DLC, Again

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DLC, Again

Shamus examines some of the arguments against Portal 2's DLC. For science, of course.

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You could call them Microtransactions...
Pretty sure that's already the accepted term.

I only have problems with On-Disc-DLC in terms of solo content or core game features. Like, the exclusive MvC3 characters, Versus mode in RE5, or online passes. But since Online Pass is free to New buyers, I dislike that less.

On Capcom...

http://torontotoptiers.com/marvel-vs-capcom/mvc3-disk-hacked-discovered-incompleted-jill-and-shuma-gorath/

Shuma Gorath was 100% on the disc, and Jill was not, although many of her files already were. I might pay for Jill, but not SG.

Let's look at Blazblue.

http://www.ps3attitude.com/new/2010/08/blazblues-makoto-dlc-worth-8/

It's another fighting game, you may have heard of it.

It added downloadable characters to it's game, too. But they were designed post-release, and like MMO content, are added in a universal patch to allow non-DLC-owners to see/play with content holders.

That's fine with me, really. I've no probably paying for core content post-release DLC. That's what most DLC is, after all.

TL;DR

Hats aren't a core part of gameplay.

In the end, it's a bunch of virtual hats. Hats...

There's no guess work on whether or not it's worth the pricetag. We've all regretted paying for and downloading a lackluster level or equipment. It's hard to judge some crappy DLC ME2 mission or character without experiencing it first, but a hat is a cosmetic thing that you can see before you buy it.

Again, people are getting furious over HATS!!

Another thing about the hats. There's no way they caused valuable resources to divert from the main game. The hats are something a competent modder could crank out in a few days on his spare time. A developer who helped built the tools and have been using them since creation and knows everything about them could probably make them in an afternoon.

They're just damn hats.

I don't have an issue with DLC. But what I have an issue with is content thats already on the disk, and then sold as DLC. Like the first Bioshock 2 DLC. Why didn't people flip their shit over that? Oh right, they did, then stopped after a few days for whatever reason. Most probably bought the thing.

As you said, Portal 2 is doing DLC right. Also, the Portal 2 DLC thats actually adding some substantial content(like new rooms and stuff) will be free. So yeah.

Some very good points indeed. I absolutely agree that this is certainly not a poor example of DLC, there are much more worthy contenders for that crown

Similarly, I agree with the idea that it is acceptable to pay for content that is on the disc, in principle. This only holds true if the game doesn't suffer for this content not being available. I.E. the game must work, make sense, and be fun even if this content is not bought.

Your point about the difference between indie devs and big companies was very well made; why should one company be allowed to ask customers to pay for content when a bigger company can't

At the end of the day, if you don't want the content, don't pay for it and just enjoy your game

P.S. I didn't even notice that the numbers were wrong, I reckon you could have got away with that one

I didn't even notice there was a store until i finished the campaigns.

Also hats = more free real DLC for us.

I'm fine with the hats.

There's nothing wrong with trying to get some extra money as long as people are willing to pay for it.

And they gave me a beanie for some reason so I feel somewhat obligated to defend them. :P

BrunDeign:
I'm fine with the hats.

There's nothing wrong with trying to get some extra money as long as people are willing to pay for it.

And they gave me a beanie for some reason so I feel somewhat obligated to defend them. :P

You will get a Benaie in Portal 2 if you already have it in TF2.

As for the article-good points. The pizza toppings analogy is right on the money.

My thoughts when I saw the hats?

"Wow, five bucks for a hat is pretty steep, but I wouldn't mind tipping them that much. I really enjoyed the game."

If it makes you feel any better, consider it a tip jar, where you get a free knick knack for donating.

Bang on, Shamus. This is exactly what DLC should be. Optional content that enhances or extends the game beyond it's clearly completed core. It's way overpriced, I'll give you that, but if people are willing to pay for it then who cares?

The trend I'm very much against is retailer exclusive content like with LA Noire, where missions are given to retailers (Gamestop and Wal-Mart in this case) as preorder bonuses. This just ensures that even the most dedicated fan who preorders a collector's edition from either retailer will still be missing content. I see a slippery slope here. I'm not foolish to enough to say that the retailer exclusive content will get to the point where it's even 25% of the game, but I do think it will get more substantial as long as the trend is supported.

