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Are Game Consoles Ruining DLC?

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the download-the-rest-of-this-summary-for-five-bucks dept.

PlayStation (Games) 399

A round-table discussion at Gametopius looks into the state of downloadable content for games as it has evolved over the past several years, going from an occasional, welcome supplement to being a common marketing strategy for most of the industry, frequently causing irritation over pricing and availability. "All of the map packs so far released for the Call of Duty games have been $10 each to download on consoles through closed networks, while PC gamers could download those same packs for free off of FileShack or somewhere else. Valve's own Team Fortress 2 has received a significant amount of DLC that's been completely free on the PC. Xbox owners of the same game, however, have only received perhaps half of that content, and they have had to pay for it in $5 packs. Why is this? The idea of this kind of content delivery was scarcely heard of on consoles, so console gamers see no reason not to pay for it. But on the PC, these amounts of content are usually just considered parts of patches. Furthermore, why pay for a few extra maps and costumes when modders are making and offering new ones for free all the time?"

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Different Audiences? (5, Insightful)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 5 years ago | (#29084553)

I'd attribute this to a difference in intended audiences between consoles and the PC. Consoles tend to go for the lowest common denominator, whereas PCs have this remarkable ability to get everyone on board for something or other. Consoles have a proprietary system for publishing games, whereas with PCs you can go the normal route of publishing hard copies, or a paid digital distribution, or a free one. Consoles can only connect to one service, that of the console maker's choosing. PCs can do anything you can really imagine doing with electronics. Console users pay for a console, pay for each game, and have this "drop in the DVD and play" interface, whereas on a computer you have a much more complex, full featured one. Consoles are largely locked into what they are when they're produced; PC's are ever-changing, expandable, upgradeable, extensible, versatile machines. Consoles are a toy; PCs are a tool. Is it really a surprise that consoles pay for shit that PC users don't?

Re:Different Audiences? (3, Insightful)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 5 years ago | (#29084753)

Also TF2 on the PC is delivered by Valve itself through Steam, but on the xbox it's delivered through Microsoft. On the PC you downloaded the whole game in the first place and by running Steam you expect to automatically receive updates, but on the xbox you only buy a disk, and Microsoft can say "if you want extras you have to pay".

I don't even understand why people would buy TF2 on a console anyway. Updates are such a mess compared with Steam (and you have to pay extra), you have to play on a controller (useless for first-person shooters), and the community is small. Also you can't use the huge base of custom maps and skins and custom sounds and custom models that the community has built. And you play in some pathetic TV resolution, subpar even in HD. I don't have any sympathy.

Your argument makes no sense. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29084759)

Even if I accepted that PCs are tools and consoles are toys, why would that make it obvious that PC users don't pay for extra content while console users do? People pay for all sorts of tools and toys.

Re:Your argument makes no sense. (0, Flamebait)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#29084957)

And when you play a game on a pc, you're using a tool as a toy. You could even argue that something like "WiiFit" is using a toy as a tool.

I think that, primarily, the difference is convenience. I love the PC, but playing games on it is never hassle-free. You're never certain ANYTHING will work until you actually try it. You never know when a random update or new installation will break something else. Part of a console's convenience is the idea of living in a gated community. It's sometimes very nice (things actually work!), sometimes very irritating ($5 for new textures).

Most of my gaming is done on the console, mainly because of convenience. I'll reserve my PC gaming for small independent games, and games with significant modding communities... the PC's two strong points. Ok, and emulation. And abandonware. The PC's four strong points.

Re:Your argument makes no sense. (1)

sammyF70 (1154563) | more than 5 years ago | (#29085059)

I completely agree with those four points : Small independent games, modding communities, Emulations, Abandonware and better graphics/performance after a short while. Wait... that's five points ...

Re:Your argument makes no sense. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29085107)

Amongst its strong points are such diverse elements as: small indie gamges, modding communities, emulation, abandonware, better performance and nice fancy cases. Oh forget it, I'll come in again.

Re:Your argument makes no sense. (2, Insightful)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 5 years ago | (#29085265)

I'd rather have the convenience of choosing any control setup, with any controllers, than have the convenience of plug-and-play. 5 minutes of setup for a better 20-hour experience is worth it.

Re:Your argument makes no sense. (1)

Pyrion (525584) | more than 5 years ago | (#29085145)

Because you're locked into only being able to use content that the console dev specifically wants you to have access to, meaning they make the rules, and if they want you to pay for DLC, then you have to pay for DLC. It could be the same with the PC (after all, Fallout 3 DLC also comes from Microsoft through GFWL) but that doesn't necessarily mean it has to be the same.

If you don't like having to pay for DLC, then bitch to Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo. They're the ones making you pay for it. Don't whine about PC users not getting similarly screwed, because Valve and company control their own destinies on this platform and they're reaping the benefits of not being complete douchebags about it.

Re:Different Audiences? (1)

Zalbik (308903) | more than 5 years ago | (#29084803)

So basically your argument is:

Here are a bunch of reasons why I prefer PC's over consoles.
Therefore, publishers release the same items for free to PC's that they charge for consoles.

Your logic doesn't make any sense. The relative power / lack of power of each platform has nothing to do with the publishers financial decision to charge on one platform vs. the other.

My guess is the reasons are more likely one of the following:
1) If we charge on the PC, it's likely just gonna get pirated anyways, so lets not bother
2) The PC has a declining audience for games, let's do what we can to keep the last members of that audience interested.
3) Because historically, these types of things have been free on PC's and there will be a lot of resentment if we suddenly start charging for them. The largest demographic of console owners were NOT previously PC gamers, so they won't miss what they never had.

Re:Different Audiences? (2, Informative)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 5 years ago | (#29084889)

The relative power / lack of power of each platform has nothing to do with the publishers financial decision to charge on one platform vs. the other

Yes it does. The PC is an open platform. You can do whatever you want. The console is locked down tight and you can only get content by paying Microsoft.

Re:Different Audiences? (2, Insightful)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 5 years ago | (#29084943)

Yes it does. The PC is an open platform. You can do whatever you want. The console is locked down tight and you can only get content by paying Microsoft.

That in itself would be the main reason I would never own a console these days. While I did have one back in the early days of NES before the cube, that's all cartridges. The problem is, you're paying for the same content that some are getting for free under the 'pass, clean, and then go' label.

