"Looking for trouble...."


CRank: 6Score: 96830

DA's input #3: DLC "Incomplete content and Engine improvements"? The moral issue...

If there's one thing I really hate about the gaming business is that there is always some sort of practice that would make the consumers feel that they're not getting their money's worth.

Back in the old days, when you bought a game -- that was IT, nothing more nothing less. But as the consoles are becoming more and more PC-like, trinkets in the form of "expansions" tend to give more value to the consumer.

Not that I hate DLC (as a matter of fact, I do LOVE it), just as long as I don't feel like I'm ripped off of my purchase worth. "Necessity" is the keyword here. When games are made, everything intended for the game MUST be included.

However, some companies believe that it's quite funny to remove content then add it to the game later and promote it as some sort of "new experience". Such... sadly in the case of Ubisofts 2 franchises: Prince of Persia (cel-shaded) and Assassin's creed 2.

For POP, the cliff-hanging ending warrants something of a sequel. Instead, Ubisoft decided to release the Epilogue to conclude said game. It really wasn't a very long game, and it certainly wasn't as "big" as I originally thought it would be, yet.... this kind of thing makes me really sick to the core. Coming up would be Assassin's Creed 2. Regardless of whether you play the game or not, it's no surprise that there are 2 full expansions for the game released months later.

Fortunately, not a lot of companies intend to do this... yet. But here's my take: if your game is HUGE, then use whatever space you need on the disc or use multiple discs to compensate for that.

Now, little did I thought that this whole fiasco would be taken to whole new level when Alan Wake was released. Apparently, Remedy decided to release DLC, not just to extend the game's value BUT to also to "upgrade" certain aspects of the engine. In this case, the game is touted to have very horrible lip-movements and said DLC is there to "clear it up". It is NOT a bug nor a glitch, just a designer flaw.

To clear up misunderstandings, this has nothing to do about bashing Alan Wake but rather to the practice Remedy has put forward. It's one thing to remove content of the game, but to add "finishing" touches after your game goes gold just proved that it failed deliver in it's entirety as a "product". If the engine needs improvements, do so in a sequel. That way, it the contrast would be better for comparisons.

Let's just hope other games, don't intend to slack off and follow Remedy's poor example of DLC usage. DLC is meant to extend the VALUE of the game and not an excuse to bring back incomplete aspects, more importantly engine flaws.

-End blog

Nike4955d ago

Nowadays, DLC seems to be the blanket term for anything that falls under extra content like missions, characters, levels; 'superficial' content like enabling a co-op mode already present on the game disc, skins, alternate costumes; and bug fixes or 'patches' meant to fix the game or clean up any errors. Companies like Remedy were predominantly PC-based. Alan Wake being their first title since May Payne 2, it's not odd to see their still in the PC mindset of releasing patches and fixes after the game's release.

And why not? It's great that they want to support or even not give up on their product enough to patch it. But charging for patches? Indeed developers should NOT slack off but when deadlines and publisher demands come to the forefront, they should make an effort to correct whatever glitches remain even after the game's releases. Asking gamers to pay for those fixes is simply wrong - how was the gamer to know your title was incomplete? Why should they pay for the extra man hours you put in, on your dime or the publisher's (even more so because MS has plenty of dime)?

I kinda disagree with your point that publishers should just use multiple discs (since the cost shoots up, especially if you consider the content to be just a gigabyte or 2 more), but I do advocate the point that if the amount of content is huge, hell, why not add on to it and make it into an expansion pack? (Like Throne of Bhaal for Baldur's Gate 2 and Awakenings for Dragon Age Origins) If Assassin's Creed 2's two episodes were left out of the game, but later packaged with, say, 4-5 more episodes and marketed as an expansion at a reduced price? Hell, you could avoid the ethical and financial squabbles of DLC altogether - at least in my opinion.

HenryFord4955d ago

"If Assassin's Creed 2's two episodes were left out of the game, but later packaged with, say, 4-5 more episodes and marketed as an expansion at a reduced price? Hell, you could avoid the ethical and financial squabbles of DLC altogether - at least in my opinion."

