EA/Biowares Exploitative Business Practices Made it to Forbes

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Stormz:
I love how people continue to defend Bioware/EA, but it's not my business if someone wants to be exploited. I for one am through with Bioware. I'm done buying there games, not that it really matters. There is still tons of other people willing to be screwed over again and again just because of what company logo is on the box.

I love when people use the word exploitation in situations were it doesn't apply, instead of making thought-out arguments, in order to vilify something they don't like.

It is the last resort of people with no argument at all.

GonzoGamer:

That's the thing. It seems that a lot of people are assuming that the people complaining will still buy the game and yes, that is outrageously stupid.

It's an assumption, but a reasonable one based on past information. It may not be as accurate as sunrise/sunset, but we've literally been there and done that. I'm pretty sure I've got the T-Shirt, too.

Now, I don't doubt that you are reasonably perturbed. If you say you're not gonna get the game, I'm inclined to believe you, but the thing is, statistically a high number of people are going to buy it. It'll show up in their Gamertags/IDs, etc. They're easy to find, easy to catch, etc.

What's that line from Men in Black? A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky animals and you know it. To the same end, a person may be resolute, but people are weak-willed.

I know how it feels to want to boycott. I sent THQ an e-mail telling them that I won't buy any of their products unless their policies on games change. This was over Saints Row the Third, one of the only games I really cared about last year. THQ/Volition really screwed the pooch there, and I will not purchase their products anymore. I do not have any of the DLC for Saints Row the Third, even though it's still a competent title, and the fourth game will not be a purchase for me unless they stop including like 60 bucks of on-disc dlc and the like.

But while I've held myself accountable, a lot of the people who said they were done with Saints Row have bought the DLC. They're on my friend's list, I can see them playing stuff they supposedly aren't buying. The same was true with ME2, as well as Skyrim, as well as any controversial big title.

Anyway, I think this is a stupid place to draw the line and one of the least offensive things EA has done, but the point isn't really my feelings. People feel ripped off, and feel entitled to the content. They feel burned. And like past instances where they felt burned, it's very probable that they will complain and then buy it quietly. And when nothing happens, they will complain so monre, but slowly accept it.

I can't see the future, but based on the model of "everything that's happened in gaming to this point," the gaming community will NOT be making a stand here. I would be shocked if they truly did.

"Meet the new boss, same as the old boss."

So after a little research (and some help from our friend SajuukKhar), the DLC seems to have no real impact on the story. Out of the box gamers will receive everything they pay for with the game. We need to stop this hate against Bioware for something they're clearly in their rights to do. Again...the DLC has NO REAL impact on the game itself, it truly is optional.

Please stop this war D:

Dexter111:

AD-Stu:
Except in Mass Effect 3 we're talking about a game that's gone gold on presales alone. Modern Warfare 3 set sales records last year with a full-price release. Skyrim sold a boatload of copies on release too. So consumers are willing to pay $60-$70 if the game is right.

There's a big difference between AAA titles like those and the games that sell for $20-$30 on Steam, and it's no surprise that they're marketed and "milked" in different ways. And those $20-$30 Steam games may sell fast, but how many do they sell in total? Keep in mind that they have to sell at least twice as many to make the same revenue.

Well there's this data by Valve from back in 2009: http://www.shacknews.com/article/57308/valve-left-4-dead-half

With all due respect to Valve, Left 4 Dead wasn't exactly a AAA title like Mass Effect, Modern Warfare or Skyrim. It was big, but not that big.

And in any case, my point was that sales of $20-$30 games are largely irrelevant. ME3 is gold on presales alone, at full price. Modern Warfare 3 broke all-time sales records last year, at full price. Skyrim sold boatloads last year, at full price.

The gaming public as a whole is still willing to pay full price for the right game, it's as simple as that. And ME3 it's pretty clear that ME3 is the right game: they don't need to cut the price in order to sell it. It's an established name, it's got huge brand equity and a massive existing fanbase. Games like Left 4 Dead didn't have that.

Archer666:
Companies love money. DLC generates money because people buy it. People can QQ about it all they want, but at the end of the day a lot of people will buy the DLC so it'll turn a profit. Its crap that it happens, but that's life. Money talks.

Right? Couldn't agree any kinds of more. A vast majority of gamers don't seem to realise that the gaming industry is a business. Nothing more. If something makes money, it'll get more made of it. Perfect example is the CoD games. And it's not just gaming. Look at the movie industry. A fourth Paranormal Activity movie is being made. Why? The series story is fucking ridiculous, the acting is...all right...I guess. And most of the fright scenes are nothing but unoriginal jump-scares after nearly a full minute of nothing happening just to get you prepared for the sudden jump. The series have netted over half a billion dollars. And over the three films made so far, producers have spent a little over eight million dollars.