I'm not gonna zero-bomb the game for it, though. In all likelihood, that was a publisher and not a developer decision. I'm just not going to buy the game (at least not new). It's not evil for businesses to act in their own interest, but neither is it evil or entitled for consumers to also act in theirs as well.

I most assuredly do not disagree with anything said here. I think that it's a good idea to offer something like hats in game for real world money. As long as it doesn't impact game balance, I see no issues at all.

I prefer this kinda stuff over map DLC any day of the week. Then again the only reason I dislike map DLC is that I'm used to the CS:S model of "everything map related is free." XD

I have no problem with cosmetic DLC such as these hats or for that matter, the Oblivion horse armour. These items have little impact to the core game other than to make your character look pretty.

For DLC missions (quick examples like borderlands, FO3, Oblivion), I refuse to buy them unless they actually provide more than just an hour or 2 of content or I'll just wait until the GoTY version comes on sale on Steam and get them then as a full package.

Well, I'm not going to answer you Shamus, just ask yet more questions!

I am playing a game, the DLC/add on/whatever is there, I've had to download it onto my hard drive because the game won't let me play it without the latest version.
So my hard drive contains vast amounts of conent that should be playable, it's there, it's installed. But I am not allowed to touch it due arbitrary imposed constraints.

Does that mean the developer should pay me when it comes to replace my hard disk because of all the crap they've put on it for me?

Since they've already put it on there, is there any moral/ethical reason I shouldn't just hack the game until I can use it?
Hunting down illicit downloads is one thing, but is it reasonable for a dev to forcibly* install content on my machine and then not let me use it? If I buy a DVD and it won't play I either take it back or start look at work arounds until it does, surely this is no different?

What about discs with content already on them that has to be unlocked? Resident Evil 5's minor infamy for the multiplayer 'download' sticks out in my mind. Would it be unethical to just copy the UI/front end for multiplayer from somewhere and patch it in myself rather than paying for it? It's on the disc, I paid for the disc, the law says I own it regardless of what the EULA might tell me.

Downloaded and online content seems like a massive moral/legal grey void to me. More specifically a void with no botom and no guard rail to stop customers falling in.
The ever increasing amounts of paid DLC and heavy DRM is going to hurt us as players (even more than it does now). I don't particularly fancy the idea of resorting to piracy to actually be able to play/back up/modify/enjoy games, but it is increasingly looking like the future.

*whilst not literally forced game updates are still a Hobson's choice, you can either take the update and all that implies, or junk the game you just spent $60 on.

TheComfyChair:

Also hats = more free real DLC for us.

This is what i feel.
if people feel they desperatly need the hats to buy more power to them,

Like team fortress 2, we've never ever paid for content for 2 years. and now they realease some of the ingame items that can be obtained through the game if u want to play, but you can also buy. the items CAN cost. but the maps and modes are FREE

fix-the-spade:

I am playing a game, the DLC/add on/whatever is there, I've had to download it onto my hard drive because the game won't let me play it without the latest version.
So my hard drive contains vast amounts of conent that should be playable, it's there, it's installed. But I am not allowed to touch it due arbitrary imposed constraints.

Does that mean the developer should pay me when it comes to replace my hard disk because of all the crap they've put on it for me?

Since they've already put it on there, is there any moral/ethical reason I shouldn't just hack the game until I can use it?
Hunting down illicit downloads is one thing, but is it reasonable for a dev to forcibly* install content on my machine and then not let me use it? If I buy a DVD and it won't play I either take it back or start look at work arounds until it does, surely this is no different?

But, technically you haven't bought the hat it comes seperately. I bought some keys from the tf2 store, I felt like a chump afterwards since I got 4 duplicate weapons for my money. Sooo....no virtual hats for me.

Yes there is a moral reason why you shouldn't hack the game to have the hats. You haven't paid for them. The licence on the hats is "pay this price, get to wear a cool hat". Should I swap the barcodes on the collectors edition of a DVD with the regular so that I get the collector edition for the regular price? that would be wrong surely.

While I'm not happy about paying for some DLC I'd rather have the OPTION of paying for extra hats than the "option" of paying for a map pack, looking at YOU CoD/BF2142/...!

My biggest issue with DLC is still the same I have with digital distribution: my crappy internet connection. Though I guess even if I had a better one I'd still prefer paying cash and actually owning a physical copy of something.

