BioWare Defends DLC Business Strategy

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

Why yes they do. This time they're going to sell the underwater gimmic to us. Maybe it will be good, but considering Bioware's and EA's bullshit tactics and the lame DLC they have put out so far for the game, I doubt it.

Why do so many companies confuse "Happy to" with "willing to?"

Seriously, this is why we need to stop buying DLC we think is exploitative. Companies don't care if you whine about it, they only care if you bought it.

Buying it is an endorsement of their practices. Don't like them? Stop flipping buying!

tmande2nd:

Bioware is simply dead to me.

This.

I don't care how good the games they make are, it's not worth putting up with the corporate shenanigans.
I'm not happy with these new business models.
I'm not happy to open my wallet for this crap.
I'm pissed off and have simply stopped buying their games because I don't approve of this tomfoolery.

I have no faith left in Bioware.

Is this Bioware talking or EA talking?

Actually, don't answer that.

Bioware IS EA.

Let's see how long EA will keep Bioware alive sucking away the developer's soul for cash.

Huh.

well I still think Day1 DLC and project 10 dollar are horrible practices, but I am actually completely okay with the micro transactions as they have been implemented in ME3 multiplayer. The packs being randomized prevents the game from being "pay to win", and I find the packs very reasonable priced with the in game currency. It never feels necessary to pay real money to compete in ME3, and that's the way it should be.

so one out of three ain't bad?

Well if someone wants to spend real money on the supply packs you can buy for in game currency and it gets me free multi player DLC, then I am not going to stop them.

The amount of people willing to spend money is clearly enough to sustain the amount of people not doing it and give them free multiplayer stuff. It's coop so there is no pay to win against other players.

While gamers on the internet may be up in arms about it sad fact is we are going to be out numbered by people who don't care, don't know about the business side at all and just want more stuff now. Companies won't change if people still want to give them money.

Fr]anc[is:
As obnoxious as I find the gambling to be, it's still not as spammy or obnoxious as say Saints Row 3 or Dungeon Defenders.

kinda this. I'm of the opinion that you buy what you want, I have no interest in paying for new gusn (for the main game or multiplayer) but dlc like "Leviathan" that add to the story, I will pick up.

Why can't he just say something to the effect of, "Yeah, it's pretty much just for the money."

I'm not sure how many other people out there are like this (if there are enough to make any particular difference to their profits), but I don't exactly buy a game brand-spanking-new when I know the whole game will cost, what, $30 or $40 more?

I still haven't touched Mass Effect 3.

DVS BSTrD:

Marshall Honorof:
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.

Because that's all that really matters in this day and age isn't it? The Multiplayer. You'd think all that money would at least earn us another gameplay mode.

A good solid co-op mode would be nice. And maybe some games you can play on your own and have fun, but everyone knows nobody buys those anymore...

uh huh ....

DLC aside, who's ever been happy with online passes?

The thing I hate about micro-transactions is that if forces the game to be random. In ME3 multiplayer it doesn't take skill to get better gear it takes luck.Out of all the characters colors,weapon mods,gear upgrades and weapons themselves the chances of me getting my M99 ONCE let alone 8 more times is so low; whats the point of playing?

90 percent of their DLC has been FREE.

Ending patches, multiplayer expansions all FREE
The only dlc we have paid for up to now is from ashes for 10 bucks.

The article makes it seem like its the other way around.

I have trouble trusting anything spoken through a man's own foot.

Rahuzero:
The thing I hate about micro-transactions is that if forces [u]the game to be random[u/]. In ME3 multiplayer it doesn't take skill to get better gear it takes luck.Out of all the characters colors,weapon mods,gear upgrades and weapons themselves the chances of me getting my M99 ONCE let alone 8 more times is so low; whats the point of playing?

This x 1000.

I am totally down with paying for DLC. What I hated with the fires of a thousand suns was the "Baseball cards" aspect of the ME3 Multiplayer.

Everyone needs to get their heads on straight - the MP DLC for ME3 wasn't free. It cost you 8-40 hrs of time to "earn" or ~$20.

