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The Almighty Buck Games

When DLC Goes Wrong 261

Posted by Soulskill
from the horse-armor dept.
kube00 writes "Poorly done downloadable content is one of a gamer's worst nightmares right now. Where a publisher stands to make some money, gamers get screwed. Whether it's the overpriced extra maps/costumes DLC, on-the-disc-at-launch DLC, or DLC that is nothing more than a remake of other content, no game is safe from bad DLC. That includes Modern Warfare 2, Bioshock 2, Uncharted 2 and a host of many other popular games. Is there a chance to fix this system?"
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When DLC Goes Wrong

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  • Yes! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by zcomuto (1700174) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @03:18AM (#34193970)
    When people realise this, and stop buying DLC.
    • Re:Yes! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by sg_oneill (159032) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @03:24AM (#34193998)

      Some DLC is great. The Undead Nightmare DLC for Red Dead was practically an entirely new game, and both the Gay Tony & whatever the biker one was called where both great content add ons for Grand theft auto.

      • Re:Yes! (Score:5, Informative)

        by bhcompy (1877290) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @03:30AM (#34194022)
        Gay Tony is what you call an expansion pack. It is a completely new campaign, rather than a package of costumes and multiplayer maps. It also provided more gameplay time as a cheap expansion than Medal of Honor or CoD:BO in their full $60 campaign splendor.
      • Re:Yes! (Score:4, Interesting)

        by interkin3tic (1469267) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @03:37AM (#34194036)

        DLC can be good for experimental game ideas. Most of the fallout 3 DLC took place in different settings than the main game, there were some interesting ideas in there. Some were utter failures, mothership zeta was terrible. On the other hand, point lookout was great, and most of my favorite fallout 3 experiences were from that.

        Obsidian loses points though for making the end of the game contained in a DLC. I don't know if they had the original ending and decided they could do better (which would be more legitimate) or if they decided they'd be losing money to put all that content in one game (less respectable) or if they decided they could squeeze more out of us by breaking it up (woudn't put it past them).

        However it happened, it was a good game and I didn't think twice about buying New Vegas.

        • Re:Yes! (Score:5, Informative)

          by ratinox (582104) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @03:53AM (#34194096) Journal

          Obsidian loses points though for making the end of the game contained in a DLC. I don't know if they had the original ending and decided they could do better (which would be more legitimate) or if they decided they'd be losing money to put all that content in one game (less respectable) or if they decided they could squeeze more out of us by breaking it up (woudn't put it past them).

          However it happened, it was a good game and I didn't think twice about buying New Vegas.

          Are you referring to the Fallout 3 Broken Steel DLC, which raised the level cap to 30 and allowed the game to continue past the original cutscene-to-menu ending once the main plotline had been completed? If so, I think you meant "Bethesda", as Obsidian are only responsible for developing New Vegas.

          As far as I can recall, the decision to expand the "endgame" in Broken Steel came about as a result of request from fans who wanted to continue playing past the conclusion of the story. I seem to remember some BethSoft employee being quoted as saying they never anticipated that people would enjoy their game that much...

          • I seem to remember some BethSoft employee being quoted as saying they never anticipated that people would enjoy their game that much...

            Which sounds weak. After all, Fallout 2 allowed it - why shouldn't the fans expect the same of the new game?

            • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

              by ratinox (582104)
              I don't know about weak; I'd maybe go for "naive", especially since they were producing a very sandbox-y game. However, it's worth mentioning that it was a completely different development studio, so it's hardly surprising that their design goals would be different. Personally, I think it was laudable of them to actually listen to their fans and provide the functionality they asked for, rather than simply ignoring them as so many studios seem to.
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by cob666 (656740)

                I don't know about weak; I'd maybe go for "naive", especially since they were producing a very sandbox-y game. However, it's worth mentioning that it was a completely different development studio, so it's hardly surprising that their design goals would be different. Personally, I think it was laudable of them to actually listen to their fans and provide the functionality they asked for, rather than simply ignoring them as so many studios seem to.

                Yes but the ability to play past the conclusion of the primary quest should have been built into a patch instead of requiring the user to pay for DLC just to get the option.

