Developers are kids on a playground right now. They see a better way of delivering content to us and it is going to take time before their minds, publisher demands and gamer’s expectations can become aligned. Currently, because of the internet, the content that arrives on a game’s disc is a base which the developer can build on to. The ways to expand on games has changed a lot over the decades, with each developer offering what they consider additional content at a variety of prices. Bungie are dicks. The price of the Destiny expansion is too damn high. Those are crack prices. (I refer to inflated prices as “crack prices” because you have to be an addict to want to pay that much). Some prices fit, others do not. Developers are humans and they value their products and the publishers bank on being able to charge the highest attractive price possible.
I’m sorry, I digress again. Am I missing something with the Destiny expansion? It’s three story missions, a new weekly strike and a new raid? Aside from items, content-wise I am spending 1/4th the price of the game for a sliver of content. Just doesn’t feel right.
Anyways, there is a lively exchange of ideas in the space for developers to deliver content in new and exciting ways. LittleBigPlanet boasts a neverending list of user created content where the gems are not too hard to find if you know where to look. As a plus, the DLC for the game plugs right in and then you get to create great things with. Borderlands has codes you punch in for keys to receive special weapons. Some DLC expands the universe, which is the standard, while others change the game entirely such as Farcry 3 Blood Dragon.
Each and every attempt at this is a science experiment on your wallet. Developers are not entirely sure what methods of content delivery they can get away with or the context under which they can produce it and have it be well received. Bethesda, for example released Hearthfire DLC at a very attractive $2.99. This simple DLC allows you to build a house and adopt an orphan. The amount of time I spent building a house rivals that of some other higher priced DLC but content wise it was nothing more than an area to build a house. If games are priced relative to content and not hours logged…
Then why is Destiny’s DLC twenty-damn-dollars? I looked it up. One of the story missions vanishes after you complete it so I’m left with two missions, a strike and a raid. No new cutscenes or new dialog but still getting my quests from an NPC like it is an event, but different because I drained my wallet. UGH! Again, I’m sorry… Wallets! Science experiment!
Developers are not exactly sure how people will react but if they are satisfied with the monetary response from the consumers, they will deem their effort as a win. Horse armor was stupid but it sold and thus developers realized they could charge money to reskin familiar objects. EA are geniuses at making you demand to pay for DLC. The FIFA (a seriously corrupt organization that would have no money if it weren’t for people too ignorant to care.) soccer game does not have as many stadiums as they do teams. In recent years players have begun to demand stadium DLC. There’s nothing wrong with wanting something but two thoughts.
1. Don’t ask EA to rip you off.
2. Seriously, don’t ask EA to rip you off.
The problem lies in the fact that there are so many gamers out there that only a fraction of them need to buy something for it to be considered a success. This is the same problem gaming has with sexist environments. The minority have a certain point of view that they wont shut up about and the majority will get stuck with the label.
What I’m trying to say is that when developers set the bar at $20 for three missions and two side quests with a sequel already in development, somebody, somewhere is banking on the idea that gamers will buy anything. This trend needs to stop.
The Jaded Gamer (@IamFN2K)