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Submitted by Aclay 737d ago | news

BioWare on how to monetise players: Day-one DLC, Online Passes, micro-transactions

Eurogamer- BioWare has discussed its business strategy for providing extra (paid) content to players after a game has been released.

One such method includes day-one DLC, something the Mass Effect studio is convinced gamers can be tempted with.

"Fans do want more content. From the moment the game launches. They tend to say 'I want it now!' So it needs to be there when it's ready," BioWare online development director Fernando Melo explained at GDC Europe today. "They choose when to pick it up, day one or later." (GDC 2012, Mass Effect 3, PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

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zeal0us  +   737d ago
Day 1 DLC should had been free for anyone who brought a new copy of the game imho.

Micro transaction system isn't all that bad for ME3 MP but you can save money just farm the crap FBWGG or FBWGP or some other easy stages.

Sadly MP has become dull. Every week theres a nerf thread about something being overpowered. Bioware seem to listen a small group of people and go with nerfing something that really doesn't need to be nerf in the first place.
FrightfulActions  +   737d ago
Agreed with all but the stance on Day 1 DLC.

Day 1 DLC that ISN'T stuff just locked on the disc shouldn't be free just because of the timing they choose to release it. Games take a while to physically make and ship out for release date. If they want to use this time to make a DLC to have ready for when the game is set to be release, why shouldn't they charge for it? Unless its disc-locked content, I don't see the problem. Would them waiting a month to make the DLC public somehow make it better? Plus, for From Ashes, the dlc was 'free' to people who purchased Collectors Edition.

Yeah, free DLC on release day would be nice and I'm certainly not opposed to it, it'd be awesome. That doesn't mean it should be mandatory, payment is justified in some cases. The term Day-1 DLC has been pretty badly tarnished I think from, who was it, Capcom? Something about their day-1 stuff being all content already locked on the disc but making you pay more to use it. Could be remember the facts wrong though - never played their games.

DLC should be Downloadable Content, not "Unlock Codes" for shit that's already on the game you bought. Online passes, I'm lookin at you. Hate those things - and I don't even buy preused games. It hurts the multiplayer community, IMO.
vortis  +   737d ago
Don't start with "DLC made during certification" you do know that DLC has to be certified, too, right? Oh, you didn't.

Yeah, see DLC is planned out in the pre-production phase of the game. They eye-out how they can monetize players before the first line of code is recycled from the prequel.

They use the "DLC is made during certification" as an excuse. The average cert time is three weeks. You mean to tell me that they can bring in a voice actor, chalk up a brand new map, write out some new dialogue and model up brand new items and characters in three weeks and have this new content certified in time for a day-one launch?

You'd have to use a whole lot of fail-logic to ignore the obvious.
dennett316  +   737d ago
Absolutely spot on Vortis...that excuse is an absolute load of garbage. It's content that was specifically held back from the main game in order to sell later.
It's a perversion of the idea of DLC. Rockstar do DLC right, this day 1 rubbish is just that. Rubbish.
rdgneoz3  +   737d ago
@dennet316 Rockstar and Gearbox do DLC right. They both make nice expansions with a lot of content (not 1 or 2 quests) for a decent cost.
badz149  +   736d ago
monetize ha?
not enough with people buying your game, your intention from the start was to try to squeeze as much money from every single FAN of your game! thank you for being honest there but screw you with day 1 DLC concept and everything!

of course people want more contents but not the paid ones! make your games content packed enough, people would of been satisfied and feel that they get their money worth! but that's not what you do! you hold back contents and sell them for extra later! this is the single biggest disgrace publishers has brought into gaming this gen and it's sad to see that it's working for most of them and we even now have dumb gamers standing up for it!

