DLC, Again

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10. Uh, you used number four twice in this list?

True, but I skipped number six, so it evens out.

Hah, gave me a good laugh!

On topic, I completely agree with you that microtransactions in the form of hats aren't "teh devilz" as some people seem to believe. Had Valve cut out the Aperture Science Innovators part and put it out as "mid-game DLC" it would make a worlds difference. Can't really comprehend how so many people can bash such a phenomenal game (also don't understand the people who are disappointed by the game having around 8 hours of singleplayer, did they actually expect a 20 hour campaign or something? I'm sure Valve could have cranked it up to 15 if they so wanted it, but I can bet you that if they had stayed to the present release date it would have ended up being a mediocre game with some touches of brilliance at best.)

RejjeN:

10. Uh, you used number four twice in this list?

True, but I skipped number six, so it evens out.

Hah, gave me a good laugh!

On topic, I completely agree with you that microtransactions in the form of hats aren't "teh devilz" as some people seem to believe. Had Valve cut out the Aperture Science Innovators part and put it out as "mid-game DLC" it would make a worlds difference. Can't really comprehend how so many people can bash such a phenomenal game (also don't understand the people who are disappointed by the game having around 8 hours of singleplayer, did they actually expect a 20 hour campaign or something? I'm sure Valve could have cranked it up to 15 if they so wanted it, but I can bet you that if they had stayed to the present release date it would have ended up being a mediocre game with some touches of brilliance at best.)

Im not a hardcore fan of Valve even though I did really enjoy TF2, L4D and Portal and all the comics, online stuff... WHATEVER. However this does seem a constant complaint. I like short and sweet but im not made of money Valve, I need a game that lasts until my next pay day.

I could almost cry I am so happy! It's good to know that there are intelligent people making intelligent arguments concerning this issue. Thanks Shamus, for speaking up for the people who are NOT raving, self-entitled lunatics!

joethekoeller:
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'm with you man. Word for damn word.

My internet sucks, so downloading things is rarely an option. I hate credit cards and paying over the internet. Where I have to rely on a bunch of servers and systems and hope they don't fail. Compared to just going to the store, paying cold hard cash, and getting my game. A game I'll have no matter what.

Plus, nothing can beat that new game smell.

ionveau:

joethekoeller:
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.

If the content is already on the disk just google up a way to unlock it, its legal seeing as you already own it.

Not how it works. You don't actually own the game per se. You own a license to play it.

You don't automatically have the license to use the hats though.

Valve is by no means the worst case of day 1 DLC out there. Why not whine at those guys making L.A. Noire? There's a whole mission that's only available if you pre-order from Gamestop. How the hell has that gotten by, while Portal 2's little hats are getting blasted? It's just nonsensical!

i didnt even notice there WAS hats in portal 2 until i read somebody complaining about them. i was all like what? where?

Companies should continue to expect backlash anytime they do DLC. If we become complacent, and even start arguing on their behalf, it just furthers the outcome of quality games being chopped into pieces by greedy marketing departments, because those are games I won't buy no matter how rave the reviews are.

On a case by case basis even if Portal 2 has valid/sane DLC (it does); I'd rather not see it at all because of what it could lead to. The outcry sends a message to the rest of the industry. It is the exact same reason we fight for free speech in even the most rediciulous of cases.

Mantonio:

ionveau:

joethekoeller:
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.

If the content is already on the disk just google up a way to unlock it, its legal seeing as you already own it.

Not how it works. You don't actually own the game per se. You own a license to play it.

You don't automatically have the license to use the hats though.

IM NOT TALKING ABOUT SERVER HACKING client hacking is 100% legal unless you have dumb software laws where you live e.g U.S

ionveau:

Mantonio:

ionveau:

If the content is already on the disk just google up a way to unlock it, its legal seeing as you already own it.

Not how it works. You don't actually own the game per se. You own a license to play it.

You don't automatically have the license to use the hats though.

IM NOT TALKING ABOUT SERVER HACKING client hacking is 100% legal unless you have dumb software laws where you live e.g U.S

I'm not talking about server hacking either. When you a buy a game, you do not own the data. The game company owns the data. You do, however, own a license to play that copy of the game.

You don't however have the hats covered under that.

Shamus Young:
But the other kind of DLC is multiplayer DLC, which works a bit differently. In a multiplayer game, you download the goodies even if you haven't paid for them. Your copy of World of Warcraft includes the Celestial Steed data, even if you haven't purchased that particular add-on. It has to. Without that data, you couldn't see other people riding it.

... Isn't that the DLC that annoys people though? The kind that you already have but have to pay to use?

Shamus Young:
So, you're perfectly happy with the game, but you're unhappy because you don't like how the profits are spent?

