For those who haven't read Cliffy B's firestarter of a blog post, you can find it here: http://dudehugespeaks.tumbl...
To sum, Cliffy B defends micro-transactions, he defends DLC, and he says that if you aren't interested in extra content, then you should simply not buy it and then shut up.
And gamers everywhere are pissed.
There are a few things he says that I truly disagree with. Chiefly, I don't agree with his assessment that game companies NEED to charge more because the cost of living in large cities is more. They don't HAVE to live in those cities. Games can be (and have often been) developed in a garage or a basement. You don't need to work in a San Fran high-rise for your game to turn out well.
However, I think we're all over-reacting just a little bit, and we're all being just a wee bit bratty.
To start off, he is correct when he says that videogames (and even videogame consoles, to a degree) are cheaper now than they've ever been. I remember paying $60 for Phantasy Star III on my Genesis...and that was 20 years ago. I couldn't afford Street Fighter II when it came out. My next-door neighbor got it for his birthday. It was a $75 cartridge.
There are problems with the industry, no doubt. It DOES feel cheap when you buy a brand-new game and the instant you pop it in, something is prompting you to spend $15 more on some extra maps or some extra weapons. That irks me, too. Personally, I'm a big fan of fighting games, and the modern fighting genre (Street Fighter, Soul Calibur, BlazBlue, etc) is by far one of the WORST when it comes to DLC and "Super" editions. It definitely ticks me off when I buy a new fighting game and three of the fighters are locked away behind a $3.99-each price tag.
But you know what? I wasn't lied to. It typically says on the back of the case how many fighters there are. If I really wanted to know, I could have looked it up online. Companies have always been faithful to let gamers know before launch if such-and-such character is going to be DLC. Sure, I do feel a bit taken advantage of, but whose fault is that?
Why is it my fault?
I'll tell you why, but you might hate the answer. It's my fault because I didn't have self control. Let's not be silly: videogames are 100% toys. They aren't essential for life. You don't HAVE to buy a videogame, let alone all the DLC for it. It's not like the price of gasoline going up, or the price of fresh produce, or something like that. Videogames are toys. They're fun, but they're not essential for life. We don't HAVE to buy them. We CHOOSE to buy them. And if we CHOOSE to spend money on a videogame that doesn't meet our expectations, well, we goofed up, didn't we? If it pisses us off and we scream "I'll never buy a game from you guys again" and then we turn around and buy the next game, well, we're hypocrites and cry-babies, aren't we? I haven't bought a CAPCOM game since Ultimate MvC3. I have no sympathy for people who buy CAPCOM games and then turn around and complain about the DLC. Are you kidding me? Where have you been for the last 5-or-so years. CAPCOM has been doing this for a while. It's your own fault that you couldn't say "no" to the game if it really bothers you so much.
I'm a huge fan of the Disgaea series. I've played Disgaea 1, then 2 on PS2, then Disgaea 1 and 2 again on PSP, then Disgaea 3 on PS3, then Disgaea 4, and now I'm playing through Disgaea 3 on Vita. All I'm trying to emphasize is that I - obviously - am a fan of the series. However, Disgaea is HORRIBLE when it comes to DLC. In order to buy all of the extras in Disgaea 3 for PS3, I would have to pay $49.99 for the Complete DLC Pack. And that's actually CHEAPER than it used to be when each individual item was sold for a few bucks each. So, you know what I did? I rented Disgaea 3 on PS3 to see if I liked it, and then I waited. I waited for years until it came out on PS Vita. Why? Because it came with all the PS3 DLC and a few extras. I rented Disgaea 4 before starting D3:Vita, and while I do like D4, I'm a bit sore about the $100+ worth of DLC that wasn't included with the price of the game. But you know what? I'll just wait until the eventual remake. Problem solved by the virtue of self-control. I didn't write any angry letters to Nippon Ichi. I didn't throw away the game in disgust. I simply am going to wait until later.
And this is what Cliffy B's blog is about. We don't HAVE to own all the content. If we could simply say "no", or perhaps just "I'll go ahead and wait", the problem would be solved one way or another. DLC-whoring would likely diminish, and we wouldn't feel so angry about DLC, anyway. We only get angry because we have this sense of entitlement that every single scrap of code made for the game should be included with the base price. How about the alternative: no extra content and bare-bones games. Besides, DLC is nothing new at all. It's just a faster, more accessible version of expansion packs from back in the day, and instead of paying $40+ for an expansion pack like we had to do for games like Starcraft or Wing Commander, you pay $2.99 for that one EXACT item you want without being forced to pay for anything else.
And as Cliffy B said, if you don't like it, don't buy it. If you don't want all the DLC characters for Marvel vs CAPCOM 3, well, don't buy them. It isn't as if CAPCOM promised you 40 characters in the base game but then only gave you 20, forcing you to pay for the rest. No! The extra characters are just that, extra. You're mad at CAPCOM for charging for...let's say...different "color packs" for your characters? Um, then don't buy it! How many colors does a fellow need, anyway? If it makes you angry that the content exists, well, then don't buy the game! Or, if you're clever, just have some self control and wait until CAPCOM (or whoever, depending on the game) releases an Ultimate Edition like they always do.
Cliffy B makes another very good point, a point that a lot of gamers are flaming him for. He says it's a double-standard that we should rag on EA but praise Valve. He's right. Valve is just as bad at DLC-whoring. Heck, one could argue that Valve is WORSE. They don't just DLC-whore. They mod-whore, by taking fan-made mods and turning them into full games, charging you for the "upgrade" in the process. Valve's library is full of such games.
I'm not advocating for a DLC-filled world. But there's another point he brings up that people forget: DLC keeps the game in a lot of people's library. It's true! Bethesda is incredibly good at this particular aspect of DLC. No way, José, are you going to trade in a Bethesda game when you know two, or three, or more 30-hour-sized DLC packs will be coming out within the next 18-24 months. No way are you going to trade in Halo, or Call of Duty, or Mass Effect when you know that new maps, new weapons, new character skins, and even new chapters are coming out in the near future. A DLC pack that I'm really excited about is the extra content for Dark Souls, Artorias of the Abyss. Granted, I haven't dropped the money yet to buy it, but I'm glad FROM Software took the time to expand a game that the fans obviously enjoy. And if the money from the DLC helps them make yet another Souls game? Heck yeah. If there's a market for DLC, why shouldn't companies make more content for the game?
Now, let me backpedal a little bit. It's easy to shout and complain when we're fans. That's because we're fans! We love videogames and we like it when we get to play really good ones. We don't like being tricked, and we don't like getting scammed. I'll admit that those feelings are going around, especially during this last console generation (The DLC Generation, it will one day be called). People don't like getting taken for a ride. However, we need to realize that if we showed a bit of self control, if we didn't insist on owning 100% of every scrap of content for a game, then perhaps we wouldn't get so upset when the DLC inevitably comes out. The videogame industry is an entertainment business. And DLC entertains a lot of people. If DLC was unprofitable, then companies wouldn't make it, so clearly it works. I would be happy if companies...hmmm, shall we say "adjusted" some of their practices with DLC (like, if you're going to obviously slice something out of a game, please at least TRY to trick us by releasing it in a few months instead of Day One), but as a whole, DLC is really nothing new, and we really shouldn't be so up-in-arms against it.