games like "Street Fighter".

Personally I was on Capcom's side in this issue.

He articulated it better in his weekend article here http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/columns/experienced-points/8819-Experienced-Points-DLC-for-Dummies

But at it's core I agree with Shamus, people have picked the wrong time to take a stand. They have lost their minds over purely cosmetic DLC when a game like PGA 11 has main tournament courses that are DLC only.

Basically it shows some misguided prioities when we can't believe we're being charged to look a different kind of pretty.

jabrwock:

mcnally86:
Remember how games used to come compleate and not "sold separately" ?

Really? I seem to have a cloth Bungie Marathon collectors bag from back when games didn't get packaged differently for different markets. Probably boxed away next to my collectors edition Warcraft III...

And my extended edition LotR, and god knows how many editions of Star Wars...

Listen here sunny! I was referring to pacman and load runner (gameboy). Also WC has expansion but they were release so much later it gave the illusion of being sold separately.

mcnally86:
Listen here sunny! I was referring to pacman and load runner (gameboy).

I give you... the Colecovision Video Club iron-on transfer for t-shirts...

http://www.colecovisionzone.com/page/collectible/videoclub.html

Also WC has expansion but they were release so much later it gave the illusion of being sold separately.

I'm not talking about the expansion. I'm talking about the version of the game that came with a fancier box than the bourgeoisie saps who bought the regular edition. I paid an extra $15 for a nicer box and other "extras" that contributed zip to the gameplay.

Remember everyone, Shamus has at least one previous article saying he does not necessarily support DLC content itself, so don't shoot the messenger.

I'm not really supporting either side of the argument, can't be buggered to. Though, I think part of the issue is really that DLC items become a status symbol. You see someone wearing a hat and you know they paid for it; unless it's a free hat, but most people won't wear those because they don't want to look like the cheap kid who didn't pay for their hat.

I think the hats are an obvious cash grab, but they're far from the worst example of one. If you're really that bothered by them, then don't buy them, and shun your friends who do buy them. It's either that or keep arguing and learn to live with it.

Therumancer:
I don't think the issue is a case of people REALLY wanting those hats to a crazy degree like in Shamus' cartoon, but more a situation with people being upset about the situation entirely. See, I think people would rather there be no content, as opposed to this kind of additional trivial content. That's what I think "the other side" is missing in this arguement. It's the principle of the entire thing, more than a feeling of entitlement, or a mad lust for something they don't want to pay for.

Definitely this.
It is more of a principles/morality thing... I want Portal 2 (and I want some other games) but I think they would be a lot better without this at all... there are very few games that do "microtransactions" right. In the other cases it's more something like this:

There is a shop in a city and I want (or really want) to buy there, now the problem is there's an open air toilet right in front of the shop with people taking a shit all over the pavement... now my dilemma is, do I like the shop that much that I am ready to wade through all the crap with my eyes closed to get to it or do I just outright refuse going there altogether? It is kind of similar to how I view DRM in games, they decrease the perceived value of something for me and decrease the chance of wanting to buy it.

Now in some cases it is worse than in others, say with Team Fortress 2 I visited the shop more often than I did with Portal 2, it wasn't easy to close my eyes and wade through it several times a week so I gave up on going there altogether while I can bear it alright with Portal 2 seeing as I'll probably visit there only 3-4 times total and the crap is all heaped in a corner. Even worse is though when they (and everyone) don't even tell you that there is an open-air-toilet in front of the shop before you visit for the first time as you'll be even more annoyed by your first visit.

Oh yeah, also: http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/valve-wont-charge-for-dlc

jabrwock:

mcnally86:
Listen here sunny! I was referring to pacman and load runner (gameboy).

I give you... the Colecovision Video Club iron-on transfer for t-shirts...

http://www.colecovisionzone.com/page/collectible/videoclub.html

Also WC has expansion but they were release so much later it gave the illusion of being sold separately.

I'm not talking about the expansion. I'm talking about the version of the game that came with a fancier box than the bourgeoisie saps who bought the regular edition. I paid an extra $15 for a nicer box and other "extras" that contributed zip to the gameplay.