As legitimate as that point is, my answer is: somewhat, yes. I'm not going to slander every single person who makes money in the industry, but I do think some groups are melodramatic about profit loss.

As I've stated before though I can't really blame companies for trying to make more money, it's their goal when they make games (besides making a good game, but some people do seem to get distracted from that).

Shamus Young:
Activision's Kotick has already expressed a desire to have cutscenes sold separately.

Terrifying, how has this guy not destroyed himself with the things he says?

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?

I try not to demand things, but mostly because I think the average, somewhat casual, gamer is probably uninformed and thinks he can't have satisfaction without paying much more than is necessary.

I specifically support this by saying I have a friend who told me he had 60$ and wanted to buy a game but didn't know what to buy; thus I directed him to Steam and told him to spend wisely, as there are many good games on Steam and it often has good deals. My friend ignored me for the rest of the night and later complained about me trying to give him cheap games instead of good games.

Though I want to elaborate and state that if someone can afford it and wants a jaunty hat in a game they enjoy, then I have no complaints.

Shamus Young:
Experienced Points: DLC, Again

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

Read Full Article

Hello, well written article, as is often the case with you. I have... complex thoughts about this.

I think the best way to communicate what I'm thinking is in discussing Mods. Like you mentioned, making a mod that changes your hat to something is nice, but it is a lot more fun to know that other people are able to see your hat as well. But this is also true for other aspects of the game, and even some that are intended for Single player!

Consider for example, an RPG like Dragon Age: Origins. This game had a lot of modular content for purchase that could drastically effect how difficult the game was. New characters, early powerful items, etc. It very much damaged the illusion that the challenges you were experiencing were necessarily the same others had. There was no gold standard of 'this is how hard the game is, you must do well to defeat it' because the tools the player might bring to the table were not set in stone.

It's just like if I downloaded a mod for DA:O that added or removed, or changed a bunch of things. I wouldn't really be a PART of the DAO community in the same way after doing that, because the game I was playing was different. Parts hard for others might be easier for me, or funny moments involving a certain character might have not come up because I was able to use a different party.

Take this and port it over to single player strategy games like Civilization. The amount of disucssion of strategy for such games is often off the charts. Look up civ 4 strategy forums and you'll find all sorts of discussion. This is only exciting and interesting because we are all playing the same game. We can share, train, commiserate and disdain one another because of the shared experience of the game. Edit: But we CANNOT take part in such discussions if we have modded our game to use different rules.

Lastly, think about the very common scenario in games for you to 'level up' during deathmatches to unlock new things. For example, Bioshock 2 has you gain experience from the deathmatch multi-player, and you level up to get new plasmids, tonics, guns etc. There is always the feeling when playing early on in these games, that your 'losses' are due to something beyond your control. Did that guy have a damage boost I haven't unlocked yet? Maybe more health? I don't know, I'm not on the same playing surface as he is!

Even Team Fortress 2 has some of that going on.

At the end of the day, I think having a Gold Standard of what a 'game' is, can be important to a game. To the community that surrounds it. It isn't a question of what is fair or not, but a question of enjoyment.

I don't understand why people are raging against Portal 2's DLC. As far as I have heard, it's purely cosmetic and have no effect on the game play whatsoever. In my opinion, developers can do whatever they want with cosmetic DlC: Day 1, on disc, charging an arm & leg... because people are not going to miss out anything substantial if they don't buy them. No one is putting a gun to their and force them to buy the DLC and who know? May be the people who actually brought them are happy with their purchase.

No, I think all of the arguments Shamus addressed are only valid for story-wise DLC or contents that actually affect the game play. That said, I'm fine with DLC in general but the concept of Day 1 story wise DLC completely baffles me. I can think of no reason for it than except to squeeze the most money of your customers as fast as possible. (Which is a valid reason but please hear me out.) Isn't the whole concept of DlC is something for the fan? If people played and liked the game, then they're willing to pay for content that expand that game. It make no sense for developers to create DLC for people who hate or never heard of their game. It pretty irrational for someone to don't know if they like a game to go: 'Hm... I don't know if I like this but I might as well pay an extra 10.00 for this character!' Furthermore, I haven't see anyone go: 'I am so excited for the DLC of Mass Effect 3, Skyrim etc..,'

My point is that story-wise DLC is that it should be an after thought for people who enjoy the game, not some quick cheap cash in. What's the point of rushing for Day 1 DLC when you're not sure if there's any demand for it? Would it be better to wait to see how people receive your game then tailor your DlC to the contents that they want? Hell, you can even charge extra and that way everyone wins: People wants are happy for quality content; Developers are happy because they get even more money.

