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Lumines Live! Creator Defends Content Downloads

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the not-my-fault dept.


Eurogamer reports that Lumines Live! creator Tetsuya Mizuguchi is defending the extra content downloads required to play the entire game on the 360. From the article: "Mizuguchi told IGN that one reason for the download/pricing strategy was technical ('We have to include everything in 50MB') but that the other reason was the desire to let people customise Lumines. 'We want people to look at Lumines and, depending on the artist, or the season, or the music, we want to give them different reasons to consider buying the game,' he explained." Relatedly, the Live service hit 4 Million users, Microsoft has announced. "Microsoft reckons it's on track for six million users by June 2007. 'We openly welcome other console platforms to join us in [the online] space,' [they say], a bit mockingly."

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Content Download = BS (4, Insightful)

Conception (212279) | more than 7 years ago | (#16504819)

So, I don't mind the add-ons. I think it's totally awesome to be able to expand the game... but Lumines does it in such an underhanded way that I will not pay any more money for that game.

A) First like all other live games, they say many times, "Pay to Unlock the full game!" all over the place.

B) When you do, there is no indication that any of the other modes are optional. You don't actually discover it till after you've played the first level or two and the screen pops up and says, "HAHA, you suck! Give us more money, fool!"

What they should have done is have the options listed as Main Game and Download Content. As you download the content, it adds items to the menu. Perhaps a "Test Downloadable Content" section or something for the try before you buy action. It's not what their doing, it's how sneaky and evil they do it.

Re:Content Download = BS (-1, Troll)

ZakuSage (874456) | more than 7 years ago | (#16505087)

So you didn't RTFA? What Mizaguchi wants to do is make the Lumines Live! downloads more like the music downloads system. You can buy the whole game or album if you want to, but most people like to pick out individual skins or songs.

Re:Content Download = BS (3, Insightful)

Babbster (107076) | more than 7 years ago | (#16505667)

Yeah, see, I don't think YOU read what the poster said. What he's saying is that the way in which it was implemented is nasty. First, there are no ancillary downloads listed (the only way to know if there are addons for XBL games while browsing the Marketplace) and, second, when you go to buy the game it tells you you're buying the full game. In other words, it's not about having to pay more for additional content but rather about the presentation of the game within the structure of the MS online store.


Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16510737)

Flamebait my ass


Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16521471)

yeah not trolling either. God damn idiot mods.

So... (3, Insightful)

CaseM (746707) | more than 7 years ago | (#16504877)

So they have to fit each component in a 50 MB "package", but who said that had to charge more than $20.00 for the whole thing??

The mere fact that the "Full Game" (according to the description in XBLA) has locked content inside of it is gonna piss a whole lot of people off.

Microsoft Won't State Paying Online Subscribers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16505029)

'We openly welcome other console platforms to join us in [the online] space,' [they say], a bit mockingly."

There were consoles in the 'online space' before Microsoft was in the market. There will be consoles in the 'online space' after Microsoft leaves the market. Not to mention of course pc gaming. The only thing unique about Microsoft is their attempt to milk players for just the privilege of playing games online.

It is amazing that after a year on the market Microsoft still is refusing to release the number of suckers...I mean subscribers to their online service. Instead they continue to play word games in an effort to confuse people into believing the numbers they are bragging about are for actual paying subscribers. At the very least with the first Xbox Microsoft actually gave a (bogus of course) number a couple times over the short life of the console. That would lead one to believe that the number of actual monthly subscribers is certainly lower with the 360.

Not really surprising since you have an 400 dollar console that people who want the privilege of playing games online have to shell out an extra 250 dollars over the life of the console. With both Nintendo and Sony offering free online play for their consoles, the number of people willing to pay Microsoft every month is most likely going to plummet.

not hardly (1)

grapeape (137008) | more than 7 years ago | (#16506713)

Until Sony offers up a game matching service that doesnt require a 3rd party and until there is some kind of central control of servers and maintenance Microsoft has no worries. The ps3 is at least making strides towards online services but without the rankings and game matching it still has a long way to go. Plus free on the ps3 means free as far as sony is concerned but developers are also free to do it however they want including pay to play since they have to provide and maintain their own infrastructure.