Honestly collector's Editions didn't show up on my radar until WOW. And that only because now I know, had I bought one, it would sell really well. But I don't really fault collector's editions because they sell something that wont be sold again ,ideally, And I always attach a higher value to something that exists physically, such as coffee table books of metal boxes.

Hyper-space:
The main gripe i have with Valve's DLC is not that its there, but that they said that they would never use DLCs because apparently all of them are only made to nickel and dime the customer, despite many excellent DLCs having been made. So when they make DLC content, they not only go back on their (frankly arrogant) statements, but they come out with weak-sauce DLCs such as 5$ hats.

Seriously, they could not have fucked this up more.

In other words, you're complaining about the DLCs being useless, and the price for the DLC you don't want.

That's you in the comic.

Therumancer:
As far as "Heavy Rain" goes, I didn't miss it. It's one of those cases where I think the critics were largely being PAID to like it, and those that weren't being paid or stuck by negative opinions were largely being held back until the major sales rush was over and their influance on sales or professional ratings was minimal.

And you're basing this on...what, exactly? Assuming that the critics who liked it were being paid off is remarkably presumptuous of you. There's often a gap between critics and the public.

It's sort of like the whole Gerstmann "Kane and Lynch" scandal, like it or not, professional reviews and critics are bought and sold as part of the advertising budget. "Heavy Rain" is the kind of game that the industry wants to make in some quarters, so they are attempting to create the market for it through hype, rather than trying to have it accepted by the market that is already there.

Yes, and? It's marketing. Marketing tries to sell to as many people as possible. Advertising isn't some sort of mind control ray. It's incumbent upon the consumer to be wary, not the people marketing the product.

If they can present this as the future of gaming, and what everyone is playing, they have a chance of turning that into reality. It's a well known marketing technique.

Good on them. Still no evidence of, pardon the pun, playola.

This has a little to do with the current dicussion about Valve and Portal 2, at least directly, but I do think that right now one of the reasons why we're hearing all this "QQ" about metabombing is that user reviews are becoming notably out of sync with what are purchused reviews/advertising, which looks bad. "Portal 2" being a minor example compared to "Dragon Age 2" but still noteworthy because the point differances were noticed, and it's not something that can be excused by trolling.

Yes it is. People give movies on IMDb "1" scores or "10" just because they want to see it bought closer to the score they think it deserves. You get enough disappointed fanboys together, and they can and have easily done the same thing, such as all the people who downvoted Spore on Amazon just because of DRM.

As far as the DLC goes, understand something, I am a capitalist, but I believe that it needs to be reasonably balanced. Totally unfettered capitalism leads to a few greedy jerks ruining everything for everyone. That's why there are protections against monopolies, price setting, cartel behavior, and similar things. As time goes on, new angles need to be addressed.

Right now the reason why I say that I think the goverment might want to consider stepping in here is because of the sheer potential gaming possesses. Too many guys who want to make their huge fortunes even bigger can very easily wind up wrecking the industry long before it ever reaches it's potential. To a lot of people involved in the gaming industry, it doesn't matter if the whole thing collapses and a whole area of development is lost, as long as they walk away with a fortune in their pockets when it eventually does. As a result they are going to push, and push, and push, and make every arguement possible to find every single way to wring every penny out of the customer base until these greedy jerks doing it wind up ruining it for everyone.

I see absolutely nothing here that's not a slippery slope fallacy.

Understand, I don't like the goverment being involved in business, but I think things like DLC, especially combined with arguements about the nature of intellecual properties and what rights companies have when it comes to digital distribution and the like, represent a huge area for abuse, and if the goverment waits too long to get involved, they will wind up being in a position where they can't do anything against a system that is already so heavily entrenched.

Again, slippery slope.

My view on IP is essentially thus: you make it, you sell it, but I don't have to buy it.

There is more to it than just virtual hats, it's the whole connected sector of business and development, things like this kind of DLC just being one of the more annoying aspects.

Fallacy of Composition.

See, I guess what it comes down to is that I think you can be a successful businessman without gouging your customers, and looking to wring every dime out of everyone. It's fine to seek a profit, it's fine to want to get rich, but when your already sitting on top of a mountain of money and your sitting there simply trying to see how big you can make that mountain of money when you already have more of it than you can ever spend... well yeah, I have some issues with that. It's a differant type of situation, but I think it's that kind of thing that ruins functioning capitalist systems just like monopolies and cartels.