While I realize that not all kids of today are the main console players, this form of stuff is just setting people up for the next generation of micropayments. It's not like it hasn't been tried with other stuff, eventually one of two things will happen. People will get pissed off over the lack of content, and start moving back to the PC en-mass, after all cheap gaming rigs can be made for sub $500 these days. Or, they'll try to nail PC users the same, in which case I'll hazard that PC users for the most part will go. Ho-Hum and ignore it like usual, because alot of us are crotchety, cranky, old asses who like our money.

Re:Different Audiences? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#29085057)

after all cheap gaming rigs can be made for sub $500 these days.

But how many "cheap gaming rigs" do you need when there's more than one gamer in the house? With a console, you just need to buy $150 or so worth of extra controllers for players 2, 3, and 4, but most PC games act like PSP games: they require each player to be using a separate PC and a separate copy of each game.

Re:Different Audiences? (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 5 years ago | (#29085069)

Yeah, PC users most likely wouldn't stand for that crap. At least not nearly as many as console users. If nothing else, PC users can get free games all over the place. Consolers don't really have that option at all (with a bare console. I know mod chips exist. but that takes a bit of skill.).

Re:Different Audiences? (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 5 years ago | (#29085037)

Half of it. Combined with the fact that there's totally different audiences because of the differences in the platform, there will be a difference in the pay model. The people who use PCs to play games tend to be older, they tend to have the large amount of experience with free upgrades and mods, they tend to know that $10 is way overpriced for 3 maps and wouldn't pay even if the option was left open. Console players tend not to be as well versed as PC gamers in anything relating to electronics. For all they know, it takes a team of 50 people a month to make a map. They might not have ever even played a game on a computer other than solitaire, in which case they don't know about the free upgrades we've always gotten. They might not even own a computer. They probably don't use Windows Update manually even if they do. My first two sentences were there to highlight the difference in the audience; the specifics of consoles vs. PCs are there to show how they target different audiences. I hope this clarification helped you out.

Stunning. (1, Flamebait)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | more than 5 years ago | (#29085371)

, they tend to know that $10 is way overpriced for 3 maps

What should a map cost? Do you know how long it takes to make a good one? One sunny afternoon I bet, right? Jesus.

The reason they are free on PC's is because preventing piracy would be nearly impossible. This is why for the most part, you only have free third party content, done by hobbyists.

For all they know, it takes a team of 50 people a month to make a map.

WOW, that is what it would take for you to pay $10? 50 people working for a month, and you'd pay a measly $10. So what, you get to decide where the publisher's break even point is now? You decide how many units must be shipped before someone is allowed to make a profit? What the fuck makes you feel so privileged?

We pay a dollar for a few cents worth of soda, but paying $10 for something that took a handful of designers a few months is outrageous, it should be free?

. They might not have ever even played a game on a computer other than solitaire,

So you belittle people who use consoles, and feel entitled to free content for PC games.. just because.

Console players tend not to be as well versed as PC gamers in anything relating to electronics.

You know jack shit about designing game content. Mind explaining how that's related to electronics? No, don't, you're fucking retarded and you don't have an explanation.

Where do people like you come from? Have you had a lobotomy?

Re:Different Audiences? (1)

Alarash (746254) | more than 5 years ago | (#29085223)

I attribute this to Microsoft's policy of not giving any DLC for free. As simple as that.

Re:Different Audiences? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29085235)

The parent is on the mark in some places, but it comes off that he is pretty squarely on the side of PC of the epic PC vs Console gamming debate.

With regard to one of his comments:

Console users pay for a console, pay for each game, and have this "drop in the DVD and play" interface

Whereas PC gamers pay for the PC, should pay for each game, and generally have a similar interface. Even with the rise of steam, console gamers have a similar interface.

It should also be noted that some of the "weaknesses" in consoles indicated above are actually strengths for the platform, such as the hardware consistency. Less time testing your application, more effort can be put into maximizing the output.

All the same, with regards to the extra cost, I think it's pretty clear: hosting costs, 1st party verification (by Sony, Microsoft, or Nintendo), and similar costs that do not exist (or are controllable) on the PC. That's really the only difference here, and one of the PC's major virtues (cost per game generally lower).

PC = No certification by a 3rd party (3, Informative)

Coopjust (872796) | more than 5 years ago | (#29084585)

Whenever Valve or any other company wants to release DLC on the Xbox 360 or PS3, they have to pay either Microsoft or Sony to certify the content. They charge gamers to make up for the cost of this certification.

Of course, the fact that gamers will pay for downloadable content on consoles is certainly a good reason by itself...

Re:PC = No certification by a 3rd party (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29084845)

And so the pendulum is affected by an opposite force and slows down until it starts swinging back. Thin client vs. PC. Central control vs. distributed control. Convenience vs. freedom. AOL vs. the Internet. Secure walled garden vs. diverse wilderness.

Re:PC = No certification by a 3rd party (2, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#29084869)

Whenever Valve or any other company wants to release DLC on the Xbox 360 or PS3, they have to pay either Microsoft or Sony to certify the content. They charge gamers to make up for the cost of this certification.

How much do you think MS charges to certify a map pack? Its not going to be 10s of thousands. If they just wanted to make up for the cost certification, they could charge 50 cents and still turn a profit. (Of course, charging 50 cents ends up costing 25 cents in transaction fees, so make it 75 cents...)

Of course, the fact that gamers will pay for downloadable content on consoles is certainly a good reason by itself...

This. They can, so they do. The price is set based on what people will pay, not on what it cost. (If it cost more than people would pay, they wouldn't do it, but the set price really has very little to do directly with the cost, beyond determining whether its worth doing in the first place. Business 101.)

Re:PC = No certification by a 3rd party (1)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 5 years ago | (#29085255)

If they just wanted to make up for the cost certification, they could charge 50 cents and still turn a profit. (Of course, charging 50 cents ends up costing 25 cents in transaction fees, so make it 75 cents...)

There are piles of other costs involved too, like operations, promotions DRM, bandwidth, etc.

The price is set based on what people will pay, not on what it cost.

So after all you understand it.

In the end it boils down to cost models.

Consoles are like TV and games are like movies and TV shows. And priced like-wise - so the attendance fee would make you feel privileged. (What I strongly believe is the source of the console gaming "hardcore elitism" syndrom.)