        • Re:Yes! (Score:4, Insightful)

          by mjwx (966435) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @08:37AM (#34195094)

          DLC can be good for experimental game ideas. Most of the fallout 3 DLC took place in different settings than the main game

          But Fallout 3 was sold at full price as a complete game. DLC came months after release.

          Some games are being sold in half with DLC being made available 5 minutes after release.

          Now I have no issue when a developer and publisher creates additional content, traditionally this was released as an expansion pack or more recently the phenomenon of "expand-alones" such as ARMA Operation Arrowhead or Fallout New Vegas but when a publisher only sells you half the game and then tries to charge you $10 to see the ending, that's what is wrong with DLC.

      • by Ash Vince (602485) *

        and both the Gay Tony & whatever the biker one was called where both great content add ons for Grand theft auto.

        The problem with both of these was that they were far too short. Compared to the original campaign they are a drop in the ocean only containing far less missions. There were 25 missions in the Ballad of Gay Tony compared to nearly 100 in the original game. Being that to buy them you end up paying close to the original value of the game you should get more missions, not less (including the saving they made on not developing or shipping a new game engine)

        • by wjousts (1529427)
          But they we're a lot cheaper than GTA IV. I agree I would have loved to have them be longer, but I got the boxed DVD with both DLC for about $30 and felt it was a reasonable deal (I would have preferred maybe $20).
    • Re:Yes! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Starteck81 (917280) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @03:43AM (#34194060)
      Considering how well Zynga is doing selling virtual items in games like Farmville, Mafia Wars I suspect that we will only see this trend grow.
    • DLC goes wrong when it exists.

      I'll pay for an expansion pack to add content to a good game, I won't pay to unlock existing in-game content, and I won't pay to add content to a shitty game that should have had it in the first place, so don't try that either, game publishers.

  • by Stormwatch (703920) <rodrigogirao.hotmail@com> on Thursday November 11, 2010 @03:19AM (#34193974) Homepage

    If I pay for a game, it damn better be a COMPLETE game. But these days, they sell incomplete games now and the missing parts later. DLC is nothing but a scam.

    • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @03:28AM (#34194012)

      I disagree with that broad statement. If I'm interested in the DLC, I probably felt like the game itself had good value. If I didn't thoroughly enjoy a game, I'm not going to be paying them any more money. What's a "complete" game anyway? I'd rather play a good short game than a tedious long one.

      Furthermore, if DLC comes out months after a game is released, it indicates the devs didn't just decide to withhold content for a premium. And I can understand being in a situation like "We have this interesting side story to develop, but that would push back the release date a few months." I'd rather have that option to extend the game if I'm enjoying it.

      • Yeah, you pretty much summed up my feelings better than my long-winded response below.

        Regarding "what is a 'complete' game?", though. I'd say, a game that at least has a full story arc. Incomplete and using DLC for money grubbing would be something like releasing the first game as, half the story, and then having to buy DLC to finish that story. i.e. it wouldn't be an extension of the game; it would be building to the completion of the game.

        Though not quite DLC, this is kind of how I look at Valve with the

        • by FoboldFKY (785255)

          Episodic content is annoying like that when you have to wait so long to get to the next chapter.

          Really, that's only a problem if the company making the episodes isn't very good at it. Valve may have popularised the idea, but to be honest, they suck balls at it. They realised the "smaller" and "cheaper" parts well enough, but made a complete pig's breakfast of the "more frequent" part. I just don't think Valve as a studio is capable of doing episodes properly.

          Rather, you should be looking at Telltale. Once they start a season, they release an episode once a month. I think they could improve by act

          • I thought it was Prince of Persia that popularised the idea. It's the first game I remember being released in episodes anyway. I've still not played any of them beyond the original, as I didn't like the idea of paying two times the cost of a normal full game to get all the parts, not to mention having to wait weeks/months in between each portion of the game.

            Having said that I did buy the HD remake of the original, which definitely is a cash in of course..

      • by Kjella (173770)

        I guess it comes down to the difference between DLC and expansion packs, that have been around forever. DLC gives me the feeling of being nickel and dimed, expansions doesn't. I might buy a some kind of "ultimate" edition when that hits the bargain bin though.

