Bethesda VP Defends Day-One DLC

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loa:

Earnest Cavalli:
Remember: The people who make videogames have no idea who you are and largely don't care how you feel. They're in business to make money, not to make you smile, and every decision these companies make is aimed toward pulling in as much cash as possible, regardless of how a noisy online minority might feel about it.

That's pretty funny considering how we're talking about the entertainment industry here.
But sure, keep telling yourself that. We'll see where that leads in the not-so-distant future.

You can replace "company" with "politicians", and "money" with "votes", and get something that's just as true, bud. Sorry to burst your bubble, but when an angry but tiny minority whines, neither politicians nor companies give two shits. You have to get enough people to give a shit before... well... anyone gives a shit.

And no, unfortunately, neither companies nor politicians nor unions nor any other large organization knows you by name or face, or give a shit about your feelings about them. What they care about, rather, is the aggregate: what most people think of them.

Bethesda's explanation of Day 1 DLC being available. Acceptable.

Day 1 DLC (or any dlc for that matter) that's already on the disc but locked behind a pay wall, UNACCEPTABLE. Also, I HATE the practice pioneered by EA of making you pay for cheats/unlocks. First I saw of this was in Need for Speed (Undercover I believe, last one I ever bought), things that had previously been a cheat code now seemed to be purchasable for a few dollars a piece. Saw this, sold it at gamestop, never bought an EA product since.

Features advertised prior to release, that are not present in the final product, but are available as DLC, also horribly unacceptable.

Seriously, having online consoles was the worst thing that could've happened to the game industry. As short a time ago as the PS2/Xbox generation, you actually had to test game before releasing them, no day one patches, no patches period, that shit had to sparkle before seeing the world. Now? "Fuck it, take it gold, we'll patch it later." Lazy, cheap, greedy fuckheads.

*venting completed, system restarting*

Huh? Were we talking about horse armor? I liked the elven one on my Anvil horse for my Dunmer. ...and where did all this broken glass come from?

Genocidicles:
What about DLC that's obviously content that's been stripped from the main game purely to be sold as DLC? Like From Ashes?

Also voting with your wallet never works, whereas screaming like children does.

Screaming got the ending of Mass Effect 3 changed (even if it is still shit), which is more than 'voting with your wallet' ever did.

That and voting with your wallet gives the devs and execs of the game no idea what you disliked about their game at all and it would pretty much rol like this every time it ever happened:

Exec 1: "Hey guys not many people are buying into our game do you have any idea why?"

Exec 2: "I just don't know because of the lack of money we're recieving I can't tell what they don't like"

Dev 1: "Could it be that they don't like the fact that we stripped content that could have been included for free with the game?"

Exec 1 & 2: "nah that's crazy talk of course the fans of our game love buying tons of day one DLC and DLC that could have been shipped".

Voting with your wallet will never ever send a clear message let alone let the devs or company know what went wrong with their game and it will usually lead to them scrapping the game because:

Earnest Cavalli:
Bethesda VP Defends Day-One DLC

Remember: The people who make videogames have no idea who you are and largely don't care how you feel. They're in business to make money, not to make you smile, and every decision these companies make is aimed toward pulling in as much cash as possible, regardless of how a noisy online minority might feel about it.

And that's all they seem to care about so really they don't even understand how their games fail in the first place if all they really care about is money then they are a lost cause wanting a reason to exist.

When you open a business yes you expect to make money but in turn you expect to make your customers happy and excited to buy your products to the point where they trust you and want to come back for more and from all that you have created a stable business granted you have a decent model to go with then you'll be rolling in the money but if you don't give two shits about your customer then quite frankly you suck at running a business and will in time go the way of the dodo.

I learned business decisions and tactis from my college E-business class for two years and this guy has been in the gaming business longer than I ever will have and yet he's got the wrong idea of how this all works out.

Sure people are buying into day 1 DLC and it's not going away anytime soon but wouldn't you want that extra bit of money along with decent reputation and credability to keep you going strong?.

Hyper-space:
I swear to god, about 99% of the people in this thread did not read the goddamn fucking article.

His point was that THEY HAVE FINISHED THE GAME ITSELF BUT ARE WAITING FOR IT TO SHIP, meaning that in the meantime they can work on side-content like DLC.

Get it? THEY HAVE SPARE-TIME UNTIL THE GAME IS OUT AND CAN THEREFORE WORK ON OTHER STUFF. Super simple stuff.

Easily dismissed by two points:

1) Day One DLC that is already on the disc and was shipped with the rest of the product (such as in the case of ME3 and other games) is not "content they created at the last minute while the game waits to ship" because if it was, then it couldn't possibly be on the disc in the first place. At some point in development, the final game file is burned onto the discs, then they have to make boxes, ship them across the world, etc. They can't do that if the devs are trying to cram stuff onto the disc at the last second. Thus, we end up with an increasing number of cases in which the so-called "Day One DLC" is actually content they stripped from the game and shoved behind a pay wall because they knew they could squeeze a few extra bucks out of people by calling it "DLC" instead. And that's not acceptable.

2) The time between a finalized product and the actual release is actually not nearly as large as people propose it to be for many games, and often-times a publisher will push a game out well before it's finished. In those cases, how exactly is it that they somehow still managed to find time to make extra content if they didn't even finish the core content first? Either they have screwed up priorities and are focusing on the DLC before they finish the actual product, or they're lying to you and the "DLC" is content they pulled out of the game so they could "finish" it at a later date and sell it to you separately for some extra cash. And neither of those is an acceptable state of affairs for game development.

