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Op Ed

Shacknews.com Opinion- How DLC lost its way.
Other problems have been more subtle and pervasive. Some publishers pump out far too much DLC, or overprice it. Activision has been criticized for its regular practice of putting out four maps (three new, one revised) in each Call of Duty pack for $15. Worse yet is when the content unlocks some extra weapon or ability that makes the game a cakewalk, as Square Enix tends to do with small DLC like Tomb Raider's Adventure Pack. This is still especially problematic when it comes to pre-order DLC, which is all too happy to ease you through the first half of a game with an overpowered weapon. Meanwhile, even DLC that sounds great upon announcement sometimes fizzles in practice. BioShock Infinite had ambitious plans and a season pass, but we ended up with some combat challenges and an uneven story presentation.

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36. Re: Op Ed Jul 16, 2014, 08:42 nin
 
jdreyer wrote on Jul 16, 2014, 04:15:
Prez wrote on Jul 15, 2014, 21:46:
DLC is the reason I don't buy games at release anymore.

Same here. I doubt I wil ever buy a game at release again. To be honest it isn't the ONLY reason (lack of time weighs in as well), but it is probably the biggest one.

Well, that, and the fact that you own something like 3000 games.

This is true!

 
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35. Re: Op Ed Jul 16, 2014, 04:29 Suppa7
 
Axis wrote on Jul 15, 2014, 20:37:
If I had to choose a "bias" at all, it's people who have consolitis - the disease that spread throughout the connected world spreading the untruth that the console is everything and PC gaming is dying. And now that fad is gone, we're left with some sourfaces who choose offense when it's mentioned that consoles are sub par gaming machines. And they forget that not long ago they'd pay anything even for complete garbage, another sour point.

You speak the truth, the reality is most of gaming's commenters, websites, and people behind popular shows are idiots pandering to retards.

Game quality took a nose dive when games became mainstream around 2000'ish. Consoles generally attract dumber as a rule. There was a time where deep gameplay mechanics and finished games actually existed and things weren't permanently broken with locked down games. Almost every game tries to be a movie nowadays (mass effect, call of duty, gta, assassins creed) all the big names are essentially movies wrapped in shells of gameplay.

The fact that many game commenters have a pro console bias is proof they aren't real gamers. Anyone who grew up on atari, Nintendo, Playstation, and has a brain is downright horrified at the severe quality drop in modern games and the horrible direction games went (f2P/mmo/microtransactions). All this being allowed, allows business types to rape the stupid masses silly and it spells shitty games.

When unfinished games receive universally high praise (like Asscreed 1 was).
 
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34. Re: Op Ed Jul 16, 2014, 04:16 jdreyer
 
Redmask wrote on Jul 15, 2014, 21:51:
I don't buy games at release anymore because they make too damned many of them. I can't finish the fucking things fast enough and now they want me to buy DLC?

What they WANT is the codes to your bank account. Barring that, they'll take your DLC money.
 
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33. Re: Op Ed Jul 16, 2014, 04:15 jdreyer
 
Prez wrote on Jul 15, 2014, 21:46:
DLC is the reason I don't buy games at release anymore.

Same here. I doubt I wil ever buy a game at release again. To be honest it isn't the ONLY reason (lack of time weighs in as well), but it is probably the biggest one.

Well, that, and the fact that you own something like 3000 games.
 
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32. Re: In Defense of Horse Armor Jul 15, 2014, 23:55 yonder
 
PropheT wrote on Jul 15, 2014, 18:02:
yonder wrote on Jul 15, 2014, 17:40:
Here's my main rule on DLC. You should never feel OBLIGATED to buy it, and you should never feel as if you are screwed if you don't buy it.

EA's final nail in the BioWare coffin, Mass Effect 3, had a similar Day 1 DLC. Sure, it was "extra" in theory, but you felt screwed if you didn't buy it, because (spoilers) IT WAS A DAMNED PROTHEAN (/spoilers). It wasn't like the extra characters in ME2 where, honestly, if you didn't get them, you didn't really miss much. The ME2 character DLC, while awesome, was truly EXTRA.

