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Frustration With Oblivion Mod Costs on Xbox Live

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the my-kingdom-for-a-horse dept.

360

Vizionary wrote to mention the player backlash swelling out of a recent addition to Xbox Live. Major Nelson's blog made the announcement that they'd finally added the (previously announced) barding for the player mount in Oblivion. The catch is that the simple modification costs 200 points, removing a lot of the appeal of the small mods the Elder Scrolls series has thrived on. From commenter 'SW 1540' on that site: "Unquestionably, some downloadable content should cost money/points. Having said that, the cost of that content should be directly proportional to the enhancement it provides to the original game. For example, I would expect to pay $20.00 for the soon to come Perfect Dark Zero maps or new cars for Project Gotham. On the other hand, I would expect any additional costumes for PDZ to be free. I imagine there is good arguments on both sides, but one can see that the potential is there to exploit an eager fan. "

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360 comments

Online PC Games (5, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059000)

Remember when people used to play online games on PC, and there was thousands of Maps, Models, and complete game Mods available for free on the internet. Oh, and you could play for free, as long as you could find someone who wanted to run the server. Yeah, those were the days.

Re:Online PC Games (1)

Profcrab (903077) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059072)

Well, there still are lots of free mods for Oblivion on PC. I think the fleecing of 360 owners is pretty crappy. I think that offering the mods for free would be a good promotion for the game and bring more sales.

Re:Online PC Games (1)

L0k11 (617726) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059122)

But it's well know that Microsoft is not making money on the consoles (Reading slashdot I believe to break even is around 10 full price games.)

Thus it is up to Live to "bring home the bacon".

Re:Online PC Games (1)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059342)

Yeah, and if they turn off users who then pawn the game onto the used market that's one less sale for them on a new copy of the game.
Fleecing the users is a bad idea. Maybe make it trivial like 50c or whatever (the ringtone philosophy, make it up on cheap bulk sales).
-nB

Re:Online PC Games (2, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059412)

What's this ringtone philosophy you speak of? The company i'm with currently charges $2-$5 for a ringtone, and the same goes for screensavers. I thought it was quite common for cell phone companies to charge more for the ringtone of a song than iTunes charges for the actual song.

Re:Online PC Games (3)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059451)

Yeah, it was a shitty argument. I realized it as I clicked the submit button. (actually tried to halt the transaction, but was too late).
Anyway, I was trying to say: Sell a ton of cheap stuff that has nominal cost, rather than a smaller number of the same item with the same cost, but at a higher price, running the risk of ailenating your customer.
-nB

Re:Online PC Games (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059154)

I was kind of being sarcastic. I know that PC mods are still around. The problem is, is that you see more games, even on PC, going towards Pay for Play. Descent 3 came with it's own level editor. User created content was 99% of the fun in the old games.

Re:Online PC Games (3, Informative)

Covetous Knight (957894) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059424)

It isn't just XBOX gamers who are being fleeced. [obliviondownloads.com] PC users are being "fleeced" as well, although $0.50 less.

Re:Online PC Games (1)

StarvingSE (875139) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059552)

Wow, just wow. Ridiculous. I mean, I guess Bethesda has a right to charge for add-ons and what not, but I can see where this is going. Release a game, and take out some key features that a lot of people would want, and should be in the game in the first place (ie horse armor). Then charge per download. Genius.

I seem to remember all of the morrowind official mods being free.

I wouldn't spend money on this stuff. These official mods will probably be included in the first expansion pack anyway.

Re:Online PC Games (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15059090)

Those days are still around! Its the XBox folks that are getting the shaft on this. PC mods for the game are free and widely available for download. Plus they are super easy to make. Its too bad that the XBox folks have run into this. Just glad I got my PC version :)

And do you remember (4, Interesting)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059709)

Those simple, powerful PCs that cost around $500, were compatible with ALL PC games, didn't need upgrading until the next complete system generation... Ya, me neither.

PCs and consoles aren't the same thing and aren't the same market. One simple, obvious difference would be price. The 360s are priced as cheap as their corrisponding graphics card for a PC. To get 360 level graphics, you need something on the order of a Radeon 1900XT. That's like $450 just for a graphics card, never mind the system needed to support it.

What it basically comes down to is the PC is a totally open environment. You set your hardware up as you like, you run the software you like, you mod it as you like, etc. That's how I like it and why I'll spend the money to play games on a PC (well that and I'd have a pwoerful PC regardless of games). However let's not pretend like it's always easy. Just last night I was fighting with an older game (KOTOR) to make it work well on my modern hardware which is way more than it needs.

Consoles are a more managed environment. The console maker supplies you with one, fixed system that you use and you don't tinker with it. All games work because they are certified and they know the platform they are writing for. There's no unexpected compatiblity problems with new hardware or software. They have a simple interface and do only one thing.

Well the whole pay-for X-box live service is really an extension of that model. Everything is centrally managed and controlled. It means you can't just go and run your own service but also means you don't have to rely on people who do. I can say form the Quake days there was a wide varity of servers out there. Some were top notch speed and stability wise (and usually hard to get a spot on) some played like they were being run on a 486 in some guy's bedroom... PRobably because they were being run on a 486 in some guy's bedroom.

