BioWare Defends DLC Business Strategy

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I have no problem with DLC.

What I do have a problem with is how much content we get for our money. I don't mind paying more if I get more, but just paying for the initial game might be too much.

It would seem that Bioware are becoming more and more disconnected from this thing we call reality.

"Fans do want more content" Yes, more content at the best bang for their bucks which hasn't exactly been the case this generation.

"So it needs to be there when it's ready."
.....Needs? When it's ready? Last time I checked, we're a patient bunch if the game is good enough to hold on to and considering how buggier gaming has become, what is ready these days is losing it's meaning.

"If you have five DLC packs at $10 each, you can only ever earn a total of $50," You do realize (why am I speaking to him as if he reads message boards) that the fact it's 50 bucks of DLC is troubling in itself because there is no way the amount of work you put into it is worth another half a Benjamin unless that amount is about as meaty as the main game itself.

"For those who might scoff at Mass Effect 3's DLC and microtransactions, Melo did offer one interesting point: These sales subsidized the game's plentiful free multiplayer DLC, ensuring that players get a steady stream of varied content, and that developers get to stay on the Mass Effect 3 team."
*looks at Team Fortress 2* You know, I think Valve is on to something in regards of relying on the community on getting stuff done. Or maybe your boss (EA) should throw you guys a bone then rely so much on subsidiaries as the only thing keeping your devs from being forced to make the next supposed multi-million dollar super franchise that EA expects these days.

Hammeroj:

Cowabungaa:

Dexter111:
No, just no, this practice is getting increasingly ridiculous and needs to die.

Nope. Your perfectly correct and insightful rant is trumped by one small thing; they make a ton of money out of it. That's it.

No it's not. I'm pretty sure Dexter didn't say this practice will end in his rant, and especially not in this quote. And whether or not it should end is not solely determined by the profits it reaps.

It does mean that for them. It shouldn't end, looking at it from their perspective. And apparently neither should it for all those willing customers they reap their profits from. That's what should change first; the attitude towards these business practices.

Of course they would...They bow down to their EA overlords...

I don't mind DLC as long as its DLC like Fallout3/New Vegas, and Skyrim have.

15 dollars for CoD map packs? that's BS.

10-20 dollars for a Fallout 3/New Vegas/Skyrim DLC that I can get like 10-20 hours out of? That's cool.

Cowabungaa:

Dexter111:
No, just no, this practice is getting increasingly ridiculous and needs to die.

Nope. Your perfectly correct and insightful rant is trumped by one small thing; they make a ton of money out of it. That's it.

There are still enough willing customers out there to make this a viable business strategy. Sad, I know, but true. I don't expect a company that isn't about telling stories any more but all about making money to ever stop doing this. Unless the gaming industry drops the corporate culture and gets back to the smaller scale, creativity-driven days of old I don't see anything changing.

How would they know? I bought Mass Effect 2, I didn't buy Mass Effect 3 because of their Day-1 DLC policy (and I don't intend to, I also cancelled by Old Republic Subscription around that time and don't plan on buying any BioWare games in the near future) and I know at least two other people personally who did similar.
Then there's also the large amount of people that won't take this bull and wait for a cheap "GOTY" version instead and there's the people that will drop their games entirely because they are too expensive. Contrasting that with the people that apparently spent $10 on that Day-1 DLC (with it being included in the Collec... err Complete Edition of the game, otherwise likely an even lower turnover rate): http://www.digitaltrends.com/gaming/ea-40-of-mass-effect-3-buyers-bought-dlc-from-ashes-at-launch-guaranteeing-more-day-one-dlc-for-future-aaa-games/

I wouldn't know how to measure if they'd make more money this way or being more like Valve/CDProjekt and other studios (while keeping people's good will and brand loyalty up) that aren't ripping off their customers, yet apparently are still rather profitable.

They must have some sort of great "what if" machine.
Last time I looked their Stock was also not doing so well and some of their cash-in sequels like Dragon Age 2 sold considerably worse.

I'm cool with DLC most of the time.
In fact, some of the ME2 DLCs were probably not split up enough for my liking.