They're charging for silly hats on top of a critically acclaimed game that I keep reading is already worth full price. DLC is optional. As always.

Like it or not, the bottom line is that if the digital distribution system didn't exist like it does now, content like this that was developed alongside the game, would be part of the game itself, rather than an additional paid download.

That's not provable or relevant.

I don't think the issue is a case of people REALLY wanting those hats to a crazy degree like in Shamus' cartoon, but more a situation with people being upset about the situation entirely.

Trust me, it's this exact situation. People complaining about prices being too high for something they say they didn't want in the first place. This isn't the first DLC to receive such a response, and it won't be the last.

See, I think people would rather there be no content, as opposed to this kind of additional trivial content.

That doesn't make any sense. It's not like a few man-hours programming hats devalues the game, so there's no logical reason to complain about Valve making additional content. Feel free to complain about it costing too much, but complaining about it existing in the first place is a self-centered view at best. "I don't like it, so no one else should get to enjoy it, ever!"

That's what I think "the other side" is missing in this arguement. It's the principle of the entire thing, more than a feeling of entitlement, or a mad lust for something they don't want to pay for.

What principle is that, exactly? I've heard people use almost exactly the sort of logic in the comic.

JonnWood:

Hyper-space:
The main gripe i have with Valve's DLC is not that its there, but that they said that they would never use DLCs because apparently all of them are only made to nickel and dime the customer, despite many excellent DLCs having been made. So when they make DLC content, they not only go back on their (frankly arrogant) statements, but they come out with weak-sauce DLCs such as 5$ hats.

Seriously, they could not have fucked this up more.

In other words, you're complaining about the DLCs being useless, and the price for the DLC you don't want.

That's you in the comic.

...what.

Am i not allowed to criticize lackluster DLCs? is it that much of a crime to criticize the almighty Valve? its official, you cannot say ONE bad word about them, lest the Valve defence force comes out of the woods. I am sorry that i wanted DLCs to give me a little bang for my buck, i am sorry that i wanted more out of it, i am fucking sorry that i wanted quality.

Seriously, this fucking ignorance only does the service of allowing developers to become lazy and come out with 5$ hats/skins, instead of something worthwhile. Do you know why i do not want to buy their DLC? BECAUSE THEY SUCK, i mean, why even have DLC when its just going to be some fucking skin changes (things that you easily could have just made a mod for).

But fine, let the developers churn out crap-DLC, for hey, we do not want anyone to think that they are getting something out of it, right? we do not want to make fucking quality DLC because that would lead to people actually wanting to buy it.

Hyper-space:

JonnWood:

Hyper-space:
The main gripe i have with Valve's DLC is not that its there, but that they said that they would never use DLCs because apparently all of them are only made to nickel and dime the customer, despite many excellent DLCs having been made. So when they make DLC content, they not only go back on their (frankly arrogant) statements, but they come out with weak-sauce DLCs such as 5$ hats.

Seriously, they could not have fucked this up more.

In other words, you're complaining about the DLCs being useless, and the price for the DLC you don't want.

That's you in the comic.

...what.

Am i not allowed to criticize lackluster DLCs? is it that much of a crime to criticize the almighty Valve?

I never said that.

So when they make DLC content,[...]they come out with weak-sauce DLCs such as 5$ hats.

There, right there. Complaining about the low quality, and the price for the DLC you say you don't want.

its official, you cannot say ONE bad word about them, lest the Valve defence force comes out of the woods. I am sorry that i wanted DLCs to give me a little bang for my buck, i am sorry that i wanted more out of it, i am fucking sorry that i wanted quality.

And then you complained about the price as well.

Seriously, this fucking ignorance only does the service of allowing developers to become lazy and come out with 5$ hats/skins, instead of something worthwhile.

Arbitrary designation of "worthwhile", based on your personal opinion and no one else's. Someone is going to buy these.

Do you know why i do not want to buy their DLC? BECAUSE THEY SUCK, i mean, why even have DLC when its just going to be some fucking skin changes (things that you easily could have just made a mod for).