And, just as they don't care about what we think in regards to their ridiculous DLC policies, we don't have to care what THEY think about us calling them lazy and greedy for using excuses to cover up for the fact that they're stripping out parts of their game to sell to us piecemeal because they know they make more money that way.

of course, if the DLC was already pressed onto the disk, then how does that factor in?

if this approval process was rigorous, then the dlc was already in production before the game was "done", if we define done as entering the approval process and being included on the disc. (we're referring to whole components here, not markers to add new files to the game.) if it's not as rigorous as to consider dlc part of the approval process, then they don't even have to bother with the process if they just make most of it dlc and just get it "approved" while taking as long as they want to with the "optional" portion of the game and there wouldn't be any actual downtime in terms of what they do with the staff

better yet, they could still allow the development but not charge us for it like as if their approval model means that they have to convert part of their game into an add-on and make us buy it separately because somehow that time costs more than it did before in the same time spans they've been developing in for years

about the argument that if they didn't make the dlc, then it wouldn't exist: okay, so say if they removed certain portions of the actual game that weren't "essential" to the overall game, can we consider those parts to not be the main game either? how much of a game can we pare down until it can still be called a complete game by a technical definition and yet not have those components? who gets to decide what's part of a game?

the companies do, and unless we actually say anything about it, they'll continue to do so as long as they can essentially add more to the price of the same game we've been getting before while still claiming that the "basic" game is still worth 60 dollars, and people buy that

CriticKitten:
snip

Easily dismissed by the fact that NOT EVERY PIECE OF DAY 1 DLC IS LOCKED AWAY ON THE DISK. THE POINT IS STILL VALID FOR MOST INSTANCES OF DAY 1 DLC.

But no, of course there can be no demarcation in the land of fucking hyperbole and fucktardiness, for this is an internet forum and as such serves as a graveyard for reading comprehension and reserved judgement.

Hyper-space:
Easily dismissed by the fact that NOT EVERY PIECE OF DAY 1 DLC IS LOCKED AWAY ON THE DISK. THE POINT IS STILL VALID FOR MOST INSTANCES OF DAY 1 DLC.

Nor did I claim it was, if you read my post. I simply pointed out that in several cases, the Day One DLC in question was actual content placed on the disc.

And I can't help but notice that you have absolutely no retort for my second argument, presumably because you didn't read that far into the post.

Hilarious that you're commenting on how other people lack reading comprehension, though.

While on one hand, sure, you may as well fire off whatever hijinx your staff has completed/come up with during the Gold Press-Release gap as DLC, thats not really where the main ire against Day 1 DLC comes from.

Its more Capcom style, where you can find and (with hacking) unlock DLC characters on the pressed disc without ever touching the thing to an online connection or patch. Or AC2 which had the chapters they couldn't be bothered extending the deadline to finish or they specifically cut out to sell later. Which completely eviscerated the story flow and was an obvious flaw in the game that Ubisoft then demanded to be paid to put in.

As someone up there said, findng unused code in games, or extra content bits isn't unknown, its when the code is such a glaring omission that its obviously either been removed in order to jack a few more dollars, or they've scalped the game to meet a deadline, which relatively few people outside parents dumb enough to promise their children as yet non-existent products for xmas/birthdays really give a rats behind about.

Its one thing so say talk with your money but another thing to say I don't care about how you feel go suck it up; we are in this to make money, doesn't really make me want to buy your games...

So, why not spend that time before release making the game playable? Bethesda games are unplayable the first few days before they unload massive glitch fixes.

In my opinion, if a company has the resources to generated additional content to a game between the time it's sent off for disk manufacturing, there should be zero known unpatched bugs at launch. If you can pay people to model and texture horse armor, you can pay people to debug your code. On principle, I won't buy DLC for a game if I encounter a significant amount of bugs. That just tells the developer that it's ok to be lazy in their debugging process, because we as the consumer will continue to throw continually increasing amounts of money at them.

Never thought I'd see the day where I'd be arguing against someone from Bethesda. Normally I love those guys.

That it's 'necessary' will NEVER be a valid argument for day-one DLC. They seem to be conveniently forgetting about the times before DLC even existed. It's funny how those games did well without a 'necessary' part of the development process.
It's also a pretty big coincidence how those games always felt a lot more furnished than games with day-one DLC, eh?

Earnest Cavalli:

Remember: The people who make videogames have no idea who you are and largely don't care how you feel. They're in business to make money, not to make you smile, and every decision these companies make is aimed toward pulling in as much cash as possible, regardless of how a noisy online minority might feel about it.

I'm sure that it's just a "noisy online minority" that prevents EA from posting profits right now, right?

Genocidicles:

Screaming got the ending of Mass Effect 3 changed (even if it is still shit), which is more than 'voting with your wallet' ever did.

I'd add that even if you opt to "vote with your wallet," such an effort is useless without context.

Johnson McGee:
The 'development schedule' excuse rings hollow for me. The post release patches released for many games (especially Bethesda ones) suggests the development cycle for a game continues well past its release even, much less weeks before.

It rings even more hollow when these things show up on the disc, which has been pretty freaking common.

There is a difference between having Day 1 DLC that is made post shipment and having it be some little fun cosmetic things that can turn into something more as the waiting time goes past and having on disc DLC and day 1 DLC that includes hours upon hours of content. We don't hate Day 1 DLC unless it is obvious that it could have been added in the release or is just straight up on disc DLC.

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