Marvel Heroes Dev Defends Pricing

Marvel Heroes Dev Defends Pricing

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Dave Brevik thinks $200 is a fair price for all of the game's starting content.

Whether you need to buy web fluid, bulletproof clothing, or innumerable pairs of purple pants, no one ever said that being a superhero was cheap. In fact, if you're looking to pick up absolutely everything for the launch of Marvel Heroes, get ready to drop $200. While the upcoming MMORPG is free-to-play and premium packs start at $20, Gazillion Entertainment CEO Dave Brevik thinks that the Ultimate Pack is priced to sell.

"You have to realize how much you're getting for that Ultimate Pack," says Brevik, who is perhaps best known as one of the leads behind Diablo and Diablo II. He points out that people - including himself - routinely spend more money than this on games like League of Legends and World of Warcraft, and that games in this price range are hardly unheard-of. "There are plenty of Collector's Edition-type things that are well over $100. This does happen." If you want all the content that Marvel Heroes offers and don't have time to earn it, Brevik also explains that the Ultimate Pack is cheaper than buying everything piecemeal. "It's an upfront discount. That's why it seems expensive, but in the long run you'll save quite a bit of money."

The Ultimate Pack does boast a lot of content: It unlocks every playable hero, four exclusive costumes, $100 in in-game currency, early game access, permanent bonuses for XP and item collection, and forum perks. Brevik also stresses that the pack is completely optional. Not only are most premium packs much cheaper, but to jump into the game and start playing costs nothing at all. However, while players can earn every hero and most costumes through dedicated play, a few items will only be available to premium purchasers. "In a lot of ways we're giving away almost everything," Brevik continues. "I would like to say everything, but it is technically not correct. But 99 percent of everything is attainable in the game."

Fans have also levied negative charges against the beta's storyline and graphics, but Brevik assures them that these will be ironed out by the game's launch. "[The fans] have to realize it's not done yet. It is a beta. We have definitive plans." Until then, take solace in the fact that even if you buy the Ultimate Pack, it's considerably cheaper than your own private battle jet.

Source: Eurogamer

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This would be fun to justify to your family. "I need $200 for an internet game".

10/10 for honesty, I guess... but isn't the whole point of 'microtransactions' that it's a subtle drip feed of income that gives you the impression you're spending less, even if it does end up being more?

Just seems like a bad idea to draw attention to the overall potential expenditure by putting out what is essentially a really expensive Collector's Edition for an unproven game that I rather doubt will set the world on fire in any case.

I thought this was a fighter when I saw the title so I was planning to say "What does it think it is? An MMO?"

So yeah if you pay $60 for WoW and then $15 for a year then thats $240. Admittedly this doesn't sound like it has as much content as WoW

It's always interesting to see an MMO before it's inevitable crash and burn. The devs are so optimistic. It's truly adorable.

In the current market of mobile & indie gaming seeing ever rising success & popularity at a price range of $1-$15 dollars, it's baffling to me that someone thinks a $200 DLC pack will sell

Sure, long-time subscription MMO players have paid much more than this for the content they enjoy... over the course of years. The entertainment value of their game was worth $15/month to them. Dropping $200 on content for a game they might only play for a month or two before bailing? I'm sure they'll move a couple of these packs, but the idea itself is gonna scare away far more prospective customers

I just lost interest in this game.

deanospimoni:
I just lost interest in this game.

I just found out about this game, and immediately lost interest.

Sixcess:
10/10 for honesty, I guess... but isn't the whole point of 'microtransactions' that it's a subtle drip feed of income that gives you the impression you're spending less, even if it does end up being more?

Just seems like a bad idea to draw attention to the overall potential expenditure by putting out what is essentially a really expensive Collector's Edition for an unproven game that I rather doubt will set the world on fire in any case.

I would have thought it was simply more prudent to spred the payment out over time, instead of just dropping one huge lump sum.

I'm in Beta for this one (like many other games) but under a NDA so I can't say anything except for the fact that my biggest complaint so far has been their testing times and being unable to access their beta forums despite numerous attempts. The testing times are just wild coincidence with a recent RL schedule though, not their fault... but the forums (grrr).

Without talking about the game itself I will say that $200 is about the going rate for a "lifetime subscription" or the equivilent to an MMO right now. Star Trek Online, The Secret World, Champions Online, Lord Of The Rings Online, etc... have all generally followed that price point.

The big question with a game like this is whether you like it enough to feel that it justifies the expense. $200 is a lot of money but to be honest if it's something you think your likely to play a lot, even if not constantly (ie periodically re-visting it) it's probably worth the content especially if it's going to give you the play time youd put into 4-5 other games, which is quite possible for an MMO.

