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Op Ed

BitMob - In Defense of FarmVille.
I'm not saying that everyone should abandon "real" games and start playing FarmVille. Experienced gamers rightfully find it hard to excuse the glaring faults that casual players somehow ignore. The fact is, though, that some of its features -- like the constant free updates and the high level of player-to-player interaction -- are things that gamers may want to start asking for. Why are we paying $10 for a map pack when 12-year-old girls get new, free content every day in FarmVille? It's something to think about, at least.

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15. Re: Op Ed Apr 14, 2010, 03:21 Jim
 
uh, so how much does this farmville dlc cost to make? I'd bet it is one or two guys spending a couple of hours a day in their basement. compare that to typical dlc content which will involve a team of people developing for multiple platforms....? you can't.  
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14. Re: Op Ed Apr 13, 2010, 23:53 Jerykk
 
Maybe there are a lot of people who realize that for less than the cost of a movie ticket, they can get many, many more hours of entertainment. $10 is nothing. $10 is a couple of meals at McDonalds.

It's all relative. You can't compare the value of two completely different things because there are different standards. You can buy a book for $5 that will give you 10 hours of entertainment. However, a movies that offers only 2-3 hours of entertainment costs $10 in theaters and $20 on DVD. Some meals that last only half an hour can cost $30. If we were to judge games by the same standards we judge food, games would cost hundreds of dollars.

If a publisher is going to charge 1/6th the price of the full game for a DLC pack, they better be offering roughly 1/6th the content of the full game, or many people will perceive the DLC to be lacking value.

This.
 
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13. Re: Op Ed Apr 13, 2010, 20:39 Kabuto
 
It has nothing to do with the actual dollar amount, it's the perceived value that people are looking at.
If a publisher is going to charge 1/6th the price of the full game for a DLC pack, they better be offering roughly 1/6th the content of the full game, or many people will perceive the DLC to be lacking value.

I don't think most people believe that below some arbitrary dollar amount getting value back for their money stops being important.
If it were that way, grocery stores would never put anything on-sale. After all, who would care about saving 50 cents or a dollar on an item.
 
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12. Re: Op Ed Apr 13, 2010, 19:30 CannibalBob
 
I really wish people would stop comparing the value of a movie ticket to the value of a game. Movies are not games and vice versa. When you see a movie, you have certain expectations whereas with games, your expectations are different. If you pay $60 for a game and you finish it in 10 hours, you will be angry - and rightfully so. Games have an inherent quality called replayability that is just not present in (most) movies. Since the beginning of time, games have had high scores, multiplayer, secrets and more, which are forms of replayability. If a game lacks these things, then the value of the game drops and thus that $60 was not well spent.


Anyway, about the article - Again, I think it's hard to compare and draw conclusions about free updates to a crappy Flash game versus a series of FPS maps. I still think $10 for a map pack is a rip-off though, but that's coming from a spoiled PC gamer who has gotten maps for free ever since Doom.
 
Avatar 52745
 
"If you like it, they will stop making it" - Herblock's Law
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11. Re: Op Ed Apr 13, 2010, 15:53 Dr. D. Schreber
 
$10 for a map pack is idiotic, but $60 for a 30-40 hour game isn't?

Maybe there are a lot of people who realize that for less than the cost of a movie ticket, they can get many, many more hours of entertainment. $10 is nothing. $10 is a couple of meals at McDonalds.


The cheapskate mentality among gamers is certainly a sight to behold. How anyone who can afford either a console or a decent gaming rig, plus a nice display, plus the games themselves can possibly find ten bucks for some added content to be excessive and grandiose is shocking.

Of course, as with all things in life, it's not quite so black and white (and as with all things in life, most will pretend it's black and white to avoid the effort of a real discussion.) No matter how cool anyone thinks they look by proclaiming all DLC to be hands-down corporate greed in one sweeping judgment, it should be judged on a case by case basis.

Mass Effect 2 is a good example since it has a split down its paid DLC. New outfits and plenty of screenshots to see what they look like: not so much to my tastes that they're worth paying for, even if Garrus looks better in fresh armor. Stolen Memory, with a new character who integrates into the rest of the game plus a mission made using some new art assets, some places to explore and more dudes to shoot before it gets boring? Better use of seven bucks than a Big Mac value meal.
 
