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Will we ever see the end of "Definitive Editions" games?

So it seems like this generation "Definitive Editions" of games are going to be the next big thing. What is a "Definitive Edition" of a game? Judging from what has been released so far you can conclude that the so called definitive edition is one that includes the following:

1)A release on any of the modern generation of hardware including: Ps4, Xbox One, PC, or WiiU

2)Higher resolution, higher frame rate, better graphical qualities (including textures, higher poly counts on character models)

3)Use of better processing effects including anti aliasing, ambient occlusion, texture filtering, sometimes tessellation.

4)Possible inclusion of DLC to make it a glorified Game of the Year edition (not always guaranteed)

So all of this seems like a pretty good deal, doesn't it? Considering that some of your favorite games like Watch Dogs, or The Last of Us are being re-released for you to play again! But that's where the issue lies. They're being re-released within such a short time period, and being slapped with the title "DEFINITIVE EDITION" to make it seem like they are putting out these games as a sign of good faith towards the consumer. A practice that in my opinion is not at all consumer friendly.

The games that so far are the 'most guilty' of this practice include the following: Watch Dogs, Sleeping Dogs, Tomb Raider, The Last of US, Journey (we'll talk about why Journey and other similar games do it right later), Grand Theft Auto Five and the Metro Series. These games all fall into the category of having a definitive edition released that is harmful towards the consumer in some way. So let's discuss why exactly this is harmful to the consumer.

Many people's responses as to why Definitive Editions are fine is because of the users who made a jump from one camp to another. I recall this being mentioned by one of the developers as to their response regarding why their game was being re-released within such a short time period after its original release. But, that's great, right? People who may have made the jump from one console to another now get to experience that previous generations games! WRONG. Let's use the example of 360 owners who may have gone to Playstation 4 consoles solely this generation. Great, they get to experience whatever game may have re-released (in this case The Last of US). Why exactly couldn't they purchase a Playstation 3 to experience the game? I can see why this a great thing for Sony; they get the sale of a new console and the sale of one of their old games that they had to put in minimal effort into porting. And I guess you can say it's a good thing for them so they don't have to buy another console. What about the other games they they missed experiencing? What about Warhawk? What about Twisted Metal? What about Infamous 1 or 2? What justifies making a definitive edition for owners who jumped ship? The fact that they want to make some more money.And what of the Playstation 3 owners that purchased the Playstation 4? What about the ones that already owned The Last of Us? Suddenly it doesn't seem so nice does it. A game they already paid full price for being made better that they have to pay for again? You can maybe justify this by saying that they included some of the DLC with the package and made it 10 dollars cheaper than it was originally released for. That doesn't negate the fact that the product I just bought is now inferior and to experience the superior version I have to drop another 50 dollars. Possibly 400 if I don't own the Playstation 4. Tomb Raider/Sleeping Dogs/Watch Dogs all fall into this "screw the customer over" category I've just described. You bought these games on the last generation consoles? Well too bad, we just released better ones that you have to buy again. Also, with evidence pointing to Watch Dogs being purposely gimped on PC to push sales of a definitive edition by saying "hey, this one runs better, has more pedestrians, looks better" etc, it's evident that this is very anti consumer.

In this case, I consider Naughty Dog and Sony the worst offender on consoles because they outright lied regarding any sort of Definitive Edition. A quick google search can lead anyone to find an interview on CVG (Computer and Video games) with Eric Monacelli, Naughty Dog's community strategist as saying "We have no plans to do that" in response to questions regarding a Playstation 4 remaster regarding their popular title. Blatant lying just to make a few sales. If I were one of those people who went from 360 to PS4 I would not be inclined to purchase TLOU if the company behind it cannot even be truthful regarding their releases. ---- Rockstar/Grand Theft Auto 5 is also guilty of this with GTAV co writer quoted as as saying "Of course we're interested. But no, not in terms of GTA, because we're always working on the current game."Now look at where we are, TLOU released less than a year later for the Playstation 4, making Playstation 3 versions obviously inferior. Along with a GTAV release date being known coming out later this year, possibly January 2015. Does that lying truly sound like these companies care about their consumers? Sounds like it to me they lied to get as many sales as they could out of their "last generation" releases before they thought about releasing a better version. One could argue that it is an effective strategy to make a lot of money, which I would agree with. But that doesn't make bluntly lying right. It's a very unethical thing to do to squeeze some more milk out of the teet of the cow before sending her off to slaughter and bringing out the new fresh one.