The extra character was a deluxe edition option, not really DLC; it was only DLC for people who bought the regular edition that wanted to upgrade after the fact. I don't see it as much of a complaint that they included something with a deluxe edition that actually made it worth getting, when most of the time it's useless stuff. He still wasn't a necessary component of the game any more than the optional character in ME2 was, he was just a more interesting character.

I would think that providing something you can purchase separately for the game that's compelling enough to make you feel like you need to have it would be a good thing, rather than 41 DLC packs that you can take or leave but might as well throw some money at.


Regarding the 41 packs, really there's only 7 that are really even "content". MOST of the other ones are just window dressing. Again, just like paying for silly outfits in a F2P game. COMPLETELY unnecessary. And, of course, you can buy them in packages and on sale and blahblahblah.

As for the extra character... here's the thing... I'm assuming you're talking about ME3 and not the extra character in ME2. Well... we didn't KNOW whether or not the extra character was going to be basically meaningless or if it was going to be a legitimately important part of the ME3 story. But it was "leaked" who the character was going to be, and everyone gasped and OMFGIHAVETOHAVETHAT!!!

Yeah... you could buy it for more after the fact, but it seemed, before the game was released, to be a VITAL part of the game. It wasn't. But you could either spent 10 bucks to upgrade sight-unseen or spend 15 bucks later if you investigated it and decided you wanted it. Either way, I count something that's "Day 1 for x additional dollars or Post-Day1 for x+y additional dollars" to be DLC. It was in ADDITION to the game...

Yeah... EA knew exactly what they were doing. And it was slimy. And, in a completely related fact, ME3 is the last EA game I'm buying. It's almost as if I have "pattern recognition" abilities or something.



Beamer: Well I've already talked about Horse Armor (completely pointless tip jar), but yeah... Fallout 3 was a low point. The original ending was Michael Bay levels of stupidity.
 
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31. Re: Op Ed Jul 15, 2014, 21:51 Redmask
 
I don't buy games at release anymore because they make too damned many of them. I can't finish the fucking things fast enough and now they want me to buy DLC?  
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30. Re: Op Ed Jul 15, 2014, 21:46 Prez
 
DLC is the reason I don't buy games at release anymore.

Same here. I doubt I wil ever buy a game at release again. To be honest it isn't the ONLY reason (lack of time weighs in as well), but it is probably the biggest one.
 
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29. Re: Op Ed Jul 15, 2014, 21:35 jimnms
 
ldonyo wrote on Jul 15, 2014, 10:19:
DLC is why I have stopped buying games anywhere near release. I wait for the 'everything' edition to come out and then I wait for it to go on sale.

DLC is the reason I don't buy games at release anymore. Very few games these days have any replay value, and the last thing I want to do is replay it a few months later with some DLC. I now wait for the finished product and grab it on sale.

I think Borderlands 2 was the last game I bought at release. I loved BL1, I played the crap out of it with two friends. I pre-ordered BL2 with the season pass and one of my friends did the same. For some reason my friend didn't like it and dropped out after a couple of days. I kept playing solo and still had a bit of fun, but it wasn't the same. I did finish it, then played a few of the DLC, but I don't think I finished a single one of them.

I feel a bit cheated for pre-ordering and buying the shitty season pass (this was the first time I ever bought a season pass for a game, and it will be the last time too). Now that the GOTY edition came out, it includes things that I didn't get for giving them more money at release. I'm not missing much though, one of them is just some crappy cosmetic stuff, another is a character I probably won't play, but the other is a mission that I probably would play.
 
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28. Re: Op Ed Jul 15, 2014, 21:09 Verno
 
Axis wrote on Jul 15, 2014, 20:37:
I was there at the time and it sold well. Here's a great start of your proof adventure. I incorrectly assumed any "console players" would know where to find this kind of stuff. Go ahead compare it to all kinds of DLC's, have fun.

