Downloadable Content...aka Paying more for your finished game.
by, April 19, 2012 at 7:20 PM (467 Views)
For my 3rd Blog in as many days, I'll be discussing a very controversial subject and I'll be leaving this one somewhat more open to debate as I feel it's a strong subject that polarizes in extremes.
My case subjects for this will be FFXIII-2 and it's premium priced skins, Mass Effect 3 and it's micro transactions for multiplayer and Saints Row the third and it's multiple premium priced packs.
The first thing you'll be thinking upon reading this is.."T.I.M you really don't like DLC do you!" You are damn right I don't, not in it's current incarnation anyway and before I get into it, i'll take you back to a time before paid DLC...a time when DLC was free..
Back in the mid-late 90's, before the next gen consoles were born, the only way to really get the online experience was PC gaming, the modding community was probably at it's peak during this era with multiple sites and fanbases dedicated to creating mods, skins, maps and even extra content for absolutely nothing but the satisfaction of seeing there dream come to life and enjoyed by many across the PC gaming world. Developers would also release there smaller amounts of extra content in patches for absolutely no charge and paid expansions were more often than not worth there price and then some.
This would be a time of harmony between customer and provider alike, unfortunatley a storm was brewing overhead and it was not to last...
With the birth of the next-gen consoles and Cloud storage a new business opportunity arose, since most of the gaming world now had access to broadband in some form or another, the market analysts and board of directors of several companies got together and had an idea.....That Idea was Paid Downloadable content.
No longer would content from the developer be free and paid expansion boxes fell into a rapid decline. This was met with immediate cynisim from the modding community and rightfully so, the once harmonious relationship was to be ended in bitter divorce.
The developers for the most stopped open sourcing there code to the modding communites, copyright laws were tightened, several modders were handed "cease and desist" letters as the big corporations began to take charge and tighten there hold around the new paid DLC foothold they had created, I still believe this move was partially responsible for the formation of such groups as Anonymous and Lulzsec as many former "White Hat" coders became "Grey or Black Hat" in defiance of what could only be described as "bully boy tactics".
Fast forward to today and our first case study FFXIII-2.
When I first heard that Square-Enix would be making DLC for FFXIII-2 I felt we may actually see some worthwhile stuff, such as new epic encounters and areas, extra story and the such, but what did we get?
Skins for already existing characters and not at a price I'd call reasonable for what was offered either.
SE clearly forgot what the C stands for in DLC, skins are NOT content in any way, shape or form, they are merely different looks and do nothing to alter or enhance the gameplay outside of making your characters look prettier/more badass.
And the price? Lets just say it gave me a good laugh as it probably did for many of you!
But they are not the only one pulling this stunt, Saints Row the Third is also highly notorious for it's premium priced skin packs, at the time of writing there are at least 9 different packs of skins that don't really alter anything as far as functionality goes and the new weapons and vehicles, although a welcome edition for some..don't justify the price tag that is asked for them.
The content extensions are also...far too short to command the price tag of nearly £15 for them (I know, I purchased the proffessor genki's extended reality pack, I was exceptionally annoyed when I completed it all within an hour)
Then we get to the ultimate finger in the face of the gamer, once again Bioware EA being the orchestrator with Mass Effect 3's micro transactions!
Firstly I will go on record and state clearly, once again EA are guilty of false advertising (is there any wonder they beat out the banks to become worst company in America?) The Resurgence pack was pipped as entirely free content....but here is where that becomes a lie.
In order to fully access and enjoy all the new features, weapons and classes brought in for multiplayer with Resurgence...You have to buy the Packs from the micro transaction shop SEVERAL times!
Now some of you are now thinking "T.I.M you can earn credits to buy them"...Yes you can, but the Spectre pack and Limited Resurgence packs are A: Extremely expensive credit wise requiring you to be able to play for hours upon hours a day to unlock all content B: RNG producing duplicates of what you already have more often than not.
And then we fall to the point of the post, launch day DLC, again Mass Effect 3 being extremely guilty of it.
From the Ashes DLC came out on day 1 with a price tag of 800 Bioware points (£9.00 to you and me) for what I'd say is pretty much neccessary content as Javik the Prothean plays a huge role throughout your game experience, throw that on top of the price tag for those that went out and bought Mass Effect 3 on release (I didn't personally, I actually waited until it came down in price as I thought £50 was disgusting) you were paying through the nose for a completed product to have more micro transactions thrown in on top which all in all .....(excuse my french) pissed me off to no end.
Is this what it has come to? Are we going to have to pay through the nose everytime we want the full experience? Are we really going to be asked to dip our hand in our pockets everytime we might fancy a new look? And just when does DLC stop being DLC and quite simply another way for the games companies to money spin for there shareholders?
I leave you to decide for yourselves if you feel DLC of today is worth it's price tag or not, but for me personally...I am sick of being ripped off just because someone fancies another holiday to Bermuda on top of the 5 they already had this year!0 Thanks, 0 Likes