I prefer DLC to be released earlier rather than later. Because i get bored with a game after a few months and am usually playing something else. Also, if it is released day one, thats fine if its worth buying. But people who moan can just wait and purchase it in 3 months if they want to. But if your going to buy it anyway why wait 3 months when you can enjoy it now? DLC is just an extra, its not mandatory that you have to buy it. Its there, its released, its up to you, same as all those bullshit clothes etc for your avatar guy.

By the way, this is the same guy that was touting off how Dragon Age 2 is going to get the "Call of Duty Audience" back in the day: http://web.archive.org/web/20110501165326/http://www.nowgamer.com/news/5141/bioware-we-want-call-of-dutys-audience

With Dragon Age II's release imminent, senior producer Fernando Melo feels the sequel has far more reach than Origins, even potentially attracting the same kind of crowd that flocks to gaming's biggest franchise, Call Of Duty.

Speaking to NowGamer Melo said: "We have data that shows there are a lot of people that enjoy playing RPGs although they won't necessarily call them RPGs. They'll play Fallout, Assassin's Creed and even Call Of Duty, which have these progression elements - you're putting points into things - but they don't necessarily associate that as an RPG. So we think that if we expand that out we'll attract a much bigger audience."

We know how well that ended: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/9.274668-Dragon-Age-2-Sales

Dexter111:
/HOLY SNIP!

Pretty agree with everything you said. Good show.

erttheking:
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.

The problem with that argument is that, as of late, it is becoming much more difficult for average fans to tell the difference between content developed after release, and content developed alongside the main game, chopped out piecemeal and sold to you as an unlock key.

Here's an aside: did you buy Halo ODST? That was a planned add-on campaign chopped from 3 and sold full-price, with the "extra value" coming in the form of a new multiplayer mode and a few new maps.

Make no mistake, I love DLC. I love jumping back into the world of a game and getting new loot, characters and missions. That said, I will not support day-one DLC, especially when part of it is on the disc I own and bought as a consumer. It skirts some serious consumer rights issues, and companies like Capcom and EA who justify it with "well, it's good for the consumer" are moronic.

Even with Bioware themselves, they went from ME2 (which had one free squadmate if you bought the game new, and 1 other squadmate for $5) to a day-one DLC that has, at most, an hour-and-a-half of content. It's half the size of the Kasumi DLC, for twice the price.

DLC like this sells because foolish consumers lap it up, never realizing that they're getting comparatively less content (versus a few years ago) for more money. I don't even mind if they use transaction packs in multiplayer components, but the minute they start trying to nickel-and-dime for content I already bought is where I draw the line.

Sigh, I shouldn't do this but I will.

To those of you upset about DLC, especially for ME3, why does the existence of extra content available for an additional fee bother you? From what I've read, a lot of ire stems from the From Ashes day one DLC. Now, I do not dispute that the DLC made the game a richer experience with more interesting arcs and some additional context, but I did not find it NECESSARY to the overall plot. I did not purchase from ashes at first, and my first playthrough was still by and large a similar experience. I still enjoyed it. But I wanted that extra content and context, so I paid for it.
Certainly, I would have preferred to get it for free, but I would prefer not to pay for cable too. I have no issue with BioWare or anyone charging extra for extra content, whether it's already on the disc or not. The idea that BioWare is "stealing" content that you already paid for is ludicrous. An appropriate example of that would be if the game cut off after the Rannoch mission and you had to pony up another 10 bucks to finish the game. That would be an example of cutting content and making you pay for it.

From Ashes was ALWAYS going to be a DLC, just like the Fallout:NV DLC was ALWAYS going to be DLC.

People, games like ME are entertainment products. You purchase them for the purpose of experiencing a story and being entertained by it. If the developers feels that the most economical model for them is to sell extra bits of that experience, that is their prerogative. It is not a "ripoff." If the extra content isn't worth the money to you, don't buy it. Your experience of the game shouldn't be impacted simply because you are given the option of purchasing additional content. Let's face it, if people weren't willing to buy this content, developers wouldn't be able to care for it. Clearly, people will pay for it, so developers will continue to produce it.

My intention is not to offend, but I've been lurking through so many of these thread over the past few years and felt that I should express my opinion on the matter. I don't expect many to agree with me but I just can't help feeling that too many people who decry DLC just feel entitled to entertainment.