      • What's a "complete" game anyway?

        A complete game is one that contains all the characters, items, quests, missions, levels, or whatever else necessary to provide a solid gaming experience.

        Depending on the title, that'll vary. Obviously you don't see a whole ton of different maps in a Madden game, but you'd probably be pretty upset if your new Modern Warfare set every single mission in the same few hundred yards of geography.

        Obviously there's always room for expansion and sequels and whatnot... But if some piece of DLC is generally conside

        • I'll have to disagree on your side story comment. Sorry but a side story does not have to be developed for a game to be complete as a Side-Story is just that. A side story. It is pertinent only as it directly impacts the story arc.

          Most side stories don't gather enough interest to be worth expanding or the devs have a plot in mind where a side story may be planned as either an expansion or related game.

      • by pla (258480)
        I disagree with that broad statement.

        I don't think you do, really. Perhaps the last clause, but essentially, you've repeated what the author said - You don't screw with DLC unless the standalone (presumably on-disc) game itself has sufficient merit.

        I don't think any of us have a problem with truly optional content - Either extra maps/levels (and I mean really extra, not 90% of the expected game world even though you can technically "finish" the game with what shipped), or various cosmetic add-ons that
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      If I pay for a game, it damn better be a COMPLETE game. But these days, they sell incomplete games now and the missing parts later. DLC is nothing but a scam.

      While I agree with this in principle, I have not yet bought a game that I felt the base-game was incomplete and the DLC felt like a money-grubbing scam. The closest was maybe Borderlands, mainly because the base game storyline was pretty weak. BUT, it was still a damn fun game, even only in the base game. The DLC enhances and extends the game and makes it significantly better, to the extent one might argue that the DLC should have just been part of the original, but I don't fault them too much for it. I thi

      • I was very disappointed that Minerva's Den DLC was not coming for PC... And, as for DLC done right, one only has to look at Valve and everything they've done for TF2, L4D, and L4D2. And, they release it for free!

        Don't feel so bad, the free DLC was only free on the PC.

        • Don't feel so bad, the free DLC was only free on the PC.

          Heh... oops. Sorry, I forgot that. ^^;;

          However, isn't that more Microsoft's doing than Valve's doing? As I understand things now for the future, Valve would rather gamers not buy Portal 2 for Xbox if they want to get the best possible experience playing it, mainly because of Microsoft's limitations on DLC and patches and such. Valve could never do for TF2 on XBox what they've done for TF2 on PC, and the only reason for this is because Microsoft won't allow it.

      • by Nursie (632944) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @03:50AM (#34194084)

        Beautiful Katamari

        It was a very short game, and the DLC was available from day1, completing the game. IIRC the original game was pretty low priced though, so instead of looking at it as being ripped off and getting nickel-and-dimes for the full game, you could say that they were offering a half-game for half price and you could buy the rest if you liked it.

        I'm not sure, this is a big grey area. When am I not getting a full game I've paid for? When am I genuinely paying for extra content? How long *should* a game be?

        Meh.

    • by Squapper (787068) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @04:08AM (#34194172)
      As a senior game developer, i can tell you that no game released nowadays is EVER complete. And trying to making a game complete is like trying to write all the digits of Pi. It cant be done, you just have to draw the line somewhere and say "this is good enough". We work until our employers pry our hands from the keyboards and force us work on a new project. Then we sneak back and work a little bit more on the old one either because we are ashamed of the quality or because we love the project. And we HAVE to move on to new projects, otherwise game development would not be economically feasible and there would be no AAA projects such as the ones mentioned in TFA.

      And the point of doing minor DLC is not to make money from it directly. The point is to give a promise to the consumers that there will be DLC shortly, and make them hold on to their copies instead of reselling them, which would bring zero money to the publisher. This is not some theory of my own, it is what our publishers tell us when they are ordering us to do minor DLC. Why they charge so much for stuff that would have done it's job perfectly when released for free is beyond my understanding though.
      It's funny that the example in TFA where the true strategy was most obvious, the DLC for Alan Wake, was where the author was most happy with the product...
      • by Rogerborg (306625) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @06:11AM (#34194606) Homepage

        As an ex senior game developer, you and I know very well that the problem is that we write two (or three or four) games for every one that's published. And we do this because most of the industry is institutionally incompetent.