I don't particularly think either PC or console gaming is superior, just different. I own a powerful PC anyhow, like PC games better, and value the ablity to hack around on my games so I do PC gaming. However I can see the appeal of the console system. Buy one, cheaper unit that will not be outdated for a number of years, then pay a service fee for someone to run the whole online aspect. It's simpler, and even after years of playing would add up to what the core of my current computer cost me.

Re:Online PC Games (1)

grumpygrodyguy (603716) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059728)

Remember when people used to play online games on PC, and there was thousands of Maps, Models, and complete game Mods available for free on the internet. Oh, and you could play for free, as long as you could find someone who wanted to run the server. Yeah, those were the days.

They still are the days...at least for people who have enough sense not to buy an Xbox.

Re:Online PC Games (2, Insightful)

Ford Prefect (8777) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059823)

Remember when people used to play online games on PC, and there was thousands of Maps, Models, and complete game Mods available for free on the internet. ... And such free downloads would only exist because some people actually enjoyed building them.

Probably 90% of my enjoyment as a PC gamer comes from building stuff myself. I don't buy that many games (I don't play very many; I'm not pirating anything) but can get many hundreds of hours of fun out of constructing my own maps, textures and worlds.

I kind of see console gaming as Lego sets with all the parts glued together at purchase. Okay, it might be fun to play with to start off, but it's completely fixed. And being able to buy extra pieces (at excessive cost) with pre-defined uses doesn't really change my perceptions...

"barding for the player mount" (5, Funny)

kentyman (568826) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059009)

Christ. It's pronounced "horse armor".

Re:"barding for the player mount" (2, Funny)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059028)

"barding for the player mount" suggests lubing up the genitals to me, for whatever reason.

Re:"barding for the player mount" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15059068)

I hate to admit it, but I was trying to figure out why anyone would actually want to wrap their genitals in strips of fat, particularly as that usually entails runing needles through the meat being barded.

[shudder]

Re:"barding for the player mount" (1)

XenoRyet (824514) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059398)

bard2 also barde Pronunciation Key (bärd)

n. A piece of armor used to protect or ornament a horse.

tr.v. barded, barding, bards

1. To equip (a horse) with bards.

2. To cover (meat) in thin pieces of bacon or fat to preserve moisture during cooking.

Re:"barding for the player mount" (2, Funny)

Minwee (522556) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059446)

"To cover (meat) in thin pieces of bacon or fat to preserve moisture"

Now that "suggests lubing up the genitals" in ways that I really didn't need to hear about.

Re:"barding for the player mount" (1)

Krach42 (227798) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059923)

"[to bard]: To cover (meat) in thin pieces of bacon or fat to preserve moisture"

Now that "suggests lubing up the genitals" in ways that I really didn't need to hear about.


MMmmmmm.... Bacon....

Re:"barding for the player mount" (4, Funny)

Minwee (522556) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059304)

"Barding". Well, ooh la di da, Mr. French Man. And it's not a "garage", it's a "car hole"

Conversions please? (4, Insightful)

Krach42 (227798) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059010)

How much money is 200 points? Not everyone plays X-Box Live you know.

Re:Conversions please? (5, Informative)

misfit13b (572861) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059046)

$2.50. 80 points = US$1

Re:Conversions please? (1, Funny)

Microlith (54737) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059177)

So XBOX Live points have a better exchange rate than the dollar.

Nice.

Re:Conversions please? (1)

gabebear (251933) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059205)

It looks like most retailers discount 1600 point cards to $20, but the list price is $25.

So...
64 points = US $1 + tax
200 points = US $3.13 + tax

and whats even more fun is that the point cards are region locked so you can't buy a japanese/european point card and use it on your US XBox and they can charge different regions different prices.

Re:Conversions please? (1)

misfit13b (572861) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059367)

1600 points / 80 points per dollar = $20

The oddball part of the whole MS points thing is the way they're sold on the Xbox Live interface (or the way they were the last time I bought any, at least). They sell them in groups of 500, 1000 or 2000, so the charges are a bit wonky: $6.25, $12.50 and $25.00 respectively.

In the stores is where they offer the 1600 point variety, which is an "even" twenty dollars.

Re:Conversions please? (1)

gabebear (251933) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059496)

EB Games [ebgames.com] sells 1600 cards for $20, but the regular price is $25 elsewhere [bestbuy.com] and the retail/list price is always $25. [amazon.com]

Re:Conversions please? (1)

misfit13b (572861) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059663)

Yeow. That sucks for the poor unsuspecting Best Buy consumer then, doesn't it? Quite unfortunate for those trying to be nice and give points as gifts.

Buying points online through the dashboard would save both time and money. And since you don't need a Gold membership to get points (Silver will do [xbox.com] ), charging more in stores is a crap move.

Re:Conversions please? (1)

SuperRob (31516) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059997)

The price of the CARDS is irrelevant, since that involves a certain degree of retailer markup. 1600 points directly through Xbox Live is $20 even, so that's the only price that matters. Why? If you don't have enough points to buy something you see on Xbox Live, are you going to go to the store, or simply buy the points right there, since Microsoft alread has your credit card info anyway?

Dumb (2, Insightful)

billybob (18401) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059330)

That's retarded. Why don't they just make 100 points = $1, aka 1 point = 1 cent. That would make it a lot easier to gauge the actual value or things. Maybe that's the point, I guess..

Re:Dumb (2, Insightful)

misfit13b (572861) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059425)

I don't like it much either. Tries to make things "look" cheaper, "400 points? Must be four bucks!" (No, it's $5.)