"Gamers are happy to pay for DLC, online passes, and microtransactions, says BioWare."

I may only be able to speak for myself, but in lieu of downloading the "Extended Cut" of ME3, I uninstalled Origin and threw out all my Bioware disks.

So really Bioware...

darth gditch:
Sigh, I shouldn't do this but I will.

To those of you upset about DLC, especially for ME3, why does the existence of extra content available for an additional fee bother you? From what I've read, a lot of ire stems from the From Ashes day one DLC. Now, I do not dispute that the DLC made the game a richer experience with more interesting arcs and some additional context, but I did not find it NECESSARY to the overall plot. I did not purchase from ashes at first, and my first playthrough was still by and large a similar experience. I still enjoyed it. But I wanted that extra content and context, so I paid for it.
Certainly, I would have preferred to get it for free, but I would prefer not to pay for cable too. I have no issue with BioWare or anyone charging extra for extra content, whether it's already on the disc or not. The idea that BioWare is "stealing" content that you already paid for is ludicrous. An appropriate example of that would be if the game cut off after the Rannoch mission and you had to pony up another 10 bucks to finish the game. That would be an example of cutting content and making you pay for it.

From Ashes was ALWAYS going to be a DLC, just like the Fallout:NV DLC was ALWAYS going to be DLC.

People, games like ME are entertainment products. You purchase them for the purpose of experiencing a story and being entertained by it. If the developers feels that the most economical model for them is to sell extra bits of that experience, that is their prerogative. It is not a "ripoff." If the extra content isn't worth the money to you, don't buy it. Your experience of the game shouldn't be impacted simply because you are given the option of purchasing additional content. Let's face it, if people weren't willing to buy this content, developers wouldn't be able to care for it. Clearly, people will pay for it, so developers will continue to produce it.

My intention is not to offend, but I've been lurking through so many of these thread over the past few years and felt that I should express my opinion on the matter. I don't expect many to agree with me but I just can't help feeling that too many people who decry DLC just feel entitled to entertainment.

But, but, it's $10 I don't have to spend! How dare they charge that much money to use a new party member, with extra dialogue, extra scenes, and new powers! They should just suck up the cost and release it for free, just like they did with Kasumi!

Wait...

Redhawkmillenium:

Doom972:

Redhawkmillenium:
Mass Effect 3's "From Ashes" DLC was NOT on the disc.

It wasn't on the disc, it was in the game. By using a savegame editor, one can have Javik recruited, and the game will proceed as if you have the DLC. "From Ashes" only includes the mission to get him.

Which is still not on the disc or in the game out of the box.

Yes it is. It's in the game files, which came from the disc. You don't need to download the DLC to be able to have Javik recruited by editing a save.

darth gditch:
Sigh, I shouldn't do this but I will.

To those of you upset about DLC, especially for ME3, why does the existence of extra content available for an additional fee bother you? From what I've read, a lot of ire stems from the From Ashes day one DLC. Now, I do not dispute that the DLC made the game a richer experience with more interesting arcs and some additional context, but I did not find it NECESSARY to the overall plot. I did not purchase from ashes at first, and my first playthrough was still by and large a similar experience. I still enjoyed it. But I wanted that extra content and context, so I paid for it.
Certainly, I would have preferred to get it for free, but I would prefer not to pay for cable too. I have no issue with BioWare or anyone charging extra for extra content, whether it's already on the disc or not. The idea that BioWare is "stealing" content that you already paid for is ludicrous. An appropriate example of that would be if the game cut off after the Rannoch mission and you had to pony up another 10 bucks to finish the game. That would be an example of cutting content and making you pay for it.

From Ashes was ALWAYS going to be a DLC, just like the Fallout:NV DLC was ALWAYS going to be DLC.

Actually, it wasn't. The character was at one point intended to be the Catalyst, who played a large part of the main storyline. Numerous articles have mentioned that Bioware changed this to a DLC midway through creating the content for it because EA wanted to bump up the release schedule.

Again, it's completed character model and skill tree are both on the disc and were completed prior to the game's certification, and can be accessed by changing a single line of game code. We know some of his lines were recorded before the game was certified (via the demo leak back in November 2011).