PCs are like ... PCs. With arrival of internet, establishment of solid gaming communities, many game companies found themselves competing against their own users. On PCs, you would find variety of business models. Not only game companies compete against each other - but also business models compete against each other. Existence of Stream and Impulse (and by now countless other DD stores) is the best evidence of that.

Consequently, PC content has to be priced more competitively than that of consoles. Often, considering competing distribution channels, modding communities and piracy - it's simpler to give it away for free and try to monetize the give away, (rather than charging for it up front).

On consoles the competition induced problem of PC market simply doesn't exist. That's why publishers charge pretty much anything they want. And how they way. That's why many 6+ month old PC game might be considered old and found in discount bin for $10, while most console games after two years might be found on the shelves with the same price as at the release.

Discounts, Minimal or Bulk Incentives, Refunds... (1)

Xin Jing (1587107) | more than 5 years ago | (#29084885)

If the console manufaturer charges the dev and they pass that cost on to the consumer to recoup the cost, I suggest the dev take responsibility for the cost. Include a discount to promote future purchases and maintain loyalty. As I said elsewhere ("Console Bill Of Rights") the consumer is pretty much stuck after the purshase of the unit. It's not like they can use another service if they disagree with the status quo. Gamers need a special interest group to weigh in for them and insist on balanced service. If the system works by purchasing points and spending them through the MS or Sony storefront, your options are already limited. Why not include more tiered pricing for minimal and bulk bonus content and essential patch downloads. Include a refund option that returns points to the gamer within a deadline after purchase.

Re:PC = No certification by a 3rd party (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 5 years ago | (#29085015)

I wonder what will happen when the XBOX 360 and PS3 are end-of-life and the servers get turned off. It could be a major turning point when people realise that all the DLC that they "bought" no longer works and all the achievements they racked up disappear. It's happened before, but never on anything like the scale it's going to in a few years time.

At least with some PC DLC you get an executable that you can backup and will work forever. I wanted the the new Monkey Island re-make, but it only seems to be available on Steam. I can play the original game I bought ~20 years ago, but will Steam be around so I can play the new one in 20 years?

Re:PC = No certification by a 3rd party (1)

Vancorps (746090) | more than 5 years ago | (#29085275)

Why would the servers get turned off? I doubt Microsoft or Sony are going anywhere anytime soon. In the age where everything can just be a VM there's no reason to shut off servers entirely. When you upgrade to your new hardware you just migrate to the VM and then it's just a file on a SAN somewhere. Unless Microsoft or Sony go out of business this will be perpetual as the costs of maintaining are practically negligible. If the product is EOL then there is likely to be far less demand on the servers so you just keep it in a VM for availability of the remaining few who still play.

Re:PC = No certification by a 3rd party (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29085083)

Whenever Valve or any other company wants to release DLC on the Xbox 360 or PS3, they have to pay either Microsoft or Sony to certify the content. They charge gamers to make up for the cost of this certification.

Of course, the fact that gamers will pay for downloadable content on consoles is certainly a good reason by itself...

Ineed. The main reason is just what you said, Microsoft wont allow free DLC on their system. Also because console players will pay for DLC, a PC gamer would not (the majority)

Look back at CoD1 (PC only.) Bocage, Neuville and Stalingrad were added along with the patches. Why? Back then the companies cared about their PC gamers. Now in CoDWaW- they're on their 3rd map pack. Why?

If 1 million people buy the 10 dollar map pack, thats 10 million dollars! As much as I hate developers for doing payed for DLC, I can see why they do it, the console players will buy it.

I think the reason they hadnt had the PC players pay for the DLC in CoD yet is because they know the PC gamers will never go for it. The PC gamers know its just a BS move to get quick cash.

Re:PC = No certification by a 3rd party (1)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | more than 5 years ago | (#29085171)

I only object to the cost being prohibitive (for an add-on) or if the game is somehow missing something that becomes DLC later in the cycle to milk the franchise. (Add on missions are fine, but there's a limit to add-ons before they become something akin to "stuff we should've included at launch.")

DLC is going to become the new "DRM" to thwart the First Sale Doctrine. That is the direction _I_ don't want it to go. Dragon Age is going to have some free DLC if you buy the game new, but it'll cost $15 for those who buy used. No one has really said it out loud, but it'll only take a few bold moves by the EA sized conglomerates to make that DLC "essential", making the game useless without the one-time-only DLC. I wouldn't put it past them to try, and that is what makes DLC the potential crapfest it can become. We've come a long way since horse armor. :) Speaking of Oblivion, Shivering Isles was a perfect example of DLC that can be great but not essential to enjoying the game. (Not to mention the Game of the Year edition included it all, I think, after a while as DLC.) Shivering Isles gave some great new gameplay in an entirely new world, and it wasn't like Fable 2's short-short "Knothole Island" DLC.

Simple answer (3, Insightful)

ledow (319597) | more than 5 years ago | (#29084587)

Simple. Stop paying for it.

If people pay money for something, that's because they think it's worth that money (eBay syndrome). If you get "more" for free on the PC, use a PC.

Include A Refund Disclaimer... (4, Insightful)

Xin Jing (1587107) | more than 5 years ago | (#29084779)

I think the console manufacturer should take it one step further. Not only should it be disclosed that "your online game experience may vary" but they should also mention on the outside of the console package that "additional downloadable game content may incur a cost" and consider including a way to uninstall it for a full or partial refund.

Re:Include A Refund Disclaimer... (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#29084867)

they should also mention on the outside of the console package that "additional downloadable game content may incur a cost"

Nintendo already does this on Wii games: "Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection Pay & Play".

PC vs Consoles (5, Funny)

superphysics (1619033) | more than 5 years ago | (#29084595)

Take that, you console-owning-PC-haters! :>

Re:PC vs Consoles (1)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 5 years ago | (#29085339)

console-owning-PC-haters

For whatever reason I recalled my mother who hates soap operas deeply, yet watches them every night.

Console gamers would always hate PC gamers - simply because we get more out of our games than their could ever hope for.

It could be compared to incompatibility between people who watch soap operas and people who'd rather go out for a walk.

Why should I pay for upgrades and patches? (0)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#29084621)

Not only do I not understand the reasoning behind paying for upgrades, bugfixes, and patches, in this day and age of instantaneous distribution, I don't see why I should have to pay the same price for a game that I download over the internet vs one that comes on a DVD. Once the game publisher has recouped the cost of development and marketing, every penny after that is pure profit which, given today's copyright laws, means that these leeches will continue to profit of the backs of gamers for decades.