And in the end, if you ignore the amount of crying on the internet, and aren't a student with a somewhat healthy cash flow, a few extra bucks isn't going to have you not paying the bills. And if it is, why the fuck do you even have a games console if you can't pay fucking bills!?

boag:

Dude, Carlos Slim Owns a percentage of every industry on the Planet, that doesnt make him king of the world.

I agree with you, the CEO of EA owning a major stake in Forbes could be a coincidence, I haven't researched it much so I don't know.
Indeed, A strawman for a strawman, You are hardly neutral on the topic, you compare Skyrim A game that is solely developed by Bethesda, that has development cycle longer than the project Development of ME3 and play up against the hatred for the Bioware with the Fact that Bethesda are pretty cool people.

Comparing business practices just to get your point across, is not neutral at all.

but Lets get back on topic, Bethesda already had planned a DLC for Skyrim, just like it did for Fallout, the release dates were already in the production schedule and its pretty much a given that there will be 4 DLC packs available.

Just because Bioware is releasing theirs early doesnt make them thieves, scammers, or what have you.

My reason for bringing up Skyrim was not to say "EA is bad, Bethesda is good." I know they have different business models. My point is just that the author of the Forbes article talks about how ubiquitous DLC has become and conveniently leaves out the discussion of companies with successful business models that don't revolve so much around DLC. He defends "EA and companies like them" for just being rational corporations seeking a profit, but he doesn't give any mention to the fact that other companies find it rational to treat their customers well and build a profitable fan-base for the long term.

It could be the basic business-man tendency to focus on short-term revenue while killing the long-term prospects of their product. Or it could be the author's primary goal is to defend EA, and giving a balanced assessment of how various publishers handle DLC vs customer satisfaction would have just got in the way.

AD-Stu:
With all due respect to Valve, Left 4 Dead wasn't exactly a AAA title like Mass Effect, Modern Warfare or Skyrim. It was big, but not that big.

And in any case, my point was that sales of $20-$30 games are largely irrelevant. ME3 is gold on presales alone, at full price. Modern Warfare 3 broke all-time sales records last year, at full price. Skyrim sold boatloads last year, at full price.

The gaming public as a whole is still willing to pay full price for the right game, it's as simple as that. And ME3 it's pretty clear that ME3 is the right game: they don't need to cut the price in order to sell it. It's an established name, it's got huge brand equity and a massive existing fanbase. Games like Left 4 Dead didn't have that.

With all due respect to you, but Left4Dead sold 2 million copies in the first 2 weeks at Retail alone: http://kotaku.com/5416152/left-4-dead-2-sells-2-million-in-2-weeks

Left4Dead 2 sold 3 million copies Retail: http://www.gamespot.com/news/ea-holiday-sales-slip-25-dragon-age-ships-32-million-6249940

And those numbers don't include the Steam sales, and putting Mass Effect in a commercial sense on the same level as Call of Duty selling somewhere around 20 million copies, Skyrim shipping 10 million or Battlefield 3 selling 10 million is ridiculous as none of the data seems to indicate that. Both Mass Effect 1+2 including Giveaways like for copies of Dragon Age 2 apparently reached 7 million together so far and it is about in the same ballpark as Left4Dead.

Furthermore the article just says that lowering the price seems to lead to an almost exponential increase in profits made, at least for Digital Distribution with Left4Dead as an example even breaking Release numbers on its first sale. You're constantly saying that it sold so-and-so much "at full price", but that isn't really the question. The question is if it would have sold triple that at half price, or if EA didn't treat its customers (and owned studios/partners to a large extent) shitty if they wouldn't make even more money that way? I guess we will never know, because they don't want to find out and they have to waive me and other people as customers not buying their game at all.

Dexter111:
With all due respect to you, but Left4Dead sold 2 million copies in the first 2 weeks at Retail alone: http://kotaku.com/5416152/left-4-dead-2-sells-2-million-in-2-weeks

Left4Dead 2 sold 3 million copies Retail: http://www.gamespot.com/news/ea-holiday-sales-slip-25-dragon-age-ships-32-million-6249940

And those numbers don't include the Steam sales, and putting Mass Effect in a commercial sense on the same level as Call of Duty selling somewhere around 20 million copies, Skyrim shipping 10 million or Battlefield 3 selling 10 million is ridiculous as none of the data seems to indicate that. Both Mass Effect 1+2 including Giveaways like for copies of Dragon Age 2 apparently reached 7 million together and is about in the same ballpark as Left4Dead.

Furthermore the article just says that lowering the price seems to lead to an almost exponential increase in profits made, at least for Digital Distribution with Left4Dead as an example even breaking Release numbers on its first sale. You're constantly saying that it sold so-and-so much "at full price", but that isn't really the question. The question is if it would have sold triple that at half price, or if EA didn't treat its customers (and owned studios/partners to a large extent) shitty if they wouldn't make even more money that way? I guess we will never know, because they don't want to find out and they have to waive me and other people as customers not buying their game at all.

