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Default Paid DLC: Service or Scam? @ AtomicGamer

April 22nd, 2010, 00:12
AtomicGamer tackles the touchy subject of paid DLC. After discussing the issue, they make several final points, including "noone is twisting your arm". Here's an introductory snip:
Well, if you ask a company like Bioware, DLC is good for both developer and consumer. For Bioware, it's an opportunity to leverage its hit franchises; for gamers, it's an opportunity to extend their immersion in worlds to which they've become extremely attached. Bioware's taken an interesting approach when it comes to add-on content, doing different things depending on the title. For instance, rather than creating a full-on expansion for Mass Effect 2 as they did for Dragon Age with Dragon Age: Awakening, they created the fictional Cerberus Network, wherein gamers so far have gotten free access to new missions, a new squad member, a new weapon and new armor. They even threw in a vehicle you can drive in missions designed just for it. Given this, the company's strategy to now ask gamers to pay $7 for one hour's worth of DLC—Kasumi: Stolen Memory—is pretty gutsy, and also begs the question—is it worth it?
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April 22nd, 2010, 00:12
[_]Service
[x]Scam

i dont like bioware games
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April 22nd, 2010, 02:23
[_]Service
[_]Scam
[X]Somthing of both.

(Sorry fore the gramma, are Danish)
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April 22nd, 2010, 02:35
Bioware isn't attempting to deceive or defraud anyone. You know exactly what you're going to get before you buy it. Whether or not it's worth the cost is debatable, but it's not a "scam".
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April 22nd, 2010, 05:59
I would only call it a scam if the DLC wasn't just additional content but something you really needed in order to enjoy the original game. For instance, if Dragon Age would only let you use magic items if you bought the DLC.
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April 22nd, 2010, 07:17
I wouldn't call it a scam , i never buy DLCs since i don't find that extra armor or missions add anything . In DAO the "download my mission" thing was very annoying to a degree that if i was more interested in the game i would have probably pirate the extra content just to make NPCs stfu .
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April 22nd, 2010, 07:41
The scam is not with Bioware in general but with dlc, it's a scam in the sense that all the crap they sell should have been in the game in the first place.

I.e. scam.

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April 22nd, 2010, 10:10
Not a scam. But also it's not a service. It's just a not very important option you may use if you want to. I hope game reviewers will never rank the game based on any DLC.
Unlike DLC, patches and updates are a service. If someone should pay to get those, that would be a scam. For example, if a DLC you pay for contained a patch to a critical bug instead of getting it for free, this would be a scam.
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April 22nd, 2010, 10:52
Scam? No. But generally it's not really worth it, considered the quality and length given for the price. Especially Bioware's last efforts.
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April 22nd, 2010, 10:53
Some people at the Drakensang forums actually wanted DLC and said they were willing to pay for it.

Within the discussion(s), the only thing they mainly put forward was the positive aspects of DLC; the aspect tht it more or less ignores people with "lowband" internet access or even those completely without, is in general rather downplayed by DLC enthusiats.

Usually, DLC enthusiasts even tend to not believe t all that there might be people with lowband access, as I call it. They usually don't think that there might be gamers in rural areas as well.

Which is in factsome kind of prejudice: Thinking that only people living within urban areas are gamers.
And that all others living in rural reas which are minly dominated by woods and farms are some kind of undereducated wild men and women who might not even know what the word "Internet" means, to put it cynically. Or that they don't have the "need" or even wish to play games on their computers.

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April 22nd, 2010, 10:57
There are differences between quality I think. There are definitely DLC's that can be named "horse armour" that contains a few new models or textures. Such DlC's aren't worth it as far as I concern. Then there are those who contain nothing more than a fighting-stage, where they have just built some kind of simple arena and let monsters pour in that were already in the game. I would call such DLC's "cash-ins".

Then there are DLC's that expand the game in new directions, prolong the story, add completely new areas or content. I enjoy those DLC's.

Oblivion: Knights of the Nine… I guess this was the first purchased DLC I played. At the end, it suffered from most of the same problems the rest of Oblivion did, but at least it was a serious attempt to expand the game for an hour or two.

Mass Effect 2: I got Zaed for free and found that quest enjoyable and the NPC in general to be a pretty cool addition to the party. The crashed normandy was… emotional. I enjoyed that one even if it's just a tiny map and some nostalgia. I haven't played the other large ones so I have no opinion on those.

Tomb Raider Underworld: Especially Lara's Shadow did expand the story in a satisfying way that made me wish for a sequel more than the original game did…

Resident Evil 5: Desperate Escape was based on a good idea, but seeing it executed was… meh. Boiled down to it it was an endless fight but nothing really exciting. Lost In Nightmares was definitely a fan service and it was more enjoyable I think, even if half of the story was one long puzzle that could have been shorter.

Fallout 3: From a gameplay perspective the five DLC's differed in quality, there were really no use for an already powerful character. However, looking at the story and the care that was put down into each DLC I say they were all a high standard compared to other DLC's. In that regard I cannot say they were cash-ins. Fallout 3 is the style of game that really benefit from additional content this way. Like Lara's Shadow, Broken Steel did expand the story with a more satisfying ending and did fix the level issue by both adding tougher foes and a higher level cap. This seems to indicate that developers can now change the endings if players doesn't like them and adjust gameplay after the game have been released. I am for this. Point Lookout was definitely the best DLC though.