They also have to sell them globally, across different currencies, which might reflect in the regional pricing [wikipedia.org] .

Damn this lameness filter...

Re:Dumb (1)

Malor (3658) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059460)

They do it that way, and then charge weird amounts of points for things in an attempt to either:

A) Have the use of your money for free as long as you have unspent points, or;
B) Sell you something completely useless at an insane profit margin, so that you've spent all your points.

Both benefit Microsoft enormously. I'm sure I will buy very, very few things off XBL.

Re:Conversions please? (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059097)

I think it depends upon the bulk you buy your points in but from what I've heard they are around a penny to a penny and a half. So your looking at around $2-$3 depending upon who you bought your points.

Re:Conversions please? (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059132)

Apparently it's $2.50. Seems ridiculously high to me. I could see paying like 1-5c for something like this, maybe.

Points? (-1)

onion2k (203094) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059016)

The catch is that the simple modification costs 200 points

People are complaining that they'll have to play the game in order to download stuff?

Riiiight..

Re:Points? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15059294)

No.
They're complaining that they'll have to pay money in order to download stuff.

Seriously, you weren't even close to first post, so there was no reason to rush to post without knowing a damn thing about what's going on.

Armored horse, only $2.50! (2, Insightful)

Godeke (32895) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059035)

While the armor is pretty, I can see how a "skin" (even if it adds armor points to the horse) at $2.50 does seem to be nickel and dimeing the player. Especially for people who were used to Morrowinds free mods that completely revamped the world.

I guess this is an experiment with the micro content that Microsoft was looking to build an "ecosystem" of. Bah, I hate that marketoid term. Apparently the ecosystem complains loudly; wonder what that bodes for sustaining such prices for such small add-ons.

Re:Armored horse, only $2.50! (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059126)

I'm not much into MMORPGs, but don't most of the Sims/Everquest expansion packs cost ~$20? And for that you get a whole new section of the map, maybe a new class or skills, weapons, armour and monsters.

Re:Armored horse, only $2.50! (1)

grogdamighty (884570) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059499)

Ecosystem refers to an environment and its organisms. You're looking for "economy."

Re:Armored horse, only $2.50! (2, Funny)

Digital Vomit (891734) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059906)

I guess this is an experiment with the micro content that Microsoft was looking to build an "ecosystem" of. Bah, I hate that marketoid term

Don't you meant eecosystem?

Re:Armored horse, only $2.50! (2)

MarkAyen (726688) | more than 8 years ago | (#15060068)

When I was reading previews for Oblivion, I distinctly remember reading that barding (or "horse armor") was included and thinking, "oh, that's a nice touch." While someone somewhere may have reported that it was content not included with the retail game, I certainly have no recollection of it in the coverage I read. Finding out after I bought the game at retail that not all features were included was a disappointment, but one I took philosophically, since I figured BethSoft would make good, right? Wrong. Based on the time frame, it looks like barding was a feature removed by the developer prior to release just so they could charge for it later. And $2.50 is way too much to ask for such a trivial feature. ($2.50 that I will not be spending, personally.) A micropayment of $0.50 would have been much more appropriate, if they have to charge at all. What really bothers me is what might happen if this ploy proves successful. What's to stop the creation of whole classes of über weapons and armor only available on a pay-per basis? What's to stop the developer from making those items absolutely necessary to finish the game? This sets an unfortunate precedent. Hopefully, enough gamers will say "no" to this type of gouging that it makes Bethesda and other developers think twice before trying it again in the future.

Disgusting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15059061)

This micro market Microsoft is trying to create is ridiculous, not only do you have to pay the game online you have to pay for mods. The only MMORPG I play is Guild Wars because I refuse to pay money for a game then be forced to pay a monthly fee to play it. And now they want to charge for mods. That's just company's trying to nickle and dime people to death. It's also one reason I have no interest in a PS3 or a 360, I'm not going to be sucked into the Money hole that is online gaming. I'll keep my single player games thank you. I'd rather have a bunch of friends over for a LAN or a good round of Mario Kart. At least that way when someone screen looks or shoots me with a blue shell before I hit the finish line I can smack him :-) And there is always the wonderful controller unplugging.

Re:Disgusting (0, Troll)

dubiousx99 (857639) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059151)

Um, Oblivion is a single player game. They are talking about paying for small extra content that is freely available with the PC version.

Re:Disgusting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15059201)

No, it also costs money for the same thing on the pc version, it's just slightly cheaper. And I'm talking about paying for extra content that should be free. AKA extra weapons.

Re:Disgusting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15059236)

It is not free for the PC players either. $1.99 to download

Re:Disgusting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15059331)

The only MMORPG I play is Guild Wars...

Then you don't play any MMORGPs at all. Guild Wars is not an MMORPG.

Re:Disgusting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15059547)

I spy with my little eye someone from NCSoft marketing.

Re:Disgusting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15059693)

"Guild Wars is not an MMORPG" - Quote from the Guild Wars Producer.

If Guild Wars is an MMORPG, than so is any game played on Blizzard's Battlenet. It is an RPG with some online components built in. No sense in claiming that one doesn't play pay-per-month games when Guild Wars doesn't even fit into the same category. Guild Wars' big marketing claims that there's no monthly fee is like Counter Strike marketers claiming the same thing. So no, not from their marketing, since I think their marketing was a stinkfest.