*shrugs*

I guess we'll see how the ME3 sales pan out. Point is we've demonstrated as gamers that we're OK with paying full price for games, as long as it's the right game. And it's never as simple as saying that halving the price will triple sales, or that doubling the price will halve sales. There's a more complex value proposition at work.

Now what would be really interesting would be to see the DLC sales figures... I'm almost afraid to think about it, but for ME2 I probably spent something like AUD$50 on DLC in addition to the AUD$100 (ballpark - I don't remember exactly) I would have spent on the collector's edition of the base game.

Somehow I'm getting the feeling that more and more large messageboards are being overrun by people shilling for companies whenever these PR nightmares arise, for instance look at this "SajuukKhar" character, 3 posts in 2010 and then 12+ pages of shilling for Bioware/EA and kinda similar with other people. I mean, who the fuck does that but people with low-paid wages working PR or completely obsessive fanboys of some brand...

Some guy posted this here in that longer thread:

image

And we all remember employees trying to raise scores on the likes of Dragon Age 2 and paid Reviews.

Companies - in general - seem to be abusing DLC.

The article said this: "The reason being is that it's "launch day" DLC, meaning that the extra campaign segment being offered in the collector's edition ($20 extra) or sold separately ($10) was actually developed before the release of the game. Even though Bioware claims it was created in the "downtime" before launch, to gamers, this makes it look like the section has been cut out of the original title, and is being sold back to them for an additional payment."

Some people don't want this because it makes it seem as though certain parts of the game are being withheld from gamers at launch for those who don't purchase the DLC.

Also, this: "Compounding the issue further, the details of what's in the pack have fans of the game tearing their hair out because when the alien race of the featured character was revealed, those familiar with the lore deemed it an absolutely essential part of the game, far from the superfluous content DLC usually offers."

Seems like the DLC is more than just some add-on; It seems like it's part of the actual campaign.

Mad World:

Companies - in general - seem to be abusing DLC.

The article said this: "The reason being is that it's "launch day" DLC, meaning that the extra campaign segment being offered in the collector's edition ($20 extra) or sold separately ($10) was actually developed before the release of the game. Even though Bioware claims it was created in the "downtime" before launch, to gamers, this makes it look like the section has been cut out of the original title, and is being sold back to them for an additional payment."

Some people don't want this because it makes it seem as though certain parts of the game are being withheld from gamers at launch for those who don't purchase the DLC.

I don't think Bioware should be forced to delay the release of content because paranoid conspiracy theorists can't control their own mental state.

Mad World:
Also, this: "Compounding the issue further, the details of what's in the pack have fans of the game tearing their hair out because when the alien race of the featured character was revealed, those familiar with the lore deemed it an absolutely essential part of the game, far from the superfluous content DLC usually offers."

Seems like the DLC is more than just some add-on; It seems like it's part of the actual campaign.

Again the FANS deemed is essential. Fans don't know shit about a game that isn't out yet.

Customer paranoia =/= biowares fault.

As for the DLC seeming to be essential, i can say Asari SEEM to be like females... but they aren't.

Kungfu_Teddybear:

Thoric485:
Thanks, console gamers.

It's people like you that give PC gamers a bad name, grow up.

Thing is, it's sort of a hard truth. Were it not for modern day consoles, the Mass Effect series would likely have the mod-ability of an Elder Scrolls title. Instead, we're going to be left with a half-done "finish the fight...in DLC" combined with Origin's shenanigans, and no telling how many glitches/bugs to iron out. If a company wants me to buy (or even be interested in) a title, they'll have the smarts to make the PC version first. Otherwise, the can expect me to wait for the $5 bin. My friends want me to buy the consolized mess that is Black Ops just for the zombies? I have Killing Floor, what else could I want?

PC gaming isn't dying, but console jocks are stepping on the PC nerd toes, like always.

DaHero:

Thing is, it's sort of a hard truth. Were it not for modern day consoles, the Mass Effect series would likely have the mod-ability of an Elder Scrolls title. Instead, we're going to be left with a half-done "finish the fight...in DLC" combined with Origin's shenanigans, and no telling how many glitches/bugs to iron out. If a company wants me to buy (or even be interested in) a title, they'll have the smarts to make the PC version first. Otherwise, the can expect me to wait for the $5 bin. My friends want me to buy the consolized mess that is Black Ops just for the zombies? I have Killing Floor, what else could I want?

PC gaming isn't dying, but console jocks are stepping on the PC nerd toes, like always.