Actually, the skins can be unlocked through gameplay. All you're paying for is saving time.

But fine, let the developers churn out crap-DLC, for hey, we do not want anyone to think that they are getting something out of it, right? we do not want to make fucking quality DLC because that would lead to people actually wanting to buy it.

If they make stuff you don't want, don't buy it. It's as simple as that. They are not committing some sort of personal wrong against you if their DLC sucks.

JonnWood:
snip

So no developer has any obligation or need to make quality games/DLCs because hey! you do not want it either way!

What a marvelous line of thinking, developers are scott-free from any criticism, BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT COMMITTING A PERSONAL WRONG AGAINST ANYONE!

This is just crap and i am done, you might not see anything wrong with the logic that no developer could be criticized or has any obligation to create ANYTHING worthwhile, but to me its just laziness and detrimental to the quality of video-games overall.

Hyper-space:

JonnWood:
snip

So no developer has any obligation or need to make quality games/DLCs because hey! you do not want it either way!

Developers don't have any "obligation or need" to make good content, period. Valve could turn out a game that was just Gordon Freeman's foot stepping in a cow pie a few hundred times, if they wanted. I doubt people would buy it for anything more than the lulz, but there's no reason the game couldn't be made in the first place.

What a marvelous line of thinking, developers are scott-free from any criticism, BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT COMMITTING A PERSONAL WRONG AGAINST ANYONE!

This is just crap and i am done, you might not see anything wrong with the logic that no developer could be criticized or has any obligation to create ANYTHING worthwhile, but to me its just laziness and detrimental to the quality of video-games overall.

I'm saying you're reacting as if Valve set out to piss you, personally, off.

I'm not saying you don't have a right to criticize. I'm saying your criticisms are wrong. I know it's subjective, but you seem to be basing your conclusions on a lot of false premises.

Game development isn't a closed system. If I make a crappy flash game, it doesn't mean that Team Fortress 2 is instantly a little less good. The existence of Justin Beiber doesn't make Florence + the Machine any less awesome.

And as I've already asserted, no developer has to make good games. Should they make good games? Yes. Do they make good games? Not necessarily.

mcnally86:
Honestly collector's Editions didn't show up on my radar until WOW. And that only because now I know, had I bought one, it would sell really well. But I don't really fault collector's editions because they sell something that wont be sold again ,ideally, And I always attach a higher value to something that exists physically, such as coffee table books of metal boxes.

As do many people. But that doesn't make the practice any different, or "new". There has always been worthless merch. The industry is just finding new ways to sell it.

jabrwock:

mcnally86:
Honestly collector's Editions didn't show up on my radar until WOW. And that only because now I know, had I bought one, it would sell really well. But I don't really fault collector's editions because they sell something that wont be sold again ,ideally, And I always attach a higher value to something that exists physically, such as coffee table books of metal boxes.

As do many people. But that doesn't make the practice any different, or "new". There has always been worthless merch. The industry is just finding new ways to sell it.

And I'm sure when they added the coach section to an airplane and charged more for the seating and treatment people were used to it was a shock then as well. It feels like they are finding a way to raise the price without raising the price obviously. I remember getting a FH license. 2004 they raised the price 30% and since they could not get away with another rate hike so soon the next year they shortened new license issued from lasting 5 years to only last 3.

mcnally86:
And I'm sure when they added the coach section to an airplane and charged more for the seating and treatment people were used to it was a shock then as well. It feels like they are finding a way to raise the price without raising the price obviously. I remember getting a FH license. 2004 they raised the price 30% and since they could not get away with another rate hike so soon the next year they shortened new license issued from lasting 5 years to only last 3.

These aren't comparable. Imagine instead that they made all the seats in the airplane the same, but a few passengers paid an extra $50 for their ticket, and they get a flimsy paper party hat to wear during the flight. No extra leg-room, no free champagne, no dividing curtain to ensure they don't have to look at your grumpy face... ;)

And there are some people wearing party hats who got them because they did a double-backflip while boarding the plane instead of having to shell out $50.