Sigh. I live in the past.

I dont hate this DLC i hate the kids that buy it to feel special or people that buy it in order to rub into your face that they are better then you in every way,

If i honestly cared for this junk i would just hex edit the game to load all the cosmetic items i wanted, its not that hard, i did it for WoW and the celestial steed etc.

The problem is the people that buy this junk are there to show it off and make you feel inferior compared to them, On the other hand good job milk those morons dry

Mostly I agree with Shamus, but (there's always a but)

Shamus Young:
If other players want to pay for this DLC and the company is willing to sell it, why do you feel the need to demand that the transaction not take place?

Because you can use the same justification to promote Zynga's InsomniaVille's line of games, where the most profitable use of gaming resources is pay for enhancers/DLC. That puts us on the slippery slope of certain companies, that see nothing wrong with putting out a game with a deliberate peer pressure to purchase DLC.

From that point, the top ten games are DLC based (as they get more sales); which means the stockists are more willing to push DLC based games; which means the majority of gamers (who are often not as savvy as those who read reviews/columns) will suffer.

And given the railing so many people have made about Microsoft charging for ALL of their DLC, to support it whole-heartedly is to lend credence to this course of action.

For example: Civilization 5 - Not only are certain factions locked away (and certain factions from the original being unplayable), but certain gameplay types are locked away, and the base game isn't stable. Equally, if Civ 5 wants to bring out new factions later, what's the point of them allowing modding in the future, that could easily replace profitable DLC.

Numerous Team Fortress 2 servers have donation based games that allow "cheating" by reducing re-spawn times, allowing non-gained hats & altering the base rules. If this type of play is promoted, then we're looking at a possible destruction of modding (which is where the PC leads the consoles by a LONG way).

Look at a game like Everquest or WoW. You don't HAVE to buy Cataclysm, Planes of Power or Destiny of Velious; but you're at a severe disadvantage playing without it.

That's the DLC that will be profitable in the future - and will start to lead the way games are developed.

Yes, it can bring great ideas like the Tsunami Charity Hats - but there's a dangerous downside. Imagine Champions Online where certain costume items cost real money. And it's already happened with DCUO. If you didn't buy the game from a certain place, you will NEVER play as Batman.

If Valve brought in hats to L4D tomorrow, I'd bet there would be people willing to buy a Stout Shako for Bill (or even a broom ;) ), so why shouldn't they?...

Mainly because it can shatter immersion, hinder modders and create a DLC "arms race". Why should Valve not add hats to every game they ever make? Why shouldn't they have a team directly dedicated to hat production?

Slippery slope is all I'm saying. For certain games it's a great idea, but if you're pressing that people REALLY need those hats, and they're not kept in check, why should Valve bother to create games that don't allow for hats?

Edit: Look at how many crates are sitting in most TF2 players drop box just asking kindly for you to spend a little money buying that key that could get you a special hat? That's a very subtle form of peer-pressure.

Yes, my copy of World of Warcraft DOES contain the celestial steed mount but it's not an integral part to the game. World of Warcraft is also an MMORPG, which is different from say a single player game. Look at Mass Effect 2. The DLC that links the gap between ME2 and ME3 is absolutely needed if you want to make any sense of what the fuck is going on. Fighting games also engage in this bullshit. You pay 60 dollars expecting a full game only to have to pay more for extra fighters. Nowadays the cost of a full experience isn't 60 dollars, already a steep price, it's somewhere between 80 to 90 bucks. This means bad news to most gamers who are on a budget, which is most gamers.

I can't argue about the Portal 2 DLC. It's not in any way pivotal to the gameplay or story. They're goddamn hats. The moment Valve start charging for actual content is the moment I'll become angry. For e.g., TF2 items. They pretty much change the way a class is played and yet they allow people to buy them. If they were only cosmetic items I wouldn't care but it's a step to far. You technically get an advantage by buying them.

In regards to day 1 DLC, it's disgusting. Most of the files for the content is already in the game and yet they make you pay for it. You pay 60 dollars, an already steep price and you end up having to pay even more to experience the whole game, something which you thought you'd get when buying said game. Instead, you end up with a part of the game.