Re:Disgusting (3, Interesting)

kg4czo (516374) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059384)

"The only MMORPG I play is Guild Wars because I refuse to pay money for a game then be forced to pay a monthly fee to play it."

So basically, you pay $50 up front for the game and would rather pay for content as you go and as they add it regularly. I might be missing something, but I fail to see how this is different from a monthly fee?

Anyway, something as small as this should be a free enhancement. Now, if they added in new player armor, weapons, and other goodies along with it, then I could see it having a cost. What I saw on the blog probably took 3 to 4 hours of time to make, which probably costs the maker a couple of grand in labor, software, and hardware. Compare that to the possible thousands and thousands of dollars they would get from the download charge, and that's just plain greedy. I put this in the light that people have spent $60-$70 for the game already, not to mention the Live sub, and that's a hell of a lotta phat-lootz.

Re:Disgusting (1)

Wilson_6500 (896824) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059502)

So basically, you pay $50 up front for the game and would rather pay for content as you go and as they add it regularly. I might be missing something, but I fail to see how this is different from a monthly fee?

Most MMOs I remember buying recently (Earth and Beyond, FFIX, CoH) charged me $50 up front for the game plus one month's service--so about $40 for the game--and then also charged a monthly fee. One advantage that GW has is that so long as the servers are running you can still play the game--you don't _have_ to buy into the expansions, which is more or less what you agree to do with a monthly fee. Then, you get hit with the cost of REAL expansion packs on top of "ongoing improvements" paid for by your monthly fee.

I'd feel better about buying MMOs if I didn't have to shell out for a product that's worthless once I stop paying the fee, or if game support is ceased (take, for example, my E&B disc, which is now a mostly useless relic). I also think that by the time I've paid for the cost of another whole game in monthly fees, the developers more or less owe me new content--I'll give them leeway for maintenance and staff costs, of course, but at some point I expect to look back and say that I've gotten something for my monthly fee other than permission to continue playing.

I'm only really bitter about FFXI. It's the only FF game that I won't be able to simply go back and play around with later on. I wouldn't be so let down if there were some kind of offline mode for it--but then why play online?

Re:Disgusting (1)

G)-(ostly (960826) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059626)

I might be missing something, but I fail to see how this is different from a monthly fee?

Wha...?

The terribly confusing difference you're apparently missing is that in the first case, you're paying a monthly fee to play the game, and in the second case... you're not. What, exactly, is the confusion? In scenario one, you buy a game, and you have to pay to play every month. In scenario two, you buy a game, and you can play it for as long as you want without paying anything more. I don't understand how you're mixing the two concepts up?

Buyer's Remorse (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15059123)

I hate to say it, but I'm one of the tools that just egged them on yesterday by buying the download. I felt awful about it afterwards because:

A - It wasn't worth $2.50.
B - They really shouldn't be rewarded for charging for something that used to be free and probably should've been free considering the 360 owners already paid more than the PC people.

You may now "crucificate" me.

Re:Buyer's Remorse (1)

Mike Buddha (10734) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059481)

B - They really shouldn't be rewarded for charging for something that used to be free and probably should've been free considering the 360 owners already paid more than the PC people.

360 Owners paid more than PC people? Do you know how much a PC that can play Oblivion costs? Certainly more than the $460 360 owners doled out for their hardware and software. To play at the same rez as a 360 you'd have to spend almost that much on a video card alone. Plus, there was no subsidy from MS like there is on the consoles(assuming that the hardware is really a loss leader, as all the console makers claim).

To say the $2.50 is too much is fine, but to say that 360 owners pay more for the game isn't a valid claim, IMO.

Re:Buyer's Remorse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15059630)

The PC is (essentially) free since the player already owns it. Unless you think that people are buying PCs merely to game on...

Re:Buyer's Remorse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15059888)

The PC is (essentially) free since the player already owns it. Unless you think that people are buying PCs merely to game on...

I'm not sure why you are so skeptical -- people do that all the time. I myself just paid $1.5k for a new PC just to play Oblivion at full rez (a third of that was the video card).

This game is worth it. It's truly the second coming of Ultima Underworld.

(I wouldn't be able to stand playing it on the xbox controller, putting up with crappy load times, or doing without access to the mod community.)

Re:Buyer's Remorse (3, Insightful)

TheBishop613 (454798) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059827)

You're kidding me right?

Firstly, I'm sure that when comapring the cost of the game the poster was trying to point out that the PC version is typically $49 while the XBox360 version is $59. (Check out EBWorld and Amazon to compare)

Secondly, comparing the cost of my PC to the cost of an XBOX360 is ludicrous. I use my PC for all kinds of things, gaming being one of them. As such the 'cost' of the gaming component of my PC is weighted in with the other uses. Its not like the only thing I do with my PC is Oblivion (or gaming in general). And to be honest, my PC didn't cost all that much. $79 at Frys for an AMD 2800+ and motherboard, $50 hard drive, $100 used Nvidia 6800 Graphics card, 1 Gig Ram ($79), mouse/keyboard ($20), case ($50). $358... Xbox360 is $399...

 

Enough with the fees already! (2)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059185)

So, aside from paying to get an Xbox 360 (which is normal, if you want that particular console), you have to pay a monthly fee to Microsoft for Xbox live, and then more fees to actually get more content in a game you actually bought... sort of.