Many people were around back then, it wasn't even 10 years ago. Of course it "sold", any DLC sells a number beyond one, its how much it sold that matters. There are no sales figures on it so any assumption is likely flawed. Your link isn't proof, its a marketplace listing sorted by unknown quantity. Horse armor is #8 behind such items as Spell Tomes (lol) and Mehrunes Razor. It's also the oldest DLC so if anything it should be #1 if it was a high seller but really no one knows because there are no sales figures to go by.

Again though not sure why you are focusing on that point. There are many other examples of impulse purchase behavior from the console market IMO, particularly when you look at the play counts on multiplayer DLC vs actual sales. The problem with blaming the console market is that there is a shitload of that behavior in the PC space as well. The whole PC gaming is dying thing gets old I agree but its forum war argument stuff that no one really takes seriously.

DLC in general is kind of crappy regardless of platform, there are some exceptions but overall its a concept that has only really panned out for the industrys pocketbooks IMO.

I can guaranteed I've owned more consoles than most of you.

I don't know why you would think that, this is a website with an older crowd as its core audience. If anything its a safe assumption that most people here probably predate some of your own experiences in one respect or another.

This comment was edited on Jul 15, 2014, 21:17.
 
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27. Re: Op Ed Jul 15, 2014, 20:37 Axis
 
panbient wrote on Jul 15, 2014, 18:36:
Axis wrote on Jul 15, 2014, 13:24:
In my world DLC never had a "way" or "promise" to begin with. Horse armor was a load of horse shit right off the wagon... but content starved consilites bought it anyway.

Here's where your anti-console bias proves flawed.


When did I say I'm anti-console? Many of you don't comprehend and simply pick the most confrontational way to look at it (not you pan, you at least made a good point).

There's been some good things done with consoles, I've enjoyed many. I've owned consoles from the 2600 on up - last ones are 360, wii, wiiu and ouya - I can guaranteed I've owned more consoles than most of you.

If I had to choose a "bias" at all, it's people who have consolitis - the disease that spread throughout the connected world spreading the untruth that the console is everything and PC gaming is dying. And now that fad is gone, we're left with some sourfaces who choose offense when it's mentioned that consoles are sub par gaming machines. And they forget that not long ago they'd pay anything even for complete garbage, another sour point.

I was there at the time and it sold well. Here's a great start of your proof adventure. I incorrectly assumed any "console players" would know where to find this kind of stuff. Go ahead compare it to all kinds of DLC's, have fun.
 
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Axis
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26. Re: Op Ed Jul 15, 2014, 18:36 panbient
 
Axis wrote on Jul 15, 2014, 13:24:
In my world DLC never had a "way" or "promise" to begin with. Horse armor was a load of horse shit right off the wagon... but content starved consilites bought it anyway.

Here's where your anti-console bias proves flawed.

Guitar Hero and Rock Band. Both console games. Both with thousands of dollars of potential DLC available for the market. All of it worthwhile.

No one 'had' to buy extra songs, but, for between $0.99 and $1.99 per track you could increase your potential game from 60-80 songs to well over 1000. DLC kept a simple game that should have faded into karaoke novelty going for years, with enough variety to satisfy pretty much anyone who wasn't just looking to be pissed off at the world.

Funny how both the console sides of Activision and EA were the ones behind that great DLC situation starting not too long after that whole Horse Armor shenanigan.
 
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25. Re: In Defense of Horse Armor Jul 15, 2014, 18:23 Beamer
 
Bethesda has had the two worst pieces of DLC:
1) Horse Armor
2) The ending of Fallout 3

Yeah, whatever, I can see people saying it ended fine, but the first piece of DLC was a continuation of the main storyline and wrapped significant up loose ends. DLC should either not be part of the main story line or be a tangent of it.

I'd also say the Operation Alaska, or whatever, holgram flashback Fallout 3 DLC was completely terrible as well. It ditched the role playing and went right for combat, which just made it not very entertaining.
 
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24. Re: In Defense of Horse Armor Jul 15, 2014, 18:02 PropheT
 
yonder wrote on Jul 15, 2014, 17:40:
Here's my main rule on DLC. You should never feel OBLIGATED to buy it, and you should never feel as if you are screwed if you don't buy it.