        Writers who can't make themselves understood; designers who say "give me an engine then I'll tell you what I really needed it to do"; engine devs who think they're writing the game; game devs who think they're writing the engine; artists who view resource limits as only applying to lesser talents; testers who are just frustrated designers; project managers who want to be producers; producers who want to be distributors; distributors who want to be writers, it's a massive dysfunctional clusterfuck from beginning to end. What amazes me is that anything actually gets released.

        If we had the discipline (as an industry) to write just one game for every game released, they'd all be AAA, and turn at healthy profit at $30 retail.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by dkleinsc (563838)

          I've never been a senior game developer, but it looks to me like the real problem is that the industry has decided that time-to-market trumps any and all other concerns. They'd much rather have a bad game in 4 months than a really good game in 12 months.

          The only thing I can figure is that 3 bad games get more revenue than 1 good game, which doesn't make any sense. A bad game picks up a bunch of early adopters who were suckered in by the hype, but within 2 months there's no market for it. A good game can pro

          • by delinear (991444)
            It's probably more that, once the game has taken shape enough for you to realise it's bad, do you just ship it as soon as possible, cut your losses and hope the next one is a AAA title, or do you pour more time and money into something that's so far proved a failure, hoping to one day make it come good? It seems like, if you could get away with doing the first approach two or three times before you nail the awesome title without leaving your reputation in tatters, it might make more sense financially. The k
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by skorch (906936)
          As a current game developer, while I can sympathize with a lot of your points on a general level, it sounds to me like you worked at some particularly shitty companies if all of those things were perpetually true at once.

          Not saying that none of them happen anywhere, but they certainly don't all happen everywhere. And after that, change the details and the job titles in your description and you could be complaining about just about any industry in existence today.
      • Why they charge so much for stuff that would have done it's job perfectly when released for free is beyond my understanding though.

        to earn money? They probably figure charging a few bucks isnt going to keep lots of people from getting it, and perhaps even that a non-free price adds an air of legitimacy and value to it. Also, gamers might be more inclined to try and actually enjoy the DLC when they spent money on it. If i download a level for game XYZ for free, and i hate the first five minutes, i will discard it. If i paid 5 bucks for it, i will give it about an hour to win me over before i toss it aside.

        Mostly though, i think money is

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Xest (935314)

      But where do you draw the line? Borderlands released extra content as DLC- some of it was mostly based on existing art assets such as the arena based content, but other DLC had a lot of new content- the zombie island release.

      You could argue that both these should've been in the game at release, you could argue that the arena one should, or you can argue that both are worthwhile bits of additional content.

      The problem is that some people will claim it should all have been included in the game, but then as the

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by delinear (991444)

        While it's not something you can set hard and fast rules about, it's usually pretty clear if the DLC is reasonable or not. If you can enjoy the entire game experience without the DLC and are not left feeling like there were big gaps or that you are in some way disadvantaged by not having a DLC map or peiece of equipment, then that's fine. The DLC in that case will live or die on how useful/good it is. Selling half a game with the conclusion as DLC should never be allowed. Similarly putting nag characters di

    • by Pojut (1027544)

      Not necessarily. The idea of being able to add content to a game after its release is AWESOME, provided it meets a few criteria: [livingwithanerd.com]

      * DON'T release pay-for DLC the same day (or shortly after) a game is released at retail. That pisses people off.
      * DO try to offer free DLC at launch if it covers content you didn't have time to properly polish prior to the game going gold.
      * DON'T offer pay-for DLC that includes content or options that should have been included when the game was released (I'm looking at you, Dead

  • Where a publisher stands to make some money, gamers get screwed.

    Is there a chance to fix this system?

    As long as you approach the world with the attitude that it owes you something, there is no chance to fix the system. You will always be disappointed and feel "screwed".