I'd say hooray for expansion packs like Episode from Liberty City, Undead Nightmare, BFBC2 Vietnam, inFAMOUS2 Festival of Bloods and extra missions for Fallout 3 and Borderlands! hooray too for console games supporting free UGC like LBP, MNR and inFAMOUS 2! but map, weapon, vehicle, costume packs are a big NO NO! those should be free! and then there are shortcuts and true endings (Asura's Wrath) too now....those are pure SHAMELESS!
solar  +   737d ago
I dont mind dlc, or hate the people who buy it. But they are supporting a business practice i dont like one bit. Extra content should be a privilege to those who buy your game. Not an extra way to squeeze more money out of consumers who took a chance on their product.
Blankman85  +   736d ago
These guys need to have a one way conversation with CD Projekt Red where they can get schooled on how to treat their fanbase!
This is disgusting.
Megaton  +   737d ago
How does anyone read this and not feel like they're getting royally screwed? ME3 will be the last game I buy from not only BioWare, but EA as a whole. I figured I owed them as much for providing me with so much joy with ME1 and 2. It's plain to see that they've completed the transition from respected dev to EA parasite.
DARK WITNESS  +   737d ago
I stopped at ME2 and after reading this, it just confirms what I thought all along.

last BW Game I buy
ALLWRONG  +   737d ago
Now that Mass Effect 3 is complete there is no need for Bioware. After Dead Space 3 EA will be a distant memory for me.
Lvl_up_gamer  +   737d ago
So long as EA keeps making NHL and FIFA titles I will always be buying EA games.

Loved the mass effect trilogy and loving the dead space franchise thus far, EA hasp entry of talent to once again release a new ip that could be just as great as mass effect (although Bioware created mass effect before EA bought Bioware) and dead space.

I am loving Battlefield 3, loved Dante's Inferno.

Sorry, just too many great games from EA this gen for me to just write them off. I just don't get how any single person could write off EA when you consider all the great titles they have released this gen alone.

Nobody is forcing you to purchase DLC. It's up to the gamer if they feel the DLC is worth the money being asked for in order to prolong your gaming experience with a game you enjoyed playing.

Smh
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Megaton  +   737d ago
Dead Space is already circling the drain now that they've bro'd it out for the masses. I could die happy if I never had to play another bland military shooter in my life, so Battlefield and Medal of Honor are off the table. Don't care about sports games, not even with them having the UFC license. Dante's Inferno? Hah.

The only thing they've got that I might care about now that BioWare is more or less dead to me, is the potential of a Mirror's Edge sequel, assuming they clean up all the bad parts of the first one.
Lvl_up_gamer  +   737d ago
You seem to be the unpleasing gamer.

Don't like sports titles. Don't like EA's hack n slash, don't like modern warfare shooters, don't like dead space becoming a "guys game", don't like fighters....

What about The need for speed titles? What about Crysis? What about SSX? What about RPG's like Kingdoms of Amalur? What about Portal 2 although that is more a Valve ip.

To each their own but I just don't see your logic from a gaming standpoint.
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Megaton  +   737d ago
Portal 2? That has nothing to do with EA. That is entirely a Valve IP. Why would that even cross your mind? They publish it for a console or something?

The rest of that stuff doesn't matter to me. Burnout Paradise was the last EA racing game I spent more than a few hours playing. "EA's hack 'n slash" was a poor-man's God of War, and I love fighting games, which the UFC titles can barely be classified as.

Are you by any chance one of the many people EA has been proven to employ who attempt to steer user opinion in their favor on gaming sites across the internet?
Lvl_up_gamer  +   737d ago
http://www.ea.com/news/reta...

EA and Valve partnered to bring portal 2 to retail distributirs. Therefore EA is entitled to promote the title on their site. I don't game on PC thus without EA partnering with Valve, I wouldn't have owned the retail version.

EA showing that they are willing to partner with developers to bring great IP's to retail so that a larger gaming demographic has the opportunity to play them.

This is why I included Portal 2 in my list.

Again, as a gamer I just don't see how you can complain about EA's lack of content to the point of turning your back on them other than just to hate on EA as if it's the "in thing" to do on the Internet.

Going by your answer to the other games I mentioned, you just seem like the gamer who is never pleased no matter what games in a multitude of genres EA releases, you will just never be satisfied or have an issue with anything EA related.

What about the sims, army of 2, over strike?

EA has released countless great titles this gen, makes no sense to hate on them regarding their gaming library or according to you lack there of. So many games in so many different genres and none appeal to you to the point of writing off EA. sorry I just don't get it.

Either way, it's your taste in games and only you know what you like and what appeals to you. Just from one gamer to another, I just don't get how anyone who is a gamer would write off the biggest game console developing company in the world.
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Megaton  +   737d ago
I'm not sure if you're completely missing the point by accident or if you really are just paid to push a pro-EA agenda. I'm almost leaning towards the latter based on some of the really obscure, or at least popularly disliked, titles you've mentioned and your emphasis on them as a great, giant company.