You paid more money for content that was already partially on the disc you bought. God help you if you bought the Collector's Edition - most of the content in that pack is also on the regular game disc behind an unlock key.

As far as Javik goes, if anything, he's the only evidence of the developers trying to push that whole "synthetics vs. organics" issue that comes into play in the ending. Without the DLC, that whole theme comes completely out of left field.

Yes, bioware. That's why DA2 and SWTOR were flops and ME3 created a huge shitstorm. It's because we are happy with how you deal with your business. Also, thanks fo saying what "us gamers" like.

darth gditch:
To those of you upset about DLC, especially for ME3, why does the existence of extra content available for an additional fee bother you? From what I've read, a lot of ire stems from the From Ashes day one DLC. Now, I do not dispute that the DLC made the game a richer experience with more interesting arcs and some additional context, but I did not find it NECESSARY to the overall plot. I did not purchase from ashes at first, and my first playthrough was still by and large a similar experience. I still enjoyed it. But I wanted that extra content and context, so I paid for it.

Good for them, you know what I don't find NECESSARY either? Buying or playing any of their games in the future (including Mass Effect 3) despite quite liking the previous games: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/326.61865-Mass-Effect-PC-Pro-Contra , http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/326.175197-Mass-Effect-2-PC-Pro-Contra

They're trying to sell ME a product, not the other way around and ripping people off IS exactly what they are doing, give me a full game or GTFO.
I'm not going to pay full price for something just so they can tell me that they cut content and want to charge me even more if I want the full game... eff that.

I'm convinced; EA is either killing or brainwashing every single studios of theirs. That's the only explanation.

..So that now we have a super-villain on our hands, who are we going to pick for the team? Obviously we need Chuck Norris and Mr. T, but I'm drawing blanks as for other members. Anyone got any good ideas?

CardinalPiggles:

Twilight_guy:

CardinalPiggles:

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!

If no one ever stood up to try and change people, the civil right movement would have never started and women would be second class citizens. Speaking your mind isn't necessarily a fool's errand or something to avoid.

Agente L:
Yes, bioware. That's why DA2 and SWTOR were flops and ME3 created a huge shitstorm. It's because we are happy with how you deal with your business. Also, thanks fo saying what "us gamers" like.

DA2 was not a flop. It sold less than DA:O, true. But it still sold, across the three platforms, almost 2 million copies in 1 year and 5 months. That's not great, by any means. But considering that DA:O has sold 4.3 million copies on the same systems in 2 years and 9 months, let's see how it works out to for sales per month.

DA:O: 0.13 million copies per month

DA2: 0.117 million copies per month

It has done worse on average than the original, but not so much worse that one can be called a success, and the other a flop. As for SWTOR, it wasn't a flop, either. It bled off customers too fast, true, which is why it is going free-to-play. But it got 1 million subscribers in 3 days, faster than any MMO has ever done. It's a flop in the sense it couldn't maintain those numbers, true. But calling it a flop in general is a bit shortsighted.

TL;DR, DA2 and SWTOR were not as successful as the original and anticipated, respectively. But calling them "flops" is implying much worse than that.

thebobmaster:

Agente L:
Yes, bioware. That's why DA2 and SWTOR were flops and ME3 created a huge shitstorm. It's because we are happy with how you deal with your business. Also, thanks fo saying what "us gamers" like.

DA2 was not a flop. It sold less than DA:O, true. But it still sold, across the three platforms, almost 2 million copies in 1 year and 5 months. That's not great, by any means. But considering that DA:O has sold 4.3 million copies on the same systems in 2 years and 9 months, let's see how it works out to for sales per month.

DA:O: 0.13 million copies per month

DA2: 0.117 million copies per month

It has done worse on average than the original, but not so much worse that one can be called a success, and the other a flop. As for SWTOR, it wasn't a flop, either. It bled off customers too fast, true, which is why it is going free-to-play. But it got 1 million subscribers in 3 days, faster than any MMO has ever done. It's a flop in the sense it couldn't maintain those numbers, true. But calling it a flop in general is a bit shortsighted.