And here I thought that a monthly fee for WoW was already pushing it in terms of squeezing money from your users.

I hope Nintendo doesn't follow this path (paying for old games is ok, if the price is right - but I'm not expecting to pay anything else for any other service from them).

Re:Enough with the fees already! (1)

mmalove (919245) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059322)

So:

Paying for X-box = Paying for PC.

Paying for X-box live = Paying for ISP.

Paying for additional content is kind of a new concept. Rather than charging an ambiguous 15/month for new content, they let the end user pick and choose what mods are worth what, by choosing their own downloads. I think this is a pretty cool idea, a shame it wouldn't really work out in the MMO world so much since everyone has to be playing the same game, where in a single player game it's ok for everyone to play something different.

I do kind of think $2.50 is steep for a particular armor model, but then again I look at the suggestion boards for a game like world of warcraft, where thousands of suggestions hit a board and most don't get implemented, maybe by creating a more capitalistic system, there will be a better balance between content demand and supply.

Re:Enough with the fees already! (1)

supra (888583) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059409)

Paying for X-box live = Paying for ISP.

Not exactly.
XBox live doesn't substitute for an ISP; it's just an account service. You still need network access.

Re:Enough with the fees already! (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059416)

>So: >Paying for X-box = Paying for PC. >Paying for X-box live = Paying for ISP. I forgot to add that cost to the Xbox setup... Xbox live requires an internet connection in the first place, doesn' it? So that actually makes it: computer = computer + game + ISP Xbox = Xbox + game + ISP + Xbox live I'll take two fixed prices with one monthly fee over two fixed prices with two monthly fees. After all the computer may be more expensive but can do a lot more. And next-gen consoles are so expensive that the price difference isn't that high.

Re:Enough with the fees already! (1)

raptorjb007 (890049) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059341)

You do not have to pay to be a member of xbox live. Xbox Live Silver membership is free and allows you to maintain a friend list, voice chat, and download content for free(or with points if required). The benifit of the pay subscription to lvie is, you guessed it, playing multiplayer games online, and the leader boards.

"Ha Ha!" (4, Insightful)

Tridus (79566) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059190)

Must feel nice for 360 owners to pay more for the game, then get the privilege of paying for stuff that PC gamers can simply download (or make) for free.

Seriously, $2.50 for horse armor? At that rate, I can only imagine what actual content would cost.

Re:"Ha Ha!" (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15059265)

Actually, they're charging P.C. users for the same content via OblivionDownloads [obliviondownloads.com] . The only free mods are user made at this point.

Re:"Ha Ha!" (1)

Tridus (79566) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059377)

Well thats kind of the point, I'd be surprised if someone didn't make a very similar mod to what they're selling.

I bet they could do some really interesting things that would be worth paying for, but if something this simple costs $2.50 (or $2 for the PC version from that site), then the price for something like a new plotline or a new region would be downright scary.

Now for $0.50? That'd be different.

Frustration with dirty disk errors more like.. (1)

Channard (693317) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059232)

Several Oblivion players have been getting dirty disc errors when playing the game on the 360. It's not the disc, either - I got another brand new copy from the rental store and still no joy. The game crashed out with these errors once every few hours of play. Other users did similar and still got the errors with the game (and with no other games). Still, give how much of a bugged trainwreck the original Morrowind on X-Box was, it's not all that surprising. It's dissapointing though, since Oblivion's much more fun than Morrowind, the Dark Brotherhood quests being particularly cool. I think I'll wait for the Game of the Year edition before buying it. As for purchasing content, where MS has their customers by the balls is the way that you can't just download and distribute content for free as you can with the PC version of the game. Even if free user-created content is put on Live, which seems unlikely, it'd still have to go through Microsoft for approval.

Re:Frustration with dirty disk errors more like.. (1)

TrancePhreak (576593) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059990)

They are charging for these on the PC side too. There are several free mods, but the official ones cost money. It's $2 on the PC, whereas the XB ones are roughly $2.50

just the beginning (5, Insightful)

rabbot (740825) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059284)

You're going to see a lot of developers holding back content so they can make you pay more through XBox Live. Here's hoping Nintendo and Sony take full advantage of the mistakes that are being made with Live. This is a great example of what *not* to do with an online service. Micropayments will be their downfall.

Re:just the beginning (3, Informative)

JayDoggy (200317) | more than 8 years ago | (#15060025)

Nice dream, but Sony is banking on micropayments as well. Check out the coverage of Phil Harrison's GDC 06 presentation and you'll see that is one of the ticks on his "circle of revenue" for online.

MMO-RPG vs Single Player RPG (5, Interesting)

rain9441 (959621) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059310)

In an MMORPG, its against policy to sell in-game items to other players. In single player RPGs, its policy to sell in-game items to players. Now I'm confused.

Re:MMO-RPG vs Single Player RPG (2, Informative)

Surt (22457) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059433)

Restricting the aftermarket in games has always been about companies seeing an opportunity to profit for themselves. Even if they can't deliver in this generation of games, they don't want you getting used to the notion that you can buy and sell from other players. I remember this being a big discussion in the development of diablo 2 ... people spent a long time talking about how to have a real cash aftermarket for items controlled by blizzard, but in the end we didn't have the resources to do it.