Some of their games are decent, but it's not like I can't live without any of them. I get much more satisfaction from knowing they don't have my money in their pockets while they beat and gouge consumers with their rampant nickel and dime DLC schemes than I do playing dusty military shooter 9000 or sports roster update 2012.

Mass Effect and Dead Space had been the only franchises from EA that I have had any interest in during the last few years. Now that both are severely declining, my "boycott" practically fell into my lap. They homogenized themselves outside of my realm of taste, turning formerly unique and fresh titles into the same damn shooter everyone else is developing.
#2.3.5 (Edited 737d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(2) | Report
mananimal  +   736d ago
@Lvl_up_Gamer

You sound like a Corporate shill, You say "I just dont get how, etc etc".

?????? Did you just start gaming as a hobby yesterday?

Hello? Anyone who's ever been a gamer & reads articles or game magazines, KNOWS or has HEARD OF "EA's Reputation", no matter what side of the fence one may sit on.

Soooo, your "cover" has been blown. Its pretty apperant what your "Agenda" is, posing as a "gamer", yet a "EA SHILL" in reality.
Gamer-Z  +   737d ago
Did they learn nothing from the whole ME3 debacle
marioPSUC  +   737d ago
"Fans do want more content. From the moment the game launches. They tend to say 'I want it now!' So it needs to be there when it's ready,"

What the...everywhere that I see most people are royally pissed when a game first comes out and theres already DLC out or coming out very soon after release. Yeah I'd like more content but later down the road after I've played the game a lot. Bioware is really killing themselves...
dennett316  +   737d ago
Agreed 100%.
They wonder why less and less people are buying their games? It's because they're sick of being treated this way. The devs are targeting the minority of gamers with more money than sense who will defend everything that devs and publishers do, no matter the cost for gaming as a whole.
Godmars290  +   737d ago
Not really seeing the logic of making SP DLC which from what I understand essentially rewrites or modifies ME3's ending. Much like I didn't get how making the Prothean day-one DLC, unless you were trying to exploit ME's loyal fanbase.

And that's exactly what "monetizing" is in this case - its exploitation. Painfully obvious exploitation at that. With the only thing worse being Bioware's willful obliviousness to such.
ExPresident  +   737d ago
I look forward to a day when gamers actually vote with their wallets and bankrupt one of these Publishers over this price gouging they do against the consumer.

Day 1 DLC is BS.
Overpriced map packs are BS.
Subscriptions are BS (make a good product and people will buy it. Selling subscriptions means you get your money before you release the product wtf)

As much money as they put into these games gamers could make a huge impact by simply refusing to purchase a game that has these issues and it would be a loud and clear message.
DARK WITNESS  +   737d ago
wish more people would actually take action. totally agree with you.
dennett316  +   737d ago
The best way to "monetize" players is to make a great game, loaded with content from the start with none held back to cynically sell on the first day. People will see the effort, and they will buy your game.
They will then eagerly await your future DLC offerings which were developed entirely separately from the main code, and they will give you money for it provided it delivers substantial value for money.

It's called the Rockstar method...and it works brilliantly. Plenty of positive press and great review scores. As opposed to botched endings and fan outcries because you were too busy wondering how to skim content from the main game to sell later to worry about trivialities like creating a decent ending to an epic trilogy of games.

That's the strategy I'd use...take my advice for free with my blessing, stop trying to fleece gamers in cynical ways and instead earn your damn money for a change.
vega275  +   737d ago
is it just me or did bioware not listen to a word CD Projekt RED has said about DLC. it's like they really think the gamer community is this dumb. everyone knew you ripped the content from the game in order to sell it as day-one DLC. now you want to put Micro-transactions in ME3 too.

Micro-transactions allow the "potential for more" player spending, and give gamers the ability of extra "choice".

no it's about lining your and EA pocket by nickel and dimming your customers. I for one am glad I'm finish with ME3 as i will never buy another bioware game unless it's used.
BlackIceJoe  +   737d ago
This is why I am done with Bioware games. I hate online passes because I have other people in my family that like to play the game too. So if I buy a 60 dollar game then have to pay another 20 so two more can play then I just payed 80 for the game then. If I buy a DVD I can watch it and everyone else can watch it I do not have to pay extra so they can watch it too.