Also, I actually CAN dictate what a company should do with its resources and time. I'M the buyer. They're trying to appeal to ME, not anyone else. Treating user suggestions like shit and continuing to screw gamers over isn't a very good tactic, but apparently putting a "friendly face" and creating drama assures that you'll sell bland, boring and unoriginal games in the millions(I'm looking at you Activision). Correction, I can't dictate what a company should do with its time. WE, as gamers CAN. If we unite we can make publishers and developers dance to our music but unfortunately no one is willing to do so. The gaming community is strong but in the slightest bit united. If we actually do unite our forces and forget our differences we could, without a shadow of a doubt, run the entire industry.

Valve was always seen as a respectable company that would never stoop low. Gamers consider this a betrayal due to many previous "less respected" companies using these sort of cheap tactics. EA, Activision, 2K, etc. DLC is seen as evil because these companies saw it as an easy way to make money instead of as a way to complete their game. Valve has never done this until now and gamers always thought they never would associate themselves with the evil, barbaric tactic that DLC is considered to be.

It's not that I'm against DLC, it's that in against the way it's implemented. It screws over gamers. The thing is, we CAN change this. In fact, we could change the entire face of the gaming industry and make them do our bidding if we had a common goal but unfortunately we don't. There are to many crowds subscribing to different ideas for the gaming community to ever actually make a difference. Petitions do jack shit and so do "protests". Remember how well those so called "protests" went for Left 4 Dead 2? Yeah... The only possible way to unite the community, actually the only possible way to unite people of different view points is to give them a common enemy.

Rant over.

I've been trying to back out of this conversation because it's getting circular, and I keep getting new responses saying the same things that I already answered, but I figured I'd make a few comments on the subject again. How much effort I'll spend responding, knowing that nothing is going to be resolved via an internet arguement that has already been going on for a while now, remains to be seen. It depends on if any responses get my attention for reasons other than being rude.

The problem I see it is that a lot of this content is trivial. Years ago, before digital distribution became viable, things like alternate costumes, color swaps, and hats would have been part of the games themselves. Nobody would have say packaged up the DLC we're seeing for "Portal 2" and mailed it out to brick and mortar stores to be sold as an add on.

I don't think that we're actually seeing a situation where the game industry has whole other teams of people involved in making things like hats, that wind up being ready for release at the same time as the games either.

It's generally speaking a mentality where the game developers come up with an entire product, and then due to the way technology has evolved, decide what trivial features can be stripped away from the main product and sold seperatly.

I'm one of those people who is at the forefront of complaining about DLC, but you'll notice I don't criticize actual expansion packs. Something like a "Point Lookout" for "Fallout 3" is a worthy addition to a game, that has involved a fair amount of development and new content, and is worth paying a few bucks as an add on. Something like an alternate skin on the other hand is not.

Trivial DLC is mostly intended to prey on people who want complete products as much as anything. Oh sure you don't NEED to have all the alternate costumes unlocked on your disc, or to download the horse armor, or whatever else, but by their existance you know that if you don't get them something is lacking from your overall experience.

What's more, as time goes on, catering to this kind of behavior, just makes things worse. The fact that we as consumers let companies like Valve get away with things like the whole "DLC Hats" garbage, is what opens the door for people like Bobby Kotick to seriously suggest things like charging for cut scenes.

I'm not against DLC in a general sense, I'm against people being greedy dorks and dragging down the industry as a whole. In the end my basic attitude is that people should exercise some willpower, and simply not support companies and products backed by this kind of marketing. I can't FORCE anyone to not buy games, but I can take a stance myself, and talk about it hoping other people will follow suit. Organizing boycotts are impractical, but you can always hope that over time you can plant the seeds for trends to reverse.

To be honest, just because something is intergrated into the industry right now does not mean that it has to remain that way... though admittedly, the longer you let something like this go on, the more integral it becomes to the business model, and the harder it becomes to see the trend reverse.

Some might have noticed that I haven't always been quite as hardcore in expressing myself, against trivial DLC as I have been recently, and that's because it's moved from an occasional thing, to being presnet everywhere, and become a problem rather than an annoyance.

What's more, I confess to some concern that if companies can get away with selling a few hats for $5 or whatever, that there is going to be increasingly less effort to produce more substnatial game packs at an affordable level. Why make "Point Lookout" if you can say create a couple of T-shirts for the in game Avatar and probably make just as much money?

The way I see it, Valve can sell all the Portal 2 hats they want it if means we keep getting DLC that's actually playable content for free.