That is BS 100%, people who blame consoles for a lack of modding tools on the PC are simply desprite to put blame on something for an action that would be no diffrent if the thing they blamed was gone.

This dlc fiasco kind of stings me. I'm canceling my pre-order and will wait till its at least half the price. I never thought I would be playing something like Rayman Origins instead of ME3, crazy.

SajuukKhar:
I don't think Bioware should be forced to delay the release of content because paranoid conspiracy theorists can't control their own mental state.

I'm not saying that they should be. I'm just saying that they seemed to be obsessed with DLC. In general, I'm not looking forward to finding out what the future holds with regard to DLC (how companies handle it). Maybe you are, but I'm not.

Dexter111:

It's not "OPTIONAL" just because Bioware says it is, it is content that was produced alongside the main game and ready at launch, it is also content that they apparently managed to put a code of in every "Complete Edition", but forgot to add to the Standard Edition. According to reports it is even on the game disk and the unlock code only downloads like 140KB and activates it. For all I know I don't care what it is as long as it isn't purely cosmetic and they want people to pay for it at Launch.

And stop with the bullshit "entitlement" argument, since when is being a smart consumer and raising concerns about business practices "entitlement"? Next you'll be calling people "entitled" because they look for the best price for something on the web, don't buy the shittiest product but inform themselves or complain about broken product.
You're acting as if they as a company are somehow "entitled" to peoples money and they're not the ones trying to sell a product but somehow in their infinite benevolence they are letting us buy it off them.

What the hell do you gain from defending a company so vehemently, despite obvious signs that it's just trying to screw you over? What do you get out of it?

I... just enjoy the argument really. Nothing else. Honest.

According to your logic, pirates are the smartest consumers then. It's called PREMIUM for a reason that it's sold at launch or the Collector's Edition. And now I realise how stupid all these arguments are and we should wait until he actually comes out. If he does change the narrative then rest assured I'll be up there complaining with you. Otherwise I just predict another Zaeed or Kasumi with better dialogue

PureIrony:

Gearhead mk2:
Ok EA is self explanitory but, what has Bioware done to gather all this hate? Is is something with TOR, ME3, the fact they havent made a new Dragon Age, or what?

In brief, people believe that because DA2 was clearly rushed out and both it and ME2 were streamlined in one way or another, they find that they have "sold out" or some similar aphorism, and are essentially pulling a Yahtzee and hating Bioware because they think they'll disappoint them. That doesn't apply to all the hate they've gotten, but I can't help but find that to be at least part of the equation for most people.

For the record, I think its asinine.

I completely agree. I was late to the Bioware fanbus. I'll be frank, I wasn't really aware of their existence until Dragon Age Origins, and I'd previously played Jade Empire. As a relatively new fan I find some of where they are going distasteful, but I realize that's more likely caused by their corporate overlords, ie EA, and not Bioware themselves. Admittedly, I felt a little betrayed by how bad Dragon Age 2 was, in my opinion. And I'd honestly rather see something in the Jade Empire IP released before another Dragon Age. But all this bile and hate streaming towards them seems really out of place and, honestly, childish. Dragon Age 2 was bad, but definitely not the worst game of 2011, or even the worst travesty against a series in 2011.

gof22:

boag:

gof22:
Arrival Is kind of needed for the full game. The people that have not bought it or read spoilers online aren't going to know why the defense committee took away Shepard's ship. It is technically not needed but it does help explain the beginning of Mass Effect 3 a bit more.

How certain are you that Shepard will not detail to whoever he meets why he was relieved of duty?

How certain are you that shadow broker is needed to understand why Liara is on Mars?

you have either read the spoiler dialogue which details exactly the stuff you are complaining about, or you havent by which you are making a fools assumption.

I wasn't complaining. I was just saying that people that didn't play or read about Arrival aren't going to know right away why Shepard had his/her ship taken away. Unless that is one of the conversations cut from the demo that will be put back in for full release. No, I haven't read the spoilers since this is one of the rare things I don't want spoiled for me.

From the way you are talking about the spoilers it sounds like Bioware has Shepard explain why he was relieved of duty. Which is awesome.

Liara is on Mars? Hopefully she is paying people to do the work for her instead of doing it herself.

I should have put the Liara stuff in spoiler caps, but since the Trailer with her and Shep came out, I assumed it was no longer a thing to spoiler, but nonetheless I apologize.

isometry:

boag:

Dude, Carlos Slim Owns a percentage of every industry on the Planet, that doesnt make him king of the world.

I agree with you, the CEO of EA owning a major stake in Forbes could be a coincidence, I haven't researched it much so I don't know.
Indeed, A strawman for a strawman, You are hardly neutral on the topic, you compare Skyrim A game that is solely developed by Bethesda, that has development cycle longer than the project Development of ME3 and play up against the hatred for the Bioware with the Fact that Bethesda are pretty cool people.