My personal problem with the $200 founders package though is that it includes only initial content for the game. When you drop $200 for an MMO you usually get all of the upcoming expansions, and at least a point stipend if the game is running on a FTP model. This package includes none of those things, so if they add more characters, costumes, etc... later you have to pay cash for them. Ditto for if they add new areas/missions/adventures and that kind of content to
the game, they could very well charge you for that as well.

The $200 pack is basically a huge unlock bundle and while interesting, and perhaps worthwhile to someone who wants to play the game a lot, I don't think it includes enough long term guarantees (despite providing cash shop currency in one lump) to really be competitive with other, similar, offers. If they were to give you an automatic cash shop currency stipend as well, or guaranteed free access to all new game content that would be more worthwhile and competitive with similar offers.

To speak for myself I wound up buying two of the cheapest starter packs with a characters I wanted to play, as they came (currently) with as much $ value as I was spending in cash shop currency as well. It's a game I'll definatly try after launch despite what the company itself has said about their reception and criticisms (no comment from me as I'm under NDA) but to be honest I was neither too fond of their $60 packages, nor do I think the $200 offer is worthwhile
in it's current form.

As a totally seperate note, I also think the gaming industry as a whole needs to chill out with the DLC, and do some conferring on fair cost to value ratios. This is a general comment rather than just directed at Marvel Heroes, though it makes me think of the problem. Right now one thing pretty much all F2P games sell are "skins", that is cosmetic embellishments for character models, such as clothing, alternate apperances, etc. I find it kind of disturbing how much the prices fluctuate for pretty much the same things between games, as it can be pretty telling when it comes to greed, and I think also holds things back. In some games you can get a whole pack of skins following a specific theme for like $5, in others you might pay $10 or more for a single skin or character outfit. Looking at this you also have to compare the cosmetics to things that actually have some serious in game value like a new character, ship, or class of weapon. Even within the same game sometimes you'll see a pack of 3 skins being sold for the same price as a single skin. It's generally kind of a mess, and I think hurts microtransactions a bit since it seems like bean counters slap on the price tags without seriously thinking about the actual value of what's being sold. As much as I prefer the straight "everyone pays a subscription and everyone gets everything" model, I think F2P games would benefit from a bit more thought in this direction and consistincy. If you look at the costs of the revealed Marvel Heroes Starter Packs you might be able to deduce the relative costs of skins vs. characters, and why this game has gotten me thinking about the problem. Not to mention that when you look at say "Champions Online" you can pick up a pack of like 3 costumes you can mix and match parts from for $5.

vxicepickxv:

deanospimoni:
I just lost interest in this game.

I just found out about this game, and immediately lost interest.

This. Also, I'm not a very big Marvel fan.

Part of the reason that MMOs are able to bring in as much money as they do is because the prices aren't high all at once. $15/month may be quite a bit over the course of a year, but that's a longer term spend. If Blizzard were to sell WoW subscriptions on an annual basis rather than monthly, people wouldn't pay up. Microtransactions are much the same way. People are glad to spend a dollar here and there, and even buy packs if there's some sort of bulk discount attached, but a pack this big is out of reach for most people.

That said, they do offer much smaller bundles for people who don't wanna spend this much, so I really don't see what the big deal is. It's not like anybody's being forced to buy this.

P.S. Thanks

Hey way to be honest. To be truthful this is like the people who spend $100 on the collectors editions of other games for things they will never use. At least this is stuff in game you get..... Bah no matter what the game is there is always a version for people with too much damn money.

DVS BSTrD:

Sixcess:
10/10 for honesty, I guess... but isn't the whole point of 'microtransactions' that it's a subtle drip feed of income that gives you the impression you're spending less, even if it does end up being more?

I would have thought it was simply more prudent to spred the payment out over time, instead of just dropping one huge lump sum.

I was thinking of it more from a marketing point of view. F2P games usually aren't very up front about how expensive it could be - indeed most of the time the emphasis is on how little you could spend, rather than how much. In this case this game already has a headline-grabbing $200 potential price tag attached to it, and they're already on the defensive about it.

Aside from that - are they really calling this an MMORPG? It's more of a Diablo clone really.

sounds like pay to win

Heh, what can I say, once again I'm happy my attention span is decent enough so I don't feel this nefarious desire to throw my money at every polished turd that's flung my wa---

.....ooooh, shiny! *wanders off*

BrotherRool:
I thought this was a fighter when I saw the title so I was planning to say "What does it think it is? An MMO?"

So yeah if you pay $60 for WoW and then $15 for a year then thats $240. Admittedly this doesn't sound like it has as much content as WoW

Honestly I just wish they'd all drop this delusional idea that we would all be perfectly fine dropping $200-200 into a digital game and just use the GW2 base model of paying for the game and then playing for it for free with maybe the tiniest of micro trans.