    • by SheeEttin (899897)
      If I paid $50 for a(n allegedly) professionally-produced game, they sure as hell DO owe me something.
      • by lostmongoose (1094523) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @04:04AM (#34194158)
        You chose to give them your money. They *owe you nothing* other than what you could access out of the box. Unless you're paying a monthly fee, you have no entitlement to anything beyond that. If you are paying a monthly fee and the devs aren't performing as you think they should *stop paying them*.
        • They implicitly promised a full game for that money, and failed to deliver.

          If you buy a house and then you find out it has no floor, haven't the sellers screw you? Is it not fraud? Why then can game publishers sell you an incomplete game and it's OK?

          Of course, houses are different because you can actually see it all before buying, but with games you can't because "piracy" is illegal and immoral and God kills a kitten for every copied byte.

          • by jargon82 (996613)

            Have you bought a house? Every house has it's quirks. Most of these are discovered after at least a few weeks of "use." Often, you can pay a little extra to fix or improve the quirks, or you can just live with them. I'd say the initial walkthroughs, the home inspections, etc, are not too far removed from reviews of games.

            If the reviews all say it's terrible, it's crap, it's incomplete, you don't buy it. Just like the the home inspector tells you the furnace is likely to explode in a month or two, you d

      • by Rogerborg (306625)
        Think of it as $25 worth of game, and $25 worth of valuable life lessons. You might as well say "I pay for the food and the roof over her head, why isn't the frigid bitch putting out more?" Life is a series of lessons in why you should never pay up front in anticipation of rewards later.
      • by Mashiki (184564)

        Well the other option and it seems to be a growing one is that, if a developer is screwing you over. Just pirate the piss out of their product until it's done then buy it when it's on sale.

  • There Is a Chance (Score:5, Insightful)

    by umbrellasd (876984) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @03:23AM (#34193992)
    Don't pay for the shit DLC, and Supply and Demand economics will take care of the problem.
    • Don't pay for the shit DLC, and Supply and Demand economics will take care of the problem.

      Ummm...

      The publishers have a legally enforced monopoly, what the heck makes you think that the rules of supply and demand apply here. After you satisfactorily explain that one you can explain how supply and demand works where supply is for all intents and purposes infinite because the product is infinitely replicable for negligible costs.

      Australia has been trying to get game prices down to US/Euro levels for y

  • ... to poorly done content bought on some kind of media. It's always wise to give something a look before buying it, regardless of it being virtual or "real" goods. Unfinished or badly done software has been sold since software is being sold. The only chance to fix this, is that people stop buying such shit.

    • Yes, the way to stop bad DLC is the same way to stop bad regular games: read a damn review before you decide to buy.

      • by Kosi (589267)

        Taking into account all those faked and/or incompetent reviews: you'd better read more than one. Or get first hand information from a source that you know you can trust.

        • True, but any review is better than none. Metacritic is probably okay.

        • by mcvos (645701)

          I rarely trust commercial reviews. I do trust user reviews, but then too I want to read more than one. A single review doesn't mean much.

  • Let's Be Honest (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cylix (55374) * on Thursday November 11, 2010 @03:34AM (#34194030) Homepage Journal

    I get the feeling someone is on the war path with video games lately. At least regarding the story trend and I'm not saying I disagree... just saying.

    In any event, the issue isn't even as specific as DLC. Sure, there are plenty of awful examples and I would very much like to point the finger at Halo. Whole sections of multi-player simply disappear if you do not purchase the down-loadable map packs. This isn't even close to misrepresentation, but more like bandits along the highway. At some point, someone thought it would be a really good idea to cripple your current style of play unless you pay a few dollars. I believe someone's soul is headed toward damnation for that one.

    Ignoring fire and brimstone, let's get back to the broader and real issue at hand. Bad game or bad content for purchase are not really the issues either. The fact is if we had more honest reviews floating around this would be a no brainer. The truth is we as gamers have been sold out countless times by these fan fiction writers who like to pretend they are writing a game review. In my personal experience, Red Dead Redemption was pretty much the worst multiplayer experience I have had in a while. It however managed to have a lot of good reviews. A more recent example of abuse of a good name is COD Black Ops. This is a good example of how to take something that wasn't terribly and just twist it into a hellish house of mirrors reflecting on a shadow of it's former self.

