Should Games Arbitrarily Withhold Content?

Should Games Arbitrarily Withhold Content?

Is it acceptable for a game to arbitrarily withhold content from its paying customers?

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"It raises the question (another rhetorical one, so sit down)"
Awwwwww :(

But you're a GoT fan: yay!!!!
Another thing I have in common with my idol (and a billion others): swoon! :P

It's dependent on context and how that content is unlocked. You have to pay more to unlock it? Oh hell no, that's bad policy. If it's unlocked dependent on how far players reaches in a game, or how far you yourself reach? Depends on what is needed to be done.

Is it acceptable for a game to arbitrarily withhold content from its paying customers?

Yes. Withholding content until the player demonstrates some measure of skill? Sure. Withholding content until the player demonstrates some measure of progress within the game? Sure. Withholding content such that you reward the player later? Sure. Withholding content until a certain amount of time has passed? Usually bad.

Withholding content until the player gives you more money? No. Never.

darkalter2000:
now you are just gonna throw down Game of Thrones spoilers in the middle of run on sentences? Great strategy. For an asshole.

I thought the same thing. I mean, I'm surprised that it's even aired in Australia, let alone that Yahtzee feels it's OK to stick in a spoiler for an episode about a week old. It's a good line, but kind of a dick move.

OT: When I hear about that model for Splatoon, it doesn't make me think about people coming back day after day to play new maps. It makes me think of someone who picks up the game, plays a couple matches, and does that for a few days until the realise there's nothing else on offer and the stuff they enjoyed is cycled out until tomorrow. Then tomorrow they have a late night at work, and it's not until they get into bed that they realise they wanted to play those maps, and resolve to come back in three days. Then they forget to do that, and it teaches them not to come back to the game.

It's weird to see a company that sees how passionately people react to entertainment on demand, to notice that companies like Valve and Netflix can milk people for years by giving them a ton of variety and the freedom to engage with the parts they want on the schedule they want, and decide, "That's stupid, people want more restrictions."

I don't watch game of thrones, I await the novels to come out. I'm sincerely pissed off about the causal mention of a spoiler which I assume informs what will happen in the novels.

Don't answer that by the way, viewers, any more information I'll treat as potential spoilers and hence ignore.

Now I forget the opening question this column started on. Dammit, I had something for that!
Anyway, I don't mind expansion packs for a game, because it means more of a game I liked. I like more game content being unlocked as I progress by playing, not giving more money for it.

captcha: neckbeard
I think the spam filter is deliberately antagonizing us.

Thanatos2k:
Withholding content until the player gives you more money? No. Never.

Yeah, I hate expansion packs. How dare a company work for months on content and then expect me to pay for it...
The bastards!

Maze1125:

Thanatos2k:
Withholding content until the player gives you more money? No. Never.

Yeah, I hate expansion packs. How dare a company work for months on content and then expect me to pay for it...
The bastards!

There's a difference between content on the disc that is unable to be accessed without paying an extra $5-15 for it, and the release of extra content at a later date, usually 6 months to a year at the least.

Who are you to dictate how someone can enjoy your product after the money and the disk have changed hands?

Well, at the end of the day it's the developers who ultimately program the rules in their games. The rules existed long before the disk touched your hands. But it's in the consumer's hands to choose the game that has the rules they like the most. And if you already paid the game, well, that's what refunds are for. You can also resell the disk.

PS captcha: no brainer

It does seem a bit of a dick move to arbitrarily close of certain areas of of content but in Splatoons case I have a completely unresearched and spurious theory why they did so. Namely to stop the congregation of all players to a single map and everybody developing strategies that only work on that map. It has happens in plenty of other games Halo's blood gulch is a pretty good example. Instead players are forced to play on different maps at different times so they have to learn all of them and the strategies you need to win in each.

Who are you to dictate how someone can enjoy your product after the money and the disk have changed hands? Because there are plenty of creators in the world who have tried, even before the age of online post-sale tampering. The mediocre authors, directors and game designers who answer criticism of their work by declaring that the critic "didn't get it" or "weren't reading/watching/playing it the right way". And you know what we call people like that? Absolute cunts.