Comparing business practices just to get your point across, is not neutral at all.

but Lets get back on topic, Bethesda already had planned a DLC for Skyrim, just like it did for Fallout, the release dates were already in the production schedule and its pretty much a given that there will be 4 DLC packs available.

Just because Bioware is releasing theirs early doesnt make them thieves, scammers, or what have you.

My reason for bringing up Skyrim was not to say "EA is bad, Bethesda is good." I know they have different business models. My point is just that the author of the Forbes article talks about how ubiquitous DLC has become and conveniently leaves out the discussion of companies with successful business models that don't revolve so much around DLC. He defends "EA and companies like them" for just being rational corporations seeking a profit, but he doesn't give any mention to the fact that other companies find it rational to treat their customers well and build a profitable fan-base for the long term.

It could be the basic business-man tendency to focus on short-term revenue while killing the long-term prospects of their product. Or it could be the author's primary goal is to defend EA, and giving a balanced assessment of how various publishers handle DLC vs customer satisfaction would have just got in the way.

Its possible the author is biased, that much I will agree with you, its very difficult to find an unbiased source in the media.

I just tend to err on the side of logical economics when something as ubiquitous as the Prothean DLC is being turned into the rallying flag for people to center their hatred for EA/Bioware.

There are tons of things to hate EA/Bioware for, this isnt one of them and championing a crusade based around the "moral" outcry from this DLC just paints some people as irrational.

Aris Khandr:

SpartanBlackman:
Just because companies are designed to make money doesn't mean they should exploit customers. And it's funny really. All this will do is make more people want to pirate. I've got an idea.
You can get either:
90% of a game
Pay extra for the rest
Some content locked out
Spyware required to run it
Or
100% of the game
All extras
No spyware required
Gets content not available with the first option

I want you to honestly say that you'd pick the first one.

I honestly can say I pick the first option. You know, the legal one? I don't feel that they have to cater to my whim. If something the developer does annoys me too much, I don't buy the game. I don't play the game. At absolutely no point does piracy become the reasonable option. Don't like the game enough to pay for it? Then do without entirely.

What are you talking about? He's not talking about piracy, he's talking about buying from companies like EA - who (probably) try to nickel and dime their customers with pre-release DLC in the wings that is possibly content cut from the game, rather than try to gain their loyalty with quality and full products, and on top of that, alienate them further with forcing consumers to buy through Origins (which is most probably spyware) - vs companies like CDProjekt and Wolfire, who release high-quality products, with DLC being mainly an afterthought, and put little to no DRM on their products, all for the appropriate price.

Yes, he said that more people will pirate, but he's not saying that it's right at all. He's just stating the facts: If a company gives them a half-baked product, expects them to pay full price for it, and then try to watch every move they make out of distrust, you think people will buy it legally? Unless people have no self-respect, they'll either pirate the game out of spite ( especially if they really love the franchise, but don't like the company), or boycott it out of principle.

In the end, I think you've misunderstood what the poster is saying: he's not saying pirate the game because the company is mistreating you, he's saying who would you rather buy from: companies who give you the full game and treat you like friends, or companies who want you to pay more than you should, and then treat you like dangerous criminals afterwards?

hackinjackin:

Aris Khandr:

SpartanBlackman:
Just because companies are designed to make money doesn't mean they should exploit customers. And it's funny really. All this will do is make more people want to pirate. I've got an idea.
You can get either:
90% of a game
Pay extra for the rest
Some content locked out
Spyware required to run it
Or
100% of the game
All extras
No spyware required
Gets content not available with the first option

I want you to honestly say that you'd pick the first one.

I honestly can say I pick the first option. You know, the legal one? I don't feel that they have to cater to my whim. If something the developer does annoys me too much, I don't buy the game. I don't play the game. At absolutely no point does piracy become the reasonable option. Don't like the game enough to pay for it? Then do without entirely.

What are you talking about? He's not talking about piracy, he's talking about buying from companies like EA - who (probably) try to nickel and dime their customers with pre-release DLC in the wings that is possibly content cut from the game, rather than try to gain their loyalty with quality and full products, and on top of that, alienate them further with forcing consumers to buy through Origins (which is most probably spyware) - vs companies like CDProjekt and Wolfire, who release high-quality products, with DLC being mainly an afterthought, and put little to no DRM on their products, all for the appropriate price.

You are free not to purchase the product if you have so many probable misgivings about them

Yes, he said that more people will pirate, but he's not saying that it's right at all. He's just stating the facts: If a company gives them a half-baked product, expects them to pay full price for it, and then try to watch every move they make out of distrust, you think people will buy it legally? Unless people have no self-respect, they'll either pirate the game out of spite ( especially if they really love the franchise, but don't like the company), or boycott it out of principle.