EA's final nail in the BioWare coffin, Mass Effect 3, had a similar Day 1 DLC. Sure, it was "extra" in theory, but you felt screwed if you didn't buy it, because (spoilers) IT WAS A DAMNED PROTHEAN (/spoilers). It wasn't like the extra characters in ME2 where, honestly, if you didn't get them, you didn't really miss much. The ME2 character DLC, while awesome, was truly EXTRA.

The extra character was a deluxe edition option, not really DLC; it was only DLC for people who bought the regular edition that wanted to upgrade after the fact. I don't see it as much of a complaint that they included something with a deluxe edition that actually made it worth getting, when most of the time it's useless stuff. He still wasn't a necessary component of the game any more than the optional character in ME2 was, he was just a more interesting character.

I would think that providing something you can purchase separately for the game that's compelling enough to make you feel like you need to have it would be a good thing, rather than 41 DLC packs that you can take or leave but might as well throw some money at.

 
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23. In Defense of Horse Armor Jul 15, 2014, 17:40 yonder
 
Now that Bioware is fully owned and destroyed by EA, Paradox is likely my favorite gaming developer. Their view on DLC is so utterly amazing, as per this RPS article.

Here's my main rule on DLC. You should never feel OBLIGATED to buy it, and you should never feel as if you are screwed if you don't buy it.

That's what I don't understand about the Horse Armor.

Not to quote Cutter but... if you don't want it, don't buy it.

I don't buy Activision's crap because I *KNOW* exactly what they'll do, and so I factor in the price of their DLC into their annual releases and I ask "DO I want to pay 90 bucks a year to play this game? Hells no." It's an incredibly easy question.

EA's final nail in the BioWare coffin, Mass Effect 3, had a similar Day 1 DLC. Sure, it was "extra" in theory, but you felt screwed if you didn't buy it, because (spoilers) IT WAS A DAMNED PROTHEAN (/spoilers). It wasn't like the extra characters in ME2 where, honestly, if you didn't get them, you didn't really miss much. The ME2 character DLC, while awesome, was truly EXTRA.

Horse Armor is totally, completely, and utterly pointless. It was EXTRA. It had no impact on the game. Wanna know what it was in my eyes? A tip jar.

Bethesda makes amazing games for 50/60 dollars that provide me hundreds of hours of legitimate entertainment. They release "content DLC" (what we old folks call expansion packs) for 15-30 bucks (I say 15 because I'm old and that's what they used to be priced) that provide DOZENS (remember, 5 dozen is 60) of hours of additional entertainment.

If Bethesda had a tip jar, I'd HAPPILY put in a few more bucks.

That, my friends, is all I see Horse Armor as.

It's the EXACT same mentality as cosmetic DLC in F2P games like LoL and LotRO and other genres w/ F2P games. The difference of course is that Horse Armor was in addition to the cost of the base game. But... if I want to pay a few dollars to have a snazzy outfit that has no gameplay value in a F2P game, how is that any different than paying a few bucks for my HORSE to have armor in a great Bethesda game?

I'm not screwed if I don't buy it. I won't miss out on the full experience of the game (again, read the RPS article from Paradox please) if I don't buy it. Etcetera, etcetera.

Consequently, most of the DLC I buy is from Paradox and Bethesda.

Not at all a coincidence.

Just look at the latest expansion for Crusader Kings 2 - Rajas of India.

If you didn't buy the game, your map was still extended eastward into India, just like everyone else's game. You could still conquer the areas. You could still assimilate your religions. Blahblahblah. The only thing you couldn't do is PLAY as a character in the new areas. That's it.

There are FORTY ONE pieces of DLC for CK2. Seven of those are gameplay-involved expansions in the traditional sense. The rest are pretty much totally superfluous (just like Horse Armor). Oh, you released 12 hours of Norse music for two dollars to listen to while I play as my Norse character? I'll gobble that right up since I'll put a few hundred hours in as the Norse. And I happily own them all. And Paradox is making a lot more money from me than if they had tried to screw me over with the DLC.