But with something negative we must also cover the positives. The games that are being remade/remastered that are doing it right. The Master Chief Collection, Wind Waker, Journey, Shadow of Colossus HD, God of War Collection, and the Gundam Collection. All these examples spring to mind of re-releasing something for the consumer. Why do I think these examples are good?

1)They're not being re-released within the same year as the old version. Time is a key thing here. Would you be happy buying something and then being told an the exact same thing was being re-released months later, it was just better in every way? No, there has to be a significant amount of time in between the original release date and the re-release to justify purchasing it.

2)For the most part, they're collections. The Master Chief Collection contains 4 games plus the beta to Halo 4. God of War Collection has 2 games with better resolution and some better visuals. The Gundam collection has fan favorites from the Playstation 2 era, some released well over 10 years ago being remastered.

3)They're offered as free. In this case, the only example I can think of is Journey, which is doing what a remaster should be doing. Being re-released onto the Playstation 4. Free for owners of Journey on Playstation 3, but available for purchase by owners of Playstation 4.

4)They're something that fans actually want. Fans have been begging Square Enix for a remake of Final Fantasy 7. Something like that would warrant a re-release. The time is right, the demand is right. SOTC and ICO fall into this category of reasoning. It's something the fans wanted, and also enough time has passed to justify it without making other fans feel like they've been screwed by buying too early.

Personally, I think this definitive edition bs needs to stop. As a consumer, I now fear purchasing a game, simply because I fear that it may be rendered completely inferior to something that may be released a few months down the line. If we take this example into the real world, imagine buying a car. The company tells you they have included everything they wanted to with that car and they have no intentions of doing anything else with it, so you buy it. Four months later, and they just announced they've given it a better engine, put in heated interior and upgraded the radio head for everyone. I don't know about you, but I'd be pissed. And this logic I've applied to definitive editions of video games. Some of which I may have described above may not be definitive but remasters; which I have given enough justification for. Hopefully, we'll see sooner rather than later, the end of Definitive Editions. Otherwise these corporations will keep lying, and they'll keep attempting to bleed dry the last generation of consoles.

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CerealKiller1622d ago (Edited 1622d ago )

You make it sound like consumers are completely obligated to buy every new release and that the companies are taking the money right out of everyone's wallets. This is not the case, no one has to buy the game if they don't want to, whether it is at launch or the remastered edition. Also you act like people who switched from one console brand to another should not have the right or opportunity to play the games that they missed. FYI every product in existence was put out to make money, whether it is video games, cars, or pharmaceuticals. These practices are not harmful to the consumer at all, it is giving them the OPTION to buy the game, one that they might not have had or passed up before. Also you can't basically say that The Last of Us and GTA V were held back so that they can be improved upon in a re-release, those games were just about as good as you can get on last gen. Things get improved upon all the time as technology improves, whether it is video games, computers, cell phones, cars, TV's, etc.

xHeavYx1621d ago Show
thorstein1621d ago

Absolutely.

I would love to see Battlefield Bad Company 2 remastered. Why not? I bet many people would play the hell out of it.

HammadTheBeast1621d ago

But why not have Bad Company 3 instead?

The real issue is full price for the same game. Aside from doing technical work, the foundation, gameplay, and thinking behind the game has already been done.

There is no reason for it to be more than half the price it was initially sold at.

DragonKnight1622d ago

As you've seen with the comment above, as long as people have absolutely zero standards and are absolutely irresponsible with their money, definitive editions will never end.

Apparently, people like buying the same game twice for some very marginal upgrades. They have more money than sense or standards. Also apparently, we shouldn't ask developers to actually put real effort into making their games so definitive versions aren't necessary.

The answer to your question is no.

xHeavYx1621d ago

Normally I agree with you, but that comment of yours makes no sense. I mean, people have to have zero standards and be irresponsible with money in order to buy a definitive edition?
Who are you to judge what other people do with their money? And who are you to label people for what they do with their money?
Here is a solution that will bring peace to everyone. Do you like definitive editions? Go and buy them, do you not like them? Don't buy them

DragonKnight1621d ago

Of course they have zero standards and are irresponsible with their money, that's not a judgment that's common sense.

A leads to B which leads to C which will be complained about eventually by everyone.

A is the removal of any kind of backwards compatibility. Though I agree that the focus of any new generation console should be new generation games and that I personally don't sell older consoles to buy newer ones, the removal of B.C. is a problem, especially in instances like the beginning of this gen when the game offerings from major studios have been sparse.