Rather than buying a squadmate + missions + some overpowered weapons, I'd rather just buy the squadmate + missions.
If the total price tag is higher for people who want everything, that's fine by me.

The thing with DLC is, you don't have to buy it.
So, when it's compelling enough to buy, that's cool.

However, when you have a freakin' prothean as day 1 DLC, that's not cool.

My issue isn't with day 1 DLC.
I mean, as much as I loved Dragon Age: Origins, I couldn't care less about Warden's Keep.
If people want to pay for convenience and/or early game power, good for them.

But when you have a prothean in mass effect, you end up with two options.
Either it's not important to the plot, and then you shouldn't waste your money, or it is important to the plot, and the company is being a bunch of dicks.

Ya know TF2 and Hats? Yeah that is how you sell DLC. Ya know CoD and its Map Packs? Yeah that isn't how you sell DLC.

Cowabungaa:
It does mean that for them. It shouldn't end, looking at it from their perspective. And apparently neither should it for all those willing customers they reap their profits from. That's what should change first; the attitude towards these business practices.

Since when was the rant you quoted ever about what's good for them? And surely, having more cost-beneficial content would be in the favor of these willing consumers? That there are idiots right now who will put up with fucking anything is beside the point. Publishers are using increasingly sleazy tactics to gouge their consumers. What's your opinion on it? Drop this "well other people are [insert opinion]" shtick if you want to be part of an actual conversation.

BioWare also thinks that moving an MMO from monthly subscription fees to a Free to Play model is a proper and successful way to make money.

"sigh" I miss expansion packs. Remember those guys, those really awesome extra content DLCs that you could buy in store, and gave you hours of content and bonus items to play around with? They've disappeared over the years, and sure, we're paying a third of the price for DLC, but for the most part we're only getting one tenth of the content.

As much as I despise DLC I find it hard to bitch about extra content, especially when it's ultimately you who decides whether it's worth the money.

I can see how they're beneficial for developers, providing steady revenue stream with low development time and production costs, but to me single player DLC always seemed like flogging a dead horse; a desperate move to squeeze out more life and money from a definitive story. But hell, that's modern gaming for ya :)

But, again It comes to personal preference. I don't buy them, I probably never will, but if you think they're worth it, go nuts.

Absolutionis:
Let the DLC flow. That means more content for when they release the actual version of their games.

More content, this one says. I'm willing to bet you that the next BioWare game (as in, an IP BioWare created) will have less content, more streamlining, and more DLC. I'll bet you that.

Bioware.....I want to like you. I really do.

Like a abused spouse I came back to you after DA2 to play ME3. But you pushed me of the stairs again, and now I start thinking you are secretly fucking EA and.....

huh, this metaphor got away from me somewhere.

OT: DLC: yay
Day 1 DLC: eh?
expensive Day 1 DLC: Boo

Just watch the Javik scenes on youtube and you miss nothing. If the DLC is the same quality as Lair of the Shadow Broker I'll gladly pay for it.....But I highly doubt that'll happen.

SajuukKhar:
I don't mind DLC as long as its DLC like Fallout3/New Vegas, and Skyrim have.

15 dollars for CoD map packs? that's BS.

10-20 dollars for a Fallout 3/New Vegas/Skyrim DLC that I can get like 10-20 hours out of? That's cool.

Quoted for truth,

I was going to make the exact same point. Fallout/Skyrim DLC are more like expansion packs, yet fall under the generic term of DLC now.

Its good value for money and im happy to pay for it.

Bioware/EA's day one DLC is not. They knew people were invested and they could squeeze that bit more out of us on day one, not nice, and it struck a horrible chord with the loyal consumer base.

Problem now though is the ME3 trilogy is over, and i along with other people are now not as invested in the next IP they create, this is where customer loyalty comes in, and if i see 'day one DLC' stuff out for the next IP ... well sorry guys... not interested.

I only buy DLC if it goes on sale on Steam, because I've never felt it's worth the full price.

And Bioware now seriously disgusts me.

When the hell did this happen!? I used to love this developer all these years ago, with Baldurs gate 1 & 2 and other excellent titles. I even liked the more modern stuff like Dragon Age as well, but around the time of Dragon Age 2 things just started taking a nosedive. These days it's like they've made it their mission to piss off as many gamers as they can, and I just can't understand their reasoning as to why this is a good idea.