And yes, the argument that I don't have to buy it still stand - No one is forcing me to. But the only reason I'm complaining in the first place is that I actually like your game. I am willing to extra money to support the people who made it. But every time I see developers I like releasing Day 1 DLC, I feel like they're treating me as a cash cow and feel a little dead inside.

In short, do whatever you want with cosmetic, put effort in releasing DLC that actually matters.

Or you can ignore this wall of text. That's... fine too.

I still think you should get to pick 1 or 2 items from the store if you payed full price for it. Once the price point drops stop with the freebies. Then its like "pre-order bonus" but its more like "full price bonus". As to unethical I don't really like how the things you could unlock are not labeled. Also the easiest to unlock items were "on sale" and you had to close the sale pop-ups before seeing anything else. That part seemed shistery to me. I don't think "sale" or even sellable items should be unlock-able. Its more ok in TF2 because its 100% random what you can unlock, but portal its do X collect Y. Unless you bought Y already sucker because you didn't know it was free.

Also you keep calling the "Metacritic raters" idiots, but look at what they've managed to do... around 100 people (however "illiterate" they might be) managed to spawn a news on about every single games outlet out there, with people like you "reporting" about it and new discussions on the issue arising. You validated them and in turn also managed to validate Metacritic even more and consolidate that it has some sort of influence (no matter what you think about it), while people "complaining" or "whining" on the developers forums or some user board about things even in the thousands did not manage it. I'd call them rather clever...

They also made you sound like Jim Sterling... do you really want to sound like Jim Sterling? xD
http://www.destructoid.com/valve-fans-whine-and-cry-about-portal-2-like-idiots-199220.phtml

I hope we can all agree that this puts to rest the whole question of Gabe Newell's birth, so we can get on with the important business of creating quantum space-holes.

I forgot to point this out, Escapist feeds the troll because its gets paid by the post.

E x Flame war= CASH

I'm on to you Mr.S. Oh shizer I just posted again. Quick no one read this or quote me or the internet terrorists win!

You made some good points. I doubt if anyone who needs to hear them will actually be bothered to read them and if they do they'll probably just flame the thread but at least the points were said.

"Free Hat" reminds me of South Park...

OT: I love DLC. I love the option of purchasing things I want and not paying for things I don't. Like everything it comes down to making a value judgement on a product and putting money towards the ones that are worth it.

Portal 2 is fucking great and the people who are complaining about it for reasons like these are entitled fuckwit brats and didn't deserve the experience the game offered in the first place.

I guess what everyone fails to take into account in this whole DLC issue, is that these companies that give us video games are out there to make money. At this stage of the industry, there are very few people making games purely out of the love of games and I'd hazard a guess that no video game company, developer or publisher, outside of the occasional one or two man operation, is concerned with anything more than making a game good enough to make money.

This is how free markets and capitalism work: Someone produces something and offers it for sale. Consumers purchase it if they like it, they need it, or they are otherwise compelled to buy it. If consumers don't like, don't need or aren't otherwise compelled to buy it, it won't sell and the producer most likely will not continue to offer said product without sufficient sales.

That's how consumers vote, they use their wallets.

Now, Valve has angered some people by "sneaking" some DLC under the radar that people who purchased the game weren't aware of. The possible outcomes from this are that all those angry gamers won't buy the next Valve product, or they'll pirate it or wait to find it used or on sale. All those hurt Valve's revenue stream. Perhaps next time around Valve won't take this route, but most likely, a few hundred or thousand disgruntled gamers won't make one fucking bit of difference. There will still be plenty of people to pay for the games, and the overpriced DLC.

If anyone needs any evidence on how little the "hardcore" gamer matters to the industry, just take a look at Hollywood. Hollywood doesn't make movies for film critics, film buffs or even intelligent movie goers, for the most part; Hollywood makes games for the common man, the lowest common denominator because that's where the money is.

In a few years, maybe a few decades the true "hardcore" gamer will play games like film fans watch films: they'll take the good with the bad, they'll know when something is a "popcorn" game that's only worth a rental or good for a date night, they'll be choosier about how and what they buy and will become smart and discerning customers. Unfortunately there won't ever be enough of them to really change the industry because the LCD always wins when it comes to numbers and the gaming industry will continue to pander to them, with crummy sequels (just like Hollywood!), rehashes, reboots and cliches (just like Hollywood!), and dumbed down (sorry, "streamlined") gaming experiences designed solely to appeal to the widest possible audience (just like Hollywood!).

No I do not good sir.

I think this form of DLC is great,
It's totally optional, and doesn't impact gameplay.
It's a fun way to support the game companies you love.