Or in the case of your FH license, they kept the price and term the same. But if you pay $5 more, you get a happy face stamp on your license card. Doesn't mean a thing, but you get a nice stamp.

jabrwock:

mcnally86:
And I'm sure when they added the coach section to an airplane and charged more for the seating and treatment people were used to it was a shock then as well. It feels like they are finding a way to raise the price without raising the price obviously. I remember getting a FH license. 2004 they raised the price 30% and since they could not get away with another rate hike so soon the next year they shortened new license issued from lasting 5 years to only last 3.

These aren't comparable. Imagine instead that they made all the seats in the airplane the same, but a few passengers paid an extra $50 for their ticket, and they get a flimsy paper party hat to wear during the flight. No extra leg-room, no free champagne, no dividing curtain to ensure they don't have to look at your grumpy face... ;)

And there are some people wearing party hats who got them because they did a double-backflip while boarding the plane instead of having to shell out $50.

Or in the case of your FH license, they kept the price and term the same. But if you pay $5 more, you get a happy face stamp on your license card. Doesn't mean a thing, but you get a nice stamp.

Of course you cannot compare these things on content. The license only lats a set time and the airplane you only ride one per ticket, excepting multi-flight tickets and frequent flyer programs. But I wasn't comparing them in content I was comparing them in the fact that they had one price and then they increased over the years.

Post n1 here ! Huuura...

First, I don't care about capitalism, micro transaction model or anything market-related AT ALL (or at least, not in this post), I just wanna talk about game quality and player's satisfaction.

Back to the (good) ol' days where DLC didn't existed, when you paid for a game, you got the game everyone got. Oh, perhaps you bought the Xtra Deluxe Plus+ With Norvegian Strawberries Inside Edition so you also had a fancy Tshirt and a "For the Horde !" toilet roll but you most importantly had a FULLY PAID game, and this game was designed to live forever with nearly no modification. And then was coming the great part: you played, you enjoyed and you were such a stupid time-wasting nerd that you spent hundreds of hours just to see some sort of "Completion: 100%" somewhere (Tales of symphonia Compendium, anyone ?). This 100% was (at least, for me) AWESOME. Seriously, it was such a great feeling and I'm pretty sure everyone of you felt this in at least one game. There wasn't any reward, no crownd screaming your name and no hot female giving you her body but the feeling of achievement was here. Ok, I'm misleading, sometimes you got a skin/unique-item/bonus-for-the-next-game...

Now, there is no more 100%. When you complete ANYTHING, it's not over, there's a little last task to achieve...
-> You won't reach 100% unless you spend 120 bucks in lame shop for some sort of stuff.
And where the skin obtained by achieving something truly epic (full completion, achieving an online pentakill, defeating Baal with a level 3 necromancer... whatever) was great, the skin obtained by typing your credit card number feels full of Faggotry. It's exactly as pointless as facebook in the hands of a retarded 16 year old girl:
Girl: "Heyyy, look at me ! I'm so awesome !
Me: "Oh, nice, why are you so awesome, what did you just achieved ?"
Girl: "Oh, nothing, I'm just awesome lol <3"
ME: "DIE, BURN, EAT POOP, CHOOSE ORDER"

And I don't even blame companies because they make money using this "I want shiny stuff NOW. No, I'm not able to achieve anything so I'll give you money" mentality. I blame them for filling their awesome games with a tiny bit of gross faggotry. It's prostitution and I do not want this to even exists in the games I'll state as epic in 10 years (Portal 2 is really good but the shop makes it appear as a money machine -> Seriously Valve ? Really ? No Joke ?) I hate them for being sooo good at making games and sooo good at wanting money. Same goes with Blizzard, they learned with years how to devellop good games, truly epic ones... And then they discovered big money.

However, I have to admit these DLC have one interesting purpose: supporting a game company financially. But I'd rather click a "Donate 30 dollz" on the League of Legends homepage than buy 5-6 skins that I'd enjoy wayyys more if they were included in the game natively or gift as reward for some sort of achievement.

Finally, please notice that I do not really complain. First because there's still awesome games. And second because I know that DLC makes companies earn money so I guess digital prostitution will live forever and I'll have to deal with it... It just makes me sad.

PS: Scuse me if my post does not fits this forum standard and if my english is pretty poor... I'm new and french...

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