Since I am downloading the game, why shouldn't I get a discounted price? And if the game has already recouped costs, why shouldn't game companies be forced to lower the price subsequently? The value of the game at some point must reach zero, and I should at that point be allowed to download it for free.

As consoles become more PC-like, they too will need to re-evaluate the payment schemes for these bugfixes. And once the floodgates are opened, gamers will demand software freedom for the entire games, not just the patches and upgrades.

Re:Why should I pay for upgrades and patches? (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 5 years ago | (#29084645)

Lowering the price based on the number sold isn't a good idea. That essentially caps what a game company can make off of a given game.

Oh, and your 15 cent discount will go far. Use it well.

Re:Why should I pay for upgrades and patches? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29084799)

For the record, the game mentioned in the article is 66% off this weekend, and it's extremely cheap any other time. Is that what you meant by discount?

Re:Why should I pay for upgrades and patches? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29084825)

You do realize that there are many different things done with revenue, right? For example when you mention the "costs" that are being recouped - sure, these are things like payroll, office space, artwork, media licenses, heating and cooling, etc. Then there is marketing. You also expect people to be able to create a new game later or keep producing these patches and updates. That also takes more payroll. The next game must be funded, and existing companies are going to fund initially from the profit stream on their current sellers. You don't think that each time a game is developed a new company forms, gets venture capital, produces a game and then folds up shop do you? The value of the game can't reach zero until such time as it is no longer getting updates and fixes and no longer getting any marketing effort. At that point it could indeed reach near zero assuming the downloads aren't using any bandwidth that the company has to pay for.

Re:Why should I pay for upgrades and patches? (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 5 years ago | (#29084887)

Every game I've played with DLC has had incremental bug fixes free. I'm pretty sure I'd take up pitchforks to any game dev that wanted cash to fix bugs they made.

Re:Why should I pay for upgrades and patches? (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 5 years ago | (#29085011)

You do get a discounted price, in the form of added value. Since we're on the topic of Steam, let's talk about that. Yes for the same price you can get the game on disk, but with the disk version do you get free updates forever? This is non-trivial; a huge part of the TF2 experience is the regular patches adding new content and tweaking the game. Check out the release notes [steampowered.com] for just Thursday's update. This isn't even a class update! Also you can leverage your

in this day and age of instantaneous distribution, I don't see why I should have to pay the same price

to download your games anywhere you want, as many times as you want, without carrying around a library of DVDs with you. You get further value added through community features too that you typically don't get from just buying a disk. Steam community lets you IM your Steam friends, see what game they're playing, join them on that server, join groups with similar interests, join group chat, see what your group-members are playing and join them, see gameplay stats for friends and groupmates.. and you can get screen-corner notifications if you want for a friend joining a game, or a group announcement, or a friend request.. and not only from the Steam application but also from the steam overlay app which can be brought up over any game.. these features cost money to maintain, and you get them for free.

Re:Why should I pay for upgrades and patches? (1)

gid (5195) | more than 5 years ago | (#29085039)

Since I am downloading the game, why shouldn't I get a discounted price?

Not only do they not offer a discounted price for buying online, Valve traditionally charges more--see L4D, and pretty much any other game offered on Steam. Although after a period of time there's usually sales for the online store, but I'm pretty sure there's sales in real stores as well. Supposedly this is to make places like EB and Best Buy happy, so Valve doesn't seem to be directly competing against the retailers.

Re:Why should I pay for upgrades and patches? (1)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 5 years ago | (#29085139)

There is no "should" or "shouldn't". There's what gamers will pay for and what they won't. And gamers haven't shown a lot collective intelligence in demanding anything.

Just think about it for a second. Duh.... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29084623)

That's what you get when you buy a console, or console games.

Think about it. The console is a much better business proposal for a company. Stable platform to develop against, and it's locked down so the can charge for all the extra stuff you would get on a PC for free. If you make the mistake of stepping into their preferred market (i.e. consoles) you get what you asked for. Whether or not you thought about it in advance (or at all) is your problem. Learn to think like a big corporation and you will no longer be surprised or disappointed by them.

Re:Just think about it for a second. Duh.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29084655)

I fucked your mother in the asshole. First I fucked her in the pussy to get some high-quality natural lubrication, then when my cock was all slick with her pussy juices I stuck it up her bunghole and made sweet love to her. I gave her a creampie in the asshole. She likes that sort of thing.

Announcing DLC before game release (5, Insightful)

douglasdoughty (1611343) | more than 5 years ago | (#29084633)

What really aggravates me is when game studios/publishers for consoles announce that DLC is going to be available and when it is coming out before the game is ever released! C'mon, guys -- don't rape us and force us to watch. Include the content in the game rather than releasing it later. Or, better yet, let us delete maps/non-needed extras from our game to trade out for other DLC.

Re:Announcing DLC before game release (1)

faffod (905810) | more than 5 years ago | (#29084783)

DLC doesn't just happen. The dev team needs to stay on the project and work on it. If instead, that content was built into the game, then the game would have to ship later. So the choices are:
1) push the ship date out (that won't be popular)
2) put more content in, with less overall quality (that won't be popular)
3) put the time to develop the content, test it, certify it and give it away for free (that isn't going to happen)
4) Ship the game and make DLC available to those who want to purchase it.
I see choice 4 as being the reasonable and sane one. This isn't raping you, if you don't like it don't buy the DLC, if you really don't like it don't buy the game. If you think that the hand holding that a console gives you isn't worth the lock in, buy the PC version.

Re:Announcing DLC before game release (4, Insightful)

TuaAmin13 (1359435) | more than 5 years ago | (#29084987)

Unlock DLC irks me. You pay for what's on the disk, just a few dollars to unlock it.

Implications (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#29084791)

Include the content in the game rather than releasing it later.

Are you implying that publishers should delay releasing the game until all the DLC is finished? Are you further implying that publishers of music games like Rock Band, which depend on underlying works licensed from third parties, should increase the retail price of their products to cover the royalty payments?

Re:Implications (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29085111)

Include the content in the game rather than releasing it later.

Are you implying that publishers should delay releasing the game until all the DLC is finished? Are you further implying that publishers of music games like Rock Band, which depend on underlying works licensed from third parties, should increase the retail price of their products to cover the royalty payments?