Good thing ME3 isnt half baked product then right?

In the end, I think you've misunderstood what the poster is saying: he's not saying pirate the game because the company is mistreating you, he's saying who would you rather buy from: companies who give you the full game and treat you like friends, or companies who want you to pay more than you should, and then treat you like dangerous criminals afterwards?

The only time ive seen a SUCCESFUL game company that treats its consumers as Friends and GIVES away games is Notches company.

As for the latter, all game companies fall in this side of thinking to one degree or another.

boag:
I would help me see your POV if you did find sources, the last Expansion I bought for a game was Brood war for SC, and that cost me like 45 bucks on launch date.

Many games did have more expensive expansion packs, but they were usually filled with so much content it almost a new game.

Shivering Isles for Oblivion was around 23 euros on launch. Perseus Mandate was around 20 euro, and Extraction Point was about 25 but dropped to 15 just a couple of months later on my country.

These two FEAR expansions are fine if you are a big F.E.A.R. fan, but they actually created more confusion with the story than answer questions raised by the original game. It can be argued that those expansions can't even be considered canon and they reused a lot of assets an enemies.

I have to admit FEAR is not a big argument for my case, but I just haven't heard of true Expansion Packs in years.

SajuukKhar:

Tanakh:

ElPatron:

I didn't. DLC is a legit business scheme.

It is legit, but it is also retarded and only punishes consumers, not that is made for that of course...

Yes becuase, at least for the most part, providing more content,faster, and cheaper punishes consumers?

Cheaper? I thought the whole point of this controversy is that we don't want "pay 1/6 of the game's price for 1/50 of the content" to become even more common than it already is, making publishers lose development time over content that could be developed and released later.

Double post makes all my arguments valid. Twice the effectiveness!

What do you mean with "it doesn't work like that"?

I've been doing my part. I haven't bought a single EA game since ME 2. Sadly I'm only one person. Millions of kids with their mom's money will buy this by the truckload. If only our great corporate overlords would teach us some critical thinking skills maybe we could stop getting ripped off at every corner.

ElPatron:

boag:
I would help me see your POV if you did find sources, the last Expansion I bought for a game was Brood war for SC, and that cost me like 45 bucks on launch date.

Many games did have more expensive expansion packs, but they were usually filled with so much content it almost a new game.

Shivering Isles for Oblivion was around 23 euros on launch. Perseus Mandate was around 20 euro, and Extraction Point was about 25 but dropped to 15 just a couple of months later on my country.

These two FEAR expansions are fine if you are a big F.E.A.R. fan, but they actually created more confusion with the story than answer questions raised by the original game. It can be argued that those expansions can't even be considered canon and they reused a lot of assets an enemies.

I have to admit FEAR is not a big argument for my case, but I just haven't heard of true Expansion Packs in years.

like I said I havent bought and expansion in ages, ill have to take your word for it for the moment, that however does not sway me towards the idea that I am overpaying for content for ME3

SajuukKhar:

Tanakh:
It is legit, but it is also retarded and only punishes consumers, not that is made for that of course...

Yes becuase, at least for the most part, providing more content,faster, and cheaper punishes consumers?

Cheaper? I thought the whole point of this controversy is that we don't want "pay 1/6 of the game's price for 1/50 of the content" to become even more common than it already is, making publishers lose development time over content that could be developed and released later.

The thing is, how do you know they lost time? If the DLC was planned(which we know it is), how would they lose time on it?

XUnsafeNormalX:
I've been doing my part. I haven't bought a single EA game since ME 2. Sadly I'm only one person. Millions of kids with their mom's money will buy this by the truckload. If only our great corporate overlords would teach us some critical thinking skills maybe we could stop getting ripped off at every corner.

Generalizations are bad

boag:
The thing is, how do you know they lost time? If the DLC was planned(which we know it is), how would they lose time on it?

Truth to be told they have justified it by saying that a lot of people were not actually developing anything.

But it's not like I believe them, I just gave them the benefit of the doubt. I don't know if I will trust publishers and developers when this starts to happen with every other game.

boag:
that however does not sway me towards the idea that I am overpaying for content for ME3

Then what the hell are we arguing about? I have been saying that extra content used to have more content/price, cosmetic features aren't even "real" content.

defskyoen:
Somehow I'm getting the feeling that more and more large messageboards are being overrun by people shilling for companies whenever these PR nightmares arise, for instance look at this "SajuukKhar" character, 3 posts in 2010 and then 12+ pages of shilling for Bioware/EA and kinda similar with other people. I mean, who the fuck does that but people with low-paid wages working PR or completely obsessive fanboys of some brand...

Some guy posted this here in that longer thread:

image

And we all remember employees trying to raise scores on the likes of Dragon Age 2 and paid Reviews.

