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Spore Expansion Announced, Another Coming In 2009 105

Posted by Soulskill
from the evolving-content dept.
EA announced this week what many suspected for a while, now: Spore expansions are on their way. The first, due out in November, will be an addition to the creature creator, offering more parts for players to use. The next, due in Spring 2009, will provide new gameplay: "The expansion will give space-faring species the ability to beam down from their ships to explore other worlds and complete missions. And along with this, the expansion will include an Adventure creator, in which players can build — and then share — their own customized missions."
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Spore Expansion Announced, Another Coming In 2009

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  • by Goldberg's Pants (139800) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @09:03PM (#25393103) Journal

    EA announces "Rest of the game we deliberately removed so we could charge you for an expansion pack to be released." Barely a month after it was released.

    NO SALE! I'm done with mainstream gaming. I'm tired of being treated like a 24/7 ATM by these people.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @09:05PM (#25393117)

    Not to mention the privilege of paying so that they can fuck up your computer.

  • by MagusSlurpy (592575) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @09:06PM (#25393123) Homepage
    . . . How about a reduction? Like in DRM?
  • Well (Score:4, Insightful)

    by JimboFBX (1097277) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @09:16PM (#25393211)
    These are most likely going to comprise mainly of parts that were intentionally stripped out from the game for the sake of selling it for more.

    And most likely the "part pack" will be much much cheaper and bundled with future part packs / expansions in the future.

    Given the nature of the game I dont see a reason to pay for this. It only rewards the company for basically with-holding something they had already put money into developing. I understand, despite EA's greedy practices, it isn't even making a profit, but that has more to do with the massive amount of money it puts into marketing, its stubborn hiring practices that gives it a very luke-warm talent pool, and its poor management. Thinking about it, I dont understand why spore is lacking so much unless it was simply a lack of programming talent that prevented them from accomplishing what they wanted to within the timeframe they had. Closely looking at the game models when they move and such makes you realize that there isn't as much complexity as you would hope.

    To put things in perspective, EA does the equivalent of spending more money on making a car commercial than actually in designing the car itself. I forget where I saw their budget break-down. Maybe that's changed, but seeing who they hired in Red Alert 3 for the cut scenes (that goes towards marketing), I doubt that's turned around.
  • by bonch (38532) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @09:24PM (#25393261)

    The game is fun the first time through. Unfortunately, it only takes a few hours to get through the game, and then you're out of anything to do. It's basically a bunch of editors tied together with short stages of gameplay and not at all the epic-scale sandbox it looked like in the original presentation video from 2005.

  • by JimboFBX (1097277) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @09:32PM (#25393329)
    yeah I looked it up online, on your desktop shortcut add "-jobPriority:0" to the path and it fixes everything the newest patch broke.

    And yet, their casual audience will never find that nor understand what I just said meant.
  • Expansion (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mqduck (232646) <mqduck AT mqduck DOT net> on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @11:13PM (#25393993)

    I've been thinking that a good (though completely unlikely) thing to do would be to release an expansion pack for each stage, turning each into more of a game in their own right.

    Start with Cell. Turn it into a Cell/Fish stage (or just add a Fish stage instead).

    Add something more to the Creature stage than just fighting or making friends with other species. I don't have any suggestions off the top of my head, but the possibilities are limitless.

    I'm not sure what they were going for with the Tribal stage. It seems to be a simplified version of the Civilization stage, with some elements of the Creature stage. But perhaps it can be improved by making it not just about winning over (in either fashion) other tribes, but about building up culture and technology in order to unwittingly prepare for civilization.

    Civilization stage. Bares little in common with the game of the same name. It's basically a really simple RTS. Easy solution: make it more complex and strategic. Oh, and make making religious units actually practical.

    Space stage. Well, they're already working on expanding this one.

    Allow players to choose to play the original or expanded version of each stage (or maybe make the expanded version something you "unlock" after beating the original version). After all, we already have the ability to skip stages already beaten.

    Spore is a game with so many brilliant elements (generated music by Brian Freaking Eno, for fuck's sake!) and yet it's very mediocre at best on the actual gameplay. As it stands, it's a game for people who love the concept, not people looking for gameplay. But it could be so much more. Do it!

  • by alvinrod (889928) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @11:30PM (#25394097)

    Pft... I'd actually like to get Spore working before before I get any expansion. I bought the game and it played fine for three days without a hitch and then decided to give up on life and refuses to run for long before running into issues and crashing. EA's customer support has been dreadful and haven't even come close to a working resolution. I haven't played the game in over a month now and even though it wasn't the most enjoyable experience I managed to have a decent time with it. I'll probably never bother with it again.

    I can't foresee myself picking up any EA games in the future, even if it means missing out on some good titles. I might be tempted to pick up used copies of the console versions. It's probably the first time I've actually gone out of my way to buy used simply to deprive a company of any of my money. The antics they've been pulling recently and their horrible support have pissed me off to that point. Sure they're finally getting around to releasing some new and original games like Dead Space or Mirror's Edge, but they still come off as a soul-crushing corporation that's a pain in the ass to deal with in any capacity other than letting them pillage my pocketbook.