Avalanche91:
Bioware.....I want to like you. I really do.

Like a abused spouse I came back to you after DA2 to play ME3. But you pushed me of the stairs again, and now I start thinking you are secretly fucking EA and.....

huh, this metaphor got away from me somewhere.

More like EA is the abusive pimp, and Bioware is being reduced to a 2 dollar DLC whore :(

Twilight_guy:

CardinalPiggles:

Twilight_guy:
Company defends its business strategies and notes that they sell well, gamers get angry and retort that they hate the company. Oh wait, that is the summary of an EA story, or was it a blizzard story... Activision... no wait...

I'm tired of both sides whining like pansies, I want my freaking modular games, dammit. I'm sick of gamers putting a road block to their development because of there short sighted calls of 'money grab' and I'm sick of developers being to pussy-shit to actual come out and do it for fear of losing money on unsold content.

Stop reading these articles and comments sections then. That's like going to Mcdonalds and saying "I'm sick of all this fatty food, and being surrounded by fat people while I eat".

Actually, since I'm not in a company and not in a position to make a company on my own all I can really do is talk and hope it helps change things. Since It'd be inappropriate to go into a random unrelated thread and try and talk about things like this, this is the appropriate venue.

But at the end of the day you're sick of something that you can quite easily avoid, but instead of avoiding said thing, you're trying to change people, a fools errand if you ask me.

Captcha: are you a human? - Straight to the point, I like it!

I do wonder how many of those hating so much on DLC have bought it and will continue to do so the next time something shiny comes out.

I'm cool with DLC. If I think it's worth my money I'll buy it. If I don't then I won't. Nobody is forcing me to buy anything.

The vast majority of DLC I don't buy. Some I do. It's just an extra option to have and if the developer decides to skim content of the main game to provide that option then all he's doing is decreasing the chances of me buying that main game. No harm to me.

Yeah yeah yeah, DLC bad, boo boo and...you know what? I really couldn't care less. I'm really sick of being expected to get angry over every little less that spectacular thing that goes in the video game industry. Really I see everyone raging over this and that and I just think to myself "how come I'm reading about people whining about everything that is wrong with the video game industry when I could be PLAYING a video game" Also I bought the DLC for Halo 3 and Halo Reach and I don't feel like I wasted my money. Fucking sue me.

I wish these baddies would just take a page out of From Software's book.

Dark Souls has enjoyed a steady stream of bug fixes/balance patches and now, a year or so after the game has been released, a piece of DLC that adds a heap of content. Not only does it add a lot of new features, but it answers some of the many questions (about the story) the community has raised over the last year.

tmande2nd:
This is why I am seriously happy that I deleted my Origin account, and uninstalled every thing Bioware from my computer.

They just are running around ripping people off, and trying to do the least amount of work.
Those MP packs? They were just some new maps and characters nothing interesting.

Bioware is simply dead to me.

While I agree with the sentiment. The fact is, if people are willing to fork out a few more dollars for a new gun that is .05% more powerful than the best gun in the game, and has a shiny appearance, then they will keep selling it.

EA/Bioware see these sales and think "Hey, lot's of people must like this". The only way to stop them is to not buy it, then it ceases to be profitable to them.

Sadly what they fail to realise is that while there are a lot of people willing to buy them, they are also driving a way a lot of fans such as ourselves who feel like we are not respected as customers.

This is why Valve are still so loved by many despite their slow development times, and general lack of new I.P's, because while they obviously want to make money from their games, they see their customers as more than walking wallets.

lancar:
I only buy DLC if it goes on sale on Steam, because I've never felt it's worth the full price.

And Bioware now seriously disgusts me.

When the hell did this happen!? I used to love this developer all these years ago, with Baldurs gate 1 & 2 and other excellent titles. I even liked the more modern stuff like Dragon Age as well, but around the time of Dragon Age 2 things just started taking a nosedive. These days it's like they've made it their mission to piss off as many gamers as they can, and I just can't understand their reasoning as to why this is a good idea.