Nope, that wouldnt be okay either. ACII was intented to have 14 "Episodes", but then was released to the consoles with only 12 included - for 60$! (Not mentioning the pc-gamers: The got 14 episodes for 60$).
Afterwards the two episodes showed up eventually, but for 10$ (together). Ubisoft later released to the press that this behaviour was intented to reduce the pressure which was build up on the developers due to the release-date. Okay, reasons I can understand. What I cannot understand:
1. Why dont you push back the title entirely? You are releasing a unfinished product just for the matter of releasing. YOU DO NOT EVEN CARE about wether the game is complete or not.

2. Why do you charge the gamer for the additional sequences? You cannot go up the customer, saying him "Intentionally, you get this: * but youll pay this: $. But if you buy it, you will get this: *-x and youll pay this: $. You can wait a little bit, youll be able to purchase the rest in a short while. Btw. youll pay this: $+x.

This DLC-Shit brings the industry nowhere, and I really hope they'll see it. Raging about piracy but only releasing the dumbest shit you can imagine (AC II a pure single-player game without any multiplayer whatsoever needs constant internet connection? Fuck you, Ubi! I'm not falling for that) makes you a little bit double-faced: Do you really think those loses you are expiring are generated by the pirates? Look at your products, and oh: Look again.

DigitalAnalog4955d ago (Edited 4955d ago )

You bring interesting points to the table, however I should've stated some samples to support my argument. Games like FFXIII and Mass Effect 2 and the upcoming RAGE shows that games are going to need more and more space to live up to their vision.

As we have already learned from FFVII and the first usage of "multi-discs", the PS2 has followed up with a DVD that carries nearly 6 TIMES the capacity on a "single-layer" disc. And this is just after 1 generation, and since then, multi-discs on consoles were practically extinct until the 360. Do you not agree that the same case should even apply to this generation? LA Noire and Lost Planet devs point it out quite readily as well.

@HF: Yes, your points on ACII's DLC is very true. If 14 episodes are meant to be on the game, then I (as a consumer) expect 14 episodes to be playable. Any DLC after that would be extra content to add more variety to the already "completed" game for more value but not meant as an excuse to put the final pieces to the puzzle.

-End statement

Fierce Musashi4954d ago

I agree. We are paying enough for games, esp. big budget titles to not have the full game or full value of it.

Vortex3D4953d ago (Edited 4953d ago )

You forget Lost Planet 2. Even the game was in development, Capcom used the excuse of X360 DVD disc doesn't have enough space and removed some of the contents to be sold as DLC. They didn't want to say why they can't include all the contents on PS3 Blu-ray disc.

Lost Planet 2 DLC is already available immediately as the game came out.

It seems there are more games now have DLC on the same day as the game comes out.

The bottomline is too many gamers don't care spending additional $5 here, $10 there or $15 for DLC. They just want to get everything for the game and don't want to think the total cost of the games. Obviously if they do think ahead, they wouldn't feel as good because the actual game is more than $60.

So, game publishers see this as acceptable practical and will continue to move more original contents to DLC as a way to increase the actual game cost.

Another part of "free" DLC is used to promote excitement among the gamers. A few recent games are immediately promoted a "free" DLC is will be available shortly. Gamers get all excited as how generous of the game publisher. Those "free" DLC are often just small addons that the game publishers removed from the game and then give it as "free" for marketing to the ignorance gamers.

Another way to buy games with missing contents is wait for a few weeks after the game comes out. Why then, many reviews or gamer's comments about the game should have say something about certain contents looked missing from the game. If you still want to play the game, wait for a few months until the price dropped. By then, you didn't pay $60 for the game with missing contents. If you do want to buy the DLC for the missing contents, then you aren't paying more than $60 for a complete game. But this requires self control to be able to wait.

That is the only way to tell the game publishers that if you keep removing contents off the game, we are not going to pay full $60 for it. Somehow I don't think enough gamers will care what I said here.

mightydog14953d ago (Edited 4953d ago )

another thing gamers not grasping they keep rising the prices like cod 4 maps went for 4.99 then waw came out 7.99 and now mw2 10.99 see whats happening. if gamers keep falling for this then dont start crying when you can only buy half the games you useed to get or paying full price for half a game.......


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