I think he was implying that the makers should stop stripping stuff out of the main game right before it ships just to charge people more for it later, as was the case in Gears of War 2.

Left 4 Dead (1, Redundant)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | more than 5 years ago | (#29084635)

Some people speculate that console DLC madness is the reason Left 4 Dead 2 is being released as a new game instead of as DLC for the original.

Re:Left 4 Dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29084817)

Trolling - you're doing it wrong.

You need to at least have a snarky link handy for your "Some people" words and maybe some story about some people overcharging about a map pack for some game nobody cares about as the "DLC madness" link.

-1 Overrated for lack of effort.

Closed vs Open (5, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 5 years ago | (#29084641)

Consoles are a closed system where the owners have little choice about where they get content (sure, you can hack the firmware, but only a small fraction of owners will), PCs are an open system where owners can get content from all over. It's hardly surprising that users of closed systems get screwed.

This is why every tech company wants to own a closed system.

Re:Closed vs Open (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29084797)

But on the upside; by their very nature, closed systems suffer less piracy - which is translated into cheaper games for the consumer, since the developers suffer reduced losses on these platforms.
For example, upcoming Wolfenstein is a reasonable £37.96 to pre-order from Amazon UK for the Xbox 360 and PS3, but a whopping £24.96 on piracy-rampant PC.
Upcoming Call of Duty - Modern Warfare II is an outrageous £34.99 on PC, but good value £44.96 on Xbox 360 and PS3.
Ermm...

Re:Closed vs Open (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29085347)

>> But on the upside; by their very nature, closed systems suffer less piracy - which is translated into cheaper games for the consumer

Thats BS and you know it. Devs will charge what they think that they can get away with.

Console Gaming Bill Of Rights... (1)

Xin Jing (1587107) | more than 5 years ago | (#29084675)

Perhaps it's time for a "bill of rights" supported by a special interest group to advocate what is fair and what isn't. Gaming has become a multi billion dollar market and has repeated the same content distribution mistakes as other types of media. When you buy into a console market, you are essentially committing all of your loyalty at once, with the expectation of fractional returns in service and quality over time. Everything that goes on that platform passes through the approval process of the console manufacturer, opening the opportunity to be nickle and dimed. With a PC, if a pub or dev doesn't take care of you by charging accordingly for product support or add-ons, there are alternatives that don't invalidate the hardware.

Re:Console Gaming Bill Of Rights... (2, Insightful)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 5 years ago | (#29084941)

This has nothing to do with rights. When you buy a console, you're buying a particular type of premium platform: streamlined game delivery, dedicated controller, etc. It's no different than people who buy Apple products paying for common bits of software (or more for hardware) that PC users get for free because of the much larger market with far poorer quality control.

Quality control is one of the biggest advantages of console gaming, and it's long been a complaint of PC gamers that their versions of games are buggy because the studios don't put the QA time into them because they can always release patches, while console games have to be relatively bug free on first release.

Re:Console Gaming Bill Of Rights... (1)

Pyrion (525584) | more than 5 years ago | (#29085179)

That's because the one thing studios just don't get is that QA on the PC is inherently pointless. You want good QA? Fire your QA team and let your devs run free open betas.

Re:Console Gaming Bill Of Rights... (1)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 5 years ago | (#29085245)

Having worked with a good QA team, I have to disagree. An open beta gets you tons of feedback that's useless because it's mainly "I totally hit that guy but it didn't register" or "your class balance sucks" or "you should add a weapon to covers dudes in goo!" Very little beta feedback besides crash dumps matches up to the spec in any meaningful way.

Re:Console Gaming Bill Of Rights... (1)

Pyrion (525584) | more than 5 years ago | (#29085285)

So rather than getting tons of feedback about whether or not the game actually runs right is "useless?" Having worked with a good QA team, how many of your products were released to manufacturing only for a large number of your customers complaining in under a week that their newly-purchased assumed-to-be-done wondering-how-the-fuck-this-buggy-shit-got-past-QA product doesn't work?

Re:Console Gaming Bill Of Rights... (1)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 5 years ago | (#29085319)

Where did I say that you shouldn't have an open beta? I said an open beta is no substitute for a good QA department.

All the products I worked with worked on release, and had bugs that got reported to us by customers. What demonstrated to me that the QA department was worth it was that after each release, most of the feedback from customers through Support was requests to add features, not bugs.

Re:Console Gaming Bill Of Rights... (1)

Xin Jing (1587107) | more than 5 years ago | (#29085273)

Yes, yes, but all console manufacturers can make th same claim. Everyone can enjoy a more consistant gameplay experience because the games are played on standardized hardware. If the developer needs to recoup development cost, they can do it through the retail game price. Yet a recent Slashdot article http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8201332.stm [bbc.co.uk] (source link) referenced declining console game sales have fallen 29% and indicate a shift to more digital distribution and less retail physical media. That would be a great opportunity to bundle or repackage (gold edition, standard edition) bonus content with the core game download. It sounds like your saying the cost of poorly bundled incremental content after the initial purchase of the hardware is justified by the standardization and experience the hardware allows. The console manufacturer got their money when the unit was bought, they get a royalty for each games and they get revenue from points cards to download content. Everything after the decision to purchase the console and a game is in their favor. Couldn't they at least do a better job of bundling content, establishing tiered pricing and providing refunds for downloaded content that they sell through their storefront? With retail sales on the decline and digital distribution on the rise, the downloadable storefront needs to do more to mimic it's retail brother by providing more purchase options.

Re:Console Gaming Bill Of Rights... (1)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 5 years ago | (#29085391)

You keep phrasing this in terms of right and wrong: "bill of rights", "justified", etc. This is entirely a market issue. My observations about premium content are a market rationalization that may or may not work over time, but if it changes, it'll be because of changing market conditions and the purchasing patterns of gamers. Sure they could do a better job, offering more for less. But the only thing that will make them do that is a spreadsheet.

Seems a fair transfer of wealth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29084681)

Those yuppie console owners have always demonstrated a crass commercialism and willingness to overpay for carts and discs and online chotskies so it is only fair they should carry the weight for downtrodden PC users.

Re:Seems a fair transfer of wealth (1)

psicop (229507) | more than 5 years ago | (#29085029)

Those downtrodden PC users have always demonstrated a crass communism and unwillingness to pay for carts and discs and online chotskies so it is only fair they shouldn't carry any weight for the downtrodden console gamers.