    Having been in the broadcast world for a good while in the past there are important lessons I did learn there. What I happen to like or dislike may not necessarily be in tune with the populace at large. However, I would like to point out that the current early trend with user reviews seem to favor my opinion http://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/call-of-duty-black-ops?rating_login=1 [metacritic.com].

    I believe what has happened with both retail games and addon pay content is something very simple. It appears to be much easier to simply spend oodles on marketing and advertising rather then produce something original. (Well, original is probably a bad term... how about enjoyable). It cannot be argued these triple a titles have a fairly large budget, but in my horrid and unimportant opinion is that publishers have gone the McDonalds route. Seriously, how else would you sale poison the the people of our great nation.

    • by Squapper (787068)

      It appears to be much easier to simply spend oodles on marketing and advertising rather then produce something original.

      Blame it on the market, history tells us that good games and games that get good reviews does not necessarily sell. Well advertised and hyped games, however, DO sell.

    • by brunes69 (86786)

      Red Dead is not about multiplayer. It is a single player game with multiplayer tacked on due to the fact that you can't sell a single player game in today's market for ridiculous reasons. Red Dead got amazing reviews because it is an amazing single player game and I never even once saw a review that commented on the multiplayer at all.

    • The truth is we as gamers have been sold out countless times by these fan fiction writers who like to pretend they are writing a game review. In my personal experience, Red Dead Redemption was pretty much the worst multiplayer experience I have had in a while. It however managed to have a lot of good reviews. A more recent example of abuse of a good name is COD Black Ops. This is a good example of how to take something that wasn't terribly and just twist it into a hellish house of mirrors reflecting on a sh

    • Ignoring fire and brimstone, let's get back to the broader and real issue at hand. Bad game or bad content for purchase are not really the issues either. The fact is if we had more honest reviews floating around this would be a no brainer. The truth is we as gamers have been sold out countless times by these fan fiction writers who like to pretend they are writing a game review. In my personal experience, Red Dead Redemption was pretty much the worst multiplayer experience I have had in a while. It however managed to have a lot of good reviews. A more recent example of abuse of a good name is COD Black Ops. This is a good example of how to take something that wasn't terribly and just twist it into a hellish house of mirrors reflecting on a shadow of it's former self.

      Simply because you don't agree with the reviews for Red Dead Redemption doesn't make them dishonest. Lots of users I've seen online have loved the multiplayer, so the reviews obviously aren't very far off the mark.

      I mean, I hated Mario 64. I think that turning a well-crafted 2D platformer into 3D was the worst decision a game company has ever made. Does that mean I should accuse all the people who have ever given it a positive review of being liars?

  • Is Valve's DLC. Great additions to Left 4 Dead, Left 4 Dead 2 and Team Fortress 2, without costing the gamer a cent.
    • I highly agree, except I won't say it's the "only" good DLC. Despite costing money, I've really enjoyed the Borderlands DLC. Great side stories with great humor, some good game enhancements, and most importantly MORE GUNS! :D

      They are largely moot now, as buying the GOTY edition gets you all of the DLC... but they do seem to be guilty of making you actually download the DLC rather than having on the physical disc when you buy retail. This doesn't affect me as I bought the game and its DLCs previously, on Ste

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Fallingcow (213461)

      I wouldn't say L4D had DLC. It had the rest of the game that should have been there at launch, and which those of us who pre-ordered were told would be there eventually. That's not DLC, it's "whoops, we very obviously sold you 2/3 of a game at full price, so here's a patch to enable shit that was already in it but didn't work quite right so we couldn't enable it at launch, and here's a very tiny kind of crappy campaign we had the intern toss together to make up for your not having the entire game you paid

  • by PhrostyMcByte (589271) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Thursday November 11, 2010 @03:58AM (#34194124) Homepage

    I bought Fallout 3 when it first came out. Had a blast, but was occupied at the time and didn't buy the DLC. In the intrim the GOTY edition came out, with all the DLC, for $50. Only problem is, the DLC hasn't dropped in price -- and there is $50 of it. Now I can either buy $50 of DLC, or $50 for the GOTY edition. Either way they want me to spend $100 on the game, and I can't justify that. Something is wrong here!