Seconded. They came out in droves for DA2, and for ME2. Now they're doing it again. Really sickening. Remember the old days when people just bought a complete game? None of this DLC bullshit? If you had been able in 1987 to buy a magic DLC that changed Solid Snake's color from green, to grey, and given him the machine gun right off the bat. But it cost $5. Everyone would have laughed the publisher off the face of the earth. Imagine if you could buy a secret one time code that gave you 35 lives in Contra, instead of 15? DLC is ruining gaming, and needs to go die in a fucking corner. Who gives a fuck about skins and weapons? Spend the time making a new fucking game.

Generalizations are bad

What am I generalizing? The kids or the corporations?

If you're saying that kids watching TV won't see the ME 3 CGI trailer commercials and want it then you're mistaken. Kids love bald, gun wielding, emotionless heroes like there is no tomorrow, I like to call it the CoD effect.

If you're saying that corporations aren't trying to rip us off at every corner then you're crazy.

I wont be buying ME3 just like I wont buy any EA or Activision games. The article speaks of a cut off point where consumers stop buying because of a company's business practices.

And, frankly, I have a FAR lower tolerance for stupidity and douchebaggery than most. EA crossed my line years ago.

I miss bioware's games. But there are other great developers out there my money can be going to. Ones that aren't chained to a publisher that would curb stomp me for a twenty dollar bill.

ElPatron:

boag:
The thing is, how do you know they lost time? If the DLC was planned(which we know it is), how would they lose time on it?

Truth to be told they have justified it by saying that a lot of people were not actually developing anything.

But it's not like I believe them, I just gave them the benefit of the doubt. I don't know if I will trust publishers and developers when this starts to happen with every other game.

boag:
that however does not sway me towards the idea that I am overpaying for content for ME3

Then what the hell are we arguing about? I have been saying that extra content used to have more content/price, cosmetic features aren't even "real" content.

I dont know why people are arguing.

I am satisfied with the Content I will get from my CE purchase, the DLC seems to have lots of bioware dialogue with the Prothean interacting with the rest of the characters, and lots of lore will be explored from a new POV. Its fanwank and I am willing to pay for fanwank.

Zachary Amaranth:

GonzoGamer:

That's the thing. It seems that a lot of people are assuming that the people complaining will still buy the game and yes, that is outrageously stupid.

It's an assumption, but a reasonable one based on past information. It may not be as accurate as sunrise/sunset, but we've literally been there and done that. I'm pretty sure I've got the T-Shirt, too.

Now, I don't doubt that you are reasonably perturbed. If you say you're not gonna get the game, I'm inclined to believe you, but the thing is, statistically a high number of people are going to buy it. It'll show up in their Gamertags/IDs, etc. They're easy to find, easy to catch, etc.

What's that line from Men in Black? A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky animals and you know it. To the same end, a person may be resolute, but people are weak-willed.

I know how it feels to want to boycott. I sent THQ an e-mail telling them that I won't buy any of their products unless their policies on games change. This was over Saints Row the Third, one of the only games I really cared about last year. THQ/Volition really screwed the pooch there, and I will not purchase their products anymore. I do not have any of the DLC for Saints Row the Third, even though it's still a competent title, and the fourth game will not be a purchase for me unless they stop including like 60 bucks of on-disc dlc and the like.

But while I've held myself accountable, a lot of the people who said they were done with Saints Row have bought the DLC. They're on my friend's list, I can see them playing stuff they supposedly aren't buying. The same was true with ME2, as well as Skyrim, as well as any controversial big title.

Anyway, I think this is a stupid place to draw the line and one of the least offensive things EA has done, but the point isn't really my feelings. People feel ripped off, and feel entitled to the content. They feel burned. And like past instances where they felt burned, it's very probable that they will complain and then buy it quietly. And when nothing happens, they will complain so monre, but slowly accept it.

I can't see the future, but based on the model of "everything that's happened in gaming to this point," the gaming community will NOT be making a stand here. I would be shocked if they truly did.

"Meet the new boss, same as the old boss."

I can't speak for the people on your buddy list but I can speak for myself and my friends: most of whom never even got a current gen console because it seemed like a ripoff to them: between a chronically breaking machine with a monthly fee or a poorly supported machine that gets a lot of bad ports and a shrinking set of features. And personally, as a ps3 owner, I can't blame them.
So there are plenty of people who stick to their guns.

For me, I think the hardest one to not just get at launch was Skyrim. It looks like a beautiful game with tons to do but the fact is that the last couple of Bethesda titles I have still freeze up my ps3. Then after hearing about all the problems, I knew that I would've been one of the unlucky people who got to a point where I could not play on. So holding out got easier after that.