Pot calling the kettle black, aren't we Croshaw? I'm more under the impression that Nintendo was trying to do something artistic with this feature and tie the game's urban themes into the gameplay given that when the stages change or a new update is added, it's presented in the form of a news broadcast presented by the game's two pop idols and whatnot. It just didn't work is all.

I don't consider this a deal breaker in Splatoon's case because the gameplay is centered more around inking the ground than just "kill everything that moves" and so forth and in the former's case, there's not really much point in learning your layout too much since camping usually backfires.

WHOA, YAHTZEE! SPOILERS!! I did not know that Splatoon had that many maps going on right now... Glob! Way to ruin the surprise...

OT: Well, given how Splatton does their map-matching as well as the one time I got a chance to play it (and became part of the winning team as a result), I find it to better than how it is in MW2 and MW3... Seriously, both those games have over 10 maps and, yet, my and my friends always choose the Terminal... If those games did what Splatoon was doing, we would, at least, be trying out the other maps in the process...

Other than that, in general, as long as it doesn't impede the game's "story", I can't personally complain about it because I just wait until the GOTY/Definitive editions to come out, anyway...

This is the problem I had with helldivers. Yes, its a fun game and getting destroyed and coming back from that is always fun, but the fact you are forced to play a limited number of maps, and all against a single of the 3 enemy races for prolonged periods of time is garbage. I understand, you're going for a warfront theme and i'd be fine if there was a special mode that had that as the play mode, but its the only mode and it means I was stuck fighting a single race, unable to fight anything else for a freaking week with no chance or option to switch to a different experience. it turned a game I could of seen myself enjoying into a painful grind.

Grumpy Ginger:
It does seem a bit of a dick move to arbitrarily close of certain areas of of content but in Splatoons case I have a completely unresearched and spurious theory why they did so. Namely to stop the congregation of all players to a single map and everybody developing strategies that only work on that map. It has happens in plenty of other games Halo's blood gulch is a pretty good example. Instead players are forced to play on different maps at different times so they have to learn all of them and the strategies you need to win in each.

I'm inclined to agree that this is probably the case. Though, I'm not one of those insane types who plays online games for hours on end, so the map cycling isn't really an issue for me, since I don't get tired of that stuff.

That, and the rotation is every four hours, not a day, as Yazhtee implies.

Maze1125:

Thanatos2k:
Withholding content until the player gives you more money? No. Never.

Yeah, I hate expansion packs. How dare a company work for months on content and then expect me to pay for it...
The bastards!

Expansion packs made after the game has come out are basically new games. Not withheld content. I mean, you know that, right?

Yahtzee Croshaw:
Maybe I feel threatened by this new age of amorphous games because I'm a game reviewer and my job hinges on commonality. I need to be able to reference things in the games I talk about that the audience can recognize, so that we can all share a jolly good laugh at its expense. But increasingly I find I am only able to review a single state in which the game temporarily exists, and which it will no longer exist in by the time a new viewer catches up and watches the review years, months, or weeks down the line.

That having been said, would this be a good time to suggest that you spend the next lull between release seasons revisiting a game you already reviewed that has since had a lot of new content added, like Team Fortress 2 (which you only barely touched on the first time around but have spent a lot of other videos and columns talking up as some sort of ideal of online gaming - not that I disagree) or Minecraft?

darkalter2000:
now you are just gonna throw down Game of Thrones spoilers in the middle of run on sentences? Great strategy. For an asshole.

Bedinsis:
I don't watch game of thrones, I await the novels to come out. I'm sincerely pissed off about the causal mention of a spoiler which I assume informs what will happen in the novels.

Don't answer that by the way, viewers, any more information I'll treat as potential spoilers and hence ignore.

Spoilers enhance enjoyment.

image

Thanatos2k:

Maze1125:

Thanatos2k:
Withholding content until the player gives you more money? No. Never.

Yeah, I hate expansion packs. How dare a company work for months on content and then expect me to pay for it...
The bastards!

Expansion packs made after the game has come out are basically new games. Not withheld content. I mean, you know that, right?

Yes they are withheld content. Factually so.
It is content. Fact.
They refuse to give it to you until you give them money. Fact.