    What's really sad is idea that consoles will be moving away from disc-based media. I can understand that there are a lot of reasons to support that move, but I want a disc copy of the game that I can insert and play on any machine without having to deal with any additional bullshit DRM or that I can sell back to a store if the game turns out to be a disappointment in my eyes. Anything less will probably only turn me away from gaming even more than I've been in the last few months.

    The gaming industry may be growing significantly as new generations of people start to get into gaming, but how fast are they going to start pushing customers away with all the crap they've been pulling lately? Right now I don't think it will make a huge impact, but has anyone considered what the impact will be in ten years? The DRM just seems to get more draconian coupled with a decrease in consumer rights. Eventually enough people are going to get fed up and just take their entertainment money elsewhere. How long until the industry actually will have to respond to their crap policies due to negative growth?

  • by nick_davison (217681) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @11:40PM (#25394141)

    Spore already feels like a really cool game engine with just some demo content.

    Anyone who has played the first phase, where you can add flappy bits, fins or a jet... carnivore or omnivore mouth... and that's about it... already knows they so dumbed down the content as to leave you with essentially no actual game there.

    Same holds for many of the later stages. A few very core pieces used in unimaginative ways to solve a simple puzzle and then be done.

    When your core gameplay is near utterly devoid because of too few interesting combinations... to then sell what can't be argued as anything other than an essential part of the core, a second time, is sickening.

    The stupid thing is, had they made the core game fun then added to it, like they did with The Sims series, I'd be buying add ons. This time, they went so far as to leave you feeling like your time was wasted with the original and cause you to lose so much faith you doubt the add on will rememdy it.

    EA's best bet, right now, would be to give away a massive parts pack as a free download, turn the original game back in to something fun and not an empty game engine... then charge for real upgrades to a product people can actually care about.

  • Spaceships (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Meneth (872868) on Thursday October 16, 2008 @02:52AM (#25395675)
    The space stage has one drawback, which makes it unplayable after a few hours: you have only one spaceship. As your empire grows, you're going to need more. And if you ever hope to conquer the entire galaxy, as the game is supposed to allow, you're going to need a LOT more.
  • Re:Predictable. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by AnotherAnonymousUser (972204) on Thursday October 16, 2008 @03:10AM (#25395795)
    You know, that's actually one of the most brilliant ideas I've ever heard, charging a little bit more for essentially what's a cracked copy of their own game. For the average consumer not wanting to deal with the hassle of finding or applying cracks, it makes a lot of sense to buy the cheaper version, while for the people who care, spending just a *little* bit more money to ensure they can install their multiple copies for multiboxing and LAN parties. The extra profit generated by the people who will inevitably copy the game for their friends and "cost" the publisher a sale would satisfy the publishers a little bit, since they'll at least be making a *little* more money from people who are intending to spread copies of the game. All in all, it's not a perfect fix, but it's better than an all or nothing, and it give some satisfaction to all parties involved.
  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Thursday October 16, 2008 @08:41AM (#25398133) Journal

    The hardcore PC market is near dead. Two games sell. WoW and The Sims. WoW because you can't pirate it and appeals to everyone. The Sims because it appeals to everyone else and they don't know how to pirate it.

    Selling a single game with no expansions and no online mode is suicide. Sure, you might be able to recover your investment, if you are lucky but the road is long and difficult and so why bother when their are two examples of games that are not just succesful but massive cash cows.

    Will Wright isn't looking at a difference of a million or 2 million in profit but at 100k in profit vs half a billion. Oh okay, I made those numbers up but look at the sales results for the The Sims and ANY other game except WoW.

    Spore is NOT The Sims, it lacks the creativity for that. The editors are there but they don't edit anything. You can't really create anything in Spore. Not like in The Sims. Neither can you introde art or have entire websites making money selling hair styles.

    Spore for now is selling because it is a simple game. Not sure if it is ever going to appeal as The Sims but you can't blame Will Wright for going this route. It is were the money is.

    EA is following the market. If you can't make money with straight box sales of complete hardcore games then rake in the dough by casual games with a ton of expansion packs.

    It also explains their DRM, trivial to circumvent but just hard enough to make casual copying impossible, together with the online mode, making it easier for the adults this game is aimed at to just fork over the cash. Same as it is easier to just pay Blizzard for WoW even when not playing until the expansion then letting it lapse or playing on a free server.

    Maybe going after the money makes for lesser games, but frankly I think Spore sucked from the start for the hardcore gamer. We wanted an evolution sim, a creature designer for survival. What we got was a creature designer for looks. I lost intrest when I realized the build of my creature didn't matter at all. Just slap things on and you got the points. You couldn't even bulk up on parts to get better stats.

  • by Frigga's Ring (1044024) on Thursday October 16, 2008 @08:51AM (#25398263)
    I don't know about indie games, but I bought Orange Box the day it came out and haven't had to spend a dime on all of the new weapons and maps for Team Fortress 2.

    Because of Valve's free add-ons, I haven't bothered with any company's FPS. Clearly, there are better ways to keep you playing their game than charging you for things that should have been in the release.

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