Fixed that for you. :)

Seriously, though. If you're going to talk transfer of wealth, then something needs to be done about at least the pricing scheme for the content. I don't know how many current subs there are to Xbox Live, but does a 4 map pack, *really* need to be priced for $10? (on top of initial disc cost, plus live sub fee, and having to re-up on points because you're 'a little short' from previous content...) And not to mention the eventual '4 more maps', then '4 moar' and 'Hey! Listen! Hey! Hey! 12 maps here! 1 ridiculous price...

Considering game development is just a mere 'division' of a larger "It shits money...and all we have is a 'copyright'" company. I find it hard to believe that these companies are really 'suffering' from the 'downtrodden PC users' stealing their games and music.

There needs to be more 'bang for the buck' as far as DLC goes when you have to pay for it. "Not paying for it" isn't a realistic option. (unless it's a theme or gamer pics) but maps, add-ons, and more content overall...

It gets pretty boring with the same min-maxed perks, loadouts, and grenade spamming on the original maps...or after you've already unlocked all the achievements, played all the difficulties, etc. PC users can at least modify their content...console gamers can just 'keep paying more...for the same pre-packaged content'

To each their own, but as a console and PC gamer, I can only ask "What can we -really- do about it?"

DLC = modding in a DRM world (4, Interesting)

Tei (520358) | more than 5 years ago | (#29084693)

DLC is supposed to give to console gamers what we the PC gamers have. Stuff made by entusiast to enhance already good games with more maps, game modes, textures, models, etc..

Since that stuff can't be freely installed in a console, because a console is locked down hardware, to give that cool stuff companies make that stuff thenselves and need to sell it.

DLC is the DRM version of Modding.
 

Psychology (0)

superphysics (1619033) | more than 5 years ago | (#29084725)

It probably has a lot to do with psychology too. Consoles are generally used by richer people (children and adults) who, in addition to owning a computer, can afford to own consoles too (people who own consoles, in all likelihood, own computers before they own consoles).

These people are then less likely to be smiffed by a surcharge of a few dollars. Not that they like paying it, but they have fewer gripes. Companies, of course, home in on this very psyche.

The fact that consoles are closed also makes matters different, like so many before me have commented. But if the demographic it caters to failed, how would paid DLC ever have taken off?

Unlike PC games, console games can use extra pads. (2, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#29084823)

Consoles are generally used by richer people (children and adults) who, in addition to owning a computer, can afford to own consoles too (people who own consoles, in all likelihood, own computers before they own consoles).

There's a difference between owning a computer, singular, and owning computers, plural. A family of four may own one computer and one console. But unlike a console, a computer is probably not connected to a large monitor. So when one player is playing on a console, the other players can pick up controllers and join in, but when one player is playing on a computer, the others have to sit and wait. The way most PC games' multiplayer modes work, one would have to buy four PCs and four copies of each game in order to play the same game that one console, one copy of the game, and three extra controllers allow.

Re:Psychology (1)

davidbrit2 (775091) | more than 5 years ago | (#29085003)

Consoles are generally used by richer people...

[citation needed]

Re:Psychology (1)

ImNotAtWork (1375933) | more than 5 years ago | (#29085159)

I respectfully disagree. Owning a computer and owning a gaming computer are two different things. I would argue the less financially off would order the cheapest computer he/she can for e-mail/surfing/facebook/etc. and a game console that can possibly play dvds or other media up to the tv. The less well off only want to buy one system that works and doesn't have to be upgraded.

Re:Psychology (1)

Pyrion (525584) | more than 5 years ago | (#29085221)

Let's modify this a bit. Consoles are generally used by casual gamers, who own a computer but don't use it for gaming because they likely have neither the time nor the patience to learn how to game on it. Otherwise, why pay another huge sum of money for a gaming platform when you already have a gaming platform that can run just about anything? No, they buy consoles because they're idiots. They don't want to learn the system, they just want to play the games. Convenience comes at a cost, and they're fine with that cost up until finding out that those of us who bothered to learn how to game on PCs don't necessarily have to pay for the same content that they do.

Re:Psychology (1)

Hellhog (1617707) | more than 5 years ago | (#29085301)

Well, that's riotously offensive.

DLC is used to fight second hand sales (5, Insightful)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 5 years ago | (#29084727)

A lot of companies announce DLC for a game right after, or even before it was released. Buy doing this they hope people will not trade in the game, and thus reduce the number of second hand copies that are available.

Re:DLC is used to fight second hand sales (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29085147)

I suddenly have the urge to not trade in my games.

Re:DLC is used to fight second hand sales (1)

RyoShin (610051) | more than 5 years ago | (#29085237)

The article (or at least summary) is about how DLC is paid for on consoles, but often free on the PC. It can't be for fighting the second-hand market; in fact, charging for DLC would make a user more interested in giving up the game, especially if the developers take the sleazy route and make a short/crap game to start and then charge for the good stuff. $10/map pack, or $20 for another used game altogether?

It actually enhances the second hand market, as players will be able to buy a game for cheaper if they see DLC they want to buy as well (and are willing to pay for).

Valve has used the free downloads for TF2 (of which one was released this past week) to keep constant interest in the game; it both keeps players happy, as they'll discuss it and recommend it to friends, and make it more appealing to new players with every update. I know that on a video game forum I go to, at least three people have bought it because those of us who play it go crazy over updates, which piques their interest.

Sometimes its the other way around too (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 5 years ago | (#29084733)

Prince of Persia Epilogue: Not available at all for PC.
Overlord's Raising Hell: came out on PC months late, through a very crappy channel
Overlord 2's DLC I dont think its even available for PC yet?

It depends on the game type. FPSs and stuff tend to be much more popular on PC, but DLC for other game types is often console exclusive, or at least tends to favor consoles by a lot.

Consoles are for n00bs! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29084781)

Suck it up console queers!

One possible reason... (1)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 5 years ago | (#29084871)

Think of it this way:

If every single PC user of Team Fortress 2 was already part of an online 'e-tail' content delivery system with their credit cards hooked up to it, etc, then it would be much, much more likely that they try to release it only on that delivery method. As it is, that is really only found on consoles.

So, there you have it?

Re:One possible reason... (3, Informative)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 5 years ago | (#29085047)

Think of it this way:

If every single PC user of Team Fortress 2 was already part of an online 'e-tail' content delivery system with their credit cards hooked up to it, etc, then it would be much, much more likely that they try to release it only on that delivery method. As it is, that is really only found on consoles.