B is the capitalization/exploitation of the instant gratification generation and the knowledge that dangling a carrot (the prospect of B.C.) on a stick (the existence of "definitive editions"), even when the only difference is the carrot was shaved and the stick was polished, leads to millions of dollars in resold product.

C is the application of this knowledge in any number of areas that lead to the idea that publishers can dangle any kind of carrot on any kind of stick in front of people and get away with it thanks to the "you don't have to ____" apathetic, nonsensical attitude. This can be seen in the "you don't have to pre-order" attitude that has allowed publishers and retailers to lock off content specifically for pre-order only. Also seen in "you don't have to buy DLC" which has allowed developers to lock out content on disc to be sold to you later despite paying full price for the game. Also seen in "you don't have to buy season passes" which gave rise to the attitude of paying for DLC before even knowing what the DLC is going to be.

The aforementioned examples have all been criticized and complained about heavily by games media and gamers at large. They exist because of the "you don't have to..." mentality that supports spending money irresponsibly. Now, Definitive Editions take multiple examples and group them together into one game. The result is that one with any sense should be aware that the Definitive Edition shouldn't exist because what you get with it is what you should have received the very first time you bought the game.

Definitive Editions wouldn't exist if we hadn't allowed B.S. like pre-order bonuses, on-disc DLC, and other such bad ideas to propagate in the industry.

So people who support definitive editions are sending the message that publishers can do whatever they want to, they can lock off content, give us unfinished games, whatever they want. Why? Because gamers don't stay upset about something for very long. All it takes is a new carrot on a new stick and we'll forget about why we were upset in the first place. Don't like on-disc paid DLC? No problem, this definitive edition of a year old game has the actual completed game and we're letting you finally play a complete game for the low price of $50 after you already paid $60 to play an incomplete game. Aren't we just great to do that for you?

Too many people think in such narrow black and white ways, then complain when the grey shows up as though it wasn't right in front of them the whole time.

bunfighterii1622d ago

This 'definitive' edition shit annoys me. Basically nowadays we pay $60 for two thirds of a game, and another $60-100 for the last third, they then release it the entire package a year later for $40, which should gave been released in the first place.

BillytheBarbarian1620d ago

This is exactly why I'm not buying into ps4 or Xbox one. Too much of the game is available online making physical media irrelevant. It's all warming people up to going full digital. When Ps5 comes along there won't be a disc drive. It will all stream off servers. You'll own nothing and still pay out the ass.

Then they make sure there's no backwards compatibility so you can buy all your old titles again. It's all going downhill.

Volkama1621d ago (Edited 1621d ago )

I have my fingers crossed for a Ninetynine Nights Definitive Edition. That will be the point that we have formally seen every 'gen 7' game re-released, and perhaps we can finally move on. To the 2nd round of gen 7 re-releases.

"Sleeping Dogs: Genuinely the actual definitive version"?
"The Last of Us: Last Round"?? Hmmm I can't even guess what name they would come up with for the extra extra extra version of DOA5 :|

Christopher1621d ago

While I don't like money being spent on remasters and would rather see that money put towards new IPs or sequels to existing IPs, I wanted to comment on one item the author made.

"Personally, I think this definitive edition bs needs to stop. As a consumer, I now fear purchasing a game, simply because I fear that it may be rendered completely inferior to something that may be released a few months down the line."

That's a bit unreasonable of a statement to make.

Any game you buy now on the PS4/XBO isn't going to see any improvements months down the road. And, any game you buy now on the PS3/360 are capable of being ported to the PS4/XBO. I mean, this is just common in general for games that are exclusive to consoles and then get PC ports a while down the road, let alone games previously planned for one generation release when another generation of consoles comes along. These aren't remasters, but just ports. Those are common.

I want to make sure we're not mislabeling a port as a remaster. Even if the idiotic PR machine chooses to label it that way.

An example I think we'll see is the upcoming Borderlands: The Pre-quel game. Currently only getting a release on PC/360/PS3. A game I'm not buying because I'm fairly certain it will make its way to XBO/PS4. But, when it does come out, I'm not going to think that the people who buy the game are just rebuying the same game. I'm thinking that many of the people who own a PS4/XBO now probably don't even touch their old consoles anymore and will buy games they haven't played on them for their new consoles.

tl;dr I don't think it's fair to cite all purchases as supporting remasters during a console transition phase considering most people don't use their old consoles when they get a new one.

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