Therefore, it is, 100%, without a doubt, content that is withheld until the player gives them more money.

Which you said should never happen.

Maze1125:

Thanatos2k:

Maze1125:

Yeah, I hate expansion packs. How dare a company work for months on content and then expect me to pay for it...
The bastards!

Expansion packs made after the game has come out are basically new games. Not withheld content. I mean, you know that, right?

Yes they are withheld content. Factually so.
It is content. Fact.
They refuse to give it to you until you give them money. Fact.

Therefore, it is, 100%, without a doubt, content that is withheld until the player gives them more money.

Which you said should never happen.

If that's the case, then all games in their entirety are withheld content.

Well, except free to play games, but they have their own more specific version of withheld content.

Grumpy Ginger:
It does seem a bit of a dick move to arbitrarily close of certain areas of of content but in Splatoons case I have a completely unresearched and spurious theory why they did so. Namely to stop the congregation of all players to a single map and everybody developing strategies that only work on that map. It has happens in plenty of other games Halo's blood gulch is a pretty good example. Instead players are forced to play on different maps at different times so they have to learn all of them and the strategies you need to win in each.

That makes sense as an explanation, but there has to be a better way to do it. This does, however, seem to be the Nintendo way to go about it: solve a solution by severely hobbling options.

It's the internet age adjusting to games in their own way. Before it people would have to carve their way through a 6 hour game to see all the content, and it would take days. Solutions for puzzle games came in magazines or expanded through word of mouth. Now it's just as simple as a 2 second google search. Or you could just watch a LP and skip the game altogether. It's not about cost, but about value. And value is a perception. They manipulated it back then, and they're manipulating it now. The more thing change, the more they stay the same.

Gundam GP01:

Maze1125:

Thanatos2k:

Expansion packs made after the game has come out are basically new games. Not withheld content. I mean, you know that, right?

Yes they are withheld content. Factually so.
It is content. Fact.
They refuse to give it to you until you give them money. Fact.

Therefore, it is, 100%, without a doubt, content that is withheld until the player gives them more money.

Which you said should never happen.

If that's the case, then all games in their entirety are withheld content.

Well, except free to play games, but they have their own more specific version of withheld content.

Yes, exactly. The claim that "withholding content until you pay for it is always bad" is absurd.
Of course it's not always bad, it's how developers earn a living.

Maze1125:

Thanatos2k:

Maze1125:

Yeah, I hate expansion packs. How dare a company work for months on content and then expect me to pay for it...
The bastards!

Expansion packs made after the game has come out are basically new games. Not withheld content. I mean, you know that, right?

Yes they are withheld content. Factually so.
It is content. Fact.
They refuse to give it to you until you give them money. Fact.

Therefore, it is, 100%, without a doubt, content that is withheld until the player gives them more money.

Which you said should never happen.

You think you're making some kind of point, but really you're not. I mean, we all know the difference between what we're talking about. Even you.

Maze1125:

Gundam GP01:

Maze1125:

Yes they are withheld content. Factually so.
It is content. Fact.
They refuse to give it to you until you give them money. Fact.

Therefore, it is, 100%, without a doubt, content that is withheld until the player gives them more money.

Which you said should never happen.

If that's the case, then all games in their entirety are withheld content.

Well, except free to play games, but they have their own more specific version of withheld content.

Yes, exactly. The claim that "withholding content until you pay for it is always bad" is absurd.
Of course it's not always bad, it's how developers earn a living.

Ehh, I'm not really sure it's that analogous. Seems to me that he's talking more about on disc DLC and the like. I think there's a bit more of a difference than you think.

Thanatos2k:
You think you're making some kind of point, but really you're not. I mean, we all know the difference between what we're talking about. Even you.

Gundam GP01:
Ehh, I'm not really sure it's that analogous. Seems to me that he's talking more about on disc DLC and the like. I think there's a bit more of a difference than you think.

It's not about how much of a "difference" there is. It's all on a scale. Every example here is one of "developers withholding content until you pay". Some are considered "bad" some are considered "good".

Hence say that it's "always bad" is flat out wrong. Regardless of if people "know what we're talking about".