My roomie is living proof of how much money he sinks into multiple Japanese MMO's is a bad idea considering he throws in more than 700 a year (in some cases 2000 which was 2 years ago for his biggest dump of cash in the whole year)

And even if we don't wish to dump that much money I'm betting the time it would take to eventually get all what's listed there would equate to a massive waste of time.

zidine100:
sounds like pay to win

Sounds like someone is jumping to conclusions.

deanospimoni:

zidine100:
sounds like pay to win

Sounds like someone is jumping to conclusions.

In a way, sure. But when you read this bit:

"...permanent bonuses for XP and item collection..."

I get the feeling it's not the most outlandish conclusion to jump to. I'll admit to having absolutely no knowledge about the game, so I don't know how the infrastructure works, what the character balances are like, and what is in the in-game shop that you can spend the $100 on, but it does sound like anyone willing to shell out money is going to potentially be in a better position when the game launches.

Which isn't fair. Yes, when you have a game that's free-to-play, people who choose to pay for the content should be rewarded in some way. But, at the same time, the rewards they get shouldn't be potentially hampering to the people who are taking advantage of the free option. You're offering that option, after all. Since most of the content can be unlocked through playing (from the sounds of it), I don't think it's going to be a long-term issue, but that potential boost to players with extra money to drop during the game's launch period could hurt the title overall.

OT: I have never bought, nor ever been so much as tempted to buy a Collector's Edition for a game. I think the standard pricing is egregious enough, without dropping more money for extra stuff that's then just going to collect dust on a shelf somewhere. But whenever I see a price tag like that for a game, I wince a little bit. The fact that someone, somewhere has enough disposable income to drop $200 on a game that's supposed to be free-to-play is baffling, and makes the collection of lint currently hanging out in my wallet seem all the more out of place.

A $200 Ultimate Pack is terrible. Break that up into a never ending stream of $2.50 to $15 purchases and people will spend $400 for less without ever batting an eye. Shine a $200 spotlight on your "micro-transactions"(1) and people will call BS on how that's too much money.

(1)There's nothing "micro" about $200, and $15 is almost as bad.

Therumancer:
I'm in Beta for this one (like many other games) but under a NDA

I know you can't say much, but is it as awful as RPS says it is? Blink twice for yes. Heh.

Nalgas D. Lemur:

Therumancer:
I'm in Beta for this one (like many other games) but under a NDA

I know you can't say much, but is it as awful as RPS says it is? Blink twice for yes. Heh.

Has it been that bad? Yes it has. Even RPS mentioned that they were surprised the press was shown the game that early on, and I'm pretty shocked myself. As they point out it's still in Beta with no release date. That press release was apparently authorized so I will say they are not liars.

That said, I apparently think that the game will have potential because I have indeed given them $40 based on my limited beta testing (bought two differant character starter packs).

I will also say that I think RPS sort of misses the point and what they are trying to do here. They for example mention "City Of Heroes" type MMOs, but this wasn't intended to be that kind of game. What they are doing is creating a sort of huge-scale version of the "Marvel Ultimate Alliance" (or "X-Men: Legends) games, played from that perspective. There is little focus on customization unlike other super hero MMOS, the entire idea being to create a very approachable game where people can login, assume the role of their favorite character, and bust some heads. There isn't a lot of work put into depth or deep story building here. It's also being developed as a FTP title, as opposed to an elaborate subscription based game like other super MMOs were designed as, so you have to evaluate it in those terms as well. The differance in quality between games being developed as FTP to begin with and subscription based games (having betaed both) is huge. With the relative death of subscription based games I think gamers are going to have to tighten their belts when it comes to expectations accross the board, I do hope that this will lead to pressure to get the pendeluum
to swing back in the other direction and by the time that happens the industry will have finally learned where they went wrong with the subscription based games (ie not enough focus on endgame, which motivates people to keep playing and re-upping those subscriptions).

This game is NOT City Of Heroes, Champions Online, or DCUO, and wasn't trying to be. It's playing in an entirely differant arena. That's one of the reasons why I gave them money (which is pretty limited to me), it's a differant direction of game development that has potential if explored.

Going entirely by what's been released and "seen" the image you should have in your mind to begin with is a cut rate Action RPG but with super heroes. Buying a starter pack for example will give you a character, plus enough in game currency to buy another one, and then you have your starter character that you select when playing for free. So you figure 3 characters which is roughly parallel to the number of character options in many ARPGs (say a fighter, rogue, and mage). How much game do you expect for $20? Looked at on that level it's not a bad investment and you could do far worse.

Basically it's like playing Diablo, or Torchlight, or whatever else (click, kill, loot... occasionally clobber boss) and even sold that way. The differance being that you have lots of other people playing at the same time, a chat mode going, etc...