EA happened, that's what. EA routinely notices that their business practices are driving what loyal fans they have away, so what do they do? Improve themselves maybe? Try to win back their fans with good games sold at a fair price that doesn't screw people over and drop the Day 1 DLC and On Disc DLC? Nope! tThey just buy up some very popular and successful developer, force them to conform to the business practices they already know don't work, and just sit back while the games that developer makes get them a ton of money, then that developer gets run into the ground thanks to those terrible business practices, and then EA just moves on to the next developer they want to ruin for a quick buck.

EA are easily the most moneygrubbing, cheap, explotative...(continue negative words for a few paragraphs)... bastards in not only the GAMING industry, but any industry on Earth. Not only that, but they flaunt their ineptitude. No other company in any other industry on the face of the planet would be able to screw over their customers in every possible way they can think of like EA does and survive even a week.

I remember when you could expect free content patches/expansions as part of good service. Now you have to fucking finance it yourself, what the fuck do we need publishers for if the customer is gonna finance the games anyway? I don't know who I'm more pissed at, this bullshitter from Bioware or the people buying the crap he puts out. I miss the days of the expansion packs, when content was actually worth the price and you could easily justify buying it. Instead of today's pathetic system that reminds me a of a patchy cloth.

Legion:

tmande2nd:
This is why I am seriously happy that I deleted my Origin account, and uninstalled every thing Bioware from my computer.

They just are running around ripping people off, and trying to do the least amount of work.
Those MP packs? They were just some new maps and characters nothing interesting.

Bioware is simply dead to me.

While I agree with the sentiment. The fact is, if people are willing to fork out a few more dollars for a new gun that is .05% more powerful than the best gun in the game, and has a shiny appearance, then they will keep selling it.

EA/Bioware see these sales and think "Hey, lot's of people must like this". The only way to stop them is to not buy it, then it ceases to be profitable to them.

The problem with the "just vote with your wallet" argument that everybody seems to love throwing around in threads like this is that there will always be millions of blind fanboy and casual lemmings that are willing to just snap up anything EA and it's acquired companies dish out, and for ever one of those lemmings that wises up and jump ship later, there will always be 10, 100, hell, maybe a 1000 more. The people smart enough voting with their wallets and being driven away are just a tiny blip on EA's radar, practically insignificant statistically. In other words, the wallet voters are ultimately meaningless, they might as well buy into whatever crap EA and companies like it do for all the difference it would ever make.

What EA fails to realize most is that they could perfectly keep both the lemmings AND the wallet voters as well by not being so dickish to their customers, insuring a nice, stable fanbase that would keep the company afloat for however long EA exists.

I really miss the days when a game being released meant it was finished. I seem to be almost alone in this but personally, quite aside from the money side of things, I don't want games to be these never-ending "services" that you can keep indefinitely spending more money on to expand the content a little bit. It feels vulgar, unwholesome, cynical and bullshitty. I want games to be finished, complete pieces of work. It's especially bad when the bulk of the DLC is planned long before the game is finished. So they make a whole game, release 80% of it at full price, then release the other 20% over the next couple of years at a few quid a per cent. It's a sickly, sleazy, money-grubbing tactic and it's wrong WHETHER OR NOT gamers are happy to buy into it (and if you are then you're a fucking idiot, frankly).

immortalfrieza:

Legion:

tmande2nd:
This is why I am seriously happy that I deleted my Origin account, and uninstalled every thing Bioware from my computer.

They just are running around ripping people off, and trying to do the least amount of work.
Those MP packs? They were just some new maps and characters nothing interesting.

Bioware is simply dead to me.

While I agree with the sentiment. The fact is, if people are willing to fork out a few more dollars for a new gun that is .05% more powerful than the best gun in the game, and has a shiny appearance, then they will keep selling it.

EA/Bioware see these sales and think "Hey, lot's of people must like this". The only way to stop them is to not buy it, then it ceases to be profitable to them.

The problem with the "just vote with your wallet" argument that everybody seems to love throwing around in threads like this is that there will always be millions of blind fanboy and casual lemmings that are willing to just snap up anything EA and it's acquired companies dish out, and for ever one of those lemmings that wises up and jump ship later, there will always be 10, 100, hell, maybe a 1000 more. The people smart enough voting with their wallets and being driven away are just a tiny blip on EA's radar, practically insignificant statistically. In other words, the wallet voters are ultimately meaningless, they might as well buy into whatever crap EA and companies like it do for all the difference it would ever make.