    Now I just wait for the GOTY edition to come out.

    • by gman003 (1693318)
      I had something related happen with Oblivion. I bought the "Game of the Year" edition, which had the 2 biggest DLC. I put about a hundred hours into it. I kept considering the DLC, but it was just overpriced - about $20 for the seven or so bits of DLC I didn't have. Then I noticed that the "Deluxe" edition (full game and all the DLC) was on sale for $10. It was actually cheaper to buy the whole game again than to buy the DLC. Go figure.
    • by wjousts (1529427)

      I was in the same boat. I got FO3 just after release, played the hell out of it, but wasn't going to spring for the DLC because of the stupid requirement that you buy it with Microsoft points. Then last week I picked up the GOTY edition from Amazon for about $30. It grinds my gears to buy the same game twice, so I'm trying to convince myself that I've picked up all the DLC for $30 instead of $50.

      Just started a whole new game of FO3 because I hadn't played for months, didn't want to try and pick up where my

  • by Durzel (137902) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @04:01AM (#34194142) Homepage

    Valve have the right idea, they don't charge for DLC as they realise that increased exposure and limited-time discounts on the full game actually make them money. You wouldn't catch Valve doing anything depressingly contrived as offering little virtual trinkets for real cash....

    • by Barny (103770)

      Best, post, evah :)

      But in all honesty, they don't require you to buy the trinkets, they can still drop, but buying them is a way for people with some spare cash to have some fun quicker.

    • Well, I can't see Valve in as negative light as you try to portray them in. No, I haven't played any Valve games in ages, but Steam itself is damn near perfect: I don't need to find installation media, I don't need to find patches, I don't need to worry about keeping my games functional.. And I personally love how they have the midweek and weekend sales. I just recently bought Batman: Arkham Asylum for 17 euro and I really have to say it was worth every penny! But try and buy that game somewhere else and yo

  • Oh, (Score:3, Funny)

    by omfgnosis (963606) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @04:04AM (#34194156)

    the humanity.

  • by YesIAmAScript (886271) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @04:05AM (#34194162)

    Nor were skins.

    The first DLC map was free.
    The next two maps were $3.99 for the pair.
    The next two maps were in a $9.99 pack with an additional co-op game mode and six skins.

    There were two skins packs, each was $6 (IIRC, I didn't buy either of them).
    There was also a motion comic pack which came with two skins.

  • Im a sucker for fighting games, but i'd guess that First Person Shooters are in the same boat. Adding extra characters or maps to a game just doesnt do it justice.

    The only game i bought DLC for was WWE SmackDown vs. RAW 2010(?) The pack included a few new wrestlers that were on the current roster but arrived after the cutoff date.There were a few alternate costumes as well. This was sort of a double-edged sword. The developers obviously have to make a cut-off date for when they stop adding content(charac
  • Seriously?

    Wasting a couple of dollars? Getting knifed IRL by the n00b you've humiliated online, now that's a nightmare.

  • Price discrimination is an economics term that means charging different prices to different customers of your product. In real-world situations, you have to vary the product a bit in order to actually carry out such a practice effectively; DLC is one way of introducing such variations.
    Freemium websites are another example, close-up versus further-back seats at sporting events and concerts provide another example. Scholarships given by the university itself are another example.

    Why do this? Get sales from che

  • Where a publisher stands to make some money, gamers get screwed.

    Yes, all of us round here know that it's completely impossible to produce something that's good AND commercially successful.

  • It seems to me that the most obnoxious, in-your-face form of screwing customers up is when a game is released at the same time (or very close to) the first DLC pack. That's pretty much a statement of "We could have it in the game but we we're charging extra for it instead". In fact, given the track record of the major Game Publishers I suspect that the first DLC pack is in fact content that was purposefully removed from the main release for selling later for extra.

    More in general the evilness (or not) of DL

  • Mandatory DLCs (Score:2, Interesting)

    With Modern Warfare 2 it gets worse,

    you need the DLCs or you won't get matched into a multiplayer game or when you do you get kicked out after a couple levels

  • And now all my software is DLC. (But I did buy every single carpack for forza 3 lol)
  • Is there a chance to fix this system?