To everyone who doesn't like the hats: Just don't buy them. If enough people are on your side and also don't buy them, then they see that nobody wants to buy hats and they try something else. Or, people buy it anyway, and they make more hats because more hats means more money, which in turns means more games. That's capitalism for you.

EDIT: Wow, lots of people pulling really lame "slippery slope" arguments in here. Maybe you all should just be more careful with your propulsion gel. Then things wouldn't be so slippery. Also, water washes that stuff away no problem. ;)

mjc0961:
The way I see it, Valve can sell all the Portal 2 hats they want it if means we keep getting DLC that's actually playable content for free.

To everyone who doesn't like the hats: Just don't buy them. If enough people are on your side and also don't buy them, then they see that nobody wants to buy hats and they try something else. Or, people buy it anyway, and they make more hats because more hats means more money, which in turns means more games. That's capitalism for you.

More hats means more games with more hats and less fun addons, you get what you plant.

I love how you didn't actually rebut the argument for the first point and instead just talked about the meaning of the word "DLC". Way to put semantics in front of substantial argument, bro.

Team Fortress 2 gave us years of free content, but Portal 2 doesn't have that excuse. This is content they could have put in the game, but didn't. And now Portal 2 PS3 players will never see that custom taunt because Valve wanted another yacht to hold all their excess cash.

On the "selling cutscenes for cash" thing... If they want to sell the cutscenes as a SEPARATE item to the rest of the game (perhaps as they did with the SCII collector's edition where they are on the bundled DVD), then by all means... But if they take them out of the game and charge you for watching them while playing through the game... Well, no money from me then... Then they'd be missing an extremely large portion of the point of telling a story...

Best regards :)

I don't mind the hats in Portal 2. What I DO mind is the crates in TF2. That is probably one of the worst ways to do micro-transactions, especially when it started. Some people could ignore the store, but crates at the start were far more common that anything else. So even those who wanted to ignore the store were constantly getting items that could only be used by getting something that is only in the store (or are extremely rare). They fixed it so that crates aren't as common, but that still doesn't solve the issue that those who want to ignore the store still have a bunch of useless items in their inventory, and time that could have given them a drop or weapon or something now was used to get a crate. Thankfully, it seems Valve learned their lesson with that one, because at least there's nothing like that in Portal 2.

Ok, rant over.

Dorkmaster Flek:
Bang on, Shamus. This is exactly what DLC should be. Optional content that enhances or extends the game beyond it's clearly completed core. It's way overpriced, I'll give you that, but if people are willing to pay for it then who cares?

Because the price is exploitative. There's nothing legally wrong with it if people are willing to pay for it, but just because you can gouge people for something, that doesn't mean you should.
Now, I'm sketchy on the ethics of asking people to pay real money for virtual items, but I'm not going to come right out and say it's completely unethical and there's no room for argument. The issue is definitely worth discussion that should ultimately be left up to the company to make the final decision after considering the points and where it wants to stand. Me, I really wouldn't go for it myself, but I'm not going to berate other people too heavily for it, provided the price is reasonable and the quality of the DLC is equal to that price. On that issue, I definitely think Valve needs to re-evaluate their policy.
Still, there are much worse offenders out there that I'll get on the case of before I'll send any major criticisms to Valve.

Even if it's something more substantial than hats... Like an extra character that actually adds to the gameplay (Even though I like you Dragon Age 2... I'm looking at you)... Day 1 DLC is still BS.

You're telling me that they didn't have that crap planned before the game's release? That it was an extra effort that should cost an extra $5 even though it was completed within the same development cycle as the rest of the game? I don't buy it Mr. Young.