Nintendo looks to be doing a bit more but if it uses the inane friends codes that the DS uses it will be no big threat either.

Re:Microsoft Won't State Paying Online Subscribers (1)

Klintus Fang (988910) | more than 7 years ago | (#16510027)

...the number of people willing to pay Microsoft every month is most likely going to plummet.
I might agree with you if it was a monthly fee, but an XboxLive customer does not pay microsoft every month for their online service. the payments are made once a year. For the premium service, the yearly fee is less than the cost of a single video game.

A Question of Semantics (5, Insightful)

LukeCage (1007133) | more than 7 years ago | (#16505055)

The problem is not that the game is downloadable. The problem is not the price -- it is actually fairly reasonable for a puzzle game. No, the problem is the semantics used. The game is listed as "Unlock the Full Game", not "Unlock Mission Mode and a Few Trial Modes". This sets the expectation that the player will have access to ALL of those locked modes that you see in the trial version of the game, not a handful. Furthermore, the developer's assertion that he is allowing the player to "download and customize the game" is pure hogwash. If he is, where is the granualarity? There is, at present, the "Full Game" (really just a "base game"), a future skin pack, and an additional pack of mode unlocks. That's hardly "customization". Since Microsoft pushed the microtransaction model so hard, why isn't this company taking advantage of it and offering individual skin download or genre packs for a small discount? The fact is that this is a simple example of publisher greed and comes very close to a bait-and-switch method of dealing with gamers. Microsoft needs to step into this as a consumer advocate and offer a refund in MS Points (and a corresponding revocation of the ability to play the game) to anyone who feels shorted by this situation.

Re:A Question of Semantics (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16511239)

In defense of MS the description is very specific as to what is included and that some features will need additional packs even if the name should have been listed as Base Pack. Also when you come across a mode that needs an additional pack to use the trial says exactly what is needed, like Base Pack and Puzzle Pack or something to that effect. Also on the PSP game I never played much vs CPU and I might never play any on the xbox considering I have online multiplayer and the vsCPU on my PSP version. I don't mind being able to choose what content I'm going to pay for.

I kinda think this game is being used as a test for micro-transactions and that is the reason the game's implementation isn't very graceful. For all we know Q walked into MS with its game weighing in at 200megs 2 months ago and has been rushing to figure out some way to get this monster out via live.

Re:A Question of Semantics (1)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 7 years ago | (#16511443)

You know, I'm normally the one on this site that's defending Microsoft, because I think they're treated too harshly around here, but...

Microsoft needs to step into this as a consumer advocate


It's too simple to begin with. (4, Informative)

cableshaft (708700) | more than 7 years ago | (#16505091)

Part of the problem is that there's not much to the game to begin with. You place blocks down to make squares and try to sneak more in before the line moves across and clears everything. It's similar to Bejeweled or Zuma as far as complexity is concerned, and those games are fully featured and only cost $10 on XBLA, wheras Lumines STARTS at $15, without all the content.

They've got a bit more of an argument with the 50 MB limit, but really, we're seeing some amazing games being made chock full of content that are sneaking in at under that limit (Roboblitz made with the Unreal 3 engine with hi-res textures, the upcoming sprite-animation-heavy Alien Hominid and Castle Crashers)... I doubt that's as big of an issue as they claim it is (although, to be fair, music tends to be the big size hog for casual games, and Lumines is big on the music).

Re:It's too simple to begin with. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16512225)

If there is a 50 meg limit and the game needs to go over it, why not sell the game retail?

There's no reason why we can't get a full game for $29.99 at the store and then still have the ability to purchase 'updates' via the marketplace. The game is reasonably priced if purchased in a store since you get a disc and a package and booklet, etc. But taking all that away should lower the price...

I'm sure after all the packs come out, one will be able to buy it at the local gaming store at a lower price then us suckers paid for intially.

The idea was you could try out the different parts of the game without purchasing the whole thing, but honestly, Lumines Live will end up costing more than Lumines 2 for the PSP and that just doesn't sit well.