    Yes. Stop buying that stuff. Amazing how that simple answer is so often overlooked.

  • I feel that $5 for Babylonia was too much. But it pales in comparison to $50 for a game that continuously crashes in the latter stages of the game.

    (This demonstrates the sheer vicious genius of the Firaxis product managers, who decided to release a demo limited to 100 turns - way before the crashes start.)

    • In fairness to Firaxis, I (and I'm not the only one) have never had crashing problems with Civ V. I'm not discounting that some do have a problem, but it's not a universal problem, so it's not unreasonable to say that they didn't see it coming.
  • by LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @07:23AM (#34194834) Homepage

    I just wait a year or so for the Gold/Ultimate/GOTY edition of a game which comes with all addons and DLC built-in for £20 or less. Money saved, disaster averted.

  • by brunes69 (86786) <`slashdot' `at' `keirstead.org'> on Thursday November 11, 2010 @07:38AM (#34194868) Homepage

    Look at what Rockstar has done with Red Dead. First DLC pack is free and adds totally new capabilities to the game.

    Now, one might argue this pack has content that should have came with he game in the first place and all it means is the game was rushed...

    Well, that explanation does not hold water with the Red Dead Undead pack, because it really is a totally new storyline and side-plot of the game, where you kill freaking zombies. It is also VERY well done and well worth the $10.

  • by trawg (308495) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @07:45AM (#34194886) Homepage

    I cannot belieeeeeeeeeeeve how quickly gamers fell for DLC. Or maybe I should say, I can't belieeeeeeeve how quickly I have turned into one of those old codgers saying, "back in my day..." - but a lot of the guys I grew up playing games with are now in the DLC trap, so it's not just a case of newbie gamers not knowing any better.

    Remember when you'd get a game, and then there'd be a level editor and maybe some mod tools? And then a few weeks after the game was out and you'd played the shit out of it, the first crappy maps would come out? And maybe a proof-of-concept mod?

    Then a month or so later, a mate would tell you about this great new map, and you'd fire it up together and play it. Then someone would tell you about some crazy new mod with a funny name like "Team Fortress" or "Counter-Strike" or "Desert Combat" that was a bit hacky, but still really good fun. Then more people would play, and it would grow, and change, and mature, and turn into a solid product all of its own.

    All the new school games just don't follow this model. They're cutting out almost any possibility of this process occurring by closing their development environments and charging $5 for every map under the guise of premium DLC, when they could create an ecosystem of nearly unlimited potential that would not only virtually enslave their player base and lead to more sales, but also lead to these entire amazing new brands for them to cash in on.

    Team Fortress started as a free mod and turned into TF2 (with a very long lead time), one of Valve's most successful brands now. Counter-strike is still ludicrously popular. Desert Combat (mod for BF1942) evolved into Battlefield 2. Red Orchestra turned into a successful standalone game.

    Sure, not every mod turns into a huge amazing thing, but if you create a remotely decent game with well-thought out multiplayer and throw in decent development tools, you can STILL create premium DLC and sell it to users, but you'll also get vast amounts of free content for your game. And as long as you have a vaguely decent management system for your online CD keys, pretty much each game will be a sale.

    GET OFF MY LAWN

  • I have yet to actually purchase DLC directly, and I have no plans to change that in the future. The only game in my inventory that includes DLC content is Oblivion, and only because the DLC came bundled with the deluxe package of the game. I refuse to buy "fluff" add-ons (horse armor, are you fsck-ing kidding me?) and games that are shipped incomplete with DLC required to be able to finish the game are off my buy list automatically.

    I, for one, want the publishers and developers focusing on delivering qualit

  • I recall downloading official map packs for the original Unreal Tournament which gave us a new game mode and something along the lines of 10-12 maps total... for free. Epic came out with a few packs spread out over about 2 years after the game was released I think.

    Free ride's over I guess... it's too bad but if I pay 60$ for a game, I'm not spending another 20$ in DLC for things that make my game prettier. Charge me 20$ for an add on episode, then yeah, that's fine (assuming of course that the original game

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