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April 22nd, 2010, 11:19
Just more spam from Bioware to keep their games in the first page.

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April 22nd, 2010, 11:44
Can't see the problem myself. I would like to see something that more explicitly gave an estimated gameplay time for any DLC (the info's all there on the internet though) but if you don't want it don't pay for it.

I've seen no sign whatsoever that, at least for Bioware (the only developer I like doing DLC), the original game has been nerfed to bully consumers into buying the DLC.

If they can hit a sweet profit point by marketing higher margin stuff to their more enthusiastic fans then that's good for everyone, and in my opinion it gives developers a greater incentive to make sure that the original game is good enough that there are all these enthusiastic fans.
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April 22nd, 2010, 11:49
I feel like DLC is more of a motivation for developers to keep supporting and refreshing their projects rather than a call for extra cash. Whether or not you decide to buy one, you still get all the patches and some freebies thrown in, which is a benefit for your gaming experience all the way.

Plus it's a way for 'traditional' RPG developers to compete with multiplayer competitive and co-op style games in terms of prolongation of game experience, game's lifespan and community buzz around it.

The other side to it could be the "package" gaming, sort of the relay of micro-transaction MMORPGs to single player, where one's basic game will be incomplete without the extra considerable investments, but we're pretty far away from that and piracy will sure balance out those.
Last edited by Motacilla; April 22nd, 2010 at 11:59.
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April 22nd, 2010, 12:28
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
Oblivion: Knights of the Nine… I guess this was the first purchased DLC I played. At the end, it suffered from most of the same problems the rest of Oblivion did, but at least it was a serious attempt to expand the game for an hour or two.
KoN boxed version had all DLCs and patches in , was the same with digital version?
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April 22nd, 2010, 14:52
Originally Posted by Tragos View Post
KoN boxed version had all DLCs and patches in , was the same with digital version?
I don't know. I have the DVD version from the store.

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April 22nd, 2010, 15:34
What I actually don't quite understand is, why it has to be the form of DLC anyway.

I mean - I'd rather buy it if it was presented to me in hard-coded format - on a CD, I mean.

DLC just sits there on a server and can any time be withdrawn or get lost. Crash of the server (although unlikely) might occur, nd then it's the users who have it onl, and though migrating from computer to better computers over the time and harddisk crashes the DLC might dwindle over the time.

Fewer and fewer users will have it, after let's say 10 years, and when it is no more available, it is like some kind of … history becoming dust.

Just take look at what happened to the commercial Bioware NWN modules: They are gone now. Perhap out of legal reasons. Something some people would have never guessed would be happening one day, like "oh, come on, Bioware is *such* a big company, they'll *never* let those things get lost ! The Servers will *always* be online !" And now ?

Another point is the kind of "fast food" mentality. If a DLC is gone - who cares ?

It's like … crash and burn. Done and gone in no time, it's almost like "hit & run".

People just don't care anymore on the availiability - they always assume that DLC will be avilable to *everyone* - through the Internet, that is - and they don't care about whether it is gone one day or not - I call it "stability of existence".

I fear that this might be a sign of a new generation of gamers. Of folks who just don't care about these things. they are totally happy with microtransactions for items or for DLCs in general which might be gone the other day, or just withdrawn throug unknown resons.
This generation is the "Internet-Generation", which is happy with becoming everything fed over/through the Internet. Like OnLive ould do as well.

If I think it like this way, then OnLive is just the next logical, further step over he concept of DLCs.

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April 22nd, 2010, 16:19
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
Some people at the Drakensang forums actually wanted DLC and said they were willing to pay for it.

Within the discussion(s), the only thing they mainly put forward was the positive aspects of DLC; the aspect tht it more or less ignores people with "lowband" internet access or even those completely without, is in general rather downplayed by DLC enthusiats.
One way or another, those with no internet will not get DL content. So to them it's all the same, I don't see why would releasing a DLC be a problem.
Usually, DLC enthusiasts even tend to not believe t all that there might be people with lowband access, as I call it. They usually don't think that there might be gamers in rural areas as well.
No, it's just that those people are in minority. They're not really important to the publisher.

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April 22nd, 2010, 22:33
My view is that DLC isn't in and of itself a 'scam.' But there is certainly a lot of potential for it to be just that. Two words, 'horse armor.' Perhaps that wasn't intended to a scam by Bethesda - granted the notion of DLC was brand new when that debacle occured. But to the end user, it still felt like being scammed.

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April 23rd, 2010, 02:41
I mean - I'd rather buy it if it was presented to me in hard-coded format - on a CD, I mean.
Then they have to box it up, ship it out, let the retailers have their cut, deal with all the people who don't read the box and buy the mini-expansion when they don't own the game, and so on. You're liable to end up doubling the price of the content - and the publishers and developers aren't going to be getting any of that extra money.

They DO actually release the DLC on disk sometimes, though. Mostly as part of a 'game of the year' edition or 'gold' edition or whatever.
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