You expect it to be a deep super hero experience like other MMOs, your not going to get it, but it's not trying to be one. As much as I hope we will see a "real" super hero MMO set in the Marvel Universe some day, I suppose this is a decent product in the meantime.

Besides, having played both CoH and CO (lifetimer) I will say that the complexity in these games is off putting to a certain segement of players. There are those who just want to have a character exactly like a favorite from the comics and then run around and clobber things without having to put much thought into their build, gear, or sit down and build a costume that doesn't cause blindness from a color haze from a selection of hundreds of parts. This is very much the game for those people, and truthfully I suspect it might actually help with "problems" like 40 gajillion people all trying to be Wolverine without ticking off the GMs, and getting all upset because they can't do it perfectly. This is a game where you can just flat out be Wolverine (like anyone else can).

I definatly figure it's something I'll dip into here and there.

I'll also say that the guys doing the RPS article are totally insane on some levels. Trying to keep a game current with comics continuity is pretty much impossible. Not to mention that not everyone likes every change they did to comics. There is a certain status quo that the major universes revert to for a reason, and that is what most people want. Something like "The Future Foundation" might be a cool idea, but at the end of the day people want their normal Spider Man and Fantastic Four more. Changing around Ms Marvel based on what her current status in the comics is would be nearly impossible. What's more changes take work, and Marvel generally isn't going to give pre-notification to those doing products for them. Back in the day TSR had the rights to the Marvel RPG (PnP) and this was kind of an issue since they by contract had the rights to this information apparently, yet Marvel didn't want to give it up. We saw attempts to update the universe through Dragon magazine and the gamers encyclopedias of the marvel universe, but by the time anything was released it was woefully out of date due to the speed with which comics update themselves.

If your perceptive in looking at the founders packages you'll notice that aside from characters, these packages also include costumes. The costumes as you might notice include differant looks from various periods in a character's history. For example Spider Man has his "Future Foundation" outfit in one pack that you can put him into if you want to envision yourself as the Spider Man from that period in his history. What you've got is a very basic version of the marvel universe, and some mild tools (by purchusing costumes) to use versions of characters other than the default. Want to be the Marvel Now! version of a character, you'll notice there are costumes for that. Want to play Thor in destroyer armor? Notice there is a costume for it in the Thor pack. RPS probably should have done a bit more research in some aspects of this... they aren't liars, but their comments about Ms Marvel being kept up with comics continuity are kind of crazy, and honestly, if enough people demand to see her as "Captain Marvel", "Binary" or whatever other form she's in or has been in the business plan for this game seems to be for them to be more than happy to sell you a skin for it. I imagine if the game succeeds to any level at all you'll see costumes being produced by the truckload (and if you look at the packs, there are already tons of them, I can only mention what's been publically released but notice for example that they have like "Planet Hulk" Hulk, and even bloody Maestro just in that bunch of reveals).

Therumancer:
Going entirely by what's been released and "seen" the image you should have in your mind to begin with is a cut rate Action RPG but with super heroes. Buying a starter pack for example will give you a character, plus enough in game currency to buy another one, and then you have your starter character that you select when playing for free. So you figure 3 characters which is roughly parallel to the number of character options in many ARPGs (say a fighter, rogue, and mage). How much game do you expect for $20? Looked at on that level it's not a bad investment and you could do far worse.

Unfortunately for them, when it comes to ARPGs, I expect to wait maybe a year after launch, and then get 2-3 of them for my $20. It was trivial to get Titan Quest, its expansion, and Torchlight 1 and 2 for $20 total that way (probably my three favorites), and I kind of doubt their game will be as good as those (or Grim Dawn or Path of Exile or whatever else by the time they're out), but hopefully I'll be surprised or the Marvel license will help.

Therumancer:
I'll also say that the guys doing the RPS article are totally insane on some levels. Trying to keep a game current with comics continuity is pretty much impossible.

I don't disagree, and the comments there noted that too. I kind of blame that on one of the founders of the site having since become a writer for Marvel, and his...enthusiasm spreading to one or two of the other people there. Aside from being impractical to update it like that, it would be unapproachable for most people too. I thought the way DCUO handled it was very good, with its own self-contained continuity that was similar to where the comics were at the time but left out a lot of the weirder and more confusing stuff and pulled in the more iconic versions of some characters instead, and then from there pretty much ignored what was going on with the comics for the sake of having a coherent world. If I appreciated that streamlining, even as someone who knows a lot more about comics than the average person, I can't begin to imagine what it would be like for someone who's only been watching the Avengers or Batman movies to jump right into a game that tries to stay current with each month's new issues of comics (if it were even possible).

 

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