Re:MMO-RPG vs Single Player RPG (1)

G)-(ostly (960826) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059830)

Restricting the aftermarket in games has always been about companies seeing an opportunity to profit for themselves.

Except that's a load of crap in MMORPGs...

If I go out and farm a ton of high quality weaponry in Guild Wars, then sell it on e-bay for real money, I'm actively skirting the in-game economy. Now, the in-game currency is de-valued as there's more of it doing less, and anybody who is unable or unwilling to purchase fake items for real money is experiencing degraded gameplay because people aren't following the rules of the game.

If you don't want to follow the rules, don't play the game. You don't get to rewrite other people's rules just because you want to do something that benefits you.

Re:MMO-RPG vs Single Player RPG (2, Insightful)

Surt (22457) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059929)

You don't get to rewrite other people's rules just because you want to do something that benefits you.

To play devil's advocate, my game is reality, and I play to make money. In my reality, I can sell items from a game online for real money. Just because you introduce a game and want to play it a certain way, don't think that you get to rewrite my rules just for your benefit.

Re:MMO-RPG vs Single Player RPG (1)

G)-(ostly (960826) | more than 8 years ago | (#15060047)

Yes, and? I could hit you in the fact with a shovel and steal your wallet. What's your point? I'd still be punished, and I'd still deserve it, even though I "could" do it.

Re:MMO-RPG vs Single Player RPG (1)

kg4czo (516374) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059540)

lol! To add to the confusion, I'll throw this out there....

SOE doesn't like you buying and selling items and gold unless they're getting a cut. This is shown through their own services in EQ2. Of course, if there are no such facilities through SOE for EQ, SWG, etc., it's against the EULA to use someone elses services. Go figure....

It's completely against Mythic Entertainment and Blizzard's WoW EULAs....

In Second Life, the Linden's allow the buying and selling of anything in world for real cash, and if you use their service they get a cut. The pricing model also has yet to prove it's worth too. A basic account can do alot and all for free, but if you want land and to build stuff "permanently" you will pay through the nose with a sub and land taxes (both in real money).

But really, it's kinda sad that M$ would charge for such a small enhancement, and especially after their customers paid an arm and a leg for it.

Not Anymore ... (2, Insightful)

everphilski (877346) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059932)

In an MMORPG, its against policy to sell in-game items to other players.

SOE changed that. There are authorized servers where this is allowed through official means. This allows the game creators to monitor the traffic and make sure no one gets ripped off. (they do take a cut, I believe.) EQ and EQ2.

In single player RPGs, its policy to sell in-game items to players. Now I'm confused.

These are external mods. Downloading one for your game doesn't affect the gameplay of others.

Who even uses a horse? (2)

ROBOKATZ (211768) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059313)

My character runs faster than the horse. That's not taking into account sitting there watching the mount/dismount animations.

Exploitation? Yeah right... (5, Insightful)

Watter (966037) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059320)

but one can see that the potential is there to exploit an eager fan.
That's called a free market. The only time "exploit" can be used to describe letting free markets work is in situations like price gouging during a hurricane something like that. Good grief, folks. If they think it's an unfair price, then by golly, take the 'drastic' step of not buying it. If enough folks buy it at the price offered, then I guess it wasn't too high after all.

Re:Exploitation? Yeah right... (1)

banaanimies (944641) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059402)

There is not price gouging in a free market. A hurricane decreases supply of items and increases demand. Why shoudn't the price go up? That's called a free market.

Re:Exploitation? Yeah right... (0)

G)-(ostly (960826) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059908)

Welcome to 9th grade intro to econ (note that I'm not claiming you in particular fall into any of the slanderous categories below, I'm just ranting in general)...

Anything but the most absurdly pedantic reading of a free market economy will lead an intelligent reviewer to conclude that price gouging does, in fact, exist. When used pejoratively, it is a function of an emergency in which the supply is IGNORED in order to create a sense of urgency in the buyer.

In other words, you can't just SAY that there isn't enough water to go around unless you know for a fact that there isn't, that's deceptive. Most civilized nations recognize that a certain level of honesty must be enforced to have a viable free market.

Even when used to refer to an actual, sudden inflation of price due to a disaster, only a twisted idiot would honestly argue in favor of allowing it, because all decent human beings recognize that human safety and life is more important than vaporous concepts like "market forces". It's called Maslow's Heirarchy of Needs, and people who at least graduated high school know about it.

All that said, I fail to see how this is price gouging. It's a non-essential item, so if you think it's too much, don't buy it. It's like a diamond: excessively high price and no actual value outside whatever you can convince a sucker to pay. It sounds to me like there are a lot of suckers with some really purty, worthless rocks on their X-Boxes.

Welcome to the "HD Age" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15059447)

Welcome to the "HD Age", now that we have the possibility to do reasonably realistic graphics the costs of developing games has risen to $10 Million - $20 Million on average; this means that the average developer will have to sell 1 Million - 2 Million games before they break even (not including marketing costs). Being that only a select few games break 1 Million sales worldwide this means that most developers will lose money by producing a game; so they have to find alternative revinue sources. We will now have micropayments for content that used to be free, we will now have product placement and in game advertizing. Games will become more 'Generic' because developers can not afford to 'Risk' alienating their core-demographic.

I hope it was worth it for the slightly shinier cars and slightly more realistic environments ...