What EA fails to realize most is that they could perfectly keep both the lemmings AND the wallet voters as well by not being so dickish to their customers, insuring a nice, stable fanbase that would keep the company afloat for however long EA exists.

I think you're right, but I'm pretty sure EA have no interest in a stable fanbase. What they want is as many people willing to spend money on their stuff as possible, in other words the lowest common denominator. And that demographic is constantly changing but not diminishing; as you say, when one person wises up and leaves it another reaches the age of disposable income and takes their place.

To my mind, the question is not how to stop EA and other such companies from pulling this shit, because they will keep doing it as long as there's a plentiful supply of morons (read: forever), but rather where to look for a good alternative. Ie. companies who want to make good, inventive games that give a satisfying experience rather than games that can be milked for as long as possible with online features and microtransactions.

Despite the concerns with it, I still think Kickstarter is our best bet.

immortalfrieza:

Legion:

tmande2nd:
This is why I am seriously happy that I deleted my Origin account, and uninstalled every thing Bioware from my computer.

They just are running around ripping people off, and trying to do the least amount of work.
Those MP packs? They were just some new maps and characters nothing interesting.

Bioware is simply dead to me.

While I agree with the sentiment. The fact is, if people are willing to fork out a few more dollars for a new gun that is .05% more powerful than the best gun in the game, and has a shiny appearance, then they will keep selling it.

EA/Bioware see these sales and think "Hey, lot's of people must like this". The only way to stop them is to not buy it, then it ceases to be profitable to them.

The problem with the "just vote with your wallet" argument that everybody seems to love throwing around in threads like this is that there will always be millions of blind fanboy and casual lemmings that are willing to just snap up anything EA and it's acquired companies dish out, and for ever one of those lemmings that wises up and jump ship later, there will always be 10, 100, hell, maybe a 1000 more. The people smart enough voting with their wallets and being driven away are just a tiny blip on EA's radar, practically insignificant statistically. In other words, the wallet voters are ultimately meaningless, they might as well buy into whatever crap EA and companies like it do for all the difference it would ever make.

What EA fails to realize most is that they could perfectly keep both the lemmings AND the wallet voters as well by not being so dickish to their customers, insuring a nice, stable fanbase that would keep the company afloat for however long EA exists.

No argument there, I was only making the point that, as much as EA deserve the flak for how they treat their customers, those customers have their fair share of the blame too.

The sad thing is, given the choice between $5 million profit and an almost entirely happy fanbase, or $10 million profit while pissing a lot of fans off, EA'd rather have the latter. Unlike other games companies who want happy customers and lot's of money, EA's policy is all about the money.

Wait, people actually pay money for the multiplayer equipment packs?

Wow, makes me feel foolish for playing the game to earn credits to buy them...

This just sounds like BioWare saying something controversial so people remember ME3 exists. Do they happen to have new DLC launching soon?

Jesus Bioware, what are you playing at? Saying shit like this is just asking to get skewered by gamers.

Its official now... EA has ripped off biowares face and wears it like some sort of haloween mask while the former body lies rotting in EAs cellar.

Back in the day, games costed 40~ euro's, and with the CD came a nice manual with plenty of explanation, hints and tips about the game... sometimes an art book, or a map of the ingame world, or a spreadsheet of the ingame technology / building tree...

Nowadays, game costs 50-60 euro's, the game manual tells pretty nothing besides controls and installation requirements, and the only extra you're getting is a small piece of paper with your online activation code you need to use to play, that is if their servers actually work... and for the full game experience, you need to buy DLC they cut out of the game.

Such a shame. Call me nostalgic, but I think the gaming industry was a lot more cooler and friendlier back in the day. (Not that the games were any better, though.)

<-- User upholds avoid-Bioware-products business model.

I'm not going to wade into a pseudo-philosophical argument here. If this is what they want to do, then this is simply my response. Thanks for the good times in any case, Bioware. BG, IWD, NWN made my childhood happier than otherwise!

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