So, there you have it?

Sllow me introduce you to Steam [steampowered.com] , Valve's content delivery system that every Team Fortress 2 player has installed.

Re:One possible reason... (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 5 years ago | (#29085127)

Whoops, checked to make sure the link was right, but didn't check for typos after changing Let to Allow.

Why is this? (4, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#29084953)

Because the market supports it.

Why pay for a game you've already bought? (1)

Doug52392 (1094585) | more than 5 years ago | (#29084967)

Something I've never understood about paying for DLC: If you've already purchased the video game, why would you want to pay more money for something that's not equivalent to what your paying?

On game consoles, the average just-released console game costs $60 (I believe the extra $10 is for licensing fees with the console manufacturer). Your average DLC pack costs $10 on Xbox Live or PlayStation Network. So your paying 17% of the original game's cost, but are you getting an extra 17% of a game? In many cases (Call of Duty...), your not.

Meh, it doesn't concern me though: I don't own a game console. Unfortunately, however, some companies have recently asked the question: If console gamers are willing to spend $60 on a game, why wouldn't PC gamers? [el33tonline.com]

Re:Why pay for a game you've already bought? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29085283)

where did you get the $10 more for DLC pack being average? Any evidence to back this up?

I haven't done any real research in this area, but my empirical evidence suggests that the common (mode) price for new content is about $5, not counting songs/song packs, which generally come in at $2/song. The average price is, I'm sure, less than this, because there are a lot of free DLC extras, and not a lot of extras that I've heard about being more than $5. (large game expansions, maps packs being about the only things I've heard of).

You didn't buy that console (4, Interesting)

holophrastic (221104) | more than 5 years ago | (#29084971)

PC gamers purchased that PC. Often at thousands of dollars -- mine's just over $7K including the 30" LCD. When I purchase a game, I purchase the game.

Consoles don't cost thousands of dollars. Most consoles cost $300ish. The idea of the console industry is to lose money on the consoles and make it up on the games. So the game publishers pay the console makers. No one pays the PC makers except the person buynig the PC.

Lately, DLC has been an excellent way to make the games cheaper, because there is further revenue to be had on the DLC later on.

Remember, someone has to pay for that $1000 console. Congrats on paying the first $300 yourself. The next $700 used to come as $20 from the $60 games. Now it comes as $15 from the $40 games, and $5 from the DLC. Big surprise.

Stop wanting things for free. If consumers would look at things from the other side, things could be very different. Instead of wanting things cheaper, why don't you try to fund your favourite company, by paying larger prices, so that they have the money to build better things, and can then charge less for better. You don't want the same for less money, you want better for the same money.

But hey, most of my friends spend $20 per month on satelite radio. Because "it's a fine deal, for loads of content, blah blah blah". They forget that if they add up all of their entertainment dollars -- radio, television, internet, movies, restaurants, games, sports, et cetera -- there isn't enough time in the month to get the full value of all the money spent. It's not that satelite radio isn't worth $20/month. It's that television plus radio isn't worth $100/month.

But consumers are too busy budgetting dollars to know how to budget value. I find it interesting.

Re:You didn't buy that console (5, Informative)

0123456 (636235) | more than 5 years ago | (#29085055)

PC gamers purchased that PC. Often at thousands of dollars -- mine's just over $7K including the 30" LCD.

How many people pay $7,000 for a PC? I'm not even sure how you can spend $7,000 on a PC unless you get it gold-plated or insist on a terabyte of 15k SCSI disks.

Even a decent gaming PC shouldn't cost you much more than $1200 these days.

See my other comment (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#29085113)

Even a decent gaming PC shouldn't cost you much more than $1200 these days.

That can be misleading; see my other comment [slashdot.org] .

Re:See my other comment (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 5 years ago | (#29085187)

Maybe, but I've only ever seen one person who was set up to play multi-player games on one console with multiple controllers, and that guy was more than rich enough to buy multiple PCs without even noticing the cost; typically the console is for their kid and they play games by themselves.

Now, maybe the console-owners I know are a completely non-representative sample, but I suspect that, in reality, people who go out buying multiple controllers so four people can play a game at one time on a single TV aren't much more common than those who spend $7,000 on a PC.

You also ignore the fact that PCs can be used for many purposes other than games; of the five PCs we have in the house (average cost around $600) only one is used for more than occasional gaming.

Re:You didn't buy that console (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29085241)

Oh, you would be surprised at how pricey some pieces of hardware can be.
Believe it or not, but that "$1200" gaming PC is low-end. (for a gaming PC)

My friend was set a challenge to build the most expensive PC he could and got well over $13k.. actually make that £13k.
And this was without SSDs. SSDs, decent ones comparable to your average drive, made the price sky-rocket. (average being 320-500 at the time)

Re:You didn't buy that console (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29085091)

no when you purchase a game, you license it!

Re:You didn't buy that console (1)

Comatose51 (687974) | more than 5 years ago | (#29085141)

Wish I had points to mod you up. The bit about "budget value" is insightful.

Re:You didn't buy that console (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29085213)

Your argument doesn't work in reality. Putting aside the ridiculous $700 figure, you conveniently neglect Nintendo, who have no problem charging you $3 for a new pallet for Megaman, after they sold you a $200 console at a profit.

Sounds like you're whining. "Those poor multinationals, they GIVE you $700, you ungrateful bastard." Bullshit. If they don't want to sell consoles at a $700 (ha) loss, they shouldn't sell consoles at a $700 loss.

The reason they charge money for addons is simple: people will pay for addons. Want free addons? Don't buy games unless they come with free addons.

Re:You didn't buy that console (1)

RyoShin (610051) | more than 5 years ago | (#29085259)

The idea of the console industry is to lose money on the consoles and make it up on the games.

Not quite; the common razor and razorblade model keeps the razor at a low, fixed cost. In the console industry, companies routinely lower costs to help boost their own profits (or lower losses) as well as to eventually drop the console price and lure in more buyers. Some companies just accept losses early on in order to build up a consumer base, and then will profit on consoles later in their life. (Except Nintendo, who rarely loses money on their consoles.)

Planned DLC wouldn't be so bad if the original game was released at a cheaper price. Say, $30-$50, I get a complete though somewhat empty/short game, and then I can get DLC to my heart's content.