Re:Welcome to the "HD Age" (1)

G)-(ostly (960826) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059974)

So what? You lament the loss of creativity and innovation in gaming, and so do I, but if that's what the market wants, that's what the market gets.

Besides, this is nothing new. How many Mario clones are out there? How many arcade games were based around the concept of an overhead space or plane shooter? How about in the mid 90s when every other game cabinet out of the factory was "MARVEL VERSUS BARBIE!! THE ULTIMATE SUPER KILLER STREET FIGHTER PUFF TOY SHOWDOWN!!!"

Hell, speaking of which, what about the old Street Fighter craze. There were at LEAST five official arcade versions of Street Fighter 2 alone.

No, nothing new. Nothing new at all.

You have to pay for the PC patches as well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15059467)

you have to pay for the PC version as well. this isn't an MS conspiracy or anything. this is Bethesda attempting to get some more money.

maybe if they got a bit more money, they could fix any of the numerous bugs in the game.

Give me a Break (4, Insightful)

Covetous Knight (957894) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059516)

It's really mind-boggling that Bethesda thinks it's okay to sell a CD full of actual content for $50-70, and still thinking it's okay to sell a couple of extra skins for $1.99-$2.50.

Why didn't they follow the same pricing model when selling their game? Surely if 2 skins are worth $2.50, then an entire CD filled with thousands of skins, logic, sprawling maps, etc would be worth several thousands of dollars per disc.

Bethesda should be ashamed.

Re:Give me a Break (1)

SirTalon42 (751509) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059628)

Oblivion is on a DVD, not a CD. I don't think I would of had enough money to buy it using your pricing model...

Charging for the PC Addons too (5, Informative)

mwsmith824 (638640) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059533)

Looks like they're charging for the PC addons as well. And have a couple more than just horse armor. I don't know that they're worth the $2 they're selling them for after all the free goodies the community created for Morrowwind but it'll be interesting to see if any other game devs follow their lead.

Before everyone freaks out here, too... (5, Informative)

DanthemaninVA1 (750886) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059641)

This is Bethesda's doing, and not Microsoft's. Apparently, if you want the official Bethesda horse armor mod on the PC, you still have to pay $2.50, which is roughly the equivalent of 200 MS points.

I honestly don't see why everyone is freaking out about this; message boards seem to have exploded in rage all over the internet since yesterday, and it's really not that big a deal. I don't feel like $2.50 is worth a mod that doesn't actually do anything (the "armor" doesn't actually increase the horse's armor class, it just makes it look nice), and I feel like a lot of people are thinking the same thing. When Bethesda finds out that people aren't willing to pay that amount for so little, I'm guessing that future content will be priced more in line with the value it gives players. All in all, this really has nothing to do with Microsoft or how horrible the 360 is, but with why Bethesda chose that price for this particular content.

Re:Before everyone freaks out here, too... (2, Informative)

Vizionary (782725) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059861)

Excellent point! I did not realize that Bethesda was also providing (and charging) for the offical PC mod. Shame on you, Bethesda! ;)

In my earlier post, I pointed out that, on the Xbox 360, there are no player mods available. However, for contrast, I should have linked to one of the mod lists for the PC version. Note: these are unofficial, but are also free.

Oblivion Mods [gamespy.com]

Re:Before everyone freaks out here, too... (1)

MeanMF (631837) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059875)

Yes this is Bethesda, but it's Microsoft's distribution system and the Xbox 360 platform will be hurt by this in the longrun if they keep allowing developers to ship stripped-down games in hopes of selling content later.

Re:Before everyone freaks out here, too... (1)

clodney (778910) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059905)

Finally a voice of reason. If I had points I would mod you up.

People, if you think it ain't worth $2.50, don't buy it. If enough people feel the same way the price will drop, either for this mod or for ones in the future. Micropayments like this have to be new to Bethesda, so it seems quite plausible that they set the price too high initially.

$2.50 may be the price for the early adopter fanboys. After a month it may drop to pull in a larger audience.

There is no set "worth" of something. By definition, if you buy it for $.250 it is worth $2.50 to you.

Original Story Submission (4, Interesting)

Vizionary (782725) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059716)

Thanks Zonk! I'm glad this submission was accepted, but feel the original "tone" was lost in translation, so I'm posting it here just "for the record". Note: I was quite angry when I submitted it.

------------------
Micro$oft's marketing droids have fired the first salvo in the latest round of Digital Restrictions Management Warfare. Oblivion, by Bethesda, widely believed to be the strongest candidate for 2006 Game Of The Year, has begun providing downloadable content via XBOX Live. This could be great news, but at roughly $2.50 for downloadable Horse Armor a mere two weeks after the game shipped, we all know this was carved from the game to be sold separately. Bethesda is also to blame here, with other similarly priced content on the way. How long until "essential" game content is withheld from a game release, only to be downloaded in Pay-Per-Play chunks?
------------------

Please note that I'm definitely not against pay-per-play as a viable model, however, for these guys to charge $2.50 for what basically amounts to a few texture maps and a mesh is a big step over the edge onto a slippery slope that could (will?) lead to more egregious violations of player trust. And, before everyone says "if you don't like it, don't buy it"...believe me, I won't. However, it's important to understand that without public backlash over this, the folks behind these machinations will continue forward, "innovating" online gaming to the point where you won't be able to complete a $60 game you purchased until you've spent another $40 on pseudo-essential add-ons. (Not picking on you, Bethesda, we love you guys!!!)