I like downloadable content but hate day one. Because it feels like it was held back just to make a few more dollars. If say new content comes out six months later that is alright because you know they were really thinking what people want to do in it next.

I know some companies use micro-transactions as a way to make downloadable content free. So if you want a skin for your gun you can buy it and doing so helps make downloadable content be able to be given away for free. So I am fine with that.

But if it is just so you can make money on that plus downloadable content. Then all that developer so doing is just doing a money grab. So that tells me not to support them.
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Kratoscar2008  +   737d ago
Sorry Bioware but i want to finish the game first and worry about DLC later, you dont respect your fans anymore.
sonicsidewinder  +   737d ago
"Fans do want more content. From the moment the game launches. They tend to say 'I want it now!' So it needs to be there when it's ready"

Jog on.

"...and give gamers the ability of extra "choice".

Choice you say? I choose, put it in the fucking game already. I choose not to want to pay.

"Gamers are actually happier, as they are able to spend money when they want. People may not want to pay upfront. They may be happier to pay when they are 'in the moment'."

At this moment in time, it's clear that this is what bioware is all about. 'Bioware' not EA (even though they both must share the ideology).

Be arsed with them anymore...
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dennett316  +   737d ago
"Gamers are actually happier, as they are able to spend money when they want. People may not want to pay upfront. They may be happier to pay when they are 'in the moment'."

That'd be OK if the games weren't already full retail price in the first place. Micro-transactions should be for Free to Play titles, not to gain advantages in multiplayer that haven't been earned, unbalancing the experience for those who haven't paid.
jetlian  +   737d ago
Only way im looking at BW is if they do another jade empire
Bonerboy  +   737d ago
Yeah yeah people get all pissy and rant and bitch when they shell out for a game and the company offers to soak them some more for instant DLC packs and the like...but while they continue to complain and whine about how evil this company is for doing so; these same whining jackasses are one click away from purchasing said DLC, (if they haven't already)

How about this, instead of your endless bitching and whining, just DONT pay for the f'n extra crap that is released to temp you weak pathetic knobs. Just DONT....Pretty simple no? If you DO want it, then by all means, enjoy it. Just dont get on the ol' intranets and whine about it after the fact, because nobody gives a shit about your lack of restraint and stupid decisions. Dont like them, then don't buy their crap. Again, pretty f'n simple. Stand true to your convictions for once. For those that complain and state "I'll never support Bioware again!!" are first in line for their next offering....Just like C.O.D and so on.

"you dont respect your fans anymore"? WTF is that ? Boo hoo cry me a river 'kratoscar2008' They even changed the f'n ending because of whiners like yourself. Bioware isn't forcing you to buy EXTRA content. Thats why they call it EXTRA content. It takes MONEY to produce, so obviously they want MONEY to cover its production.
As the article stated, they can keep people employed by making this shit, after they have finished their other work on the project. Having 'employees' means you have to pay them. And they pay them with money. Money comes from 'people' like you.
Jobs=healthy economy=good. God damn. uuhhhh....2+2=5.....no, 3...no wait...6! its 6!
I guess most of you will figure this shit out after you move out from home and your parents wont be paying for everything for you. And those that don't figure it out will find a nice cardboard box to live in and continue bitching, but not about game companies as much, more so about how life as a whole has been so unfair.

A successful business means making money Period. And there are enough dumbasses out there willing to shell out dollar after dollar for every bit of dlc garbage, so kudos to Bioware for taking full advantage of these morons. Its brilliant to offer this crap and charge for it. Absolutely brilliant. Of course, if any of these whiners ran a company like bioware they woudn't possibly dream of trying to make money. That would be an absolutely ridiculous business model. Everything would be 'free', even if it cost your company thousands upon thousands of $$$ to make....Sure it would. Idiots.

Rant complete.
#13 (Edited 737d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(5) | Report | Reply
dennett316  +   736d ago
Yes, because Valve and GOG.com have gone out of business by treating their customers with respect and offering incentives to purchase games from them rather than browbeating them with pointless DLC and online passes.

Oh wait...
Bonerboy  +   736d ago
Like I said...if you don't like how they do things THEN DON'T FUCKING BUY IT! Who's forcing your fucking hand here? Are you so retarded you just cant help yourself? "OOOoo Gotta have it!" Clearly.
#13.1.1 (Edited 736d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(2) | Report

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