Yeah some people will pay for it... and yeah it won't go away. But it's still BS

As I said before as a business practice I find it very dishonest.... I see it somewhere in the areas of gambling or telemarketing, which have been regulated by law to not be abused ... too much, they're still slow with "online goods" as they are with a lot of things "online" but they will have to react at some point because it is a big market: http://www.boingboing.net/2011/04/07/world-bank-gold-farm.html
As in any unregulated field companies are trying to put their feelers out and determine how far they can go till something breaks: http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2010/apr/07/farmville-user-debt-facebook

Now on to a few points I made in the last thread, expanding a little on each of them

1) It doesn't "tell you" what the full price for a product is going to be from the start (e.g. no one knew about the Portal 2 shop till it was released, it was apparently also missing from review copies, same thing with other DLC).
As PC Gamer writer "Dan Stapleton" put it after a question about the cash shop: http://www.pcgamer.com/2011/04/19/portal-2-review/

It wasn't in the version we played for the review, which Valve told us was complete. But it's irrelevant - as you say, all it is is pointless gestures and skins, so it doesn't affect what I think of the game at all. If I'd been thinking "Man, I sure wish there were more gestures and skins for co-op" as I played, then I'd be annoyed that they're charging for extras. But I wasn't.
As is, people who aren't interested can safely ignore them as though they never existed. I plan to.

Now why was this? I'd say it was obvious that Valve knows how some people react towards DLC and that it might spark some controversy and cost them sales, I Pre-Ordered the game (and would have probably still done if I knew about it) but others might not have been so "kind". Of course you could probably say that the shop "wasn't ready" yet, but the fact that they haven't mentioned it once before the release of the game (they haven't made one of their funny videos trying to promote it or mentioned it as "awesome feature") gives credence to the possibility that they basically know there's something wrong with it and lots of people don't want it.
Point is, you can't make an informed decision without knowing the facts and about every company tries to hide the fact that there will be "DLC" in their game (hidden costs) and what exactly it entails and they only announce "DLC packs" that are supposed to come a few weeks later after the game was already released and the initial sales have been made.

2) It tricks people psychologically into spending a lot of money because it is only "minor amounts". There's not really that much to it... they are accessing weaknesses of the human mind and appeal to basic urges to get you into buying their stuff, Gabe has said as much a few years back: http://www.shacknews.com/article/57308/valve-left-4-dead-half

Furthermore, Valve has hired an experimental psychologist to maximize the excitement of Steam sales and other marketing opportunities. According to Newell, one suggestion by the psychologist was to provide one free copy of a Valve game to every 25th buyer of Left 4 Dead.

3) The asking price rarely fits the actual labor that went into creating a product, 5-20$ for modeling a hat or a horse, really? In the "real world" the asking price is usually tied more in line to the physical production costs of an actual material product (and brand name)

This is a big one, they basically have found a way to make money from nothing, because they are literally selling that (nothing) and there's no production costs to speak of, it also isn't available in only limited supply either. They basically have managed to monetize parts of the long-standing "piracy is theft" argument (which it isn't because there is no physical good or limited supply)
http://www.onlinemassivelymultiplayer.com/mmo-news/wow-celestial-steed-sells-over-3-5-million-in-24-hours-hd-gameplay-video/
Take this one for example, in 24 hours they managed to make 3.5 million $ with the work of one man for a few hours... hell they didn't even bother to remodel the thing, they just put new paint on it... Now I don't know about you but I personally think there's something wrong with that and it doesn't really apply to many fields of business. A painter painting a house on an afternoon etc. doesn't stand to make that.

It also doesn't do well in comparison to what you can get on say Steam for that money... up to 3-4 full games that people have put a lot of time and effort in to make (and is kind of a slap into their face saying a skin or a character model is worth more than all their work).

4) There is huge potential for abuse (and it has been done already) e.g. see Assassin's Creed 2, which "skips" over two chapters of story if you don't buy DLC or Dragon Age 2 that lacks story-relevant quests and characters if you didn't Pre-Order 1 month ahead/didn't buy things, same might be pointed out for Mass Effect 2's "Arrival", which is supposed to be a plot point leading to the beginning of Mass Effect 3. Or Street Fighter and several other games that already have all the content (like several costumes) on the disc and you just pay them to "unlock" it (I guess that could also be said for several of these shops)

e.g. the "slippery slope" argument mentioned by Shamus in 9. Personally I don't think we are there yet, not by far... We'll be there when they will sell you a game with 1-3 levels which are self-contained and you'll have to unlock all the others with your credit card. We'll be closer to there when the only way to progress in a game after a certain point is to literally pay for it (like a few "F2P" MMOs are already doing). We'll be there when you have to pay for unlocking most units in an RTS, weapons in an FPS or enhanced graphics options. We'll be there when you have to pay for game-time by the hour again like in the arcades and every single time you defend a step towards that direction you are just making it easier and enabling us to get there faster.
Some of the "social" (phlegm) games have arrived there or are on their best way to do so and publishers are greedily oogling them and their success while wanting to transfer it to their games.