Now the problem is that so much of this crap is becoming such common practice that you don't even hear about it anymore. Had I known that Saints Row 3 had both the online pass AND the Season Pass I wouldn't have bothered buying it. And I wish I had, they obviously butchered the title so they could have extra dlc for sale and I could've easily played through the game with a rental. I'm still pissed about that but I really didn't see it coming: Saints Row 2 was such a full and meaty game that only had minor dlc which was added a while after launch.

It's all gotten so common and annoying the only game I see myself buying this year is Borderlands 2... After playing Borderlands 1 repetedly (and the dlc) I would be really surprised if they added online pass and/or butchered to sell day 1 dlc.

Kungfu_Teddybear:

I won't be getting the DLC anyway, and I'm already going into Mass Effect 3 expecting a disappointment. At this point I don't even care, I'm getting Mass Effect 3 simply to see the conclusion of the trilogy. After this game BioWare are dead to me. I might consider getting any future Dragon Age games if they're more like Origins since I've already started playing those, but only if they're direct sequels. I will not be buying any new IP's BioWare bring out.

Care to explain why Bioware is "dead to you" now, or why Mass Effect 3 is already a dissapointment?

I feel bad that Bioware has to take so much shit for managing to come out with DLC early. What are they supposed to do, sit on it for a few months and then release it when DLC is "supposed to be" released? This issue has become ridiculously overblown.

I have to agree. With the article I mean. It's a legit business practice. And Mass Effect is an amazing series that is very much worth $60 to me. Companies like EA are trying to see how far they can push people before gamers decide to just not buy.

From what I've seen, the clear message to EA is that many gamers will buy Mass Effect 3 despite these issues, however they won't be able to get away with pushing it a whole lot farther.

Daystar Clarion:

NKRevan:
Others have said it before, I'll repeat it.

The author of that article is perfectly right. As long as companies make money, they will continue to push to make more money. This is a perfectly normal business method and done by every single company in the world. Some companies offer more free stuff...but only because they want your money for the other stuff!

At some point, the whole thing will self-regulate. Too many people will not feel like the 60 or 70 bucks they are "forced" to spend are justified. Then and only then will EA (and all other companies for that matter) stop pushing it and revert to the point where enough people are happy to shell out the money they ask for.

That point isn't reached yet. People are buying the stuff because they believe the stuff is worth it. You can argue that it isn't, but it's your own opinion. If someone gets enough enjoyment out of a product to justify spending 70 bucks on it, that's his own decision and nothing you say invalidates the decision, nor does it make the company asking 70 bucks for it evil.

At some point the breaking point will be reached for enough people to halt the increased prices and increased DLC/Splitting etc.

That point isn't now, I can pretty much guarantee that.

Listen to this person. They know their stuff.

What's happening in the game industry is what happens in every other industry.

Companies will test the waters, see how much money people are comfortable spending.

The problem is that "theft" and with the games industry I use that term VERY loosely, will always temper expectations.

In the car industry:
Man #1: Our 2012 Ford Focus didn't sell well!
Man #2: Lower the price on the 2013, throw in some new features. Pull the customers back.

In the video game industry:
Man #1: Mass Effect 3 didn't sell well!
Man #2: Pirates and GameStop must have caused this. Put in more restrictive DRM that doesn't stop pirates for shit, and alienate our base more!

Most companies have moved away from DRM, except perhaps UBISOFT.

There hasn't been a SecuROM scandal for some time now.

AD-Stu:

xxcloud417xx:
The article is simply wrong in saying that the consumer is showing companies that we will pay $60-$70 for a brand new game. I look at steam and see many games selling ridiculously fast when released at the $20-$30 price range. What's more, is that the devs for these games are the last ones to complain about piracy and loss of profits and actually the first to happily claim that their launch was a huge success.

Except in Mass Effect 3 we're talking about a game that's gone gold on presales alone. Modern Warfare 3 set sales records last year with a full-price release. Skyrim sold a boatload of copies on release too. So consumers are willing to pay $60-$70 if the game is right.

There's a big difference between AAA titles like those and the games that sell for $20-$30 on Steam, and it's no surprise that they're marketed and "milked" in different ways. And those $20-$30 Steam games may sell fast, but how many do they sell in total? Keep in mind that they have to sell at least twice as many to make the same revenue.

You're simply assuming that a title released at $60 - $70 is a AAA title, not always the case. You're also assuming that the development budget is somehow higher on these titles, again may not be the case. I'm pretty sure we could see the Orange Box compared to any other "AAA" game from the time cost the same to the developer (if not more since the Orange box contained more than 1 title) in terms of development budget. They sold it at $40 and made the crap out of their money back. Hell they GAVE away Portal for new Steam users and Team Fortress 2 is now Free to Play, that's proof enough that you don't need to milk the crap out of your games.

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