*raises hand*
I don't care about the DLC and don't really want to pay for it.
So I didn't.
And it hasn't affected the game at all for me.
Played single player. Played multiplayer. Liked both.
Didn't need the hats. Didn't buy the hats.
Might change my mind later. Who knows. It's just 5 bucks.
Still playing the game. Trying the challenges. Still really fun.
Did I mention it hasn't affected the game at all for me?
Know why?
I bought the game, and it was complete.
And fun.

It's like getting a nice, big, chocolate sundae, you take a bite and it's DELICIOUS.
It has whipped cream, chocolate sauce, brownies underneath, and a big glob of vanilla/chocolate ice cream.
Then Gabe Newell comes in and asks: "Want some sprinkles? Five bucks."
To which I reply: "Nah, not right now, but if I get another sundae I might."

And the option is there.
I CAN take it.
But I don't have to.
Because I have a complete sundae.
And it is awesome.

only one thing I still think is a legitimate concern: Modding as an argument. Locking down the game so it can't be modded just so you can sell your shit is a garbage move, end of story, Shamus.

Dexter111:
Also you keep calling the "Metacritic raters" idiots, but look at what they've managed to do... around 100 people (however "illiterate" they might be) managed to spawn a news on about every single games outlet out there, with people like you "reporting" about it and new discussions on the issue arising. You validated them and in turn also managed to validate Metacritic even more and consolidate that it has some sort of influence (no matter what you think about it), while people "complaining" or "whining" on the developers forums or some user board about things even in the thousands did not manage it. I'd call them rather clever...

They also made you sound like Jim Sterling... do you really want to sound like Jim Sterling? xD
http://www.destructoid.com/valve-fans-whine-and-cry-about-portal-2-like-idiots-199220.phtml

Im going to do my part, ether have no Cash shop guff or have low scores =)

If there's one thing I've learned from Steam, its to wait six months for the price to drop to a reasonable charge ($50 for an 8 hour game is bad; $20 for the same game is acceptable), or better yet wait a year for the "Complete Game of the Year Edition" that will have all the DLC on board along with the core game for $20-30. The I buy it on the New Years Sale for $4.95.

Valve has no one but themselves to blame for my severe "sales opportunity conditioning." Only the early adopters suffer under today's pricing scheme and only the pirates and the entitlement "I want it all for free" crowd suffer under the DLC.

If the DLC is really outrageous, draconian or representative of true greed at the expense of a complete game....people will vote with their pocketbooks and we won't see that happen again, simple as that.

Can you even buy these hats on Consoles (where most of the sales for this game were, anyway)?
I haven't seen them.

I have to wonder how you would answer these questions if you replaced "VALVe" with "Activision". Most certainly people would be up in arms, saying that it's just another way for Activision's "greedy" CEOs and whatnot to rake in more cash from their audience.

While I do agree with some of your points, I can't help but feel that the goodie-feely feelings to VALVe get in the way of people's reasoning. Not that I think it's bad of them to sell these things, though I do find it incredibly pointless and in a sense a waste of resources on their part.

Are we still on this? I once hated the DLC, but at the end of the week I accepted it and moved on. Don't make this issue have the same fate as MLP.

Shamus Young:
Imagine if Valve had just stuck to their Half-Life work and never expanded.

Ahem: Episode 3.

I see your point and I actually don't care about the hats, I'm just saying, I am actually going to see Duke Nukem Forever before I see Episode 3. Thanks for TF2 and Portal, but seriously, we're still waiting to see the fruits of the "shorter, cheaper, and more frequent" model.

Okay, actually, I do have a problem with the hats: any time spent on hats that could have been spent on Episode 3 was wasted.

what resources from the Portal 2 dev team for hats? the ones thet were already made for TF2?

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, in the long run, it moves the industry in a direction I, as a consumer, would rather it not go. Now, you can call people who review-bombed Portal 2 idiots, frankly, I think anyone who will pay five dollars for a fucking virtual hat is a grade-A dipshit, especially as P2 isn't even a persistent world game.

As to your argument about greed, why on earth should we not consider whether a company are greedy, money-grubbing bastards to be important? The simple fact of the matter is, DLC is a scam. It massively overprices content which should be part of the original game, and it illustrates, for me, the sad state of an industry that had the potential to transcend Hollywood, and has instead decided to emulate it, or at least, all of its worst business practices.

"herp derp it's just extras if you don't want it don't buy it" is a stupid argument. Anything can be redefined as "extra", can't it? Is co-op just extra? What next is Valve willing to cut out of a full game to nickel-and-dime it's loyal customers. And what about the people who really do believe it was a disappointing game- that it was too short? Are they idiots?

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

As long as the original game I buy has plenty of content, it doesn't matter to me so much if there's DLC. If there's DLC and it's a good balance of content VS price awesome. If not, oh well.

"You get what you plant" sounds like more messy propulsion gel all over the place though.

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