Maze1125:

Thanatos2k:
You think you're making some kind of point, but really you're not. I mean, we all know the difference between what we're talking about. Even you.

Gundam GP01:
Ehh, I'm not really sure it's that analogous. Seems to me that he's talking more about on disc DLC and the like. I think there's a bit more of a difference than you think.

It's not about how much of a "difference" there is. It's all on a scale. Every example here is one of "developers withholding content until you pay". Some are considered "bad" some are considered "good".

Hence say that it's "always bad" is flat out wrong. Regardless of if people "know what we're talking about".

It's always bad when the content is not included in the full price of the purchased product. You know what we're talking about, you're attempting an intentionally dense semantics argument for no reason.

I suppose it depends on the context. Given Splatoon's context, the answer is no (it's not okay).

Maze1125:

Thanatos2k:
Withholding content until the player gives you more money? No. Never.

Yeah, I hate expansion packs. How dare a company work for months on content and then expect me to pay for it...
The bastards!

There is a difference, between the digital age of content(STEAM and etc). The only way to put out "DLC(and I use this term loosely)" is to put out expansions. Most expansions added MORE than what DLC does, sometimes anther whole game. Look at Diablo 2, Starcraft and other older games. Most of the game content that was put out or gobbled up back in the 90s were better.

I personally feel at times that most of the product is "left out" on purpose. Like Borderlands... As they were putting it together and or had ideas for the storylines... The ones that didn't "make it" or didn't "make sense" in the story was withheld till later. Hell most of the games nowadays coming out on steam you can buy a season pass. Like they purposely are planning DLC as they make their game. Sad to say I'm not going to be nickeled and dimed for extra 5 hours of content that could have been in the original game.

Warhammer 40k space marine reminded me of this, I wanted to make my fabulous pink marines in the multiplayer, but you have to unlock it all first. Not only is it a multiplayer graveyard a year in anyway, but the devs decided to divide everyone up depending on what exact DLC everyone had, meaning you couldn't get a game even if you wanted to at the time, so by their shitty multiplayer unlock design I don't get to make the Pink Marine.

I'm going to take this argument in a direction to where it applies negatively and positively and has been raging since it's inception. Specifically MMO games.

The problem with it being that the carrot on the stick has always been 'more content', to which players answer with 'more time' or more importantly 'more money'. And if the creators of the MMO cannot keep that treadmill running, the money... goes bye bye.

The content has to be gated, or players have no reason to keep running on the treadmill. They don't see the 'other players' who've braved the vast golden gate and come out with shinier gear and fancier mounts, and then ask themselves the damning question; 'Why am I still playing?' And depending on the individual they'll likely stop before making those social ties.

Now reapplying this argument back to splatoon, it's a very different beast with significantly less content, I feel that formula has been trying to creep more and more into the online functionality of games like splatoon because it's how MMO's function and how they see all that money thrown their way without the developers stopping to ask themselves how and why that formula worked there. They're simply told about it and and to work it into their 'game plan' somewhere because it was a buzz phrase heard at a dev convention or some bullshit.

It would and could work if the content was vast and varied enough, but...as you said...five maps, it's not quite a juicy enough carrot.

Edit: My bottom line is as a concept it is not inherently wrong, it is however applied to the wrong type of game here.

There is a simple solution in Splatoon's case, if you are interested in the game but want total control over what you play - wait until August. That's when custom lobbies and team matchmaking is released.

I don't know if it's the right idea to wall off content for users but for example Bayonetta would not allow you to play the highest difficulties until you had cleared the game on Normal. Certain players who are great at games like Bayonetta might view this as a problem since why would you waste time in a difficulty which is not challenging but due to most items requiring in game money to unlock it might be a decent option.

Personally I only have a problem with the in-game Amiibo specific missions - but that's a minor gripe. I don't personally plan to purchase Amiibos, but would like some additional SP Content. The missions only require you to do the same SP Missions with a different weapon but if it was something more substantial it would be bad for me. It's difficult stiking a balance with this plastic crap either it's features are just not worthy of the asking price in terms of functionality or you are locking content behind a plastic figure.

 

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