Avatar 51686
 
NOT THE BEES! NOT THE BEES THEY'RE IN MY EYES AARRGRHGHGGAFHGHFGHFG!
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10. Re: Op Ed Apr 13, 2010, 14:45 CommunistHamster
 
Zynga can add new content all the time because it's a very simple game; all they need is a new sprite and some new values for the items stats. Since only non-gamers play it, they don't even have to worry about balance issues!  
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9. Re: Op Ed Apr 13, 2010, 14:02 Domgrief
 
Silicon Avatar has a point - I can't really remember any early games which had free content updates, but expansion packs (PDLC) have been around since around 1990 (e.g. Wing Commander: The Secret Missions), and predate even that by years on the Amiga and other platforms.

Why are we paying $10 for a map pack when 12-year-old girls get new, free content every day in FarmVille?

This would be because many Zynga gamers pay money while routinely playing the game.

I'll stick to paying my money up-front, thankyouverymuch.
 
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8. Re: Op Ed Apr 13, 2010, 13:31 Ruffiana
 
Because you're idiots?

This really doesn't seem that hard to comprehend.

Creston

$10 for a map pack is idiotic, but $60 for a 30-40 hour game isn't?

Maybe there are a lot of people who realize that for less than the cost of a movie ticket, they can get many, many more hours of entertainment. $10 is nothing. $10 is a couple of meals at McDonalds.
 
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7. Re: Op Ed Apr 13, 2010, 13:27 Ruffiana
 
This is just the budget game of this decade. It's a fad. Deerhunter made budget games the new, hot way to make money in the mid-90s that lead to a string of financial disasters. Then WoW brought MMOs into the limelight and everyone wanted to make one of those...again, string of blown money, canceled projects, and shut down developers. Now these social games are the new, revolutionary thing.  
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6. Re: Op Ed Apr 13, 2010, 13:22 Creston
 
Why are we paying $10 for a map pack

Because you're idiots?

This really doesn't seem that hard to comprehend.

Creston
 
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5. Re: Op Ed Apr 13, 2010, 12:34 Silicon Avatar
 
Uh, the idea that games should get free content updates is actually pretty new when you look at the history of games.

I can easily remember when you were lucky to get a bug fix, must less a free content update. Games used to be made, sold, and then abandoned for the next game. If you wanted the "content update" you bought the sequel.

 
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4. Re: Op Ed Apr 13, 2010, 11:49 Beamer
 
Never played the game. No interest.
But I'm dying to work at Zynga these days. It's a brand new, fertile market (no pun intended), one that's bringing in so many new gamers and so much new money. More importantly for me, they do all the publishing themselves and capture hundreds of metrics to crunch through. Outside of maybe some of the MMORPGs I don't think any game company is doing the hard analytics they are as regularly as they are, nor are any making decisions one day and seeing the immediate results via data the next as often.

It all makes me drool so hard.
 
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3. Re: Op Ed Apr 13, 2010, 11:38 Cutter
 
Yeah, what this bonehead doesn't understand is this is how it starts. You think Farmville and games like that are only going to increase shit you get for free? Uh, no. They're still a business with overhead and the object is to make money after all. Get them hooked, give them more crack, than slowly start charging for each new fix.

And who's "we" sucker? I have yet to pay for any DLC for any game so far. Paid DLC is for suckers.
 
Avatar 25394
 
"The South will boogie again!" - Disco Stu
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1. Re: Op Ed Apr 13, 2010, 10:57 JoeNapalm
 
The fact is, though, that some of its features -- like the constant free updates and the high level of player-to-player interaction -- are things that gamers may want to start asking for. Why are we paying $10 for a map pack when 12-year-old girls get new, free content every day in FarmVille? It's something to think about, at least.

Start asking for? START asking?

Where the @#$% has this guy been for the last decade? We're discussing what used to be standard practice like it's an innovation, now? Is that how far we've fallen?

-Jn-
Ifriti Sophist
 
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