TL;DR, DA2 and SWTOR were not as successful as the original and anticipated, respectively. But calling them "flops" is implying much worse than that.

DA2...I guess you could say it wasn't a flop, but it also destroyed Dragon Age series image. And you are comparing both datas when one of them has 16 more months than the other. If you compare both in equivalent months (either 17 or 33 months), you would see DA2 average would be much lower compared to DA:O

SWTOR is DEFINATELY a flop. It went freemium in less than one year. And before the f2p part gone online, all servers up were "light", with a few servers having 1 to 5 people online in the central hub. Austin was hit by lay off after lay offs.

It was one of the most ambicious games ever made, with what might be the biggest budget for a video game ever, and it went freemiun faster than LOTRO or even WHO went f2p. EA stocks dropped almost 50% since it's release. It's not only a flop. It's one of the biggest flops in the gaming industries. I'm not saying the game sucks. I'm just saying it failed at being lucrative.

A MMO success isn't based on how many copies it sells, but on how many subscribers he garned and how long he managed to hold them in it's life.

Twilight_guy:

CardinalPiggles:

Twilight_guy:

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!

If no one ever stood up to try and change people, the civil right movement would have never started and women would be second class citizens. Speaking your mind isn't necessarily a fool's errand or something to avoid.

Hmm, well I guess I can see where you're coming from, but telling people not to whine about prices is a hell of a lot different from telling people not to treat you worse than someone else because of your sex.

Seeing as we're way off topic, I think it's best to agree to disagree.

Phlakes:

DVS BSTrD:

Marshall Honorof:
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.

Because that's all that really matters in this day and age isn't it? The Multiplayer.

Yeah, it's not like they're also working on single player DLC that'll be released this summer.

Oh wait.

That will add one hour of extra gameplay as well as a little bit to the story.Is that worth 15-20$? I think not.

IamGamer41:

Phlakes:

DVS BSTrD:
Because that's all that really matters in this day and age isn't it? The Multiplayer.

Yeah, it's not like they're also working on single player DLC that'll be released this summer.

Oh wait.

That will add one hour of extra gameplay as well as a little bit to the story.Is that worth 15-20$? I think not.

In the blue corner we have the point-

Point

And in the red corner, whatever you're talking about-

That post

This has nothing to do with what the DLC is outside of it being single player.

Phlakes:

IamGamer41:

Phlakes:

Yeah, it's not like they're also working on single player DLC that'll be released this summer.

Oh wait.

That will add one hour of extra gameplay as well as a little bit to the story.Is that worth 15-20$? I think not.

In the blue corner we have the point-

Point

And in the red corner, whatever you're talking about-

That post

This has nothing to do with what the DLC is outside of it being single player.

The point was that paid DLC singleplayer that your talking about will not be worth it.Nor will any other single player DLC because it will have little to no effect on the ending.That is if Boiware can pull another Lair of the Shadow Broker out of their ass but I don't think so.

Sure there will always be people who buy the stuff but honestly who needs another gun or suit of armor.

Hides His Eyes:
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).

You're not alone, there's plenty of people like you and me VERY pissed off about these business practices. I remember the days when games were routinely released and it had 50, or 60, or 70 hours of content or more, with effective, vibrant worlds, gripping storylines, and excellent gameplay (for the time). This was because back then there were no such thing as DLC, there was a significant amount of time between new releases and that meant they had to make each game something worthwhile to hold people over.

Now? Now they can just make a full game, cut out and lock out content from said game, release said cut up game at full price and then sell the cut and locked content as DLC which should already be in the game to begin with for 10 times what it's actually worth. Worse, plenty of developers will now make a 10 hour game that way back a similar game would be 3 times as long at least and then just sell the other 20 hours in 2-4 hour parts as DLC for, again, far more than it should be.

Agente L:

A MMO success isn't based on how many copies it sells, but on how many subscribers he garned and how long he managed to hold them in it's life.

Not true. How long an MMO stays subcription based and how many subcribers it gets and holds onto is no indicator of it's success. MMOs that are profitable under the subscription model are rare and far between, history has shown that when an MMO goes F2P it becomes much more profitable than it ever was under the subscription model by leaps and bounds.

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