Why did I mention Digital Restrictions Management? Glad you asked. If player contributed content were available via XBOX Live, the "power" of this type of marketing ploy would be diffused against other, more affordable (even free in some cases) mods. Why no player contributed content? Well, first you need Micro$oft's permission to provide anything via Live. And, well, we'll just leave the DRM issue right there...it's just beating a dead horse with armor.

But, I digress...

Thank You, Bethesda, for Oblivion! You've restored my faith in immersive, interactive storytelling! Please use your amazing success with this game to help protect the future of downloadable content. I suppose that one way to do that would be to ensure that the price of content is in-line with the value of the content. And, it would be really nice if it were also tied to the actual "cost" of the content...but, hey, we can always dream.

If people buy it then the experiment worked. (1)

LordJezo (596587) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059733)

Even though everyone is complaining about this the fact is that if people buy it then the experiment worked.

If people feel that it's a horrible thing by the developers to do and protest by not buying it then things like this wont happen, but, if people complain and buy it anyway then we'll see more and more things like this. Bitching on a message board wont change a thing if they profit off of the idea.

All this over $2.60? (1)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059739)

The cost of the Oblivion upgrade in real dollars is $2.60. Whether you think that is too much or too little or just right, it is a little deceptive the way XBL prices things as POINTS so that you don't recognize the conversion rate. 1 point = $.013 (assuming you buy them in lots of 5000).

I think the mount mod is not worth it (and that should be the end of it - maybe if sales are poor MS will think to lower the price - no need for being a loudmouth on /. about it.

That aside, there is a ton of cool, free stuff on XBL 360. Games, videos. I liked the Natasha Beddingfield exclusive video.

$20?!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15059769)

Project Gotham Racing 2's map/car packs were $5 a pop, there were two of them. Each added a new city (Las Vegas and Paris) each with I believe 5 or 6 tracks and 8 new cars per pack. $5 was the sweet spot, $10 is pushing it. There is no damn way $20 would fly for such a pack on Project Gotham Racing 3, it's just not as good as the previous version (graphics and camera views aside).

People pay for mods? (0, Redundant)

kin242 (789922) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059778)

Seriously? PEOPLE PAY FOR MODS??? WTF?

My god the game on the X-box already costs twice what it does on the PC. We get the PC mods for free... what planet are you X-Boxers on? Send me some of your money please!!!

id10t Error (4, Insightful)

cybrthng (22291) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059789)

No one forces you to buy a 360, no one forces you to buy Oblivion, no one forces you to buy Horse armor, no one forces you to buy Xbox live.

You buy it because you choose to do so. You buy it because it works, because you enjoy it and because you don't mind paying for someones hard work.

Sure horse armor for 2.50 is a joke. I don't dispute that. However the 360, xbox live and the game are all worth every penny i paid and then some. I'll choose not to buy the horse armor because..

you may guess it

i don't freaking HAVE to.

Thanks for blowing this way out of proportion and making yourselves look like idiots. Move along.

Re:id10t Error (2, Interesting)

MeanMF (631837) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059846)

Sure you don't NEED to buy horse armor for $2.50, but watch what happens then with games like Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter. It shipped with 10 multiplayer maps. Previous Ghost Recon games all came with at least twice as many. What do you want to bet that they have a bunch more maps sitting around that they could have put on the game disc, but are now waiting to sell online instead?

Companies to avoid (1)

jdwclemson (953895) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059915)

I work a lot with other companies in my business and this is a common issue. You pay a fortune for a service and usually the good contractors will provide a little extra value without charging. Sometimes though there are groups that are well known for nickle and diming us for everything we need, and its not large things. Sometimes its petty concerns even as pathetic as pencils and pens. Guess who I will give a contract to when I have the choice between the two companies? Horse armor is barely worth 50 cents, and any charge under $10 is just plain bad character. It just shows the kind of mentality Bethesda Software Microsoft have about their customers. Rather than seeing us as people who they want to make happy, they clearly see us as walking money pots and they want to grab all they can. Just keep this in mind. Next time you are at the store, think about this when you can choose between a Bethesda game and one from a company who actually likes to share content with fans in a more appropriate manner.

I am proud to admit (-1, Troll)

SensitiveMale (155605) | more than 8 years ago | (#15059983)

I have no fucking idea what the above story is about.

Nor do I care.

Welcome to product lock-in (1)

sinij (911942) | more than 8 years ago | (#15060002)

Welcome to product lock-in, they can charge you whatever they want since they control platform, distribution, titles and any and all networking.

The irony... (2, Interesting)

Daze-wan (965333) | more than 8 years ago | (#15060037)

it is interesting that the time it would have taken to set up the system to take and process payments for downloading the mods for the PC probably cost more and took more time than producing the actual content...so if they released it for nothing it likely would have cost them less...

same thing in Kameo months ago (3, Insightful)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 8 years ago | (#15060052)

Months ago, MS sold an alternate outfit for Kameo (main character in the game Kameo) for the same price I believe.

I didn't pay and I encourage others not to pay either.

I'm not against micropayments, but I lets make MS work for their money, make them develop good additional content. Like Geometry Wars.

When additional tracks/cars become available for PGR3, I don't know what I will do. I would like the content, but the problem is if we pay them, they'll leave stuff out of the next PGR3 on purpose, just so they can sell it to you later.
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