Next time give away the engine for free. (2, Informative)

kinglink (195330) | more than 7 years ago | (#16505999)

The best situation here is if it was 0 dollars to download the FULL engine and have one level of each type available. Then make it clear how to buy each mode. If you want puzzle mode you're forced to by the based game. If you want to play just puzzle mode you're not customizing your game you're enhancing it. Customizing content is a great idea, but don't force people to buy stuff in Bundles like this.

Then of course they blame Microsoft's 50 meg limit? That's easy, make a 50 meg game that costs 1500 points, and then give all the add ons for free, again I get a customized game, but I'm paying one cost. not 5.

As for Microsoft, or shall I say Weasel soft? Those numbers suck.

We have 4 million LIVE users, how many Gold users? Still no numbers, people arn't paying for the system (I am and a couple buds are but they still are avoiding those numbers for some reason)

Factor in 1 year ago at launch they had 2 million. So for the 6 million consoles they sold, only 1/3 are new subscribers and at most 2/3 are online with a FREE account (and remember 2 accounts on the same console, so it could be lower then 1/3)

70 million piece of content? Include how many patches, How many freebees, how many 'oh we forgot to add this in the game"?

12 million XBLA downloads? that's 3 a person... except that's DOWNLOADS again. Not purchases. so with 24 percent of the demos becoming real purchases the minimum actual purchases are around 2 million (likely moremore)?

Time logged on? Who knows. I leave my console on over night some times. I hang on Xbox live and chat with my buddy while playing Ps2 games (tales of Abyss rocks) It all counts towards this goal.

9 million text and voices weekly are the only one that's impressive And that really is an impressive number.

These are interesting, but Microsoft is touting these numbers because they have 0 competition. First thing I do with my Wii will be put it online too, if I got a PS3 that's the same thing I'll do. Since both are free, I'm guessing we'll see similar numbers from them too.

I love my 360 but god Microsoft, stop being Microsoft.

Nobody's pissed about the downloadable content (2, Insightful)

fahrvergnugen (228539) | more than 7 years ago | (#16508685)

Nobody's pissed off about the downloadable content. Well, nobody reasonable, anyway.

As usual, it's all about expectation management. When people spend $15 on the most expensive XBox Live! game, they expect a complete experience, even without the add-on packs. When people see an option for a game mode in the main menu of this (relatively very) expensive game, they expect to be able to play that game mode without buying an add-on pack. When these expectations aren't met, because that game mode is merely 5 minutes' of play time followed by an advertisement for the add-on pack to unlock the rest of the greyed out menu options, people naturally get pissed off. When this pattern repeats itself multiple times in the same game, people naturally get REALLY pissed off.

Nobody likes paying to receive advertisements. Unfortunately, that's exactly what it feels like to play Lumines on XBox live. If the base Lumines game were cheaper (say, $5), we'd put up with it, but when the game is the most expensive one on the service, people naturally get pretty pissed off about it.

Microcontent is a bad thing (1)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 7 years ago | (#16510887)

I've been saying it from the beginning and I'll say it again, microcontent is a bad thing for gamers. Its not so much the concept that is bad, but the fact that there is not a single company out there who can be trusted to treat it properly and not nickle and dime their players to milk them for all they're worth.

The second a company introduces microcontent, they set themselves on a slippery slope from which there is no return.

It begins with them charging a tiny amount for an addon that has good value, then it becomes them charging for some other parts....then they start scraping content from the retail game and you end up with things like Lumines and horse armor, and in its worst incarnation, you end up with the new Gran Turismo.

Vote with your dollars and don't buy any of this bullshit. In addition, keep writing about how this is a royal crock of shit and make noise to the PR and marketing departments of these companies. Believe it or not, if a large number of people are saying the same thing to them, and the numbers correlate, they WILL stop this stuff.

Although part of me thinks there are a few evil people (shareholders) at the top mandating this for their own greed.

Another interesting note is that this kinda stuff is a big hit in Asia, but what companies need to learn is that doing business in the US is a lot different, and we won't take this kind of bullshit. We want to pay once and own something, not rent and be nickle and dimed for shit that should have been included in the first place.

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