5) They're removing a lot of features that used to be basic in games in the past and diminish their products to ensure market viability... now some companies like Valve are somewhat nicer in that case but Activision and EA have both been ready to forego things like modding tools, customization options, reward-systems (unlockable items) and the likes from their games to make them more money and people are defending that. It might just hit something you care about next.

As I see it, it also devalues the product (not much unlike DRM) for me and a game "offering DLC" is a downside, it usually means less content or rip-off, as I put it in another thread:

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 "micro transactions" 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

Regarding Valve not having enough "money to produce good games", yeah they do.
There were several articles like this one: http://www.joystiq.com/2011/02/15/valves-gabe-newell-discusses-company-profitability-and-getting/
saying that they are more profitable per employee than Google or Apple, it doesn't exactly have numbers but I'd guess it would be in the high millions for each employee... you have to remember that they are getting a cut from every game sold on Steam which is usually somewhere above 20% for each. They could release most of their games for free and not charge for anything and they would probably still have "enough money".

To put some context on that, Valve's 250-person company has an estimated value of $2 billion to $4 billion (approximately $8 million to $16 million profit earned per employee), while Apple's 49,400 employees pull in roughly $6.68 million each, and Google's 24,400 earn the company around $8.19 million apiece.

There was also an interview where they said that they are at a point where when they start a new project "money is not an issue" and that it's good not to have to worry about that but I can't find the article via Google right now :/

Shamus Young:
(Of course, I think games themselves cost too much, but that's another column.)

Even though they've actually come down in price?

Shamus, all I can say about the people complaining is that the internet is full of folks who live deep in the bowels of their own colons.

If you don't like it, don't buy it; if you do like it, buy it and enjoy it, but whatever you do, don't prevent others from making their own choice of how they wish to spend their money and enjoy their time.

Mr. Omega:
I don't mind the hats in Portal 2. What I DO mind is the crates in TF2. That is probably one of the worst ways to do micro-transactions, especially when it started. Some people could ignore the store, but crates at the start were far more common that anything else. So even those who wanted to ignore the store were constantly getting items that could only be used by getting something that is only in the store (or are extremely rare). They fixed it so that crates aren't as common, but that still doesn't solve the issue that those who want to ignore the store still have a bunch of useless items in their inventory, and time that could have given them a drop or weapon or something now was used to get a crate. Thankfully, it seems Valve learned their lesson with that one, because at least there's nothing like that in Portal 2.

Ok, rant over.

I agree about the crates in TF2. Either make the keys free or the crates rare drops that can be instantly opened.

For the longest time, I was having some strange problem that I couldn't even access the store because the in-game community didn't work for me in any game, even though I had it enabled. Yet, I had a bunch of these crates that I couldn't even open because I couldn't get to the store for a key. Out of curiosity, I looked up the price of a key on the internet; my jaw hit the floor in utter disbelief(after which, my opinion regarding crates was "fuck that shit!"). I ended up just trading all my crates to another player for a brass beast and something else, which I forget. Funny thing is, a couple days after I stopped caring about the store because I no longer had the crates, I was suddenly magically able to access the store after a Steam update O_o. Sometimes, reality has a very interesting sense of humor.

Luckily, the gloves from the Hibernating set was on sale for $2.49, so I bought that to go with the brass beast.

Amazingly, it seems some commenters here didn't actually read the article. I can't be bothered to write rebuttals since there's already one sat on the other end of the link up there.

But I will briefly mention; the TF2 weapons might be purchased, but every single weapon (that's not an exact clone of another one) can be obtained through either completing achievements, crafting, or just random drops. You don't have to pay for them to get them.

Trolls will at the end of the day be sure to do one thing = Troll.

Some dont even do it on purpose, some people are just genuinely hate filled. While others just like different things sooooo what ever. You dont like Portal, explain why (in a polite manner) in the reveiwer section with everyone else and if at all possible dont make up random BS.

I have no problems with a gaming company charging extra for extras. If it was key stuff they charged for, I would not buy the game because im poor and cant afford crap games aswell.

As a side note if a game claimed to have "free hats" it would definatly catch my eye... I hope that doesnt speak to much about my taste in games.

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