Re:You didn't buy that console (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29085375)

I very much doubt you know what you're talking about.

1. Nintendo has never sold any of its consoles at a loss. Each earns a profit, even the Wii. 360s have also been turning a profit for about a year now.
2. The major consoles don't cost 1000 to produce in large quantities. Yes, sure, maybe a lot of research and development went into the product, but the actual manufacturing cost of a console is usually close to it's price point. Even the PS3 didn't cost $1000. [wikipedia.org]
3. Console games are still $60, depending on the title, and the console (wii games are $50). A company isn't making much for the sale of a DLC item, because the 1st party (MS, Sony, Nintendo) take a big chunk of the profit, and the income is most likely created to offset the cost of certificatino of the new product.
4. How the hell does anyone spend $7000 on a computer meant to play games? I highly doubt that you know what value is when you're spending 7000 on computer components (that'll be worth $3000 or less in a year).

Lots of factors (2, Interesting)

TuaAmin13 (1359435) | more than 5 years ago | (#29084977)

My thoughts is that PC DLC would be pirated immensely. Also, since distribution is distributed, you don't incur massive bandwidth costs. WoW does bittorrent type patches, for most other games it's mirrored on a dozen sites. Marginal cost to the developer.

With consoles, you have to pay to get certified, and this includes any bugfixes you release. While the cost of DLC certification may be marginal, as someone else pointed out (Just assume $1 out of the 5 that DLC costs), you still have to certify all your patches, which are given for "free." DLC works to pad their expenditures in other areas in order to sell more copies.

Also, you can't really pirate the DLC from a closed network, so it's guaranteed that people pay for it. With every person that purchases DLC, you lock them into owning your game. If they bought it second hand, you now got revenue that you wouldn't have otherwise. If they bought it new, paying for DLC ensures they won't get rid of it, otherwise their DLC purchase will have gone to waste. Less used copies floating around.

Why "Piracy" is good (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#29085027)

More stuff is free on the PC because more stuff is routinely copied and shared. They know that by giving certain things away, they are securing a customer for other things that are not free. With the game consoles, copying and sharing is a bit more of a challenge and so it is less frequent and common. They have their markets more tightly controlled and therefore the market will bear more.

Grand Theft Auto 4 (1)

C4st13v4n14 (1001121) | more than 5 years ago | (#29085031)

What I'd like to know is, why haven't we PC gamers received the Grand Theft Auto 4 DLC - The Lost and the Damned? We're still waiting.

People are stupid. (1)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | more than 5 years ago | (#29085049)

People are stupid and willing to get screwed. Its that simple.

Console Gamers Shouldn't Complain (2)

WebmasterNeal (1163683) | more than 5 years ago | (#29085077)

Being a PC gamer of many years, I wouldn't complain about PC gamers having the advantage. It seems that gaming companies are giving up on the PC as a gaming platform and releasing buggy games to us now as an afterthought. So while we may be able to get DLC, your game at least works when you put the disk in the drive.

Re:Console Gamers Shouldn't Complain (1)

Hellhog (1617707) | more than 5 years ago | (#29085367)

So while we may be able to get DLC, your game at least works when you put the disk in the drive.

That's no more of a given for consoles than it is for PCs. Lots of games are released buggy and broken on any platform - hell, Action 52 [youtube.com] , buggy, broken piece of crap it is, sold for $200 [wikipedia.org] and people bought it. (Anyone got a more recent example?)

Fp Goa:t (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29085115)

file was opened at times. From taken over by BSDI 220 running NT you can. When the overly morbid and

I think it's the reverse (4, Interesting)

metamatic (202216) | more than 5 years ago | (#29085143)

DLC is ruining sales of games on consoles, at least as far as I can see.

On the PS2, it was pretty simple: The game was $40-50 new, or you could wait a year or so and buy it for $20 as a Greatest Hits release. Either way, you got the same game. Buying new, you'd pay $50 up front, play the game, sell it for $15-20, overall cost $35. Buying Greatest Hits, you'd buy for $20, sell for $10-15, overall cost $5-10. With buying the game at release costing you maybe $20 more overall, it often made sense to buy games on release day.

On the PS3, the game is released new for $60. A couple of DLC packs are released for $10 each. Then after a year or two, the entire game plus the DLC packs is released as a Game Of The Year Edition for $30. So if you buy new, you pay $60 + $20, but by the time you sell the game second hand it's worth $20 at best because of the GOTY edition at $30, so your overall cost is $60. Buy later, and you get the entire game plus add-ons for $30, resell for $20, overall cost $10. So now suddenly it costs $50 more to buy on release day than to buy and play later.

So basically, there's now a major financial incentive to wait for the Game Of The Year edition which has the DLC bundled in. For instance, I was considering buying Red Faction. However, I just saw on the PSN store that the first DLC has been released for $10. So now, I'd much rather wait and buy the whole thing in a year or two for $30.

Ultimately, I think the game companies are shooting themselves in the feet by penalizing early purchasers to this extent. I wonder if this might be why PS3 and Xbox 360 game sales have been down.

And if we're talking Valve, the way they've treated Xbox 360 owners is nothing compared to how they've fucked PS3 owners. There's no DLC for TF2 on the PS3 at all; we haven't even seen any of the fixes for the initial maps, which means that games tend to be ruined by glitchers. (Yeah, I know the "It's up to EA" excuse, but it's Valve's decision to let EA decide release policy, so ultimately they're still responsible.)

Re:I think it's the reverse (1)

Pyrion (525584) | more than 5 years ago | (#29085253)

Bullshit. Valve can't force the issue on the PS3 if they're contractually limited to letting EA call the shots on it.

COD Nazi Zombies (1)

davro (539320) | more than 5 years ago | (#29085267)

Mostly the cod gamers are paying for the Nazi Zombie maps !

Forgetting the new type of DLC (2, Informative)

KiF1rE (1397683) | more than 5 years ago | (#29085399)

Theres a new type of DLC on game consoles that many people dont know about and its practice is becoming frequently used... Its basically where all the contents of the game and dlc are ALREADY on the game disc. but force you to pay to unlock new things that are fully on the disc... Some examples of this are Soul calibur 4... Darth vader(ps3) and yoda(xbox) were console exclusives xbox and ps3 however the code for them was fully on the disc along with all the costume packs and everything else. ALL OF IT WAS ON THE DISC when you bought it. yet they charged 5 bucks each for all the unlocks.
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