And you know what? I can play a complete multiplayer game with anyone else no matter what combination of those 41 DLC options they own. 100% of DLC combinations are completely compatible with each other.

And that (and obviously superb gameplay) puts Paradox SOUNDLY in the "SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY" category. And I love them for it.

So, again, I don't see what's wrong with Horse Armor.

Do I PREFER traditional expansions to generic micro-DLC? Heck yes. But I'm okay with them OFFERING generic micro-DLC, because I realize that Horse Armor took them very little effort to put together.

Kinda like the effort to put a tip jar on the counter. Just in case someone wants to toss in some change.
 
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22. Re: Op Ed Jul 15, 2014, 16:47 Cutter
 
I generally don't buy DLC for games but when I do wait for a deep discount. And that's usually a year or two later when I'm ready for a new playthrough anyhow. I don't know of any game where you must buy DLC.
 
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21. Re: Op Ed Jul 15, 2014, 16:14 Verno
 
Axis wrote on Jul 15, 2014, 15:56:
Horse armor was mocked to hell by PC gamers, grumbled at the price by consolites, and sold well despite on console - it was a very "in your face" example of bullshit DLC's in general which woke a few up, but only a few.

Nah that sounds like personal assumption trying to masquerade as fact, I don't remember any specific console figures ever being released and more importantly google can't seem to find any either. Its actually more logical to assume the opposite considering many companies are heavily criticized but don't cease tactics that make them money. Any time a company can get away with meaningless cosmetics at a high price its no surprise they do that for as long as possible.

I don't know why you guys were arguing about it anyway, pretty much everyone agrees it was shitty DLC regardless of platform. I don't care if it sold 1 copy or 10000, all of them were bonehead sales.
 
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20. Re: Op Ed Jul 15, 2014, 15:56 Axis
 
Horse armor was mocked to hell by PC gamers, grumbled at the price by consolites, and sold well despite on console - it was a very "in your face" example of bullshit DLC's in general which woke a few up, but only a few.

And if anything, it was the criticism that forced any changes with Bethesda, not the sales.

 
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Axis
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19. Re: Op Ed Jul 15, 2014, 15:22 Agent.X7
 
DLC is so hit or miss. New maps for your online shooter of choice? OK, I'm a sucker for new maps. I have BF4 Premium, and I had it on BF3. I bought maps for MW2.

New missions for Watch Dogs? No, thanks. I experienced the add-on mission that came with my pre-order and while it was fun, it was a super short mission followed by tracking down a few things on the map. Worth doing for free, but I'd never pay $5 or whatever they are asking for it. The single player add-on with T-Bone they keep advertising? Maybe, if it gets good reviews. But the season pass was $20 and it seems like nothing they have put out so far is worth a damn.

Bethesda, at least after the bullshit horse armor, seemed to have learned a lesson, but then they put out the housing DLC for Skyrim. Ugh.

I tend to avoid DLC unless everyone is raving about it. (Even then, waiting on the PS4 version of Last of Us which includes the DLC...)
 
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18. Re: Op Ed Jul 15, 2014, 14:50 Verno
 
Yeah I agree with JD, horse armor was widely mocked and sold very poorly which is probably why they went onto other things. If they had success with the path of least resistance they likely would have kept doing it.

Not that it really matters, there are plenty of bad DLC examples these days to use. As someone else mentioned most DLC is outsourced or cutting room material, there are exceptions but I think its a raw deal for the most part.
 
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17. Re: Op Ed Jul 15, 2014, 14:22 jdreyer
 
Axis wrote on Jul 15, 2014, 13:39:
1. You obviously are new to gaming in general, anyone who was around at the time knew it sold like hotcakes.

I don't remember that it sold well. Here's my memory:

1. People balked at paying $4 for horse armor. There was a massive hew and cry, and Bethesda was roundly criticized.

2. Bethesda never did this kind of DLC again, suggesting that it was not successful. They did a bit more experimentation, but have largely stuck with large traditional expansions to their products.
 
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